Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Forbes: Thomson Reuters Transforms Big Data Into Big Business

This is a great interview with Thomson Reuters chief operating officer for Technology Rick King in online edition of Forbes. The interview was conducted by Bob Evans who is Senior vice-president, communications, for Oracle Corp.
This interview gets to the heart of what we are trying to achieve with our engineered system and the way we work with our customers to understand how they are using our technology. The quote from King on final page of the interview really sums this up:
“We rely on companies like Oracle to be a big part of our innovation. We don’t really produce technology, we use other people’s technology in a way that brings together our content and delivers it in a different way. We need players like Oracle to be really innovative in their space to ensure we can be innovative in ours.
The article is available here:
There is an excellent video interview with Rick King in the online Innovators Playbook which you can view here:
Also nice to see DB2 being replaced by Oracle as well: with Oracle in a sweeping range of projects that replaced many instances of IBM DB2 with Oracle Database" which is definitely a great way to end a dull wet Wednesday afternoon here in the UK.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Targetbase consolidates its data warehouses to analyze marketing data up to 40x faster

A great news story from one of our US data warehouse customers, Targetbase, that ties in nicely with another report that we have just issued and the themes that form the basis for my soon to be released whitepaper on in-database analytics.
Who is Targetbase?
Targetbase is a US base data-driven marketing agency that delivers customer engagement through database, digital, and direct marketing expertise. They are based in Iriving, Texas and have approximately 200 staff. They use data-driven insight to create powerful brand communications that combine the right messages and tactics through the best channels with optimal timing. The results are strong creative services that drive customer engagements and deliver motivated individuals, ready to take action.
Targetbase uses Exadata as the analytical engine for all their data:
The Targetbase use case is a great example of how data warehousing is evolving to take on a wide variety of data sources and workloads. This evolution has already been identified and documented by Gartner in their Logical Data Warehouse model - more on this subject in future posts. Targetbase has used Oracle Exadata as their central platform for consolidating a wide range of workloads on to a single platform and then making a wide range of data sources available through their  Oracle Data Warehouse. The range of data sources available for analysis now covers: social, retail, and point-of-sale (POS) data and web blogs. All this data is then used to drive richer and more actionable insights for clients.
The Exadata environment is allowing them to run real-time analytics scoring and consumer-specific text mining on large volumes of marketing-related data as well as running operational reporting. The result is a significant increase throughput to enable clients to deliver the right marketing message to the right audience, at the right time. Here is a quote from Brad Peek,  Senior Director, Technology
“With Oracle Exadata Database Machine, processing speeds are 10x to 40x faster. Queries that used to run in hours now run in minutes or even seconds. This is a huge advantage for providing rapid and in-depth analysis of client marketing initiatives. We are helping clients get relevant consumer-facing campaigns to market faster.” 
 The full story is here on

Cloud for Business Managers: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
This links very nicely with a recent report,  “Cloud for Business Managers: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”,  that we co-authored with Dynamic Markets that looked at the deployment of cloud applications. The report was based on a survey of 1,355 executives from companies across the world and although it did not specifically look at data warehousing it does highlight some interesting points for those customers that are wondering about how/if they should move their data warehouse to the cloud. According to the findings "three quarters of respondents (75 percent) have had their ability to innovate impaired by poor integration of their cloud applications, which has left applications isolated from the rest of their business functions". This is the core problem that affects so many data warehouse projects - the creation of data silos where it is almost impossible to move data between environments and/or optimise analytical workloads across available resources. With data warehouse based systems taking on more and more data sources, as outlined at Targetbase, the ability to integrate data sets so that you can apply multiple layers of analytics and control these sophisticated workloads is becoming a key priority.
So while some organisations are seeing challenges with moving to the cloud, Oracle customers such as Targetbase are reaping the rewards of consolidating their workloads on our engineered systems platforms and running multi-layered analytical workloads that can deliver "40x improvement in the performance of ad hoc consumer data queries—completing processes that used to take hours in minutes and even seconds—to help clients launch targeted marketing campaigns faster".
The Cloud report for Business Mangers is available here: