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How Predictive Analytics Can Rescue the Retail Industry

Posted by Georges Smine on Tue, Jul 25, 2017

Many people are under the impression that great marketing is an art, but the field of data science has introduced a scientific component to marketing campaigns. Clever marketers are now relying on data more than ever to assess, test, and plan their strategies. Although data and analytics will never replace the creative minds behind the best marketing campaigns, they can provide marketers with the tools to help improve performance. 

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Topics: Data Science, predictive analytics

The Data-Driven CMO: 7 Steps to Overcome Data Pains in Marketing

Posted by Sarah Anderson on Tue, Jul 18, 2017

In our new podcast series, The Data-Driven CMO, Opera Solutions Senior Vice President John Kelly interviews Julie Cary, CMO of La Quinta Inns and Suites, who has developed a strong reputation as both a traditional and digital marketer in her dde-long tenure with the company. She discusses the steps taken to integrate Big Data and data science into La Quinta’s everyday marketing operations.

Julie shares how she balanced marketing, technology, data science, and IT and secured the necessary budgets to develop a robust digital marketing environment with tangible marketing results.

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Topics: Data Science, Marketing

Why You Need Multiple Clustering Techniques

Posted by Anatoli Olkhovets on Tue, May 30, 2017

Shopping around for a Big Data analytics solution is a daunting task for anyone. But for those who are somewhat familiar with data science, a common area of misunderstanding — and underestimating — is clustering techniques. Whether the assumption is that all clustering techniques are created equal or that a company needs only one or two clustering techniques, business buyers are often left scratching their heads. The fact is several types of clustering techniques exist — each with its own strengths and weaknesses — and companies need access to a variety of techniques to accomplish optimal results.

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Topics: Big Data, Data Science, Analytics

Why Retailers Must Win Millennials — And How to Do It

Posted by Sarah Anderson on Wed, Apr 12, 2017

What’s the big deal about Millennials? For starters, they’re now the biggest demographic in America. But their needs are unlike any generation before them. Here’s what retailers must know to succeed in marketing to this 80-million–strong population.

Millennials are now the largest living generation in the United States, according to the US Census Bureau. Defined loosely as those born from the early 80s to the early 2000s, Millennials account for roughly 25% of the US population at 83.1 million, exceeding the 75.4 million Baby Boomers in the country. They grew up with household computers, cell phones, and myriad other forms of technology, and they entered the work force during the Great Recession, which has made them price-conscious, tech-savvy shoppers — and robust savers. About half of them still live at home, and they’ve taken over the work force. While most are holding off on marriage, nearly 40% have children and 9% live with domestic partners, indicating that they’re starting families and establishing households (i.e. shopping and spending). Perhaps the most telling stats come from a study from FutureCast, which says that Millennials’ purchases are most influenced by their social circles and that they’re the first generation to influence older generations.

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Topics: Big Data, Data Science, Marketing

Data Enablers: Opera Solutions Signals Big Data Value

Posted by Laks Srinivasan on Thu, Apr 06, 2017

In this interview with PYMNTS, Laks Srinivasan discusses the challenges and opportunities the Big Data brings to the world's largest enterprises.

Big Data may be everywhere, but that doesn’t mean that companies are able to actually get the most out of it in an efficient and scalable way.

With the notion that the world’s flow of computable information would eventually become the oil of the twenty-first century, Opera Solutions was launched back in 2004 with the goal of addressing the challenges and opportunities emerging as a result of the influx of data that came from more people having increased access to technology and a greater ability to generate even more data.

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Topics: Big Data, Data Science, Machine Learning

AI: Why Now? An Old Technology Grows Up Fast

Posted by Georges Smine on Fri, Mar 31, 2017


Artificial Intelligence (AI) is helping the enterprise create dynamic new applications and new ways to better serve customers, prevent and cure diseases, detect security threats, and more. We’re seeing how rapid advances in the field as a whole as well as the underlying technology are leading to more real-world opportunities that already are making a big impact. Speaking at a 2017 panel discussion with the The Wall Street Journal, AI luminary Andrew Ng observed, “Things may change in the future, but one rule of thumb today is that almost anything that a typical person can do with less than one second of mental thought we can either now or in the very near future automate with AI.” That’s a startling assessment for what we can expect.

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Topics: Big Data, Data Science, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence

Data Science Maturity: A Take on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Posted by Anatoli Olkhovets on Wed, Mar 15, 2017


In my role of leading Product Management and Presales at Opera Solutions, I am constantly exposed to direct customer interactions, most often in the early stages of the sales cycle. In these meetings, part of my job is to assess our prospective customer’s pain points and needs as much as they are assessing our products, technology, and capabilities. Thus, given the exposure we get at Opera Solutions, I am in a good position to understand real-world business needs around analytics across industries.  

We often talk about corporate cultures, but the experience with hundreds of customers led me to think of corporate psychology, and juxtaposing Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to the current state of data science adoption and readiness in the industry. Companies need to recognize the stage they are in and not be seduced by the hype or promise of the technology. Data science adoption needs not follow a sequential maturity process; dynamic corporations can certainly accelerate things when the need and will exist. So for fun, here’s a take on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs adapted to data science.

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Topics: Big Data, Data Science

Big Data Reflections for 2017

Posted by Laks Srinivasan on Thu, Feb 23, 2017

To predict the future, one must look at the past, says the old adage. To determine what to expect in 2017, we thought it was best to draw lessons from 2016 despite our industry’s yearning for dramatic change. Laks Srinivasan, COO at Opera Solutions, shares his insights into the biggest Big Data trends of 2016 and reflects on where the market is going and how companies will react.

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Topics: Big Data, Data Science, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence

AI, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning Explained

Posted by Qi Zhao on Tue, Feb 14, 2017

Artificial intelligence is no longer just evolving nomenclature in IT. With the technology’s recent progress, organizations of all shapes and sizes are taking interest. With the mainstream press and industry analysts from every corner weighing in, it is worth taking stock of the technology and learning how to differentiate between three arguably over-hyped terms: machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), and deep learning. It’s best to consider the concentric model depicted in the figure below. AI is shown as the superset since it was the idea that came first, and it has been evolving and expanding since then. A subset of AI is machine learning, which came out of the quest of AI at an early stage. The innermost subset is deep learning, which is just one class of machine learning algorithms. Deep learning is a hot area right now, and the one most typically associated with the rise in AI today.

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Topics: Data Science, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence

How to Recruit Data Scientists

Posted by Tim Bridges on Tue, Feb 07, 2017

A guide from the head of HR at a leading analytics company

Data scientists are in higher demand than ever before. According to the latest CrowdFlower survey, 79% of respondents reported a data scientist shortage in 2015. In 2016, that number grew to 83%. The race is on to find skilled people who can organize, structure, and make business sense out of Big Data sets. People with heavy STEM, analytics, and conceptual skills, and the attendant work-friendly personality traits (insatiable curiosity, ability to prioritize, and a healthy dose of skepticism, to name a few), can virtually write their own tickets.

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Topics: Big Data, Data Science, Analytics