Friday, June 27, 2008

Genetic Algorithms, Grid Computing, and Visualization Techniques

In the beginning of the technological era, we used computers to more efficiently process information. Now we use computers to help us solve problems. The next phase is to have computers generate their own solutions to problems. The last frontier is to have man and computers cooperatively competing to find solutions to complex business problems.

John Koza at Genetic Programming provides an example of computers generating their own solutions (and coding) to complex problems. Koza, a professor at Stanford University, is a thought leader in this area. “Genetic programming (GP) is an automated method for creating a working computer program from a high-level problem statement of a problem. Genetic programming starts from a high-level statement of ‘what needs to be done’ and automatically creates a computer program to solve the problem.” See,

In the past I have written about genetic algorithms and their practical applications in business analytics. See,;; and

If we combine the power of genetic programming, grid computing, predictive modeling, and data mining with powerful dynamic three dimensional visualization techniques used by game developers, we can have a world where complex business problems can be solved by cooperatively competing between man and machine. See, The Internet and Software-as-a-Service are going to be an integral part of that mix of ingredients as a way to lower IT costs.

The next step is akin to a chef putting together a gourmet meal by using the finest ingredients and tools of the trade. A conductor brings out the most expressive details of a classical piece while blending all the sounds of an orchestra as one exquisite experience.

If anticipation is part of journey, I can hardly wait for the sounds and tastes that will come in the next 12 months when business, technology, and science merge to produce masterpieces to help solve complex business problems. See,

Unleashing the Power of the Mind™

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


This is a good introductory article that explains how to adapt game engines visualization to business analytics in mobile devices. The issue to create a visualization that captures the entire data set in 3D.

At the present time businesses are used to visualize the entire data set using Excel charts. One way to augment the Excel charts and create depth perception into the data set is to add a predict probability vector. SQL Analysis Services already provide this capability. If you combine the add-in Analysis Services capability to Excel, you can see your entire data set in 3D. In other words, you combine data mining and predictive analytics capabilities in the same chart. This allows the user to see the entire data set in 3D.

In the next twelve months we will see more efficient ways to see large data set in 3D using GIS graphs.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Internet, Business Models and Analytics

The Internet is ready for another dramatic change within the next twelve months. Technology, science and business are converging on the Internet. See Intersection of Business, Science, and Technology: Business Analytics. The speed and capacity of computers has brought us to a place “where no one has gone before”. See High Performance Computing (HPC) is Changing the World; HP Delivers Real-Time Business Information with Enhanced Neoview Capabilities; and Math Grid Toolkit brings grid computing to business. Science has provided us with powerful data mining and predictive algorithms that are used in healthcare, financial services, energy, and government industries. See Business Objects Aims to Predict the Future; The New ADAPA iGoogle Predictive Analytics; and BI Conceptual Architecture using Microsoft Products.

Companies like IBM, SAS, Google, and Microsoft are investing not only in the latest science and technology, but on different business models that will make the most of the capabilities of the Internet. The next elements to this exciting pursuit of the next Internet generation are visualization, mobile devices, and Software-as-a-Service. See On the Visualization of Mathematics (Analytics); Mobile Devices and Business Analytics; and Delivering Software as a Service.

Companies that are successful in harnessing the reach of the Internet will need a powerful infrastructure that would support virtual machines using grid computing. Companies like Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, and SAS would need to add a different Internet business model to their current business model in order to overcome the advantage that Google has in providing Software-as-a-Service and analytics through the Internet. Google’s partnership with Zementis has all fundamentals to reach individuals, as well as small, medium, and large businesses. See Business Analytics and Software-as-a-Service: Controlling IT costs. Companies like Microsoft have the potential to challenge Google if they implement an Internet business model that incorporates business analytics and Software-as-a-Service elements.

The human brain has been waiting thousand of years for business, science and technology to come up to par to its capabilities. See The Attention System of the Human Brain. We can harness this power by using the reach of the Internet to bring together the minds of millions of people. See Kaizen and Analytics.

Unleashing the Power of the Mind™

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Business Analytics and Software-as-a-Service: Controlling IT costs

During an economic downturn IT executives are looking for ways to control the cost of hardware and software while simultaneously providing their companies ways to improve its business analytics capabilities. I had a demo of the ADAPA Predictive Analytics Edition on Amazon EC2 and was impressed with its capacity to provide powerful analytics at a fraction of the investment for hardware and software for predictive modeling. This is a product for the current power users of analytics within an enterprise. You can get a subscription for $49 per month plus CPU usage to start with. If you are not satisfied with the product your investment will not have any impact in your budget.

Try this product and let me know your comments.

I think that this predictive analytics product and business model is the future. I recommend that this product add a cluster analytics functionality that will incorporate data mining into the suite of algorithms. Also, I recommend a dynamic 3D visualization to “see” the entire data set. Otherwise, this is a powerful business model to provide cost-efficient analytics to an enterprise.

Attensity - Text Analytics

We should be hearing more and more about Attensity text analytics products and solutions. The issue is how to do analytics with unstructured data, and they have developed a powerful product.

KXEN Analytic Framework Version 5.0 Accelerates Data Mining Automation Throughout the Analytic Enterprise

KXen product is powerful and its business model "to move beyond traditional cottage-industry analysis to large-scale factory analysis" is the correct approach.

Analyze This: Four Fundamentals of Business Analytics

Very general article but captures four basic ingredients needed to implement business analytics.

  1. Leaders who "get it".
  2. Staff who love numbers
  3. Processess that revolve around facts
  4. Technology to capture, clean, sort, and make sense of data

Double Feature Selection and Cluster Analyses in Mining of Microarray Data from Cotton

This technique can be applied to data mining in the financial services, banking, investment banking, and healthcare industries.

Nationwide and Ohio State Partner to Address Real World Business Problems

This is an example of a partnership between business and universities utilizing data mining and predictive modeling

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

On the Visualization of Mathematics (Analytics)

While reading articles on analytics and mobile devices, it occurred to me that I need to be clearer on explaining my vision on the visualization of mathematics. I believe that the visualization of mathematics, by using analytics techniques, will transform the way we do business the same way the invention of the printing press transformed the world. Mathematics is the universal language, and its visualization is a form of expression. This is where business, science, and technology meet.

Before the printing press was invented, knowledge was in the purview of a few individuals who knew how to read. Once the press was invented, knowledge and communication became available to all. With the advent of word processing software, more people could not only read but write within their own sphere of influence. Of course, the ability to read and write does not mean that everyone will be a Shakespeare, Neruda, or Solzhenitsyn. The same is true with the visualization of mathematics. The analytics power users will not disappear; if anything, they will become more visible within an organization.

Sometimes we tend to equate Excel reports with analytics. This is a mistake. Reports have a limited capacity to represent the full spectrum of analytics. The alphabet is the fundamental of writing, but only represents a very limited spectrum of the capacity of expression of written communication. A poem by Robert Frost, a novel by Garcia Marquez or J.K. Rowling can create thousands of similar but slightly different mental pictures to different readers.

It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. We are living in a world of large datasets. Companies, governments, and organizations are challenged everyday in storing large datasets that contain structured and unstructured data. We have mobile devices that have enlarged real-time communications in ways that 20 years ago were unimaginable. Science has progressed to bring us the capacity to store and analyze large volumes of data. We can combine the advances of business, science, and technology with the capacity of the human brain by visualizing analytics.

The human brain is made to perceive, understand and analyze three-dimensional geometrical configurations. See, The Attention System of the Human Brain at: Mathematics is the foundation of analytics, as the alphabet is the basis for written communication. Analytics can be turned into three-dimensional geometrical configurations that will change the way we make decisions by giving us an evidence-supported decision support system within our own sphere of influence. Analytics is not a report. The power of the visualization of analytics will allow each person to “see” the same analysis but will allow each person to have a slightly different interpretation of how to apply that knowledge in her own life. The visualization of analytics will transform the world by having the power of mathematics at the fingertips of everyone.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Delivering Software as a Service

This McKinsey Quarterly article is right on point as to this emerging business model. See, The three areas that software vendors must pay attention in this area are:

  1. Adjust the Revenue Model – Although initial sales costs are higher, a SaaS model target small and medium size businesses which are the driving force of revenues and profits during an economic recession. See, Tools During Economic Recession: Forecasting & Business Analytics; and Preparing Your Company For Recession.

  2. Build a Platform – Do not take too long to recognize SaaS as a profit center otherwise you could make the Microsoft mistake of not recognizing the Internet as a powerful media and advertisement generating revenue center. The catch up business model has proven to be an inefficient way to growth a business.

  3. Improve Internal Capabilities – “The biggest capability gap for software companies embracing the new model is in the operational and customer service skills necessary to deliver software online. The operational challenge is to host the software rather than shrink-wrap and ship it. Companies will have to develop capabilities to handle massive data center operations, systems and network monitoring, and billing.”Companies with a mature internet presence like Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo, have an advantage over smaller software vendors that do not the internal capabilities. On the other hand, the major companies must improve their decision making by making adjustments to those capabilities.

