Speaker Interview: Zubin Dowlaty

Continuing our ad hoc series of Hadoop Summit speaker interviews. This short interview is with Zubin Dowlaty, VP, Head of Innovation & Development at Mu Sigma. You can register for Hadoop Summit here, and see the detailed schedule here.

HS: Tell us about your session. What is it about? Why does it excite you?

ZD: I’ll be presenting on the topic “Next Generation Analytics:  A Reference Architecture” for the Enterprise Data Architecture track. I created this presentation to answer the question – What is the reference architecture for creating an analytics shop in today’s environment? This presentation will review how businesses are mapping out their next generation analytics architecture based on various decision layers within the Hadoop ecosystem.  The architecture also takes into consideration how data engineering, data science, decision science, and decision support play a role in this architecture.  This framework recommends how modern analytical departments structure their technology thinking, as well as locate the gaps.

I’m excited to give this presentation because it will provide attendees with a better understanding on how to go about charting their analytics design within the Hadoop ecosystem. I’ll review standard examples witnessed in the industry, compare industry standard vs. reference architecture as well as highlight areas where companies are capable, as well as under-represented areas. Also, I think it’s key to explore why the decision science layer is one of the most omitted areas in production analytics departments.  Another key component is the importance of scale and how automated predictive methods are required to scale analytics into the operation. My goal is for attendees to walk away with a solid game plan to take back to their IT organization for addressing these analytical issues within their Hadoop environment.

HS: What other sessions are you most excited about?

ZD: I am most excited about a couple sessions on the show agenda, both presentations feed into the paradigm of building intelligent systems at scale.  First is “Business Rules on Hadoop” and second “Enabling R on Hadoop.”  From the analytics perspective, we are witnessing more usage of R and especially as one deploys operational predictive systems the usage of rule sets.

HS: What has changed in the world of Hadoop compared to last year?

ZD: Compared to last year, there are improved tool sets, I am most intrigued by the high speed SQL entries such as Impala and Drill onto the scene.  These important technologies fill a gap in the real-time business intelligence and data management area of the analytics stack.  Further, YARN and enabling the usage of MPI, as well as alternative parallel frameworks beyond Map-Reduce is a solid pattern growing since last year.  Further, witnessing the mindset evolving from the business users, it feels the Hadoop technology stack is building momentum not only from within the IT community but the Fortune 500 business users as well, it feels more ‘real’ vs. ‘an interesting idea’.

Zubin Dowlaty is Vice President, Head of Innovation & Development, Mu Sigma (www.mu-sigma.com). Zubin is focusing his efforts at Mu Sigma on managing an agenda of rapidly implementing innovative analytics technology and statistical techniques into the Mu Sigma ecosystem as well as Fortune 500 organizations. 

In the recent past, Zubin has served as vice president Emerging Technology and vice president Decision Sciences for InterContinental Hotels Group.  He has over 18 years of direct experience in applying quantitative methods to extract value from corporate data assets.  His past experience includes creating and driving the global management of the data warehouse, applied business intelligence, analytics/advanced analytics, and market research departments at IHG.  Prior to IHG, he served as statistical modeling manager at United Parcel Service, primarily applying statistical models to enhance shareholder value at the world’s largest transportation company.  Zubin received his BSBA in Finance from the University of Florida and an MA in Economics specializing in Econometrics from the University of South Carolina in 1993.