Updated Interview Elissa Fink -VP Tableau Software

Here is an interview with Elissa Fink, VP Marketing of that new wonderful software called Tableau that makes data visualization so nice and easy to learn and work with.

Elissa Fink, VP, Marketing

Ajay-  Describe your career journey from high school to over 20 plus years in marketing. What are the various trends that you have seen come and go in marketing.

Elissa- I studied literature and linguistics in college and didn’t discover analytics until my first job selling advertising for the Wall Street Journal. Oddly enough, the study of linguistics is not that far from decision analytics: they both are about taking a structured view of information and trying to see and understand common patterns. At the Journal, I was completely captivated analyzing and comparing readership data. At the same time, the idea of using computers in marketing was becoming more common. I knew that the intersection of technology and marketing was going to radically change things – how we understand consumers, how we market and sell products, and how we engage with customers. So from that point on, I’ve always been focused on technology and marketing, whether it’s working as a marketer at technology companies or applying technology to marketing problems for other types of companies.  There have been so many interesting trends. Taking a long view, a key trend I’ve noticed is how marketers work to understand, influence and motivate consumer behavior. We’ve moved marketing from where it was primarily unpredictable, qualitative and aimed at talking to mass audiences, where the advertising agency was king. Now it’s a discipline that is more data-driven, quantitative and aimed at conversations with individuals, where the best analytics wins. As with any trend, the pendulum swings far too much to either side causing backlashes but overall, I think we are in a great place now. We are using data-driven analytics to understand consumer behavior. But pure analytics is not the be-all, end-all; good marketing has to rely on understanding human emotions, intuition and gut feel – consumers are far from rational so taking only a rational or analytical view of them will never explain everything we need to know.

Ajay- Do you think technology companies are still predominantly dominated by men . How have you seen diversity evolve over the years. What initiatives has Tableau taken for both hiring and retaining great talent.

Elissa- The thing I love about the technology industry is that its key success metrics – inventing new products that rapidly gain mass adoption in pursuit of making profit – are fairly objective. There’s little subjective nature to the counting of dollars collected selling a product and dollars spent building a product. So if a female can deliver a better product and bigger profits faster and better, then that female is going to get the resources, jobs, power and authority to do exactly that. That’s not to say that the technology industry is gender-blind, race-blind, etc. It isn’t – technology is far from perfect. For example, the industry doesn’t have enough diversity in positions of power. But I think overall, in comparison to a lot of other industries, it’s pretty darn good at giving people with great ideas the opportunities to realize their visions regardless of their backgrounds or characteristics.

At Tableau, we are very serious about bringing in and developing talented people – they are the key to our growth and success. Hiring is our #1 initiative so we’ve spent a lot of time and energy both on finding great candidates and on making Tableau a place that they want to work. This includes things like special recruiting events, employee referral programs, a flexible work environment, fun social events, and the rewards of working for a start-up. Probably our biggest advantage is the company itself – working with people you respect on amazing, cutting-edge products that delight customers and are changing the world is all too rare in the industry but a reality at Tableau. One of our senior software developers put it best when he wrote “The emphasis is on working smarter rather than longer: family and friends are why we work, not the other way around. Tableau is all about happy, energized employees executing at the highest level and delivering a highly usable, high quality, useful product to our customers.” People who want to be at a place like that should check out our openings at http://www.tableausoftware.com/jobs.

Ajay- What are most notable features in tableau’s latest edition. What are the principal software that competes with Tableau Software products and how would you say Tableau compares with them.

Elissa- Tableau 6.1 will be out in July and we are really excited about it for 3 reasons.

First, we’re introducing our mobile business intelligence capabilities. Our customers can have Tableau anywhere they need it. When someone creates an interactive dashboard or analytical application with Tableau and it’s viewed on a mobile device, an iPad in particular, the viewer will have a native, touch-optimized experience. No trying to get your fingertips to act like a mouse. And the author didn’t have to create anything special for the iPad; she just creates her analytics the usual way in Tableau. Tableau knows the dashboard is being viewed on an iPad and presents an optimized experience.

Second, we’ve take our in-memory analytics engine up yet another level. Speed and performance are faster and now people can update data incrementally rapidly. Introduced in 6.0, our data engine makes any data fast in just a few clicks. We don’t run out of memory like other applications. So if I build an incredible dashboard on my 8-gig RAM PC and you try to use it on your 2-gig RAM laptop, no problem.

