Posts filed under ‘Data’

Gartner, Hype Cycles, and Big Data

By Mary Ludloff

Gartner Hype Cycle Greetings all! While we’ve been super busy at PatternBuilders working on a destination application that we are all very excited about, doing some development work, talking with potential partners and prospects, AND not to mention the fact (but I will) that Terence and I are getting close to the finish line on our book, I came across this interesting article on Gartner’s hype cycle and the recent addition of big data to it.

Now, I am pretty sure that you all are familiar with Gartner’s magic quadrant methodology that essentially evaluates all the particular technology players in a specific industry across four quadrants: challengers, leaders, niche players, and visionaries. For those companies looking at vendors for a specific solution, the magic quadrant can help them understand how they stack up against each other. For the vendors, it’s an opportunity to take an objective look at the industry as a whole and understand what they do well and where they could be better. (more…)

August 17, 2011 at 8:37 am 2 comments

Speaking at the Inman Data Summit

By Terence Craig
In another example of how awareness of the importance of Big Data is growing across industries, I have been invited to speak at the Inman Data Summit on Monday July 25th in San Francisco.  I will be participating in a panel discussion titled:

With Big Data Comes Big Responsibility: Why Privacy is a Big Deal

With widespread media coverage about data breaches and several proposed bills making their way through the U.S. Congress, privacy is a hot-button topic that you can’t afford to ignore. How you handle the information you’re entrusted with can be a make-or-break proposition for your brand. Learn how to get personal with big data while mastering the legal, ethical and technological challenges. What are best practices for collecting consumer data and tracking your Web visitors? How do you glean the most from their online behavior without being “creepy?” (more…)

July 21, 2011 at 6:43 pm Leave a comment

Thoughts on Identity Theft, Government IT, Facebook and Google Plus

By Mary Ludloff

Before I begin, I must admit to being in a very grumpy mood which may (ever so slightly) color the topics in the post title. As you know, Terence and I are not only “work-working” but in our copious amounts of spare time, working on our book (plug fully, absolutely intended). While the book is going well, I must say that it has affected my Zen-like ability to remain calm (I can hear Terence chortling) when others may “lose it.” This leads me (you’ll understand in a minute) to the issue of identity theft. (more…)

July 20, 2011 at 6:58 am Leave a comment

It’s About Time: Series Data, Streaming, & Architecture


In previous posts, we have talked a lot about the PatternBuilders Analytics platform and streaming analytics. This platform is able to scale for huge amounts of data and stream results to the user as they are processed in real time. As mentioned before, we can do this because we have focused on time series analytics, making optimizations to our architecture that beat generalized MapReduce types of solutions by orders of magnitude. I’d like to discuss this focus and how it came about.

Why time series data?

Time series data is ubiquitous. It’s actually more difficult to think of an analytics question a user would be interested in that doesn’t involve time in some capacity. Even a non-numeric query like “Order the list of products by units sold” is almost useless without specifying a time period for which to sort. (more…)

July 14, 2011 at 6:20 pm 7 comments

IDC’s Latest Digital Data Study: A Deep Dive

By Mary Ludloff

IDC Digital Universe Study Infogrpahic, Sponsored by EMC

IDC 2011 Digital Universe Study and Infographic, Sponsored by EMC

The PatternBuilders team has been “crazy busy” the last couple of weeks! Terence and I continue to work on our Ebook (plugged again!), I am still working my way through the McKinsey study on big data (long but incredibly interesting), the team is putting the final touches on a very cool analytics demo (that’s all I am going to say right now but you’ll hear more about it over the next couple of weeks), and we are all testing the latest release of our platform. That being said, when the IDC paper on “Extracting Value from Chaos” came out, I set everything aside to read through it (and you should too).

Before I begin my deep dive into the paper, I must say something about IDC: when it comes to research, nobody does it better. As a marketer, I am often asked about the different analyst firms and where a company should “spend” its analyst budget. IDC is always on my “short list” because I find its research to be both broad and deep and filled with useful insights. (Full disclosure: we are not an IDC client but hope to be one in the future.) (more…)

July 8, 2011 at 11:04 am 3 comments

The McKinsey Study and the U.S. Health Care System: Now for Some Good News…

By Mary Ludloff

As I said in my recent post on the U.S. health care system, the U.S. cannot continue at its current spending rate.  Certainly, the McKinsey Study (and many other publications) makes this very clear. Now, you and I may have very different opinions on how this can be fixed depending on our political leanings, etc., but ignoring this problem is not going to make it “go away.” Lucky for us, McKinsey takes a look at how big data and analytics can alleviate health care costs in some very promising areas. Whether you share my views on health care reform or not, it’s clear that we need to figure out how to align health care policy and regulations with economic incentives designed to move the industry towards a more collaborative, data sharing approach. To me, this is the “real” health care debate!

