Mark Smith's Analyst Perspectives

The Big Deal in Big Data is a Big Opportunity

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 5, 2012 10:40:57 AM

Big data was big news in 2012 and probably in 2013 too. The Harvard Business Review talks about it as The Management Revolution. The Wall Street Journal says Meet the New Boss: Big Data, and Big Data is on the Rise, Bringing Big Questions. Given big data’s popularity in the press, you might think that the technology market is only about big data and how companies use the vast and growing amount of data now available to organizations. While this technology can provide a significant opportunity, the reality is that just having big data does not provide an organization with the intelligence to be more efficient or grow market share. It can provide the foundation on which organizations can assemble technologies and applications that can help realize these opportunities, but organizations need to focus on the big picture, which encompasses additional layers of technology that work together with big data. Our recent benchmark research on business technology innovation found that big data is not the top priority for business or IT; analytics, collaboration, mobile and cloud computing are all more important. Organizations do believe that big data is very important (25%), but if they were pushed to prioritize technologies, it would not top the list.

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Topics: Big Data, Data Warehousing, Predictive Analytics, Social Media, Harvard Business Review, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Wall Street Journal, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, CIO, Cloud Computing, Business Performance Management (BPM), Customer Performance Management (CPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Information Management (IM), IT Performance Management (ITPM), Technology Innovation, Strata+Hadoop

Salesforce Struggles to Deliver on the Dream of Analytics

Posted by Mark Smith on Sep 21, 2012 12:35:51 PM

I was at the Salesforce.com Dreamforce conference this week to hear about the latest advancements from the cloud computing software giant. Salesforce has helped revolutionize cloud computing for business, and its social media and collaborative technologies help advance business processes in sales, customer service and improve the interactions between employees, partners and customers. Salesforce has made great advancements in cloud, social and mobile technology, as I have assessed and my colleague did too.

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Topics: Big Data, Predictive Analytics, QlikView, Salesforce.com, Social Media, Gooddata, Operational Performance Management (OPM), SnapLogic, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, InetSoft, KXEN, Operational Intelligence, Business Performance Management (BPM), Cloud9 Analytics, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Domo, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Information Applications (IA), Information Builder iway, Information Management (IM), Roambi, Sales Performance Management (SPM)

IBM Advances Predictive Analytics for Decision Management

Posted by Mark Smith on Jun 22, 2012 12:42:17 PM

At its Business Analytics Analyst Summit (Twitter: #IBMBAS12) this week, IBM unveiled its new release of analytics software for decision management. Over the last 25 years decision support systems have transformed into decision management, in which analytics, rules and optimization methods help organizations use information to guide optimal outcomes. IBM has experience and technology in these areas, most of it acquired, to apply to specific organizational needs in vertical industries. In addition, IBM has advanced its information management technologies to support big data and predictive analytics in operational environments. Its stream- and event-processing technology helps speed routing and analysis of information across business processes. Each of these are critical for supporting decision management technology needs for business processes.

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Topics: Big Data, Predictive Analytics, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, IBM, Business Performance Management (BPM), Business Process Management, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Decision Management, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

Opera Solutions Orchestrates Intelligent Applications using Big Data and Predictive Analytics

Posted by Mark Smith on May 23, 2012 11:11:35 AM

Predictive analytics has the potential to help businesses increase the impacts of their actions by creating indicators that represent future outcomes based on existing behavior. This process becomes more complicated when they have to apply predictive analytics to what we call big data environments. As yet only 13 percent of organizations are using predictive analytics according to our business analytics benchmark research, although 37 percent indicated that predictive capabilities are very important to their business analytics efforts. Opera Solutions is one of the larger vendors of dedicated predictive analytics software, having more than 650 employees, more than 200 of them data scientists, who help organizations turn their data into actionable intelligence. There is opportunity for the company, as predictive analytics and visualization of data are two capabilities not available in four out of every five organizations according to our big-data benchmark research. Beyond creating indicators, Opera Solutions’ applications can generate signals that present results not only visually but also in English sentences that integrate the analytics and provide guidance for determining next steps. This sophisticated capability can help improve business processes and refine decision-making and truly interact with the application.

