Big Noise on Big Data

Increasingly Big Data is used in writing where Business Analytics was used, and data mining is thrown in as a word just to keep liberal art majors happy that they are reading a scientific article.

Some Big Words I have noticed in my Short life-

Big Data? High Performance Analytics? High Performance Computing ? Cloud Computing? Time Sharing? Data Mining? SEMMA? CRISP-DM? KDD? Business Intelligence? Business Analytics and Optimization? (pick a card and any card)

(or Just Moore’s Law catching up with the analytics)

Some examples-

Replace Big Data with Analytics in these articles and let me know if you can make out much of a difference

  • Big Data on Campus

  • From the man who famously said BI is dead, is now burying Business Analytics within the new buzzword , SAS CMO Jim Davis

How to transform big data from an obstacle into an asset

(Related- Is big data over hyped? by Jim Davis )

I am sure by 2015, Jim Davis, NYT and the merry men of analytics will find some other buzzwords to rally the troops. In the meantime, let me throw out the flag and call it Big  .

Open Source and Software Strategy

Curt Monash at Monash Research pointed out some ongoing open source GPL issues for WordPress and the Thesis issue (Also see and

As a user of both going upwards of 2 years- I believe open source and GPL license enforcement are general parts of software strategy of most software companies nowadays. Some thoughts on  open source and software strategy-Thesis remains a very very popular theme and has earned upwards of 100,000 $ for its creator (estimate based on 20k plus installs and 60$ avg price)

  • Little guys like to give away code to get some satisfaction/ recognition, big guys give away free code only when its necessary or when they are not making money in that product segment anyway.
  • As Ethan Hunt said, ” Every Hero needs a Villian”. Every software (market share) war between players needs One Big Company Holding more market share and Open Source Strategy between other player who is not able to create in house code, so effectively out sources by creating open source project. But same open source propent rarely gives away the secret to its own money making project.
    • Examples- Google creates open source Android, but wont reveal its secret algorithm for search which drives its main profits,
    • Google again puts a paper for MapReduce but it’s Yahoo that champions Hadoop,
    • Apple creates open source projects ( but wont give away its Operating Source codes (why?) which help people buys its more expensive hardware,
    • IBM who helped kickstart the whole proprietary code thing (remember MS DOS) is the new champion of open source ( and
    • Microsoft continues to spark open source debate but read and  also
    • SAS gives away a lot of open source code (Read Jim Davis , CMO SAS here , but will stick to Base SAS code (even though it seems to be making more money by verticals focus and data mining).
    • SPSS was the first big analytics company that helps supports R (open source stats software) but will cling to its own code on its softwares.
    • gives away its software (and I like Akismet just as well as blogging) for open source, but hey as anyone who is on knows how locked in you can get by its (pricy) platform.
    • Vendor Lock-in (wink wink price escalation) is the elephant in the room for Big Software Proprietary Companies.
    • SLA Quality, Maintenance and IP safety is the uh-oh for going in for open source software mostly.
  • Lack of IP protection for revenue models for open source code is the big bottleneck  for a lot of companies- as very few software users know what to do with source code if you give it to them anyways.
    • If companies were confident that they would still be earning same revenue and there would be less leakage or theft, they would gladly give away the source code.
    • Derivative softwares or extensions help popularize the original softwares.
      • Half Way Steps like Facebook Applications  the original big company to create a platform for third party creators),
      • IPhone Apps and Android Applications show success of creating APIs to help protect IP and software control while still giving some freedom to developers or alternate
      • User Interfaces to R in both SAS/IML and JMP is a similar example
  • Basically open source is mostly done by under dog while top dog mostly rakes in money ( and envy)
  • There is yet to a big commercial success in open source software, though they are very good open source softwares. Just as Google’s success helped establish advertising as an alternate ( and now dominant) revenue source for online companies , Open Source needs a big example of a company that made billions while giving source code away and still retaining control and direction of software strategy.
  • Open source people love to hate proprietary packages, yet there are more shades of grey (than black and white) and hypocrisy (read lies) within  the open source software movement than the regulated world of big software. People will be still people. Software is just a piece of code.  😉

(Art citation- and

Decisionstats Interviews

Here is a list of interviews that I have published- these are specific to analytics and data mining and include only the most recent interviews. If I have missed out any notable recent interview related to analytics and data mining, kindly do let me know. Hat Tip to Karl Rexer, for this suggestion .

Date    Name of Interviewee    Designation and Organization

09-Jun    Karl Rexer                          President, Rexer Analytics
05-Jun    Jim Daves                          CMO, SAS Institute
04-Jun    Paul van Eikeren                 President and CEO, Blue Reference
29-May    David Smith                      Director of Community, REvolution Computing
17-May    Dominic Pouzin                 CEO, Data Applied
11-May    Bruno Delahaye                 VP, KXEN
04-May    Ron Ramos                        Director, Zementis
30-Apr    Oliver Jouve                       VP, SPSS Inc
21-Apr    Fabian Dill                         Co- Founder,
18-Apr    Alicia Mcgreevey                 Head Marketing, Visual Numerics
27-Mar    Francoise Soulie Fogelman    VP, KXEN
17-Mar    Jon Peck                            Principal Software Engineer, SPSS Inc
06-Mar    Anne Milley                        Director of product marketing, SAS Institute
04-Mar    Anne Milley                        Director of product marketing, SAS Institute
03-Feb    Phil Rack                            Creator, Bridge to R,and CEO Minequest
03-Feb    Michael Zeller                     CEO, Zementis
31-Jan    Richard Schultz                   CEO, Revolution Computing
21-Jan    Bob Muenchen                    Author, R for SAS and SPSS Users
13-Jan    Dr Graham Williams           Creator, Rattle GUI for R
05-Jan    Roger Haddad                    CEO, KXEN
26-Sep    June Dershewitz                  VP, Semphonic
04-Sep    Vincent Granville                 Head, Analyticbridge

The URl’s to specific interviews are also in this sheet.