@ThingsExpo Authors: William Schmarzo, Xenia von Wedel, Liz McMillan, Ed Featherston, Jason Bloomberg

Related Topics: @DXWorldExpo, @ThingsExpo

@DXWorldExpo: Blog Feed Post

Favorite 2015 @Schmarzo Big Data Blogs | @BigDataExpo #IoT #BigData

It’s that time of year that I review everything that I’ve written over the past year and share my favorite blogs

It’s that time of year that I review everything that I’ve written over the past year and share my favorite blogs. As many of you know, I travel frequently and because I’ve continuously seen every airline movie, I have plenty of time to write. And according to the commentary, every now and then I have a good one. So here are my Top 10 Blogs from 2015!

#10EMC World Day 1: Big Data Business Model Maturity Index and Analytic Profiles. I believe that this is the first blog where I introduce some very important data science concepts: Analytic Profiles and Scores. I talk a lot about the power of Scores in delivering metrics that are potentially better predictors of performance. Scores are important in supporting the decisions you are trying to make and the actions or outcomes you are trying to predict. And Analytic Profiles are how we bring all the analytics insights to support the organization’s key business initiatives.

For example, let’s look at what Bill Schmarzo’s Analytic Profile might be from the perspective of Starbucks.

  • Demographic Information.  This is the basic information about me such as name, home address, work address, age, gender, marital status, income level, value of home, length of time in current home, education level, number of dependents, etc.
  • Behavioral Information:  Now it gets interesting, as we want to uncover behavioral insights that are relevant for the business initiatives that Starbucks is trying to support.  Depending upon the targeted business initiative (e.g., customer acquisition, customer retention, advocacy development, new product introductions), here is some behavioral information that Starbucks might want to capture about me:  favorite drinks in rank order, favorite stores in rank order, most frequent time-of-day to visit a store, most frequent day-of-week to visit a store, recency of store visit, frequency of store visits in past week / month / quarter, monetary value of store visits the past week / month / quarter, how long do I stay at which stores, etc.
  • Classifications.  Now we want to try to create some “classifications” about Bill Schmarzo life that might have impact on my key business initiatives such as:  Lifestage classifications, Lifestyle classifications, Product preference classifications, Store visit classifications, etc.
  • Rules.  We might also want to capture some rules or propensities about Bill’s usage patterns that we can use to support Starbucks’ key business initiatives, including: propensity to buy oatmeal when he buys coffee when traveling in the morning, propensity to buy a cookie/pastry when traveling in the afternoon, propensity to buy product in the channel, propensity to order online, etc.
  • Scores.  We also may want to create scores to support decision-making and process optimization.  Scores that we might want to create could include Customer Lifetime Value Score, Advocacy Score, Loyalty Score, Product Usage Score, Store Visitation Score, etc.

#9Weaving Data Hay Into Business Gold. Some organizations think that they will just jump data into the data lake and the deploy data scientists to “find needles in the data lake haystack.” But the “find a needle in the haystack” is the wrong analogy for the data lake.  “Finding a needle in the haystack” is a data warehouse / Business Intelligence way of thinking about analysis; to slice-and-dice the data haystack trying to find needles.

However, data science with a data lake is more like trying to “weave data hay into business gold.”  So instead of thinking about the data lake as this haystack from which you are trying to find needles, think instead about the data lake as the loom for your data where you weave data hay into business gold.

The primary goal of the data lake, from a business perspective, is to think differently; to enable your data science team to not search for random needles in haystacks, but instead think about how they can leverage the data lake to “weave the data hay into business gold.”

#8An Executive Mandate: Think Open Business.   This blog discusses the power of thinking about an “open business” model, where we define “open” as creating a platform or ecosystem that allows third-parties (developers, partners, resellers) to provide value (and make money) upon that platform or ecosystem. Attacking the market with a closed business model introduces two significant liabilities:

  1. You limit innovation to only the innovation that your company itself can deliver.
  2. You force your customers to only have the choice of only the products that the original manufacturer can develop and deliver.

This blog discusses how Apple and Google addressed the innovation challenge with an open business model that encourages app developers to develop new, innovative products on top of their platform; the model allows third-party app developers to make money on top of the Apple and Google smartphone platforms.  This adds considerable value to their respective platforms and in the process, Apple and Google are transforming their business models from a product-centric business model to a market-enabling business model; one of the key transformations as an organization seeks to “metamorphosize” their business models.

