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New Frontiers in Business Intelligence

Nari Kannan

Building BI with structured (relational and legacy) and unstructured data (Hadoop, MapReduce, NoSQL)

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Companies are experimenting more and more with petabytes of unstructured data like social media entries, customer support emails, complaints, suggestion boxes, etc. These are increasingly using Hadoop, MapReduce and NoQSL distributed databases like MongoDB, Casssadra, Riak and so on.

On the other hand, you have relational databases holding lots and lots of structured data like transactional data in their humungous data warehouses. Data warehousing efforts in many organizations are maturing rapidly and with storage getting less and less expensive every year, more data can be stored and used.

How do you build unified business intelligence that combines all of the older transactional, structured data with unstructured but never the less, very valuable data?

Pentaho seems to have come up with some very slick answers.

They have tools that simply pick up and merge Hadoop data with other structured and unstructured data from relational databases, data warehouses and new distributed databases that store unstructured databases such as MongoDB and Cassandra.



The nice thing about this approach and toolset is that you don't need to muck around with highly technical stuff such as MapReduce to be able to do business intelligence.

Merging legacy transactional data with unstructured data may help organizations answer questions such as "What are our top regions for sales of widget X and what do people say about our product or service from that region?" or "How do negative perceptions of product X correlate with the changes in sales of product X in region Y?"

Being able to merge these two kinds of data quickly is very crucial and is a huge pain point in business intelligence these days.

I'm sure that once you have ways of combining structured and unstructured data all kinds of fancy business intelligence can be extracted.

Pentaho has done a terrific job of leading the market in these kinds of efforts--very slick and useful.  



Companies such as Google, Facebook, Yahoo and others have made tremendous contributions in storing and retrieving unstructured data in an efficient and constantly available manner, using distributed computing and the cloud with Hadoop and mapReduce, and now they are ready to be used commercially in other organizations.

It's a big gap that Pentaho is bridging.

But which is the stone that supports the bridge?  -  Kublai Khan  

Nari Kannan's blog explores how new approaches to business intelligence can help organizations improve the performance of business processes--whether these processes are creative or operational, internally-focused or customer-facing, intra-departmental or across functions.

Nari Kannan

Nari Kannan started and serves as the CEO of appsparq, a Mobile Applications development company based in Louisville, KY with offices in Singapore and India. Nari has over two decades of experience in computer systems development, translating product and service strategy into meaningful technology solutions, and both people and product development. Prior to this, he has served as both Chief Technology Officer and Vice President- Engineering in six successful startups, two of which he co-founded. He has proven experience in building companies, engineering teams, and software solutions from scratch in the United States and India. Prior to this, Nari started Ajira Technologies, Inc., in Pleasanton, CA, where he served as Chief Executive Officer for more than six years. While at Ajira, Nari was instrumental in developing service process management solutions that modeled, monitored, and analyzed business processes, initially targeting the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Telecom, and Banking verticals in India, and Finance, Insurance, and Healthcare verticals in the United States. Prior to this, he served as VP-Engineering at Ensenda, an ASP for local delivery services. He also served variously as Chief Technology Officer or VP-Engineering at other Bay-Area venture funded startups such as Kadiri and Ensera. He began his career at Digital Equipment Corporation as a Senior Software Engineer. Nari has a long involvement with Customer Support and other customer facing processes. At Digital Equipment Corporation he was involved with their 1800 person customer support center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He was tasked with coming up with innovative tools to help customer support people do their jobs better. He holds a U.S patent for a software invention that automatically redirected email requests for customer support to the right group by digesting the contents of the request and guessing at which software or hardware support group is best equipped to handle it. At Ensera, he led a 45 person team in developing an internet based ASP service for handling auto insurance claims, coordinating information flow between end-customers, Insurance companies, Repair shops and Parts suppliers. Ensera was acquired by Mitchell Corporation in San Diego. Nari holds a B.S. degree in Physics from Loyola College, and an M.B.A degree from the University of Madras in Madras, India. He graduated with a M.S. degree in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1985. Contact Information: Nari Kannan. Email: nari@appsparq.com Mobile: 925 353 0197. Website: www.appsparq.com View more .


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