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  • Big data users share their trying but winning analytics war stories

    The challenges encountered in deriving business benefits from big data are huge, but so are the rewards. Hadoop and related technologies are easing those challenges to the point where companies are willing to graduate from experimental to full-blown big data analytics deployments. Still, the march toward that goal can be long and arduous, and not just from a technological and architectural standpoint. Before taking the plunge, big data users, including data scientists, managers and evangelists, are faced with the sometimes monumental task of justifying big data's return on investment to business executives focused on competition, profit margins and allocation of funds. "For a lot of organizations like ours, big data has not yet become a core foundation of running the business," said Beata Puncevic, director of analytics, data engineering and data management at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Yet, actionable insights gained from big data analytics can be indispensable in driving revenue, reducing costs and developing new products.

    This handbook on big data analytics examines the trials and tribulations of big data users who are on the front lines, devising and implementing partial and full-blown applications. In the first feature, editor Craig Stedman interviews battle-tested IT and analytics warriors from Blue Cross, Macy's and Progressive Insurance who reveal the business challenges in justifying the worthiness of big data applications. In the second feature, Stedman explains how real-time big data analytics is helping companies like Comcast and eBay to move quickly on massive amounts of incoming information. And in the third feature, reporter Ed Burns spotlights the decisions at Neilsen and Nasdaq to run or not to run big data systems in the cloud.

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  • The secret to Agile problem solving? OpenSpace Agility

    Even Agile organizations get stuck sometimes. What to do? OpenSpace Agility is a bold new way to work through problems, but it can be tricky. Expert Jennifer Lent explains. Continue Reading

  • Updating app performance management for the app economy

    Traditional metrics like low disk space and adequate infrastructure are just as necessary to companies' application performance management (APM) strategies as they were decades ago, in the early stages of computerized work processes. But there's one crucial piece of APM that modern companies need to focus on if they want to stay competitive in today's "app economy": user experience. Unfortunately, many CIOs' app performance management strategies sorely need an update, whether it's because of a complex IT infrastructure or inadequate APM tools.

    In this issue of CIO Decisions, IT leaders and experts offer app performance management tips and best practices. Plus, we give an overview of how cognitive systems like IBM Watson could be a competitive advantage for companies; look at how Agile methodology can be applied to CIOs' change management strategies; delve into the key takeaways from the Society for Information Management's latest CIO survey; talk to Nemertes CEO Johna Till Johnson about why companies need to rethink their security architectures; and examine the benefits of a tight CIO-CMO partnership. Continue Reading

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