• Big Data Caveats, Front and Center

    Thursday, March 14, 2013 - 11:30
    I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised by Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s recent Wired article “Beware the Big Errors of ‘Big Data’.” Since 2004, the derivatives trader turned philosopher has published a trilogy of highly-entertaining and provocative books, “ Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets ,” “ The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable ,” and “ Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder, ” on the... [more]
  • A Cautionary Tale for Becoming too Reliant on Hive

    Monday, March 11, 2013 - 09:15
    Business users use Hive because it presents as SQL a language the user already knows and is able to use. Developers use Hive because it is easy to use and less complex and faster to develop in than writing Java. The ease of learning and using Hive can lull users into a false sense of security. A sense of security that you can do everything you need to do in Hive can be dangerous. Invariably... [more]
  • Big Data and Caution at Strata 2013

    Thursday, March 7, 2013 - 10:30
    Strata 2013 is now in the books, the largest and most successful edition yet. There were 2,900 registrants in 2013, compared to 2,500 last year and 1,400 participants in the 2011 inaugural. Perhaps even more telling, 90 exhibitors touted their wares in 2013; at least half of their products part of the Hadoop ecosystem. I can’t prove it with data, but my impression is that the age distribution of Strata participants is trending up with... [more]
  • From Strata, the New Big Data on the Block

    Thursday, February 28, 2013 - 12:30
    I was a bit apprehensive with my decision to attend Tuesday’s Strata tutorial “An Introduction to the Berkeley Data Analytics Stack (BDAS) Featuring Spark, Spark Streaming, and Shark.” I’m more a stats guy than computer scientist and generally shy away from conference presentations by “vendors.” But I’ve had great experience with U.C. Berkeley open source software over the years, working extensively with Berkeley Unix, Ingres and PostgreSQL. And I’m glad I participated. Berkeley professor and... [more]
  • Cloudera, Hortonworks, MapR and now Intel and Greenplum?

    Thursday, February 28, 2013 - 10:00
    The Strata Conference always brings a lot of press releases and big news about new distributions of software. Some of the most talked about but unsurprising announcements today are that Greenplum and Intel are both releasing their own Hadoop distributions. I think these are only the first of what will soon be many additional distributions of Hadoop; everyone is trying to get their own slice of the Big Data pie. The important question is: What... [more]
  • Are You Looking at Long Data?

    Thursday, February 21, 2013 - 22:00
    I was recently turned on to two interesting Wired opinion articles from one of my LinkedIn groups. I’ll share thoughts on the first today and the second a few weeks out. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that Samuel Arbesman, author of “Stop Hyping Big Data and Start Paying Attention to ‘Long Data,” is a fellow at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard. I’ve mentioned the IQSS as a breeding ground for data... [more]
  • 5 Cool Advances in Pentaho Kettle 5.0

    Thursday, February 21, 2013 - 12:15
    In the coming months Pentaho will be releasing Pentaho Kettle 5.0. I thought I would download the community edition from their continuous integration server and see what Kettle 5.0 is all about. Obviously, Pentaho will be the arbiters of what features are stable and will be available, and some of the features that are being worked on below may not be in the GA version when it is released in the coming months. 1. Continuous... [more]
  • Cold Enough for You? Visualization and Predictive Modeling of Weather

    Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - 20:30
    For the first three weeks of January, I thought Chicagoland was certain to get a second straight reprieve from harsh winter. Every day, we were setting a record for the number of consecutive days without an inch or more of snow. And the temperatures hovered in the 20s, 30s and 40s – seemingly far warmer than historical Januarys. Alas, winter has returned to the area with a vengeance over the last three weeks. While spared... [more]
  • Google News as an Analytic Database

    Monday, February 11, 2013 - 14:15
    I was browsing the L.A. Times digital newspaper recently and came across an interesting article entitled “Mexico, before and after Calderon’s drug war.” The horrific toll of Mexico’s war on drugs – over 50,000 deaths in the last six years alone – is well documented and much-attributed to then-President Felipe Calderón’s initiative launched in late 2006. The article cites a report “Drug Violence in Mexico” by The Trans-Border Institute at the University of San Diego,... [more]
  • Big Data Isn’t Like Every Other IT Project

    Monday, February 11, 2013 - 14:00
    As I reviewed Inquidia’s business development activities over the last two years, I noticed that prospects for Inquidia’s analytics and big data consulting services roughly apportion to 50 percent companies with new initiatives, 40 percent companies with next-phase projects, and the final 10 percent firms with existing programs which aren’t tracking successfully. Stalled BI programs are intriguing to me. Having been involved in many intelligence projects over the years, I’ve seen how they can sputter... [more]


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