Category Archives: TIBCO Spotfire

When Every Second Counts

bigstock Time 110019650 When Every Second Counts

When I first agreed to take on the role of managing the Cloud Operations team for tibbr, TIBCO’s enterprise social networking SaaS application, I knew that the job would be no cakewalk.  There would be plenty of challenges involved with ensuring that this mission-critical cloud service remained up and running 24×7 for companies around the world.  Fast forward to 2017—and I’ve never looked back at that decision—it’s been an exciting and rewarding journey.

Part of what helps make my job manageable is choosing the right infrastructure and tools. For example, using TIBCO LogLogic has been a tremendous help to collect, manage, and leverage log data from the various components of our cloud infrastructure so that we can track activities and conditions of interest.

LogLogic’s out-of-box reports and dashboard provide the necessary information at our fingertips to meet our compliance, reporting, and auditing needs. As part of our Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) certification, for example, tibbr has proven that it meets high standards for continuous monitoring of security-related data as well as tracking related continuous updates. Our team relies on LogLogic to help ensure the completeness and integrity of the necessary security records and history to meet those requirements.

LogLogic also helps us to meet the availability goals needed for our cloud service, sending alerts when certain conditions are detected or thresholds are met, so that we can proactively take action to avert potential issues.

When issues are  detected, LogLogic’s flexible search capabilities  help us quickly mine through our mountains of valuable log data to find key information for faster resolution. We are excited that LogLogic 6.1 now makes that search even faster than ever—because when your team is on the hook for ensuring the uptime of an enterprise-class cloud service, every second counts.

Find out more about LogLogic 6.1 with a video playlist and on the TIBCO Community.

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What Business Leaders Should Have Been Thinking About on Mother’s Day

rsz bigstock original vector illustration 14383550 What Business Leaders Should Have Been Thinking About on Mother’s Day

A data-science guy’s mansplaining-free perspective on women, leadership, and business success.

Back in 2010, as CEO of StreamBase, I attended the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Bill Clinton, Christine Lagarde, Bill Gates, Jack Dorsey, Reid Hoffman, and many other notables were all in attendance at the famous annual gathering of global leaders and influencers. It was cool to meet many of these people, but the session that made the greatest impression was about women and power.

At the time, I was a recently widowed dad to a 7-year old girl, Ruby, and I was concerned about how to successfully guide my daughter in a male-dominated world. The Power of the Purse session featured Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Booker Prize-winning author Margaret Atwood, and former Director of the National Economic Council Laura D’Andrea Tyson, among others. How’s that for an advisory panel?

I sat riveted for two-hours—one of only a handful of men among 60 of the world’s most accomplished women—getting schooled topics in business, wealth, leadership, and society from the female point of view. I took extensive notes, wrote up observations, and absorbed a lot of instructive information for both personal and professional use.

Seven years later, Ruby is in high school, Sandberg’s in the news tackling a struggle similar to my own, Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale is the hot hit series on Hulu, and StreamBase and I are both part of TIBCO. It seems like much has changed.

I was reminded of my Power of the Purse experience when we campaigned for gender equity on #GettingTo5050 day at work last week, and with Mother’s Day right behind us, my thoughts have been circling on the larger. So I decided to revisit some of the observations I made back in 2010.

1. Female leaders collaborate more effectively. That Power of thePurse session was discernibly different than others at Davos. The discussion flowed like an improvisational jazz performance. Discussion was thoughtful, the ego in the room was low, people listened intently to each other, and built upon each other’s point of view. The male-dominated sessions, by contrast, were more like rock shows—full of screaming solos, ego-driven charisma, and one-upmanship. Interestingly, studies have shown that companies with three or more women on their board of directors perform better financially. Perhaps that’s due to greater collaborative finesse.

2. The board of directors’ gap needs minding. The women leaders in Davos lamented that only around 7% of companies had a woman on their board of directors. Since then, the number of companies with women on their board is up by 54%. That’s progress, although Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean.In.org estimates that we’re still 100 years away from gender equality in the C-suite. The “right” benchmark is difficult to choose, but one thing we can say for sure is that change is happening.

3. More women leaders lead to more profit. One women executive at the Davos session said: “Companies that don’t have women executives are leaving money on the table. Companies with women executives have a healthier top and bottom line.” She didn’t have data at the time, but now we do—and it seems that she was right. As Fortune reported last year, companies with at least 30% female leaders had net profit margins up to six percentage points higher than companies with no women in the top ranks.

