Insight Into the World of Human-Created Information | #tcc13

The 2013 Tableau Customer Conference is taking place this week at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in Washington, D.C. The key speakers are being interviewed by theCUBE co-hosts Dave Vellante, Wikibon Senior Analyst, and Jeff Kelly, Principal Research Contributor at Wikibon. They caught up with Rik Tamm-Daniels, VP of Technology with Attivio, a company that works a lot of mixed content, bringing together transactional data and other types of unstructured data into a unified view.

Dave Vellante started by asking Tamm-Daniels to elaborate on their presence at this event and the relationship they have with Tableau. “We have a long standing relationship with Tableau,” replied Rik, this being his third time at the conference. He loves the enthusiasm of the crowd for the technology, and he explains exactly what his company does in the field:

“What we’re doing in the ecosystem, we’re delivering insight into the world of human created information: documents, emails, CRM case notes, survey comments. There’s a lot of valuable business inside those sources, and we’re able to bring that information in and Tableau creates rich visualizations to help businesses make better decisions using relevant information,” explained Tamm-Daniels.

Big Content


Vellante was curious “what were the customers asking at the booth?” Tamm-Daniels replied that “one concept that keeps coming up is ‘Big Content’ – there are different technologies and techniques to get to the different parts of the Big Data ecosystem. There’s a lot of talk about social media. There’s a lot of folks out there in social media and social analytics, but the reality is that for a lot of businesses the text-based information that’s most relevant is sitting within systems behind a firewall.”

With Attivio being such a powerful company, Dave Vellante wanted to know where the biggest traction lies.

“Our high level, generally, is in the business value side of the big data conversation,” started Tamm-Daniels. “It’s asking the business users ‘what information is relevant’ to them and ‘how you conduct your business data,’ offering them to analyze all that. In terms of different industries, the financial services has always been a strong industry for us, because there’s such an impact when you bring in more relevant information.”

Why Attivio?


So what makes Attivio unique? For Vellante it is the ability to deal with different textures. For Tamm-Daniels, it’s “getting deep insight from the world of human created information, understanding and analyzing it, and making it available to the BI ecosystem.” On top of that analytics component “we’ve created a unique datastore that allows you in a very agile way to connect the insights from Hadoop (for example) with the structure data you get from the business. You get that 360 view without the data modeling overhead.”

What role does visualization play in terms of painting that picture?

“It basically puts a face on it and Tableau shows you what you should care about,” said Tamm-Daniels.  Tableau is great for identifying trends, and helping users decide what to do with those trends. The users usually found too many limitations in the search world. Nowadays, “because we can look at data from a relational standpoint,” not only they can search, but they can relate, analyze and visualize data.

Kelly also asked Tamm-Daniels about Attivio’s partner strategy, citing their partnership with Tableau. “Our strategy is to create our view of what the Big Data space should look like, and what a good portfolio of technologies are, to deliver on all the pieces of relevant information out there and bring it together to the end user for a business purpose,” he replied.

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