Paul Miller

Back in the early Nineties, I was working on a Ph.D applying a tool called a Geographic Information System (GIS) to the challenge of modelling archaeological deposits under cities. For those of us worrying about these things, Mark Monmonier‘s then-newly published first edition of... (more)
Private clouds are real. It’s well past time to grow up and accept this. Not every IT workload is most logically run in a cloud, now or in the future. But, for those workloads where cloud is advantageous, it seems likely that public cloud will eventually supplant both private clo... (more)
I first came across Infochimps as they set about building one of the early Data Market offerings. I recorded a couple of podcasts with CTO and co-founder Flip Kromer over the years, in 2009 and 2012, tracking some of the ways in which the company and the market were evolving. Si... (more)
The travel industry has much to gain — and much to offer us, its customers — through smarter use of the data it already collects. This shouldn’t, as I’ve argued before, be a substitute for employing, training and empowering good people. But as an adjunct to what they can do, it h... (more)
The Data Platform Group at Microsoft does a lot, from SQL Server and their Hadoopey HDInsight offering through to Business Intelligence and analytics capabilities which sit in or on top of the humble Excel spreadsheet. I’ve touched upon pieces of this whole before, in a 2009 podc... (more)
In face to face interactions we are programmed to recognise the importance of feedback. As we move many previously physical interactions online, are we in danger of forgetting just how important it is? When you walk into a shop and buy something, a plethora of tangible and intan... (more)
With all the noise around newer technologies such as Hadoop, it would be easy to assume that the data analytics space is new — and totally dominated by the NewSQL/ NoSQL tools pouring out of the world’s startups. It would be easy. But it would also be wrong. Data analytics, busin... (more)
It’s sometimes easy to assume that the large clusters of commodity servers commonly associated with open source big data and NoSQL approaches like Hadoop have made supercomputers and eye-wateringly expensive high performance computing (HPC) installations a thing of the past. But... (more)
As data volumes increase and marketing channels proliferate, corporate sales teams  struggle to efficiently identify the real prospects worth an investment of their time. At Infer, a team experienced in applying predictive analytics to the web-scale problems faced by companies l... (more)
Big Data is undeniably hot right now, and to many Hadoop is inextricably linked to the broader Big Data conversation. And yet, Hadoop has a reputation for being complex, and unpolished, and difficult, and ‘technical,’ and a host of other less-than-glowing attributes which might... (more)
That global accountancy giant KPMG should be interested in data is not, perhaps, surprising. That KPMG would use its own money to “invest in, partner with and acquire organisations that specialise in data and analytics tools and assets” was less immediately obvious to me. But tha... (more)
Portland-based Orchestrate ( rolls out its commercial NoSQL offering today, claiming to significantly decrease the time, cost and complexity of putting cloud-based data to work. I took the chance to speak with co-founder and CEO (and former Basho co-founder) Anton... (more)
People in this business get quite worked up about the conflicts of interest faced by ‘influencers’; analysts, prominent bloggers, and the rest. That concern is understandable and reasonable. We do need to know when the advice, guidance and opinion we’re being given is influenced b... (more)
I used to podcast pretty regularly, on this site and elsewhere. Then other things got in the way and, before I knew it, almost two years had passed since my last podcast here. Well, it’s time to put that right. I’m podcasting again, and I’ve got a nice pipeline of guests lined u... (more)
The ‘platform’ tier in the middle of cloud computing’s architecture is being squeezed, folded and reshaped beyond recognition. Even with continued investment, can it survive the transformative pressures forcing down upon it from the software/application layer above, or the appare... (more)
Cloud computing is great, right? As a way to get something up and running quickly, affordably, and with a minimum of fuss, it can rarely be beaten. But some of the most compelling attributes of the public cloud are best suited to ephemeral or (relatively!) short-term use cases. Yo... (more)
Survey results, like infographics, make up a depressingly large part of the delay email deluge. And, like almost every infographic ever made, most of these surveys are a complete waste of time. They’re blatantly self-serving, and based upon laughably small sample sizes. Every now... (more)
Unusually for me, I’ve found myself at reasonably local events over the past few days. Leeds last Wednesday to hear people discuss big data, York last Friday to talk about open data, and Hull today to check out the city’s impressive new work space. It’s easy to look beyond the l... (more)
I wasn’t going to talk about the current fuss around PRISM, but the speed with which conjecture, rumour and some (good) newspaper investigative work has turned into ‘fact’ and ‘truth’ online makes this worth addressing. The conjecture may be correct. The NSA, the FBI, TLA and ET... (more)
Image © BBC 2013 I recently set up a new Tumblr site, in addition to my main blog here at It’s been running for a few days now, and I’m deliberately posting just one entry each day to explore a topical news item, issue, or trend. We are all inundated by a const... (more)
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