Interview James G Kobielus IBM Big Data

Here is an interview with  James G Kobielus, who is the Senior Program Director, Product Marketing, Big Data Analytics Solutions at IBM. Special thanks to Payal Patel Cudia of IBM’s communication team,for helping with the logistics for this.

Ajay -What are the specific parts of the IBM Platform that deal with the three layers of Big Data -variety, velocity and volume

James-Well first of all, let’s talk about the IBM Information Management portfolio. Our big data platform addresses the three layers of big data to varying degrees either together in a product , or two out of the three or even one of the three aspects. We don’t have separate products for the variety, velocity and volume separately.

Let us define these three layers-Volume refers to the hundreds of terabytes and petabytes of stored data inside organizations today. Velocity refers to the whole continuum from batch to real time continuous and streaming data.

Variety refers to multi-structure data from structured to unstructured files, managed and stored in a common platform analyzed through common tooling.

For Volume-IBM has a highly scalable Big Data platform. This includes Netezza and Infosphere groups of products, and Watson-like technologies that can support petabytes volume of data for analytics. But really the support of volume ranges across IBM’s Information Management portfolio both on the database side and the advanced analytics side.

For real time Velocity, we have real time data acquisition. We have a product called IBM Infosphere, part of our Big Data platform, that is specifically built for streaming real time data acquisition and delivery through complex event processing. We have a very rich range of offerings that help clients build a Hadoop environment that can scale.

Our Hadoop platform is the most real time capable of all in the industry. We are differentiated by our sheer breadth, sophistication and functional depth and tooling integrated in our Hadoop platform. We are differentiated by our streaming offering integrated into the Hadoop platform. We also offer a great range of modeling and analysis tools, pretty much more than any other offering in the Big Data space.

Attached- Jim’s slides from Hadoop World

Ajay- Any plans for Mahout for Hadoop

Jim- I cant speak about product plans. We have plans but I cant tell you anything more. We do have a feature in Big Insights called System ML, a library for machine learning.

Ajay- How integral are acquisitions for IBM in the Big Data space (Netezza,Cognos,SPSS etc). Is it true that everything that you have in Big Data is acquired or is the famous IBM R and D contributing here . (see a partial list of IBM acquisitions at at http://www.ibm.com/investor/strategy/acquisitions.wss )

Jim- We have developed a lot on our own. We have the deepest R and D of anybody in the industry in all things Big Data.

For example – Watson has Big Insights Hadoop at its core. Apache Hadoop is the heart and soul of Big Data (see http://www-01.ibm.com/software/data/infosphere/hadoop/ ). A great deal that makes Big Insights so differentiated is that not everything that has been built has been built by the Hadoop community.

We have built additions out of the necessity for security, modeling, monitoring, and governance capabilities into BigInsights to make it truly enterprise ready. That is one example of where we have leveraged open source and we have built our own tools and technologies and layered them on top of the open source code.

Yes of course we have done many strategic acquisitions over the last several years related to Big Data Management and we continue to do so. This quarter we have done 3 acquisitions with strong relevance to Big Data. One of them is Vivisimo (http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/37491.wss ).

Vivisimo provides federated Big Data discovery, search and profiling capabilities to help you figure out what data is out there,what is relevance of that data to your data science project- to help you answer the question which data should you bring in your Hadoop Cluster.

 We also did Varicent , which is more performance management and we did TeaLeaf , which is a customer experience solution provider where customer experience management and optimization is one of the hot killer apps for Hadoop in the cloud. We have done great many acquisitions that have a clear relevance to Big Data.

Netezza already had a massively parallel analytics database product with an embedded library of models called Netezza Analytics, and in-database capabilties to massively parallelize Map Reduce and other analytics management functions inside the database. In many ways, Netezza provided capabilities similar to that IBM had provided for many years under the Smart Analytics Platform (http://www-01.ibm.com/software/data/infosphere/what-is-advanced-analytics/ ) .

There is a differential between Netezza and ISAS.

ISAS was built predominantly in-house over several years . If you go back a decade ago IBM acquired Ascential Software , a product portfolio that was the heart and soul of IBM InfoSphere Information Manager that is core to our big Data platform. In addition to Netezza, IBM bought SPSS two years back. We already had data mining tools and predictive modeling in the InfoSphere portfolio, but we realized we needed to have the best of breed, SPSS provided that and so IBM acquired them.

 Cognos– We had some BI reporting capabilities in the InfoSphere portfolio that we had built ourselves and also acquired for various degrees from prior acquisitions. But clearly Cognos was one of the best BI vendors , and we were lacking such a rich tool set in our product in visualization and cubing and so for that reason we acquired Cognos.

There is also Unica – which is a marketing campaign optimization which in many ways is a killer app for Hadoop. Projects like that are driving many enterprises.

Ajay- How would you rank order these acquisitions in terms of strategic importance rather than data of acquisition or price paid.

