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Archive for the ‘Analytics’ Category

Companies plan hiring for new tech jobs, cloud, social, security

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

CareerBuilderAlthough companies are hiring more employees to keep up with demand for their products and services, they’re not looking at full scale expansion of their headcounts, according to a new CareerBuilder survey. Mobile, cloud, social media, data analytics and cyber security positions are all cited as among the hottest job prospects.

Robert Half Technology also reports that IT hiring is in session for more than one in three firms.Thirty-five percent of chief information officers (CIOs) interviewed said they plan to hire new IT graduates in 2013, according to a recent poll by Robert Half Technology 

But not all CIOs polled give new graduates high marks when it comes to being ready for their first job. More than one in four respondents (26 percent) said entry-level professionals aren’t prepared to contribute right away. Among these executives, more than half (55 percent) said the reason is a lack of skills in areas such as communication and leadership.

Temporary hiring, which has been a mainstay for many companies during the economic downturn, will increase by 10 percent in the back half of 2013, the CareerBuilder survey suggests.

The survey, which was conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder from May 14 to June 5, 2013, included more than 2,000 hiring managers and human resource professionals across industries and company sizes.

“Companies are adding more employees to keep pace with demand for their products and services, but they’re not rushing into a full-scale expansion of headcount in light of economic headwinds that still linger today,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder.

Pace of permanent hiring stronger

“The projected surge in temporary hiring from July to December is evidence of both a growing confidence in the market and a recession-induced hesitation to immediately place more permanent hires on the books. However, the overall pace of permanent hiring is stronger today in various industries and geographies, and will continue on a path of gradual improvement for the remainder of the year.”

Economic Modeling Specialists (EMSI)1, a CareerBuilder company, found that temporary work accounted for 15 percent of all job growth nationally over the last four years, even though the industry makes up roughly two percent of the nation’s workforce.

The study conducted by Harris Interactive shows there will be a continued boost in temporary hiring activity as well as hiring for full-time and part-time positions, with 44 percent of employers planning on hiring fulltime employees, 25 percent part-time employees, and 31 percent temp or contract workers.

Many formerly fulltime employees moved to freelance, temporary and contract work when fulltime jobs were scarce but companies hired to fill specific short term needs.

This trend continues even as the economy improves.

Careerbuilder cites several hot ares for job-seekers, including: 

e following areas:

  • Jobs tied to mobile technology – 16 percent
  • Jobs tied to cloud technology – 15 percent
  • Jobs tied to social media – 13 percent
  • Jobs tied to managing and interpreting big data – 12 percent
  • Jobs tied to financial regulation – 10 percent
  • Jobs tied to health informatics – 10 percent
  • Jobs tied to cyber security – 9 percent

Small business hiring

The number of small businesses planning to hire over the next six months is trending up while the number for larger organizations declined slightly compared to last year. More than half (56 percent) of companies with more than 500 employees expect to add more employees by year end, down from 58 percent in 2012.

  • 50 or fewer employees – 24 percent hiring full-time, permanent employees, up from 21 percent in 2012
  • 250 or fewer employees – 34 percent hiring full-time, permanent employees, up from 31 percent in 2012
  • 500 or fewer employees – 37 percent hiring full-time, permanent employees, up from 34 percent in 2012

Big data is paying off for big companies, report says

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013
Big Data


Big data is paying off – at least for big companies, says a new research report, Big Data in Big Companies.

The report describes how 20 large firms benefit frombig data projects. Report co-authors Tom Davenport of the International Institute for Analytics (IIA) and Jill Dyché of SAS, the leader in business analytics, explore how these companies have deployed analytics to generate value from their big data assets.

“We’re making a big bet on big data,” says Bill Ruh, Vice President of GE’s Software and Analytics Center. “With that said, the pilot projects we’ve put out there have solved some big problems already. Our early proof-points were important. Now we’re moving forward with even more complex problem sets. We’re making this a part of everything we do.”

The report highlights the most cross-industry, big data success stories ever published. Research participants included AIG, Bank of America, Caesars Entertainment, Carolinas Health Care, CIGNA, Dell, Discover, Fidelity, GE,, Schneider National, Sears, T-Mobile, UnitedHealthcare, UPS, Verizon and Wells Fargo.

Big data pays off in multiple ways

“As we engaged big company executives in conversations about big data for this report, they all agreed that big data is an evolutionary set of capabilities that would have new and sometimes unanticipated uses over time,” said Davenport, Research Director of the IIA and Visiting Professor at Harvard Business School. “But every one of these executives conceded that they couldn’t afford to make big data a mere academic exercise. It needed to drive value, and better sooner than later.”

Big data initiatives enable companies to analyze diverse data – structured and unstructured, from internal and external sources – and uncover new insights. Executives at the big data early adopters in the report stressed that analyzing big data delivers big payoffs by creating new business capabilities and helping their organizations conduct current processes cheaper, faster and more effectively.

“Big data wasn’t really a commonly known term when I first started,” said Kerem Tomak, Vice President of Marketing Analytics at “With all that data – and a 50 percent year-over-year growth rate – it’s more than likely that the business demand for big data at will only increase.”

Value of a single big data platform

Big DataExecutives interviewed for the report described the value of combining reporting, analytics, exploration, protection, and recovery on a single big data platform. Big data environments usually coexist with, rather than replace, data warehouse and business intelligence infrastructures already in place. Organizations that were most effective and likely to succeed fostered strong relationships between business and IT.

“Big data was a wake-up call for these executives,” said Dyché, Vice President of Best Practices at SAS. “As high-performance analytics became a reality and performance accelerated, they began realizing what could be done. Sure, companies can use big data solutions to fast-track complex business processes. But the promise of fresh innovation is the real allure of big data for executives. They’re turning their attention – and their budgets – to emerging technologies and skills.”

The report found that transforming organizations through analytics requires new skills, leadership, organizational structures, technologies and architectures. Most organizations surveyed are augmenting existing analytical staff, adding data scientists with IT capabilities who can manipulate big data technologies. Solid knowledge of data architectures, data quality, and master data management hubs are just the beginning for firms pursuing big data as a long-term differentiator, the report concluded.

For a free download of Big Data in Big Companies, visit

Automated Insights now offers plain English web analytics

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

By Allan Maurer

Automated InsightsIf you’ve ever spent hours digging through Google Analytics trying to find the stats that are meaningful to you, you’ll appreciate the new offering from Durham, NC-based Automated Insights called SiteAi.

The first-of-its-kind service helps website owners find the hidden insights buried in web analytics by providing daily and plain English actionable reports in email.

It’s the latest use of the Automated Insights sophisticated AI engine, which sifts through large data sets looking for patterns and trends. Previously the company sold Yahoo a product that automatically produces recaps of Fantasy Football games, cranking out 500-1,000 word articles for millions of players at the rate of more than 1,000 per second.

Automated Insights started life as the StatSheet network in 2007, a very popular college basketball stats site, and soon expanded coverage to MLB, NFL, NBA, and college football. It was founded by CEO Robbie Allen.

Expanding off its first base

Using no human writers whatsoever, it published tens of thousands of articles for over 400 team-based web sites, over 450 team-based mobile apps, and thousands of Facebook and twitter feeds. The websites and apps are data and visual rich, with articles, charts, lists, and feeds.

AI’s Joe Procopio tells us, “When we became Automated Insights, our goal was to expand off our sports base.” The company’s mantra is to automate everything. “We’re still working on automating our ping pong games,” Procopio quipped in an earlier interview.

The goal of the new product, he says, “Is to help website owners maximize whatever their goals may be, not just report the statistics. But it does save you from needing to click through all those charts on Google Analytics.”

