Ben Lorica

Ben Lorica is the Senior Analyst in the Market Research Group at O'Reilly Media, Inc.. He has applied Business Intelligence, Data Mining and Statistical Analysis in a variety of settings including Direct Marketing, Consumer and Market Research, Targeted Advertising, and Financial Engineering. At O'Reilly, Ben works in the open source data warehouse and analytics area.

An ex-academic, he was an Assistant Professor at U.C. Davis and was the founding Department Chair for Statistics and Mathematics at C.S.U. Monterey Bay.

Where 2.0: The State of the Geospatial Web Where 2.0: The State of the Geospatial Web
by Brady Forrest , Ben Lorica , Roger Magoulas , Andrew Turner
June 2009 (est.)
Ebook: $399.00

Virtual Worlds: A Business Guide Virtual Worlds: A Business Guide
by Ben Lorica , Roger Magoulas
June 2009 (est.)
Ebook: $249.00 Ebook: $249.00

Twitter and the Micro-Messaging Revolution: Communication, Connections, and Immediacy--140 Characters at a Time Twitter and the Micro-Messaging Revolution: Communication, Connections, and Immediacy--140 Characters at a Time
by Abdur Chowdhury , Gregor Hochmuth , Ben Lorica , Roger Magoulas , Sarah Milstein , Tim O'Reilly
June 2009 (est.)
Ebook: $99.00

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GraphChi: Graph analytics over billions of edges using your laptop

December 12 2012

GraphChi is a spinoff project of GraphLab, an open source, distributed, in-memory software system for analytics and machine-learning. Designed specifically to run on a single computer with limited memory1 (DRAM), since its release a few months ago GraphChi has been … read more

Shark: Real-time queries and analytics for big data

November 27 2012

Hadoop’s strength is in batch processing, MapReduce isn’t particularly suited for interactive/adhoc queries. Real-time1 SQL queries (on Hadoop data) are usually performed using custom connectors to MPP databases. In practice this means having connectors between separate Hadoop and database clusters. … read more

Spark 0.6 improves performance and accessibility

October 16 2012

In an earlier post I listed a few reasons why I’ve come to embrace and use Spark. In particular I described why Spark is well-suited for many distributed Big Data Analytics tasks such as iterative computations and interactive queries, where … read more

Seven reasons why I like Spark

August 21 2012

A large portion of this week’s Amp Camp at UC Berkeley, is devoted to an introduction to Spark – an open source, in-memory, cluster computing framework. After playing with Spark over the last month, I’ve come to consider it a … read more

Active Facebook users by region: November, 2010

November 16 2010

With Facebook unveiling an integrated messaging system for its more than 500 million users, I decided to update a few charts that breakdown its users by region. read more

Hiring trends among the major platform players

November 15 2010

After recently re-reading Tim's post on the major internet platform players, I looked at recent hiring trends* among the companies he highlighted. First I examined year-over-year changes in number of job postings (from Aug to Oct 2009 vs. Aug to Oct 2010). Consistent with the recent flurry of articles about… read more

Windows Phone apps are more expensive than iPhone apps

November 05 2010

The Windows Marketplace for Mobile now has about 1,400 apps spread across 16 categories. In this short post I'll provide some basic statistics and compare it with the grandaddy of app stores: the U.S. iTunes store. read more

Crowdsourcing Specific Microtasks

October 25 2010

Since the first-ever Mechanical Turk meetup a year ago, there has been an explosion in crowdsourcing services and a well-attended conference in San Francisco. I remain enthusiastic about crowdsourcing, but the number of companies has me worried about quality of work. Fortunately specialization is already occurring, so for particular tasks… read more

Amazon's cloud platform still the largest, but others are closing the gap

August 31 2010

Tim's recent tweet on the growing demand for Google App Engine skills inspired me to measure the popularity of the major cloud computing platforms. Elance is one of many job boards in our data warehouse of U.S. job postings1 , and I wanted to measure demand across many more job… read more

The number of Hadoop jobs continue to rise

August 08 2010

While still a small fraction1 of data management job postings, the number of job posts that mention "hadoop" continue to grow steadily. Year-over-year, there were 300% more such job posts2 in the first seven months of 2010 compared to the same period in 2009: The fraction of "hadoop" jobs posted… read more

Which Social Gaming companies are Hiring

July 29 2010

Disney's announced purchase of Mountain View gaming startup Playdom, follows on the heels of EA's purchase of London-based Playfish last November. Based on active users Zynga remains by far the biggest online social gaming company, but what other independent companies are growing? To see which companies are expanding, I used… read more

Where Facebook's half a billion users reside

July 21 2010

Facebook announced that they now reach 500 million active users (just five and half years after launching). But where do these half a billion users reside? Refreshing my post from February, the share of users from Asia continues to rise and now stands at 17% of all Facebook users. Over… read more

Popular iPhone games stay highly-ranked only for a few weeks

June 30 2010

With 40,000+ Games to choose from, the list of Top 100 free and paid games are frequently scanned by iPhone gamers. In this short post, I'll share some basic statistics on popular games sold through the U.S. iTunes app store. read more

Actually, half of all iPad Books are Fiction

May 05 2010

Suggestions to my previous post inspired me to normalize our metadata1 for titles available through the U.S. iBooks app. A comment prompted me to rollup iBooks publishers into publishing conglomerates2: Comments from other readers gave me the idea to map the 100+ iBooks categories to the more familiar BISAC categories.… read more