Jim-Think of Big Data as an ecosystem that has components that are fitted to particular functions for data analytics and data management. Is the database the core, or the modeling tool the core, or the governance tools the core, or is the hardware platform the core. Everything is critically important. We would love to hear from you what you think have been most important. Each acquisition has helped play a critical role to build the deepest and broadest solution offering in Big Data. We offer the hardware, software, professional services, the hosting service. I don’t think there is any validity to a rank order system.

Ajay-What are the initiatives regarding open source that Big Data group have done or are planning?

Jim- What we are doing now- We are very much involved with the Apache Hadoop community. We continue to evolve the open source code that everyone leverages.. We have built BigInsights on Apache Hadoop. We have the closest, most up to date in terms of version number to Apache Hadoop ( Hbase,HDFS, Pig etc) of all commercial distributions with our BigInsights 1.4 .

We have an R library integrated with BigInsights . We have a R library integrated with Netezza Analytics. There is support for R Models within the SPSS portfolio. We already have a fair amount of support for R across the portfolio.

Ajay- What are some of the concerns (privacy,security,regulation) that you think can dampen the promise of Big Data.

Jim- There are no showstoppers, there is really a strong momentum. Some of the concerns within the Hadoop space are immaturity of the technology, the immaturity of some of the commercial offerings out there that implement Hadoop, the lack of standardization for formal sense for Hadoop.

There is no Open Standards Body that declares, ratifies the latest version of Mahout, Map Reduce, HDFS etc. There is no industry consensus reference framework for layering these different sub projects. There are no open APIs. There are no certifications or interoperability standards or organizations to certify different vendors interoperability around a common API or framework.

The lack of standardization is troubling in this whole market. That creates risks for users because users are adopting multiple Hadoop products. There are lots of Hadoop deployments in the corporate world built around Apache Hadoop (purely open source). There may be no assurance that these multiple platforms will interoperate seamlessly. That’s a huge issue in terms of just magnifying the risk. And it increases the need for the end user to develop their own custom integrated code if they want to move data between platforms, or move map-reduce jobs between multiple distributions.

Also governance is a consideration. Right now Hadoop is used for high volume ETL on multi structured and unstructured data sources, or Hadoop is used for exploratory sand boxes for data scientists. These are important applications that are a majority of the Hadoop deployments . Some Hadoop deployments are stand alone unstructured data marts for specific applications like sentiment analysis like.

Hadoop is not yet ready for data warehousing. We don’t see a lot of Hadoop being used as an alternative to data warehouses for managing the single version of truth of system or record data. That day will come but there needs to be out there in the marketplace a broader range of data governance mechanisms , master data management, data profiling products that are mature that enterprises can use to make sure their data inside their Hadoop clusters is clean and is the single version of truth. That day has not arrived yet.

One of the great things about IBM’s acquisition of Vivisimo is that a piece of that overall governance picture is discovery and profiling for unstructured data , and that is done very well by Vivisimo for several years.

What we will see is vendors such as IBM will continue to evolve security features inside of our Hadoop platform. We will beef up our data governance capabilities for this new world of Hadoop as the core of Big Data, and we will continue to build up our ability to integrate multiple databases in our Hadoop platform so that customers can use data from a bit of Hadoop,some data from a bit of traditional relational data warehouse, maybe some noSQL technology for different roles within a very complex Big Data environment.

That latter hybrid deployment model is becoming standard across many enterprises for Big Data. A cause for concern is when your Big Data deployment has a bit of Hadoop, bit of noSQL, bit of EDW, bit of in-memory , there are no open standards or frameworks for putting it all together for a unified framework not just for interoperability but also for deployment.

There needs to be a virtualization or abstraction layer for unified access to all these different Big Data platforms by the users/developers writing the queries, by administrators so they can manage data and resources and jobs across all these disparate platforms in a seamless unified way with visual tooling. That grand scenario, the virtualization layer is not there yet in any standard way across the big data market. It will evolve, it may take 5-10 years to evolve but it will evolve.

So, that’s the concern that can dampen some of the enthusiasm for Big Data Analytics.

About-

You can read more about Jim at http://www.linkedin.com/pub/james-kobielus/6/ab2/8b0 or

follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jameskobielus

You can read more about IBM Big Data at http://www-01.ibm.com/software/data/bigdata/

Interview Jason Kuo SAP Analytics #Rstats

Here is an interview with Jason Kuo who works with SAP Analytics as Group Solutions Marketing Manager. Jason answers questions on SAP Analytics and it’s increasing involvement with R statistical language.

Ajay- What made you choose R as the language to tie important parts of your technology platform like HANA and SAP Predictive Analysis. Did you consider other languages like Julia or Python.

Jason- It’s the most popular. Over 50% of the statisticians and data analysts use R. With 3,500+ algorithms its arguably the most comprehensive statistical analysis language. That said,we are not closing the door on others.

