Posts filed under ‘Uncategorized’

Location Tracking: Why You Should Care (Hint: It’s All About the Aggregation)

By Mary Ludloff

Recent update added to the end of this post.

Do you ever read tweets or Facebook walls and say to yourself, “TMI?” Do you ever wonder why people check in to Foursquare? You know, I have developed quite an affection for Twitter as an information source (and it did not begin well). In fact, it has replaced my Google news alerts and Feedburner news feed as my primary source of news and information. That being said, I find myself marveling at how some of the people I “follow” feel the need to tweet their every move:

  • Having coffee at Starbucks on name-of-street, in name-of-city.
  • Shopping at name-of-mall in name-of-city, in name-of-state.
  • Name-of-airline flight number delayed. Stuck in name-of-airport at gate number.
  • Off to name-of-city for a 5-day conference.

And I worry about them. Not about their egos (that’s another post) folks, but more about their safety. Maybe it’s because I am a woman (I can hear some of you crying “sexist”), but letting someone know where I am or where I’m not seems like I am inviting trouble. For example: if you know I am not at home, I could be burglarized or if you know where I am, I could be followed. Paranoid? Maybe, but if you’ve ever been stalked or otherwise threatened you know what I am talking about. (more…)

April 19, 2011 at 9:47 am 9 comments

Epsilon’s Data Breach: Be Careful Out There

By Mary Ludloff

On April 1 (yes, April Fools’ Day), Epsilon, one of the premier permission email marketing companies, announced the following:

“On March 30th, an incident was detected where a subset of Epsilon clients’ customer data were exposed by an unauthorized entry into Epsilon’s email system. The information that was obtained was limited to email addresses and/or customer names only. A rigorous assessment determined that no other personal identifiable information associated with those names was at risk. A full investigation is currently underway.”

What exactly is permission email marketing? Essentially, it’s what happens when you, as a loyal customer of say a store, receive an email announcing a store deal or a special offer like buy two get one free, you get the picture. Now, you may have thought this had nothing to do with you until you received emails from some of the companies that you gave your email address to so that they could “tell you” about whatever promotions they were running. Most likely, you received a number of emails from a number of different stores and banks warning about a data breach and telling you to be careful. (more…)

April 5, 2011 at 5:41 pm Leave a comment

Data Security and You: There’s Got to Be a Better Way

A non-rant rant on data security.

By Mary Ludloff

Have you ever had one of those days when you throw up your hands and simply say, “There’s got to be a better way!” Well, this is one of those days. Recently, Jenn Webb, in an O’Reilly Radar piece, asked the following:

“How much convenience are you willing to give up for security?”

Webb was talking about Google’s 2-step verification process (I remembered reading about this a couple of months ago) which essentially “jumps” the user through a number of “hoops” to ensure more secure access to Google applications. I ended my comment on the article with the following: “Google, could you have made this any more difficult for people operating in the real world to use?” And once I clicked Submit, I thought I was done. Nope. The more I thought about this, the more I felt a rant coming on. I mean, really, how hard is it for companies like Google (and many others) to come up with a user-friendly way to ensure secure access? They certainly have the money to do it and by all accounts, they definitely have the engineering talent to do it. So what’s the problem? (more…)

April 1, 2011 at 4:48 pm 1 comment

The Tax Man Cometh: A Gentle Reminder About Security

By Mary Ludloff

I have to say that I find it aggravating that my favorite time of the year (spring and March Madness) is also my least favorite: tax season. Now, I will admit that it’s not as bad as it used to be because I pay someone else to prepare my taxes (a great company that I’ve used for about 10 years now) but the simple act of getting together all the forms and then filling out the pertinent information on my tax worksheets is the singular (professional and personal) most hated task of my year. I’m not kidding—worse than any dentist or doctor’s appointment, worse than any looming book deadline (I have to plug our Ebook!), worse than a visceral reaction to any article or blog post that I’ve ever read (and I have been known to go ballistic over some of them).

