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Webinar from BrightFunnel Ties Marketing to Revenue

June 30, 2015

The webinar on BrightFunnel Blog titled Campaign Attribution: Start Measuring True Marketing Impact (How-To Video) adds value to marketing efforts. BrightFunnel defines itself as platform for marketing analytics that works to join marketing more closely to revenue. The webinar is focused on the attribution application. The video poses three major questions that the application can answer about how pipeline and revenue are affected by marketing channels and specific campaigns, as well as how to gain better insight on the customer. The article overviews the webinar,

“Marketers care. We care a lot about what happens to all those leads we generate for sales. It can be hard to get a complete view of marketing impact when you’re limited to trusting that the right contacts, if any, are being added to opportunities! In this recording from our recent webinar, see how BrightFunnel solves key attribution problems by providing seamless visibility into multi-touch campaign attribution so you can accurately measure the impact you have on pipeline and revenue.”

BrightFunnel believes in an intuitive approach, claiming that three to four weeks has been plenty of time for their users to get set up and get to work with their product. They host a series of webinars that allows interested parties to ask direct questions and be answered live.

Chelsea Kerwin, June 30, 2014

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

 

Attivio ReachesTop 100 Status

June 29, 2015

The Data Dexterity Company announced the brand new Database Trends and Applications (DBTA) 100 and according to Yahoo Finance, Attivio is now on the list: “Attivio Named By Database Trends Applications To Its Prestigious Top 100 List.”

“We are pleased to be recognized by Database Trends and Applications as one of the most important firms in the data space; it further validates the type of feedback that our customers provide on a daily basis,” said Stephen Baker, CEO of Attivio. “As firms continue to be more reliant on maximizing their data to drive business-critical insights, we expect to play a critical role in driving this type of business innovation.”

Attivio joins the ranks of other companies that have made huge innovations in the data industry; they include EMC, Amazon, IBM, and more.  Attivio is an industry leader in enterprise systems with its intelligence search platform.  Attivio’s search platform enables users to make immediate insights with data visibility.  Attivio has a well-known client use that encompasses such names as National Instruments, Nexen, GE, UBS, and Qualcomm.  The company believes that there are many innovations to be made from all types, not just the type that is easily found in a database.  Attivio uses its search platform to uncover insights in unstructured data that would otherwise be missed by other enterprise search platforms.

We have been following Attivio for many years and by having its name added to DBTA 100 proves it can perform well and deliver useful results.  Enterprise search continues to be an important factor for enterprise systems, though people are often forgetting that today.  Attivio’s addition to the DBTA 100 stresses that not everyone has forgotten.

Whitney Grace, June 29, 2015

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Oracle Data Integrator Extension

June 29, 2015

The article titled Oracle Launches ODI in April with the Aim to Revolutionize Big Data on Market Realist makes it clear that Oracle sees big money in NoSQL. Oracle Data Integrator, or ODI, enables developers and analysts to simplify their lives and training. It cancels the requirement for their learning multiple programming languages and allows them to use Hadoop and the like without much coding expertise. The article states,

“According to a report from PCWorld, Jeff Pollock, Oracle vice president of product management, said, “The Oracle Data Integrator for Big Data makes a non-Hadoop developer instantly productive on Hadoop…” Databases like Hadoop and Spark are targeted towards programmers who have the coding knowledge expertise required to manipulate these databases with knowledge of the coding needed to manage them. On the other hand, analysts usually use software for data analytics.”

The article also relates some of Oracle’s claims about itself, including that it holds a larger revenue than IBM, Microsoft, SAP AG, and Teradata combined. Those are also Oracle’s four major competitors. With the release of ODI, Oracle intends to filter data arriving from a myriad of different places. Clustering data into groups related by their format or framework is part of this process. The end result is a more streamlined version without assumptions about the level of coding knowledge held by an analyst.

Chelsea Kerwin, June 29, 2014

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph
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Palantir: A Unicorn on Steroids

June 24, 2015

Whoa. I read “Palantir Valued At $20 Billion In New Funding Round.” Palantir is not exactly pumping out the marketing collateral. The company is making sales to those who want to squeeze “nuggets” from the hydraulic flow of digital information. What’s remarkable is that the company is selling into a sector which wants to buy, yet Palantir continues to collect money from funding sources.

Is the company in the business of processing data or in the business of making presentations to venture types with open checkbooks?

According to the write up:

Palantir is raising up to $500 million in new capital at a valuation of $20 billion, people briefed on the matter told BuzzFeed News, insisting on anonymity to discuss the confidential deal. The 11-year-old company previously raised money late last year at a $15 billion valuation. The new round of funding, which has not been previously disclosed, reflects investors’ eagerness to gain access to a startup seen as one of the most successful in the world. Little is known about the details of Palantir’s business, beyond reports about its data-processing software being used to fight terror and catch financial criminals.

