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Recapping the Final Four of Smart Sixteen Big Data Challenge

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CEO & Principal Analyst, Hired Brains

Predict Customer Behavior won a surprise victory over the top-seeded Improve Campaign Effectiveness in the Marketing region. ICE’s maturity in this case worked against it with the handsome newcomers of PCB. It seems like a trend today, that more low-level technical chops are getting the attention over more result-oriented applications. ICE’s coach was nonplussed nonetheless, quipping, “I still can’t figure out whether a bad scoring performance by a team is due to a poor offense or a strong defense.”

Another surprising and perplexing upset was in the IT region where Real-Time Streaming Data prevailed over the hyped-up Hadoop Analytics. The only explanation we can see is that Hadoop Analytics was exhausted and overexposed and fell flat despite its clear prominence over Streaming Data. In the Final Four, we do not expect this momentum to continue as RTSD will be defeated by Reduced Resource Costs, a solid but definitely not sexy team with the advantage of being paired with an opponent not yet up to snuff.

There were no surprises in the Infrastructure region as Analyze Machine Data lost to Simplified Data Management. Every team has the data management problem, and machine data is more of a special team. Today’s computing economics allow for far more sophisticated data management using ontology, graphs, machine learning and NLP. Machine Data was, simply, outclassed and out-bombed in this match.

Finance region remains the most boring and predictable region, and it is no surprise that Reduced Resource Costs prevailed over Governance and Risk Management. Remember, progression through the brackets requires at least a small measure of charisma and Reduced Costs clearly has more (though not much) charisma than the rest.

Final Four? No question Infrastructure will prevail over Marketing with Simplified Data Management advancing past Predict Customer Behavior. All of the computers in the world can’t give you the answer if you can’t first organize data.

In the IT versus Finance matchup, we’d ordinarily give the nod to IT, but the surprise showing of the niche’y Real-Time Streaming Data may find it difficult to hold off the WALL of resistance from finance in Reduced Resource Costs.

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