4. A call for balance, not quotas. The Davos panel of women seemed undisturbed with the natural bias that men (or, indeed, any group) chose to work with people they’re comfortable with. Their call to action was for an increased but balanced presence of women leaders, not a coup d’état. Seven years later, although 14% of boards have at least one woman, only 3% have more than three women. It’s progress, but not yet balance.

5. Would you want your daughter to work at your company? Laura Liswood, senior advisor at Goldman Sachs and author of The Loudest Duck, posed this question at Davos. An honest answer is as telling now as it was then.

I left Davos in 2010 impressed, inspired, and hopeful about the future possibilities for both my company and my daughter. And I felt the same way at work on #GettingTo5050 day 2017. The fact that we still discuss these issues and even have a 50/50 day indicates there is still a lot of work to do to address the challenges facing all women. But thanks to pioneers like Sandberg, Atwood, Liswood, and countless others, attitudes are changing. The world Ruby will enter as a professional in a few years will be vastly better prepared to accept, nurture and benefit from her talents.

That kind of progress is good for our businesses. It’s good for our daughters and mothers. It’s good for us all.

Move your career forward and change your future with TIBCO. Join our team today.

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Asurion Reduces Fraud and Risk with Advanced Analytics

asurion blog Asurion Reduces Fraud and Risk with Advanced Analytics

With 34,000 storefronts in the US and 17,000 employees in 18 countries, Asurion provides device insurance and warranty and support services for cell phones, consumer electronics, and home appliances for more than 280 million customers.

“Our products today span multiple channels,” says Sada Rajagopalan, senior director of architecture. “A customer might start a claim in one channel and finish it in another. And we are exposing ourselves to a lot of millennial customers through this omni-channel experience. It gives us opportunities—but also risk management challenges. We wanted to provide adequate fraud protection for our business when we expose ourselves to these new channels. We wanted to collect as much information as we could across all channels and use it to assimilate and evaluate the amount of fraud or risk protection we need.”

Learn how Asurion is using both rule-based evaluations to react quickly, and event-based correlations to become more proactive and smarter about understanding user patterns. The combination, along with TIBCO integration and messaging technologies, is putting the company in a better position to effectively reduce fraud rather than just react to it. It is expecting to reduce its Fraud Dispute Ratio by 10 to 20% the first year, and about 30 to 50% over the next three years.

Join the TIBCO customer reference program to have your business transformation story shared globally with the technology industry, and trade and business press. Your story in print, web, and video format can boost your status as a thought leader and increase awareness with technology leaders, helping you raise your company visibility and attract and retain top talent. Email customermarketing@tibco.com today!

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Departmental Use Cases for Collaboration: Marketing

rsz bigstock teamwork people communication 25539350 Departmental Use Cases for Collaboration: Marketing

This blog continues our series of examples of departmental use cases for leveraging enterprise social networking (ESN). We’ve discussed the benefits for HR and sales so far, and this week, let’s take a look at how ESN solutions like tibbr give marketing groups the ability to quickly develop more tailored collateral, better prepare case studies, more efficiently share updates with other departments, and more.

As I’ve mentioned previously, department-level use cases perform double duty: they are solid starting points for jump starting the collaboration engine, while remaining simple to drum up support from department leaders about the results that can be envisioned.

TIBCO tibbr’s Customer Success team shares a few examples of the use cases and value they’ve helped create for sales organizations all over the world. Click here to read more!

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TIBCO to Acquire Statistica—A Data Science Platform Leader

TIBCO Statistica Blog 1 TIBCO to Acquire Statistica—A Data Science Platform Leader

TIBCO Software has entered into an agreement to acquire Statistica, a leader in data science. The acquisition will augment TIBCO’s analytics product offerings, adding new capabilities aimed at making it easier for data scientists to unlock the power of machine learning and leverage it in a variety of applications, such as those analyzing the often large amounts of data produced in IoT systems.

Statistica will enable users to more rapidly uncover insights from source data. It will also become part of the TIBCO Insight Platform to empower a broader audience of business users with these analytical capabilities and allow actions to be triggered in related systems, ensuring insights turn into the best outcomes for the business. Statistica will provide rigorous modeling and validation tools for machine learning and deep learning, resulting in better answers, smarter decisions, and the right actions at the right time.