And, third, we’re introducing more features for the international markets – including French and German versions of Tableau Desktop along with more international mapping options.  It’s because we are constantly innovating particularly around user experience that we can compete so well in the market despite our relatively small size. Gartner’s seminal research study about the Business Intelligence market reported a massive market shift earlier this year: for the first time, the ease-of-use of a business intelligence platform was more important than depth of functionality. In other words, functionality that lots of people can actually use is more important than having sophisticated functionality that only specialists can use. Since we focus so heavily on making easy-to-use products that help people rapidly see and understand their data, this is good news for our customers and for us.

Ajay-  Cloud computing is the next big thing with everyone having a cloud version of their software. So how would you run Cloud versions of Tableau Server (say deploying it on an Amazon Ec2  or a private cloud)

Elissa- In addition to the usual benefits espoused about Cloud computing, the thing I love best is that it makes data and information more easily accessible to more people. Easy accessibility and scalability are completely aligned with Tableau’s mission. Our free product Tableau Public and our product for commercial websites Tableau Digital are two Cloud-based products that deliver data and interactive analytics anywhere. People often talk about large business intelligence deployments as having thousands of users. With Tableau Public and Tableau Digital, we literally have millions of users. We’re serving up tens of thousands of visualizations simultaneously – talk about accessibility and scalability!  We have lots of customers connecting to databases in the Cloud and running Tableau Server in the Cloud. It’s actually not complex to set up. In fact, we focus a lot of resources on making installation and deployment easy and fast, whether it’s in the cloud, on premise or what have you. We don’t want people to have spend weeks or months on massive roll-out projects. We want it to be minutes, hours, maybe a day or 2. With the Cloud, we see that people can get started and get results faster and easier than ever before. And that’s what we’re about.

Ajay- Describe some of the latest awards that Tableau has been wining. Also how is Tableau helping universities help address the shortage of Business Intelligence and Big Data professionals.

Elissa-Tableau has been very fortunate. Lately, we’ve been acknowledged by both Gartner and IDC as the fastest growing business intelligence software vendor in the world. In addition, our customers and Tableau have won multiple distinctions including InfoWorld Technology Leadership awards, Inc 500, Deloitte Fast 500, SQL Server Magazine Editors’ Choice and Community Choice awards, Data Hero awards, CODiEs, American Business Awards among others. One area we’re very passionate about is academia, participating with professors, students and universities to help build a new generation of professionals who understand how to use data. Data analysis should not be exclusively for specialists. Everyone should be able to see and understand data, whatever their background. We come from academic roots, having been spun out of a Stanford research project. Consequently, we strongly believe in supporting universities worldwide and offer 2 academic programs. The first is Tableau For Teaching, where any professor can request free term-length licenses of Tableau for academic instruction during his or her courses. And, we offer a low-cost Student Edition of Tableau so that students can choose to use Tableau in any of their courses at any time.

Elissa Fink, VP Marketing,Tableau Software

 

Elissa Fink is Tableau Software’s Vice President of Marketing. With 20+ years helping companies improve their marketing operations through applied data analysis, Elissa has held executive positions in marketing, business strategy, product management, and product development. Prior to Tableau, Elissa was EVP Marketing at IXI Corporation, now owned by Equifax. She has also served in executive positions at Tele Atlas (acquired by TomTom), TopTier Software (acquired by SAP), and Nielsen/Claritas. Elissa also sold national advertising for the Wall Street Journal. She’s a frequent speaker and has spoken at conferences including the DMA, the NCDM, Location Intelligence, the AIR National Forum and others. Elissa is a graduate of Santa Clara University and holds an MBA in Marketing and Decision Systems from the University of Southern California.

Elissa first discovered Tableau late one afternoon at her previous company. Three hours later, she was still “at play” with her data. “After just a few minutes using the product, I was getting answers to questions that were taking my company’s programmers weeks to create. It was instantly obvious that Tableau was on a special mission with something unique to offer the world. I just had to be a part of it.”

