Monthly Archives: February 2017

Business Reasons for Analytics

February 15, 2017

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It’s not what you know. It’s what you do with what you know. This is something organisations worldwide are increasingly learning when it comes to how they are approaching and working with data and analytics today.

Customer’s expectations have changed. Providing a good product is simply not enough for today’s businesses. The majority demand a fantastic and seamless experience from the delivery of products and services to how a customer interacts with the brand. Customers are now dictating the rules and what is expected, and they have the ability to quickly choose new suppliers if they don’t get what they want.

Some of the key business influencers are already predicting that 2017 will mark an even more meaningful shift when it comes to utilising data in business. Data will drive business direction rather than simply reflecting performance. Most organizations today, now understand that if they capture all the data that streams into their businesses, they can apply analytics and garner significant value from it. The benefits that big data analytics is already bringing to businesses are speed and efficiency. Whereas a few years ago a business would have gathered information, run analytics and unearthed information that could be used for future decisions, today that business can identify insights for immediate decisions.

We are already witnessing that the real leaders are the organisations with the ability to respond to customers with personalized, contextually relevant offers and communications in real time, using insights not only based on their in-the-moment activity, but also past behaviours. They are reinventing and re-imaging customer journeys to increase client satisfaction, sales and service productivity, while automating processes to reduce operational costs and drive standardization. These organisations are identifying sub-optimal channel/cross-channel processes that lead to complaints/attrition and increased costs, while fixing them quickly. They are driving enhanced loyalty and customer engagement via improved focus on managing and measuring customer satisfaction and retention

Data and Analytics: Giving Organizations a Competitive Edge

Organisations today are under increasing competitive pressure not only to acquire customers, but also understand their customers’ needs and wants in order to optimize the customer experience and develop long term relationships. Customers are increasingly using multiple channels in their interactions with companies and both traditional and digital data sources must be brought together to understand customers’ behaviours and needs.

Effective data management and analytics can help organisations stay competitive when demand changes or new technology is developed. Core to effective brand building are distinguishable products that will help attract customers and maintain loyalty. Applying analytics for designing, controlling the process and optimizing business operations in the production of goods or services ensures efficiency and effectiveness to fulfil customer expectations and achieve operational excellence. Advanced analytical techniques can be deployed to improve field operations productivity and efficiency as well as optimize an organisational workforce according to business needs and customer demand.

Optimum utilisation of data and analytics can also ensure that continuous improvements are instigated on an on-going basis as a result of end-to-end view and measurement of key operational metrics.

Analytics are Helping to Deliver a Secure Environment and Guarantee Business Continuity

In an age where the market is overcrowded with information exchange from numerous sources and devices, keeping the organisational network secure and free from potential attack or exposure is paramount for business success and efficiency. Effective deterrence requires mechanisms that allow companies to quickly detect potentially fraudulent activity identify and trace perpetrators and anticipate future activity.

Big data and analytics are some of the most effective defences against cyber intrusions. Better, faster, actionable security information reduces the critical time from detection to remediation, enabling cyber warfare specialists to proactively defend and protect an organisation’s network. Efficient data and analytics capabilities can deliver best-in-class organisational security and fraud prevention. Use of statistical, network, path, and big data methodologies for more predictive fraud propensity models and alerts will ensure timely responses. Data management, efficient, and transparent reporting of fraud incidents will result in improved fraud risk management processes. Furthermore, integration and correlation of data across the enterprise can offer a unified view of the fraud across various lines of business, products, and transactions.

Big Data Analytics: Creating Smarter Businesses for a Better Future

According to the Harvard Business Review, the majority of today’s organisations are not even close to recognizing the value analytics can bring. Today, every organisation is depending on data; from big multinationals to small business alike. Whatsmore, forward thinking individuals are using this data to formulate better strategies for the future of their companies and CIOs are increasingly seeing an opportunity for using data and analytics to empower users, enlighten their organisations, as well as convert IT from a cost centre to a source of competitive advantage.


Peter Mikkelsen is executive vice president of the International organization, reporting to Vic Lund. Peter is responsible for growing sales and services for Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, Japan and China.

Prior to this role, Peter was vice president and general manager of Teradata’s Northern, Central and Eastern Europe Area (UK & Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Czech, Poland, Hungary Russia, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland), as well as Managing Director of Teradata Denmark. In this role, Peter was responsible for Teradata’s overall business in the Area including responsibility for sales, professional services and support services.


