Operational intelligence and the new frontier of data

Always-on businesses such as global retailers, social media apps, transportation platforms, and financial marketplaces have mission-critical use cases that require real-time decisions on operational event streams. Target’s supply chains must adapt to changes in store inventory, Snap’s new app launches must be debugged, Lyft’s drivers must be predictively routed to riders, and at Paypal, fraudulentContinue reading “Operational intelligence and the new frontier of data”

Savor the surprises

I was recently listening to Mike Maples interview Andy Rachleff about the search for product-market fit, which is fitting, since Andy coined the term. Andy recounted a pearl of wisdom that Scott Cook had once given him: when doing customer research, savor the surprises. A few years into founding Intuit, Scott uncovered that while QuickBooks was created for personal finance,Continue reading “Savor the surprises”

Geoffrey Moore on disrupting business with data intelligence

[A]ll the great business disrupters of the past decade [–] Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Apple, Tesla, Uber, Airbnb, Netflix—they are all running Systems of Observation against the data flows they are privileged to access or host, and then feeding them into Systems of Intelligence to extract insights from them. Geoffrey Moore, Intelligent Computing Systems: How will EnterpriseContinue reading “Geoffrey Moore on disrupting business with data intelligence”

Colin Ware on cognition

Thinking is not something that goes on entirely, or even mostly, inside people’s heads. Little intellectual work is accomplished with our eyes and ears closed. Most cognition is done as a kind of interaction with cognitive tools, pencils and paper, calculators, and, increasingly, computer-based intellectual supports and information systems. Neither is cognition mostly accomplished aloneContinue reading “Colin Ware on cognition”

design principles for data pipelines

(Image: ‘Tower of Babel’ by Pieter The Elder Bruegel, 1563) Underinvestment in and misunderstanding of ETL is a silent killer in organizations.  It’s why reports are often delayed, why answers across systems rarely agree, and why more than 50% of corporate business intelligence initiatives fail. ETL is hard because data is messy.  Even the most commonContinue reading “design principles for data pipelines”

let us now praise data engineers

In the last year, the data scientist has been called “the sexiest job of the 21st century.”  But if data is the new oil, and data scientists are its petrochemical high priests, who are the oil riggers?  Who are the roughnecks doing the dirty work to get data pipelines flowing, unpacking bytes, transforming formats, loading databases?Continue reading “let us now praise data engineers”

the psychology of the enterprise buyer

Consumer startups like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and even DropBox are built by founders who wanted to “make something cool” for their own benefit. Their teams intuitively understand what works because they are their own target audience: young, tech-savvy people looking for better ways to connect, share, and organize their digital stuff. When it comes toContinue reading “the psychology of the enterprise buyer”

the fuel of founders: curiosity & impatience

“On a scale of 1-10 of impatience, the best entrepreneurs are an 11.” – Tom Stemberg, Founder of Staples Curiosity and impatience make for great founder traits, but they often pull in different directions. Curiosity compels you to sit and study a problem, to voraciously consume every article and reference you can find to wrap yourContinue reading “the fuel of founders: curiosity & impatience”