Viral pricing

Joe Procopio at a TechMedia event. If you're in the Research Triangle and involved in startups, you've probably run into him. He gets around.

Joe Procopio at a TechMedia event. If you’re in the Research Triangle and involved in startups, you’ve probably run into him. He gets around.

The company is “Eating its own dogfood,” says Procopio. “We have hundreds of websites and its a huge time-saver for us, helping us maximize impact from how and where we run our ads.”

The company is also using something Procopio calls “viral pricing.” He explains, “The product is free for 60 days, then we start charging a fee based on the number of people we’ve signed up.” The fee will range from $4 to $10 a month, he says.

Just a start

“The more people who sign up, the less the price will be, so it encourages users to tell others about it.”

Analytics is a sweet spot for the company, Procopio adds. “There is so much data and much of it is difficult to access. We automate reports and do it quickly.”

The new product, though is just “a first shot,” at product development outside the sports arena. “We’ve only scratched the surface of what we can do with AI,” Procopio says.

Third-party data collection ongoing at high levels

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

kruxThird-party data collection across many leading websites continues at very significant levels while data collection via social media/sharing widgets is growing rapidly according to the third-annual Cross Industry Study (CIS) of web data collection activity from Krux.

The Krux study is the only research project solely focused on ‘data leakage,’ consumer and website data collected by companies other than the site owner, often without compensation or consent.

This year, in addition to the top 50 ad-supported content sites, Krux expanded its analysis to also include data from the top 100 e-commerce and marketer sites, as well as 50 smaller content sites.

Unwanted data being harvested

“Though the increase of third-party data collection has moderated due to better data governance by website operators, there’s still a great deal of unknown and unwanted data harvesting happening out there,” said Tom Chavez , Krux co-founder and CEO.

“Given Krux’s role in the data ecosystem, we understand that not all collection is bad.  However, when 46 percent of this collection comes from higher risk intermediaries and market middlemen, it raises questions as to which companies are mining the data, if that collection is fully sanctioned and how that data will ultimately be used.”

Study highlights include: 

  • Data collection activity that is within the website owners’ control dropped by 40 percent.  This illustrates a concerted effort on the part of many web operators to implement better data governance practices and exert greater control over what’s happening on their pages.
  • The number of third parties observed participating in data collection continued its rise, from 168 individual companies in 2011, to 300 in 2012 and 328 in 2013.
  • Collection from higher-risk categories rose as well, from 40 percent in 2012 to 46 percent in 2013.  Collectors are considered ‘higher-risk’ if there is the potential that they will use the data they collect to power competitive market activity.

“Data will be one of the core drivers of our business,” said Mark Howard, senior vice president of digital advertising strategy, Forbes Media.

When digging into the data collection dynamics this year, Krux uncovered a number of interesting trends: 

  • Data collection volume from social media/sharing widgets, including mainstream social media principals like Twitter, Facebook and Google+, as well as intermediaries such as AddThis, grew almost 30 percent from 2012 to 2013.  Data collection from social media/sharing widgets now represents 20 percent of all third-party data collection.  This growth reflects both more aggressive collection activities by the social players as well as increased reliance on social/sharing tools by websites to grow their consumer reach.
  • Data collection from advertising Supply Side Platforms (SSPs) dropped 70 percent from 2012 to 2013. This reflects a significant drop in volumes from AdMeld since its acquisition and integration into Google. It may also reflect increased frequency capping, server-to-server cookie synching and other techniques harder to observe at the page level.
  • Like their content counterparts, e-commerce and marketer sites experience a similarly high proportion of third-party collection activity that is beyond their control, 60 percent and 54 percent respectively.

“In expanding the scope of this year’s report, we uncovered one of our most compelling findings: everyone is a publisher,” stated Krux President Gordon McLeod .

“For commerce and marketer sites, much of the data collection stems from the same types of media and technology players we see on content sites. And on commerce sites specifically, we saw a prevalence of higher-risk collectors, not surprising given the relative value of consumer purchase and intent data.

Ultimately, this underscores the fact that first-party data is extremely valuable.  If not, why are so many third-parties so intent upon collecting it?”

More than 100 digital thought-leaders headed to Atlanta

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

Digital SummitMore than 100 leading digital thought leaders are set to present the latest digital strategies and trends at the Digital Summit, Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, May 14th – 15th, 2013.

Speakers will share the latest best practices and strategies in topics such as social media, email marketing, search, mobile, e-commerce, usability, analytics & measurement, online video, social TV and digital advertising/branding among many others.

A capacity crowd of 1,500 digital marketers, Internet executives, web strategists, entrepreneurs and other digital professionals will connect in Atlanta for two full days of content and networking.

social televisionSpeakers represent leading brands such as Google, Twitter, reddit, Mashable, Porsche, Turner, TMZ, Coca-Cola, HootSuite, NASCAR, The Weather Channel, Aereo, Dell, Rovi, HGTV, Forrester, StumbleUpon, Salesforce and Adobe to name a few.

The Digital Summit conference features a keynote from the co-founder of reddit, Alexis Ohanian, and over 80 strategy presentations and discussions, musical acts, the Startup Showcase, preconference workshops, leading digital vendors and hours of attendee networking.

Here at the TechJournal we’ve interviewed a handful of the digital gurus who will participate, with more to come.

Among those you’ll hear are:

Brian DAmato, SVP of Analytics at Moxie discusses How to get ROI from digital channels.

NASCAR_Chevrolet_ImpalaTim Clark, director of optimization for NASCAR, talks about how NASCAR listens to its fans to increase digital channel engagement.

Erik Muendel, CEO and creative director of Alexandria, VA-based Brightline Interactive offers three tips for grabbing attention via digital channels and keeping it.

Social media and marketing consultant Jeff Sheehan explains how Linkedin offers a billboard to 200 million users.

SEO expert Josh McCoy says you should use competitive analysis and enticing content to fire up your SEO.

Erica McClenny

Erica McClenny, SVP, Expion, is participating in the upcoming Atlanta Digital Summit.

Erica McClenny, vice president of client services withExpion, urges you to break down walls to pop the social media bubble.

Michael Marshall, CEO of Internet Marketing Analysts tells you how to do those backlinks right.

Brian Wong

Brian Wong, founder and CEO of Kiip, is participating in the Atlanta Digital Summit May 14-15.

Brian Wong, founder and CEO of Kiip, one of the top four online ad companies according to Forbes, offers insight into the mobile ad secret sauce – capturing moments of achievement.

What do you need to get ROI from digital channels?

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

By Allan Maurer

Brian DAmato

Brian DAmato

It is amazing how little digital marketing is actually data driven. So says Brian DAmato, senior vice president of analytics at Moxie. “Marketing organizations have evolved, but not rapidly: 60 percent of CMOs have stopped holding their reps responsible for ROI because they just are not collecting the data needed.”

DAmato is a veteran in the digital space – working with technology, businesses, user experience and analytics to help transform teams into continuous learning organizations. He uses data, research, and insights to craft solutions and push the envelope in the spaces of Big Data and omni-channel user experience.

DAmato has worked with Fortune 500 companies like Intel, General Electric, Delta Air Lines, and The Home Depot, and has launched two startups. Brian aligns business objectives and customer needs, with appropriate KPIs and available technologies to enable intelligent risk-taking for organizations.

Speaking at the Atlanta Digital Summit

He’s among the more than 100 digital thought-leaders who  will share the latest best practices and strategies in topics such as social media, email marketing, search, mobile, e-commerce, usability, analytics & measurement, online video, social TV and digital advertising/branding at the Digital Summit in Atlanta in just two weeks.

DAmato will talk about increasing ROI with data driven decisions at the event.

“What are the approaches organizations should take toward measurement?” is a question he plans to address.