If you are a card carrying member of the big data community but don’t know much about the state of health care data, you may be surprised at just how antiquated data collection and usage is. If you have been steeped in the health care industry (and not just in the health care reform debate), this will be old news: health care data is not systematically collected, stored, and used. It is the only trillion dollar-plus industry in the U.S. without a modern information technology infrastructure. Look at is this way: while medical technology has advanced, much of the infrastructure that supports it is paper-based.  For example, most of our medical records are stored in files (and I mean physical files) at various hospitals and doctors’ offices. Whenever you see a new doctor or go to a new clinic or hospital, chances are you fill out the same forms (again and again) documenting your medical history, risk factors, allergies, etc. (more…)

June 29, 2011 at 2:49 pm 3 comments

Calling All Big Data and Analytics Companies: It’s Time to Help Change the World

By Terence Craig

The PatternBuilders team is a community of people who all believe Big Data can change the world in positive ways and that there is a huge commercial opportunity for the companies that can make it easy to use.  But we not only like working together, we also share some core values about ethical behavior, and doing our bit to make the planet a more pleasant, equitable, and safe place for everyone.  We take this pretty seriously and had been talking about ways we could leverage what we love (big data analytics) to help non-profits and NGOs (non-governmental organizations) become more efficient at supporting their missions. We had made some progress but finding the right group to help was a pretty daunting task! (more…)

June 24, 2011 at 5:08 pm Leave a comment

The McKinsey Study and the U.S. Health Care System: First, the Bad News…

By Mary Ludloff

If you are an old movie buff (I confess!), you may remember this famous line in All About Eve, starring the incomparable Bette Davis: “Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night!” And when it comes to any discussion about the current state of the U.S. health care system, it is safe to say that it will be a very rocky ride no matter what side of the political aisle you reside on.  Before I begin with the “bad news,” in the spirit (yet again) of full disclosure, PatternBuilders is actively working on a health care analytics solution. In fact, we have been monitoring the health care industry for quite some time and while our health care system certainly has many challenges, the potential for good—as the McKinsey Study points out—is significant from a business and “greater good” standpoint, a win-win as far as we’re concerned. So, let’s get to it.

The McKinsey Study does an excellent job of “framing” the current challenges that the U.S. is facing regarding its health care system. Put simply, we (U.S. citizens) spend more on health care than any other nation in the world and twice as much as any developed country but the money we spend is wasted:

“Americans spend twice as much as residents of other developed countries on healthcare, but get lower quality, less efficiency and have the least equitable system…” (more…)

June 21, 2011 at 7:37 am 4 comments

McKinsey Study: Some Great Stats to Chew On

By Mary Ludloff

In the spirit of full disclosure, I decided to save my health care post (I may separate it into two parts) because if you are not familiar with the U.S. health care system—past, present, and possible futures—you need a bit of background to understand how broken it is as well as how it compares to other sectors in the “big data and analytics world.” What’s really interesting about the McKinsey Study is that it looks at several industries across the big data spectrum, from novice to advanced, and needless to say, health care is on the low end of this one! There are a lot of reasons for this—that’s why I’ve got two posts in the works—but it’s safe to say that it comes down to privacy (not necessarily a bad thing) and lack of competition. Look for my health care posts beginning next week and if you haven’t already, check out my first set of takeaways from the McKinsey study.

Now, on to some fun McKinsey stats to chew on. (more…)

June 17, 2011 at 3:47 pm 2 comments

Data Security Reminder: Strong Passwords are Your Best Line of Defense

By Mary Ludloff

Yes, I am still working on my second post about the McKinsey Report which focuses on the U.S. health care system and what we can do to “analytically” fix it but I am also, as always, keeping an eye out for interesting news items to pass along. In particular, a WSJ blog post about data security (yours and mine) caught my eye because it reminded me of the importance of passwords.

As you may remember, a while back the WJS “broke” a story that smartphone apps are hijacking our personal information. Well, according to the WSJ, this is still the case:

“Computer security firm viaForensics has found the applications for top Internet companies LinkedIn Corp., Netflix, Inc., Foursquare and Square, Inc. stored various forms of users’ personal data in plain text on a mobile device, putting sensitive information at risk to computer criminals… The Android applications of LinkedIn, Netflix and Foursquare stored user names and passwords in unencrypted form on their Google-powered devices. Storing that data in plain text violates a commonly accepted best practice in computer security. Since many people tend to use the same usernames and passwords across any number of sites, the failing could help hackers penetrate other accounts… ViaForensics also found the iPhone version of Square’s mobile payments app exposed a user’s transaction amount history and the most recent digital signature of a person who signed an electronic receipt on the app.”


June 10, 2011 at 3:26 pm 2 comments

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