Welcome to the first issue of The TAG Newsletter - a new forum for everyone working in
the business intel...
1. BI Solution success - is your Organisational Culture the road block?
BI Solution success is a fickle mistress – various...
In this environment, larger BI Programs are embarked upon, typically with greater reliance on large third
parties. They ca...
2. Intuition vs Analytics in the Games Industry
The games industry is changing. The retail model is fading and being repla...
By looking at various factors such as competency, momentum, rewards and intensity of game play, we were
able to create str...
3.Visualisation Tools - should we or shouldn't we?
The growth in visualisation tools in recent years has been phenomenal b...
so quick”? So before you ask yourself, ‘Can we do this?’ take a step back and go for the slightly harder
‘Should we do thi...
4. Delivering the value from Big Data
As we approach the end of a year and I reflect on the work we have delivered, the qu...
By Jacqui Taylor – Founder and CEO – Flying Binary Ltd
Jacqui has 25 years of deploying technology across the world. After...
5. Big Data Analytics – What’s in for CFO’s & COO’s?
Having sat through numerous presentations and demonstrations and list...
Big data analytics will enable smoother operations management by anticipating chinks in the process chain,
machine down ti...
6. The Associates Global
Who are……The Associates Global. We are a specialist Business Intelligence and Information Managem...
Graham Bradfield
Having learnt his trade working for a Global Recruitment Consultancy, Graham
Bradfield has over 7 years’ ...
UK BIG DATA HUB Newsletter - December 2013
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UK BIG DATA HUB Newsletter - December 2013


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The UK BIG DATA HUB Newsletter contains real life experiences and advice from industry leaders in the UK. The topics range across BI, DWH, Analytics and Big Data to give you a current view of what is happening in the UK markets.
We will also be sharing new vacancies and trends of what is happening in the recruitment market in this space.

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UK BIG DATA HUB Newsletter - December 2013

  1. 1. UK BIG DATA HUB Welcome to the first issue of The TAG Newsletter - a new forum for everyone working in the business intelligence, data warehousing and information management community. The TAG Newsletter will be a regular source and news, articles and case studies from professionals in the industry: a chance to share examples of best practice and to put across your own views, opinions and concerns. The UK business intelligence & information management market is without doubt one of the busiest in the world, mainly thanks to the global nature of many of the businesses operating in this country. Ours is also a mature marketplace, and the experts in it have much to say: we want The TAG Newsletter to represent them and provide a platform from which to share their ideas and experience. In this first edition we have a number of relevant articles from some of your peers in the industry. 1. BI Solution success - is your Organisational Culture the road block? 2. Intuition vs Analytics in the Games Industry 3. Visualisation Tools - should we or shouldn't we? 4. Delivering the value from Big Data 5. Big Data Analytics – What’s in for CFO’s & COO’s? 6. The Associates Global Howard Longstaff Graham Bradfield 7. UPCOMING NEWS
  2. 2. 1. BI Solution success - is your Organisational Culture the road block? BI Solution success is a fickle mistress – various bits of research have put failure rates at the 50% level and higher. Whilst we are not going to argue about the numbers today, all of us who’ve been involved in the front line of delivering or supporting BI solutions know of failures, and that solution success rates are a long way from where they should be. Before we go further, it is worth identifying what constitutes BI solution success. Many would argue that success is: delivered on time, to budget and to specification. We would be happy to forfeit at least an element of this if we could demonstrate success as: being used by the business to support fact-based decision making and delivering tangible evidence of business value. In our experience, there are many BI solutions out there whose business benefits are not measured. As examples, I can think of a successful BI solution in a Bank developed for 5,000 users that, when audited, had 15 users! Or another BI Solution for a major energy company which measured success based on the number of user escalations – yes, you’ve guessed it, no users = no escalations! These are scenarios for solutions that “worked” and there are plenty more that did not make it beyond the first few weeks. Yet there are organisations (and interestingly even business functions) out there that have much better track records of getting business value from their BI than others. One of the things that distinguishes these organisations from others seems to be their business culture. Understanding and recognising its importance can help lay the