Feeds

Why Enterprise Analytics - and why now?

It's big and it's heading your way

High performance access to file storage

There are markets where undifferentiated, dog-eat-dog competition has existed for decades. The best real-world example of this type of environment is the financial services industry. Think about portfolio managers: they’re competing against hundreds of others, making decisions based on the same publicly available information, and trying to eke out a few more basis points than the other guy.

To make their trading decisions and guide their short- and long-term strategy, they have built huge and highly complex models that attempt to mimic reality and predict future prices based on current trends and conditions. These models are their crown jewels, and are closely guarded.

They don’t stop at analyzing particular companies but also consider economic trends, demographics, societal evolution, and just about anything else that might have an effect on what they’re trying to predict. Regression helps them characterize the relevance and predictive strength of a particular factor, while techniques like Monte Carlo are used to compute the probability of the result or condition.

This type of analysis has gotten a black eye due to the recent financial meltdown arising from the mortgage-backed securities debacle. Our research into the root causes lead us to believe that the failure wasn’t in the models, but in the values input into them and the idiots who relied upon them (see our previous article). The bottom line is that the math works, but the models and the humans interpreting them can often be flawed.

But just as the crappy bookshelves I build aren’t an indictment of power screwdrivers as tools, bad results from mistaken modeling doesn’t mean the modeling techniques don’t work – they do. And it’s the next phase in business. We’re going to see more and more companies attempting to model everything from their supply chain to long-term customer behavior in a much deeper and more predictive sense than before.

While some may say that we’ve been doing this all along, I’m not so sure. Most of the business intelligence that I’ve seen in the real world tends to use company-generated data to make short-term predictions. Many companies still don’t have their internal BI systems to a point where they can be used to run through scads of data (1 scad = a hell of a lot of data) to find non-intuitive relationships.

In many cases, management uses their decision support systems to support their hunches and speculations rather than let themselves and their strategies be guided by the data. Part of this is because they don’t feel that the data is reliable – and they’re often right about this. But they are also fearful that letting data actually drive their strategy means they are less valuable. Like most important trends, the adoption of predictive enterprise analytics and what we’re calling the “Analytics-Led Enterprise” will be hindered more by internal culture than by technical factors.

As the trend emerges it’s going to have definite implications on the IT market as a whole and HPC in particular. These business problems look awfully HPC-like when you consider the workloads and scale. The same folks who can analyze and predict how gas molecules will react in a pipe can use their tools to model how shoppers will move through a crowded store… and come up with predictions of how changes will impact traffic at the cash register. It’s all data and math, right?

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Seagate brings out 6TB HDD, did not need NO STEENKIN' SHINGLES
Or helium filling either, according to reports
European Court of Justice rips up Data Retention Directive
Rules 'interfering' measure to be 'invalid'
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Cisco reps flog Whiptail's Invicta arrays against EMC and Pure
Storage reseller report reveals who's selling what
Bored with trading oil and gold? Why not flog some CLOUD servers?
Chicago Mercantile Exchange plans cloud spot exchange
Just what could be inside Dropbox's new 'Home For Life'?
Biz apps, messaging, photos, email, more storage – sorry, did you think there would be cake?
IT bods: How long does it take YOU to train up on new tech?
I'll leave my arrays to do the hard work, if you don't mind
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.