“TIBCO Spotfire, the key driver of the Insight Platform, has always been a pioneer in visual data exploration and analytics, and we are focused on making that technology a smart, one-stop shop for analytics,” said Mark Palmer, senior vice president, analytics, TIBCO. “We welcome Statistica as an important addition to the analytics team, to help make advanced analytics even more accessible for users of all skill levels.”

To learn more about the TIBCO Insight Platform, and Statistica, visit http://spotfire.tibco.com/solutions/technology/insight-platform.

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KNIME + Spotfire

TIBCO Spotfire and KNIME make great technology partners and are tightly integrated. KNIME adds additional power to the Spotfire platform by adding capabilities to Spotfire’s already powerful toolbox of data wrangling and advanced statistics. Spotfire adds visualization and data analysis capabilities to KNIME, enabling easy sharing of analytic applications for end users. Combining the products produces an overall solution that greatly exceeds the sum of its individual parts.

For those of you new to KNIME, it is a modern data analytics platform that allows users to perform sophisticated statistical analysis and data mining to analyze trends and predict results. Its visual workbench combines data access, data transformation, initial investigation, and data science capabilities.

In this blog, I will share the highlights from the KNIME Spring Summit in Berlin, along with a number of examples of how KNIME and Spotfire are integrated, with discussion of the benefits that the combination delivers.

The KNIME Spring Summit

The summit showcased to KNIME users what’s new in KNIME and how KNIME is enabling the citizen data scientist. That is, the business data scientist user. The summit was the largest yet at nearly 300 attendees from diverse industries.

Topics covered included data blending, guided analytics, scalability, big data, and cloud. Data blending is KNIME’s terminology for combining different types of data, for example, blending imaging data with text analytics. A number of interesting industry use cases were demonstrated, along with new functionality that makes data blending easier and more powerful than ever before.

Guided analytics was covered with the Workflow Coach. The Workflow Coach uses usage statistics collected via the KNIME community to recommend the most suitable nodes for your workflow. A simple example was shown live and a word cloud visualization was made from scratch in a few seconds. A second example built a predictive model using a decision tree learner and predictor and showed how KNIME is making it easy to use data science. It was likened to putting a business analyst in the driver’s seat—but wearing a seatbelt!

Workflow coach KNIME + Spotfire

The screenshot shows the building of the decision tree model. The Decision Tree Predictor is selected and the Workflow Coach shows that the Scorer node is the next recommended node to be used.

The KNIME model factory was also demonstrated. It’s estimated that, in most organizations, a data scientist can maintain around four models concurrently, before becoming saturated with work. The KNIME model factory simplifies the mechanisms for publishing, monitoring, and automatically re-learning models when they become outdated. This frees up the data scientist to develop more models and to be much more productive than would otherwise be possible.

Model Factory KNIME + Spotfire
TIBCO Spotfire and KNIME integration

Now, I will introduce and explain some examples of how KNIME and Spotfire can be used together.

File reading and writingSpotfire file read and write KNIME + Spotfire

KNIME can be used to mash up data, perform ETL operations, and statistical analysis to prepare business data for analysis in Spotfire. Native Spotfire file read and write capability is enabled by way of reader and writer nodes. The nodes read or write files to/from a file system or to/from the Spotfire library—more on that later.

Native files? Yes! The advantage of native Spotfire files is that they don’t need importing into Spotfire, nor do they need importing into KNIME. SBDF (Spotfire Binary Data File) files have a lot of advantages over Excel or CSV or other flat files. In fact, some people use them for purposes other than Spotfire, like storing lab instrument data, for example. SBDF files are compressed and are strongly typed. This means that the columns have data types, unlike Excel or CSV. Each column is assigned a data type when the file is written: string, real, date/time, etc.

Reading and writing to and from the Spotfire library—putting the data in your handsWrite to library KNIME + Spotfire

This is probably the most powerful part of the Spotfire and KNIME integration. Business users really love using KNIME to manipulate their data because they know their data best. Once they have developed a workflow to suit, they can write their data to the Spotfire library directly using the Spotfire file nodes. From there, everyone else in the organization can take advantage of the data and use it to build analyses or to further manipulate or augment the data in KNIME. The Spotfire library becomes a data sharing platform, enabling collaboration and rapid evolution of business analysis, without the need for a warehouse or database for every single use of data.

