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Super Bowl 50 Gets Analyzed, Tableau Spooks Investors: Big Data Roundup

Data analysts got to work on Super Bowl 50, Tableau Software's earnings spooked investors on Wall Street, and OpenText released a tool for measuring sentiment about the US presidential elections. These are some of the stories you'll find in our big data roundup for the week ending February 7.

8 iPhone Apps To Help Tackle Super Bowl 50
8 iPhone Apps To Help Tackle Super Bowl 50
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Data analysts turned their attention to the big game this week, with a host of initiatives around Super Bowl 50. Investors got spooked over Tableau's earnings report. OpenText provided metrics on how media outlets are viewing the US elections. Google appointed its top AI executive to head up search. And Hadoop turned 10 years old. We've got that and more in our big data roundup for the week ending February 7, 2016.

Let's start off with Super Bowl 50. SAP was ready for gameday last week, sponsoring the Fan Energy Zone, part of the Super Bowl 50 activities taking place all week long in the San Francisco Bay area. The Fan Energy Zone features multiple games that use motion capture and virtual reality, and it serves as a showcase for SAP's data visualization technology putting the emphasis on user experience.

If you care more about the actual game of American football than you do about the sideshow around it, you may want to read about how sensors, tablet devices, and other technologies are helping teams uncover insights that can improve their performance on the field. And the folks over at FiveThirtyEight have plenty of coverage, too, including data visualizations about this year's match up.

Tableau Earnings Spook Investors

The data visualization company turned in earnings that met expectations, but the numbers weren't as strong as analysts had expected. The company's CFO spoke about "softness in spending." That spooked investors into a big sell off that cut the value of the company's stock by 50% on Friday. The stock prices of other "digital" companies were punished in the markets, too, including Salesforce, Workday, and LinkedIn.

(Image: PonyWang/iStockphoto)

(Image: PonyWang/iStockphoto)

An analyst told Bloomberg that license revenue, a key metric for Tableau, fell short of estimates for the first time since the company went public in 2013. The Wall Street Journal called the markets' reaction to Tableau and LinkedIn's earnings a "bloodbath," quoting one analyst as saying that Tableau's results and guidance delivered a "major gut punch" to investors.

So what numbers did Tableau actually report? For Q4, Tableau reported total revenue of $202.8 million, up 42% year over year. Its Q4 license revenue increased 31% compared with the same quarter a year ago, to $133.1 million. The company reported a diluted net loss of 57 cents per share. For the full year, the company reported total revenue of $653.6 million, up 58% year over year; license revenue of $423.8 million, up 51% year over year; and a net loss per diluted share for the year of $1.17.

[ Want more on Tableau Software? Read Tableau 9.0 Keeps Focus On End User Productivity. ]

Tableau's CFO Thomas Edward Walker told analysts during the quarterly earnings conference call: "Despite our strong metrics, we saw some softness in spending, especially in North America. We did see our customers continue to expand their use of Tableau in their organizations, but not at the same cadence we historically experienced."

Do You Like Trump?

The Iowa Caucuses marked the opening of the US presidential primary season, and enterprise information management software company OpenText rolled out Election Tracker '16, a tool that enables users to visually monitor, compare, and analyze media coverage surrounding presidential election coverage. OpenText said the technology curates text from thousands of online news articles and global media outlets to create interactive dashboards that compare coverage across media, surfacing hot topics and analyzing whether coverage is positive or negative in tone.

The hot trending keywords on Friday were gun, water, and immigration. Negative coverage overshadowed positive. And top topics by media mentions were campaign finance, crime, armed forces, terrorism, and women and minorities. The company said it built the tracker leveraging its InfoFusion tool to process text and its Information Hub to provide secure, scalable visualization of data. "The application is a working example of 'unstructured data analysis,'" the company said.

Google's New Search Chief

Over at Google this week, the company's search chief retired and the AI chief moved in to take over his role. John Giannandrea will lead the search business, further indicating the importance the Internet giant has placed on artificial intelligence. Amit Singhal will retire on Feb. 26.

Hadoop At 10

Big data infrastructure technology Hadoop turned 10 years old last week, and InformationWeek celebrated by interviewing one of Hadoop's creators, Doug Cutting. We also took a look back at some of the milestones that shaped the last 10 years for a technology that many enterprises are expected to put into production in one form or another in the next couple years.

Rising stars wanted. Are you an IT professional under age 30 who's making a major contribution to the field? Do you know someone who fits that description? Submit your entry now for InformationWeek's Pearl Award. Full details and a submission form can be found here.

Jessica Davis has spent a career covering the intersection of business and technology at titles including IDG's Infoworld, Ziff Davis Enterprise's eWeek and Channel Insider, and Penton Technology's MSPmentor. She's passionate about the practical use of business intelligence, ... View Full Bio

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