foundations for a successful solution – it can also be an important vehicle for engaging stakeholders in a more mature dialogue. Too often the IT analyst sits down with the business user and asks them what KPIs they want, dutifully documents them and gets the business to confirm their requirements. What gets missed is the discussion about what type of decisions are being enabled, how those decisions will be taken and how the business value will be sustained. A vehicle we use frequently to broach the subject is the BI Cultural Model see figure 1below The model has two dimensions: the Y axis covers the decision-making style – are they a directive organisation, typical style “this is the BI you will use”, or are they a collegiate/consensus organisation, typical style “this is the BI you may find helpful”. The X axis covers what we call the Project/Operational culture and this merits a little more explanation. A Project culture is where bigprojects are done well, they have the “A team” appointed to them and usually there is a major focus on budget and specification. Then the solution gets rolled out and the “A team” moves onto the next big thing, often leaving the achievement of business value in the air. The Operational Culture is one where Projects may not be carried out quite as professionally, but where some of the leaders in the Project remain with the solution to make sure it delivers the desired business value. Our experience shows that where an organisation sits in this model can have a profound effect on how relatively easy or difficult it is to deliver a successful BI solution. Let’s look at the most extreme examples. The Collegiate/ Consensus and Project Culture
  3. 3. In this environment, larger BI Programs are embarked upon, typically with greater reliance on large third parties. They can often deliver success in terms of project criteria, but the end solution frequently fails to delivered sustained value i.e. what value is the business getting in 18 months’ time. Why is this? There are a number of reasons, but the key ones are: · · · · · There are insufficient A team stakeholders involved in delivering business value. The measurement culture is not about ultimate outcomes, but about delivering against major milestones. Operational roles are somehow deemed less valuable than Project ones. Who’s going to pay top dollar for a “support” person? Capex is OK, but there is an obsession with driving down Opex. I appreciate there may be good tax reasons for this, but this should not mean that we fail to maintain or leverage assets. Continuous improvement does not fit with the culture and small investments are not the way to do things. To quote a Major Retailer who fits this mould – “here it is as easy to get £5m as it is to get £50k, so guess what…” And ultimately, if the solution is not used or under-used, there is little come-back The Directive and Operational Culture In this environment, smaller BI projects may be more frequent. However, in the most successful organisations, they tend to fit within a broader BI Program and be tied into an overall Performance Management Capability. Here there are many more sustainable and successful BI solutions – Why? There are a number of reasons, but the key cultural ones are: · The business leaders mandate that the solution be used and will want to know why if it is not. For example – all teams will review this Scorecard at the Monday morning Risk Meeting. · At least some of the “A team” members on the Project Team will stay on to make sure the solution delivers the required business outcome. Operational roles are deemed at least as valuable as Project ones. · The funding processes enable a larger number of small investments and interventions after go-live · There is a recognition that the user community’s expertise and needs will evolve as their experience grows and that the BI solution will need to evolve accordingly – unlike many transactional systems · Above all, there is accountability for Operational Governance, with usage being measured and, if the solution is not delivering value, there is a commitment to do something about it Clearly there are other factors that determine BI Solution success, but we have found that using the BI Cultural Model can act as a catalyst for raising the level of discussion with senior stakeholders. Helping them to recognise that the journey they are about to embark on may be more fraught than they think, can open minds. Additionally, when a major transformation or change program is being discussed, this can help raise the profile of BI on the agenda. If you use this model please respect the copyright and include the Whitby Partners logo. Profile Steve Whitby – Partner – Whitby Partners Steve has over 25 years’ experience in BI including: Consulting, Project and Product Management. He has held senior positions at HP, NCR Teradata & SAP, where he was Head of Business Intelligence. Ten years ago he established Whitby Partners, an independent BI consultancy that focuses on helping bring the Business and IT together to drive value from BI. His clients include B&Q, BG, BP, Boots, LTSB and Pepsi.