Ajay- When did you first start getting interested in R as an analytics platform?

Jason- SAP has been tracking R for 5+ years. With R’s explosive growth over the last year or two, it made sense for us to dramatically increase our investment in R.

Ajay- Can we expect SAP to give back to the R community like Google and Revolution Analytics does- by sponsoring Package development or sponsoring user meets and conferences?

Will we see SAP’s R HANA package in this year’s R conference User 2012 in Nashville

Jason- Yes. We plan to provide a specific driver for HANA tables for input of the data to native R. This planned for end of 2012. We’ll then review our event strategy. SAP has been a sponsor of Predictive Analytics World for several years and was indeed a founding sponsor. We may be attending the year’s R conference in Nashville.

Ajay- What has been some of the initial customer feedback to your analytics expansion and offerings. 

Jason- We have completed two very successful Pilots of the R Integration for HANA with two of SAP’s largest customers.

About-

Jason has over 15 years of BI and Data Warehousing industry experience. Having worked at Oracle, Business Objects, and now SAP, Jason has been involved in numerous technical marketing roles involving performance management dashboards, information management, text analysis, predictive analytics, and now big data. He has a bachelor’s of science in operations research from the University of Michigan.

 

Carole-Ann’s 2011 Predictions for Decision Management

Carole-Ann’s 2011 Predictions for Decision Management

For Ajay Ohri on DecisionStats.com

What were the top 5 events in 2010 in your field?
  1. Maturity: the Decision Management space was made up of technology vendors, big and small, that typically focused on one or two aspects of this discipline.  Over the past few years, we have seen a lot of consolidation in the industry – first with Business Intelligence (BI) then Business Process Management (BPM) and lately in Business Rules Management (BRM) and Advanced Analytics.  As a result the giant Platform vendors have helped create visibility for this discipline.  Lots of tiny clues finally bubbled up in 2010 to attest of the increasing activity around Decision Management.  For example, more products than ever were named Decision Manager; companies advertised for Decision Managers as a job title in their job section; most people understand what I do when I am introduced in a social setting!
  2. Boredom: unfortunately, as the industry matures, inevitably innovation slows down…  At the main BRMS shows we heard here and there complaints that the technology was stalling.  We heard it from vendors like Red Hat (Drools) and we heard it from bored end-users hoping for some excitement at Business Rules Forum’s vendor panel.  They sadly did not get it
  3. Scrum: I am not thinking about the methodology there!  If you have ever seen a rugby game, you can probably understand why this is the term that comes to mind when I look at the messy & confusing technology landscape.  Feet blindly try to kick the ball out while superhuman forces are moving randomly the whole pack – or so it felt when I played!  Business Users in search of Business Solutions are facing more and more technology choices that feel like comparing apples to oranges.  There is value in all of them and each one addresses a specific aspect of Decision Management but I regret that the industry did not simplify the picture in 2010.  On the contrary!  Many buzzwords were created or at least made popular last year, creating even more confusion on a muddy field.  A few examples: Social CRM, Collaborative Decision Making, Adaptive Case Management, etc.  Don’t take me wrong, I *do* like the technologies.  I sympathize with the decision maker that is trying to pick the right solution though.
  4. Information: Analytics have been used for years of course but the volume of data surrounding us has been growing to unparalleled levels.  We can blame or thank (depending on our perspective) Social Media for that.  Sites like Facebook and LinkedIn have made it possible and easy to publish relevant (as well as fluffy) information in real-time.  As we all started to get the hang of it and potentially over-publish, technology evolved to enable the storage, correlation and analysis of humongous volumes of data that we could not dream of before.  25 billion tweets were posted in 2010.  Every month, over 30 billion pieces of data are shared on Facebook alone.  This is not just about vanity and marketing though.  This data can be leveraged for the greater good.  Carlos pointed to some fascinating facts about catastrophic event response team getting organized thanks to crowd-sourced information.  We are also seeing, in the Decision management world, more and more applicability for those very technology that have been developed for the needs of Big Data – I’ll name for example Hadoop that Carlos (yet again) discussed in his talks at Rules Fest end of 2009 and 2010.
  5. Self-Organization: it may be a side effect of the Social Media movement but I must admit that I was impressed by the success of self-organizing initiatives.  Granted, this last trend has nothing to do with Decision Management per se but I think it is a great evolution worth noting.  Let me point to a couple of examples.  I usually attend traditional conferences and tradeshows in which the content can be good but is sometimes terrible.  I was pleasantly surprised by the professionalism and attendance at *un-conferences* such as P-Camp (P stands for Product – an event for Product Managers).  When you think about it, it is already difficult to get a show together when people are dedicated to the tasks.  How crazy is it to have volunteers set one up with no budget and no agenda?  Well, people simply show up to do their part and everyone has fun voting on-site for what seems the most appealing content at the time.  Crowdsourcing applied to shows: it works!  Similar experience with meetups or tweetups.  I also enjoyed attending some impromptu Twitter jam sessions on a given topic.  Social Media is certainly helping people reach out and get together in person or virtually and that is wonderful!

