No products in the cart.



No products in the cart.

Home Blog Page 10

Orange Platform


orange_logo1Orange is a component based machine learning library for Python developed at Laboratory of Artificial Intelligence, Faculty of Computer and Information Science, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.

We can compare Orange to the Trident Platform from Microsoft. The only difference is that its open source and works better.

Orange is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify i under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or Orange is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

The Data Chasm


The Agile Director <a href=”http://theagiledirector.com/content/4-things-twitter-can-give-business-intelligence” target=”_blank”>recently commented</a> on using Social Media feeds as a form of data to give organisations insight through Business Intelligence initiatives formed on social media. This is very true. If companies realise that their businesses are built on their customers,  all their internal systems should align accordingly. This is applicable to retail, property, media,  communications, telcos, etc.., and the end-results are forward thinking, pro-active, customer-centric organisations.

The Data Chasm represents the gap between those who realise this paradigm. It’s as fundamental as the <a href=”http://www.catb.org/~esr/writings/homesteading/” target=”_blank”>manifesto </a>of “<a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cathedral_and_the_Bazaar” target=”_blank”>The Cathedral and the Bazaar</a>”.

Data – A large portion of the corporate future will be driven by those who have it, and those who don’t. Then its driven by those who know what to do with it, and those who don’t.

The gap between the haves and have nots is growing, where even governments, and corporations fall under the have nots.

Open data is the way forward to close the chasm. Supplying data alone  is only the first step. As in economics, banking, media, supply chain,  logistics, there are eco-systems of data analysts that churn out  information. But yes, the common denominator across all these diverse  industries is digital media. That is the key to bridge the data chasm.


Charles Joseph Minard – 17th Century Infographics Specialist


minard_lg1Born in 1781, <a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Joseph_Minard” target=”_blank”>Charles Joseph Minard</a> is noted for his “inventions” in the infomation visualisation. Some of his visualisation include:
<li style=”text-align: left;”>The progress if Napoleon’s Army vs Distance vs Temperature in the Russian Campaign of 1812</li>
<li style=”text-align: left;”>The Origin of Cattle destined for Paris</li>
Charles was trained as a civil engineer. <a href=”http://cartographia.wordpress.com/” target=”_blank”>Cartographia</a> has a good list of Minard’s work.

Data Convention over Configuration


One of the biggest problems of delivering value in a business intelligence project is providing insight around a dataset. Delivering insight about any particular dataset is not about successfully processing the data in question and analysing it. In today business intelligence (BI) world, the expectations are alot higher. Valuable insight is derived from co-relating a particular dataset with sometimes a very different abstract perspective/dataset.

An Example

You have a dataset on radiation levels. (thanks to fallout from nuclear powerstations). A very quick and common question that demands immediate answers would be “What is the impact of increased radiation?”. That is a very broad question, and even with skillful narrowing of the scope of the question, this question still needs to be answered. Even the basic remaining key perspectives on the question may be:

  • Effect on population?
  • Effect within a radius of 100km?
  • Effect on transportation within 100km?
  • Effect on travel?
  • Effect on tourism?
  • Effect on agriculture?

All these questions will require the custodians of co-related datasets to make their data available. The negotiations to acquire the data would probably take time. Followed by the data modeling, loading and analysis. The final outcomes would still be achieved, but under the strain of time and effort.

We can reduce some of this time by having open data, and configured data. Consider plug and play data. Consider being able to draw data from established datasets with minimal processing, and be able to derive results quickly. This is where Glitchdata would advocate data by convention.



The Database Layer


osi_layers1The OSI Model has been around for several decades now. It remains especially relevant when extending the concepts of n-tiered application design. The application layer of the OSI model, can be expanded into:

  • The App Presentation Layer
  • The App Web Services Layer
  • The App Business Logic Layer
  • The App Database Layer

As database systems have evolved rapidly over the last decade, we see database systems providing features like foreign key enforcement, indexing, view, triggers, data transformation, fulltext indexing, spatial capabilities, and more.

The problem here that databases start getting bloated, and they no longer focus on the key value that they provide. Data storage and retrieval.

So it stands to reason why Amazons Web Services have offered SimpleDB has its key database offering for Cloud services. Of course they also offer other relational database services.

So why does Amazons prefer SimpleDB? Scalability, and lower costs/GB of data stored.



Data Warehousing getting old?


Data Warehousing (DW) is a common term used business intelligence (BI) projects and systems. The data warehouse has traditionally been the overhead, a large storeroom which aggregated and staged data from multiple sources into at single point. Analytics could then be conducted on this, and provide valuable insights for management.

