Alistair Croll

Alistair Croll has been an entrepreneur, author, and public speaker for nearly 20 years. He's worked on a variety of topics, from web performance, to big data, to cloud computing, to startups, in that time.

In 2001, he co-founded web performance startup Coradiant, and since that time has also launched Rednod, CloudOps, Bitcurrent, Year One Labs, the Bitnorth conference, the International Startup Festival and several other early-stage companies.

Alistair is the author of three books on web performance, analytics, and IT operations, and is currently working on a forthcoming book about data-driven startups. He lives in Montreal, Canada and tries to mitigate chronic ADD by writing about far too many things at Solve For Interesting.

Lean Analytics Lean Analytics
by Alistair Croll , Benjamin Yoskovitz
September 2012

Complete Web Monitoring Complete Web Monitoring
by Alistair Croll , Sean Power
June 2009
Print: $49.99
Ebook: $39.99

Croll & Power's Communilytics Master Class Croll & Power's Communilytics Master Class
by Alistair Croll , Sean Power
February 2010
Video: $79.99

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Alistair blogs at:


Thin walls and traffic cameras

October 19 2012

A couple of years ago, I spoke with a European Union diplomat who shall remain nameless about the governing body’s attitude toward privacy. “Do you know why the French hate traffic cameras?” he asked me. “It’s because it makes it … read more

Startup Showcase: And the finalists are …

October 17 2012

We had a wide range of startups apply for a slot in the Strata Conference + Hadoop World Startup Showcase. Our selection committee, which included investors, entrepreneurs, and executives from SAP — which is sponsoring the event — whittled these … read more

New ethics for a new world

October 15 2012

Since the first of our ancestors chipped stone into weapon, technology has divided us. Seldom more than today, however: a connected, always-on society promises health, wisdom, and efficiency even as it threatens an end to privacy and the rise of … read more

New ethics for a new world

October 15 2012

Since the first of our ancestors chipped stone into weapon, technology has divided us. Seldom more than today, however: a connected, always-on society promises health, wisdom, and efficiency even as it threatens an end to privacy and the rise of … read more

Follow up on big data and civil rights

August 29 2012

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about big data and civil rights, which seems to have hit a nerve. It was posted on Solve for Interesting and here on Radar, and then folks like Boing Boing picked it … read more

Three kinds of big data

August 21 2012

In the past couple of years, marketers and pundits have spent a lot of time labeling everything ”big data.” The reasoning goes something like this: Everything is on the Internet. The Internet has a lot of data. Therefore, everything is big … read more

Big data is our generation’s civil rights issue, and we don’t know it

August 01 2012

Data doesn’t invade people’s lives. Lack of control over how it’s used does. What’s really driving so-called big data isn’t the volume of information. It turns out big data doesn’t have to be all that big. Rather, it’s about a … read more

Survey results: How businesses are adopting and dealing with data

January 23 2012

Feedback from a recent Strata Online Conference suggests there's a large demand for clear information on what big data is and how it will change business. read more

The feedback economy

January 04 2012

We're moving beyond an information economy. The efficiencies and optimizations that come from constant and iterative feedback will soon become the norm for businesses and governments. read more

Cooking the data

September 20 2011

Open data and transparency aren't enough: we need True Data, not Big Data, as well as regulators and lawmakers willing to act on it. read more

The Meat to Math ratio

August 18 2011

Successful companies find ways to augment their employees, allowing them to operate at scale with customers. Big data, machine learning, and an iterative, experimental mindset are essential — and increasingly, company valuations are tied to the efficiency with which firms put information to work. read more

There's no such thing as big data

August 09 2011

Having a lot of data is not the same as using it well. Today's big companies are losing to small upstarts simply because those firms ask better questions. To compete, large enterprises need to learn how to harvest the data they have on customers, markets, competitors, and products. read more

Everyone loves a science fair

January 04 2011

Strata's science fair will showcase the creative edges of big data. If you have an interesting tool or technology to show -- the more beta, the better -- let us know. read more

Tablets, education, and unions

October 20 2010

Tablet computing can reverse the decline of U.S. education, but there's a side effect. Because tablets are digital, we can analyze how students learn and examine teachers' competence. It opens the question: What happens when the digital classroom challenges powerful teachers' unions? read more

Big business for big data

September 21 2010

Netezza sprinkled an appliance philosophy over a complex suite of technologies, making it easier for enterprises to get started. But the real reason for IBM's offer was that the company reset the price/performance equation for enterprise data analysis. read more

Why Twitter's t.co is a game changer

September 13 2010

If Twitter is so inclined, the company could turn the new t.co shortening service into a powerful analytics tool that solves the marketing and tracking issues attached to off-site engagement. read more

On the performance of clouds

June 21 2010

Bitcurrent and Webmetrics ran five cloud providers through a series of tests: a small object, a large object, a million calculations, and a 500,000-row table scan. Here's some of the results and lessons learned. read more

Promiscuous online culture and the vetting process

April 29 2010

Social networks, and the big data to analyze them, will forever change how we vet candidates, whether for security clearance, employment, or political office. Technology can help employers check candidates' backgrounds, monitor their behavior once hired, and protect their online reputations. But using the social tracks we share -- and… read more

Web operators are brain surgeons

April 14 2010

As we become more dependent on our collective consciousness, web operators will be much more involved in end-user experience measurement, from application design to real user monitoring. We're in the century of the distributed nervous system, and web operators are its brain surgeons read more

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Webcast: Strata + Hadoop World: Join the Data Revolution
October 03, 2012
Duration: Approximately 120 minutes. Cost: Free Watch the webcast in its original format > On October 23, the Strata Conference returns to the Big Apple. Twinned with Hadoop World, it's the leading event on how pervasive data...

Webcast: O'Reilly Strata Online Conference
December 07, 2011
Duration: Approximately 2 hours. Cost: Free Recorded Sessions: Part 1: Top-down: What CEOs Can Do to Accelerate Data Mindsets Part 2 - Web Analytics: The Enterprise Gateway Drug to Big Data? Part 3: Take a Lesson from the Research World ...

Webcast: O'Reilly Strata Online Conference
May 16, 2012
Duration: Approximately 90 minutes. Cost: Free Watch the webcast in its original format > It was the best of times: open, unfettered access to data from around the world in an instant, and the tools to analyze it and put it in the hands of the...

Webcast: Data in Motion
July 24, 2012
Duration: Approximately 60 minutes. Cost: Free Watch the webcast in its original format > With every step, every commute, every leap, we make data. From the diagnostics on a jet engine to the muscles of a top athlete, from the train...

Strata Online Conference: Data Warfare
January 22, 2013
Duration: Approximately 120 minutes. Cost: Free From public policy to elections, from healthcare to the battlefield, our lives rely on the analysis of abundant, connected data. But if data is infrastructure, then that infrastructure...

Alistair Croll