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Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 08:09
What an exciting tournament! If you’re an NCAA hoops junkie like me, you enjoyed the past 3 weeks of action. From the upsets (Mercer over Duke…seriously, Mercer?) to Cinderella stories (Go Dayton Flyers!) to buzzer beaters and clutch shots (Kentucky’s Aaron Harrison against Louisville, Michigan and Wisconsin. That’s simply insane!) , there is no better time of year to gather with family and friends and immerse yourself in the annual basketball festival that is the NCAA tournament. You have to give second...Read more
Steve Miller
Monday, March 31, 2014 - 17:03
I just finished Tom Davenport's latest book, “ Big Data @ Work ” and, not surprisingly, liked it a lot. Indeed I've pretty much enjoyed everything I've read by the author . A Harvard-trained sociologist, Davenport is a methodologically-sound researcher. His deep interviews and surveys of executives and data scientists set a standard for excellence in an industry where marketing bravado generally supersedes scientific rigor. And though Davenport's writing is often not as provocative, as, say, that of Viktor...Read more
Fund Data
By Jon Hanson, Senior Database/Relationship Consultant
Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 08:12
If you're lucky, you work for a company that gives you FREE MONEY if you're a responsible adult and ferret away retirement money in a 401K or Simple IRA plan. A hundred times I've heard the phrase, "Always take the free money," but is that always the right choice? How do you know if you're really getting a good deal? My girlfriend (for privacy's sake we'll call her 'Penelope Portman') was struggling with that decision last weekend and asked me to review her 401k pamphlet. She has her choice of 35 different...Read more
Steve Miller
Friday, March 21, 2014 - 10:40
One of the big changes in OpenBI's business over our eight years of BI and analytics consulting has been the evolution of “reporting”. In 2006, print-like reports were the norm, with OLAP and visualization secondary. Now OLAP and graphical dashboards predominate. Indeed, many customers have pretty much abandoned traditional “pixel-perfect”, control breaks reporting for visual drill/slice-and-dice, dashboards and statistical graphs. Figure 1 (click to enlarge) Nobody's happier about that development than me...Read more
Sourcing Line
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 - 16:59
OpenBI Named a Top Consulting Firm in Two Big Data Categories Chicago, March 2014 – Independent research firm SourcingLine published new research on leading Big Data consulting companies focused on data analytics, and Hadoop consulting companies. OpenBI is one of the few named as a leading firm in both Big Data and Hadoop catagories. "OpenBI is very excited to be acknowledged for our work in big data and analytics by such a highly-reputable company as SourcingLine," says OpenBI Founding Partner Steve...Read more
Monday, March 17, 2014 - 12:41
The brackets are set. Let the madness begin! In Part 1 of this series, I introduced two methods for ranking NCAA teams: a Linear Algebra approach based on a lecture given by Tim Chartier at the Museum of Mathematic,s and a PageRank approach which I applied by reframing the entire NCAA season as a directed, weighted graph. In this blog, we'll compare these ratings approaches with the established industry rating systems of RPI , BPI , Ken Pomeroy and Jeff Sagarin . We'll make use of R's statistical...Read more
Steve Miller
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - 06:45
There's an interesting thread on LinkedIn's TDWI Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing Group I participate in. The point of departure for the discussion is a venting blog by venerable Bill Inmon, often acknowledged as the father of data warehousing , over a marketing ad by Hadoop distribution vendor Cloudera that claims: “CLOUDERA-BIG DATA – Turbocharge your data warehouse”. Inmon's diatribe takes Cloudera to task for even mentioning big data and the data warehouse in the same breath, the ad's imputed...Read more
NCAA Bracket
Monday, March 3, 2014 - 13:16
I want to thank Steve Miller for his assistance in the development of this blog. I frequently travel to New York City for business. Whenever I'm in town on the first Wednesday of the month, I head to the Museum of Mathematics to attend the monthly Math Encounters lecture. MoMath is a wonderful new museum in lower Manhattan that brings math to life for everyone. In January, Davidson College professor Tim Chartier presented an application of linear algebra to NCAA college basketball ratings/bracketology ...Read more
Steve Miller
Thursday, February 27, 2014 - 08:51
My company, OpenBI, is getting ready to celebrate a birthday. When opened for business eight years ago, we branded as a data warehousing/business intelligence consultancy focused on open source software. OpenBI's expanded well beyond OS in 2014, and while DW/BI's still central to the business, our product portfolio now includes big data and data science. I'd guess the current mix is roughly 50-50 traditional and new. That evolution pleases me and certainly mirrors changes in the industry. A statistician...Read more
Steve Miller
Steve Miller
Monday, February 24, 2014 - 13:05
Sadly, I had to return to Chicagoland last Thursday afternoon from Strata 2014 in Santa Clara. The pleasant Silicon Valley weather was a much-needed respite from the severe Midwest winter. And Strata 2014 was plenty good too. Like most of the record 3,100 attendees, I participated all three days – day one of tutorials and days two and three of short keynote and 40 minute sessions. My OpenBI colleagues and I had a number of conference objectives revolving on affirming the latest and greatest big data/...Read more


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