Business analytics allows companies to improve their internal capabilities efficiently. See, Explaining the Value of Business Analytics: Clarifying driving factors in a decision support system. Adjusting the revenue model is going to require executive management to allocate investment in a SaaS model. See, Enterprise Analytics: A Business Decision. The role of IT is to build an Internet-driven platform that supports real-time analytics. See, HP Delivers Real-time Business Information with Enhanced Neoview Capabilities.

A SaaS model is fundamentally based on the principle that every person in an enterprise can contribute to improve revenues and profits by making small incremental changes in their areas of responsibilities. See, Kaizen and Analytics: The Power of Each Employee to See Data. The next frontier of SaaS will be business analytics using mobile devices. See, Mobile Devices and Business Analytics.

Unleashing the Power of the Mind™

Monday, June 16, 2008

Mobile Devices and Business Analytics

  1. The next frontier of business analytics is the incorporation of mobile devices into an enterprise decision support system. The key is to have the following functionalities:
    (a) It must give a visual representation of the entire dataset; and (b) the screens in mobile devices are small, hence the visualization of large datasets requires the ability to see the data three dimensionally. There are two potential solutions to approach this problem:

1. Excel type of flat bar charts – Use clustering analysis to separate the clusters with similar characteristics, and include as a variable in the cluster a vector that that will clarify the driving factors. Microsoft, SAS, and Business Objects already have these functionalities (i.e., clustering and create a vector using a predict probability). The issue is whether they can have a universal interface with mobile devices for these charts. See, INSTINCT GAINS INTELLIGENCE; Three-Dimensional Business Analytics: How Deep is the Ocean?; and Explaining the Value of Business Analytics: Clarifying driving factors in a decision support system

2. Three-dimension graphical representation – There are companies and academic institutions that are gravitating toward a 3D representation of all the data. I believe that in the future we will integrate this to the flat charts most currently in used nowadays. See as an example,; and Real Time Scalable Visual Analysis on Mobile Devices

Another essential functionality is the ability to drill-down capability from a graph to a report – Some companies already has this functionality as part of the mobile device. See as an example,

Unleashing the Power of the Mind™

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Business Objects aims to predict the future with business intelligence

This is a powerful move for Business Objects and SAP. Business Objects have had for years the click-and-drag reporting capabilities, the functionality of standard deviation, and with the predictive analytics capabilities this will become a powerful force in business analytics. I have always been impressed by the products of these companies. The combination of these two companies, their technical functionalities and worldwide market reach put us closer to unleash the power of the mind by putting business analytics at the fingertip of every employee in a company.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Tools During Economic Recession: Forecasting & Business Analytics

The economic recession in the U.S., the housing and credit crisis, and the high oil prices are bringing business analytics to the forefront of companies. See Preparing your Company for a Recession at In good economic times business analytics is important. In challenging economic times it may be the difference between success and surviving.

These are the best of times and the worst of time. Business, technology, and science have leap hundreds of years in the last couple of years. Risk and reward are closely intertwined with the vision of our business leaders and their ability to be at the forefront of change. See Evidence-based Enterprise Business Analytics Model: Turning Around in a Quarter. Companies must use all the resources available to become better at forecasting risk. See Bernanke: Banks must get better at foreseeing risk....

Those of us in business analytics have the ability and knowledge to incorporate forecasting and data mining techniques that separates the clusters of data and clarify the driving factors. See Business Case for Analytics: Explaining Cluster Analysis; and Explaining the Value of Business Analytics: Clarifying driving factors in a decision support system. Those of us in business analytics, data mining, and forecasting must do better in explaining the business value to our companies. See Enterprise Analytics: A Business Decision.

We must be specific and present a complete strategy to executive management whether is a workplace reorganization of restructuring, a marketing plan, an investment strategy, or an operational strategy. We cannot just give "the numbers" and not look at the big picture. See Best-laid plans . . .at

We have the ability and responsibility to present solutions. We can make a difference. The future is now. See Intersection of Business, Science, and Technology: Business Analytics.

Unleashing the Power of the Mind™

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Real-Time Business Analytics

A new discovery about the human brain gives us a good insight in how to improve real-time business analytics and predictive modeling. The discovery is that the brain compensates the neural lag that everyone experiences by giving us a glimpse of events one-tenth of a second before they occur. See Key to All Optical Illusions Discovered. The brain predicts what is going to occur based on available data and experience. See The Attention System of the Human Brain. Imagine the implication for the financial services industry. Banks, investment banks, and brokerage houses could profit or lose billions during stocks and commodities trading, if they had a one-tenth advantage over their competitors. See Financial Services Business Analytics: Evidence-Based Model. Envision a system that reminds customers about an item that they may have forgotten before leaving the store in the retail industry. Also, picture a system that reminds network administrators to check a specific system, server, or pathway. Depict a system that reminds physicians to check for the symptoms of a specific disease, recommend a particular test, or reminds a surgeon to check a particular area of the body.