Connecting the Dots: Wearables and Health

February 9, 2017


As a lifelong diabetic, I have been testing my glucose levels for decades. Over the years, the accuracy and simplicity of obtaining my figures has drastically improved. I used to determine a rough glucose range using a chemistry lab environment in my bathroom: comparing colors in a test tube to a printed color palette. Now I have a continuous blood glucose sensor which records my relative glucose levels every five minutes and wirelessly shares this information with my insulin pump, as well my wife and doctor. My health has improved and my wife worries less, but a more complete picture of my health would help. For example, the quality of my exercise and meal data varies wildly (mostly due to the effort required to keep them up to date). In addition, I do not have a way to pull all of them together in an easy and meaningful way. Many pharmaceutical, biotech and device customers are expressing interest in engaging new sources of data, including that from IoT, but live and scalable sources of IoT data that can be useful, rather than just a curiosity, are currently pretty meager.

To enable this next generation of healthcare analytics, Teradata has entered into a new partnership with healthcare IoT company Reemo, which links existing IoT platforms, as well as proprietary motion and gesture tracking, to provide in-home monitoring & communication with medical professionals. Combining Teradata’s extensive experience in industrial IoT and our deep knowledge of healthcare analytics with Reemo’s real time data removes the current barriers that have limited the adoption of the Internet of Things in healthcare. The result is practical and actionable insights through advanced analytics that can change current treatment paradigms; reduce unnecessary patient interventions; predict, intercede and prevent illness; or even create entirely new interventions.

Reemo’s focus is on improving the quality of life for seniors and patients with chronic pain or mobility illnesses, as well as their families, caregivers, and payers. These advances will be particularly meaningful for the growing elderly population, as adult children of the elderly living alone or in health-care facilities want to see how mom and/or dad are doing. Likewise, the caretakers in assisted living centers want to provide the best quality care, and ensure staff are focusing their time and attention where it is needed the most. Again, the integration of data poses a similar challenge in the setting of elderly care and chronic care conditions.

To combat that challenge, Reemo uses a holistic approach. It ranges from understanding how to keep a IoT sensor in place, to using that data to drive action from the user, family member and caregiver, thus delivering value to the businesses entrusted to improve the lives of the elderly. Because data is captured continuously in the patient’s natural setting, it can fill current gaps in real world data and, through advanced analytics, can lead to new insights and treatment paradigms.

Of course, the application of IoT data into healthcare will be meaningful for everyone. In my case, food intake, activity levels, insulin levels and corresponding glucose levels can be combined behind the scenes to proactively provide me with alerts and guidance based on my current and past readings. Rather than simple reminders to jog, this future solution will motivate me to exercise by projecting the improvements in my lab results. Likewise, it will help me realize that having dessert will have consequences that are both measurable, and visible to my family and doctor. This can be applied to anyone seeking to better their health and yes, sometimes the stick is more impactful than the carrot.

Sensors are undoubtedly going to continue to proliferate, and when they bring convenience to people, they will be adopted more and more. Collected real world data from these sensors, combined and correlated with traditional data collected in clinical settings, has enormous potential to drive improved care, sense of personal well-being and better outcomes. All of which can be measured in a virtuous circle.

ObringerPete Obringer has been architecting large scale systems for decades, starting with financial services and ending in B2C websites.  He began his Teradata journey as a customer at Cisco systems for 6 years, later became a Teradata employee 2 years ago supporting high-tech and manufacturing customers, and now drives partnerships creating real-world analytics powered by Teradata.  He is married with two daughters.


Picking the Right Partner to Win on Analytics: Q&A With Dan Harrington

February 1, 2017



Dan Harrington is executive vice president of consulting and support services for Teradata. He recently sat down to discuss what companies should expect from their analytics consultants and how to quickly find value in their analytics investments.

There is a lot of trial and error for companies making data analytics investments, and people can of get distracted and give up. They invest in these data science teams — it’s a rare skill set — they go out and spend a lot of money to get them, but they don’t really have a systemic, process-driven means to evaluate use cases, prove the value to help them prioritize which use cases to actually go operationalize and then put them in use.

Sometimes even if they do get a really valuable analytic insight, that last mile of pushing that analytic insight into the right point of a business process so the decision makers have that insight when they need it to do something different is really hard. That’s where the rubber meets the road in the era of analytics.

Which business areas of the business can analytics impact the most?

