March 3, 2011

Terminology: Investigative analytics

In my post on the six useful things you can do with analytic technology, one of the six was

Research, investigate, and analyze in support of future decisions.

I’m calling that investigative analytics, and am hopeful the term will catch on.

I went on to say that the term conflated several disciplines, namely:

By way of contrast, I don’t regard business activity monitoring (BAM) or other kinds of monitoring-oriented business intelligence (BI) as part of “investigative analytics,” because they don’t seem particularly investigative.

Based on the above, I propose the following simple definition of the investigative analytics activity or process:

Seeking (previously unknown) patterns in data.

(While that definition seems pretty clean, deciding what is or isn’t an investigative analytics tool or product may be a bit murkier, in line with Monash’s Third Law of Commercial Semantics.)

I mean for this definition to include most of exploratory BI, e.g. ad-hoc query (if sufficiently research-oriented), drilldown (ditto), or visualization (ditto again). I think “investigative analytics” includes most of what you do in QlikView or Endeca, and some (but not all) of what you do in more conventional BI tools. If you noticed a general trend, and find the subset of cases that explain most of it — well, that’s the kind pattern you were looking for when you set out to investigatively analyze the data.

Note that it’s plenty good enough to find a “pattern;” only the most path-breaking research goes to the next level and finds a “type of pattern.” E.g., while a regression analysis in its very nature assumes that truth can be modeled as a hyperplane, if you run a regression to determine which hyperplane best matches reality, that’s a successful exercise in investigative analytics. The same goes if, confident that there are some terrorist ringleaders central to your graph of communication metadata, you calculate exactly which nodes you believe them to reside at.

In essence, I’m defining “investigative analytics” to be the opposite of the “operational” kind.

Comments

17 Responses to “Terminology: Investigative analytics”

  1. Upcoming webinar on investigative analytics | DBMS 2 : DataBase Management System Services on March 4th, 2011 5:46 am

    […] recently coined the phrase investigative analytics to […]

  2. Investigative analytics: Slide deck and March 10 webinar | DBMS 2 : DataBase Management System Services on March 8th, 2011 7:27 am

    […] the slides — and in a couple of cases comments below them — may add some value to the definition of investigative analytics I recently posted. Categories: Analytic technologies  Subscribe to our complete […]

  3. Investigative analytics and derived data: Enzee Universe 2011 talk | DBMS 2 : DataBase Management System Services on June 19th, 2011 7:13 am

    […] Slide 4 observes that investigative analytics: […]

  4. Below the surface of Cloudera founder’s new project | TechDiem.com on November 2nd, 2011 3:27 pm

    […] Here’s how Monash describes the essence of WibiData: WibiData is designed for management of, investigative analytics on, and operational analytics on consumer internet data, the main examples of which are web site […]

  5. Investigative Analytics: Cloudera Founder Launches New Startup Backed by Eric Schmidt | SiliconANGLE on November 2nd, 2011 3:32 pm

    […] Investigative Analytics: Cloudera Founder Launches New Startup Backed by Eric Schmidt Klint Finley | November 2nd READ MORE Tweet Cloudera founder Christophe Bisciglia unveiled his new startup Odiago this morning, giving to the business side scoop to TechCrunch and the technical details to Curt Monash. The company is launching a product called Wibidata (“we be data”) specializing in data management and what it Monash calls “investigative analytics.” […]

  6. Below the surface of Cloudera founder’s new project — Cloud Computing News on November 2nd, 2011 3:42 pm

    […] Here’s how Monash describes the essence of WibiData: WibiData is designed for management of, investigative analytics on, and operational analytics on consumer internet data, the main examples of which are web site […]

  7. The cool aspects of Odiago WibiData « Another Word For It on November 12th, 2011 10:15 am

    […] is designed for management of, investigative analytics on, and operational analytics on consumer internet data, the main examples of which are web site […]

  8. Clarifying SAND’s customer metrics, positioning and technical story : DBMS 2 : DataBase Management System Services on November 12th, 2011 9:45 pm

    […] SAND is squarely in the market for analytic DBMS. SAND’s sales efforts seem to be focused on investigative analytics, although some of its existing users seem to be more focused on operational analytics. Most […]

  9. Agile predictive analytics — the “easy” parts : DBMS 2 : DataBase Management System Services on January 2nd, 2012 8:47 pm

    […] mustering parts should be pretty straightforward too. Setting up a relational data mart tuned for investigative analytics isn’t all that hard or costly (perhaps unless your database is enormously large), and the […]

  10. Historical notes on analytics — terminology | Software Memories on January 17th, 2012 3:04 am

    […] I’ve recently sponsored, such as investigative analytics or machine-generated […]

  11. Introduction to Neo Technology and Neo4j | DBMS 2 : DataBase Management System Services on July 5th, 2012 5:30 am

    […] Neo4j is designed for OLTP (OnLine Transaction Processing), or at least as a general-purpose DBMS, rather than being focused on investigative analytics. […]

  12. Notes on the Oracle OpenWorld Sunday keynote | DBMS 2 : DataBase Management System Services on October 1st, 2012 6:12 am

    […] enterprises, Oracle has a lock on much of their IT efforts. (But not necessarily in the internet or investigative analytics areas.) Tonight’s announcements serve to strengthen […]

  13. Essential features of exploration/discovery BI | DBMS 2 : DataBase Management System Services on March 24th, 2013 12:57 am

    […] I had my way, the business intelligence part of investigative analytics — i.e. , the class of business intelligence tools exemplified by QlikView and Tableau — […]

  14. Why privacy laws should be based on data use, not data possession | DBMS 2 : DataBase Management System Services on August 20th, 2013 12:20 am

    […] analysis process is fundamentally investigative; you don’t know what works until after you’ve tried it, and hence you don’t know […]

  15. Hortonworks business notes | DBMS 2 : DataBase Management System Services on August 24th, 2013 8:48 am

    […] cases can be any of a true new application, an enhancement to an existing application, or a general investigative analytics […]

  16. What matters in investigative analytics? | DBMS 2 : DataBase Management System Services on October 6th, 2013 8:10 am

    […] and went on to suggest that summary attributes were more important than picky detailed ones. So how does that play out for investigative analytics? […]

  17. More notes on predictive modeling | DBMS 2 : DataBase Management System Services on October 9th, 2014 4:28 am

    […] Is a big part of investigative analytics. […]

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