  4. 4. 2. Intuition vs Analytics in the Games Industry The games industry is changing. The retail model is fading and being replaced by games that are consumed online. Instead of paying £40 upfront for the latest console release, games are now available across a wide range of connected devices and often they are free to play. The new breed of consoles that will be launched in a couple of months reinforce this change as the emphasis will on online games not boxed product. This has brought about some fundamental changes in how games are designed and developed. Firstly the development process is no longer focused on a waterfall approach that delivers the games into stores to a specific deadline (generally in time for Christmas). Rather games are released and developed on an ongoing basis with new features and content being constantly refreshed to retain and engage players. The free-to-play model was devised to maximise the number of players that accessed online games. But this has meant that it is vital that games engage players and create an environment where a proportion of players will spend real money in the game for a faster or broader experience. Therefore the games industry, in less than five years, has gone from knowing very little about its customers to needing understand players’ experiences and build responsive environments. Games should be fun; first and foremost. The creative process is fundamental. But it is now possible and vital to supplement this expertise (in which the UK is a leading player) by using analytics to understand player behaviours and put this insight at the heart of how games are produced. Customer Relationship Management, often the focus in traditional sectors such as finance and retail, becomes Player Relationship Management in the virtual world of the game. The prize for doing this well is huge. Companies like Supercell (with HayDay and Clash of Clans) and King (with Candy Crush) generate £millions per year in revenues and have playing bases well into 10s of millions. GamesAnalytics is leading the charge in the games industry to get more intimate with its players. But there are some interesting challenges to overcome for analysts. The data volumes are vast. It is possible to collect every action by every player. Each time a player starts a mission, buys an item, invites a friend can be collected within the anonymous environment of the game. Also the playing behaviours are complex and there is a real data reduction problem to understanding what is going in with different segments of players. Also time is a critical factor; the game is being constantly developed so careful cohorting of playing groups is essential for analytics to deliver robust outputs. But aside from these challenges, by using varieties of existing statistical techniques combined with the development of new ones, it is possible to characterise different playing styles and start to put these insights to good use in how the game is developed. For example, we recently worked on a Deathmatch Tournament style of multiplayer game that was available on Ios and Android. It was clear from the game performance metrics that retention rates were low and this was having a negative impact on the potential revenues generated by the game. The budget for the development of the game was significant. So something needed to be done. The more traditional route would be for the designers to get together and brainstorm possible solution before committing one to the development team. Intuition without insight.
  5. 5. By looking at various factors such as competency, momentum, rewards and intensity of game play, we were able to create strong behavioural segments that showed fundamental differences in how contrasting playing styles were experiencing the game. For example, one segment which we called Strategic Elite demonstrated very high skill levels, high win rates and they conserved their resources. However this ‘Snipper’ playing style was being under-rewarded by the game, these players were getting frustrated and leaving. In contrast our ‘Kamikaze Killers’ segment wasted their resources, spent much of their time out of the tournaments whilst healing but were being overrewarded by the game. This meant that they didn’t monetize as they had plenty of in-game currency to replace weapons and ammo as often as they liked. By taking a player centric view of the issue, suddenly it showed that the in-game economy was badly balanced, and that by restructuring the rewards it would be possible to 1) convince the ‘Snippers’ to engage with the game, and 2) encourage the ‘Kamikaze Killers’ to spend some money to enhance their experience. This is the power that analytics can now deliver into game development - taking out some of the guess work so that important decisions are based on actual player behaviours. But more than that it is also possible to take this approach to its natural conclusion and target individual players with real time in-game messages that encourage engagement and retention – making games more successful and sustaining the industry in the new and challenging world of free-to-play. And so, as we know, it’s not Intuition vs Analytics; it’s Intuition and Analytics with analytics taking its rightful place alongside outstanding creative ideas, great game design and expert development to ensure that the guesswork is taken out of the development process and games become genuinely responsive to players. By Mark Robinson, COO - GamesAnalytics Ltd Mark Robinson has over 15 years’ data mining experience industry, across companies such as Heineken, Office Depot, Aviva and Unibet. He led data mining consultancy Marketing Databasics that builds and hosts analytical environments to increase customer value through data-driven insight. In 2009, Marketing Databasics (MDB) was designated a "Leader" organisation in the Forrester review of marketing services providers for its completeness of offering and its strategic vision. MDB was acquired by the Indicia Group where Mark was Client Services Director before leaving to start GamesAnalytics as COO. GamesAnalytics to enable big data to drive player understanding, introducing the concept of Player Relationship Management to build better games. With the advent of the Free-2-Play games, responding to player behaviours has never been so important and GamesAnalytics helps publishers & developers with player segmentation, predictive analytics and targeted in-game messaging in order to increase player engagement and game revenues.
