Eric D. Brown

Hi – my name is Eric and I’ve forgotten how to keep this blog updated

Eric D. Brown

Obviously, I haven’t forgotten how to keep this blog updated, but I have ignored it for the past 2 years (and before that there was a 6 month delay in posting). There’s been a lot going on in my life these past 2+ years. I’m sure there’s a lot going on in everyone’s lives since Covid started. What’s been going on in my life? Moved to Colorado in 2019. I absolutely love this state and everything about it.

By chasing the big might, you might just ignore the small

Eric D. Brown

It seems like people are always looking for the ‘next big thing.’ ’ They want that ‘big’ thing to get the ‘big’ improvement for themselves or their organizations.

Insiders

Sign Up for our Newsletter

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Are you eating your brain?

Eric D. Brown

I know — Are you eating your brain? — is a strange title…but stick with me here. I’m listening to an audiobook titled Understanding Complexity by Scott Pag e and heard an interesting bit of trivia about a marine animal called the Sea Squirt.

Do you need machine learning? Maybe. Maybe Not.

Eric D. Brown

I’ve recently written about the risks of machine learning (ML) , but with this post I wanted to take a step back and talk about ML and general. I want to talk about the ‘why’ of machine learning and whether you and/or your company should be investigating machine learning. Do you need machine learning? Maybe. Maybe not. The first question you have to ask yourself (and then answer) is this: Why do you want to be involved with machine learning?

4 Key Steps to Data Transformation Success with Data Mesh

It’s tougher than ever to give your clients the data and insight they need, when they need it (and how they want it) – while addressing issues like security. Find out how data mesh architectures can help you meet these challenges and more.

Data Mining – A Cautionary Tale

Eric D. Brown

For those of you that might be new to data, keep this small (but extremely important) thing in mind – beware data mining. What is data mining? Data mining is the process of discovering information and patterns in data. Data mining is the first step taken in the Data -> Information -> Knowledge -> Wisdom conversion process.

Data 161

You (probably) don’t need Machine Learning

Eric D. Brown

Statistically speaking, you and/or your company really don’t need machine learning. By ‘statistically speaking’, I mean that most companies today have no absolutely no need for machine learning (ML). The majority of problems that companies want to throw at machine learning are fairly straightforward problems be ‘solved’ with a form of regression.

This one skill will make you a data science rockstar

Eric D. Brown

Want to be a data science rockstar? of course you do! Sorry for the clickbait headline, but I wanted to reach as many people as I can with this important piece of information. Want to know what the ‘one skill’ is? It isn’t python or R or Spark or some other new technology or platform. It isn’t the latest machine learning methods or algorithms. It isn’t being able to write AI algorithms from scratch or analyze terabytes of data in minutes.

Data 153

Grand Canyon Majesty – Foto Friday

Eric D. Brown

Grand Canyon Majesty — If you’ve never seen a sunset (or sunrise) over the grand canyon, you are missing out. This image is from my most recent trip on a workshop with @don_smith_photography and @garyhartphoto to the canyon to chase storms and lightning.

130
130

Beware the Models

Eric D. Brown

“But… all of our models have accuracies above 90%…our system should be working perfectly!”. Those were the words spoken by the CEO of a mid-sized manufacturing company. These comments were made during a conversation about their various forecasting models and the poor performance of those models. This CEO had spent about a million dollars over the last few years with a consulting company who had been tasked with creating new methods and models for forecasting sales and manufacturing.

Recipes don’t always work

Eric D. Brown

How many times have you followed a recipe while cooking something in the kitchen and had the result turn out not to be quite what you expected? If you’re like me, more times than not. Sure, the result is edible (usually) but isn’t quite what you expected or what was described in the recipe. Recipes don’t always work.

Monetizing Analytics Features: Why Data Visualization Will Never Be Enough

Five years ago, data visualizations were a powerful way to differentiate a software application. Today, free visualizations seem to be everywhere. Two trends are forcing application providers to rethink how they offer analytics in their products.

You Need a Chief Data Officer. Here’s Why.

Eric D. Brown

Big data has moved from buzzword to being a part of everyday life within enterprise organizations. An IDG survey reports that 75% of enterprise organizations have deployed or plan to deploy big data projects. The challenge now is capturing strategic value from that data and delivering high-impact business outcomes. That’s where a Chief Data Officer (CDO) enters the picture.

Data 141

Call for entries: 2018 Building Team Awards

Eric D. Brown

Building Design+Construction's Building Team Awards recognize newly built (opened or occupied January 1, 2017 or later) projects that best exemplify the collaboration between owner, architect, engineer, and contractor to produce buildings that exhibit architectural and construction excellence.

What is the cost of bad data?

Eric D. Brown

How much is bad data costing you? It could be very little – or it could be a great deal. In this article I give an example of what the cost of bad data really is. A few days ago, I received a nice, well designed sales/marketing piece in the mail yesterday. In it, a local window company warned me of the dangers of old windows and the costs associated with them (higher energy costs, etc etc). Note: This was the third such piece I’ve received from this company in about 3 months.

