Category Archives: Big Data

Good Bye Microsoft!

After nearly 7 years at Microsoft, I have decided to leave the company.  I’m moving back to the Silicon Valley to pursue my lifelong passion: “Make Business Intelligence a Reality for Everyone”.

The Valley has changed a lot since I left it after my stints at Business Objects, Apple and a few other Software Start-Ups. And, I will miss my Microsoft friends dearly.

The company I’ve decided to join focuses on helping organizations take advantage of the latest advances in Software AND Hardware for Business Intelligence and Analytics.

The space has evolved quickly, new opportunities have risen, and start-ups are well position to take advantage of the below 3 trends:

  • Big Data – Not a new issue…but the mainstream market is now paying attention: WikiBon’s predicts that the Big Data market to hit the $50 billion mark worldwide within the next five years (see more here).
  • Talent Gap – Our system cannot produce Data Scientists fast enough: see Doug Henschen’s piece on this here.  The Wall Street Journal pointed it at it again last week here.  Point is new solutions are required here.  These new solutions need to be smarter than anything available today in architecture and in approach.
  • BI and IT is a four-letter word: the last 30 years have been punctuated by ownership discussions.  We need to evolve: Should IT own “BI”?  Should The business own “Business Analytics”?  I won’t pretend I have the answer, but after 30 years, results speak for themselves: 70% deployment failure rates and sub-30% adoption rate.  The space needs a new approach.  One that empowers Business Users, Data Scientists and IT to work better together to build and deploy solutions faster…without having to set up a large infrastructure.

I am delighted and honored to be able to work on the above!

I’ll also be continuing my videos so Ping me at if you want to be part of this new adventure!


Silicon Valley Forum on Big Data

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to keynote the “Silicon Valley Big Data Analytics Conference” in San Francisco.

The event is brilliantly organized by SVForum, an organization which gathers technologists, entrepreneurs and start-up leaders in the Bay Area.  The session was recorded and last 38mins.  To avoid you the hassle to watch the entire keynote, I thought I’d highlight a few sections you might find interesting:

  • How a European Railroad leader comes upon the Big Data challenge here
  • Why “Data” in “Big Data” isn’t the point here (the story of Klout).
  • How the AC Milan Football Club finds out about Big Data here.
  • Why Data is the cheapest commodity on Earth here.
  • Why the “Data Scientist Issue” is not about scarcity but rather about accessibility here.
  • Why Marketing matters in the world of Data – I’m not just talking infographics here.

I hope you’ll enjoy it.  Let me know!


Data to Kill Death

There is no doubt the Quantified Self movement is growing and gathering mainstream attention.  In this post, I talk about how the data movement will allow us to lead better lives.  Below a quick preview of the first paragraph.  Read more directly on and let me know what you think!

“I’m sitting at the doctor’s office the other day for yet another visit.  The facility is equipped with the latest technology: my check-in is processed via an automated kiosk, and my surgeon flips through medical records via a browser.  He explains that looking at MRIs is faster via “the Cloud” than from a CD: “server processing is more appropriate here”, he says.  When did doctors understand so much about technology?

To be fair, my doctor will need all the technology available if he is to extend my “soccer career”: over the past 24 months, I’ve fractured my pelvis, sustained a double sports hernia and broke my left ankle”.

More on Forbes here

Half A Million Views And Increasing… Is This Show Hot Or What?

We’re more than a little thrilled to give you a quick recap of our successful first season of Bizintelligence TV.  In this video, I highlight just a few of the many great episodes we had the pleasure of bringing to you…. watch the video all the way through and catch some bloopers we collected along the way….:)

Malcolm Gladwell and Analytics

Malcolm Gladwell is a legend – you’ve probably read some of his books such as “Blink”, “Tipping Point” or “Outliers”.  In this interview, we talk about the famous 10,000 hour rule and how great decisions can be made.

The Data Deluge

Kenneth Cukier, Correspondent for The Economist and Author of “The Data Deluge” is one of my heroes.  He is one of the first to write about Business Intelligence and Data into a mainstream business paper.  In this interview, we chat about the importance that analytics have and how the companies that haven’t built it as part of their culture will soon be ‘out of luck’.

Here are some great insights:

  • Farecast, a part of the Microsoft® BingTM search engine, can suggest whether travelers should buy an airline ticket now or wait for the price to come down by examining 225 billion flight and price records.
  • A Boeing jet generates 10 terabytes of information per engine every 30 minutes of flight, meaning a cross-country flight by a twin-engine Boeing 737 would produce 240 terabytes of data.
  • At eBay, analytics is used by one-third of the 18,000-person workforce, many of whom are call-center workers who view analytics on their desktops when calls come in.

And my favorite:

  • Executives should be embracing the big data opportunity now. “It’s also a mandatory requirement,” Cukier exclaims. “If you don’t do it, you’re out of luck and out of a job, because the whole basis for your company will be an analytical, statistical, data-driven model. If you don’t know this information, you won’t be valuable to your company anymore.”

For feedback on the interview or to share more of your data stories, feel free to email me directly @ or Ken @   Ken’s report can be found here and you can follow him on Twitter @ kncukier

Why Thinking is the Enemy of Innovation

Are you one of the critics of business analytics?  Do you disregard your scorecard?  If so, you need to watch our latest interview with management guru L. Vaughan Spencer on BizIntelligence.TV!  L. Vaughan gives us insight into the world of analytics and tells us why touching trees can often be vital in making important business decisions.  In this exclusive episode, L. Vaughan helps us take the “big picture” and make it even BIGGER!

This post was also featured on the Business Page of The Economist this morning (see below)


Analytics for Humans

Outstanding talk both in the depth of research and humanization of the story.  [Thanks @Loic for pointing to it]

This talks does a great job reminding us of the key opportunities we have with data and analytics.

1) Don’t be afraid to collect data (big data is here – collect before you know what you need to measure)
2) Work hard to connect and correlate (value doesn’t come from staight data but your ability to connect the dots).
3) Once causality and correlation are understood – start predicting!

Data is the new Operating System of companies and humans – this video is a proof of it!  Great job here!

Excel at 25 — What Are Your 25 Favorite Features?

This year marks the 25th Anniversary of Microsoft Office Excel.

In honor of this anniversary, Bruno Aziza brought the BITV team to the Sundance Film Festival to ask the simple question… “What are YOUR top 25 favorite features in Excel?”

Pre-April’s Fool Day Poll…

What do you do when you stuggle with numbers? Vote @

For more serious content, you can always subscribe to our weekly BI TV show @