Category Archives: Innovation

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!



Preview of our Twitter Analytics Solution (via @Scobleizer)

I had the honor of being interviewed by Robert Scoble on the work our team has done to let anyone get access to great analytics from twitter. Check it out below and let us know what you think!



Gary Wolf from the Quantified Self…on Personal Analytics

You probably did not notice if your right eye twitched this morning. And you might not have attached any meaning to it, if you did notice. However, Gary Wolf, a contributing editor for Wired Magazine, sees such subtle observations as a pathway to self-illumination.

“It turns out involuntary movement of the muscles in your face is associated with moods and emotions,” he says. “Awareness of your facial muscles gives you an access point to your moods and emotions you wouldn’t otherwise have.”


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.

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!

Analytics and Fitness

Bruno Aziza talks with Jason Jacobs of Runkeeper.

Runkeeper is an exciting app for mobile phones that assembles and tracks all of your fitness data and allows you to analyze progress and get in shape.

The features are pretty sophisticated and even include route suggestions, sharing your progress publicly and voice “coaching” that tells you how far you’ve gone! Jason shares an inspirational story from a blind user who utilizes the program when he trains; data and analytics can even change lives!

Data in the Cloud!

Data is the key to business intelligence. You need data to analyze in order to make informed decisions, but having access to all the data you need hasn’t always been easy.


That’s where the Azure Marketplace comes in. Moe Khosravy explains the basic principles of the data marketplace, including how any business—big or small—can easily obtain the data necessary for a competitive edge in your business and utilize the tools your team already uses to gain instant insights.

You can explore the Cloud for yourself at

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Tim O’Reilly: “The Future of Business Intelligence is Now!”

Tim O’Reilly, founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media, Inc, predicted years ago that data collection would change the traditional model of business intelligence. Now, collective intelligence, automation and algorithms are the heart of competitive advantage. Mature data applications work in real time, from mobile devices telling you where to get good Chinese food to complicated retail buying applications making automated purchases for international chains. Also, considering a mashup of data to supplement your own might be a major benefit to your company…perhaps could even save you $30M!

90% of employees don’t understand their company’s strategy

“You have to communicate the plans to employees seven times in seven ways” for them to understand those plans, he says. “At the end, they need to understand the organization’s strategy and understand what they can do to contribute to the success of the strategy.”

Dr. Kaplan points to Volkswagen Brazil, a half-century-old subsidiary of the carmaker, as a successful example of effective employee engagement, motivation, and communication when implementing a turnaround strategy. Volkswagen Brazil had suffered eight straight years of losses, falling from number one to number three in market share in the country.

“Their only strategy was cutting and downsizing,” Dr. Kaplan says. “The unionized employees were alienated.” To turn that around, “they needed to capture the hearts and minds of the people. They wanted a strategy of growth and innovation, and that starts with culture.”

Most companies are paying more attention to identifying and managing risks, according to a November 2010 survey by Bloomberg Businessweek Research Services. Better tools to monitor and assess risks ranked as the second highest operational priority for the 300+ companies that responded to the survey. Note that the percentage citing these types of tools as a top priority increased by four percentage points in one year.

Although most companies develop key performance indicators (KPIs), Dr. Kaplan says they should be linked with an emerging metric called key risk indicators (KRIs). British Petroleum (BP), for example, “followed a risky strategy, drilling in deep water more than a mile below the surface. That’s OK,” he says, “because-as they say-no risk, no reward. Where I second-guess them is if you are going to take a risky strategy, you need to beef up the risk [management] function.”

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