  6. 6. 3.Visualisation Tools - should we or shouldn't we? The growth in visualisation tools in recent years has been phenomenal both in terms of available products and adoption. Their power and benefit is undeniable but behind the scenes, once the decisions have been made, they can add to the complexity of your BI strategy. It’s rarely as simple as ‘just another product to support’. Their ETL and consolidation functionality and time to implement is hard to resist but is it always the right answer? Where do they fit in and how do you challenge the business if you are faced with overpowering stakeholders? We’ve all been there, the product demo. Whether it’s the ‘you can’t afford to miss out’ pitch from the product vendors or the ‘look what we’ve bought’ pitch from the guys down the corridor, the room is full of decision makers and stakeholders. It all happens very quickly. Very soon someone will say ‘This looks great, this is just what we need. This is how I must see my data.’ Next comes the nodding slowly moving around the table, infecting those who aren’t convinced. To add some credibility to the decision making process some questions are thrown out. “How long does it take to implement”? Without a moment’s hesitation the answer fills the room but let’s face it, it doesn’t matter. Your delivery cycle is in months; their answer is in days, maybe even weeks. The decision has been made and you know it. Already someone has said “Even if we chuck it away, the development cost is insignificant”. Everyone in the room is excited but you. It’s not just that you are going to be responsible for delivering it; you know it’s not as simple as the vendors have made out but you now have an uphill battle. If you attack now, in all the excitement, you will fail and maybe damage your reputation. So what do you do? The good news is, if you have a solid BI strategy, it will find its place. This might be sitting on top of your mart or warehouse doing nothing more than presenting your enterprise data; alternatively this may sit clearly outside your enterprise solution serving a tactical or functional requirement where data quality, governance and system robustness are of lower importance. However, if these products form a core part of your strategy, playing a key role transforming and consolidation of your data or constituting a repository, you may want to reconsider. The fact is that these products, in the main, are good, maybe too good but on a simple level, just because something can do the job doesn’t mean that it should. In short, you must look ahead, past this project and probably the next. In 18 months what will your data and BI tool landscape look like? While you look at where you are going, take some time to look at where you have come from. Data is the heart of any BI system and central to this is quality yet something strange seems to happen when the visualisation tools arrive. What they can do with the data is nothing new. Transformations, cleansing, mapping, de-duplicating and almost certainly consolidating data from multiple sources but in all the excitement, the value and quality of these processes seems to diminish. For years huge time and effort has gone into the data processes using dedicated ETL tools providing comprehensive and usually complex update and transformation strategies but suddenly we are doing this in either weeks or sometime days. Whether it is ignorance, wishful thinking or just the desire to please the business is unclear but these two extremes don’t stack up and the risks are many. These range from overly simple transformations leading to data integrity within our visualisation data set and ongoing ‘enhancement’ as flaws are discovered, to building a rod for our own back and the inevitable question “why don’t we process all our data through our visualisation tool if it is
  7. 7. so quick”? So before you ask yourself, ‘Can we do this?’ take a step back and go for the slightly harder ‘Should we do this?’ or ’If we do this, where will we be in 18mths?’. The visualisation functionality is hopefully the biggest draw for the business. In all the excitement though, what are they actually comparing against; how well do the users actually know your existing or enterprise tool sets? It’s unlikely that you have no visualisation functionality available but if you took your stakeholders and decision makers how many of them could talk to you about your current capabilities, limitations and issues of your current tools? This predicament is common and on this occasion, the business is probably not to blame. So often the training in tools is a one off but that hardly reflects the realities of business. If user’s requirements aren’t changing, the software almost certainly is and opinions are formed very early on. In most cases, the first time a user, usually inexperienced, tries something, a new chart or drill down, if it doesn’t work that forms the opinion. Without your