It’s more than measurement

“It’s not just measurement, but also comparison against a baseline,” DAmato says. You also have to consider which tools you’ll need and the whole set of infrastructure needed to make things come about. “Tools can do amazing things, but they’re expensive,” he notes. So you need to decide which are right for your marketplace and customers.

He offers these three tips on getting started:

“The first and biggest,” he says, “is experiment. You need to understand your baseline – where you are – and aggressively try new things.” You need to set up your experiments properly, though, he warns.

Next, “You need to be risk tolerant. Tweaks and subtlties aren’t going to be where you really make the money. You have to find out if you’re climbing the right mountain.”

Big mountain models

DAmato adds, “We used to call them big mountain models. The last thing you want to do is to look out over the top of your current mountain and say, ‘Gosh, we should be over there because it’s three times the size of my mountain.’ So you have to address how to do big mountain experiments.”

Ask, he suggests, “Should I be doing something radically different?  If you’re risk tolerant, you can be aggressive in trying new things.That’s a key to driving ROI.”

Finally, you also need to make sure your organization has the right skill sets to do this, he adds. “You need the right talent. The way business leverages tools and technology is changing. Now marketers need technology skills.

“If you have the right people and do the right experiments, you’ll see ROI from your platforms because you will continually push them.”

DAmato says he’ll discuss all of this in more depth and with specifics at the Digital Summit.


Data analytics students need access to cutting edge tech

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Big DataJob prospects abound for college students seeking careers in business intelligence or analytics, but the greatest challenge to filling the talent pipeline lies in students having access to large data sets as part of the educational experience. While a business intelligence or analytics degree or major is a considerable advantage, it alone is not sufficient.

Apart from the technical skills required, communications skills and business knowledge are the most important skills new grads need in order to land data analytics jobs.

These are the top findings of the latest State of Business Intelligence survey conducted on behalf of the Business Intelligence Congress and sponsored in part by the Teradata University Network. This is the third State of Business Intelligence and Analytics survey of university professors, students and employers since 2009.

Top three challenges

Professors responding to the survey reported the top three challenges to teaching are: access to large data sets (45%); students with the pre-requisite skills (39%); and, qualified or available faculty (35%).

Analytics hiring managers report their largest needs for new hires of recent graduates are for IT or systems analysts (35%), program developers (32%), data managers (30%) and business analysts (22%).

According to the study, students are bullish on data-related careers.  Two out of three students agree or strongly agree there are job opportunities for them. More than 40 percent pointed to data-savvy careers such as business analyst, IT professional working with analytics, or a role in business that requires an understanding of data analytics. Four in 10 want to use their business intelligence skills in marketing (22%) or in finance (20%). Sixteen percent are considering careers as data scientists.

NOTE to Readers: the full release with survey slides is available in the Teradata News Room here:

Barb Wixom, study author and

Associate Professor of Commerce at University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce

“What faculty are looking for today is access to real, big-data sets. They want to show students the impact of the data explosion, demonstrate the linkage between data and business outcomes, and teach exactly how to achieve those outcomes.”


“Corporations are making available real-world cases and big data sets, and through academic alliance programs like the Teradata University Network, they are working with professors to develop meaningful analytics assignments, teaching notes and other pedagogy so that data sets are consumable by professors and students.”


“The needs of big data are being addressed across the board – from new analytics approaches in the business analytics courses, to new data sources in the data management course, to new statistical methods in the stats course.”


Ramesh Sharda, executive director,

Teradata University Network and Director of the PhD in Business for Executives program.


“Unlike other academic alliances, here at Teradata University Network, we have more independence and it is not vendor-centric. The content is contributed by academics for academics.”


“We are expanding our reach to include more corporate partners to broaden our coverage in marketing and analytics. We are expanding our scope to be able to support analytics coverage for marketing and computer science colleagues. We are constantly adding new content from faculty members who share their knowledge and coursework.”


“Through the supporting materials made available by corporations and by faculty colleagues, such as real case studies, software, data sets, videos and other tools, we now have a large pool of students around the world who are learning why analytics should be used, how it is used, and how the strategy and technology mix together.”


Susan Baxley, director, Teradata University Network “The State of Business Intelligence survey helps Teradata University Network provide professors with the tools they need to engage students at a practical level. With the hands-on learning, we’re helping new graduates be prepared for the workforce requirements of our customers, our partners and ourselves.”

TerradataRelevant Information

  • One-third of employer practitioners responding to the survey reported an overall lack of experience as their most important challenge, followed by insufficient business skills at 26 percent. Insufficient technical skills and a general lack of candidates tied for third at 22 percent. Experience with real tools and insufficient communications skills each captured 21 percent. Forty-four percent reported that students must possess communications skills and 38 percent cited business knowledge as the most important non-technical skills new grads need to land the jobs.
  • In response to these gaps, 80 percent of employers surveyed offer supplemental training courses for newly hired workers ranging from extensive classroom work to mentorship and internships to tuition reimbursement.
  • Professors identified six areas where business can assist in meeting the challenges: Providing large data sets (45%); Suitable cases (31%); Staying current with the practice (29%); Technical support and training (29%); Realistic and meaningful experiences (26%); and, Access to contemporary enterprise software (26%).
  • Across undergraduate, graduate, continuing education and executive education programs, 41 percent of professors reported an increase in the size of their business intelligence or analytics course portfolio compared with 2010, the last time the survey was conducted, while fewer than seven percent reported a reduction in their business intelligence/business analytics courses over the past two years.
  • Students who have already taken one or more business intelligence or analytics courses report having done so because they found the material interesting and wanted to learn more about these trends in industry; They felt it was important for their future career aspirations; and, They indicated that the course was a required part of the curriculum.
  • At 76 percent, IT and MIS predominate as the academic disciplines where business intelligence and business analytics coursework reside. Rounding out the top five within science or math-based disciplines are statistics at 28 percent, decision sciences at 23 percent, operations research at 19 percent and computer science at 17 percent. Among business-related disciplines, the coursework most often resides in marketing at 19 percent, accounting, 10 percent, and finance, nine percent.

High growth firms do more data analysis

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

WiproA survey of 318 C-level executives by Wipro finds that while all companies are collecting more data than ever before, those from companies where average EBITDA growth over the past three financial years has exceeded 10% are more likely than their less rapidly growing peers to analyse various data sources they collect (eg 58% vs 43%, with reference to third-party data) and to consider themselves effective at extracting useful insights from this analysis (81% vs 57%).

Furthermore, they are also far more likely to have to have changed the way they handle strategic decisions as a result of having more data (50% vs 36%), and to have seen improved strategic decision-making as a result of better data analysis (60% vs 38%).

These are among the major findings of The data directive: How data is driving corporate strategy-and what still lies ahead, a new report from the Economist Intelligence Unit, commissioned by Wipro.

“This research is a reflection of how organizations are leveraging data to sustain its competitive advantage for its products/services and be relevant in future. Leveraging the power of analytics, organizations can from prop up their key performance indicators -drive growth, enhance cost management and strengthen risk management,” said K R Sanjiv, Senior Vice President and Global Head, Analytics and Information Management Services, Wipro Ltd.

