Your Big Data Resolution for the New Year

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Nothing says January like a list of resolutions calling for healthier living in the new year. I have admittedly given up making such lists for myself, but I’m happy to say that I played my part in promoting good health by getting my wife an activity tracker for Christmas. She will join 40 million other Fitbit, Jawbone and Apple band wearers in tracking multiple aspects of their daily activity and sending loads of data back to device manufacturers in 2015. The Activity Data Gold Mine At the level of the individual wearer, the utility of an activity tracker is quite evident. It tracks raw stats like heart rate, steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned and location, among others, allowing users to monitor, visualize and brag about … [Read more...]

Think About Containers for Data So You Can Stop Thinking About Containers for Data

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During the holidays, those of us who are interested in data may have found ourselves spending an inordinate amount of time thinking about the staggering number of packages that get delivered all over the place every day, and just how they get moved around. It turns out that one of the things the shipping industry has done to make everything much more efficient is containerization: transporting goods in special containers of standardized dimensions called “intermodal containers,” or simply “shipping containers.” These containers can be loaded, stacked, transported over long distances using various transportation modes (ships, trains, semitrailer trucks, etc.), and unloaded efficiently, with a high degree of automation and without ever being … [Read more...]

Supercomputing Matters: SC14 in Retrospect

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SC14, the premier event in the HPC industry, has wound to a close in New Orleans. It’s interesting to look back and contemplate the validity of this year’s theme, “HPC Matters,” the success of the conference and the vitality of the industry. Our industry has seen the ebb and flow of the relevance of supercomputing, and the fortunes of Cray have often paralleled those of this event (or visa versa). This year was no exception and SC14 was a resounding success for Cray and for the industry. With more than  10,000 attendees and 356 exhibitors it was a full show and the work never stopped. As I walked the show floor — logging about 5 miles a day — I was struck by the number of Cray customers. They were everywhere, either with booths of their own … [Read more...]

Baseball’s Lesson for Analytics

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In the immediate aftermath of an enthralling baseball World Series (go Giants!), it’s not surprising that it’s taking a while to get out of baseball mode. I did not have the benefit of growing up with baseball, so my baseball education happened later in life, but I daresay there’s quite a bit of strategy in the game. The value of getting the matchup part of the strategy right is evidenced by the cutting-edge research in this space, but that’s a topic for another day. Another concept brought up at various points in the World Series that I found intriguing was batters “going with the pitch” to increase their chances of a positive result on the play. This means recognizing the pitch and hitting the ball to right or left field depending on … [Read more...]

Pushing the Edge of Big Data at Strata+Hadoop World 2014

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Last week I published a blog article about our new Urika-XA™ open platform for extreme analytics. This week, I’d like to tell you about its official launch at the Strata+Hadoop World 2014 conference in the Big Apple. Big data and its entire ecosystem is a dynamic animal and this was evident at Stata+Hadoop World. I’ve attended several of these conferences and other big data events over the years and it’s exciting to see how the user base has changed and grown tremendously. Several of the other vendors I spoke with (who by now are close friends since we always run into each other at conferences) made the same remark. Three years ago, Hadoop World had a smattering of actual users with just a few folks who were at the pilot stage and very … [Read more...]