June 28, 2015

8 Ways Business Intelligence Software Improves the Bottom Line
"With quick access to your internal data, you can more efficiently use your time to analyze internal information and make decisions," says Ryan Mulholland, president, Connotate, a provider of Web data monitoring and extraction solutions. For example, "as president of my company, I can look at all trends in our sales cycle and see which are going to affect our business," he says. "Then I can decide our course of action much more quickly and efficiently." ... "A strong BI system, if well-configured, can help eliminate the time spent copying and pasting data and performing calculations," says Max Dufour

Student Privacy at Risk in the Age of Big Data
The fear is that the multi-billion-dollar education technology (or “ed-tech”) industry that seeks to individualize learning and reduce drop-out rates could also pose a threat to privacy, as a rush to commercialize student data could leave children tagged for life with indicators based on their childhood performance.“What if potential employers can buy the data about you growing up and in school?” asks mathematician Cathy O’Neil, who’s finishing a book on big data and blogs at mathbabe.org.

The Future Of Algorithmic Personalization
Personalization should bring together collective intelligence and artificial intelligence. The connections become faster and the computers smarter and more efficient. To decrease the computing gap the focus is on enhancing the information flow between humans and machines. Humans are (still) the best pattern-recognition systems in the known universe. We can help each other to find and discover meaningful signals. Artificial intelligence should empower this sense-making by powering adaptive interfaces and predictive learning systems.Human-centered personalization brings together human-curated signals and adaptive machine-learning solutions.

The Limits of 3D Printing
Creating printable files involves two steps: creating a three-dimensional volume model that can be printed, and “slicing” that volume model in the best possible way to avoid material wastage and prevent printing errors. Both steps require tacit knowledge. Following the printing, the parts produced have to be recovered, cleaned, washed (or sanded and polished, in the case of metal prints), and inspected. This, in turn, means that using 3D printing for the aftermarket services — an application where it makes a lot of sense — requires making a significant upfront investment in generating the printable files of the spare parts that would likely be needed.

How Big Data Affects Us Through the Internet of Things
Although big data is ever-present in our lives, it can be difficult to understand how much it really has changed our day-to-day living. Let’s take a closer look at how big data has weaved its way into the lives of many consumers today, via the Internet of Things (IoT). The Internet of Things can be thought of as the interconnectivity of everyday objects that use network connectivity to send and receive data. Whether we consciously realize it or not, we are surrounded by objects like these that depend on big data to make our lives better.

Coming soon: An API for the human genome
The genome is in many senses a database that we have constructed and curated and built new interfaces to. As a result, it will soon be the latest addition to what has for been referred to as the API Economy. Computer programs themselves will be increasingly able to accommodate genomics, perhaps in ways no more remarkable than how Mint.com pulls together your bank balances. It’s this piece that I’m most interested in because a whole generation of software and hardware developers will soon be able to think about personalization at a molecular level, without the need for a bioinformatics team or a PhD. This will be the fourth and perhaps final wave.

Professionalism, waivers and the hard questions
Our role as enterprise-architects is mainly one of decision-support, not decision-making – we can, do and should give advice on architectural concerns, developed to the best of our ability, but unless we are explicitly asked to make decisions, the final decisions are not ours to make. And that distinction is crucial (not least for our continued employment…). If we’ve done our job well, we should have a pretty clear idea of what would work in the enterprise, and what won’t – what will support ‘things-working-together’, and what won’t – and our advice should indicate and describe that overall understanding, in terms appropriate for the respective audience.

Microsoft Cloud Meets Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI)
The path to fast and efficient IT requires more than just technology. Technology must enable a new process model for speeding up workflows across siloed organizations within the IT function. This session will introduce Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure and its tight integration into Microsoft Azure clouds. We'll show how you can deliver new tenant services while transforming your IT organization and workflows with a common policy model, centralized control, and simplified operational visibility across your data center. We’ll demonstrate how your applications, network and security teams can leverage a new operational model to generate compelling business outcomes for your enterprise.

Universal Limits on Computation
In 1965 Gordon Moore speculated that the number of transistors on a chip, and with that the computing power of computers, would double every year[10]. Subsequently this estimate was revised to between 18 months and 2 years, and for the past 40 years this prediction has held true, with computer processing speeds actually exceeding the 18 month prediction. Our estimate for the total information processing capability of any system in our Universe 8 implies an ultimate limit on the processing capability of any system in the future, independent of its physical manifestation and implies that Moore’s Law cannot continue unabated for more than 600 years for any technological civilization.

The Difference Between Culture and Values
If a company’s values are its bedrock, then a company’s culture is the shifting landscape on top of it. Culture is the current embodiment of the values as the needs of the business dictate. Landscapes change over time — sometimes temporarily due to a change in seasons, sometimes permanently due to a storm or a landslide, sometimes even due to human events like commercial development or at the hand of a good gardener. So what does it mean that culture is the current embodiment of the values as the needs of the business dictate? Let’s go back to the value of Transparency. When you are 10 people in a room, Transparency means you as CEO may feel compelled to share that you’re thinking about pivoting the product, collect everyone’s point of view on the subject, and make a decision together.

Quote for the day:

"Computer technology is so built into our lives that it's part of the surround of every artist." -- Steven Levy