Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Oracle Day 2012 - Oracle is coming to a city near you

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If you cannot attend this year's OpenWorld event in San Francisco then make sure you checkout our Oracle Day 2012 programme. This is a series of roadshows touring major cities around the globe and each one promises to be a great event.

Oracle Day 2012 features learning tracks and sessions tailored for accelerating your business in today’s environment. Oracle simplifies IT by investing in best-of-breed technologies at every layer of the technology stack and engineering them to work together so you can focus on driving your business forward. Throughout its history, Oracle has proved it can address the most complex IT challenges and solve the business problems of our customers. Discover more about Oracle’s strategy for powering innovation in Data Warehousing, Big Data and Analytics.

As with OpenWorld, Big Data is going to be a huge part of these events and the sessions we have scheduled will reinforce the message that Oracle is different because only Oracle offers the complete end-to-end solution. There two main big data session:

  • "BRIGHT FUTURE: ANALYTICS AND BIG DATA POWERING INNOVATION - See More, Act Faster: Drive better business outcomes with big data & analytics". 
  • BRIGHT FUTURE: ANALYTICS AND BIG DATA POWERING INNOVATION - Making Big Data Payoff: Mastering your Analytics Architecture

I think it is fair to say that every business understands that the potential for big data is huge, but the key question is: Are you ready? These two sessions which form a key part of the Oracle Day programme will examine the explosive pace of technological in the area of big data and analytics and show how you can embrace these exciting new technologies to grab a rare opportunity to outpace your competitors and outperform your stakeholder expectations by being among the first to embrace new solutions that will enable your business to see more and act faster.

We make big data easier to implement, easier to organise, easier to analyse and easier to visualise. For more information about the Oracel Day programme and to find your closest event go here: http://www.oracle.com/oracleday. Don't delay in registering for your local event because space is limited! 

Thursday, 9 August 2012

IBM admits Oracle's Big Data Appliance, Exadata, Database and Exalytics are central to your big data strategy

Not often I agree with IBM but thanks for the name-check and confirmation that our big data strategy is the best way forward for customers: http://www.enterpriseappstoday.com/business-intelligence/7-enterprise-friendly-ways-of-dealing-with-big-data.html

In an interview in Enterprise Apps Today online magazine, former Forrester Research analyst and current IBM Big Data evangelist James Kobielus said:

"This is where Hadoop MapReduce — which Kobielus calls the real “core” of Hadoop — comes into play. “What MapReduce represents is the industry’s first-ever vendor-agnostic framework for building a broad range of advanced analytics. What we think of as advanced analytics is supported within this sort of abstraction framework for development called MapReduce.”

After the data is transformed, it’s fed downstream into another database, such as an Oracle Exadata data warehouse or OLAP cubes, or even to an in-memory platform such as Oracle Exalytics"

Nice to know that IBM is advising its customers to put Oracle technology at the center of their big data strategy rather than their own DB2 based Smart Analytics platform. Of course this is not surprising given that Gartner reported in its last EDW MQ report that approx. 60% of IBM's own customers would not consider deploying DB2 for their data warehouse.

It was nice to see IBM call out two key features that business users are always looking to help them with their analysis: 1) multi-dimensional models that make data navigation and complex analytics very easy and 2) in-memory analytics so you can have speed-of-thought data exploration. Of course IBM does not offer these features which I suspect is why they are recommending customers use Oracle.

If you are an IBM customer and want to get started with big data then welcome to Oracle and the start of your big data journey. You can find more information about our big data platform (Big Data Appliance, Exadata and Exalytics) here: http://www.oracle.com/bigdata.

Do your food shopping at the airport


Tesco (UK's largest food retailer) is branching out into the world of virtual shopping. I have already seen this type of system running in Japan and now it has finally reached the UK. For the next couple of weeks Tesco will be trialling its interactive virtual grocery store in the departure lounge at Gatwick Airport. They have installed four interactive screens that you slide by hand to display different sets of shelves. There will be about 80 products available to order. If you want to buy one, you scan the barcode with your smartphone. This allows you to order your basket of basic essentials and have them delivered the day you get home from your vacation or business trip.

The virtual shop front creates some interesting big data opportunities. As Tesco owns the app then they are freed from working with the mobile phone provider since the app itself can capture all the relevant data - GPS location, selections and identification of the customer. It means Tesco controls the pipe and with their very large and detailed customer database than could move this into real-time advertising for their other lines of business - travel insurance, mobile phone roaming packages etc.

It will be interesting to see how this develops both in terms of where these virtual store fronts are put (why limit yourself to airports when other travel options exist - train stations, cruise ports, ferry terminals, underground stations), how fast can the basket be delivered (could you order in the morning for delivery in the evening ready for a dinner party), how the data being captured can be used to drive new business opportunities and what extra data could be harvested.

Of course the downside is the obvious issue around privacy - your retailer knows you are away on holiday and your house is empty. Just how secure is all this data you are freely providing online? We have already seen the smart metering projects shut down across Europe because of concerns about data privacy.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

From Overload to Impact: An Industry Scorecard on Big Data Business Challenges

We have just released a new report based on a survey of 333 C-level executives from U.S. and Canadian enterprises spanning 11 industries to determine the pain points they face regarding managing the deluge of data coming into their organizations and how well they are able to use information to drive profit and growth.
There are some very interesting findings, such as the following:
  • 94% of C-level executives say their organization is collecting and managing more business information today than two years ago, by an average of 86% more
  • 29% of executives give their organization a “D” or “F” in preparedness to manage the data deluge
  • 93% of executives believe their organization is losing revenue – on average, 14% annually – as a result of not being able to fully leverage the information they collect
  • Nearly all surveyed (97%) say their organization must make a change to improve information optimization over the next two years
  • Industry-specific applications are an important part of the mix; 77% of organizations surveyed use them today to run their enterprise—and they are looking for more tailored options
 When you break this down by industry there are some surprising results. For example, the oil and gas and life sciences industries lose the greatest estimated percentage of annual revenue, 22% and 20% respectively, from their current data management processes. These two sectors have always generated and captured huge amounts of data so what have they been doing with all that data? I have spoken to a number of healthcare provides in the US and there does now seem to be a growing realisation that all the data they have been collecting and archiving might have some real value. Of course going forward even more data is flowing into healthcare or has the potential to flow into healthcare as we look forward. For example, the Nike Fuel wrist band is perfect example of a completely new data source that healthcare providers could leverage. It is a very powerful monitoring device intended for sports people to help them manage their training plans but the potential beyond the area of sports is huge. This wrist band can monitor key body functions 24 hours a day. That sort of information, which is usually only available inside a hospital when you are attached to very expensive equipment, could be extremely useful to local doctors, paramedics, healthcare providers and insurance companies.
Not surprisingly, the public sector, healthcare, and utilities industries appear to be least prepared to handle the data deluge with with 41% of public sector executives, 40% of healthcare executives, and 39% of utilities executives giving themselves a "D" or "F" preparedness rating. I am surprised at seeing utilities dumped in this group. Smart metering and smart grids have been the poster child for big data projects over the last 2-3 years so it is a little surprising to read that utility companies are not ready yet to receive and process all this new data - which they claim they desperately need.
It is no surprise to read that the communications, manufacturing, and retail industries lose the lowest estimated percentage of annual revenue from their current data management processes – 10%.
You can download the full report from here: http://www.oracle.com/us/industries/industry-scorecard-1683398.html
So if you have not started thinking about how big data is going to transform your business now would be a good time to start thinking about all that data that is going to be arriving very shortly and may be you would like to call your Oracle account team and ask them for a briefing on our big data platform.