An Intro to Analytics Vendors

Image by David Bleasdale, CC license Analytics is one of the top buzzwords in business software today. Analytics software is often marketed as a tool for business intelligence, data mining or insights. It’s the crystal ball software: tell me things I don’t already know, and show me ah-hahs or other exciting revelations that, if acted […]

Big Data

Big Data: Correlations, Not Cause-and-Effect

Image by Marcos Gasparutti, CC license In their recently published book, “Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think,” Viktor Mayer-Schonberger and Kenneth Cukier say that big data will provide a lot of information that can be used to establish correlations, not necessarily precise cause and effect. But that might […]

Data Vis example

Data Virtualization vs. Data Visualization

Image: visualization of data showing places in New York City frequented by tourists (red) and locals (blue); by Eric Fisher; Creative Commons license. Another emerging segment of the analytics software market is data virtualization (DV), referred to by some as Information-as-a-Service (IaaS), which enables access to multiple data sources, usually in real time, without the […]

Hong Kong Shopping

Demand Signal Applications: the Basics

The Landmark Shopping Mall in Hong Kong.  Photo by See-ming Lee, CC license. It’s now possible to string together data points collected from the shelf (POS) and upstream from there (your supply chain) to optimize your sourcing, production and distribution decisions.  Application vendors are calling this Demand Signal Management (DSM).  It’s not new; the same […]

data center

Big Data 101

Image: “Data Center.” by Stan Wlechers, CC license So what is Big Data, particularly Big Data analytics? Why all the hype? Big Data is what it implies: tons of data. We’re talking millions or billions of rows here – way too much for standard query tools accessing data on a disk. What would constitute “tons” […]

iot 3

Internet of Things: Hype or Hope?

An LG Smart Refrigerator.  Photo by David Berkowitz, CC license IoT is, as a breakthrough technology, not that exciting, but it does have some practical possibilities. The Internet of Things describes a network connected to physical objects.  These objects are either passive (another device must be used to detect them) or active (the object is […]