Key findings of the main report include:

  • Data has proved most valuable so far for marketing leaders. From better ways to segment the customer base, to rethinking the ideal product mix in a retail store, marketing leaders are finding wide-ranging uses for their data to help improve how they market their company’s wares. Already, 50% of chief marketing officers say they have tried and found a clear, positive difference in using data to improve their understanding of customers, as just one of a range of successful applications. This is a markedly higher proportion than their C-suite peers.
  • The financial services sector, technology companies, and professional services firms are most prepared for the data age. Three sectors stand out as being most prepared for the data age: the financial services sector (where 22% have a well-defined data management strategy in place); the technology industry (30%); and the professional services sector (40%). By contrast, such data management strategies are least often found amongst manufacturers (16%) and retailers (13%).
  • Businesses are stockpiling an ever-growing range of data and expect data gathering to continue to expand rapidly. Whether social media sentiment, machine-generated data via sensors, staff emails, market data or otherwise, firms of all shapes and sizes are now collecting more information than ever before.
  • At least seven in ten companies collect syndicated third-party data, such as weather information (72%), or government data (70%), while many gather anything from internal staff data (66%) to some kind of location-based information (41%), among many other types. Two-thirds of business leaders say the range and types of data have expanded in the past two years, while about three-quarters expect this data stockpiling to expand yet further in the coming two years.
  • Working out which data matters most is the top challenge for firms. For companies seeking to gain more strategic insights from their data, many hurdles await. Whether organisational silos, a lack of skills, the usual disconnect between IT and the business, or worries over data quality, few consider the challenges and gaps easy to bridge. But clarity on which data matters most, amidst the data stockpiling now under way, is what tops the list of barriers, according to 40% of respondents. Furthermore, 34% of executives worry that the quality of their decisions is actually being impaired by data overload.
  • Many companies are unsure about the extent of data-fuelled strategic transformation within their business. While 68% of respondents think their strategy has improved in the past two years as a result of having more data, only 18% see a significant improvement in strategy, and few have found ways to use data to make a genuinely transformational shift in the business. Some 35% of executives agree that data has been more useful with operational choices and actions, rather than strategic ones. Just 22% disagree, while 41% are unsure.

A supplement to this report, The data directive: Focus on the CFO, is also released today. This paper drills down into the 62 responses to the survey by chief financial officers. The key findings of this supplement include:

  • CFOs identify improved scenario planning and forecasting as the key area where having more data has made the biggest positive difference to their role, identified by 40%. Furthermore, 34% have improved financial close management, and 32% have used data to bolster profitability.
  • CFOs are more cautious than their C-suite peers about the strategic insights data has delivered: just 24% believe that their company’s strategic planning is highly data-driven compared to 35% of CEOs and 43% of CMOs. Similarly, whereas relatively high proportions of CEOs (48%), CIOs (40%) and CMOs (33%) believe that their company has changed the way they tackle strategic business decisions as a result of having more data, fewer CFOs (24%) believe this is the case.
  • CFOs are more likely than their C-suite peers to see themselves as leaders of data initiatives. When asked who currently takes the lead on data-related initiatives within the business, an equal proportion of CFOs (27%) flagged both themselves and their CIO. Their C-suite peers are more likely to cite the CIO as the natural point person on such initiatives, followed by a range of other corporate officers.

The data directive: How data is driving corporate strategy-and what still lies ahead, and The data directive: Focus on the CFO are available free of charge at:

State, local goverments awash in data but few harness it

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013
Big Data


The ongoing data boom continues to present a challenge to government agencies, particularly on the state and local level. State and local agencies express interest in leveraging data to improve decision making and meet mission objectives, but struggle to process and analyze the data, according to a new study by MeriTalk, the government IT network, underwritten by NetApp.

The new report, “The State and Local Big Data Gap,” reveals that despite the known advantages of big data, few state and local agencies are taking action to harness and analyze it.

Big data promises to unlock the value hidden in complex data sets to improve government’s ability to make decisions, increase efficiencies, and ultimately better serve citizens.

Value recognized

State and local IT professionals see the value in big data. Respondents cited improving overall agency efficiency (57 percent), improving speed and accuracy of decisions (54 percent), and achieving a greater understanding of citizen needs and how to meet them (37 percent) as the top advantages to tapping into big data.

While state and local IT professionals recognize the benefits big data can provide, few agencies are taking action. Seventy-nine percent of state and local IT professionals say they are just somewhat or not very familiar with the term “big data” and only 2 percent say they have a complete big data strategy.

Big data isn’t on the radar screen for 44 percent of state and local agencies – they are not even discussing it. While they understand the promise of big data, just 59 percent of state and local agencies are analyzing the data they collect and less than half are using it to make strategic decisions. On average, state and local IT professionals report that it will take their agencies at least three years to take full advantage of big data.

Great strides made

“State and local agencies have made great strides in consolidating applications and data into fewer physical resources,” said Regina Kunkle, Vice President, State & Local Government, NetApp.

“Storage efficiencies like deduplication and compression help to manage the explosive storage growth by reducing the amount of storage required and simplifying data management. However, agencies still have data silos, and they are just beginning to explore how to effectively analyze this disparate data. To help them unlock this valuable wealth of information, agencies should look toward big data solutions.”

Today, the average state and local agency stores 499 terabytes of data. State and local IT professionals expect that amount of data to continue to grow. Eighty-seven percent of state and local agencies say the size of their stored data has grown in the last two years, and 97 percent expect data to grow by an average of 53 percent in the next two years. One in three state and local agencies has a data set that has grown too large to work with given their current capacity limitations.

Challenges identified

State and local IT professionals identify several challenges when it comes to managing large amounts of data. The top challenge is storage capacity (46 percent) followed by speed of analysis/processing (34 percent), and analysis (32 percent).

To further complicate data management, agencies are unclear about who owns the data. Forty-seven percent believe that IT owns the data and 31 percent believe ownership belongs to the department that generated it.

State and local IT professionals also report a gap between big data’s promise and big data reality. State and local agencies estimate that they have just 46 percent of the data storage/access, 42 percent of the computational power, and 35 percent of the personnel they need to successfully leverage big data. In addition, 57 percent say their current enterprise architecture is not able to support big data initiatives.

Despite the challenges, some state and local agencies are working to close the technology gap. Thirty-nine percent are investing in IT systems/solutions to improve data processing, 39 percent are improving the security of stored data, and 37 percent are investing in IT infrastructure to improve data storage.

“The State and Local Big Data Gap” is based on a survey of 150 state and local government CIOs and IT managers in November and December 2012. The report has a margin of error of +/- 7.97 percent at a 95 percent confidence level. To download the full study, please visit

N. Kentucky UpTech II offers $50K in equity to selected startups

Friday, April 26th, 2013

UpTechUpTech, Northern Kentucky’s super business accelerator has opened the application process for UpTech II and seeks startups who will receive $50,000 in equity as part of the program.

Launched in 2012, the intense, six-month accelerator program is designed to attract and accelerate entrepreneurs who have the next big idea to make the world a better place.

As Tri-ED, Vision 2015 and Northern Kentucky University (NKU) continue their effort to build an informatics industry in Northern Kentucky, NKU will continue to support the community’s business start-up effort that began in UpTech I.

Working with N. Kentucky U

UpTech will work with Northern Kentucky University to engage faculty-guided students who will use their talents to support selected UpTech company projects.

”This will include student developers from the Center for Applied Informatics as well as students drawn from several programs in the College of Informatics and College of Business, helping these early stage UpTech companies build a business from the ground up.

Additionally, UpTech will provide each business with an equity investment of $50,000, six months of free, premium office space, an executive mentor, along with a dedicated team of essential business professionals providing financial, law, accounting, sales and marketing/public relations support. Additional follow-on funds will be awarded to successful companies after the program has concluded.

Informatics is the “sweet spot”

“UpTech’s ‘sweet spot’ is the Informatics sector but we are interested in investing in BIG IDEAS that disrupt the way we do business or see the world. We are excited to launch our second round,” said Amanda Greenwell, Program Manager. “Interested applicants are invited to participate in one of our webinar events for additional information about our program and the application process.”

