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Taming The Big Data Tidal Wave: Finding Opportunities in Huge Data Streams with Advanced Analytics Hardcover – April 24, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap


Finding Opportunities in Huge Data Streams with Advanced Analytics

Big data is sprouting up everywhere. Leveraging it today will drive competitive advantage; ignoring it puts your organization at risk of lagging behind the competition. To keep your edge razor-sharp, you must aggressively pursue capturing and analyzing these new data sources to extract the insights that they offer . . . starting today! Taming the Big Data Tidal Wave provides you with the tools, processes, and methods you need to tackle big data and cultivate a culture of innovation and discovery in your organization.

With its unique focus on the effective analysis of these increasingly popular data sources, Taming the Big Data Tidal Wave shows you step by step how to design, incorporate, and profit from a world-class advanced analytics ecosystem in today's big data environment. Author and analytics expert Bill Franks shares his "from the trenches" perspective to show you how big data is changing the world of analytics. He maps out an easy-to-follow action plan to help your organization uncover new business opportunities, implement new business processes, and make better-informed decisions.

This user-friendly handbook explores a number of big data concepts and how they can be applied to improve your organization's analytics, including:

  • What is big data, why is it important, and what are its benefits?
  • Ten big data sources that can change your business, including web data, sensor data, text data, and others
  • Technologies, processes, and methods required to tame big data
  • The convergence of the analytic and data environments
  • The evolution of visual point and click interfaces, analytic point solutions, open source tools, and data visualization tools
  • Modern analytic approaches such as ensemble modeling, commodity models, and text analysis
  • What makes a great analysis, a great analytic professional, and a great analytics team?
  • Enabling analytic innovation through an analytic innovation center
  • How to create a culture of innovation and discovery in your organization

To stay ahead of the pack, you need to tackle big data today. Discover everything you need to know to improve productivity, create value, stay competitive, spot new business trends, and generate exciting analytics with Taming the Big Data Tidal Wave.

From the Back Cover

Finding Opportunities in Huge Data Streams with Advanced Analytics

"This book . . . puts the focus squarely where it belongs . . . It's primarily about the effective analysis of big data, rather than the big data management (BDM) topic per se. It starts with data and goes all the way into such topics as how to frame decisions, how to build an analytics center of excellence, and how to build an analytical culture. You will find some mentions of BDM topics, as you should. But the bulk of the content here is about how to create, organize, staff, and execute on analytical initiatives that make use of data as the input."
—From the Foreword by Thomas H. Davenport, President's Distinguished Professor of IT and Management, Babson College, cofounder and Research Director, International Institute for Analytics

"This is a one-stop handbook for anyone who wants to understand what big data is and how to leverage it through advanced analytic processes and methods. Bill Franks intimately understands and describes how to create an entire analytics ecosystem intended to deliver competitive advantage."
—Stuart Aitken, CEO, dunnhumby USA

"In Taming the Big Data Tidal Wave, Bill Franks does a great job introducing both big data and the kind of analytics that will generate value from the waves of new data that are washing over companies. Easy to read and with helpful wrap-up sections in each chapter, the book avoids technical jargon without being lightweight. In this great introductory book, Bill makes a powerful case for analytic innovation and for getting started now."
—James Taylor, CEO, Decision Management Solutions and author of Decision Management Systems: A Practical Guide to Using Business Rules and Predictive Analytics

"In case you ever wondered why big data is providing business value in many industries, this book gives you perspectives and answers from many angles—from the tech side, to data science, to business users and processes. In my entire career of researching and lecturing on analytics, I have never encountered a book that combines the knowledge of both information technology and business managers in such a succinct way. I would recommend it to anyone whose career intersects with big data."
—Diego Klabjan, Professor at Northwestern University; Director, Master of Science in Analytics

"Bill Franks provides an entertaining and consumable take on a complex and intricate topic. The mix of insights applicable to practitioners and novices alike make this a critical read for someone new to the analytics space or to anyone in the space wanting to ensure they can learn from an accomplished leader. Franks' view across multiple industries and uses of big data have positioned him well to deliver this entry into the emergence of the space."
—Richard Maltsbarger, Senior Vice President of Strategy, Lowe's Companies, Inc.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (April 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118208781
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118208786
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #687,507 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Related Media

More About the Author

Bill Franks is Chief Analytics Officer for Teradata, providing insight on trends in the analytics & big data space and helping clients understand how Teradata and its analytic partners can support their efforts.

In addition, Bill is a faculty member of the International Institute for Analytics and the author of the books Taming The Big Data Tidal Wave and The Analytics Revolution. He is also an active speaker and blogger.