Data 146

Your data project is going to fail

Eric D. Brown

I hate to be the bearer of bad news… but your data project is going to fail. Maybe not the one you’re working on today. Maybe not the one you’re starting next month. Heck, maybe not the one you don’t even know about yet…but at some point in the future – if you stay in the data world long enough – y our data project is going to fail. There are may ways your data project could fail.

Data 174

The Data Mining Trap

Eric D. Brown

In a post titled Data Mining – A Cautionary Tale , I share the idea that data mining can be dangerous by sharing the story of Cornell’s Brian Wansink, who has had multiple papers retracted due to various data mining methods that aren’t quite ethical (or even correct). Recently, Gary Smith over at Wired wrote an article called The Exaggerated Promise of so-called Unbiased Data Mining with another good example of the danger of data mining.

Data 126

Intent Signal Data 101

Intent signal data helps B2B marketers engage with buyers sooner in the sales cycle. But there are many confusing terms used to describe intent data. Read this infographic to better understand three common areas of confusion.

Deep learning – when should it be used?

Eric D. Brown

“When should I use deep learning?” ” I get asked that question constantly. The answer to this question is both complicated and simplistic at the same time. The answer I usually give us something along the lines of ‘if you a lot of data and an interesting / challenging problem, then you should try out deep learning’ How a much is ‘a lot of data’? That’s the complicated part. Let’s use some examples to try to clarify things.

What are you avoiding?

Eric D. Brown

I’m sure we’ve all been there. We have 100 things to do and we pick 90 things to get done and avoid those last few items that we just don’t want to do. They are on our ‘to-do’ list for a reason. We put them there…or more likely…someone put them there for us. But, they’re there and they should probably get done. Why do we avoid those tasks? I know there are some things that I just consistently ‘put off’ to another day (e.g.,

Want to speed up your digital transformation initiatives? Take a look at your data

Eric D. Brown

Digital transformation has taken center stage in many organizations. Need convincing? IDC predicts that two-thirds of the CEOs of Global 2000 companies will have digital transformation at the center of their corporate strategies by the end of 2017. Four in 10 IT leaders in the Computerworld 2017 Tech Forecast study say more than 50% of their organization has undergone digital transformation.

To have a great analytics culture, you need a great communications culture

Eric D. Brown

When you read about big data and/or data analytics projects and systems, it is rare that you also read bout communicating the outcome of those projects. Without the ability to communicate the results of any analysis to the broader business, most big data / analytics projects are doomed to mediocrity…or even failure. The quantitative mind is a great one. It is one that I’m very familiar with and one that I wholeheartedly support.

Modern Data Architecture for Embedded Analytics

Data has gone from a mere result of applications & processes to being crowned king. Picking the right avenue to data architecture depends on your organization’s needs. Development teams should build in stages, starting with a task that can be solved.

Opportunity Lost: Data Silos Continue to inhibit your Business

Eric D. Brown

According to some estimates, data scientists spend as much as 80% of their time getting data in a format that can be used. As a practicing data scientist, I’d say that is a fairly accurate estimate in many organizations.

Data 125

What can you DO with Machine Learning?

Eric D. Brown

Everyone’s talking about machine learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) these days. If you are a CxO or work in IT or marketing, I’d bet that you hear these terms more than you probably want to. It feels an awful lot like the early data of Big Data or Business Intelligence or the days when the “Intranet” was first making waves within organizations.

Does IT Agility Equate to Business Survival?

Eric D. Brown

I’ve been writing about agility within the data center and IT group recently. I truly believe the future of IT (and the business) requires that those of us in IT rethink how and what we deliver to our organizations. While reading a white paper titled “ Agile IT Empowers Business Success ”, I ran across an intriguing sentence: “ If the business can’t adapt, it may not survive.“ I’d actually change that to say that, in most instances, if a business can’t adapt, it will not survive.

Agile 196

The Role of the CEO – Driving Corporate Culture

Eric D. Brown

I’m sure there are many definitions of a CEO out there. Plenty of people will say the CEO should be a leader, manager, communicator and facilitator. Other’s might say that the CEO is the person most focused on strategy and the ‘future’ of the business.

Agile 202

Blueprint to Modernize Analytics

The longer you wait to modernize your application’s analytics, the longer it will take for you to realize this value. A blueprint helps you define your new solution, plot out how to get there, and determine what you’ll need in terms of time and resources.

Don’t focus on the data, focus on what the data tells you

Eric D. Brown

In a recent post on O’Reilly Radar titled “ Turning big data into actionable insights “, Ben Lorica provides some highlights of an interview with Evangelos Simoudis regarding big data. One of the highlights is extremely important. It relates to the importance of finding actionable insights from big data and sharing those insights in a way that the organization can use. The quote is: I think you need three ingredients.