The blog concludes with an exercise on how my favorite kitchen appliance – the Vitamix could create a more open and creative marketplace for its products.

#7The Mid-market Big Data Call to Action. Small organizations seem to have this inferiority complex when it comes to big data. It would seem that the deck is stacked against the small organizations that lack the technology resources to invest or the data experience upon which to leverage to compete with the large companies in the area of big data. However, I think the opposite is true, that small organizations have a HUGE advantage over many of their larger counterparts with respect to integrating data and analytics into their business models including:

  • Smaller organizations have fewer data silos, so they have a much clearer view of their customers, products, operations and markets.
  • Smaller organizations have a smaller number of HIPPO’s (the Highest Paid Person’s Opinion) with which to deal.
  • Smaller organizations can unlearn faster.
  • Smaller organizations are less fixated on technology.
  • But the most important reason is that it is easier for small organizations to institute the organizational and cultural change necessary to actually act on the analytic insights.

#6Why Do I Need A Data Lake? The data lake is a powerful big data architecture that leverages the economics of big data to enable storage, management and analysis of data as compared to traditional data warehouse technologies. The key to maximizing the value of your big data initiatives is the analytics hub and spoke service architecture.

The hub of the architecture is the data lake:

  • Centralized, singular, schema-less data store with raw data
  • Mechanism for rapid ingestion of data with appropriate latency
  • Ability to map data across sources and provide visibility and security to users
  • Catalog to find and retrieve data
  • Costing model of centralized service
  • Ability to manage security, permissions and data masking
  • Supports self-provisioning

The spokes of the architecture are the analytic use cases:

  • Ability to perform analytics (data scientist)
  • Analytics sandbox (HDFS, Hadoop, Spark, Hive, HBase)
  • Data engineering tools (Elastic Search, MapReduce, YARN, HAWQ, SQL)
  • Analytical tools (SAS, R, Mahout, MADlib, H2O)
  • Visualization tools (Tableau, DataRPM, ggplot2)
  • Ability to exploit analytics (application development)
  • 3rd platform application (mobile app development, web site app development)
  • Analytics exposed as services to applications (API’s)
  • Integrate in-memory and/or in-database scoring and recommendations into business process and operational systems

#5In Big Data, Are You Using Refrigerators or Stoves? This blog really challenges how organizations are positioning and selling big data. Too many “experts” are over-emphasizing the big data technology aspects and ignoring the really hard work – understanding what business opportunities exist and how the organization is trying to address them with data and analytics.

My University of San Francisco MBA class finished their Big Data MBA course. We used our trusty “thinking like a data scientist” process to teach our students how to identify a business opportunity, and then use the “thinking like a data scientist” process to drive cross-organizational collaboration to come up with ideas that they can turn into actions using data and analytics.

My co-teacher, the ever talented and energetic Professor Mouwafac Sidaoui, and I asked our students: “What employer wouldn’t want an employee who can excel at doing that?”

#4Big Data Fails: How to Avoid Them. This isn’t exactly a blog. This is an interview that I had with Jessica Davis (InformationWeek) that nicely summarizes many of the keys to big data success. The article actually makes me sound smart (and that’s no small task!). To quote the article:

The companies that run into the most trouble [with big data] are those in which data is in silos, and the thinking about that data is also in silos. For instance, in a banking company there may be a checking account silo and a mortgage silo, and the owners of each group aren’t accustomed to thinking about the whole customer who consumes both services.

Companies that can get past that limitation in their thinking are more likely to be successful with their big data initiatives.

And that example also shows an important factor in successful big data initiatives – collaboration among groups who may not normally collaborate with each other. It relies on team members with different areas of expertise working well together.

“The places where we are seeing success is where the business people and the IT people like each other.”

#3Creativity Is a Team Activity in Big Data. This could have very easily been my favorite blog. It certainly turned out to be one of my most popular blogs.