A couple of observations:

First, the amount of money is impressive, even by Sillycon Valley standards. The investment makes outfits like Digital Reasoning look like paupers.

Second, compared to search centric outfits like Attivio, Coveo, and others working to deliver traditional Fast Search type services, Palantir is in a different league. Attivio and Coveo combined has attracted less than $70 million or so. This amount probably is equivalent to the fees assessed on Palantir’s inflows of cash.

Third, Palantir is a bit like Google with a twist of paranoia. There are unreturned phone calls and unanswered emails. There are legal dust ups sealed away, presumably forever. There are secrets, lots of secrets.

In short, Palantir makes other content processing outfits green with envy. Green. The color of money. With a unicorn on steroids the question becomes, “Will the joints hold up?”

Stephen E Arnold, June 24, 2015

Deep Learning System Surprises Researchers

June 24, 2015

Researchers were surprised when their scene-classification AI performed some independent study, we learn from Kurzweil’s article, “MIT Deep-Learning System Autonomously Learns to Identify Objects.”

At last December’s International Conference on Learning Representations, a research team from MIT demonstrated that their scene-recognition software was 25-33 percent more accurate than its leading predecessor. They also presented a paper describing the object-identification tactic their software chose to adopt; perhaps this is what gave it the edge. The paper’s lead author, and MIT computer science/ engineering associate professor, Antonio Torralba ponders the development:

“Deep learning works very well, but it’s very hard to understand why it works — what is the internal representation that the network is building. It could be that the representations for scenes are parts of scenes that don’t make any sense, like corners or pieces of objects. But it could be that it’s objects: To know that something is a bedroom, you need to see the bed; to know that something is a conference room, you need to see a table and chairs. That’s what we found, that the network is really finding these objects.”

Researchers being researchers, the team is investigating their own software’s initiative. The article tells us:

“In ongoing work, the researchers are starting from scratch and retraining their network on the same data sets, to see if it consistently converges on the same objects, or whether it can randomly evolve in different directions that still produce good predictions. They’re also exploring whether object detection and scene detection can feed back into each other, to improve the performance of both. ‘But we want to do that in a way that doesn’t force the network to do something that it doesn’t want to do,’ Torralba says.”

Very respectful. See the article for a few more details on this ambitious AI, or check out the researchers’ open-access paper here.

Cynthia Murrell, June 24, 2015

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

 

HP Sales Are Slow, But CEO Says Progress

June 24, 2015

According to Computer Weekly, “HP CEO Hails Business Split Progress Amid Downbeat Q2 Revenue Slumps.”  HP’s Enterprise Service has the worst revenue reports for the quarter along with several more of its business units with a seven percent net loss.  The Enterprise Service saw a sixteen percent loss.

Ironically, the company’s stock rose 1 percent, mostly due to HP expanding into China due to a new partnership with Tsinghua University.  The joint venture will focus on developing HP’s H3C’s technology and its China-based server business, supposedly it will have huge implications on the Chinese technology market.

Another piece of news is that HP will split up:

“[CEO Meg ] Whitman also spoke in favour of the progress the company is making with its plans to separate into two publicly traded business entities: one comprised of its consumer PC and printing operations, and the other focused on enterprise hardware, software and services.

The past six months have reinforced Whitman’s conviction that this is the right path for the company to take, and the split is still on course to occur before the end of the firm’s financial year.”

The company wants to increase its revenue, but it needs to cut gross costs across the board.  HP is confidant that it will work.  Sales will continue to be slow for 2015, but they can still do investment banking things at HP.

Whitney Grace, June 24, 2015
Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

New Analysis Tool for Hadoop Data from Oracle

June 23, 2015

Oracle offers new ways to analyze Hadoop data, we learn from the brief write-up, “Oracle Zeroes in on Hadoop Data with New Analytics Tool” at PCWorld. Use of the Hadoop open-source distributed file system continues to grow  among businesses and other organizations, so it is no surprise to see enterprise software giant Oracle developing such tools. This new software is dubbed Oracle Big Data Spatial and Graph. Writer Katherine Noyes reports:

“Users of Oracle’s database have long had access to spatial and graph analytics tools, which are used to uncover relationships and analyze data sets involving location. Aiming to tackle more diverse data sets and minimize the need for data movement, Oracle created the product to be able to process data natively on Hadoop and in parallel using MapReduce or in-memory structures.