Data 180

What’s the difference between Business Intelligence and Big Data?

Eric D. Brown

I’m often asked the following question: What is the difference between Business Intelligence and Big Data? Before getting into my approach to answering that question, let’s be clear on what we’re talking about. When most people say “Business Intelligence” they’re talking about the class of products that have been implemented in most organizations, not the actual information or knowledge that is derived from the use of these systems.

Does your Disaster Recovery Plan Include the Cloud?

Eric D. Brown

In years past, companies have relied on multiple data center locations to act as their main disaster recovery (DR) systems and data in case of disaster. This has generally worked well for those companies that have planned and tested their DR systems and plans appropriately. In recent years organizations have been looking for more robust solutions for disaster recovery than storing their data in separate data centers.

Marketers – You have too many choices

Eric D. Brown

I have a little secret for everyone in the world of marketing: You have too many choices. There are way too many technology platforms in existence today. Too many ‘tools’ and too many products. You have too many choices when it comes to getting your work done.

Budget 122

Best Practices for Deploying & Scaling Embedded Analytics

Today, sophisticated capabilities such as adaptive security, predictive analytics, workflow, and writeback are taking analytics far beyond basic dashboards and reports. With cutting-edge capabilities like these, application teams are able to differentiate their products from the competition.

More isn’t always better

Eric D. Brown

More is always better right? More feedback from clients can help you improve your service. More money can help you build better products and teams. More data can help you make better decisions. Better resolution can make your photos better. More is always better isn’t it? More isn’t always better. Seth Godin recently said that “Too much resolution stops giving you information and becomes merely noise, which actually gets in the way of the accuracy you seek.”

Tools 186

Foto Friday – On the way to Zion National Park

Eric D. Brown

I call this one “On the way to Zion” Captured with Canon 5D and Canon 17-40 handheld on the way into Zion National Park. See more photos in my 500px portfolio. If you like my photography , feel free to support my addiction habit by purchasing a copy for your wall and/or visiting Amazon (affiliate link) to purchase new or used photographic gear. Purchase a copy for your wall. While in Zion a few years ago, I stopped by the side of the road to grab a quick snapshot.

116
116

Best practices aren’t enough

Eric D. Brown

I’m currently reading Brett Steenbarger’s “ Trading Psychology 2.0: From Best Practices to Best Processes.” ” I’m a fan of Dr. Steenbarger’s work and bought his new book as soon as it was released. While this book is targeted at traders and investors, there’s a great deal of knowledge that can be gleaned from it that can be applied to many other aspects of your personal life as well as business.

Customer Engagement: A Data-Driven Team Sport

Eric D. Brown

What would you do if you had so much data about your customers that you know could know (almost) everything about your customer when they contacted you? Better yet, what if you had the ability to instantly know the exact offer for service or product that would pitch the right ‘sales’ approach that your customer would immediately sit up, take notice and spend money? Most of you would jump at the chance to have this information about your clients.

Sports 116

Drive Better Decision-Making with Data Storytelling

Embedded Analytics can be the foundation of successful applications, and data storytelling is now critical for business today. It has become pivotal to drive decisions, generate actionable insights, and increase user adoption and stickiness.

Foto Friday – Sprague Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park

Eric D. Brown

Sunrise over Sprague Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. Made with Sony A7rIII and Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM Lens. Click the photo to be taken to a larger version on 500px. See more photos in my 500px portfolio. If you like my photography , feel free to support my addiction habit by purchasing a copy for your wall and/or visiting Amazon (affiliate link) to purchase new or used photographic gear. Purchased a copy of Sunrise and Fall Colors for your wall.

116
116

Data Ownership within an Organization

Eric D. Brown

Recently, I was having a conversation with an IT VP about data management, data access, reporting and analytical approaches to the data stored within the organization. The conversation was a long and frustrating one. I started working with this company to help them open up access to all their data repositories to allow people within the company to access and analyze the data without having to go to a data analyst to ask for a report or data set.

Data 175

Machine Learning Is Transforming Data Security

Eric D. Brown

Data is the lifeblood of any organization today so it should be easy to understand that security of that data is just as important (if not more important) that the data itself. It seems that data security (or rather the lack thereof) has been in the news regularly over the last few years. The inability for organizations to secure their has caused millions (if not billions) of dollars in damages from lost revenue in addition to the loss of trust.

Data Analytics & Python (Cross Post)

Eric D. Brown

Crosspost – This post first appeared on Python Data as Data Analytics & Python. So you want (or need) to analyze some data. You’ve got some data in an excel spreadsheet or database somewhere and you’ve been asked to take that data and do something useful with it. Maybe its time for data analytics & Python? Maybe you’ve been asked to build some models for predictive analytics.

Data 149

10 Rules to More Streamlined Data Modeling

Apache Kafka is a powerful piece of software that can solve a lot of problems. Like most libraries and frameworks, you get out of it what you put into it. Learn 10 rules that will help you perfect your Kafka system to get ahead.