involvement they will rarely try again but it is this opinion that has filtered up to the decision makers and that you now face. It is too easy and perhaps more fun to focus on what is going on outside your company with new products and technologies and ignore what is going on inside. But before you make the leap make sure you understand the reasons. Are you sitting on a mountain of visualisations you could deploy today with some minor development or training or is this really bringing something (enough) new to the party? So the power of these tools is undeniable and the benefits appear obvious but have they become a quick and dirty, but acceptable way to overcoming the hurdles we face every day? The business may thank us for delivering some new visualisations in 6 weeks or less but will they thank us in 12 or 18 months when we have fragmented systems, multiple versions, different portals and, worst of all, rising costs to support the many applications that have spawned. The C level and senior executives must resist the temptation of quick wins and focus on the strategic approach. If there is no robust BI strategy, now is the time define one, understand it and see where these tools fit. But it is not just down to them. At the same time, the BI leads must be firm, ignore the propaganda or pressure from the business and articulate back to the business if and how these tools should be implemented. The reality is that nothing has changed. The business has requirements and it is our job to provide the data, information and systems to meet them but there must be NO compromise. Visualisation tools must complement your strategy not compromise it. By Nick Fearn - Business Intelligence Director Nick completed his education at Warwick University where he studied Manufacturing Engineering and then worked immediately in a role delivering Management Information for a GEC company. From there he worked as a BI consultant and for 10 years on a broad range of projects in both private and public sectors. In 2007 Nick accepted the role to build the BI function in Travelport, a multi-billion dollar global technology company, where he transformed BI over the next six years to become an integral part of the Finance and Commercial organisations. Nick combines his interests in skiing, cycling and creative cookery with his young family.
  8. 8. 4. Delivering the value from Big Data As we approach the end of a year and I reflect on the work we have delivered, the question I have been repeatedly asked by my clients is, ‘Where is the value in Big Data for my business?’ This question is asked equally by an SME in Tech City or a multinational company where a CxO has been tasked to deliver the next transformation. The answer is always the same “What business problem do you need to solve next?” Then we can decide how Big Data can help. For those readers who have seen any of my Big Data keynotes, you will remember a slide where the “Big” in “Big Data” is crossed out, leaving just “Data”. For every organisation Big is relative: for some clients, their 10 petabyte Social Gaming Cloud service is a lot to handle; equally for some CxO’s their 5 terabyte on-premise solution causes them similar problems. However the Big Data technical solution we deploy in each case is very different. Even though it is much harder to deploy multiple technology stacks to solve the Big Data problem, being vendor neutral is key to delivering the value from Big Data technologies. From my first Big Data project in 2009 deploying regulatory change for a UK based Financial Services company across Europe in only 5 months, through to transformational changes across UK Government delivered using our G-Cloud (Government Cloud) GCHQ accredited Big Data platforms, we have put together an offering which categorises Big Data Projects according to 8 V’s. Of the 8 V’s Value has proved to be the most significant V for the vast majority of organisations for their initial Big Data project. Over the last 4 years the metrics we have collected across our projects have revealed some key statistics. Organisations on average have 8% of their people who have the ability to create transformational change with data, whereas the rest of the organisation is largely unable to make any impact. Once we have deployed our value Big Data solutions, on average this changes to 80% of the organisation able to influence change with data. One other factor is also key at this point. This relates to how mature an organisation is in its ability to leverage data skills across their own landscape. Addressing the value from utilising the existing data within an organisation with a Big Data approach, plus blending in data which can be sourced externally such as Open Data and Social Web data gives game changing results. This transformation change cannot be achieved using traditional data technologies and the existing IT legacy system. However unlike other vendors in this field we