Data files can be loaded into a Spotfire file, or opened in Spotfire Business Author. KNIME can be run on a scheduled basis to keep files up to date, which means that analysis files will always have the latest data.

Information link reader

Information link reader KNIME + Spotfire

Spotfire’s information links are a database abstraction layer—they allow access to databases to be centrally controlled and managed, with controlled permissions, joining, querying, and stored procedure execution. Using the Spotfire KNIME information link reader, you can use the power of the information links from within a KNIME workflow to read data from your organization’s databases and use the data in a workflow.

Interactive KNIME from Spotfire

The KNIME/Spotfire connector, distributed by TIBCO’s partner EPAM (InfomatiX), allows Spotfire to interactively call a KNIME workflow. It can be used to send data and parameters to a workflow, which then returns data to Spotfire for further analysis, all with a click of a button, in a similar fashion to TIBCO Spotfire Statistics Services. This brings KNIME analytics capabilities to Spotfire.

Give Spotfire a try for free here. Want to learn more? Links to all topics discussed can be found on the TIBCO Community and the KNIME web pages:

https://community.tibco.com/wiki/knime

https://tech.knime.org/whats-new-in-knime-32#workflowcoach

https://www.knime.org/files/spring-summit2017/Model%20Process%20Management%20PRINT%20FINAL.pdf

https://www.knime.org/spring-summit2017

http://infomatix.net/spotfire-extensions/ix-knime-spotfire-integration/

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Get Back to My Data!

rsz bigstock 165234605 Get Back to My Data!

If you are like me, the data I need to do my job exists not only in the cloud. It can be hard to get to all data sources, especially when those are on-premises and behind a firewall. I am not alone, as pretty much everyone is facing these challenges. In fact, Gartner predicted that over sixty-five percent of all integration flows will be created outside of the control of IT departments as a result of the growing number of integration related tasks that they need to take care of. Simply put, organizations today are integrating to everything. The ‘everything’ in the last sentence not only includes Software-as-a-Service applications like Salesforce.com or NetSuite, but also includes applications and services hosted in private networks and datacenters.  

IT departments are increasingly looking for ways to provide services to departments and lines of business by allowing them to do their own integration using tools and platforms they provide. Leveraging applications and services that are hosted in datacenters and combining that with SaaS provides the IT team with a whole new set of challenges and questions with the most important one being around security. ‘How can I make sure that my network and my data are accessed securely?’

There are multiple ways to get access to your corporate network and data, but many of them require downloading and installing software. This is a task which many IT departments are not particularly fond of. When other employees downloand and install software, they expose data to the rest of the Internet. With TIBCO Cloud Integration, we want to make getting back to your data as easy as possible, without installing any additional software. With that in mind, we turned to a trusted solution that has been allowing employees to access corporate networks for years, Virtual Private Networks.

With the VPN capability of TIBCO Cloud Integration, you can connect to on-premises sources leveraging security infrastructure already in place in private networks and datacenters. You can either give each individual app its own VPN connection or you can design an app that bridges between cloud and on-premises. No matter which of the two you pick,  there is no software to install! Just configure your VPN connection and get back to your data in a secure manner.

Sign up for a free 30-day trial of TIBCO Cloud Integration to get back to your data and leverage on-premises applications in a secure way!

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Build Data Products to Be “Over-the-Counter”

otc Build Data Products to Be “Over the Counter”

Dr. John Snow (the Soho doctor, not the Game of Thrones Northman) saved London from cholera when he selected the best format to visualize deaths on a map. Florence Nightingale saved thousands of Crimean War soldiers when she clearly annotated deaths by preventable disease in her argument for a new hospital. Data can be life-changing when it is properly communicated: when building interfaces to display data, product builders can follow a set of standards that can improve data UX by up to 4x.

What does it mean to be “over-the-counter”?

Fortunately, we have a succinct list of best practices to follow when building a product through which data is displayed. These research-based best practices are summarized as Over-the-Counter Data Standards. The standards received this name because “over-the-counter” means an item is easy to understand and use without the help of an expert. This ease-of-use is exactly what we want to give to our products’ users. Thus, Over-the-Counter Data Standards tell those of us building products and data displays exactly how to design an environment where data can be viewed and understood with ease.

