Thursday, September 05, 2013

Journey of Discovery - Oracle Endeca

Seems everybody's joggin or heavy into health s@!#
Don't tell me that I ought to get rolfed
Cause I love cajun martinis and playin afternoon golf

  -- From Jimmy Buffett's "We Are The People Our Parents Warned Us About"

I've been on a journey of discovery lately.  Getting in touch with my inner child, becoming a more compassionate and caring human being, being more interactive with my listening, just generally trying to improve myself as a person.

Yeah, OK, anybody who knows me at all knows that the last paragraph is baloney…I'm not much of the self-exploration and personal progress stuff.  You got me.  But it's true that I've been discovering and learning new things; I've been getting in research and hands-on time with Oracle Endeca.

Part of what motivated me to dive into Endeca was pretty simple.  I just didn't get it.  "Information Discovery" sounds like some sales phrase intended to blow smoke up my skirt.  What in the world does that mean?  What's the value?  Why would I buy and use Endeca.

I get it now.  My father used to tell me that it's the things you don't know that will come around to get ya.  Endeca addresses that very point by using my collected data to tell me what I don't know.  It's about discovering relationships.  For example, I know that the attendance at any major special event is tied to ticket prices.  Basic economics:  the higher the price, the few people willing and able to attend.  But what I didn't know until recently is that attendance at Major League Baseball games in the US will decrease if the stadium has bright white florescent lights in the women's restrooms.  Yup, really; it's true.  My thinking is that woman must intuitively understand that bright white florescent lights show every facial flaw and wrinkle without mercy, so they make it a point to avoid places with bright white florescent lights.  Discovered this by collecting a small set of baseball attendance data and stadium attributes, then using Endeca to see what I could discover.  Who knew there was any kind of relationship there?

The upshot from my little experience?:  Endeca reveals new cause-and-effect relationships in your data.  That what "information discovery" seems to entail.  For me, it's a brave new world.  But I see all types of potential value, especially in the world of consumer products and services.

My little journey of discovery about Endeca is far from over, but it's been very educational so far.  Now if I can just discover some new cause and effect relationship that will let me work less for more money...

1 comment:

MilesT said...

Endeca Experience Manager is pretty cool too.

It's designed to allow personalisation of websites based on search behaviour and/or customer segmentation, but I could see use cases in reporting too: personalised BI to focus and inspire people.