Wise Guys: What Crowds Say About Business Intelligence

(First published on the Acutate blog on June 10, 2014.) 


If two heads are better than one, how much better are eleven hundred heads?

We believe they’re abundantly better, and that’s why we’re proud to share some highlights from a recent report that’s based on interviews with more than 1,100 Business Intelligence (BI) users worldwide.

The 2014 Wisdom of Crowds Cloud Business Intelligence Market Study, published by Dresner Advisory Services, found that Actuate meets the needs of demanding cloud BI users.  Actuate’s solutions deliver 19 of the 20 most-desired cloud BI features, including data mining and advanced algorithms, text analytics, and social media analysis.

Read the rest at: http://blogs.actuate.com/wise-guys-what-crowds-say-about-business-intelligence/

Crowd image by James Cridland. 

Three Buckets of Customer Data

(Published on the Actuate blog on May 28, 2014. It’s not every day that you get to write a lede like this for a tech company. I also wrote the infographic it’s based on.) 


All hail the humble bucket. Buckets may not be fancy, but they’re useful, flexible and practical. We should all be so lucky.

Buckets also are ubiquitous: The paint on our walls and some of the food on our plates likely spent time in a bucket. Golfers relax at the driving range with a bucket of balls. Bikers, skiers and skaters affectionately call their helmets “brain buckets.” Coders use bucket sort to get numbers in sequence. We contemplate our future by compiling a bucket list.

Read the rest at: http://blogs.actuate.com/3-buckets-of-customer-data-infographic/

Buckets image by Ali Harrison

Three Buckets Infographic
Three Buckets Infographic

Five Best Practices for Designing Data-Driven Apps

(Published on the Actuate blog, May 27, 2014.)

Five Fisch

Enterprise application design is changing. Are your development practices changing with it?

That question was the crux of a recent webinar given by Allen Bonde, Actuate’s vice president of product marketing and innovation. Building on more than two decades of experience as a developer and analyst, Bonde shared 5 Best Practices for Designing Data-Driven Apps  that developers and their leaders need to follow in a webinar on May 14, 2014, hosted by SD Times.

Read the rest at: http://blogs.actuate.com/5-best-practices-for-designing-data-driven-apps-webinar/

Five Matchsticks image by Martin Fisch. 

Cal State East Bay Magazine is now online

I’m pleased to share the news that the Spring 2014 issue of Cal State East Bay magazine is now online. I have two articles in the issue: a profile of father-daughter track stars Marcus and Lauren McGlory, and four vignettes on former student-athletes who credit their success in life on their participation in Pioneer athletics: Lori Stilson-Armstrong, Frank Fudenna, Rich Sherratt, and brothers Don and Mark Sawyer.

Visualizing Tax Day

(OK, this one’s a month old, but every day is tax day, right? Published on the Actuate blog on April 15, 2014.) 

It’s April 15, and in the United States that means one thing: Taxes.

Federal income tax returns are due with the Internal Revenue Service, or IRS. The IRS says about 35 million Americans have waited until the final week to submit their tax returns this year, so lots of us have taxes on the brain right now.

Being taxman isn’t a job for the insecure. In 2013, 40 percent of Americans had an unfavorable view of the IRS. But love ‘em or hate ‘em, the IRS is a data geek’s dream source. By law, huge volumes of tax data are public record and available online. It’s yours to play with; after all, you paid for it.

Read the whole thing at: http://blogs.actuate.com/visualizing-tax-day-2/

New Adventures in Work

Late in March I stepped off the freelance treadmill and took a job with Actuate, a software company that makes tools for Big Data and personalized analytics. It’s been a great move, with interesting, smart coworkers and enjoyable professional challenges.

But having a real job—my first in nearly 18 years!—has meant even less time for blogging here. Fortunately, I’ve been blogging at least weekly at the new job. I intend to cross-post here as circumstances permit. But if you want to comment, I hope you’ll do so at the Actuate blog.