About the Author

Dr. John Bates is a pioneer in the fields of the Internet of Things and Big Data Streaming Analytics and is widely recognized as being one of technology’s foremost innovators. Wall Street and Technology named John as one of the top ten “Innovators of the Decade” in 2011 and Institutional Investor listed him as one of the “Tech 50” most influential technologists in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

John’s fascination with Thingalytics began while he was working on a PhD at Cambridge University in England. This was where he was inspired to develop the technology that would one day help businesses to run smarter.

Cambridge is an energizing environment for an academic, rich with innovative genius. Each morning on his way to the Computer Laboratory, John passed the site of Isaac Newton’s physics laboratory. The university's computer lab was next to the original Cavendish Laboratory where the atom was split by Ernest Rutherford and his team in 1932.

After a hard day at the lab, John and his fellow students would often go for a pint at the Eagle pub, where James D. Watson and Francis Crick announced in 1953 that they had discovered the "secret of life” with their proposal for the structure of DNA. On their way home, John and his friends occasionally saw Professor Stephen Hawking trundling down the street in his wheelchair.

After John gained his PhD at Cambridge University he became a Cambridge academic, leading a small research group where he stumbled onto an idea that has evolved into what has been called the “new physics of computing." The idea was driven by the observation that businesses were undergoing a fundamental change—moving from a passive, data collection world to a 24x7, always-on, event-driven world. He knew that this new world would require businesses to interpret the real-time data, or events, which flow through the business, discovering key patterns and then responding to them proactively.

In the early 1990s, the notion of an event in computing was confined to operating systems and control systems, but this new way of thinking elevated the event to a business level concept—exposing events as “first class citizens” in the world of applications and business processes.

There was no technology that supported describing and handling patterns of events at a business level, so John and his colleagues designed and built it themselves. They designed new algorithms, data structures, techniques and architectures to enable complex event processing systems that could be constructed quickly and easily in order to support the needs of modern business. This spawned a whole new field of software.

Other researchers, such as David Luckham at Stanford University and Mani Chandy of Caltech, were coming to similar conclusions. The field ended up being called Complex Event Processing, an ironic name for something that actually makes it simple to be able to respond to patterns in events as they happen.

John co-founded a company, called Apama, with his friend Dr. Giles Nelson with the goal of capitalizing on this new science by helping companies to handle the emerging challenges. Initially they focused on addressing some burning issues in the financial services industry—algorithmic and high frequency trading—which became the first niche market for Apama. As time went on and the data deluge increased, more and more businesses began showing an interest in Apama’s unique offering. Since Apama, John has served as CTO of Progress Software and most recently CTO of Big Data, CMO and Head of Industry Solutions at Software AG. John is also a member of the Advisory Board of C5 Capital.

John features widely in industry and national newspapers and magazines, in industry-recognized blogs and has appeared on television and in video blogs. He has been profiled by the Boston Business Journal and quoted on the BBC’s website, The Atlantic, Bloomberg News, the Financial Times, Forbes, Fortune, the New York Times, USA Today and the Wall Street Journal. He is also a regular contributor to the Huffington Post.

He is frequently quoted in trade press including ZDNet, Information Age, Inside Market Data, Waters, Investor's Business Daily, Wall Street & Technology, Markets Media and Wall Street Letter. He has appeared on CNBC, CNN, Fox Business News and Sky News.

In July 2010, John became a member of the newly established Technology Advisory Committee (TAC) for the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the independent agency that regulates commodity futures and options markets in the United States.

John has long had a passion for helping businesses, from pioneering and commercializing new science and techniques from the research lab, to becoming a trusted advisor to major corporations.

Copyright © 2015 by Dr. John Bates. All Rights Reserved.
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