have been able to achieve this by connecting to the existing data capability in an organisation, leveraging the existing data investment rather than replacing it. Aside from maximising the existing investment and reducing the implementation costs this method has the added advantage of deploying transformational change for an organisation in months not years. This new approach also enables the development of data skills across the landscape. This is usually achieved with an initial pilot group of users who are reskilled during the project, and the delivery of data to domain experts across an organisation on a self-service basis. This new approach delivers interactive visualisation capability to meet existing insight needs which are actionable, and also answers the Big Data questions you didn’t know you needed to ask. Our new clients typically contact us as a referral from previous clients as the word goes round that this Big Data transformation is hugely powerful. The key factor which they also want to achieve is a positive impact on the P&L which unsurprisingly grabs headlines in these cash strapped days. Additionally organisations are waking up to the power of data: either because their competitor has made the change like our first client in Financial Services, or because IT refresh is being mandated as it is for our Government clients. The question which remains is what can Big Data do for your organisation? Unlike other Big Data specialists in this field we can deploy our technology in a matter of weeks to help you leverage the opportunity.
  9. 9. By Jacqui Taylor – Founder and CEO – Flying Binary Ltd Jacqui has 25 years of deploying technology across the world. After implementing a banking regulatory change programme with Web 3.0 tools she co-founded FlyingBinary. An appointment to the Cabinet Office as an Open Data domain expert recognised her as a web scientist of influence in the era of Big Data. A recent inclusion as a data innovator for a number of the smart city initiatives signals the next steps for her company, and the Internet of Things which will transform all our daily lives. Jacqui trains Advanced Analysts on the Science of Data Visualisation, is a regular speaker on Cloud Adoption, Big Data, Smarter Analytics and Profiting from the Web. FlyingBinary is an Industry Partner at the faculty of Web Science at Southampton University, and is currently involved with a number of research projects related to the future of Cloud Services and Cyber Security.
  10. 10. 5. Big Data Analytics – What’s in for CFO’s & COO’s? Having sat through numerous presentations and demonstrations and listened to marketing directors’ arguments, I am convinced more than ever of the value that big data analytics can bring to the top line. Evidence abounds with ROIs and financial case studies that Big Data analytics helps make targeted and personalised offerings to customers, predict future trends, reduce revenue leakage, gain market share and more. Much has been written about the benefits of market facing big data analytics. However, little has been mentioned about how big data analytics benefits enterprises’ internal operations. As a CFO / COO, you will naturally want the biggest bang for your buck. Big data analytics is a sure shot. While a big data solution will greatly help the market facing operations of the firm, a lot can be gained by implementing those technologies internally as well. With the CFOs office being natural gatekeeper of key data within an organisation, it is important that it recognizes the benefits big data analytics brings internally across multiple functions. In Human resources A recent survey on “Rethinking HR for a Changing World”, conducted by KPMG with the Economist Intelligence Unit indicated that 57% of HR Executives rated workforce data analytics for business intelligence as a focus area. Josh Bersin an HR analyst, opined in a Forbes article that HR functions have been collecting myriads of data for the last several decades, including demographics, educational history, job location and many other factors about employees but not using it scientifically to make people decisions. Big data analytics can support your talent acquisition strategy and help make HR more efficient. For example, by providing a clear understanding of your present skill-base and requirements for future skills, the recruitment strategy can be customized to be more effective. It gives the talent acquisition processes, access to information outside the resume that can be verified easily there reducing overheads in the recruitment process. Analysis of unstructured data, particularly from professional social media portals like LinkedIn and Glassdoor will give organisations a bigger resource pool to cast their net in. It could help the human resource teams understand reasons of attrition and benchmark competitor compensation. Intranet discussions can be analysed to get to the bottom of the