Bill's focus has always been to help translate complex analytics into terms that business users can understand and to then help an organization implement the results effectively within their processes. His work has spanned clients in a variety of industries for companies ranging in size from Fortune 100 companies to small non-profit organizations.

You can learn more about Bill at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 54 people found the following review helpful By John Plummer on August 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a retired data analysis professional. For the final 15 years of my active career I was involved in the analysis of semiconductor wafer fab production data for advanced process control and fault detection and classification. While the data sets were not huge by today's standards, they were large enough to stretch the application of traditional statistical methods. Subjects such as cluster analysis, missing data estimation, and relatively large predictive models were of interest.

I bought this book hoping to learn something about new analytic tools that have been developed in the past five years or so. Unfortunately, I didn't learn very much. Analytic tools that were mentioned were not described in any detail. I found a few mentions of predictive modeling, a couple of decision trees, and just one of neural networks. All were mentioned by name only, with no explanation of how they are built, where they can be applied, with examples taken from th so-called "real world."

I was also disappointed to find that the total orientation of this book is toward marketing applications. There is no discussion of such big data sets as seismic data, weather forecasting, satellite photo feeds, or large-scale manufacturing systems. In that regard the book is mistitled.

This book is addressed to a non-technical audience, and that is fine. However my test for a book of this kind is that a potential customer of these analytic services should accomplish enough understanding of the tools of the field to be able to conduct an intelligent discussion with a professional practitioner. This book fails that test.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Michael Tsiappoutas on July 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Nice, clear intro to the high level concepts of Big Data. Easy, fun read. Gives enough detail for putting together an executive report or getting a team started. Pros and cons are balanced well, examples are interesting and informative (starts off with Web data and moves on to more 'boring' industires like insurance and retail), touches on possible uses of text predictive analytics, MapReduce/Hadoop, a very inspiring section on how to build and sustain a Big Data team, etc.

Bill tackles controversial issues with ease and confidence, giving away his years of practical experience (statistical significance vs business ROI, sampling or not, shoot for improvement not perfection, just get started!, etc.).

Someone said something about the book mentioning but not explaining terms like logistic regression and boosted trees. (1) If you don't know these terms, probably the topic of Big Data would not be of much interest to you. Or maybe start with Bishop Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning (Information Science and Statistics), Hastie The Elements of Statistical Learning: Data Mining, Inference, and Prediction, Second Edition (Springer Series in Statistics), or something similar. (2) There is no single book to prepare someone for the nitty-gritty of this totally new, interdisciplinary subject. If you are familiar with the machine learning, statistical, engineering methods and you need to know more about Big Data, then this book is a good place to start. But if you don't know the basics, you will probably need to build some acumen before reading this or any other similar book on the subject. I'm not affiliated with the author nor his company in any way.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover
You don't have to be a "data" manager to benefit from this superb, user friendly guide to big data. Whether you're involved in strategy, marketing, business development, or general management, you'll find some useful insights. The really important theme of this book is the convergence of data management and analytics. It's one thing to generate data, but it's quite another to parse and analyze it. Bill Franks has done a terrific job of putting these issues into context. The bottom line is how do you extract business value from massive and growing amounts of structured and unstructured data? The examples are interesting and it's easy to draw parallels to many other industries.

I found this to be an eye-opening look at a trend that is still in the early stage of emergence - something that will definitely provide competitive advantage to organizations that do this effectively. This is one of those "much appreciated" books on a topic that affects all organizations. Computers and wireless gizmos, digitalization of health records, an explosion of sensors of every shape and function, are all pushing us into new uncharted waters. Bill Franks helps provide some guideposts. I don't get time to read many "business books" but this one made my list. I also enjoyed the interviews with Bill Franks on YouTube!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By For Mom on April 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I am a marketing professional and use data all the time to make decisions. I rely on other team members with technical background to validate consumer insights via all the data my company has. I need people who do deeper analytic to support me. Big data is a topic that intrigues me, so I decided to check this book out. My main concern going in was that it would be way over my head. I was pleasantly surprised at the way the topics are presented. There were a few spots where the technical details escaped me, but overall, I got most of the concepts and how they can apply to my situation. I may not be someone who will be doing these analytic personally, but I will be working with those who produce them. And, more importantly, needing to apply the analytic as part of my job. This was a great book for someone like me to gain an overall understanding of what big data is all about and how a company like mine can effectively capture and analyze it. Mr. Frank's must have had marketers in mind when he wrote his book. I would highly recommend it.
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