Dan Camper, Big Data Miracle Worker at
Dun & Bradstreet
This section spotlights a developer in the community and offers advice for working with the platform.
Dan Camper is known at Dun & Bradstreet as a Miracle Worker. Literally. In fact, it says so right on his business card. His company title is Thaumaturge, which is of Greek origin with thauma meaning “miracle” or “marvel” and ergon meaning “work” . Per Wikipedia, a Thaumaturge has the capability of a magician or saint to work magic or miracles. The English equivalent would be “wonderworking” or “miracle worker”.
“I used to work for Apple, and I got the title there,” said Dan in a recent conversation. “I was always trying to solve difficult problems with novel solutions. I succeeded often enough that I was given the title of Thaumaturge and I’ve kept it ever since.”
Dan is currently working at Dun & Bradstreet, which is a multi-billion dollar commercial information company that has been in business for 172 years. Said Dan, “What I like most about my role is the opportunity to experiment, to play with data and technology. At Dun & Bradstreet, we have terabytes of data and we need to deal with it faster than what a typical database would do. We are always looking to enhance our analytics products by marrying our business data with customer’s data to come up with new solutions or products.”
Dan has been working with HPCC Systems for some time and shared his thoughts: “We’ve had great success with HPCC Systems, and my colleagues agree on the productivity and the performance of the platform. It’s incredibly fast, faster than other solutions out there. With the programming language, Enterprise Control Language (ECL), you need just a couple lines of ECL compared to hundreds of lines of Java. So I’m integrating HPCC Systems into as many projects as I can.”
We also asked Dan about his thoughts on how he’d like to see the data and technology industry evolve in the future. Said Dan, “I would opt for better data structure standards to enable software agents. If you read science fiction books that are cyber focused, you have these ideas of software agents that can get data from wherever and do stuff with it. From a technology and legal standpoint, how would that really work? Regardless, I think we should have more ubiquitous access to data. We should have smart software agents that can go out and do things for you. I think that should be the future of computing.”
We also asked Dan what he does when he is not working miracles with Big Data? “I’m a car guy,” said Dan. “I love cars. In fact, I pre-ordered the 5th generation Camaro without even seeing it. I still have that car, and it is number 20,335 off the production line. One of my other hobbies is virtual racing, in Gran Turismo. They have an annual contest where the winner gets to become a professional race car driver for Nissan for a year. Two years ago I made it to 295th in the country, out of 55,000 participants. It was a lot of fun, but I don’t think I want to do that for a living.”
If you are looking for a Big Data miracle worker to help you solve your data challenges or give you insight on the HPCC Systems platform, you can find Dan Camper active on our forums. Thanks, Dan!
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This section discusses how HPCC Systems is used to solve various business challenges.
This Datanami article features how HPCC Systems and predictive analytics are leveraged to address managing traffic in a busy airport, including improving the passenger experience while they’re travelling, reducing lines and optimizing everything from the parking lot to the boarding of the plane to transfers between flights.
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ECL Tips and Tricks
Enterprise Control Language (ECL) is the programming language of HPCC Systems, and is used to program both the data processing jobs on the HPCC Systems Data Refinery engine (Thor) and the queries on the HPCC Systems Data Delivery engine (Roxie). ECL is a declarative, implicitly parallel and data flow oriented programming language that abstracts complex data processing tasks by providing a simple programming interface.
Binary Strings in ECL
Recently one of our HPCC forum participants was looking for a way to convert any number to its binary string equivalent using ECL. For example, the number 27 is expressed as ‘11011’. This code snippet shows a handy function for accomplishing the above. Note the use of POWER to determine the binary weighting of a particular bit position. This example was written by Richard Taylor, our Chief ECL Trainer who has been working with ECL since its inception over 13 years ago.
In this blog post, Arjuna demonstrates the equivalent of ECL code snippet in SQL.
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“How To” Demo: Profile Data
This section features a demo to help developers
Need to learn how to profile data?
Check out the demo
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HPCC Systems RoadMap Update:
This section discusses updates and enhancements to the platform.
Version 4.0 now available!
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About HPCC Systems
HPCC Systems is the platform developed and leveraged by LexisNexis Risk Solutions, which is $1.4 billion information solutions company and a division of Reed Elsevier, a $9 billion global publisher and information provider operating in the science, medical, legal, risk and business sectors.
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Check out this quick blog on the Java integration with HPCC Systems. Additional links to help with Java integration are included
HPCC Systems in the News
Click on this video link to hear Paul Taylor of the Financial Times interview the Chief Technology Officer of LexisNexis Risk Solutions, Vijay Raghavan.
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