David Menninger's Analyst Perspectives

Data Lakes: Safe Way to Swim in Big Data?

Posted by David Menninger on May 11, 2016 9:20:56 AM

It has been more than five years since James Dixon of Pentaho coined the term “data lake.” His original post suggests, “If you think of a data mart as a store of bottled water – cleansed and packaged and structured for easy consumption – the data lake is a large body of water in a more natural state.” The analogy is a simple one, but in my experience talking with many end users there is still mystery surrounding the concept. In this post I’d like to clarify what a data lake is, review the reasons an organization might consider using one and the challenges they present, and outline some developments in software tools that support data lakes.

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Topics: Big Data, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Data Governance, Data Lake, data science, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Management, Predictive Analytics, Social Media, Uncategorized, Strata+Hadoop

Research Uncovers Keys to Using Predictive Analytics

Posted by David Menninger on Mar 27, 2012 11:56:10 AM

As a technology, predictive analytics has existed for years, but adoption has not been widespread among businesses. In our recent benchmark research on business analytics among more than 2,600 organizations, predictive analytics ranked only 10th among technologies they use to gene­rate analytics, and only one in eight of those companies use it. Predictive analytics has been costly to acquire, and while enterprises in a few vertical industries and specific lines of business have been willing to invest large sums in it, they constitute only a fraction of the organizations that could benefit from them. Ventana Research has just completed a benchmark re­search project to learn about how the organizations that have adopted predictive analytics are using it and to ac­quire real-world information about their levels of maturity, trends and best practices. In this post I want to share some of the key findings from our research.

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Topics: Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Customer & Contact Center, Data Scientist, Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Workforce Performance, IT Performance Management (ITPM)

Information Management Technology Revolution and Research Agenda for 2012

Posted by David Menninger on Mar 16, 2012 10:50:17 AM

In our definition, information management encompasses the acquisition, organization, dissemination and use of information by organizations to create and enhance business value. Effective information management ensures optimal access, relevance, timeliness, quality and security of this data with the aim to improve organizational performance. This goal is not easily met, especially as organizations acquire ever more data at an ever faster pace. In our business analytics benchmark research of more than 2,600 organizations, almost half (45%) have to integrate six or more types of data in their analyses. More than two-thirds reported that they spend more time preparing data than analyzing it. To assist in dealing with these sorts of issues and others, we’ve laid out an ambitious information management research agenda for 2012.

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Topics: Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Complex Event Processing, Data Governance, Data Integration, Data Quality, Information Applications, Information Life Cycle Management, Information Management, Master Data Management, Operational Intelligence, Social Media, IT Performance Management (ITPM)

Business Intelligence Revolution and Research Agenda for 2012

Posted by David Menninger on Mar 15, 2012 11:43:40 AM

For most people involved with business intelligence (BI), these are exciting times. Using BI to improve business processes continues to motivate organizations to invest in BI. The focus on BI also empowers business analytics and can be rented in the cloud computing model of accessing software. New technologies are adding dimensions to BI and creating both excitement and confusion for enterprises implementing them. We offer a variety of accomplished research that can help organizations overcome the hype and understand how to use these technologies to improve business decision-making, and we’re planning new research in 2012 on these topics.

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Topics: Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Information Management, Mobile Business Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Workforce Performance, Collaboration

Informatica Expands Data Footprint for Business and IT

Posted by David Menninger on Mar 14, 2012 10:07:12 AM

My colleague Mark Smith and I recently attended data integration vendor Informatica’s annual industry analyst event. The company offered some impressive numbers regarding growth and profitability over the years, with 30 consecutive quarters of growth even during the recent recession. Through acquisition and its own research and development activities Informatica now has a broad portfolio of products. It includes data integration and supporting migration, replication and synchronization needs, master data management, complex event processing and other elements of the information management spectrum. As at last year’s event, the company retains a sharp focus on the data integration related portfolio, and its product roadmap addresses four key themes impacting that market: big data, cloud computing, social media and mobile technology. We also see these themes as significant technology trends, and our approach is outlined in our 2012 research agendas for information management and in the larger business technology innovation agenda. Thus it was interesting to hear Informatica’s take on them.

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Topics: Big Data, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Data Integration, Financial Performance, Informatica, Information Management, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Workforce Performance, Cloud Computing

Revolution Analytics Hosts Contest on Business Predicting the Future

Posted by David Menninger on Feb 1, 2012 8:34:46 AM

Revolution Analytics recently announced the winners of its “Applications of R in Business” contest. Revolution Analytics has built a business around supporting R, an open source statistical software package, and extending it with features it licenses to customers. I served as a judge in the contest. Since I was in the midst of analyzing the data for our predictive analytics benchmark research, I was interested to see how the contestants applied predictive analytics techniques to specific business problems.

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Topics: Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Workforce Performance

Technology Terminology: What’s in a Name?

Posted by David Menninger on Feb 1, 2012 8:22:48 AM

When it comes to technology, debates about whether a particular name suits its category are rampant. Here is a link to one such argument about the term “big data” from Curt Monash, an analyst whom I respect a great deal. This debate rages in the Twittersphere also, as in this comment from Neil Raden, another analyst I respect, suggesting that “big data is a marketing term … imprecise by design.”  Another term I’ve encountered resistance to recently is “predictive analytics.” See: (“Revolution Analytics Hosts Contest on Business Predicting the Future“).

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Topics: Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Workforce Performance, Cloud Computing

The Big, Cloudy, Mobile and Social World of MicroStrategy

Posted by David Menninger on Jan 31, 2012 7:38:21 AM

MicroStrategy, one of the largest independent vendors of business intelligence (BI) software, recently held its annual user conference, which I attended with some of my colleagues and more than 2,000 other attendees. At this year’s event, the company emphasized four key themes: mobility, cloud computing, big data and social media. In this post, I’ll assess what MicroStrategy is doing in each of the first three areas. My colleague, Mark Smith, covered MicroStrategy’s social intelligence efforts in his blog. I’ll also share some opinions on what might be missing from the company’s vision.

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Topics: Big Data, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, MicroStrategy, Mobile, Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Workforce Performance, Strata+Hadoop, Cloud Computing

Big Data Is More than Hadoop

Posted by David Menninger on Jan 25, 2012 10:44:47 AM

We recently published the results of our benchmark research on Big Data to complement the previously published benchmark research on Hadoop and Information Management. Ventana Research undertook this research to acquire real-world information about levels of maturity, trends and best practices in organizations’ use of large-scale data management systems now commonly called Big Data. The results are illuminating.

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Topics: Big Data, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, In-memory, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Workforce Performance

What Enterprises Can Learn from Major Events and Surprises in 2011

Posted by David Menninger on Dec 28, 2011 11:49:27 AM

Rather than make predictions for 2012, which are everywhere right now, I want to look back at some of the surprising events of 2011. I think it’s worth considering what happened that wasn’t expected and what these things might tell us about the information technology market. Here, in no particular order, are the most important ones I see.

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Topics: Big Data, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Mobile, Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Workforce Performance