Prospective applicants can register for the webinar sessions by visiting

Sessions will be held at noon EDT on the following days:
Tuesday, April 30th
Thursday, May 2nd
Tuesday, May 7th
Friday, May 10th
Tuesday May 14th
Thursday, May 16th
Monday, May 20th
Wednesday, May 22nd
Thursday, May 23rd

More information on applying for UpTech II can be also found on the UpTech website at The first round applications will be due by May 24, 2013 with UpTech II companies announced in July 2013.

Software market slows except for selective areas

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

IdcFor 2012, the worldwide software market grew 3.6% year over year reaching a total market size of $342 billion, which was in line with IDC’s previous forecast of 3.4% and less than half the growth rate experienced in 2010 and 2011. In that sense, 2012 confirms the beginning of a more conservative growth period.

In the middle of this scenario, there are faster growing market segments, such as Data Access, Analysis and Delivery, Collaborative Applications, CRM Applications, Security Software, and System and Network Management Software. Every one of these markets grew in the 6-7% range, about double the rate for enterprise software as a whole.

“The global software market, comprised of a multi-layered collection of technologies and solutions, is growing more slowly in this period of economic uncertainty. Yet there is strong growth in selective areas.

Big data’s competitive advantage

Big Data


The management and leveraging of information for competitive advantage is driving growth in markets associated with Big Data and analytics. Similarly, rapid growth in cloud deployments is fueling growth in application areas associated with social business and customer experience.

Both these initiatives require a reliable and secure infrastructure, driving investments in security and system/network management. The combination of these forces is advancing the growth to what IDC has termed the third platform,” said Henry D. Morris, Senior Vice President for Worldwide Software, Services and Executive Advisory Research.

Three primary segments comprise the total software market in IDC’s software taxonomy: Applications; Application Development & Deployment (AD&D); and Systems Infrastructure Software.

Fastest growing segment: AD&D

Among the three primary segments, the AD&D segment, which comprised nearly 24% of total software revenues in 2012, was the fastest growing market with a 4.6% year-over-year growth rate.

Growth in the AD&D segment was largely driven by the performance of the Data Access, Analysis, and Delivery and the Structured Data Management secondary markets with 6.0% and 5.9% growth rates, respectively.

Business Intelligence and Relational Database Management Systems (RDBMS) solutions are pushing the growing trend for these markets because of widening Big Data and Analytics adoption.

Big data and analytics are also closely tied to the fast growth social business software markets, where the combination of contextual data and the “right” expertise is becoming critical for supporting enterprise decision making and data driven customer experience solutions.

Oracle continues to lead

Oracle continued to lead the AD&D segment with steady market share of 21.6%, followed by IBM, Microsoft, SAP, and SAS. Among these vendors, Microsoft and SAP stood out by each gaining almost a half point of market share year over year.

In the Applications primary market segment, which comprised 49% of total software revenue, year-over-year growth for 2012 was 3.3%, which is slightly lower than for software overall. Within this market segment, CRM and Collaborative Applications stood out with year-over-year growth rates near 7%.

While the former is driven by the cloud migration trend and the large investments by businesses to deliver a better customer experience to the “social customer”, the latter is largely driven by the Enterprise Social Software market, which grew at 24.8% year over year and gained more than 5 points of market share over three years.

Mobile a contributing factor

digital devicesMobile, while not a direct enterprise applications driver, is however a contributing factor and driver for businesses moving to newer and more mobile device agnostic enterprise software.

From a vendor perspective, Microsoft led the Applications primary market in 2012 with 13.7% of market share followed by SAP, Oracle, IBM, and Adobe; IBM showed the highest growth rate as it is expanding its portfolio coverage in the Middleware, Infrastructure and Information-related markets to the Applications markets.

The third primary segment of the software market is System Infrastructure Software, which comprised 27% of total software revenue and grew 3.3% year over year in 2012. The Security Software and System/Network Management Software secondary segments both grew more than 6% year over year as these solutions provide the infrastructure – whether in the cloud or on-premise – to support the 3rd Platform.

Although the other two System Infrastructure Software secondary segment (Storage Software and System Software) had flat growth in 2012, the Virtualization sub-segments had double-digit growth rates. Microsoft remains the clear leader in System Infrastructure Software overall with 28% of market share, followed by IBM, Symantec, EMC, and VMware.


Top 5 Worldwide Software Vendors, 2012 Revenues and Market Share (revenues in US$M)
Vendor 2012
2012 Market
2011 Market
Year Growth
Microsoft $58,454 17.1% $57,694 17.4% 1.3%
IBM $29,129 8.5% $28,861 8.7% 0.9%
Oracle $27,826 8.1% $26,772 8.1% 3.9%
SAP $16,988 5.0% $16,161 4.9% 5.1%
Symantec $6,423 1.9% $6,417 1.9% 0.1%
Others $203,818 59.5% $194,808 58.9% 4.6%
Total $342,638 100.0% $330,712 100.0% 3.6%
Source: IDC Worldwide Semiannual Software Tracker, April 2013

Provide a superior digital experience for competitive advantage

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

ForeSeeSatisfied visitors are the key to bringing them back to a news or entertainment website and getting them to recommend it to others and see it as a primary resource, according to a new benchmarking study by ForeSee, a customer experience analytics firm.

That means sites have to figure out what its consumers want and work hard to deliver that specific mix.

“Our research consistently demonstrates one point: a company that provides a superior customer experience will have a huge competitive advantage over another,” said Larry Freed , president and CEO of ForeSee.

Companies could benefit from measurement

“It is no different in this benchmark. The news and entertainment industry is remarkably competitive, and, as the low aggregate scores show, many companies can truly benefit from continuous measurement of the customer experiences across both web and mobile touch points.

“When customer satisfaction is measured precisely, using a reliable and proven methodology, business leaders can accurately look into the future to see what their customers will do next and make changes that will make them more loyal, more likely to recommend and more engaged with the site and its advertisers.”

News Websites
Vaniity Fair coverThe ForeSee news benchmark includes websites for organizations such as Forbes Media, Bloomberg, the NFL, The Guardian, the Weather Channel, Vanity Fair and many others. Aggregate satisfaction for this category is 66 on ForeSee’s 100-point scale, and individual website scores within the benchmark range from a low of 56 to a high of 79.

“For some years, it had been difficult to understand the dynamics of a multi-channel customer: where are they doing their bite-sized reading, deep editorial engagement and, ultimately, making their subscription decisions?” said Bruce Rogers of Forbes Media, a longstanding ForeSee client.

“With the transparency we get from working with ForeSee, we have been able to cut to the core of our customer experience and truly understand the psychology of those reading and subscription decisions.”

Since customer behaviors like loyalty and recommendations have a direct effect on a news organization’s future success, ForeSee compared the behaviors of highly satisfied website visitors (those with satisfaction at 80 or higher on ForeSee’s 100-point scale) to the future behaviors of less-satisfied site visitors (those with satisfaction 69 or below).

Based on likelihood scores, highly satisfied visitors to news websites report being:

  • 43% more likely than less satisfied visitors to return to the website again, which means visit frequency and engagement that translates directly into value for advertisers.
  • 137% more likely to recommend the website to a friend, family member or colleague, which results in more site visits and a premium on ad space.
  • 67% more likely to use the site as a primary resource (as opposed to other channels like print or broadcast).

Entertainment Websites
The ForeSee entertainment benchmark includes websites for organizations such as ESPN, PBS, the NFL, Conde Nast, StubHub and many others.

Aggregate satisfaction for this benchmark is 67 (slightly higher than the average satisfaction for news sites, which is 66). Individual company scores within the entertainment benchmark range from a low of 49 to a high of 84.

Highly satisfied visitors to entertainment sites, in general, are 52% more likely to return, 124% more likely to recommend and 84% more likely to use the site as a primary resource.