A segment of a social network
Image via Wikipedia

What are the top three trends you see in 2011?

  1. Performance:  I might be cheating here.   I was very bullish about predicting much progress for 2010 in the area of Performance Management in your Decision Management initiatives.  I believe that progress was made but Carlos did not give me full credit for the right prediction…  Okay, I am a little optimistic on timeline…  I admit it…  If it did not fully happen in 2010, can I predict it again in 2011?  I think that companies want to better track their business performance in order to correct the trajectory of course but also to improve their projections.  I see that it is turning into reality already here and there.  I expect it to become a trend in 2011!
  2. Insight: Big Data being available all around us with new technologies and algorithms will continue to propagate in 2011 leading to more widely spread Analytics capabilities.  The buzz at Analytics shows on Social Network Analysis (SNA) is a sign that there is interest in those kinds of things.  There is tremendous information that can be leveraged for smart decision-making.  I think there will be more of that in 2011 as initiatives launches in 2010 will mature into material results.
    5 Ways to Cultivate an Active Social Network
    Image by Intersection Consulting via Flickr
  3. Collaboration:  Social Media for the Enterprise is a discipline in the making.  Social Media was initially seen for the most part as a Marketing channel.  Over the years, companies have started experimenting with external communities and ideation capabilities with moderate success.  The few strategic initiatives started in 2010 by “old fashion” companies seem to be an indication that we are past the early adopters.  This discipline may very well materialize in 2011 as a core capability, well, or at least a new trend.  I believe that capabilities such Chatter, offered by Salesforce, will transform (slowly) how people interact in the workplace and leverage the volumes of social data captured in LinkedIn and other Social Media sites.  Collaboration is of course a topic of interest for me personally.  I even signed up for Kare Anderson’s collaboration collaboration site – yes, twice the word “collaboration”: it is really about collaborating on collaboration techniques.  Even though collaboration does not require Social Media, this medium offers perspectives not available until now.

Brief Bio-

Carole-Ann is a renowned guru in the Decision Management space. She created the vision for Decision Management that is widely adopted now in the industry. Her claim to fame is the strategy and direction of Blaze Advisor, the then-leading BRMS product, while she also managed all the Decision Management tools at FICO (business rules, predictive analytics and optimization). She has a vision for Decision Management both as a technology and a discipline that can revolutionize the way corporations do business, and will never get tired of painting that vision for her audience. She speaks often at Industry conferences and has conducted university classes in France and Washington DC.

Leveraging her Masters degree in Applied Mathematics / Computer Science from a “Grande Ecole” in France, she started her career building advanced systems using all kinds of technologies — expert systems, rules, optimization, dashboarding and cubes, web search, and beta version of database replication – as well as conducting strategic consulting gigs around change management.

She now tweets as @CMatignon, blogs at blog.sparklinglogic.com and interacts at community.sparklinglogic.com.

She started her career building advanced systems using all kinds of technologies — expert systems, rules, optimization, dashboarding and cubes, web search, and beta version of database replication.  At Cleversys (acquired by Kurt Salmon & Associates), she also conducted strategic consulting gigs mostly around change management.

While playing with advanced software components, she found a passion for technology and joined ILOG (acquired by IBM).  She developed a growing interest in Optimization as well as Business Rules.  At ILOG, she coined the term BRMS while brainstorming with her Sales counterpart.  She led the Presales organization for Telecom in the Americas up until 2000 when she joined Blaze Software (acquired by Brokat Technologies, HNC Software and finally FICO).

Her 360-degree experience allowed her to gain appreciation for all aspects of a software company, giving her a unique perspective on the business.  Her technical background kept her very much in touch with technology as she advanced.

She also became addicted to Twitter in the process.  She is active on all kinds of social media, always looking for new digital experience!

Outside of work, Carole-Ann loves spending time with her two boys.  They grow fruits in their Northern California home and cook all together in the French tradition.

profile on LinkedIn

TwitterFollow me on Twitter

Filtering to Gain Social Network Value
Image by Intersection Consulting via Flickr
Social Networks Hype Cycle
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Gartner BI and Inf Mgmt Summit 2011- 30 min One on Ones

From the land Down Under, where Gartner gathers business summit thunder.

http://www.gartner.com/technology/summits/apac/business-intelligence/index.jsp

Gartner Business Intelligence
& Information Management Summit 2011

February 22 – 23 • Sydney, AUSTRALIA
gartner.com/ap/bi

Register Now

From Information to Intelligence:

Evaluate, Execute and Evolve

At Gartner Business Intelligence & Information Management Summit 2011 you will experience a unique mix of Gartner research presentations, guest keynote addresses, real-life case studies and interactive panel discussions to provide you with a holistic view of the business intelligence and performance management landscape. Information, insight and advice are channeled through an increasingly targeted and focused approach, taking you from the high-level strategic view all the way to your specific issue.

