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ETL: The Most Important Acronym You've Never Heard Of

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This article originally appeared on AdExchanger on Thursday, February 27, 2014 Data is the fuel and the exhaust of programmatic advertising. It informs every transaction, and every transaction generates more of it. As impression volumes rise into the trillions across all manner of devices, the focus of many ad tech engineering teams isn’t on ethereal machine learning algorithms, but something far less glamorous. The process is called ETL — the critical, painstaking work of cleansing and consolidating disparate datasets. As the worlds of marketing and enterprise software collide, ETL could be the most important acronym you’ve never heard of. ETL […]

ETL: The Most Important Acronym You've Never Heard Of
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The Cloud is the New Operating System

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“Many years ago it became abundantly clear that some way had to be found to shield programmers from the complexity of the hardware… [T]his layer is the operating system.”—Andrew Tanenbaum, Operating Systems The cloud is the new operating system for enterprises, and services are the new applications. The cloud provides the computing fabric upon which the next generation of services, from Pinterest to Instagram, foursquare to AirBnB, are being built. Just as Microsoft Windows and MacOS X have provided interfaces for the previous generation of desktop applications now on the decline, cloud providers like Amazon offer interfaces for the compute, storage, and networking […]

The Cloud is the New Operating System
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Beyond Hadoop: Fast Queries from Big Data

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There's an unspoken truth lurking behind the scourge of Big Data and the heralding of Hadoop as its savior: while Hadoop shines as a processing platform, it is painfully slow as a query tool. Hive was developed by the folks at Facebook in 2008, as a means of providing an easy-to-use, SQL-like query language that would compile to MapReduce code. A year later, Hive was responsible for 95% of the Hadoop jobs run on Facebook's servers. This is consistent with another observation made by Cloudera's Jeff Hammerbacher: when Hive is installed on a client's Hadoop cluster, its overall usage increases […]

Beyond Hadoop:  Fast Queries from Big Data
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The Rise of Interactive Data Visualization

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The visualization below highlights something only recently possible on the web: a dynamic, interactive canvas. Titled "Disaster Strikes: A World In Sight", it visualizes a century of floods, fires, droughts, and earthquakes around the globe. (Below is a snapshot of 1996, an apparently costly year for disasters). It's not a passively animated graphic, but one that users can actively engage with, freezing or pivoting dimensions to reveal new views of the data. It's a harbinger of a new class of documents, which digital publishers are beginning to embrace, to provide a richer information experience for readers.

The Rise of Interactive Data Visualization
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Node.js and the JavaScript Age

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Three months ago, we decided to tear down the framework we were using for our dashboard, Python's Django, and rebuild it entirely in server-side JavaScript, using node.js. (If there is ever a time in a start-ups life to remodel parts of your infrastructure, it's early on, when your range of motion is highest.) This decision was driven by a realization: the LAMP stack is dead. In the two decades since its birth, there have been fundamental shifts in the web's make-up of content, protocols, servers, and clients. Together, these mark three ages of the web: I. 1991-1999: The HTML Age. […]

Node.js and the JavaScript Age
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