employee dissatisfaction quickly and keep employee productivity high. In Operations Management Operations within an organisation can be streamlined and managed effectively with big data. The International Society of Automation (ISA) which has, since its inception in 1945, worked with over 30,000 members to help solve technical problems through automation. It notes several benefits of big data analytics in operations management. Modern manufacturing shop floors are highly automated with large volumes of data collected from digital equipment, production lines, sensors, time log machines and suppliers, yielding information such as human cycle time and system throughput time, raw material arrival time etc. But the diversity of data formats in the data collected from various automation systems presents a challenge for analysis. According to the ISA, while manufacturing operations generate massive amounts of this big data, much of it is unused or discarded. But in recent times, manufacturers are beginning to report substantial cost savings or new revenues resulting from big data insights. Big data can be thought of as a “mash-up” from all these systems which can answer specific questions, for example, what was happening in the various automation systems, when a certain manufacturing defect occurred and can occur in the future; or tracing all the parts made by a machine that was out of tolerance, or how an out-of-tolerance condition in a particular manufacturing cell would affect customer orders.
  11. 11. Big data analytics will enable smoother operations management by anticipating chinks in the process chain, machine down time and enable proactive measures to oil the machine. Supply networks can be worked more effectively by understanding their behaviour patterns and the factors constraining them. The list is endless. In Finance The finance function has grown beyond merely supporting the business to being the gatekeeper of business critical information. Analysing financial information and communicating it to operational decision makers is of paramount importance and this can be done easily and more effectively with big data analytics. According to a global trend study conducted by Tata Consultancy Services on big data initiatives, a little more than half of the respondents said they had undertaken Big Data initiatives in 2012. When asked whether big data initiatives had improved decision-making, an overwhelming majority (81%) said they had. According to the study, finance and accounting managers see the most value in Big Data for the two activities: measuring risk and improving budgeting and forecasting. Analysis can reveal bad credit clusters, help identify areas of internal and external theft and assist in determining appropriate financing amount for customers. With capital required to run the business and operational risk having a tight correlation, using big data analytics will provide the predictability to manage fluctuations in capital needs easily. Big data also gives the finance functions the ability to manage risk and prevent fraud by eliminating the need of sampling in order to make predictions. With the technologies available today, all of the data, and not just sample, can be analysed to drive decisions I hope I have given you some sense of how big data analytics initiatives are amongst the few that offer the most gains to stakeholders whether looking outward to the market and customers or looking inward to operations and finance. By Martin Robinson, Co-Founder & COO - Massive Analytic Ltd Martin Robinson, is a serial entrepreneur, with a track record of transforming visionary strategy into a reality. Martin is a Chartered Accountant with a degree in business studies. Massive Analytic Limited started in 2010, and Martin joined in 2011, the company is a highly innovative software company developing world-leading big data solutions with its range of products. Massive Analytic’s unique technology represents this new paradigm. It offers radical improvements on competing solutions and is protected by four international patents pending. The products are called Oscar Bao and Favela. (
  12. 12. 6. The Associates Global Who are……The Associates Global. We are a specialist Business Intelligence and Information Management Agency with deep and broad experience in Information Management. Our strongest capability in this space is without a doubt Business Intelligence, Analytics and Data Warehousing. We deliver to both the Contract & Permanent Resource markets and deliver what is needed, when it’s needed. As a company we have real pride and passion in delivering for our clients as well for the technology and believe that this is what sets us apart. We take the time to really understand our clients’ requirement, the business ethos, as well as the culture and detail of specific roles. It’s our depth of knowledge of the technology and of the market as a whole, as well as of the people