Getting started with advanced analytics

January 29, 2019

A conversation with Ovum’s Tony Baer about the future of data.

Some overnight successes hide the decades of work it takes to get there. That’s the perception that Tony Baer, a Principal Analyst at Ovum, has of Postgres, an open source object-relational database management system that started in the 1980s. Built to Adapt correspondent Jeff Kelly caught up with Baer at PostgresConf recently and they had a lot to discuss.

When it comes to embedded analytics — making it easy for people, or machines, to make real time data-informed decisions, Baer said “The need has always been that we needed to make smarter decisions. It’s just that in the past, the technology didn’t allow us to do that.” While this has been the case at tech companies for years now, bigger companies can now partake thanks to cloud technology democratizing access of embedded analytics to everyone.

Data privacy has been a rising topic, especially with European GDPR regulation impacting companies across the world, and more data being made available. When it comes to anonymized data released for analysis, Baer says “There’s also the reality that even if you anonymize records, it is very easy to basically track all the digital exhaust that you leave… anonymized records can be de-anonymized.” He went on to say how this has affected Ovum’s business: “There’s no question that basically that Ovum clients are coming to us and asking us how can we basically avoid becoming news headlines. There’s a very heightened awareness of that.”

Baer also had tips for enterprises looking to get started with advanced analytics: ask other business units what data they need. “Is there other information in terms of [customer] buying habits or their proclivities that you might be interested in basically piggybacking on them? From there you kind of sort of gradually expand the use cases. So I would basically say take an incremental approach.”

To hear about the other trends (microservices, containers, open source) that were discussed, you’ll have to watch the video below:

Getting Started with Advanced Analytics was originally published in Built to Adapt.

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