A few weeks in, a third of iPad Books are Fiction

April 29 2010

Measured in terms of number of titles, half of the over 46,000 (paid and free) books available through the iBooks app are from 6 categories1. Fiction & Literature alone account for close to a third of all available iBooks titles: The current set of titles is indicative of the publishers… read more

Big Data shakes up the Speech Industry

April 23 2010

I spent a few hours at the Mobile Voice conference and left with an appreciation of Google's impact on the speech industry. Google's speech offerings loomed over the few sessions I attended. Some of that was probably due to Michael Cohen's keynote1 describing Google's philosophy and approach, but clearly Google… read more

Cookbooks: The highest priced iPad book category

April 21 2010

Just like the iTunes app store, the iBooks app on the iPad spotlights the Top Paid (and Top Free) books within each category. Here are some charts that compare the average price (by rank)1 across the major categories. The average price of the Top 50 titles across the major categories… read more

Big Data Analytics: From Data Scientists to Business Analysts

April 19 2010

The growing popularity of Big Data management tools (Hadoop; MPP, real-time SQL, NoSQL databases; and others1) means many more companies can handle large amounts of data. But how do companies analyze and mine their vast amounts of data? The cutting-edge (social) web companies employ teams of data scientists2 who comb… read more

Twitter By The Numbers

April 14 2010

I collected some interesting stats from today's presentations at Chirp. Over a thousand people attended the conference and the numbers below attest to how vibrant the Twitter platform is. Today's announced API enhancements will make the Twitter ecosystem even more interesting: 1. # of registered users: 105,779,710 (1,500% growth over… read more

Games & Entertaiment account for Half of all iPad apps

April 09 2010

98% of apps in the U.S. iTunes app store label themselves as "iPad compatible", but most were written for iPhones or iPods. One week into its launch there are about 2,300 apps† that run only on iPads. Measured in terms of number of unique apps, Games and Entertainment account for… read more

Google's New Marketplace Has over a Thousand Apps

March 17 2010

One week† into its public launch, the Google Apps Marketplace has just under 1,500 (enterprise) apps. Combined with Salesfore.com's app exchange (also with over a thousand apps), enterprises interested in moving to cloud apps have an increasing number of software tools to choose from. Popular apps (measured in terms of… read more

1 in 4 Facebook Users Come From Asia or the Middle East

March 03 2010

Asia's share of the more than 400 million active Facebook users recently surged past 15%: With a market penetration of 1.7% in Asia and Africa, the company has barely scratched the surface in both regions. While the company continued to add users in Southeast Asia, there were an additional 2.3… read more

Long Tail iTunes Book Apps Are More Expensive

February 22 2010

In an earlier post, I examined the average price of the Top 100 PAID apps and noted that the relationship between price and popularity was somewhat dependent on the category. But in the Book category, I concluded that the Top 10 PAID apps were on average cheaper than those ranked… read more

The Most Efficient iPhone Developers

February 11 2010

Last week marked the first time the U.S. iTunes store had over 150,000 apps available. Close to 31,000 different developers (or "sellers") were responsible for those apps, with many offering one to five apps, while a few offered over a hundred different apps. Which developers consistently produce top-selling apps? I… read more

Manifold Learning, Calculus & Friendship, and Other Math Links

January 17 2010

One of the largest gatherings of mathematicians, the joint meetings of the AMS/MAA/SIAM, took place last week in San Francisco. Knowing that there were going to be over 6,000 pure and applied mathematicians at Moscone West, I took some time off from work and attended several sessions. Below are a… read more

Collecting, Aggregating, and Analyzing Data Exhaust

January 14 2010

Next week, O'Reilly's Research Director Roger Magoulas, will lead an exciting panel discussion on Big Data†. The focus will be on the piles of data that companies have been collecting, and are just beginning to analyze: The internet and social media create a mountain of random, unstructured, and at times… read more

Apps Per Seller Across the US iTunes Categories

December 14 2009

Measured in terms of number of unique apps†, the Top 5 categories in the U.S. app store have been Games, Books, Entertainment, Travel and Utilities. But comparing categories in terms of number of apps doesn't capture the challenge of developing applications in different categories. As I noted in an earlier… read more

Asia Continues to be Facebook's Strongest Growth Region

November 20 2009

With Facebook topping 330 million active users over the past week, the company's strongest growth region continues to be Asia. Over the last 12 weeks, Facebook added close to 17M active users in Asia alone. Since my previous post, the share of active users from Asia grew by 2% (to… read more

Counting Unique Users in Real-time with Streaming Databases

November 11 2009

As the web increasingly becomes real-time, marketers and publishers need analytic tools that can produce real-time reports. As an example, the basic task of calculating the number of unique users is typically done in batch mode (e.g. daily) and in many cases using a random sample from the relevant log… read more

Games Top the Charts in the iPhone and Android App Markets

November 03 2009

While it might be true that the number of Book apps is growing at a faster rate, Games continue to dominate the list of popular U.S. iTunes Apps. Games accounted for about a fifth of all iTunes apps over the past week†, but the category continued to have a disproportionate… read more

Twitter Users Most Followed by the Web 2.0 Summit Crowd - O'Reilly ...

October 28 2009

I took the set of users† who posted tweets containing the hashtag #w2s and determined who those users followed. Unlike the list of the most followed users in all of Twitter, the list isn't dominated by celebrities... read more

Twitter Users Most Followed by the Web 2.0 Summit Crowd

October 28 2009

I took the set of users† who posted tweets containing the hashtag #w2s and determined who those users followed. Unlike the list of the most followed users in all of Twitter, the list isn't dominated by celebrities. (A few coders landed in the top 50.) Regular Radar readers will be… read more

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Ben Lorica