“We have found that all of our readers have very unique expectations based on where they consume and how they access our content when they’re engaging with us online or on their mobile devices,” said Chris Reynolds , Vice President of Marketing Analytics at Conde Nast, a ForeSee client.

“Whether they are subscription-based readers who are consuming premium content or casual browsers who are just looking to explore what we have to offer, through ForeSee, we have been able to make the necessary adjustments to create a satisfactory experience to meet differing needs.”

Advertising-Driven vs. Subscription-Based Sites
fantasy footballForeSee researchers broke down the categories further to take a look from the customers’ perspective at both the media and entertainment sites that are advertising-driven versus those that are subscription-based.

At an aggregate level, the two segment groups each recorded a customer satisfaction score of 72. The scores for ad-driven sites range from a low of 66 to a high of 84, while scores for subscription sites range from a low of 53 to a high of 80.

Based on the research, highly satisfied visitors to advertising-driven news and entertainment sites, which include websites for organizations such as ESPN, ForbesBusinessweek, the NFL, the Weather Channel and many more, report being:

  • 38% more likely than less satisfied visitors to return to the website again.
  • 88% more likely to recommend the website to a friend, family member, or colleague.
  • 63% more likely to use the site as their primary resource.

Highly satisfied visitors to subscription-based news and entertainment websites for organizations such as Golf Digest, GameFly,AutoTrader, Forbes and many more report being:

  • 66% more likely than less satisfied visitors to return to the website again.
  • 100% more likely to recommend the website.
  • 126% more likely to use the site as their primary resource.

News and Entertainment Mobile Sites and Apps
mobile devicesWith the growing popularity and capabilities of mobile devices to deliver news and entertainment, ForeSee is the leader in measuring customer satisfaction of the mobile experiences provided by news and entertainment companies (including mobile sites and apps on a variety of phones and tablets).

Mobile sites and apps outperform traditional news and entertainment (both ad-driven and subscription-based) websites with an average satisfaction of 73 on ForeSee’s 100-point scale, with individual scores within the benchmark ranging from a low of 58 to a high of 85.

“With the rapid ascension of mobile over the last few years, measuring the customer experience across mobile devices is quickly becoming a need rather than a want for news and entertainment companies,” said Eric Feinberg , senior director of Mobile, News and Entertainment at ForeSee.

“As we can see by the scores, ranging from the high 50s to mid-80s, some companies understand that customers want and expect their mobile experiences to be as seamless and convenient as they are on the desktop and, in turn, are delivering, while others are not.  The challenge now is for those companies that are doing well in mobile to continue to do so. And those scoring low will need to step it up less they want to be passed by.”

ForeSee’s mobile research shows highly satisfied visitors to news and entertainment sites through a mobile device report being:

  • 56% more likely than less satisfied visitors to return to the mobile site or app again, which equates to more frequency and engagement.
  • 98% more likely to recommend the mobile site or app to a friend, family member or colleague.

A good example of how measuring customer satisfaction with the mobile experience can have strategic and tactical value for companies implementing the ForeSee’s technology can be found in the ABC Case Study highlighted in the March 2013 edition ofCustomer magazine at and at

Why are businesses outsourcing their analytics?

Monday, April 15th, 2013

IdcInternational Data Corporation (IDC) forecasts a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.3% for global business analytics services spending, reaching an estimated $70.8 billion by 2016.

“IT services providers are leveraging their business analytics solutions and experience to assist their customers with their efforts to find key insights into their business performance.

These include industry-specific and functional resources, infrastructure, and knowledge of best business practice industry performance metrics,” said Mukesh Dialani, research director, Worldwide BPO and Engineering Services.

IDC research shows that the following factors will act as key enablers for increased third-party outsourcing of business analytics services:

  • Lack of internal (end customer) analytics resources, such as mathematicians, business analyst, data modelers, statisticians, and data scientists.
  • The fast pace of new technologies including automation around analytics and their link to social and mobile will make it difficult for the end customer to build and deploy teams in view of investment required to build/buy infrastructure and talent.
  • As business analytics providers successfully consult, deploy, and manage business analytics solutions for their customers, they will be able to demonstrate an increased number of transformative use cases.

“Talent gap and lack of knowledge base in the analytics space will continue to force businesses to rely on service providers to fulfill their business analytics needs in the near future,” said Ali Zaidi, senior research analyst, IT Consulting and Systems Integration Services.

The study, Worldwide Business Analytics Services 2013–2016 Forecast (IDC #240277) presents IDC’s latest market sizing for the worldwide business analytics services market by key IT service categories. A forecast and historical sizing are provided, beginning in 2007 and extending through 2016. The total worldwide market is assessed.

3 top trends to watch in info and communications tech

Friday, April 5th, 2013

GLOBAL INFORMATION, INC. LOGOIn today’s digital world, technology is the common source of innovation and competitive advantage across all industries. CEOs and Executives rate the changing technology landscape as the single most important external factor impacting their businesses.

Global Information Inc, in collaboration with our market research partners, has identified three top themes to watch for in information and communications technology (ICT) that will impact enterprise users and vendors in 2013.

1. Exploiting information for business insight

Big Data


Organizations are reaping significant gains from new sources of data and advances in analytics technologies. Big data analytics, for example, is improving strategic insights, helping organizations optimize processes and streamlining operational decisions.

Exploiting information for business opportunities requires a shift in culture, data management processes, information governance, and IT infrastructure. In doing so, firms can mobilize information sharing and improve fact-based decision-making while promoting goal congruence across the whole organization.

New research from “Big data analytics: how to generate revenue and customer loyalty using real-time network data” takes an industry-specific look at how communications service providers (CSPs) can either ride the wave of big data analytics or miss another multi-billion dollar market.

The report provides an analysis of the market, a diverse set of use cases, an overview of vendor capabilities, 5-year forecasts and recommendations.

2. Transforming service delivery

social mediaDisruptive trends, such as BYOD, social networking and consumerization, and the rapid pace at which business requirements evolve means that taking a purely IT-centric approach to service delivery is restricting.

Successfully integrating the cloud, shared services, and enabling more flexible outsourcing arrangements broaden an organization’s options and help the CIO react more quickly in an increasingly faster-paced environment.

In the telecom industry, service delivery platform products, such as Oracle Communications Converged Application Server (OCCAS), provide converged web – telecoms applications for mobile, broadband, fixed and all-IP next-generation networks.

3. Promoting ICT-enabled business innovation

The most successful companies excel at creating innovation pipelines; the top companies swiftly translate technology into business improvement and reinvention.

Aligning IT organizations with a supporting service delivery model is central to improving the innovation process. One way for organizations to do this is by adopting more agile platforms and project approaches that speed up response to new business requirements and opportunities.

A new report, “ICT Priorities in the US – Enterprise ICT investment plans to 2013″ presents the findings from a survey of 156 US enterprises regarding their Information and Communication Technology (ICT) investment priorities.

The survey investigates the core technologies which US enterprises are investing in, including the likes of enterprise applications, security, mobility, communications and collaboration, and Cloud Computing.

Read more or request a free sample from the full report at

Despite hype, firms lax on big data strategy

Monday, April 1st, 2013

SasDespite industry hype, most organizations have yet to develop and implement a big data strategy.

Business analytics leader SAS and SourceMedia surveyed 339 data management professionals about their organizations’ use of data management technology. The results show few organizations taking advantage of product, customer and other data sources.

Just 12 percent of organizations surveyed are currently executing against a big data strategy in daily operations.