As I worked through my tax preparing angst this year, I was reminded of something that is second nature to me but may not be second nature to you. (If it’s not, it’s probably because you are not a card-carrying member of the big data and analytics industry or work for a company like PatternBuilders where we spend a great deal of time exploring data privacy and security issues.) Let me explain. We had just completed our contracts for our Ebook on privacy in the age of big data when our publisher, O’Reilly, sent me some tax forms electronically to fill out and return. I promptly emailed their contract administrator and told her my form would be coming via snail mail (remember the postal service?). Why? Well my social security number was one of the required pieces of information and I do not send that number electronically. Ever. (more…)

March 28, 2011 at 3:27 pm 1 comment

Ways to Help Japan

By Terence Craig

In light of the tragedy in Japan – we are going to take a pause on blogging and give some links to places where you can offer assistance.

Google has a page of resources for people in country and people trying to track relatives as well as place donations.

Time magazine has a page here .

Yahoo – here.

The mother and sister of a dear friend live in Japan – it was wonderful to hear that they are alive and well. Please do what you can to help others victimized by this tragedy to have the same outcome.  The civility and bravery of the Japanese people in the face of this catastrophe should inspire us all.

March 16, 2011 at 3:35 pm 1 comment

Yes, It’s True: Big Data and Analytics Separate the Winners from the Losers

By Mary Ludloff

Since we are a big data and analytics company, we spend quite a bit of time talking about “value.” To us, the analytics payoff is quite clear because we see it in action every day with the companies and organizations we work with. But this is our industry so I can understand that what we say as a vendor in this space may be subject to a wee bit of skepticism. That’s why independent surveys are so important and the recent results of the MIT Sloan Management Review certainly shine a light on the importance of analytics. Now, if you have some time I urge you to read the full report but if not, not to worry as I will summarize the highlights and inject some of my thoughts as well.

One of the most important findings in the survey: “Top performing organizations use analytics five times more than lower performers.” This is not surprising as I can pretty much predict (anecdotally of course) which prospects will pursue analytics solutions and my prediction rests on whether they are top performers in their industries. If they are, they are constantly on the lookout for ways to further differentiate themselves from the pack, they embrace change, and they are not afraid of the “unknown.” These companies and their management teams are fully committed to making data-driven decisions and are on the lookout for how to take advantage of disruptions—whether that disruption is a new competitor, an act of nature that impacts a supply chain, or an unhappy customer about to change vendors. (By the way, disruptions are why streaming analytics are so important—you can react far more quickly to changes.) (more…)

February 24, 2011 at 8:29 am 2 comments

A Deep Dive Into PatternBuilders Analytics Framework (PAF)

Today one of our Server Engineers is going to give you a deep dive on our architecture.  As always on our blog, all of the data is simulated and all trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Hello everyone! I am going to get fairly technical in this post and go over how PatternBuilders Analytics Framework (PAF) does what it does so well. As Terence has said in the past couple of posts, we have a new architecture that’s based around scalability, streaming, and ease of use. That’s not quite the whole story though; the development of this architecture was in fact driven primarily by performance. (more…)

February 2, 2011 at 1:30 pm 6 comments

Speaking at Stanford on Entrepreneurship in 2011

By Terence Craig

University of Sydney’s Global Executive MBA program: The Silicon Valley Module

I am going to be part of a panel with my good friend and mentor, Mike Seashols, talking about entrepreneurship in 2011.  This is the Silicon Valley part of the program for which the U of Sydney partners with Stanford.  This is the third year I have participated and it is always an interesting discussion with a good mixture of founders, professional CEOs, and folks from the venture community.

Prior to the panel, the MBA group is going to meet with one of the most successful entrepreneurs the valley has ever produced – Mark Leslie.  Mark is now a Stanford Prof and his classes are SRO.  He probably doesn’t remember this, but when I was raising money for an earlier venture he bent over backwards to try and help me out even though there was absolutely no benefit to him.  If you are a startup that does enterprise sales, his paper on the Sales Learning Curve is required reading. The valley would be a much more pleasant place if we all followed his and Mike’s example.  I will be sure to tweet and post about some of the things that the panel covers—in previous years there have been some great quotes and more importantly, interesting insights about what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur—so stay tuned!

January 6, 2011 at 7:36 pm 1 comment

My Favorite Techie, Business, Social, Big Data/Big Analytics Things

By Mary Ludloff

Well, it’s that time of year and in keeping with the “holiday” spirit, I thought that I would post about some of my favorite things—some are business-related and others are simply fun. And before I start, I want to say upfront that I was not paid by anyone for my plugs! So here goes. (more…)

December 23, 2010 at 5:48 pm Leave a comment

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