To know more – read at http://www.tableausoftware.com/

and existing data viz at http://www.tableausoftware.com/learn/gallery

Storm seasons: measuring and tracking key indicators
What’s happening with local real estate prices?
How are sales opportunities shaping up?
Identify your best performing products
Applying user-defined parameters to provide context
Not all tech companies are rocket ships
What’s really driving the economy?
Considering factors and industry influencers
The complete orbit along the inside, or around a fixed circle
How early do you have to be at the airport?
What happens if sales grow but so does customer churn?
What are the trends for new retail locations?
How have student choices changed?
Do patients who disclose their HIV status recover better?
Closer look at where gas prices swing in areas of the U.S.
U.S. Census data shows more women of greater age
Where do students come from and how does it affect their grades?
Tracking customer service effectiveness
Comparing national and local test scores
What factors correlate with high overall satisfaction ratings?
Fund inflows largely outweighed outflows well after the bubble
Which programs are competing for federal stimulus dollars?
Oil prices and volatility
A classic candlestick chart
How do oil, gold and CPI relate to the GDP growth rate?

 

AsterData still alive;/launches SQL-MapReduce Developer Portal

so apparantly ole client AsterData continues to thrive under gentle touch of Terrific Data

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Aster Data today launched the SQL-MapReduce Developer Portal, a new online community for data scientists and analytic developers. For your convenience, I copied the release below and it can also be found here. Please let me know if you have any questions or if there is anything else I can help you with.

Sara Korolevich

Point Communications Group for Aster Data

sarak@pointcgroup.com

Office: 602.279.1137

Mobile: 623.326.0881

Teradata Accelerates Big Data Analytics with First Collaborative Community for SQL-MapReduce®

New online community for data scientists and analytic developers enables development and sharing of powerful MapReduce analytics


San Carlos, California – Teradata Corporation (NYSE:TDC) today announced the launch of the Aster Data SQL-MapReduce® Developer Portal. This portal is the first collaborative online developer community for SQL-MapReduce analytics, an emerging framework for processing non-relational data and ultra-fast analytics.

“Aster Data continues to deliver on its unique vision for powerful analytics with a rich set of tools to make development of those analytics quick and easy,” said Tasso Argyros, vice president of Aster Data Marketing and Product Management, Teradata Corporation. “This new developer portal builds on Aster Data’s continuing SQL-MapReduce innovation, leveraging the flexibility and power of SQL-MapReduce for analytics that were previously impossible or impractical.”

The developer portal showcases the power and flexibility of Aster Data’s SQL-MapReduce – which uniquely combines standard SQL with the popular MapReduce distributed computing technology for processing big data – by providing a collaborative community for sharing SQL-MapReduce expert insights in addition to sharing SQL-MapReduce analytic functions and sample code. Data scientists, quantitative analysts, and developers can now leverage the experience, knowledge, and best practices of a community of experts to easily harness the power of SQL-MapReduce for big data analytics.

A recent report from IDC Research, “Taking Care of Your Quants: Focusing Data Warehousing Resources on Quantitative Analysts Matters,” has shown that by enabling data scientists with the tools to harness emerging types and sources of data, companies create significant competitive advantage and become leaders in their respective industry.

“The biggest positive differences among leaders and the rest come from the introduction of new types of data,” says Dan Vesset, program vice president, Business Analytics Solutions, IDC Research. “This may include either new transactional data sources or new external data feeds of transactional or multi-structured interactional data — the latter may include click stream or other data that is a by-product of social networking.”

Vesset goes on to say, “Aster Data provides a comprehensive platform for analytics and their SQL-MapReduce Developer Portal provides a community for sharing best practices and functions which can have an even greater impact to an organization’s business.”

With this announcement Aster Data extends its industry leadership in delivering the most comprehensive analytic platform for big data analytics — not only capable of processing massive volumes of multi-structured data, but also providing an extensive set of tools and capabilities that make it simple to leverage the power of MapReduce analytics. The Aster Data

SQL-MapReduce Developer Portal brings the power of SQL-MapReduce accessible to data scientists, quantitative analysis, and analytic developers by making it easy to share and collaborate with experts in developing SQL-MapReduce analytics. This portal builds on Aster Data’s history of SQL-MapReduce innovations, including:

  • The first deep integration of SQL with MapReduce
  • The first MapReduce support for .NET
  • The first integrated development environment, Aster Data
    Developer Express
  • A comprehensive suite of analytic functions, Aster Data
    Analytic Foundation

Aster Data’s patent-pending SQL-MapReduce enables analytic applications and functions that can deliver faster, deeper insights on terabytes to petabytes of data. These applications are implemented using MapReduce but delivered through standard SQL and business intelligence (BI) tools.

