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Meet the team: Ben Vandiver

This week I sat down with Ben Vandiver, a Vertica veteran who’s been with the company since 2008, and talked about everything from influencing presidential elections, making an impact, and sword-fighting with interns.

Can Big Data Analytics Save Our World?

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If you ask Conservation International this question, they may just say yes. After all, Conservation International has teamed up with HP Earth Insights to provide organizations around the world — from environmentalists to policy makers – with a real-time look at what is happening within our planets most valuable natural resource: the rain forest.

But how does their work relate to you as a start-up organization or a Fortune 500 company?
First, they have surprisingly similar analytical needs to many other start-ups and corporations, collecting data regularly from 16 sites around the globe, performing more than 4 million climate measurements as of this February, and managing more than 3 TB of biodiversity information. As the name implies, this information is incredibly, well… diverse, including everything from photos to hand-recorded measurements to weather station and camera trap imagery. While your company may not be recording/analyzing the metadata of candid photos of elephants and/or chimpanzees, chances are, many of you out there are working with at least more than one type of data.

Collecting and Analyzing Multiple Data Types
All of these different data types have to be funneled into a database, analyzed, and then acted on. Running queries based on millions of climate readings begins to look a lot like doing the same on a diverse customer base like many other companies deal with every day. Many agricultural companies collect sensor data from across their farm lands to get a forecast of how the climate has affected their crops for the upcoming year. These days, utilities companies are launching Advanced Metering Infrastructures (AMI) to deal with the staggering amounts of sensor data collected from the energy usage of millions of homes. HP Vertica coincidentally works as an effective Meter Data Management (MDM) system (read more here).

Visualizing the Data and Reaching More People
Working with HP, Conservation International has built from the ground up their own analytics system and dashboard for visualizing their data from all 16 rainforests around the globe. CI DBA’s discover trends based on over 140 million simulations, and analyze the metadata from over 1.7 million photos. Not only is their custom interface intuitive, it also enables them to generate PDFs instantly and share to social media directly from the dashboard. For CI, this means more people now see more of their impact in more places to proactively address environment threats. For you, it might mean anything from less time spent prepping your data to present to management, or just simply fewer emails to send.

The Power of Prediction for the Greater Good
Like many companies, CI uses standard methodology in processing their data, and uses R for their analysis, as is very common in scientific studies. Using R, CI can proactively assess where the future trouble spots will be, and what parts of their monitored ecosystems are most threatened. Many other HP Vertica customers use R in surprisingly similar ways, such as seeing what neighborhoods a future power outage might affect most, or how serious the next year’s dry season will be to a farmer’s crops

See Conservation International at the HP Vertica Big Data Conference
These are just a few examples of how an incredibly unique organization uses HP Vertica to analyze unique data, yet does it in ways that many other groups might find surprisingly familiar. Sometimes after a closer look, we can see that many organizations have a lot more in common with their data needs than they may think, and HP Vertica is the right tool for the job.

Be sure to attend out upcoming Big Data Conference in Boston MA, where Conservation International is leading the hackathon!

HP Vertica @ Boston TechJam!

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Yesterday, myself and a few other fellow members of the HP Vertica team attended Boston TechJam 2014 at the city hall plaza in Boston. Featuring a digital art display by local artist Cindy Bishop entitled “The Way You Move”, our booth was thronged with people wanting to know more about what we do as the leading big data analytics platform. Myself and the rest of my team wanted to send out a huge thank you to everyone who stopped by our booth to talk with us. I personally had an amazing time interacting the rest of the tech community here in beautiful Boston, getting a chance to talk to everyone from up and coming innovators to grizzled tech veterans, (some of whom may be joining our ranks in the future!)

Below are some pictures I snapped of the festivities (when there was a rare break in between people coming up to the booth). I’m already looking forward to next year!

Find your way to HP Discover

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In just a few days, many of our team will be packing up and taking flight across the country to beautiful Las Vegas Nevada. It’s been a crazy week leading up to this moment, but I think I speak for all of us here when I say we are so excited to show off what we do best, along with a pretty extensive catalog of sessions for you to get up to speed with the platform. Want to learn about how HP Vertica is helping save the planet? How to keep your data away from prying eyes? Or how about how you can supercharge your social media with geospatial analytics. If you’ve got a question about it, odds are we have a session about it.

We will have two demo booths in the Big Data pavilion, join us here to ask any questions you may have and catch up with some of our speakers:

Booth 845 – Derive Value from All Your Big Data Analytics Use Cases
Booth 846 – Gain a Competitive Edge with HP Vertica Innovations

Each day HP Vertica will be speaking in six or more session so be sure to use the session scheduler session scheduler and get a preview of all our session topics on our Discover page

Haven’t registered yet? You can still get your last minute pass. We can’t wait to see you there!

Meet The Team: Patrick Day

Pat day

Welcome back to another edition of our “Meet the Team” feature! This week we sat down with our inside sales manager Patrick Day, and talked about everything from what it’s like to manage the badass sales team we have here in Cambridge MA, to ballroom dancing.

A Vertica training update: Installing Vertica and Management Console

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The training team has started the process of updating and revamping out web-based training offerings, available here. Our first released rebuild is the course Installing Vertica and Management Console. Here are some of the updates that we made to the material:

  • The course covers installing both Vertica Analytics and Management Console
  • We’ve streamlines the description of the installation process, so that you don’t need to work through each step
  • We’ve improved the description of how a cluster is defined, and highlighted some of the most common configuration errors
  • We’ve included pointers to relevant sections of the documentation
  • The course is self-running, and takes less than 10 minutes to complete. You can, of course, pause and replay each page of the course.
  • The course includes voiceover descriptions and a Table of Contents for navigation, moving us away from the text-based presentation model

To start the course, click here

We hope you enjoy it, and look forward to your feedback!

Meet the Team: Amy Miller

 

Amys Army

It’s another weekly edition of our Meet the Team feature! Our very own Amy Miller from support, shares with us the story of her career here at Vertica, what she loves about her job and her team, and how she wins national hockey tournaments.

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