Few use the data they've collected to solve business problems. (Graphic: Business Wire)


‘The most common reasons others are not fully exploiting their big data:

  • 21 percent don’t know enough about big data.
  • 15 percent don’t understand the benefits.
  • 9 percent lack business support.
  • 9 percent lack data quality in existing systems.

For help getting started with big data, read the white paper Big Data, Data Governance and MDM about the business requirements for big data and the questions to ask along the way.

“The 12 percent of organizations that are already planning around big data enjoy a significant competitive advantage,” said Todd Wright, Global Product Marketing Manager for SAS DataFlux Data Quality.

Lack of data quality, data governance hinders efforts

Asked about the likelihood that their organizations would use external big data in 2014, just 14 percent of respondents said “very likely,” while 19 percent responded “not likely at all.” Specific concerns included data quality and accuracy, accessing the right data, reconciling disparate data, lack of organizational view into data, timeliness, compliance, and security.

The survey found no real consensus on who owns the data management strategy, with responses ranging from midlevel IT personnel up to the CEO. This confusion likely causes additional challenges in data strategy development and execution.

Atop the data management wish list: data visualization and dashboards, data profiling, SaaS

Most respondents call detailed data analysis a priority for supporting business decisions, along with increased internal reporting and information access. When asked what they want from data solutions, the number one answer was data visualizations and dashboards (73 percent), data profiling (53 percent), and SaaS (44 percent).

Customer and product data top the data types collected by organizations. The types of customer data being collected to make decisions were business-to-consumer (66 percent), end-customer data (59 percent), citizen data (29 percent) and patient data (23 percent). The product data being collected for decision making included selling-side (62 percent), buying-side (61 percent) and MRO (40 percent).

Information management pros make data pay

For additional findings, please download the 2013 Big Data Survey Brief. This online survey was fielded in December 2012 to information management professionals. The 339 respondents were screened for involvement with their organization’s data management tools and processes. The margin of error is +/-5.3 percent at 95 percent confidence level for total sample.

Big data fueling turn to increased analytics investments

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

New research reveals that interest in optimizing the use of Big Data, Predictive Analytics and Data Discovery will help drive increased global analytic and business intelligence (BI) software and staffing investments in 2013.

The new survey details the challenges and goals that are driving analytics professionals to adopt new tools and techniques to manage the ever-increasing amount of data needed to make critical business decisions every day.

Big Data


In the survey conducted by Lavastorm Analytics, a global analytics software company, more than 600 business analysts, technologists, data analytics professionals, managers and C-level professionals were polled across a broad variety of industries – including finance, telecom, healthcare and computer software – regarding their analytic initiatives and predictions for 2013.

Three-quarters still use Excel

Three-quarters of the respondents (75 percent) indicated that they still routinely use Excel for self-service analytics processes along with at least three other tools. R language was the second most used tool, with 35 percent of respondents indicating they use it.

Of the remaining 24 self-service analytics tools, 17 of them were used by less than ten percent of the audience, showing the diversity of tools that people use to derive value from their data and optimize business performance.

The survey results, however, also show that nearly 60 percent of respondents plan to increase their analytic investments this year across a number of areas and tools, indicating that current toolsets are perhaps not meeting the top three challenges of conducting complex analytics.

According to the respondents, these three main challenges are:

  • Gleaning insights from data (25%)
  • Access to data (22%)
  • The ability to integrate and manipulate data (19%)

When asked about the specific areas of their analytics programs where investment is needed most to fix these challenges, 53 percent indicated that people would be the primary area of investment, and 51 percent said they plan to invest more in tools.

Additionally, predictive analytics (51 percent), Big Data (35 percent), dashboards (32 percent), reporting (31 percent), and data exploration and discovery (30 percent) were ranked as the top five areas for analytic investments.

Shift to non-traditional analytics

Along with 27 and 24 percent of respondents indicating that investment in advanced visualization tools and self-service analytic tools for business users, respectively, will rise, these findings indicate a shift in focus to non-traditional analytic interfaces to support data-driven growth strategies.

“Ideally, reporting would fall off everyone’s radar almost completely when it comes to investment because it’s mature and newer analytic approaches, such as data discovery, can provide significantly more value,” said Loren Johnson, Senior Analyst, Frost & Sullivan.

“The clear priorities shown in this survey are data discovery and improved methods of gathering, manipulating and analyzing information from disparate sources.”

The survey also reveals that increased use of unstructured data or new data sources (27 percent of respondents) and a shortage of analytic professionals (25 percent of respondents) are predicted to be the two most likely developments to affect the analytic community in 2013.

“The survey effectively highlights several analytics-related growing pains the industry is presently dealing with as new data sources and a new emphasis on analytics continue to emerge,” said Lavastorm Analytics CEO Drew Rockwell.

Data management a tough problem

“Overall the survey points to the fact that data management is a tough problem and requires the right tools, processes, and skilled people to access, integrate, and analyze data.

“While we see many people still using basic tools like Excel, there is a clear need for more powerful, yet easy to use, tools, such as the Lavastorm Analytics Platform and engine to tackle the problems of big data and data diversity.”

The survey pulled heavily from several analyst communities, including the Lavastorm Analytics LinkedIn group, a community of over 6,000 analytics professionals. For the full survey results, go to

Mobile business intelligence market to grow 27 percent a year

Friday, March 15th, 2013

 smartphonesMobile business intelligence (BI) has been around for at least a couple decades, but has been slow to gain traction mainly due to technology limitations.

However, bandwidth expansion and the arrival of new mobile device technologies is turning IT consumerization into a very real trend, one that includes mobile BI.

Where is the mobile BI market today? Where is it headed? Which vendors have pulled ahead of the pack due to innovative product development strategies?

According to a new study, the global mobile business intelligence market is set to grow at 27.47% CAGR through 2016.

One of the key factors contributing to this market growth is the increasing adoption of smartphones and tablets.

The Global Mobile Business Intelligence market has also been witnessing the increasing usage of mobile business intelligence for sales activity. However, the incompatibility of mobile business intelligence applications with the mobile devices could pose a challenge to the growth of this market.

The report, “Global Mobile Business Intelligence Market 2012-2016″ discusses market landscape and growth prospects. It also provides profiles of the key vendors operating in this market including: IBM Corp., Information Builders Inc., MicroStrategy Inc., Qlik Tech Inc., and SAP AG.

Learn more and request free sample pages from the full report at

According to “Solutions Guide: Mobile Business Intelligence“, mobile appears to be riding an adoption wave aided by the perfect confluence of three underlying factors: a readily available selection of high-performance mobile devices, network infrastructure that allows for rapid sending and receiving of data, and the increasing need for businesses to quickly respond to changes to stay competitive.

Data analytics boosts competitiveness, SAS/MIT study says

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

SasThe past two years have seen an 80 percent jump in organizations believing analytics provides a competitive advantage. According to new research from MIT Sloan Management Review and SAS, 67 percent of business leaders surveyed at the end of 2012 said analytics made their companies more competitive; just 37 percent felt that way in a 2010 study.

The report, “From Value to Vision: Reimagining the Possible with Data Analytics,” highlights the differences in analytics maturity among organizations. Of 2,500 companies surveyed, 28 percent are “analytically challenged,” 60 percent are “analytics practitioners” and 11 percent are “analytical innovators.”

“Analytics is far more than generating and sharing insights,” said Pamela Prentice, SAS Chief Research Officer. “For long-term success with data-driven innovation, an organization must continually revise its analytical approach so that insights lead to innovation and competitive advantage.”

For analytically challenged respondents, useful data is typically lacking and collaboration is low. Analytics practitioners’ view their data as useful, but their analytic focus is operational and the company’s analytics infrastructure is fragmented.

