Analytics-based Products: From Hard Science to Massive Revenue

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Data-Driven Products are the Future in Business

Data is everywhere; in every thing that we do today; there is a piece of data which is been collected to improve our life or make it worst ( See the The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, “2012 Report to the Nations”). Many organizations have begun to use its rich data silos to create more value for us. The WEB is full of great examples.

But, there are another group who is going beyond that. This group is using a combination of great management, hard science problems, insightful product management and development and analytics to become shining ideas to highly profitable products. I will give two great examples of products and technologies that its common foundations are hard research, highly technical teams guided for an amazing management and a strong fluid of revenue until this moment. I have to say it: I love these products, so, I want to share my passion for them with you. Keep readind if you want to know a little more about these gems.

Rocket Fuel: Advertising that LearnsTM

2012 was an incredible year for Rocket Fuel:

  • A strong revenue of $107 millions
  • A constant growing of 126 % (289 employees)
  • An amazing new group of brands and a strong sense of confirmation of current customers

And what do you think about? What is the main cause of this growing at Rocket Fuel? Just one thing: They strongly believe in the power of hard core science”.

This is a great example how “Rocket Science” can provide a strong fluid of capital; if you build the right team, and if you put the right features in your core product. George (Rocket Fuel’s CEO, who has a PhD in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence from Standford University too) and his team, created the “perfect match for marketing”, an amazing piece of technical platform which uses heavily Big Data analytics, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and decision sciences, giving like a result in “on-line marketing campaigns which are able to adapt to changing and envolving data sets”.

Don’t you know the level of expertise inside Rocket Fuel’s HQ in Redwoods, CA? I will give you a small picture of that:

  • 1 Artificial Intelligence Top 10 Most Cited Papers of All Time
  • 2 SIGMOD award winners
  • The number of PhDs inside Rocket Fuel is the highest in an ad technology company
  • 3 Books, more than 120 papers and more than 70 patents

But, one of the things that I love about this team, is that they want to share their knowledge with the entire world: they have written a lot of whitepapers about the benefits to use Artificial Intelligence to help in a better way to advertisers to build strong marketing campaigns. A great example of this was the last whitepaper written by Roland Siebelink, Product Marketing Director, Enterprise and Eshwar Belani, VP, Products and Business Development called “10 Questions About Programmatic Buying” where they described what is Programmatic Buying and why every Chief Marketing Officer(CMO), Director of Online Marketing, Director of eCRM, VP of Analytics should embrace this concept to create successful marketing campaigns and advance a lot on their respective careers. Believe my friend, if you are a Marketing specialist, you will enjoy this reading.

I think that Rocket Fuel is just beginning. They have more things to give to Digital Advertising space.

Bonus note: They are planing to hire 300 new employees. See the news at AdExchanger, so, I think if you want a position to drive the future of Digital Advertising, visit its Careers site.

HP Vertica Analytics Platform: A Gemstone for Big Data Analytics platforms

The first time that I heard something about column-based data stores Vertica was reading a PhD dissertation by Daniel Abadi (PhD in Database Systems and co-founder of Hadapt) called Query Execution in Column-Oriented Database Systems, where he did a remarkable job explaining the high quantity of benefits of this type of data stores, almost in every field: query optimization, column compression, late materialization and more good things.

Then, I began to search more information about all this, and I wrote a completed blog post about HBase and Vertica. In my research, I found that Vertica was built from scratch, trying to create a foundation gemstone thinking in every aspect of a database system, and based in the best research papers about these topics. This is hard core Software Engineering. For this reason, HP acquired Vertica in 2011, and reading a recent blog post on their blog, it seems that the transition was a completed success.

Rock Science, Hard Work and Exceptional Management = +++ PROFITS

Vertica has tested this in a great way. The revenue, until Febraury 2012, was of 84 millions of USD, based on the research conducted by Wikibon Project, placing to the company like the current leader between all Big Data Pure-Play vendors.But, they just are beginning too: they raised the bar again: a new release of Vertica (codename: Bulldozer), its rich integration with R, the lingua franca for Statistics, a constant growing suite of built-in analytics functions, and its native integration with Hadoop are just some of the key features why Vertica is a leader in this field today.

2nd Bonus note:

What if you are in a room, hearing to brilliant people talking about database system internals, column-oriented data stores, compression types depending of data types, horizontal scalability, kernel tuning for maximum performance, tuples late materialization techniques, Big Data, Data Mining techniques applied for fraud detection in real-time, Hadoop integration? You have the chance to hear all that inside a lab in HP Vertica’s HQ in Cambrigde, MA. They are looking for System Engineers, Product Managers, Product Marketing Managers, Data Scientists, etc; with a single objective in mind: to drive the future of data stores and to disrupt the Big Data industry in the journey. See its Careers section and apply today.

Final Thoughts

So, I just have a single advice for you: if you want to become in a Big Data rockstar, you should consider to apply for any of these amazing teams. This is not about money, this is about the opportunity to learn something new every minute, this is about the chance to disrupt an industry, this is not for an early exit, this is the kind of company to establish a relationship for life. I’m telling you what I would do if I had the chance. Take my advice my friend, and help to shape a better analytic world.

Happy Data Hacking !!!
Marcos Luis Ortíz Valmaseda
Product Manager && Data Scientist
Twitter: @marcosluis2186

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