Startup City Magazine

Building a Platform for the Exponential Growth of Big Data

By Utpal Bhatt , Vice President & General Manager-Performance Management Group, Actuate Corporation

Utpal Bhatt , Vice President & General Manager-Performance Management Group, Actuate Corporation

Actuate Corporation (NASDAQ: BIRT) is a computer software company associated with the Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools (BIRT) open source project used by over 2 million developers around the globe. Headquartered in San Mateo, CA, the company has a market cap of $ 281.08 million.

A world of Opportunities

For a technology company, it is all about the people. It is paramount to ensure that the entire team understands and believes in the strategic direction and is motivated to succeed. In a highly competitive market, it is important to continually review the group’s operations so that everyone’s activities are perfectly aligned and are running efficiently.

Placing focus on communication and collaboration we ensure that we are creating an open and innovative work environment. For example we have an open office layout which fosters collaboration. The R&D, Marketing and Sales teams share this open office layout which enables teams to share ideas and be more agile is responding to customer needs and competitive pressures. The collaboration extends to teams at HQ and other groups.

There is also a very strong focus on metrics. Whether it is sales, marketing, or tracking customer success, we continually monitor metrics so we can make timely adjustments and become more efficient.

The group's charter is to provide technology solutions to organizations seeking to improve their business operations, whether at a departmental level or at the overall corporate level through the use of Performance Analytics. We have an extremely talented and experienced team here that is focused on delivering innovative software, quality implementation services and customer support.

Trend Watch

Many of the traditional sources of competitive advantage on both the supply and demand side have disappeared with globalization, easy access to information, labor and removal of regulations. Given that, organizations are increasingly looking at the optimization of business processes and effective decision making as new sources of competitive advantage. This is a huge driver for change and has brought Analytics to the forefront.

However the problem with analytics is that it is not something you can incorporate instantly. You need the right leadership with a vision, the right data, the right people, the right focus and finally the infrastructure to deliver the results of your analysis in a timely fashion in the hands of the decision maker.

Big data in some way compounds some of these problems but at the same time, also presents a huge opportunity to companies to gain a significant competitive advantage.

Big data as the cliché goes is more data –which is better for accuracy of analysis. It has more variety so you can better triangulate across the different types of data and has more velocity so you can improve the timeliness of your analysis.

The biggest challenge and opportunities lie in organizations capability to harness this and that is where we will see a lot of new innovations from technology vendors.

Dealing with the 'Data Dilemma'

Any organization that wishes to embrace analytics for competitive advantage is going to face challenges. First is the ability to access and harness big data. Organizations will have to invest in the right infrastructure that can not only work with traditional data management systems but also newer ones like Hadoop that are frequently used to store large data volumes.

Secondly, organizations cannot afford to invest in a multi-month modeling and data processing effort before making this available for analytics. It is very important for organizations to sift through large data volumes and identify the nuggets in a timely and efficient manner.

Actuate has taken a very holistic and visiona

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