In an interdependent and continuously changing global economy, companies need to accurately forecast and anticipate trends. Companies must use the latest advances in science, technology, and business to gain leverage and improve profitability. See Intersection of Business, Science, and Technology: Business Analytics; and Business Analytics Technique: Borrowing From Medical Imaging at

The advances in technology and sciences allow these tools to be implemented rapidly and in a cost efficient manner. See High Performance Computing (HPC) is Changing the World; HP Delivers Real-time Business Information with Enhanced Neoview Capabilities; and Business Competency Model: Turning Around in a Quarter.

Business Analytics: Unleashing the Power of the Mind™

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Analytic Culture – Does It Matter?

This is a good article that explains a difficult issue in change management in the area of business intelligence and change management: the importance of understanding the culture within a company if you want to achieve change. Dave Wells has done an excellent job at explaining how to identify different cultures. The key for change is to adapt our product and services to the existing culture. This is one reason that Microsoft BI stack, or the iGoogle predictive analytics tool could become the products of the future. See, The New ADAPA iGoogle gadget: Google Predictive Analytics; Microsoft SQL 2005 Analysis Services: Ten Best Practices© at These products appeal to the broader cultures: people who already use Excel, or people who want to limit their cost by using Software-as-a-Service. See, Software as a Service overview . It is important to remember that it is not just the algorithm but the amount of data that makes business analytics a reality today. See, More data usually beats better algorithms . SAS and KXEN have powerful algorithms and business models, but I think that those products do not take into account the culture within a company as well Google and Microsoft.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

High Performance Computing (HPC) is Changing the World

This short video is a powerful tool to explain how science and technology are interacting for advacements beyond our imagination, and the concept of HCP. "Powerful Beyond Imagination". The International Conference on High Performance Computing, Networks, Storage, and Analysis will take place on November 15-21, 2008, in Austin, Texas. This is the 20 years celebration of the super computing conference!

These two events may be fun:
  • a Music Room, conveniently located in the convention center lobby, where conference attendees can sit and listen to other attendees play during scheduled times throughout the conference. Basic orchestral and woodwind instruments will be available, including a Baby Grand piano, but you are encouraged to bring your own. (A reservation must be made in order to secure a time for you to play in the music room. More about signing up will be provided later).
  • Digital Vibrations: Is it Real?, where attendees will visit a kiosk, listen to a series of songs, and identify ones they think are computer generated versus those they think are produced with actual instruments. A prize will be awarded to the person who correctly identifies all songs.

HP Delivers Real-time Business Information with Enhanced Neoview Capabilities

These are the type of advances in technology that makes business analytics a reality today, by imitating the capabilities of the human brain. The enhanced Neoview capabilities for business intelligence are:
  1. It efficiently processes large and small transactions simultaneously
  2. Forecast traffic to avoid delays and improve performance (i.e., it avoids those instances when you see a person but forget their name, or
  3. Make sure that real-time information is up-to-date (i.e., avoid those moments when you go to a room to do something and ask yourself, "why am I here?")

Intersection of Business, Science, and Technology: Business Analytics

We are living in the future. Some time ago business, science, and technology were three distinct and separate disciplines. The advancements in these three disciplines during the last five years have created a quantum leap in how each directly affects the others. Businesses, large and small, make global transactions on a daily basis. Technology allows people from around the world to communicate internationally and storage large volumes of digital data. Science allows accurate predictions using large databases around the world.

What is business analytics? Business analytics is the intersection of business, science, and technology that allow us to unleash the power of the brain. Historically, mankind has attempted to replicate the decision-making prowess of the brain in order to progress. The financial services industry has transformed from local lenders and borrowers, to complex international financial transactions involving international and local banks, investment bankers and insurance companies. The healthcare industry has worldwide specialty surgeries, and the pharmaceutical industry cooperative bio-molecular research and genome research, facilities. The chemical and energy industries have found new ways to find and convert raw materials. The media industry has gone from the books to the internet.

The common characteristics of these advances are the way that business, technology, and science have cooperatively intersected to promote common objectives. The next frontier of business analytics is to tap into the collective power of the individual and unleash the power of the human brain. Companies like GE, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, SAS Institute, Exxon, and Google are among the thousand of companies around the world that are working to unleash the power of the mind by intersecting business, technology, and science. Business analytics is the future, and the future is now.

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