The potential of big data is only limited by the creative thinking of your business stakeholders. Maybe the biggest inhibitor to creative thinking is the baggage about data and analytics that we have picked up over the years. Organizations need to embrace the power of “thinking differently,” especially with respect to:

  • Data as a strategic asset to be gathered, enriched and shared, versus data as a cost to be minimized
  • The potential of predictive (what is likely to happen) and prescriptive (what should I do) questions versus of just mechanically capturing descriptive (what happened) questions
  • The power of data science to quantify those variables and metrics that are better predictors of performance, versus business intelligence that just reports on what happened while monitoring current business performance
  • Building analytic profiles at the individual (human, machine) level to uncover individual behaviors, tendencies, propensities, interests, passions, associations and affiliations that can lead to specific actionable insights, versus relying on aggregated data to uncover general market trends

#2 – Thinking Like A Data Scientist series. This is probably unfair because this was a four-blog series, but this is my favorite blog(s) from 2015. The series included:

The 8-step “Thinking Like A Data Scientist” process is an enabler for organizations that want to get the most of both their data…and their people. It drives organizational alignment around an organization’s key business initiatives and uncovers where and how big data and data science can optimize key business processes, uncover new monetization opportunities and deliver a more compelling customer experience.

#1Big Data MBA Textbook: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science. Clearly #1 for me was the release of my second Big Data book. This book was written as a textbook to use as part of the class I teach at the University of San Francisco School of Management, but I hope that others can use this textbook to advance big data and data science as business disciplines for tomorrow’s business leaders.

I hope that 2016 is as productive, and given the number of Big Data Vision Workshops that I have to facilitate, I bet it will be!

Favorite 2015 Schmarzo Big Data Blogs
Bill Schmarzo

More Stories By William Schmarzo

Bill Schmarzo, author of “Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business” and “Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science”, is responsible for setting strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings for Dell EMC’s Big Data Practice.

As a CTO within Dell EMC’s 2,000+ person consulting organization, he works with organizations to identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He’s written white papers, is an avid blogger and is a frequent speaker on the use of Big Data and data science to power an organization’s key business initiatives. He is a University of San Francisco School of Management (SOM) Executive Fellow where he teaches the “Big Data MBA” course. Bill also just completed a research paper on “Determining The Economic Value of Data”. Onalytica recently ranked Bill as #4 Big Data Influencer worldwide.

Bill has over three decades of experience in data warehousing, BI and analytics. Bill authored the Vision Workshop methodology that links an organization’s strategic business initiatives with their supporting data and analytic requirements. Bill serves on the City of San Jose’s Technology Innovation Board, and on the faculties of The Data Warehouse Institute and Strata.

Previously, Bill was vice president of Analytics at Yahoo where he was responsible for the development of Yahoo’s Advertiser and Website analytics products, including the delivery of “actionable insights” through a holistic user experience. Before that, Bill oversaw the Analytic Applications business unit at Business Objects, including the development, marketing and sales of their industry-defining analytic applications.

Bill holds a Masters Business Administration from University of Iowa and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics, Computer Science and Business Administration from Coe College.

@ThingsExpo Stories
BnkToTheFuture.com is the largest online investment platform for investing in FinTech, Bitcoin and Blockchain companies. We believe the future of finance looks very different from the past and we aim to invest and provide trading opportunities for qualifying investors that want to build a portfolio in the sector in compliance with international financial regulations.
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
Imagine if you will, a retail floor so densely packed with sensors that they can pick up the movements of insects scurrying across a store aisle. Or a component of a piece of factory equipment so well-instrumented that its digital twin provides resolution down to the micrometer.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settle...
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
We are given a desktop platform with Java 8 or Java 9 installed and seek to find a way to deploy high-performance Java applications that use Java 3D and/or Jogl without having to run an installer. We are subject to the constraint that the applications be signed and deployed so that they can be run in a trusted environment (i.e., outside of the sandbox). Further, we seek to do this in a way that does not depend on bundling a JRE with our applications, as this makes downloads and installations rat...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
Digital Transformation (DX) is not a "one-size-fits all" strategy. Each organization needs to develop its own unique, long-term DX plan. It must do so by realizing that we now live in a data-driven age, and that technologies such as Cloud Computing, Big Data, the IoT, Cognitive Computing, and Blockchain are only tools. In her general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rebecca Wanta explained how the strategy must focus on DX and include a commitment from top management to create great IT jobs, monitor ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
The IoT Will Grow: In what might be the most obvious prediction of the decade, the IoT will continue to expand next year, with more and more devices coming online every single day. What isn’t so obvious about this prediction: where that growth will occur. The retail, healthcare, and industrial/supply chain industries will likely see the greatest growth. Forrester Research has predicted the IoT will become “the backbone” of customer value as it continues to grow. It is no surprise that retail is ...