Click here to view the full agenda or download the brochure.

AGENDA HIGHLIGHTS

teamsend


Guest Keynote Address

Future Thinking – Global Trends and Thinking that are Upending your Business

Anders Sorman-Nilsson
Creative Director, Thinque

Click here to read more about this session.

Best Practice Workshops:

  • How to Become an Effective Data Warehouse Modeler
  • Analytics – Business Intelligence and Performance Management ITScore

Analyst User Roundtables:

  • Enterprise Information Management – Focusing on What Matters to the Business
  • Sharepoint – thin edge of the wedge to the MS family
  • Preparing for the 2020 workplace

Worldwide Expertise at Your Fingertips!
Your questions on Business Intelligence and Performance Management answered. Meet the Gartner Analysts presenting at the Summit and book your exclusive 30 minute one-on-one ( lap top dance) with the Analysts of your choice.

Jim Goodnight on Open Source- and why he is right -sigh

Logo Open Source Initiative
Image via Wikipedia

Jim Goodnight – grand old man and Godfather of the Cosa Nostra of the BI/Database Analytics software industry said recently on open source in BI (btw R is generally termed in business analytics and NOT business intelligence software so these remarks were more apt to Pentaho and Jaspersoft )

Asked whether open source BI and data integration software from the likes of Jaspersoft, Pentaho and Talend is a growing threat, [Goodnight] said: “We haven’t noticed that a lot. Most of our companies need industrial strength software that has been tested, put through every possible scenario or failure to make sure everything works correctly.”

quotes from Jim Goodnight are courtesy Jason’s  story here:
http://www.cbronline.com/news/sas-ceo-says-cep-open-source-and-cloud-bi-have-limited-appeal

and the Pentaho follow-up reaction is here

http://bi.cbronline.com/news/pentaho-fires-back-across-sas-bows-over-limited-open-source-appeal

 

 

While you can rage and screech- here is the reality in terms of market share-

From Merv Adrian-‘s excellent article on market shares in BI

http://www.enterpriseirregulars.com/22444/decoding-bi-market-share-numbers-%E2%80%93-play-sudoku-with-analysts/

The first, labeled BI Platforms, is drawn fromGartner Market Share Analysis: Business Intelligence, Analytics and Performance Management Software, Worldwide, 2009, published May 2010 , and Gartner Dataquest Market Share: Business Intelligence, Analytics and Performance Management Software, Worldwide, 2009.

and

Advanced Analytics category.

and 

so whats the performance of Talend, Pentaho and Jaspersoft

From http://www.dbms2.com/category/products-and-vendors/talend/

It seems that Talend’s revenue was somewhat shy of $10 million in 2008.

and Talend itself says

http://www.talend.com/press/Talend-Announces-Record-2009-and-Continues-Growth-in-the-New-Year.php

Additional 2009 highlights include:

  • Achieved record revenue, more then doubling from 2008. The fourth quarter of 2009 was Talend’s tenth consecutive quarter of growth.
  • Grew customer base by 140% to over 1,000 customers, up from 420 at the end of 2008. Of these new customers, over 50% are Fortune 1000 companies.
  • Total downloads reached seven million, with over 300,000 users of the open source products.
  • Talend doubled its staff, increasing to 200 global employees. Continuing this trend, Talend has already hired 15 people in 2010 to support its rapid growth.

now for Jaspersoft numbers

http://www.dbms2.com/2008/09/14/jaspersoft-numbers/

Highlights include:

  • Revenue run rate in the double-digit millions.
  • 40% sequential growth most recent quarter. (I didn’t ask whether there was any reason to suspect seasonality.)
  • 130% annual revenue growth run rate.
  • “Not quite” profitable.
  • Several hundred commercial subscribers, at an average of $25K annually per, including >100 in Europe.
  • 9,000 paying customers of some kind.
  • 100,000+ total deployments, “very conservatively,” counting OEMs as one deployment each and not double-counting for OEMs’ customers. (Nick said Business Objects quotes 45,000 deployments by the same standards.)
  • 70% of revenue from the mid-market, defined as $100 million – $1 billion revenue. 30% from bigger enterprises. (Hmm. That begs a couple of questions, such as where OEM revenue comes in, and whether <$100 million enterprises were truly a negligible part of revenue.)

and for Pentaho numbers-

http://www.dbms2.com/2009/01/27/introduction-to-pentaho/

and http://www.monash.com/uploads/Pentaho-January-2009.pdf

suggests there are far far away from the top 5-6 vendors in BI

and a special mention  for postgreSQL– which is a non Profit but is seriously denting Oracle/MySQL

http://www.postgresql.org/about/

Limit Value
Maximum Database Size Unlimited
Maximum Table Size 32 TB
Maximum Row Size 1.6 TB
Maximum Field Size 1 GB
Maximum Rows per Table Unlimited
Maximum Columns per Table 250 – 1600 depending on column types
Maximum Indexes per Table Unlimited

and leading vendor is EnterpriseDB which is again IBM-partnering as well as IBM funded

http://www.sramanamitra.com/2009/05/18/enterprise-db/

and

http://www.enterprisedb.com/company/news_events/press_releases/2010_21.do

suggest it is still in early stages.

