EDW: Vision beckons, but the journey is long.

May 2, 2011
Thanks to all who responded to last week’s poll when we asked about your organization's approach to enterprise data warehousing. Twenty percent of you currently manage all enterprise data in a centralized EDW. Congratulations to the technical teams involved - this is an impressive achievement, and the data integration challenges formidable. I’d be interested to learn more. Is your warehouse populated predominantly by data from transactional systems? What role does semi-structured or unstructured data play in your enterprise’s decision making?   Read More

Simplicity as strategy has its rewards

April 29, 2011
Previously, I blogged on how being simple - to install, to use and to manage - creates valuable differentiation for IBM Netezza appliances. So convinced are we of simplicity’s value to our customers, we make it central to our business strategy. Omega Management Group Corporation recently informed us that “Netezza has won the Omega NorthFace ScoreBoard Award℠ for 2010 for achieving excellence in the areas of Installation and Technical Account Manager. This marks the fourth consecutive year that you and your team have earned this high honor”.   Read More

Heads-up! We're polling.

April 25, 2011
You may have noticed that Thinking Inside the Box includes a readers’ poll. Thanks to all of you who participated in our first poll. Although I can’t discount all possibility of frivolity in future polls, our exercise has serious intent. As Phil Francisco notes in his recent blog “our clients are telling us they are struggling with and/or planning for: a world of ever increasing data sizes, types, arrival rates, premium on timeliness, and the complexity of the analytics involved ”. We place high value on feedback received from our customers and partners, and polling provides a very direct mechanism for us to engage with you, our community. Our intention is to publish results of our polling and, where we can, provide some insight in to the intent of our question. Back to our first poll: we asked you to assess the maturity level of your organization’s systems using criteria adopted by Carnegie Mellon's Capability Maturity Model. As of Thursday April 21, the results show: •    21% at Level 1: Initial •    21% at Level 2: Repeatable •    26% at Level 3: Defined •    21% at Level 4: Managed •    11% at Level 5: Optimized Synthesizing this data with Phil’s observation that “Previously closely-held “facts” about how best to deploy an analytic infrastructure are being challenged and broken by some of these changing requirements” suggests new approaches should be evolutionary not revolutionary. Enterprises have too much invested to start again from a blank sheet.   Read More

Netezza Inside IBM

April 21, 2011
Greetings! Realizing it’s been a while since I last posted here I thought it was important to confirm that yes, Netezza is alive and doing quite well as a part of IBM, post-acquisition as we launch into our second full fiscal quarter as a part of the team. Without sharing company-confidential specifics, we have seen tremendous growth in our team’s size – in the sales channel, marketing and our R&D lineup and the expansion of markets via the reach of IBM’s global sales engine has obviously been excellent. We continue to aggressively pursue (and accelerate) the Netezza product roadmap to continue Netezza’s lead in innovation and industry-leading price/performance for data warehouse and analytic appliances. Read More

In Praise of Bayes

April 17, 2011
Statistical techniques such as predictive analytics help us make sense of ever-growing data. Analyzing signals – data streams created as events unfold –in-context of long historical records create insight to likely outcomes, and guide our decision-making. Let’s take a minute away from the hubbub of the here-and-now to reflect how this is made possible by a creative mathematician working in the 18th Century. Read More

Big Data. Big Impact.

March 25, 2011
I had the honor this week of speaking with Om Malik of GigaOm on stage at the Structure: Big Data event in New York City. This was a first of its kind event, bringing together an incredibly interesting group of entrepreneurs, enterprises, industry luminaries, investors and press to discuss the state of the “Big Data” revolution that manifests itself throughout the industry. I must say, I feel “vindicated” by all this activity. I have been talking for years about “category convergence”, suggesting the convergence of business analytics, data management, search, data warehousing, ETL, text analytics, data protection, and a few other “categories” as necessary to create the business value we all expect from these technologies. Read More

"The More It Changes. . ." Teradata to Acquire Aster Data

March 7, 2011
Last week brought the analytics industry yet another acquisition, this time Teradata buying Aster Data.  As I read the coverage, several questions came immediately to mind that one might ponder if assessing the impact of the acquisition.  It probably wasn’t customers, cash or revenue, as Aster didn’t appear to have much of either, leaving technology as the primary value.  But what and why? Read More

IBM Counters a Misinformation Machine

March 4, 2011
IBM’s latest advertising offers a counterpoint to ambitious claims made for Exadata by Redwood Shores’ Mad Men. At IBM’s Pulse 2011 event industry analyst Colin White presented results of a survey he and Claudia Imhoff have undertaken for The Data Warehousing Institute. 74% of those surveyed needed faster time-to-value from their analytic and technology deployments. Colin’s analysis is that technology should to be "fast to deploy", "scalable" and largely "self-service". I’ll investigate each of these, contrasting Oracle Exadata with IBM Netezza as evidenced by real world experience.   Read More

Netezza and Friends at MicroStrategy World 2011 Las Vegas #MSTRWorld

January 25, 2011
Netezza's globetrotting reporter Karina Bernier is in Las Vegas for MicroStrategy World 2011, where the buzz is about retail high-performance analytics (powered by Netezza TwinFin appliances of course). Check out Karina's interviews with Vipul Patel of Michaels Stores, Wei Zheng of Informatica, Al McKee of Pacific Sunwear and Anthony Dean of MicroStrategy at Netezza's YouTube channel at NetezzaCorp. Read More

From Bartok the Magnficent to In-database Analytics

January 21, 2011
It seems a lifetime ago now, but since this is my first post of the new year i will allow myself a little backward look to the best bit of Christmas: watching 3 family films on Christmas day (with family):  Bartok the Magnificent, Cabaret & A Night in Casablanca. You’re supposed to enter the new year serene, focused, positive, filled with plans and schemes. Well that’s all very well but first to purge a little irritant from 2010. Now far be it from me to describe Oracle as a little irritant, but a thought did occur to me when i read about Oracle’s $10m challenge. (it’s expired now so don’t bother following the onward link). It expired pretty quickly after it was launched; maybe people were getting close to succeeding. Read More