The leading area where we see analytics being applied effectively is in customer experience. When companies improve their analytic accuracy, it enables them to focus and refine what it is their customers like and what keeps them engaged, and coming back. By gaining insights into these behavioral patterns of the customer, we can reveal the customer-facing areas a company should improve or change. With some of our clients that apply analytics to improving the customer experience we have seen a massive improvement in the popularity of offers and recommendations for their customers. Some have even won awards in customer satisfaction after implementing our solution.

We also see the areas of finance transformation, product innovation, risk mitigation, supply gain intelligence and assets optimization around IoT as prime for analytics-driven decision-making.

Who within an organization are the stakeholders that need to be at the table to drive truly actionable business insights?

Typically, the decision-making is coalescing around centers of excellence, or a C-level role focused on maximizing a company’s data assets. There’s been this real trend and momentum around chief analytics officers and chief data officers — new roles being defined at executive levels to really address these gaps. These role are being created at executive levels to coordinate the diverse stakeholders that need to come together to gain insights.

Before, there was no focal point to drive the matter that was close enough to the business. The net of these new positions is the recognition that somebody has to be the focal point other than the CEO, or even the CIO, to drive this kind of change agenda around data.

Another key trend in this vein is the emergence of centers of excellence. Whether focused on maximizing data assets or implementing new analytics, they pull in all the stakeholders so they are driving it for the company in a way that is collaborative, collective and cross-functional.

What needs to be done in terms of education and training? Should that be a big priority for companies?

There’s a movement here at Teradata to drive an analytics academy training curriculum to mentor those roles within our client teams. A vendor could staff a company’s needs for six months or so while employees at the company are ramping up their skill sets. We’re mentoring them, we’re collaboratively defining these new processes and, eventually, we hand that center of excellence in a steady-state operational mode to the people who have been mentored for that six-month period.

Many companies left to their own devices will stagger around for a year and a half, or two years, trying to muscle through workforce transformation and training. Partnering with a trusted and knowledgeable advisor like Teradata can really accelerate that process, getting it down to months.

In that initial engagement, what is the role of the consultant?

Our role as a consultant is to come in as a trusted adviser. Through our Rapid Analytic Consulting Engagement framework we hit the ground running to solve very specific business problems. From that point, we do what I talked about earlier. We help our customers establish an analytics program and that center of excellence. We bring all the key stakeholders together, make recommendations on technologies and analytics techniques and show rapid business impact. Eventually the plan is be to turn it over to our clients, but up front we accelerate time to value by giving them a template, of sorts.

With RACE, we can work with the company and identify their strong skill sets and capabilities around analytics. For every company the engagement will be slightly different, and we can work toward a common goal based on those capabilities, accounting for company size.

From an organizational perspective, how should companies work with a consultant to create a data architecture?

Our Ecosystem Architecture Consulting helps companies avoid trial and error, where they are speculating what technologies and platforms is best suited for both their immediate, and long term, analytics needs. It’s complicated and challenging to sort that all out, but the opportunity allows them to optimize that ecosystem to use the right technology for the right job. Rather than dealing with that alone, why not engage somebody who has designed these ecosystems for hundreds of clients and can bring those leading practices to you?

We can also help the company deal with internal versus external data sources, or structured versus unstructured data. It’s possible they have data that they haven’t typically analyzed or haven’t had the ability to analyze when they could get value out from it by using a consultant.

What characteristics should companies look for in a consulting company?

You want a partner that spans the full life cycle, from a strategic advisory role to deep technical skills. You also need someone who can then manage and optimize the environment over time, not just disappear when you might need them. Like anything, analytics need to evolve and be optimized over time because models get stale, performance degrades and workloads change.

From an architecture perspective, you need a partner that can integrate the company’s open source and commercial solutions. Because we’re not a pure consultancy model and we invest money in research and development, partnering with a company like us allows you innovate quickly. Consultants typically wait until a technology gets widely adopted before doing in-house training on it so they aren’t wasting money. By partnering with us, it allows you to be an innovator with analytics rather than a fast follower.

danharrington_largeDan Harrington is executive vice president of consulting and support services for Teradata, reporting to Vic Lund. He is responsible for leading the global consulting organization focused on helping customers architect, implement and manage the analytic ecosystem, including Teradata products on premises, in the cloud, and open-source technologies. In addition, he guides the customer services organization as they deliver world-class support to customers around the globe, and the development of analytical business solutions.

Dan has experience in all facets of the business, including sales, services, marketing and engineering and has held multiple leadership roles, including head of Teradata’s international sales and services organization, research and development and worldwide marketing.