Archive for December, 2013

Faster Analytics for GoodData


Recently GoodData, a provider of end-to-end Cloud BI and data warehouse platform solutions, transitioned from Postgres to a columnar database and shared the details of their migration in a post on their developer blog. Spoiler alert, they chose HP Vertica.

After evaluating multiple columnar databases, GoodData determined that HP Vertica was the best fit to power their platform. Among the speed and features like high availability and massive parallelism Tomáš Jirotka, Product Manager for GoodData, mentions that HP Vertica “is the best product we may have as an underlying database engine of our analytical data marts with large fact tables.” They discovered that HP Vertica performed 3 times faster than on postgres without any special optimizations for a columnar database.

We’re extremely excited that GoodData chose HP Vertica as their Big Data analytics engine of choice and are looking forward to powering their Big Data solutions. Learn more about GoodData’s performance experiments with HP Vertica.

Data Governance and Chicago’s CampIT event

Steve I recently had the privilege to talk at a CampIT event in Chicago, a very well-attended event at the Stephens Convention Center near Chicago’s O’Hare airport. Analytics professionals gathered and shared ideas on technologies like Hadoop, big data analytics, columnar store databases and in-memory technologies – to name just a few of the topics.

Challenges of Modern Analytics

In my presentation, I covered some of the challenges in modern analytics. Perhaps the biggest technical challenge we’re facing is the ever-growing volumes of data in our organizations. More data means that our legacy analytical solutions are slowing, making it harder and harder to deliver analytics at the right time for the right audience. Business user may lack the technical understanding of how this affects them. They only know that they can’t get answers and business intelligence as readily as they need to.

Another challenge is that IT professionals continued to be asked to do more with less funding. According to Gartner, IT spending increased only about 0.8% this year. IT is spending all of their funds on keeping the wheels on the bus spinning, but few funds in IT are available to innovate. Other budgets, like marketing and sales technology spend are increasing, however. IT is still seen as a cost center in many organizations, while the business side is considered to be revenue-generating.

Data Governance Can Help

Data governance can help us tap into the business-focused budgets with a couple of important edicts:

    1. IT should form an alliance with business users
    Take a real interest in some of the challenges that your business users have by inviting them for coffee or giving them an opportunity to beef about their challenges.

    2. IT should focus on important business aspects of the IT initiative
    If you ask your business users, the most important aspects of IT aren’t technical. The three most important business aspects of any initiative is revenue, efficiency and compliance. IT should be trying hard to help the company make more money, be more efficient in the way that day-to-day business is done, and compliance with state, local, federal or industry regulations.

    3. The data governance team should initially pick projects that can provide quick return on investment and track benefits.
    Quick wins that are profitable to the corporation form an agile approach to data governance. Initiatives shouldn’t take months or years, but days or weeks. When users see the value that IT is bring to the organization, they will want to work with you on solving their issues.

    4. Analytics is just one of the systems of opportunity to begin your data governance initiative.
    Providing fast analytics with Vertica’s help is just one system of opportunity to move your data governance initiative forward.

Tap into Business Budgets

By understanding your business user’s needs, providing a strong ROI and talking about the business benefits of Vertica, you can sell the benefits of big data analytics into your organization. Again, it’s about revenue, efficiency and compliance in your business. It speaks to revenue when you have execution windows to run analysis that you have never had before and now you can find new ways to reach your customers. It speaks to efficiency when you increase speed, typically hundreds of times faster than the old way of doing analytics, and avoid worries about a long analysis taking up too much processing time. It speaks to compliance when you can deliver analysis that’s fast and accurate, and analysis that you don’t have to check and re-check it before you deliver it to a broader audience.

Welcoming Facebook to the growing family of HP Vertica customers!

Yesterday at HP Discover Barcelona, we were thrilled to welcome one of our newest Vertica customers – Tim Campos, CIO of Facebook, during George Kadifa’s keynote.

Facebook selected the HP Vertica Analytics Platform as one component of its big data infrastructure.  Vertica’s value to Facebook can be found in its ability to provide business insights with incredible speed and flexibility. HP Vertica supports Facebook’s business analysts and helps the company be more productive through dramatically reduced query time. It is also valuable for providing accurate forecasting and aiding data driven decisions.

According to Tim:

“Data is incredibly important: it provides the opportunity to create new product enhancements, business insights, and a significant competitive advantage by leveraging the assets companies already have. At Facebook, we move incredibly fast. It’s important for us to be able to handle massive amounts of data in a respectful way without compromising speed, which is why HP Vertica is such a perfect fit.”

As blogger Dana Gardner posted:

“HP, taking a new leap in its marathon to remake itself, has further assembled, refined and delivered the IT infrastructure, big data and cloud means by which other large enterprises can effectively remake themselves.

This week here at the HP Discover 2013 conference — despite the gulf of 70 years but originating in the same Silicon Valley byways — has found a kindred spirit in … Facebook. The social media juggernaut, also based in Palo Alto, is often pointed to with both envy and amazement at its new-found and secretive feats of IT data center scale, reach, efficiency and adaptability. It’s a mantle of technological respect that HP itself once long held.

So for Facebook’s CIO, Tim Campos, to get on stage in Europe and declare that, “A partner like HP Vertica thinks like we do” and is a “key part” of Facebook’s big data capabilities, is one the best endorsements, err … “likes,” that any modern IT infrastructure vendor could hope for. With Facebook’s data growing by 500 terabytes a day, this is quite a coup for HP’s analytics platform, which is part of its HAVEn initiative. “

Welcome aboard Facebook to the growing family of HP Vertica customers!

HP Vertica & Yammer

We recently added Yammer, a business enterprise social network, to our growing list of customers. Yammer allows company employees to communicate, collaborate, and interact with one another internally.
Like any company, Yammer needs to make the most out of the data they collect every day in order to consistently update and improve their user experience.

In fact, Yammer’s entire work ethic is designed around implementing in quick, short, and effective bursts, all of which relies on having lightning fast access to all of their data. “Yammer is very data driven in its development,” says Peter Fishman, Director of Analytics at Yammer. “We’re not just gathering data from a vocal minority, we’re actually gathering the breadth of the customer base, and we’re looking at which features they’re actually using.”

That’s where HP Vertica comes into play. HP Vertica allows Yammer to function the way it does because of the incredible amount of time it saves the analytics team in finding the data they need. “You want to be sure all of your resources are being spent on things that are resonant with your users” says Co-founder & CTO Adam Pisoni. By using HP Vertica, Yammer can immediately see where they need to improve, and turn on a dime to implement on it without wasting time waiting for queries to come back, or having to structure their data in a specific way beforehand.
Take a look at this video for more information on how HP Vertica enables Peter and his team at Yammer to evolve their product in a way that is ideal for their customers using the data they see every day.

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