I’ll be speaking Monday, June 20 at IBM Netezza’s Enzee Universe conference. Thus, as is my custom:
- I’m posting draft slides.
- I’m encouraging comment (especially in the short time window before I have to actually give the talk).
- I’m offering links below to more detail on various subjects covered in the talk.
The talk concept started out as “advanced analytics” (as opposed to fast query, a subject amply covered in the rest of any Netezza event), as a lunch break in what is otherwise a detailed “best practices” session. So I suggested we constrain the subject by focusing on a specific application area — customer acquisition and retention, something of importance to almost any enterprise, and which exploits most areas of analytic technology. Then I actually prepared the slides — and guess what? The mix of subjects will be skewed somewhat more toward generalities than I first intended, specifically in the areas of investigative analytics and derived data. And, as always when I speak, I’ll try to raise consciousness about the issues of liberty and privacy, our options as a society for addressing them, and the crucial role we play as an industry in helping policymakers deal with these technologically-intense subjects.
Slide 3 refers back to a post I made last December, saying there are six useful things you can do with analytic technology:
- Operational BI/Analytically-infused operational apps: You can make an immediate decision.
- Planning and budgeting: You can plan in support of future decisions.
- Investigative analytics (multiple disciplines): You can research, investigate, and analyze in support of future decisions.
- Business intelligence: You can monitor what’s going on, to see when it necessary to decide, plan, or investigate.
- More BI: You can communicate, to help other people and organizations do these same things.
- DBMS, ETL, and other “platform” technologies: You can provide support, in technology or data gathering, for one of the other functions.
Slide 4 observes that investigative analytics:
- Is the most rapidly advancing of the six areas …
- … because it most directly exploits performance & scalability.
Slide 5 gives my simplest overview of investigative analytics technology to date:
- Fast query
- Persistent storage (any data volume)
- RAM (10s -100s of gigabytes, or more)
- Fast analytics
- Predictive modeling
Slide 6 points out that this is all supported by cheap data creation and acquisition, specifically in the area of machine-generated data, which gets the full benefit of Moore’s Law.
Slides 7-13 point out how the example problem domain involves lots of analytic tasks performed on lots of kinds of data. Specific examples cited include text analytics and graph/relationship analytics.
Slide 14 contains the punch line, so I’ll quote it in full:
- You can’t keep re-analyzing all that in raw form …
- … so don’t.
If you have one takeaway from this session, let it be the utter importance of derived data.
Slide 16 lists kinds of derived data that are important in the single application of reducing telco churn:
- Normalized data
- Parsed/sessionized logs
- Text/sentiment highlights
- Social network graph(s)
- Web de-anonymization
- Household matching
- Scores and buckets
- Offer hot buttons
- Credit/fraud risk
- Lifetime customer value
- Influence on others!
And finally, Slide 17 is my first pass at best practices for dealing with derived data:
- Evolving data warehouse schema
- Data marts
- Physical or virtual
- Inputs/outputs to “EDW”
- “Data science”
- Research != production
- Multiple processing pipelines
- Log parsing
- Predictive analytics
- Generic ETL
- Streaming “ETL”
That last list looks like a starting point for a whole set of interesting future posts.