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Topics: Big Data, Predictive Analytics, Opera Solutions, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Technology, CIO, Cloud Computing, Information Management, Information Technology, Operational Intelligence, Business Performance Management (BPM), Information Applications (IA), Information Management (IM), IT Performance Management (ITPM)

NICE Transforms Customer Experience through Mobile and Interaction Intelligence

Posted by Mark Smith on May 3, 2012 1:06:15 PM

I attended NICE Systems’ annual Interactions (Twitter #Interaction2012) conference in Nashville to get the latest from this growing global software business that focuses on customer-centric applications. If you have not heard of NICE you might not be primarily involved in managing and interacting with customers, the area in which NICE has been growing organically and by acquiring technology providers that complement its existing portfolio. As we discussed in recent analyses, and NICE acquired Merced Systems for its sales- and service-centric performance management applications and Fizzback for customer feedback management software. Both have helped it become a more strategically focused software business. NICE Systems targets enterprise contact centers as well as financial risk, compliance and security. NICE makes its applications available not just on-premises but also in software as a service and hosted environments.

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Social Media, Customer Analytics, Customer Experience, Customer Feedback Management, NICE Systems, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Operational Intelligence, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Desktop Analytics, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Interactive Intelligence, Sales Performance Management (SPM), Text Analytics, Unified Communications, Workforce Management, Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

Alteryx’s Business Analytics Empowers New Generation of Data Artisans

Posted by Mark Smith on Mar 1, 2012 3:51:30 PM

I attended the Alteryx user conference called Inspire 2012 (Twitter: #Inspire12)  in Denver this week. This fairly new analytics software company has been gaining customers in a range of brand-name organizations such as Dick’s Sporting Goods, Supervalu, U.S. Cellular and VF Corp. The company focuses on meeting the needs of analysts across the business analytic spectrum including a geographic and location context for simplifying the analytic tasks and processes for the needs of business at the strategic and operational level.

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Topics: Big Data, Mobile, Predictive Analytics, R, Social Media, alteryx, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Data, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Information Applications (IA), Information Management (IM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM)

Actuate Establishes Performance Analytics for Business Excellence

Posted by Mark Smith on Feb 2, 2012 9:56:51 AM

Business analytics and big data are common topics of conversation in the business and information technology markets, but these technologies are only building blocks to help businesses manage performance. Entering the conversation is Actuate, which for years has had a performance management division that provides software for managing progress toward objectives through a variety of analytic and action-focused techniques. The company has announced release of a promising new generation of its enterprise software, Actuate BIRT Performance Analytics.

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Topics: Big Data, Mobile, Predictive Analytics, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Performance Analytics, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Business Performance Management (BPM), Customer Performance Management (CPM), Financial Performance Management (FPM), Information Management (IM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Workforce Performance Management (WPM)

NICE to Acquire Merced Systems for Excellence in Customer Service and Sales

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 6, 2011 11:45:21 PM

NICE Systems last week announced an agreement to acquire Merced Systems, a provider of business applications for customer service and sales organizations. This acquisition slipped by with little fanfare, but it marks a significant milestone for NICE, a major provider of applications and technology for call centers and a player in their evolution into multichannel contact centers. Building on a good 2010, as my colleague Richard Snow noted, NICE expects to reach almost $800 million of revenue in 2011, which would make it one of the largest companies in its segment. NICE has made multiple acquisitions to build its software portfolio, including purchases of Actimize, CyberTech, eGlue and others mentioned below. It recently won our 2011 Ventana Research Leadership Award in the contact center category with its customer deployment at Alliance Data. NICE Systems plans to have Merced Systems as a foundation of its enterprise systems and a complement to its contact center workforce optimization offering. This purchase builds on its other acquisitions, including FizzBack recently and IEX and Performix in 2006, which helped NICE establish its customer service and back office agent performance management software. That area has not grown as quickly as NICE would like, mostly due to marketing that was not aggressive enough in attracting customers. NICE recently rebranded its NICE SmartCenter for helping agents, as Richard noted, and is leveraging its assets into the back office, which he also assessed. Our benchmark research on contact center technology found that companies’ priorities for future investments match up well with NICE Systems’ focuses on expanding customer service agent applications and analytics applications.

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Sales, Social Media, Customer Analytics, Customer Data Management, Customer Experience, Customer Feedback Management, Marketing, Merced Systems, NICE Systems, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Revenue Performance, Sales Compensation, Sales Force Automation, Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Customer Service, Business Performance Management (BPM), Call Center, CFO, CMO, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Customer Performance Management (CPM), Desktop Analytics, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Sales Performance Management, Sales Performance Management (SPM), SFA, Text Analytics, Unified Communications, Workforce Management, Workforce Performance Management (WPM)