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The power of big data analytics can be jaw-dropping. But there's a saying; “there's a human side to big data”. At EMC, that's where you'll find a big difference. We'd like to introduce you to a few people, so you can see what they do, and could do for you, too. You can also go check out our Big Data solutions.
I always start with an in depth understanding of the customer's industry, and unique business. Once we're in “business sync” that's when I explain the concept, and the possibilities of big data and analytics, based on their needs. We analyze a range of “use cases”; what their opportunities or challenge are, and which to pursue. Together, we start with a small implementation that lets them see clear results quickly.
After we've run our first project, I often partner with my customer to help them expand the value of their first project, giving demonstrations to their organization that shows exactly what we can do, why, and how.
Many customers tell me I make “harnessing big data” a lot simpler than they thought it would be.
“When I'm not deep into algorithm design, data modeling, or analytic visualizations, I really like to ski.”
One customer I worked with saved tens of millions of dollars by analyzing 5-billion cell user's CDR signals per day. This identified who was and wasn't having service issues. Until then, 1,000s of customers were receiving needless, costly repair work.
Another great business result came out of a data-driven “churn algorithm” that helped a customer predict and prevent account closures. Attrition was lowered by 30% using insight-driven retention strategies.
Finally, I helped reduce one organization's cost of big data analytics from $100 to $10 million per year. They were shocked because it was a straightforward, non-disruptive change to their technology that nobody knew was possible.Learn about our BIG DATA SOLUTIONS
My role comes with real pressure. Basically I'm accountable for a customer's success with big data. Did we solve something, knock their goal out of the park, or not? I like that pressure mostly because I love big data. Done right, it can deliver on every promise. My job is to make sure it does.
Customers give us their data and I'm responsible for giving it back to them as a “Business Data Lake” that's ready to use and create serious value. Needless to say, I stay involved in everything. Strategy. Technology. Software. The build. The way the solution looks and feels and works. Everything.
“In big data, a journey of a 1,000 miles starts with a single step. My job is to know where you're going and exactly how to get there.”
Creating the 1st ever “Business Data Lake” was actually exhilarating. We took a giant breakthrough in big data science, and transformed it into a huge business asset.
It was a sea change. The data lake was always high-concept and cool, but never fully baked. There were limitations. It wasn't ready to do what businesses wanted.
We pulled everything together, worked out the kinks, and gave it enterprise-class capabilities. We made it fast, secure, compliance-ready, governable, and very, very valuable. In my years as “the guy that's responsible for customer success”, I've worked hard to do a good job. There's no doubt, creating the “Business Data Lake” has made it much, much easier.Learn about our BIG DATA SOLUTIONS
I work at what you could call EMC's Big Data think tank. We explore, research, and apply big data analytics and ideas to a huge range of initiatives, from consumer predictive modeling to population analyses across entire countries. In terms of our Marketing Science Lab, it consists of a team of data scientists working on a unified analytics platform that helps us look at data more richly and gain deeper insights. What it does is lets us look at, analyze, model, and understand the meaning inside both structured and unstructured data. (Say that ten times fast).
My team and I are also responsible for meeting with customers and partners to show how the Marketing Science Lab can help them apply predicative analytics to support various initiatives they have, including marketing.
“In a previous life I worked as a musician. I think art proves how important it is to create beautiful, elegant data visualizations for people.”
We set up EMC's Marketing Science Lab, plus our Big Data Analytics system in less than 6 months. Customers love knowing that since it proves harnessing big data doesn't have to be a giant upheaval, or take forever.
We had a campaign called The Human Face of Big Data that delivered another amazing outcome. We found a way to use enormous quantities of totally rough, unstructured data to help a whole country understand its people better.
One of my favorite initiatives involved using big data to support a dream, and effect change. We created data visualizations for the Parker Antarctica Expedition, led by a 19 year old adventure scientist. They were beautiful and impactful. They gave a young person a really strong voice to communicate the work he's been doing on global warming. As they say, big data can change the world.Learn about our BIG DATA SOLUTIONS
In my role I run lots of customer counsels where I look at their architecture and strategize about business objectives. Then I go off and think wayyy out of the box. My goal is always three-fold. Meet their need. Meet a need they didn't know they had. And roll up my sleeves, and build the solution. I love building.
I also love operationalizing pilot initiatives customers start but can't use. I add the enterprise features they need, security, compliance, reporting. You could say my specialty is “making big data work”.
“Every customer has a big data engine. I like to get under the hood and show them where the turbocharger is.”
A project I loved was building a “Climate Data Lake”. It analyzes huge quantities of seemingly unrelated science data. It outputs predictive models and insights nobody would ever think of. It's getting us closer to understanding, and potentially addressing climate change.
Another favorite project came out of judging an EMC competition. I ran numbers on applicants, gender, age. But I saw something. Ultimately, I made a model that could identify young people that wanted to be “innovators”. This rolled into HR, and it took off. I was floored. Big data can increase human self-realization and potentially save the planet. I don't know anything else that can do both.Learn about our BIG DATA SOLUTIONS
A big part of what I do is build “solution simulators” that let customers touch and see what a big data solution can do for their business. Hands-on tools, apps, and visualizations go on a dashboard they can play with. It uses their own data, so they run real analytics, get real insights, and see what's truly possible.
Customers love how tangible it is. And for me, it's very rewarding to see their excitement when they realize how much they can do, and how easy it can be.
“Demonstrating the power of big data is ten times more valuable than describing it.”
Right now, two projects stand out as my favorites.
A customer in agriculture was trying to understand commodity fluctuations, and getting nowhere with official data reports. So we turned to a very unexpected data source. Twitter! The highest value commodity MLP signals were in tweets. We wrote algorithms, built a predictive model, and voila! Problem solved.
My favorite, though, was working on a “Climate Data Lake”. It collects huge quantities of climate change data, and outputs highly accurate insights. The best part is that virtually anybody can add data, not just scientists and PhDs. Climate change impacts everybody. So we created a way to let everybody help find a solution.Learn about our BIG DATA SOLUTIONS
One of the most exciting things I do as big data CTO is watch what I call “magical moments” with customers. That instant when they realize they can solve the unsolvable, or reach an unattainable goal.
Sometimes these epiphanies are technical. “Wow! Machine learning will make that market mine!”
Other times, the epiphany is a paradox. 15 years of highly detailed grocery data revealed that after an economic downturn, the least profitable customers turned into the most profitable customers. Helping them through hard times made them so loyal they never shopped anywhere else. That “magical moment” was a lesson for us all; “You can do well by doing good.”
“Big Data shows that you can do well by doing good.”
Preventing patients from getting sick during hospital stays was a highlight. We collected terabytes of data from server farms, tapes, doorknobs, floor tiles, bathroom walls. Big data helped us prevent infections and saved the facility money, all through shorter, healthier, happier hospital stays.
Something I'm proud of is helping change how people think. For instance, people have stopped thinking of data as a corporate cost, and many know it's actually their most valuable asset. Data costs 1/50th what it once did. Frankly, it should be horded like gold.Learn about our BIG DATA SOLUTIONS
We combine a deep understanding of your business with a focused analysis of your specific opportunities or challenges. Our approach is totally customized, non-disruptive, and delivers value you can measure.
The Federation of companies brings together EMC, Pivotal, RSA and VMware, strategically aligned around you. The benefit is total choice, openness, and the freedom to get exactly what you need. There’s an emerging world of big data, mobile, cloud, and social, with huge opportunities. Take advantage of all of them.