Poshly: a great practical example of Big Data in action

August 31, 2014 Comments Off

With any new innovation, hype can often outstrip results, especially in the early days. A few years back, we saw this with Service Oriented Architecture (SOA): it had lots of promise, but there were relatively few examples of successful implementations. Nowadays, SOAP and REST services – supported by the principles of service orientation – are the primary techniques that distributed applications use to communicate. This has led to all sorts of innovative solutions, especially when pairing these services with mobile devices.

The same things are happening in Big Data: you hear about it all the time, but it’s natural to wonder how it’s being used to add value. Unsurprisingly, new technologies are often viewed as solutions in search of problems, and this is particularly relevant for Big Data since it’s such an all-encompassing discipline.

For Big Data, it’s always useful to look for practical applications: first define the problem, and then use Big Data to supply the solution. Poshly is a textbook example of what I mean: Big Data technologies and practices are being applied to meaningful problems, thereby helping customers answer questions that were very difficult to resolve prior to these advances.

Disclosure: I’m an investor in Poshly through my participation in Astia Angels, an organization I encourage you to check out. Poshly recently closed a $1.5MM investment, which you can read about here at TechCrunch.

Poshly’s website offers a variety of beauty product giveaways which consumers can compete to win by answering personal questions about their beauty routines, habits, interests, and more. The data these questions generate is highly personalized, but only shared with Poshly’s brand customers after being anonymized – meaning users’ personally identifiable information is removed, like their name, email or address. This “hyper-personal data,” as CEO Doreen Bloch calls it, helps brands better understand their customer base in general, or influence larger decisions, like what retail channel to roll out to next, for example.

I’m increasingly learning about dynamic startups like Poshly that are finding realistic uses for Big Data. As time goes by, I suspect that eventually we’ll stop using the term Big Data, and depict it instead as just plain “data” as we portray the exciting ways that information is being put to work.

Last day to tell the FCC you support an open Internet

July 15, 2014 Comments Off

Eight hours to go. That’s how long we have to get pro-Net Neutrality comments submitted to the FCC in front of their first comment period deadline — and save the Internet.

Let’s make our power clear, by submitting more comments than the FCC’s ever seen before.

Click here to visit our brand new website and send the FCC a formal comment demanding support for Net Neutrality. It’ll only take a minute:

https://www.battleforthenet.com

We’re in a battle to for the Internet as we know it. Net Neutrality guarantees all websites — start-ups, blogs, independent media — an even playing field. It’s essentially the First Amendment of the Internet.

But the cable companies want to gut Net Neutrality to increase their profits: Without Net Neutrality, those corporations can kill websites by relegating them to slow lanes if they don’t pay fees — or if they just don’t like the content they contain.

Many of you have already signed petitions to the FCC or President Obama — and so have literally millions of others. That’s incredible — and it’s had a huge impact. But now we all need to go one step further and submit formal comments into the FCC’s Net Neutrality proceeding.

It’s really quick and easy, and carries way more weight than the usual petition signature does. You’ll be a formal part of the process.

Click here to submit a formal comment to the FCC before the end of this comment period — it’s over TOMORROW:

https://www.battleforthenet.com

Originally the FCC was poised to undermine Net Neutrality all together. Because we all pushed back, now they’re considering adopting rules that would save it.

But they’ll only do so if we speak out again, even louder.

We can make a huge statement: We have a chance of submitting more comments than the FCC has ever received on an issue before.

The cable companies have millions of dollars and armies of lobbyists and public relations firms — and since they own so much of the communications infrastructure, it’s especially easy for them to push their propaganda.

But we have millions of people on our side — and our only chance of beating the cable companies is if we all take a stand, together.

Click here to visit our brand new website and send the FCC a formal comment demanding support for Net Neutrality. It’ll only take a minute:

https://www.battleforthenet.com

Thanks!

SoapUI Pro On-Demand Training and Certification now available

June 10, 2014 § 1 Comment

I’m happy to announce the availability of on-demand training for SoapUI Pro, along with a comprehensive certification exam. This extensive, self-paced training course gives you all the tools you need to get the most from SoapUI Pro. After you’ve learned about SoapUI Pro’s far-reaching architecture, you’ll discover how to put SoapUI Pro’s features to work to build powerful unit, functional, and security tests.

The class is composed of 3 ½ hours of lectures along with dozens of straightforward, easy-to-understand examples and demonstrations. More than 150 questions will measure your comprehension of the materials, and thus prepare you for the optional SoapUI Pro certification exam.

Here’s a link to the class syllabus; below is a small class sample. 

If you’d like to learn more and register, click here.

Mission-Critical Service Testing Fundamental #5: “Fully Track Your Test Results” Webinar is now available

January 26, 2014 § 1 Comment

The fifth episode of my ongoing seven part series on service testing best practices is now available on the SmartBear blog. In this installment, I talk about why it’s so critical that you keep a record of your test results. The Webinar is available here.

If you’re interested in being notified of future editions, subscribe to the blog or follow me on Twitter: @RD_Schneider.

Free e-book on Web API design

December 15, 2013 Comments Off

Let’s face it: designing a good API – whether using SOAP, REST, or anything else – is equal parts art and science. I’ve enjoyed reading Brian Mulloy’s Web API Design e-book, and I wanted to share it with my readers. I particularly liked how he references API implementations from various players like Google, Foursquare, Digg, LinkedIn, and so on. It’s interesting to compare the variety of designs that these vendors have chosen.

You’ll find the e-book here.

Screen shot 2013-12-15 at 9.32.18 PM

Hadoop Buyers Guide is now available

November 25, 2013 Comments Off

Choosing a Hadoop platform can be confusing: there are several great alternatives on the market right now. Some of these offerings require you to handle all aspects of installation, configuration, and administration on your own, while others deliver a more comprehensive, innovative, and integrated solution yet are still faithful to Hadoop’s open source heritage.

I recently put together a concise eBook that you can use to help get a better understanding of your options.  You can view the guide here.

Mission-Critical Service Testing Fundamental #4: “Get The Most Productivity From Your Developers and Testers” Webinar is now available

October 29, 2013 § 1 Comment

The fourth installment of my seven part series on service testing best practices is now up on the SmartBear blog. This time, I describe how important it is to make sure that your development and testing teams are working well together. The Webinar is available here.

If you’re interested in being notified of future editions, subscribe to the blog or follow me on Twitter: @RD_Schneider.

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