Now, the problem with the data warehouse is that its huge, and expensive. The processes to populate the data warehouse consume large computing resources, and the outcomes after a lengthy project might be inaccurate or off-focus.

Within modern applications, and data analytics, we should consider analytics as part of an application’s design, performing smaller analytics projects on smaller datasets before engaging in larger ones. We should also consider incremental processing of data by actively managing data state in a similar way in which we manage application states.

This fits well with the Agile methodology.

So just like abandoned warehouse along the rivers and docks of modern cities, data warehouses will be abandoned with JIT Analytics, Agile BI, and better application designs.

Data as Mustard Seeds


Have you seen a bag full of mustard seeds. Small, little, round seeds that if you accidentally dropped a handful, the seeds scatter on the floor, and roll into hidden, tiny places. More concerning than this, is the ability of a single mustard seed to grow much larger. A bit like Katamari.

Moving Data – The Data Chain


Moving data is a bit like moving people. In most organisation, people are frequently involved in the generation, the transformation, the curation, the classification, and analysis of data. And if any of these facets of data management fail, there will be trouble.

The most reliable aspect of such Herculean efforts is the truck, or platform. That is why many organisation prefer to depend on a platform instead of the myriad of parts to make a data project work.

However, most platforms do look like this truck. Rigid, low on flexibilty, and probably not customised for your organisations needs.

Fairfax buys Rentahome.com.au and TakeaBreak.com.au for AUD29M


Fairfax Limited has bought Occupancy Pty Limited, operators of two leading Australian holiday accommodation booking web sites- rentahome.com.au and takeabreak.com.au for $29million.
Occupancy’s web-sites will become part of Fairfax’ Stayz.com.au holiday and accommodation booking business.

Stayz Leads

Fairfax claims that Stayz already handles 10% of all holiday rental bookings in Australia, and industry analyst – Tim Hughes – is reported as calculating the deal with Occupancy will see Stayz holding more than 60% of the market.

(Yahoo 7’s Totaltravel.com.au service and the Realestate.com.au owned realholidays.com.au service are thought to rank number 2 and 3.)
Occupancy’s Sydney based co-owners, Justin Butterworth, Craig Davis, Michelle Davis and Penny Parsons are to get $17.9 million in cash from Fairfax and $11.2million worth of shares in the Stayz business.

A Fairfax statement on the deal released earlier this month said that Occupancy’s co-owners will have around 10% of the shares in Stayz.
This suggests that Fairfax values Stayz at some $110million, which is a considerable jump on the $14.3million it paid for the business back in 2005.
Nevertheless, with a claimed 27,000 property listings and some 800,000 accommodation nights booked ever year, Stayz is a real success story for Fairfax.
Jack Matthews, CEO of Fairfax Metropolitan Media division, said that the acquisition continues the company’s strategy of building strong businesses in so-called ‘niche’ or specialist market segments.

“Stayz has been a great success story for Fairfax. We know the holiday rentals sector well and Occupancy will bring new areas of growth to our business.”
Occupancy two web-sites are said to have nearly as many property listings as Stayz, and only around 20% less unique users every month (more than 800,000).
However the company’s owners have nowhere as near deep pockets as Fairfax.
Nor do they have the same opportunities for cross-promotion and marketing as does Fairfax with its various newspapers, magazines and online services.
Indeed the logic of industry rationalization is believed to have been at least part of the reason why, last year, Butterworth and his rentahome business joined forces with Davis’ and Parsons and their takeabreak.com.au business.
The businesses earn their main revenues from an 8% commission paid by property owners on every booking .

Many property owners also pay for upgrades to their free, basic listing.
The businesses also earn advertising revenues, and rentahome, in particular has won a string of awards since it was founded in 1999.
Fairfax Digital Executive, Nic Cola, said that there was surprisingly little overlap between the listings of Occupany’s sites and those of Stayz.
“Rentahome has more metropolitan listings and accommodation bookings from corporate, including quite a surprising level of international bookings.”
“Takeabreak has traditionally been more of a holiday accommodation service.
He said that the lack of overlap was part of the reason why Occupancy is such a good fit with the Stayz business.
Cola sai that Fairfax believes that online bookings of holiday accommodation is an areas with tremendous potential growth.
“Ïts only very early days yet and we’ve only just scratched the surface.”
Justin Butterworth and Craig Davis share that view.
“We’re excited to join Fairfax and we strongly believe this partnership will take holiday rentals to the next level. It’s a win for accommodation owners, managers and travellers” they said.
For more information go to:

  • www.stayz.com.au
  • www.occupancy.com
  • www.takeabreak.com.au
  • www.holidayinspirations.com.au
  • www.rentahome.com.au
  • www.holidayhomex.co.nz
  • www.bookit.co.nz