Are small businesses ready for big data? Um, yes

When enterprise software giant SAP announced its HANA big data analytics for midmarket businesses Tuesday, one of the first questions on the call was whether smaller businesses need to bother with big data. The short answer: Yes they do.

Analytics startups sweep the field in IBM contest

Nine out of the nine finalists for IBM’s Global Entrepreneur of the Year title are analytics startups. That’s either an anomaly or proof that analytics is hot. The winners will converge on San Francisco next week to meet with IBM and venture capital firms.

Birst, ParAccel team to put a pretty face on big data

In a meeting of analytics minds, Birst and ParAccel are putting Birst’s graphical reporting gloss atop ParAccel’s analytics database.
Deals like this are the latest proof that big data is important but the ability to put that data into a useable format is also key.

BillGuard pulls in $10M to expand its bill anti-virus service

BillGuard, a personal finance service that uses Big Data analysis and crowd sourcing to identify bogus charges, has been racking up accolades since it launched in May. And now it’s pulling in big money: $10 million from Khosla Ventures, Founders Fund and Innovation Endeavors.

How big data can offer a competitive advantage

A new way of thinking about data and data scientists illustrates the broader shift that is slowly under way in the economy, a shift from simply collecting big data toward gathering and using data in order to make businesses better informed.

Data for doctors: Big data meets a big business

Forget the division between structured and unstructured data. For the benefits of the big data era to reach businesses bottom lines or to change behaviors, companies will have to figure out how to bring the results of Hadoop analytics to HR and middle managers.

Today in Cloud

Dunnhumby is almost mythical in some circles. The company’s work with UK retailing giant Tesco led to the development of an early loyalty card scheme, and some pretty impressive mining of trends from the data that shoppers handed over every time the card got swiped at a checkout. Now Dunnhumby is using Kaggle to offer developers access to some of that lovely data… and a $10,000 prize for putting it to work. All that the winner has to do is analyse data from 100,000 customers in order to successfully predict when each of those customers will next visit a store, and how much they’ll spend. Easy, huh? Retail, like Manufacturing, is one of those industry segments sitting on a wealth of good data, just waiting for the right tools and processes to come along.

Today in Cloud

LinkedIn’s Daniel Tunkelang published an interesting post on his personal blog overnight. In it Tunkelang, who is no stranger to the challenges of working at scale with disparate data, asks “why haven’t we seen an encyclopaedic structured data repository comparable in scope [and] scale to Wikipedia?” He acknowledges widely cited examples in this space such as Freebase, DBpedia and (in comments) FluidInfo, but notes that “they have not achieved mainstream adoption.” Are we really happier to trust the views of strangers regarding Khalistan (a new discovery for me last night) than a definitive list of Harrison Ford’s films or U.S. Presidential terms of office? Why does ‘informed opinion’ appear to draw more contributors and consumers than tabulated fact? Is one, simply, more boring, or is something else at play?

Rosslyn Analytics, Microsoft Finding Value in Data Aggregation

Data marketplaces add value when they combine facts drawn from different data sets. However, as new products are created to accomplish this, the relationship between suppliers the original data and those who download or buy it changes, and trust becomes a critical part of the relationship.