Author Archive

Erin K. Banks

Portfolio Marketing Director at Dell EMC
Erin K. Banks has been in the IT industry for almost 20 years. She is the Portfolio Marketing Director for Big Data and Data Analytics at Dell EMC. Previously she worked at Juniper Networks in Technical Marketing for the Security Business Unit. She has also worked at VMware and EMC as an SE in the Federal Division, focused on Virtualization and Security. She holds both CISSP and CISA accreditations. Erin has a BS in Electrical Engineering and is an author, blogger, and avid runner. You can find her on social media at @banksek

Recap- Strata+Hadoop World 2017 San Jose

I love the Strata + Hadoop World Conference (renamed Strata Data Conference) and once again the 2017 conference did not fail me in anyway. I wanted to take this opportunity to give you a quick recap since I had the privilege of attending.

I love how the keynotes are short and impactful. Wednesday delivered great insight from a conversation with Beau Cronin and Phil Keslin, CTO and Founder of Niantic. Another great session was from Rajiv Maheswaran from Second Spectrum. Niantic created Pokeman Go and some of the great insight that Phil brought was how they started with a strong architecture that they knew would scale. Pokemon GOThey had no idea that it would need to scale so fast or so soon. Although there were sleepless nights, they were prepared and able to solve both the compute and big data problems they encountered immediately. Rajiv’s topic was “When machines understand sports” and it was great to see how they were able to track the movement of the ball and players and how they could transform the data into facts about players, strategies and probabilities as well as changing the overall game. We watch a great deal of basketball, especially now with the NCAA Men and Women’s Championships going on, and to see data analytics applied to the game like never before is really cool. Is there anything that data analytics can’t impact?

hurricaneOn Thursday we got to see many of the good things that data analytics can help to achieve. For instance, Desiree Matel-Anderson from the Field Innovation Team talked about “Data in disasters: Saving lives and innovating in real time”. Desiree talked about hurricane Sandy and the Boston Marathon bombing as well as other recent events. She talked about how we can use social media and data analytics to determine the impact of the event and how they make it easier to better follow or respond to events in the future. For instance, looking at social media, they saw that people were tweeting for “help” after Sandy hit the coast, electricity was gone and the hurricane had subsided. There was no panic occurring during the storm hitting the land. These facts can help agencies like FEMA in future hurricanes help people feel more connected and can respond to them faster and with this historical data. Another great session was Maya Shankar who worked for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy under President Barack Obama. She spoke about “Improving Public Policy with Behavioral Insights” and provided us with four conclusions as to the how those insights can guide next steps…

1) convert interest into impact

2) quantify impact

(3) celebrate small-wins

(4) generate organic buy-in

These conclusions are based on many years of work and delivered as proof to Washington DC insiders that “data tells you what people are doing” and “behavioral science tells you why.”

The rest of the day was filled with expo time and some great technical sessions. The majority of the topics for the conference focused on real-time machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI). In one presentation, Rob Craft from Google explained machine learning best… he said, machine learning is “one branch of the field of AI”, “a way of solving problems without explicitly codifying the solution”, and, last but not least, “a way of building systems that improve themselves over time.” Machine learning and AI are clearly the future with regard to data analytics and a great reason why they changed the name of the conference to Strata Data Conference. Don’t get me wrong… Apache Hadoop, Spark, Impala, Flink, Kafka, Beam, Apex, Kudo, etc are still being talked about. Data analytics means a lot of things to people and it varies in multiple aspects, but one thing that remains the same is the fact that data analytics drives change and impact. Whether it is changing our nation’s policies or making better video games, we were all at Strata + Hadoop World to learn more and use that information to make a difference. That’s why I love Strata + Hadoop World. So much to learn, so many people to learn from, and realizing that for once, our jobs are making an impact and what is better than that?

Strata+Hadoop World 2017 – San Jose

Another Strata+Hadoop World San Jose is upon us and some of us are extra excited because this is the first time we are in San Jose as Dell EMC. I was literally on a call today going over the logistics and a couple of people could not stop talking about the event and how it will be great that we get to be a part of it as Dell EMC. We are incredibly proud of the way the merger has come together and all that we have accomplished along the way. This time we get the opportunity to show you that we are not just an infrastructure company but a company that is focused on your business outcomes. We have worked with the full range of customers and helped them be successful across multiple disciplines.

Strata+Hadoop World 2017What is our main message? Analytics that Drive Business

The only way that you can solve your business problems is through data analytics. Your current and future data has the potential to answer these problems, but recognizing the questions is not that easy. How do you find these questions and how do you get a return on information, is the true question. We want to guide you through the maze and challenges of data analytics through our services and simple and complete offerings that take the guess work out of the struggle. We want to allow your business to focus on what’s most important, driving your business forward.

We have two sessions occurring at Strata+Hadoop World

Tuesday @ 1:30 Pm in room 210 B/F with Bill Schmarzo ( @schmarzo )

Wednesday @ 11:00 am in room 210 B/F with yours truly, Erin Banks ( @banksek )

We will be in booth 1409, which is to the right of the main entrance, so please come on by and let us prove to you that we are more than just infrastructure. Also follow us on @DellEMCbigdata to see how the conference is going.

