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Observations and Thoughts from Sabre Data and Analytics Day

I had the honor of presenting to Sabre’s worldwide technology and product team at the 4th Sabre Data Day in Southlake, Texas on Feb 18th. The data day showcases Sabre’s products and data efforts along with their future product/data management vision. They have been doing this for several years, this year was unique because of the inclusion of Analytics.

In addition to presentations from Sabre executives and strategic vendors, Sabre had a technology/product showcase. In the showcase the Sabre MDM team proudly demonstrated the solution (Interline Ticketing Agreements) they developed with EBX5. The Sabre MDM team manned the table and answered loads of questions about the implementation. Mike Jackson and Greg Gibson did a great job.

For this year’s show there were about 130 participants in the room (and many more will view the video across the Globe. Other locations in India held their event that same day. Krakow will hold it on March 11th and Montevideo will be in April. The attendees included data oriented technologists, data scientists, representatives from the business and Sabre executives.

Here’s a quick rundown on the presentations and some of my observations:

Deborah Kerr – Chief Product and Technology Officer

Deborah kicked-off the meeting and laid out the objectives for her team. She stressed the importance of end user support, improving Sabre’s time-to-market and using data in an innovative way to differentiate Sabre in the market. I think Deborah was spot on. When you are sitting on top of as much data as Sabre has access to the ability to quickly monetize that data will resonate with your customers.

Charlie Stryker – President & CEO, Venture Development Center

Charlie gave the historical perspective based on his experience touching on adoption, size of data and privacy. Some highlights:

  • “15 years ago I participated in a meeting like this where everyone agreed that no one would ever put their credit card information on the internet”
  • In the past all the information that existed could be measured in Gigabytes and today exabytes of data are generated every day and it all stored, how do you query it? how findable is this information? It’s a huge challenge.
  • There is a distinct lack of legislation to govern all this data, for example: in the USA only three laws today are applicable — policy makers have a lot to catch up on.
  • Finally, data ownership — Charlie pointed that everyone involved in process claims that they own the data. But my question? Do all these “owners” also take responsibility for keeping the information accurate? 

I found this talk both exciting and scary. Exciting because of the vast opportunity awaiting those who can aggressively add value to the mountain of data out there. Scary in the sense that, there is a vast amount of data available and the potential for abuse is just as vast. The notion of data ownership will certainly need to be addressed in the short term. Who the ultimate owner is will define the industry. The nugget from Charlie’s discussion being, ‘if you don’t figure out how to add value to the data you own someone else will’.

Tom Klein – Sabre CEO

Tom led a discussion with the crowd. The biggest takeaway was that even at Sabre, which is known for solving big hard problems in operations research, the business wants self-service for BI and analytics. This set up my presentation wonderfully where I described how MDM fits into Bi and analytics. 

Walter Maguire – CTO, HP Vertica

Walt did a Vertica product walkthough and discussed the Roadmap. Importantly did offer up a perspective on what big data is:

  • Published – Print, Video and recorded
  • Search – All searches are captured and 30% of those can be resolved to the searcher
  • Web Mining – Agent based
  • Crowd Sourcing – farming out work in small pieces to millions of people
  • Traditional transactions

It became evident to me that during Walter’s presentation that with all these new channels for Big Data the importance of bridging and reconciling operational data and analytical data is critical. If for no other reason than to ensure that everyone is manipulating the same entities, resolving to the same entities or at least governing the same entities they are creating.

Roland Mosimann – Founder AlignAlytics & Author

This presentation detailed how AlignAlytics approaches analytic solutions and each of the approaches. In my mind Roland validated the comments of Bill Nicely (which Christophe mentioned in his post [Link]), “The true value of analytics is in the aggregation of data into a meaningful and useful structure for analysis”. It’s interesting that analysts spend so much of their time preparing their data.

Scott Duda, Director Presales – Orchestra Networks

After a data focused on analytics, my presentation on how to bridge data and analytics was very well received. Naturally, I could talk about this all day (I have) but if you’re interested it’s probably easier reaching out to us directly and arranging for a short presentation (email: info@orchestranetworks.com) for more information on what we do with analytics, please visit: www.orchestranetworks.com/bi/.