“There are two main components. One is a distributed property graph with more than 35 high-performance, parallel, in-memory analytic functions. The other is a collection of spatial-analysis functions and services to evaluate data based on how near or far something is, whether it falls within a boundary or region, or to process and visualize geospatial data and imagery.”

The write-up notes that such analysis can reveal connections for organizations to capitalize upon, like relationships between customers or assets. The software is, of course, compatible with Oracle’s own Big Data Appliance platform, but can be deployed on other Hadoop and NoSQL systems, as well.

Cynthia Murrell, June 23, 2015

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Non Government Statistical Atlas: Filling a Void

June 22, 2015

Short honk. Navigate to “Reviving the Statistical Atlas of the United States with New Data.” Nathan Yau, who bills himself as Superintendent of Flowing Data, produced a graphical statistical atlas. Believe me when I suggest that the US government probably do this type of report. As far as I know, the US government has not and might tie itself in knots trying to match his work. If you are interested in crops and education along with dozens of other data sets about the US, Dr. Yau’s work warrants your time. A happy quack to “some guy with a blog” for this atlas.

Stephen E Arnold, June 23, 2015

Expert Systems Acquires TEMIS

June 22, 2015

In a move to improve its product offerings, Expert System acquired TEMIS.  The two companies will combine their assets to create a leading semantic provider for cognitive computing.  Reuters described the acquisition in very sparse details: “Expert System Signs Agreement To Acquire French TEMIS SA.”

Reuters describes the merger as:

“Reported on Wednesday that it [Expert System] signed binding agreement to buy 100 percent of TEMIS SA, a French company offering solutions in text analytics

  • Deal value is 12 million euros ($13.13 million)”

TEMIS creates technology that helps organizations leverage, manage, and structure their unstructured information assets.  It is best known for Luxid, which identifies and extracts information to semantically enrich content with domain-specific metadata.

Expert System, on the other hand, is another semantically inclined company and its flagship product is Cogito.  The Cogito software is designed to understand content within unstructured text, systems, and analytics.  The goal is give organizations a complete picture of your information, because Cogitio actually understand what is processing.

TEMIS and Expert System have similar goals to make unstructured data useful to organizations.  Other than the actual acquisition deal, details on how Expert System plans to use TEMIS have not been revealed.  Expert System, of course, plans to use TEMIS to improve its own semantic technology and increase revenue.  Both companies are pleased at the acquisition, but if you consider other buy outs in recent times the cost to Expert System is very modest.  Thirteen million dollars underscores the valuation of other text analysis companies.  Other text analysis companies would definitely cost more than TEMIS.

Whitney Grace, June 22, 2015

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

 

Watson and Coffee Shops. Smart Software Needs k\More Than a Latte

June 19, 2015

I read “IBM Watson Analytics Helps Grind Big Data in Unmanned Coffee Shops.” I promised myself I would not call attention to the wild and wonderful Watson public relations efforts. But coffee shops?

The main idea is that:

IBM has worked with Revive Vending to create systems for unmanned coffee shops that tap into the cognitive computing technology of Watson Analytics for data analysis.

Note the verb: past tense. I would have preferred “is working” but presumably Watson is not longer sipping its latte at Revive.

According to the article:

IBM’s cloud-powered analytics service is used to crunch the vending machine data and form a picture of customers. Summerill [a Revive executive] explained that Watson Analytics allows Honest Café to understand which customers sit and have a drink with friends, and which ones dash in to grab a quick coffee while on the move. Transactional data is analyzed to see how people pay for their food and drinks at certain times of the day so that Honest Café can automatically offer relevant promotions and products to individual customers.

The write up also includes a balling statement from my pals at IDC, the outfit which sold my content without my permission on Amazon courtesy of the wizard Dave Schubmehl:

Miya Knights, senior research analyst at IDC, said that the mass of data generated by retailers through networked systems that cover retail activity can be used to support increasingly complex and sophisticated customer interactions.

Okay, but don’t point of sale systems (whether manual or automated) track these data? With a small operation, why not use what’s provided by the POS vendor?

The answer to the question is that IBM is chasing demo customers even to small coffee shops. IDC, ever quick to offer obvious comments without facts to substantiate the assertion, is right there. Why? Maybe IDC sells professional services to IBM?

Where are the revenue reports which substantiate Watson’s market success? Where are substantive case examples from major firms? Where is a public demonstration of Watson using Wikipedia information?

Think about these questions as you sip your cheap 7-11 coffee, gentle reader.

Ponder that there may be nothing substantive to report, so I learn about unmanned coffee shops unable to figure out who bought what without IBM Watson. Overkill? Yep.

Stephen E Arnold, June 19, 2015

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