August 03, 2015

Data Story Telling with Words: A Novel Concept

The challenges of interpreting visualizations coming out of business intelligence platforms pale in comparison to the challenges of creating the visualizations themselves. Embedding data into the wrong visualization format or cramming unnecessary data into a dashboard can lead to misleading interpretations of the information and, subsequently, poor decisions. Due to the complexities involved in creating these dynamic displays of data, a significant investment is required to hire experts to construct and explain these graphs to business users. Not only are business users frustrated that they can’t easily access understandable information, IT is frustrated that they’ve spent a substantial amount of time building something that isn’t quite fitting the bill.


Keeping Development ‘On Track’ with Use-Case Slices at Dutch Railways

Use-cases slices help us bridging the gap between the NS business and development teams by providing scenarios that the development team can use to develop iteratively and the business can still understand. As our NS Product Owner stated: “Now that we use Use Case 2.0, I can actually choose which stories to implement within a sprint to give the business what they need at that moment”. We now use this method as the standard way of working for requirements engineering on all new projects within NS when working with agile development of custom software. At NS, before the introduction of Use-Case 2.0, our analysts and development teams worked with user stories that had no direct relationship with the use case.


Load Shedding: Five Reasons it Matters for Your Applications

A traffic management platform that supports load shedding can take in data from your systems, like system load metrics or connection counts from your load balancers, and ensure none of your systems are pushed beyond their limits. With load shedding, when a load balancer in one of your data centers fails, the bulk of its traffic can be shifted over to the next closest data center, up to a load watermark or threshold for that secondary facility. After that, the rest of the traffic can be shifted to a tertiary data center to avoid overloading the secondary one. Load shedding can cascade your traffic across a number of facilities and avoid overloading any of them.


Data messes

Inconsistency can take multiple forms, including: Variant names; Variant spellings; and Variant data structures (not to mention datatypes, formats, etc.). Addressing the first two is the province of master data management (MDM), and also of the same data cleaning technologies that might help with outright errors. Addressing the third is the province of other data integration technology, which also may be what’s needed to break down the barriers between data silos. So far I’ve been assuming that data is neatly arranged in fields in some kind of database. But suppose it’s in documents or videos or something? Well, then there’s a needed step of data enhancement; even when that’s done, further data integration issues are likely to be present.


How the hybrid cloud has already doomed your data center

Here's the thing. At the end of the day, all their customers want is for the IT burden to be removed, or for specific technology problems to be solved or solutions provided. Where that infrastructure has to live, for the most part, doesn't matter to them. If you're buying managed services, whether it is in the form of SaaS or managed IT, or some mixture thereof, all you want is your bills to come down. And who else can make data center resources cheaper or more reliable from a SLA perspective than a hyperscale-class cloud provider? Can an enterprise build and manage their infrastructure cheaper than a public cloud provider? As a CxO, that's a question you need to continue to ask yourself. For the partner, moving these resources from on-prem to the cloud makes a lot of sense.


EIP Designer: Bridging the Gap Between EA and Development

Technically speaking, EIP Designer is just a bunch of Eclipse plugins that let you bring some of these features into your favourite workbench(s). The core designer module is done with Sirius and the use of underlying Eclipse EMF technology made it simple to write customizations using proven tools like Plugin Development Tools or Acceleo. ... Another use case is porting a set of integration and mediation routes to another solution. Or, perhaps the complete documentation or models for each implemented route is missing. A solution could be to solve the problem with the EIP Designer and its toolchain. It provides model comparison from sources, and it also has parsers to transform source assets into an EIP model and from that model it is easy to generate bootstrap skeletons according to a migration plan.


Why the time is ripe for security behaviour analytics

New behaviour analytics tools such as Balabit’s Blindspotter are able to perform analysis in real time or near real time, enabling organisations to respond quickly, but also apply analytics retrospectively. Detecting the threat posed by the increased abuse of legitmate credentials as well as insiders collaborating willingly or unwillingly with attackers is the most obvious application of behaviour analytics, which enables organisations to look at activities across multiple business silos, but this is only the beginning, according to Maier. Through its acquisition of Capida, Splunk aims to integrate machine learning into its products to enable organisations to tap into non-security data to help build ever more accurate user profiles to reduce false positives to an absolute minimum.


What's the best way to protect my network from APT attacks?

Clearly DNS is an ideal target for APT attacks, and unsecured DNS poses a huge liability for organizations. However, this problem is remediable. If you can secure your DNS servers, you can detect and prevent APT attacks. Securing DNS involves a few key practices including staying up to date with the current threat landscape; using Dynamic Host Configuration Protocolfingerprinting to gather intelligence on infected endpoints, so you can easily clean them up; and employing actionable reporting and logging that help you to prioritize security and remediation efforts.


IT is best from the outside in

What’s not as productive is to love technology for technology’s sake. You have to find a way technology can enable the business to be more efficient, effective and able to access new markets. The value of IT is its ability to streamline the processes of how work gets done, and how people and departments work together. Being in IT, we’re in a unique position to say to a peer, “I think I can help you look at things in a new way, or bring a new process or approach to make you and the company more successful.” I advocate genuine involvement with other facets of the business. I encourage my people to do tours of duty outside of IT as well as moving them around to different IT functions, to find the places where they catch fire and grow best.


Next BYOD disruption will be printing and document management: IDC study

The mobile opportunity for document solutions continues to grow as organisations adopt devices at a fevered pace, IDC said in a statement, citing its study of six countries across three major regions. Large and medium companies are leading the charge, accounting for 54% of smartphone and/ or tablet users. Additionally, six vertical markets stand out as having a statistically higher percentage of smartphone and tablet users: Information technology, wholesale trade, banking, life sciences, resource industries, and securities. “The business value for smartphone/ tablet printing is enormously clear, and yet support for this is shockingly lacking in 2015,” said Angèle Boyd, group vice president and general manager of IDC Document Solutions.



Quote for the day:

“If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment.” -- Henry David Thoreau