Some additional information can be found at our Dell EMC events site

Big Data Analytics and Its Impact on Holiday Shopping

It was my niece Kajsa’s birthday in October. It was so crazy at work that I almost completely forgot to get her a gift. Please don’t tell her!!! My biggest problem, outside of forgetting, is the struggle to find a gift for an 8-year-old when you live in two separate states and you want to get get her something unique and that you really hope she will like. holiday shopping

Shopping can be difficult and not many people like to do it, especially when you need to get something for someone else. What worried me more… there were two more months until holiday shopping occurred. Now I need to buy for her brother Tennison and Kajsa AGAIN. What is the appropriate age to start giving gift cards? Well until that age, I need a fall back plan which is of course online shopping. If I didn’t have time to remember her birthday, I certainly don’t have time to drive to the mall. We all have our favorite sites and personally my favorites include reviews and most importantly… recommendations.

So how does my problem help you and your business? If your business is not applying any data analytics to your inventory and your sales, you are not being competitive. There are different types of data analytics that you can using within your business but the most impactful are predictive and prescriptive analytics.

predictive analytics

Predictive analytics helps you understand what will happen. By looking into the past and how people reacted in certain conditions, can help you predict what will happen in the future. For instance, if I buy a home gaming system then more than likely other accessories will go with it and be recommended. Does your business have the ability to “upsell”? Does your business understand the correlation of the buyers to what they have bought over time? Buyers like me are looking for the recommendation, they are looking for ways to easily find out what else is out there. Your business more than likely has all of this past data. You might be using it your inventory tracking or just your quarterly sales. Now with predictive analytics, you have the ability to sell even more products or services.

Prescriptive analytics takes predictive analytics one step further and takes your business even closer into the big data analytics realm. Taking multiple points of information not only from purchases on your site but other sites as well as credit card purchases, and the attributes of the buyer, can help your business find the right options for your customers as well as drive newer products to them. Prescriptive analytics identifies the best course of action that an individual should take.  It is almost like you do the thinking for me because your business inputs all the points that is necessary to make the right decision. For example, maybe there is a trend going in that state and therefore I want to choose a gift that is something she truly will want.

Mother and son with pad during car travel at nightUnderstanding the data and applying it in such a way that it helps drives sales is not a new concept. Often times when we work with someone face to face they make recommendations on what others liked or paired with something. Now businesses have the opportunity to pull from many sources and therefore give you a richer insight. Not just the ability to know what we will more than likely buy but an understanding of what we should buy based on the information accumulated from people like me. Pulling information from other people buying an 8-year-old a gift will more than likely make sure that I buy the perfect gift. Isn’t that all what we want anyway… to be the perfect Aunt and Uncle that knows just what the kids want. Happy Holidays and happy online shopping this season. Just make sure you shop at a site that does data analytics.


Power of Choice and Collaboration Liberates Data Analytics

Guest Author:

  • Patti Mizulo, Senior Director, Big Data Partner Program, Dell EMC

So close and yet so far. That is often what it’s like when you’re trying to wrangle big data trapped in siloes and extract valuable business insights. It can take weeks or months using traditional methods. Chances are, your data sits on multiple systems across your company or even outside your data center. It’s probably in a variety of formats, both structured and unstructured. No wonder data analysts typically spend up to 80 percent of their time amassing and preparing data before they can focus on analytics. [1]

Dell EMC™ has solved this vexing problem with the new Analytic Insights Module.  This self-service, cloud-native data analytics solution is an effective way to transform big data into actionable insights.   An open, collaborative solution, it combines the power of leading big data software and technology companies that have collaborated with Dell EMC.

Analytic Insights Module

With our partners, we remove barriers to easily and quickly integrate your data sources into your applications and offer vital capabilities that span the big data spectrum, enabling you to ingest, analyze, secure, govern, and visualize your data sources. You also gain streamlined access to unstructured NoSQL data and structured data.

On top of that, Dell EMC has worked extensively with our partners and customers to develop high-impact workflows—or, call it the secret sauce—for the Analytic Insights Module. With these built-in best practices, you can expect your data analytics lifecycle to produce deeper insights and with more speed than ever.

In addition, what better way to achieve broad buy-in of your new analytics infrastructure by letting your company’s data science teams choose their analytic and visualization tools? The Analytic Insights Module fits seamlessly with your existing environment and the tools you use today and tools you haven’t even selected. That makes your data analysis more efficient and produces higher quality insights. And your data scientists don’t need to waste valuable time learning new tools.

Proper data security and governance are more critical than ever. Our partnerships bring that assurance to IT by providing comprehensive data awareness, data lineage with end-to-end traceability, and data-level security with resource quotas set by IT.

Even if you don’t have a big data project on the table today, it’s likely you will soon. According to Gartner, 76 percent of businesses are investing in big data, or plan to, within one year. [2] That’s because big data is gaining traction as the prime resource for creating business advantage. A recent Forester study bears this out, finding that firms with higher revenue growth tend to have more mature big data and analytics. [3]

Now, the shackles restricting your big data projects are gone. With the Dell EMC Analytic Insights Module and our powerful team of partners, you can quickly capture big data wherever it lives, use the tools of your choice to surface and share insights, and be confident that your data—and business intelligence—are safe and secure.


[1] “Boost Your Business Insights By Converging Big Data And BI”, March 25, 2015, Forrester Research

[2] Source: Gartner: Big Data Industry Insights 2016

[3] Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Dell EMC, March 2016


Follow Dell EMC

Dell EMC Big Data Portfolio

See how the Dell EMC Big Data Portfolio can make a difference for your analytics journey

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

EMC Community Network

Participate in the Everything Big Data technical community

Follow @DellEMCbigdata