August 29, 2015

Automate the Boring But Essential Parts of Your Data Warehouse

Until recently, DWA was associated mostly with automating ETL development – such as generating SSIS packages in the Microsoft environment. Today, however, it covers all the major components of data warehousing from design, development and testing to deployment, operations and change management. It also covers advanced functionality like support for slowly changing dimensions and change data capture. In our experience, DWA delivers up to 80% improvements in the cost-effectiveness of building and running a data warehouse. And, just as important, DWA is far better aligned with modern agile development practices because it encourages a rapid, iterative approach to design.

Women give boards real depth

A recent meta-analytic study investigated the relationship between women on boards and performance, finding that women can make more of a difference in some countries. In countries with better shareholder protection, female board representation is positively related to profitability; in such contexts, greater gender diversity on boards ensures that the directors bring different knowledge, experience and values. In countries with greater gender parity, female board representation is positively linked to market performance. This relationship between female directorships and market performance is negative in countries with low gender parity.

7 real NASA technologies in sci-fi movie The Martian

The movie, which will be released Oct. 2, merges science fiction with actual science about Mars, technology that NASA is working on and the space agency's plans to send astronauts to the Red Planet in the 2030s. Jim Adams, NASA's deputy chief technologist, who has read the book, said he was impressed with the way the author represented the science and means of survival on Mars. "It stimulated a lot of my thinking about what we are doing and our plans on getting to Mars in the 2030s with humans." According to scientists at NASA, they already are developing many of the technologies that appear in the film. Here's a look at some of them.

The Impacts Of Big Data That You May Not Have Heard Of

Historically, data was used as an ancillary to core business and was gathered for specific purposes. Retailers recorded sales for accounting. Manufacturers recorded raw materials for quality management. The number of mouse clicks on advertising banners was collected for calculating advertisement revenue. But as the demand for Big Data analytics emerged, data no longer serves only its initial purpose. Companies able to access huge amounts of data possess a valuable asset that when combined with the ability to analyze it, has created a whole new industry. ITA Software is a private company that gathers flight price data from almost all major carriers with the exception of Jet Blue and Southwest that sells that information to travel agents and websites.

What exactly is social engineering?

The problem is… that email wasn’t from your bank, and the link did not take you to your banking page. It took you to a fake website mimicking the real website’s look and feel, and you just gave the fraudsters the login details for your online banking. You did it because it looked real and you were scared that someone was going to take your money – but instead you walked straight into a trap. Sometimes the emails come with a phone number to call that lead you to an interactive voice system, just like your bank’s. You are asked to enter your bank account number and your sort code, and to divulge digits of your access code – little realising that you are giving this information straight to the criminals.

How Savvy Businesses Tackle Change Management

We spend hours looking at data about companies that are successful when they try to do major software implementation. The first thing is: it’s not for the faint of heart. There are so many things to consider. One of the interesting things we’re finding in the HR space, is more and more human capital departments, and HR departments actually running the software implementations. It used to be IT always bought the software. But now that Software as a Service (SaaS) provides different price point for things, we are seeing HR directors or professionals who are much more involved in running new HR software initiatives. Not only do we have more HR people, but we also have people who may not have actually ever managed an implementation before.

Why virtual reality could finally mend its broken promise

VR hasn't been completely dormant. "The folks who are just entering the field and are excited by the Oculus and the related technology product development are mistaken in thinking that what they're doing is new," said Linda Jacobson. Jacobson is the author of Garage Virtual Reality, a 1994 book outlining the past, present, and future of VR. She was one of the founding contributing editors of Wired Magazine, and a former virtual reality evangelist for Silicon Graphics. "What's new is this particular set of products at a new price point, as well as the availability of new people and new talent who are looking at it," she said. During those seemingly quiet years for VR, car manufacturers started using it to design cars and test user experience.

Agile Goal Setting with OKR - Objectives and Key Results

OKR (Objectives and Key Results) is a goal setting framework created by Intel and adopted by several Silicon Valley companies. Google is the most famous case, having adopted OKR in it's first year. Twitter, LinkedIn, Dropbox and Oracle are among other adopters. ... The main objective of OKR is to create alignment in the organization. In order to do so, transparency is key. OKRs are public to all company levels — everyone has access to everyone else's OKRs. All OKRs, including the CEO's, are usually available on the Intranet. OKRs exist to set clear priorities and to focus the organization. In order to to that, you should have few OKRs.

IT unions: The wrong approach to achieving a noble goal

This may sound like a "let the markets decide" argument against unionization, but rather than the markets, it's up to the individual IT worker to ensure his or her interests are well represented and accounted for. Neither an uncaring marketplace nor a collective-oriented union can fully represent one's individual, rational self-interest. While there may be a line of people waiting to take my position, I maintain control over my skills and qualifications, and I will happily say "no" to an unreasonable demand as long as my skills and capabilities are appropriate for my job, and my performance is more attractive than that of the nearest competitor.

Agile, TOGAF and Enterprise Architecture: Will They Blend?

Enterprise architecture provides an Agile project with a vision in the form of principles and models. Agile provides Enterprise Architecture with a good set of principles, showing that a multidisciplinary way of working is key. Also, we can learn from the success of Agile and Scrum. If you look at them as architectures, they can even help improve the enterprise architecture profession. Organizations do need to ask themselves whether all architects they currently have will remain relevant. Some of what architects currently do (this holds especially true for solution architects) is now the responsibility of Agile teams. So what is the impact of this from a training and consulting perspective? The first thing is that both enterprise architecture and Agile remain relevant and people and organizations will require training and consulting in both.

Quote for the day:

"It's not about how smart you are--it's about capturing minds." -- Richie Norton