SQL-MapReduce makes it possible for data scientists and developers to empower business analysts with the ability to make informed decisions, incorporating vast amounts of data, regardless of query complexity or data type. Aster Data customers are using SQL-MapReduce for rich analytics including analytic applications for social network analysis, digital marketing optimization, and on-the-fly fraud detection and prevention.

“Collaboration is at the core of our success as one of the leading providers, and pioneers of social software,” said Navdeep Alam, director of Data Architecture at Mzinga. “We are pleased to be one of the early members of The Aster Data SQL-MapReduce Developer Portal, which will allow us the ability to share and leverage insights with others in using big data analytics to attain a deeper understanding of customers’ behavior and create competitive advantage for our business.”

SQL-MapReduce is one of the core capabilities within Aster Data’s flagship product. Aster DatanCluster™ 4.6, the industry’s first massively parallel processing (MPP) analytic platform has an integrated analytics engine that stores and processes both relational and non-relational data at scale. With Aster Data’s unique analytics framework that supports both SQL and
SQL-MapReduce™, customers benefit from rich, new analytics on large data volumes with complex data types. Aster Data analytic functions are embedded within the analytic platform and processed locally with data, which allows for faster data exploration. The SQL-MapReduce framework provides scalable fault-tolerance for new analytics, providing users with superior reliability, regardless of number of users, query size, or data types.


About Aster Data
Aster Data is a market leader in big data analytics, enabling the powerful combination of cost-effective storage and ultra-fast analysis of new sources and types of data. The Aster Data nCluster analytic platform is a massively parallel software solution that embeds MapReduce analytic processing with data stores for deeper insights on new data sources and types to deliver new analytic capabilities with breakthrough performance and scalability. Aster Data’s solution utilizes Aster Data’s patent-pending SQL-MapReduce to parallelize processing of data and applications and deliver rich analytic insights at scale. Companies including Barnes & Noble, Intuit, LinkedIn, Akamai, and MySpace use Aster Data to deliver applications such as digital marketing optimization, social network and relationship analysis, and fraud detection and prevention.


About Teradata
Teradata is the world’s leader in data warehousing and integrated marketing management through itsdatabase softwaredata warehouse appliances, and enterprise analytics. For more information, visitteradata.com.

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Teradata is a trademark or registered trademark of Teradata Corporation in the United States and other countries.

High Performance Analytics

Marry Big Data Analytics to High Performance Computing, and you get the buzzword of this season- High Performance Analytics.

It basically consists of Parallelized code to run in parallel on custom hardware, in -database analytics for speed, and cloud computing /high performance computing environments. On an operational level, it consists of software (as in analytics) partnering with software (as in databases, Map reduce, Hadoop) plus some hardware (HP or IBM mostly). It is considered a high margin , highly profitable, business with small number of deals compared to say desktop licenses.

As per HPC Wire- which is a great tool/newsletter to keep updated on HPC , SAS Institute has been busy on this front partnering with EMC Greenplum and TeraData (who also acquired  SAS Partner AsterData to gain a much needed foot in the MR/SQL space) Continue reading “High Performance Analytics”

How they stack up: IDC on Business Analytics

So here is intelligent enterprise on the latest IDC rankings on Business Intelligence and Business Analytics vendors. If you ever wondered how big the bog boys were- read it at

Citation:

http://www.intelligententerprise.com/info_centers/ent_dev/showArticle.jhtml;jsessionid=QL4IYMWB1MSIHQE1GHPSKHWATMY32JVN?articleID=219401120

In 2008, Oracle led the overall market, followed in order by SAP, IBM, SAS and Microsoft, the report said. Rounding out the top 10 were Teradata, Fair Isaac, Informatica, Infor and MicroStrategy, respectively

and

IDC divides the business analytics software market into four primary segments: analytic applications, business intelligence tools, data warehousing platform software and spatial information analytics tools.

and

Fourth-place SAS’ broad portfolio spans all business analytics market segments and is exclusively dedicated to this market. “The company leads in the advanced analytics tools segment and is within the top two vendors in two other market segments,”IDC said.

It’s a brilliant analysis and survey. IDC and Intelligent Enterprise- thanks a tonne for letting us know.