who work in it that ensures our success. Our ability to recognise what candidates can offer, and are best suited for, saves our clients time. We help guide and coach candidates’ careers and we make sure it’s the right person for the right job. We operate a newsletter and extended social networking evenings with industry leading speakers/writers in their specific fields. The benefit of this is that we attract active and passive candidates to our network as well as keeping us ahead of the technology curve, while adding real value back into the marketplace. The company has two Senior Principles who are both directors and shareholders, with a wealth of knowledge and experience, who actively work in and lead the business. Howard Longstaff Howard has worked in the recruitment industry for nearly 20 years, mainly involved within the Information Technology sector, having set up and run businesses in the UK, Europe, the US and New Zealand. He prides himself on being able to reach into almost any area or location to find the most appropriate people for a client. Howard has worked across many niche areas, fulfilling specific roles or helping to build teams for clients. The two underlying areas that he has been involved with have been Architecture and Information Management, both very much in vogue and in demand at the moment. On the Architecture side, Howard and his team cover every discipline (Enterprise, Solutions, Infrastructure, Data and Security) and by definition go beyond this into the CXO space and other Senior Management Consulting roles, as well as experienced Business Development people. Within Information Management (Business Intelligence, Data Warehousing and Enterprise Content Management), Howard is probably one of the most knowledgeable recruiters available, with a deep understanding of the technology and the sector, as well as many of the tools, products and disciplines. This includes data integration (ETL), traditional data warehousing design and MPP, as well as many of the front-end reporting and analytical tools plus many ECM and BPM tools. Howard’s reputation has always been one of taking ownership and delivery for clients whilst adding real value to candidates.
  13. 13. Graham Bradfield Having learnt his trade working for a Global Recruitment Consultancy, Graham Bradfield has over 7 years’ experience in recruitment, predominantly focussed on contract recruitment within Information Management. He has a passion for Business Intelligence, Analytics and Data Warehousing. He has worked with clients across the UK and Europe, ranging from Tier 1 Consultancies, Global Software Vendors to multinational organisations, as well as helping companies grow from start-up or aiding the growth of VC-funded businesses. It has always been his belief that there is an ethical way of recruiting built on mutual trust and knowledge. It is this belief that gave rise to the network events and newsletter. “Only by sharing and actively contributing to the betterment of the whole can you be seen as a part of the community”. Graham comes from a background in coaching, teaching professional sport which have given him the traits of being tenacious when working on positions but also being able to relate to different personalities and allow them to achieve their maximum potential. “We sell people and it is imperative that you give some of yourself to get to know and understand them, to improve their life and clients’ requirements. I am proud to say that I now consider many of my candidates and clients, to be good friends”. 7. UPCOMING NEWS 2014 Networking Events Next year we will be hosting a number of networking events, for 2014 these will be hosted in London and if successful we will look to offer these out to a wider audience across the UK in future years. These are an ideal opportunity for clients, candidates, vendors and consulting companies to do presentations to those that attend and also an opportunity for clients, candidates, vendors and any other interested parties to network with their peers. The format of these is simple: we provide guest speakers and industry experts to present content on relevant and interesting subject matter. The more interesting the speakers and the more interesting the content, the more attendees we are likely to gain. It’s an informal get together; you get to listen to relevant and interesting content, discuss this and interact with other like-minded individuals from across the market while having a bite to eat and a drink. You can stay as long or as short a time as you are able too, it’s done to provide information and an opportunity to meet other people from across the industry. The audience is very varied and will include; business analysts, developers, architects, management consultants as well as BI managers, professional services directors, CIO’s, CTO’s & CEO. Graham Bradfield has hosted many of these in the past and they have been extremely successful.