————————————————————–

So what do we conclude-

1) There is a complete lack of transparency in open source BI market shares as almost all these companies are privately held and do not disclose revenues.

2) What may be a pure play open source company may actually be a company funded by a big BI vendor (like Revolution Analytics is funded among others by Intel-Microsoft) and EnterpriseDB has IBM as an investor.MySQL and Sun of course are bought by Oracle

The degree of control by proprietary vendors on open source vendors is still not disclosed- whether they are holding a stake for strategic reasons or otherwise.

3) None of the Open Source Vendors are even close to a 1 Billion dollar revenue number.

Jim Goodnight is pointing out market reality when he says he has not seen much impact (in terms of market share). As for the rest of his remarks, well he’s got a job to do as CEO and thats talk up his company and trash the competition- which he as been doing for 3 decades and unlikely to change now unless there is severe market share impact. Unless you expect him to notice companies less than 5% of his size in revenue.

http://www.cbronline.com/news/sas-ceo-says-cep-open-source-and-cloud-bi-have-limited-appeal

http://bi.cbronline.com/news/pentaho-fires-back-across-sas-bows-over-limited-open-source-appeal

 

Bruno Aziza, Microsoft Global BI Lead joins PAW Keynote

By Richard Wheeler (Zephyris) 2007. Lambda rep...
Image via Wikipedia

 

An interesting development, Bruno Aziza, Director, Worldwide Strategy Lead, Business Intelligence, Microsoft has joined Predictive Analytics World as a keynote speaker.

http://www.predictiveanalyticsworld.com/dc/2010/agenda.php#day2-2

Keynote
Predictive Analytics and Business Performance

In this session, Bruno Aziza will discuss the challenges organizations face with Analytics and Performance. This participative session will provide first-hand accounts from Fortune 500 companies who are winning by building accountability, intelligence, and informed decision-making into their organizational DNA.

Speaker: Bruno Aziza, Director, Worldwide Strategy Lead, Business Intelligence, Microsoft

Some info about Mr Aziza,

http://www.predictiveanalyticsworld.com/dc/2010/speakers.php#aziza

Bruno Aziza, Director, Worldwide Strategy Lead, Business Intelligence,Microsoft

Bruno AzizaBruno Aziza is a recognized authority on Strategy Execution, Business Intelligence and Information Management. He is the co-author of best-selling book, “Drive Business Performance: Enabling a Culture of Intelligent Execution” and a Fellow at the Advanced Performance Institute, a world-leading and independent advisory group specialized in organizational performance. Drs. Kaplan & Norton, of Balanced Scorecard fame, praise Aziza for moving “the field of performance management forward in important new directions.”

Aziza’s work has been featured in publications across North America, Europe and Asia such as Business Finance magazine, Intelligent Enterprise, CRM magazine and others.

Aziza has held management positions at Apple Inc.Business Objects (SAP), AppStream(Symantec) and Decathlon SA. He currently works on Microsoft Business Intelligence go-to-market strategy and execution for partners, services, sales and marketing. Aziza lives in Seattle with his family and enjoys sports and travelling.

He regularly provides views on leadership and performance on the SuccessFactors thought leader Network , the CIO Network and Forbes Magazine. Aziza is the host ofBizIntelligence.TV – a leading weekly show on Business Intelligence and Analytics. An award-winning speaker, Aziza frequently keynotes international events and has shared the stage with executives and thought leaders such as Dr. Kaplan. Aziza’s biggest crowd to date is 5,000 people.

Follow or contact Bruno via:
•Twitter @ http://twitter.com/brunoaziza
•Facebook @ http://tinyurl.com/bruno-on-facebook
•Linkedin @ http://www.linkedin.com/in/brunoaziza
•YouTube @ http://tinyurl.com/bruno-on-tv
•Kindle blog @ http://tinyurl.com/culture-blog
•Forbes blog @ http://tinyurl.com/culture-blog

That makes it an interesting Pow Wow between the big players at the conference Oracle,SAP, IBM, SAS and now MS –all seem to be there.

Truly a Predictive Analytics World.

 

Interview Gary Cokins SAS Institute

Here is an interview with Gary Cokins , a well respected veteran of the Business Intelligence industry working with the SAS Institute. Gary has just launched his sixth book (wow!) and the gentlemen he is , he agreed to answer these questions en route to his constant traveling.Gary is the expert on performance measurement so we decided to quiz him a bit on this.

