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IT Briefcase Exclusive Interview: Data Management Made Easy with Sandy Steier, 1010data

February 4, 2013 No Comments

With the increased speed, volume, and variety of data that Big Data brings to the table, it is imperative that organizations have access to data analytics tools that are fast and easy to use.

In the below interview, Sandy Steier from 1010data offers expert advice for businesses looking to quickly and efficiently analyze large amounts of data in a user friendly manner.

  • Q. What key changes in data management do you think have had the greatest impact over the last 15 years?

A. Some changes have impacted how IT does their job; others have impacted how a company conducts its business.  Starting with the latter, which I think is more interesting, changes that directly impact business users include:

– Software-as-a-service offerings in data management and analysis that provide a wide menu of capabilities directly to business users
– The availability of greater amounts and varieties of data

Changes that impact IT and infrastructure include:

– A widening interest in data management techniques outside the usual relational technologies
– The cloud, i.e. the use of off-premises computing

  • Q. How did you get involved in data management, and how is that reflected in your current business model?

A. My education was in math and computer science, and before long I was working on Wall Street, first as a programmer analyst working with trading desks, and then as part of the mortgage-backed securities business in a corporate finance role.  Wall Street is heavily dependent on data analysis, and I personally did banking and technology work simultaneously.   The technical work involved sophisticated programming and data analysis, yet because I had the right tools, I could do it alongside the banking work I needed to do.  The takeaway from that experience was that business users like myself could and should have direct access to data and the technology required to analyze it.  1010data’s business model, which is all about empowering the user, is a direct application of that philosophy.

  • Q. How do 1010Data’s solutions work to help organizations reconcile the increased demand for information from a “business” perspective, and the need to effectively manage that data in an efficient and user friendly manner?

A. First, we offer a cloud-based service where we take care of all the infrastructure and data management.   Second, we enable business users to have direct access to any and all data, and provide them with the tools they need to analyze it.  As opposed to other solutions where business users have limited access to the bulk of a company’s data and must instead rely on IT to either provide extracts or apps, 1010data allows the user to see all data in its most granular form and manipulate that data using a familiar spreadsheet paradigm.  The latter provides the kind of visual, interactive and flexible experience that has made spreadsheets so popular.

  • Q. What advice can you offer to businesses trying to juggle the increased speed, volume, and variety of data that Big Data brings to the table?

A. There is no need to juggle.  With the proper services, like 1010data, you don’t need to deal with the management of the data, and, with proper tools, like 1010data’s Trillion-Row Spreadsheet, analyzing massive amounts of data is no more difficult that analyzing data in Excel.

  • Q. What industries are currently utilizing 1010Data solutions? And in what ways are they being implemented?

A. We have customers in most of the usual industries, including  telecom, healthcare/pharmaceuticals, government, healthcare and gaming, but our greatest concentration of users is in financial services and retail/consumer packaged goods.  In financial services, investors, traders, rating agencies and the like use our platform to analyze the performance of complex securities.  Retailers use 1010data for marketing, category management, store site selection, loss prevention, and every other area where data analysis and reporting plays a role.

  • Q. In your opinion, what are the potential business benefits of being able to “share” data in the cloud?

A. The short answer is that data has tremendous value, and the more people that can use it, the greater the value.  People are very good at using newly available resources of any type to their advantage and data is no different.  Let’s take the example of a retailer sharing its data with its suppliers.   The advantage to the supplier is that it has much better visibility into its market and consumer behavior in general.  The advantage to the retailer is that the supplier can work with the retailer to increase sales, and that the supplier will in fact pay for the privilege.  So a retailer can actually make quite a bit of money off its data.

  • Q. Where do you see Big Data management heading over the next 10 years?

A. I agree with most other thought leaders that cloud computing and new kinds of analytics are going to continue to make their impact known, but I would add data sharing to the mix.  Think of the web:  It is a way for people to share various kinds of information and it has transformed the world.  But it is limited to text, multimedia and small amounts of more traditional data.  What if organizations could share vast amounts of data in the same way that you and I can share our vacation photos?

Sandy Steier, CEO and Co-Founder, 1010data

With more than a quarter century of industry experience, Mr. Steier is recognized as an innovator behind the adoption of advanced analytic technologies by financial services institutions. Before co-founding 1010data, Mr. Steier was a Vice President and manager of research and technology at UBS North America, where he supported several trading desks and contributed significantly to the evolution of the firm into a leader in the use of advanced technologies. Previously, as Senior Vice President at Lehman Brothers, Mr. Steier led the effort to migrate mortgage-backed securities analytical programming from mainframes to workstations. Earlier in his career, while a Vice President at Morgan Stanley, Mr. Steier was responsible for product development and analysis of fixed-income securities. He pioneered the research and development of many complex financial instruments and designed and implemented the software required to analyze them.

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