Exhibiting markedly different characteristics from the other two groups, analytical innovators:

  • Are open to new ways of thinking, challenging the status quo and driving innovation.
  • Have progressed to using analytics for strategic purposes.
  • View data as a core asset and use more of it than competitors.
  • Are more confident in the quality of their data.

Analytical innovators also reported a subtle change as analytics becomes pervasive: power is shifting to those who back up recommendations and decisions with supporting data. Such a cultural change can have a deep impact.

“Power shifts often call into question experience and intuition built up over years. Those who know how to marshal the data and put analytics behind their decision making are now at an advantage,” said David Kiron, MIT Sloan Management Review Executive Editor.

The study also provides prescriptions for the analytically challenged:

  • Start at a local level before pursuing enterprise wide initiatives.
  • Build lasting relationships, encourage discussion and share information with other departments to foster collaboration.
  • Develop an executive communications plan, including ROI and recommended actions, to build high-level support.

The research is based on a survey of 2,500 business executives, managers and analysts. Respondents represented 121 countries and more than 30 industries. Company size ranged from less than $250 million in annual revenue to $20 billion.

To read the full report, please go to, “From Value to Vision: Reimagining the Possible with Data Analytics” (

SAP’s HANA gives even small firms powerful analytics

Monday, March 11th, 2013

By Allan Maurer

Bill McDermott

Bill McDermott

Businesses of all sizes, not just the major brands, need databases and real time analysis capabilities if they want to compete effectively in today’s marketplace, but can startups afford the necessary infrastructure?

Here’s some good news for fledgling analytics companies: SAP has a startup focus for HANA  an extremely fast database management platform providing real time insights from transaction systems, data warehousing, and predictive and text analysis.

Accelerator for analytics startups

The program supports startups in developing new applications on SAP HANA. The program is an accelerator for big data, predictive and real-time analytics startups. The 12-month program is free and the company says, “no fees and we don’t want your equity.”

Bill McDermott, SAP’s co-CEO, calls HANA “A breathtaking invention that lets companies run their data and business transactions, connect to sentiment analysis of social networks, and see what’s going on in their business in real time.”

Available in the cloud or on premises, HANA, he says, “Can run all your data, social and otherwise, structured and unstructured, to provide real time answers to business questions.

Invests in some small firms

SAP is working with more than 100 startups in 25 industries now. It even invests in some small firms to help get them going, says McDermott.

McDermott, who bought and managed a deli while he was still in high school, was an executive VP of worldwide sales and operations at Siebel Systems, prior to joining SAP in 2002. Before that he was president of Gartner Inc., and in his 17 years at Xerox was the company’s youngest corporate officer and division head.

He became co-CEO of SAP, which has 55,000 employees and more than 190,000 customers, alongside Jim Hagemann Snabe in February 2010. McDermott is a featured speaker at the sold-out Southeast Venture Conference in Charlotte, NC, this week (March 13-14). You may be able to snag a seat due to last minute openings.

Advice for startups

McDermott has some advice for startups – besides using HANNA to “check the tires” at .99 cents an hour or use it more widely to tap real time business information.

“The most important thing is to keep your eye on your customers,” he says. “In what way are you uniquely qualified to serve them?”

Next, he says, “You need to create value chains with other companies to get more immediate scale.”

Finally, he adds, “You need to think about your distribution channel strategy.”





Weak analytics capabilities hinder decision-making

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

AccentureOrganizations are progressing in the adoption of analytics for decision making, according to new research from Accenture (NYSE: ACN).

However, there is still a prevalent disconnect between analytics capabilities organizations have built and how successfully they put them to use for business decision-making.

The survey of 600 executives in the United Kingdom and the United States revealed that 66 percent of responding companies have appointed senior figures (e.g. chief data officers) in the last 18 months to lead data-management strategies and policies, as well as to support business growth.

Use as predictive tool triples

The use of analytics as a primarily predictive tool almost tripled to 33 percent from 12 percent in 2009 when Accentureresearch revealed that weak analytics capabilities hindered organizations’ decision-making abilities.

Today, twice as many organizations feel that they are generating new ideas and opportunities from company data “to a great extent” (25 percent versus 12 percent in 2009).

On the other hand, just over one fifth of respondents (22 percent) said they are “very satisfied” with business outcomes driven by their analytics investments to date.

Still the “new kid” on the block

Furthermore, only 39 percent of organizations state that the data they generate is relevant to their business strategies, and only 50 percent say that their data is consistent, accurate, formatted and complete.

“Analytics remains the new kid on the block, but is clearly moving on the C-suite agenda,” said Narendra Mulani, senior managing director, Accenture Analytics.

“However, although companies are investing in senior resources and advanced technologies, analytics is not yet deeply ingrained into the fabric of most companies as an integrated, enterprise-wide approach. For many organizations the journey to achieving true return on investment still lies ahead.”

In need of improvement

Big DataA combined 45 percent of respondents described their analytical capabilities as either in need of improvement, limited, lacking senior management support or piecemeal.

Another 20 percent of organizations stated they have the required technical and human resources to apply analytics regularly with some success, but that the focus tends to be tactical rather than strategic. Only 21 percent of respondents said they routinely use analytics very successfully as part of an integrated enterprise wide approach.

According to the research, getting the full returns on investments in analytics is a journey that leads from issues, to insight, to decisions, to action and ultimately to outcome.

How to build effective analytics programs

But the Accenture Analytics experts also state that incremental value is to be gained at every step of this journey, and that organizations should set clear goals for each step they climb, for example focusing on near-term value so their analytics efforts are self-funded within the first twelve months.

“Effective analytics programs are built on a three-part foundation,” said Mulani.

“The first is to establish disciplined processes that ensure valuable insights and recommendations are being generated, acted on, and measured for effectiveness.

Next, companies should use a ‘build, buy and partner’ strategy to source skills, given the supply constraints. Finally, they must apply technology that ensures data integrity, quality and accessibility. Organizations can drive true ROI with analytics on this foundation.”

Other results from the survey include the following:

Significance Organizations Place on Analytics

  • 68 percent of organizations say their senior management is “highly” or “totally” committed to analytics and fact-based decision-making. Demonstrating this commitment, 66 percent lead by example and demand fact-based decisions, even though this was significantly different in the US (74 percent) compared to the UK (57 percent).
  • Nearly 50 percent of organizations state that their C-suites have asked for a data-strategy plan that can be shared across the business.
  • 71 percent of the organizations that have not yet appointed a senior figure responsible for data-management strategies and policies expect to do so soon.
  • While only 21 percent of respondents said they routinely use analytics very successfully as part of an integrated enterprise wide approach, this is a 50 percent increase from 2009 when only 14 percent claimed an integrated enterprise wide approach for analytics.

Where and How Analytics is Applied

  • Dollar signRespondents see the greatest value in using analytics to help tailoring products and services to customers. 69 percent use analytics to drive decision-making in customer acquisition and retention; 66 percent in the development of new products and services; 60 percent to improve the customer experience.
  • Respondents from all surveyed industries except Financial Services believe the finance department has the most sophisticated use of analytics.
  • Communications & High-tech firms are first among those applying analytics to analyze their competitors’ activities and performance (68 percent), and almost half of these firms (42 percent) use analytics for customer acquisition and retention.
  • Sales and marketing are the departments which most frequently set targets based on analytics, with 33 percent of sales and 30 percent of marketing teams setting targets “all the time.” Retail companies are front-runners when it comes to setting targets based on analytics for their sales and marketing functions (63 percent).

Further Challenges Remain

  • Despite progress in building analytics capabilities, senior executives still rank intuition and experience over facts and complex data analysis in the decision-making process.
  • More than half (58 percent) of organizations state that outcome from data is their key challenge; 50 percent state data integration and 49 percent state identifying the insights needed from data.