CIO’s need to shift their mindset from a technical one to a managerial one.- Gary Cokins, SAS Institute

Gary_Cokins_SAS_05

Ajay -Gary, please describe your career journey from a freshman in college to your position today. What are the key items of advice that you would give to high school students to encourage taking science careers in this recession?

COKINS: I have been very fortunate. After receiving my MBA in 1974 from the Northwestern University Kellogg Graduate School of Management, I worked in industry for ten years. I had the luck of being a financial controller at Fortune 100 corporation division and then becoming operations manager at the same location. I then had to “eat the financial data I was serving,” and it was a true wake-up call – much of the information was at best useless and at worst misleading. Later with Deloitte I was trained on the theory of constraints (TOC) methodology which indicted cost accounting as “enemy number one of productivity.” I learned about the shortcomings with how accountants make assumptions.

In 1988, when Professor Kaplan struck an exclusive relationship with KPMG Peat Marwick, I was recruited to KPMG with about three others with similar operational backgrounds as I to implement activity based cost management (ABC/M) systems but with using an ABC/M modeling software tool. I learned from experience. Four years later, my mentor Bob Bonsack, who had moved on from Deloitte to Electronic Data Systems (EDS) recruited me to head EDS’ cost management consulting. With about fifteen consultants, I was exposed to over a hundred implementations of cost systems. It was there that I experimented with creating a two day “ABC/M rapid prototyping” method that was radically different from the multi-month approach. By starting with a quick vision of what their ABC/M system would look like, companies could iteratively re-model to the level of detail, granularity, and accuracy needed to support analysis and decisions. It did not initially require a huge system, which was why some ABC/M system implementations got into trouble. My major self-realization is that costing is accomplished by modeling cost consumption relationships – an insight that continues to evade many accountants.

When I began to see the application of strategy maps and the balanced scorecard, more light bulbs went off in my brain. I then began truly seeing the organization as a “system” where all the performance improvement methodologies and core processes are inter-connected. I realized that the technologies are no longer the impediment because they are proven. The obstacle is the organization’s thinking – and the mindset of senior management who is presumably doing the leading.

My advice to high school students take your studies more seriously than you even imagine, and spend less time text-messaging everyone you know and focus on the more meaningful relationships. They will eventually be your friends rather than just acquaintances. And take math courses!

Ajay- So what exactly do you do at SAS? And name some interesting anecdotes that led to a lot of value as well as fun for both your company and clients. How does Gary spend his daily day at SAS Institute?

COKINS: My primary role with SAS is to create and deliver thought leadership content about Performance Management leveraging business analytics. I present webinars and write articles, blogs, presentations and also books. For the last four years I have averaged visiting roughly 40 international cities where SAS offices are located to present seminars and meet SAS customers to educate them on the concepts and benefits from Performance Management methodologies.

Recent examples of having fun and providing value to organizations involved providing expert advice to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington DC and the European Patent Office (EPO) in Brussels. The IMF is at the beginning of implementing an activity based cost management (ABC/M) system whereas the EPO is completing their ABC/M system design. Both organizations were seeking tips for success and pitfalls to avoid. One of my major recommendations was to not under-estimate the natural resistance to change of managers and employees. That is, they need to focus much more on getting their buy-in than worrying if the system is perfect. The value to them is realizing that Performance Management methodologies are much more social than technical.

Regarding my daily activities, when I am not traveling, I am mainly reading articles written by other experts or journalists and then translating my relevant takeaways into content that I can educate others with. I also respond to questions and requests both internally within SAS and externally from customers, management consultants, and university faculty.

Ajay- When you were a young employee, what was the toughest challenge that you faced? What was your worst mistake and how did you overcome it? What lessons did you learn from it?

COKINS: In my first few years in business following my university graduation, my toughest challenge was persuading my supervisors, usually older men than I, to accept my new ideas. I have always been a creative thinker, almost a dreamer; and I was not accustomed to the resistance that managers have to innovations, particularly those suggested by young inexperienced employees fresh from their university schooling.

My worst mistake was developing a computer program that automatically suggested treasury cash balance transfers to optimize the corporate cash management system of my first employer, a large Fortune 100 corporation. My computer program was basically replacing the decisions made by the corporate cash manager and part of his job. I overcame this disappointment by learning what needs the corporate cash manager did have and developing a different computer program that solved his needs. With its success, he eventually accepted the first computer program.

My lesson was one should first understand what people may want rather than trying to impose on them what you think they need without involving them.

Ajay- Looking back on your distinguished career, what project are you proud of the most? What project would you do over again if given the chance?

