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IT Life: Extracting The Intelligence From Big Data

Charles Clark Rosslyn Analytics
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Charles Clark served in the army and the City, but finds Big Data – in the shape of cloud business intelligence – more exciting

Charles Clark  served with the British Army during Desert Storm, got an MBA from the City University Business School, and worked as an investment banker before turning to Big Data.

Six years ago, he founded Rosslyn Analytics with the goal of moving business intelligence (BI) into the cloud – offering Big Data analysis of corporate information, using Rosslyn’s RAPid tool as a service. Business intelligence is a colossal market, where the established players have staid products, he says, which gives new cloud providers a major opportunity.

Working with the U2 of business intelligence

u2 bono computer - from oprah magazine
Meanwhile, the real U2 (Bono and the Edge) get some help getting to grips with the cloud – from Oprah magazine

What has been your favourite project in your work so far? 
We have taken QlikView into the cloud. Qlikview is the fastest growing BI tool, competing with the established players like SAP and Oracle, so it is as if we have taken the U2 of the BI marketplace and made it available in the cloud.

We are using our data enrichment platform RAPid to provide end-users with an app-like store to develop, publish and share apps. There’s nothing else like this in the market.

What tech were you involved with ten years ago? 
Launching the first pre-paid solution for consumers in the mobile telecoms sector.

What tech do you expect to be using in ten years’ time? 
Cloud technologies will be dominant with on-premise traditional deployments in rapid decline. Everything will be app-based in some form or other – these apps will be smarter than ever before, and fully integrated with the web.  Web 3.0 will be a reality across all platforms. 

Who’s your tech hero? 
Steve Hayward, who designed the RAPid data platform at Rosslyn – in my opinion, he’s the next Sir Jonathan Ive, and is one of the smartest tech people I know.

Facebook is wrecking the web

Who’s your tech villain
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook – he’s comprehensively compromised every standard of privacy that a human being has a right to. As a result of this, we’re going to see a wave of new technologies that will enable individuals to regain their anonymity. All the great benefits we’ve gotten used to enjoying as we leverage the web, will evaporate. 

What’s your favourite technology ever made? Which do you use most?
My iPad to both of these – the utility has changed how I communicate, work and learn. For me, the adjacent move by a hardware manufacturer into a content provider is a stroke of genius, and it’s a model that we should all learn from. Content is the key.  

What is your budget outlook going forward? Flat? Growing? 
Budget will grow rapidly for cloud computing services as businesses substitute their on-premise footprint for the cloud. This will see a number of the traditional names in the marketplace be replaced by new and disruptive players who can offer more at a far more sustainable price-point, and the allocation of budgets will move in-line to reflect this.

Apart from your own, which company do you admire most and why?  
MAPR [a software company whose products extend the Apache Hadoop environment]. They are potentially going to transform enterprise analytics, slicing through the barriers that prevent many from leveraging and exploiting big data.

What’s the greatest challenge for an IT company/department today?  
Talent. Getting the best, and most innovative thinkers is critical. Designing cloud computing applications is a completely different model than designing something for an on-premise deployment. It’s about being dexterous and being able to connect with your marketplace the entire time, and these aren’t people that you can just pick up off the street. 

To Cloud or not to Cloud? 
To Cloud – if you don’t believe this – I suggest you check your pulse.

What did you want to be when you were a child? 
Soldier and an Investment Banker, I did both and then grew up!

Do you also hate Mark Zuckerberg? Try our Facebook quiz!