Building products that follow the “over-the-counter” research-based best practices can improve your user’s understanding of data by up to 4x.

Understanding how over-the-counter elements are used in medicine helps to underscore their value in data products. When my young daughter got sick with the flu, I could easily find and use over-the-counter medicine to alleviate her symptoms. The packaging/display featured a child’s photo to indicate the medicine was safe for kids. The bottle’s label told me how to use the medicine (how much to give my daughter and when) and possible dangers. Supplemental documentation was tucked inside the packaging to offer information too extensive to fit on the label. The medicine’s content was comprised of key, unexpired ingredients that would meet our needs. If all this was not enough, I could always search an online help system for information on related topics.

The point is, key components are in place so someone using over-the-counter medicine is likely to use the product appropriately and successfully without an expert present. This is exactly what we need for products that display data. We need five over-the-counter components (packaging/display, label, supplemental documentation, content, help system) in place and well-designed so someone using a data display is likely to use the data appropriately and understand its implications. Over-the-Counter Data Standards summarize best data reporting practices within these five components, as informed by extensive research (see Rankin, 2016b), so those viewing data will easily understand it.

What are these research-based standards?

I first implemented Over-the-Counter Data Standards using TIBCO Jaspersoft’s embeddable BI suite when building data reports to be housed within Illuminate Education software products. Jaspersoft gave me the flexibility to add varied annotations, condition-based color, links to resources, and much more to adhere to all of the standards for effective data reporting. Extensive research findings indicated these standards were necessary to ensure data would be understood by our products’ users.

Anyone building products can offer the same increased odds for their data’s usability, as the standards are easy to access and follow. The Over-the-Counter Data Standards are available for free. Though a book (see Rankin, 2016a) provides steps and illustrations for following these data reporting standards, the data reporting standards, templates, and other resources are all available for free at overthecounterdata.com and are easy to use. Additionally, the standards were based on more than 300 studies and other expert sources from varied fields concerning best practices when reporting data (such as most effective data visualization techniques); these sources were reviewed and compiled in the Rankin (2016b) study, which was published as another book.

Data can impact lives, just as it did in Dr. Snow and Florence Nightingale’s time. If you are a product builder and will be sharing data with product users, such as building a data system or an interface in which data is displayed, do you want people to understand the data? Do you want users to do so quickly and easily? Do you want users of all backgrounds and intellects to be able to use the product and its data successfully without the help of an expert? If your answer to any of these questions is yes, you will want to follow research-based best practices so your data can be over-the-counter, too.

Want to learn more? Join Jenny Rankin, Ph.D. and Ernesto Ongaro in a Webinar titled “Make your Reports over the Counter” on May 16th. Learn more about TIBCO Jaspersoft business intelligence software and try it out for free.

References

Rankin, J. G. (2016a). Designing Data Reports that Work: A Guide for Creating Data Systems in Schools and Districts. New York, NY: Routledge. ISBN 978-1-315-66584-9

Rankin, J. G. (2016b). Standards for reporting data to educators: What educational leaders should know and demand. New York, NY: Routledge/Taylor & Francis.

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MMI Agency Advertises in a Real-time World

mmi agency blog MMI Agency Advertises in a Real time World

MMI Agency leverages the power of the connected social world to orchestrate relationships between brands and their consumers. It does this by diving deep into consumer digital footprints to gain relevant insights into behaviors, then crafting meaningful conversations and experiences to drive authentic engagement.

“Our goal is to turn consumer, market, and platform insights into actionable recommendations for the brand in the shortest time possible,” says CEO Benjamin Spiegel. “For our brands to have a competitive advantage, we need to respond to consumers in the moments and places they choose. Today, social media is generating massive amounts of information. How do we identify relevant information and then generate insights—and not only insights, but also actionable recommendations for our clients and their partners?”

Read how MMI Agency met its challenge of generating insights and recommendations―while cutting the time spent in half―and how that time savings has translated into increased capability for new business growth.

Join the TIBCO customer reference program to have your business transformation story shared globally with the technology industry, and trade and business press. Your story in print, web, and video format can boost your status as a thought leader and increase awareness with technology leaders, helping you raise your company visibility and attract and retain top talent. Email customermarketing@tibco.com today!

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