COKINS: In 1973 I became a financial controller of a large division of another Fortune 100 manufacturer. I created a rolling financial planning and forecast software program, using pre-spreadsheet software from a mainframe (years before personal computers and Excel). The program modeled product line sales forecasts by month and integrated both the income statement and balance sheet. It became a valuable tool for the executive team to suggest and immediately see varying sales levels as a “what if” scenario builder to calculate the different profit and working capital results. The executive team marveled at how analytical software, in contrast to our transactional ERP-like system, could make sense of the complexity of our operations with thousands of products and customers.

Regarding a project that fell short of expectations, I actually did get a chance to do it over again. As a consultant with Deloitte, I lead a project designing and implementing an activity based cost management (ABC/M) system using the client’s general ledger accounting software. It took many months, and when finished it was too complex for the client to fully understand. Several years later with a similar project I applied a rapid prototyping with iterative re-modeling approach that involved the company’s managers from the first day. (I mentioned this approach in my reply to the first question.) We completed the ABC/M system in just a few weeks, and everyone understood it and also how to interpret the information for analysis and decisions. I have since been a proponent of this type of rapid learning and system design approach.

Ajay- What do people do for fun at SAS Institute do when not creating or selling algorithms? How is SAS reaching out to other members of the analytics community in terms of basic science and development?

COKINS: SAS employees are inspired by our CEO, Dr. Jim Goodnight, who founded SAS roughly 35 years ago. Dr. Goodnight loves solving problems of all flavors. For fun, but also part of our jobs, SAS employees search for problems that only computer software can solve.

SAS’ offerings evolve by listening to our customers, who are typically scientists, researchers, and business analysts. Drug development and marketing analysts are examples. Our customers are our “community.” We motivate them, with formal methods of collecting input from them, to share with us enhancements to our future versions of our software.

Ajay- Describe your new book on Performance Management from the point of a beginner. Assume that I am a college student who does not know why I should read it. Then assume that I am a CIO and have little time to read it. What is in it for a CIO?

COKINS: This is my sixth book I have written. My first four books were about activity based cost management (ABC/M) and the last two about Performance Management. What is different about this second book is it immediately clarifies the confusion and ambiguity about what Performance Management is and is not. It is also written in a humorous and simplified way with lots of analogies and metaphors, such as all of the Performance Management methodologies integrated together like gears in an automobile engine and with a GPS for predictive navigation and dashboards for feedback. Beginners perceive each methodology, such as a balanced scorecard or customer relationship management system, are stand-alone tools. There is synergy when they are integrated.

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CIOs have similar needs. They need to shift their mindset from a technical one to a managerial one. Just a few chapters from this book can help CIOs see the broad picture of how all of their organizations processes fit together, and how they can be aligned to efficiently execute the ever-adjusting strategy that the executives continuously formulate with operations.


Biography and Contact Information

Gary Cokins, CPIM

(gary.cokins@sas.com; phone 919 531 2012)

http://blogs.sas.com/cokins

Gary Cokins is a global product marketing manager involved with performance management solutions with SAS, a leading provider of performance management and business analytics software headquartered in Cary, North Carolina. Gary is an internationally recognized expert, speaker, and author in advanced cost management and performance improvement systems. Gary received a BS degree with honors in Industrial Engineering/Operations Research from Cornell University in 1971. He received his MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in 1974.

Gary began his career as a strategic planner FMC’s Link-Belt Division and then served as Financial Controller and Operations Manager. In 1981 Gary began his management consulting career first with Deloitte Consulting. Next with KPMG Peat Marwick, Gary was trained on ABC by Harvard Business School Professors Robert S. Kaplan and Robin Cooper. More recently, Gary headed the National Cost Management Consulting Services for Electronic Data Systems (EDS)/ A.T. Kearney.

Gary was the lead author of the acclaimed An ABC Manager’s Primer (ISBN 0-86641-220-4) sponsored by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA). Gary’s second book, Activity Based Cost Management: Making it Work (ISBN 0-7863-0740-4), was judged by the Harvard Business School Press as “read this book first.” A reviewer for Gary’s third book, Activity Based Cost Management: An Executive’s Guide (ISBN 0-471-44328-X) said, Gary has the gift to take the concept that many view as complex and reduce it to its simplest terms.” This book was ranked number one in sales volume of 151 similar books on BarnesandNoble.com. Gary has also written Activity Based Cost Management in Government (ISBN 1-056726-110-8). His latest books are Performance Management: Finding the Missing Pieces to Close the Intelligence Gap (ISBN 0-471-57690-5) and Performance Management: Integrating Strategy Execution, Methodologies, Risk, and Analytics (ISBN 978-0-470-44998-1).

Mr. Cokins participates and serves on committees including: CAM-I, the Supply Chain Council, the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), and the Institute of Management Accountants. Mr. Cokins is a member of Journal of Cost Management Editorial Advisory Board. Cokins can be reached at gary.cokins@sas.com . His blog is at http//:blogs.sas.com/cokins

and his latest book can also be previewed at http://www.sas.com/apps/pubscat/bookdetails.jsp?catid=1&pc=62401