Daily Tech Digest - December 18, 2016

Information Is Now The Core Of Your Business

In many industries, the information collected by business is now more valuable than the products being sold – indeed, it’s the foundation for most of the free consumer internet. Traditional industries are now realizing that the data stored in their systems, once suitably augmented or anonymized, can be sold directly. See this article on the Digitalist magazine, The Hidden Treasure Inside Your Business, for more information about the four main information business models. Traditional IT systems were about efficiency, effectiveness, and integrity. These new context-based experiences and more sophisticated products use information to generate growth, innovation, and market differentiation. But these changes lead to a difficult cultural challenge inside the organization.


Swift and Objective-C Runtime Programming

In a highly dynamic language like Objective-C, the programmer has incredible power. You can open up core system libraries and place your own code inside of them. You can hook into the very fabric of method invocation itself, creating objects with an infinite number of methods, or create methods that wink in and out of existence over the lifecycle of an object. It is a staggering, dizzying level of power. But with great power comes great responsibility. The more power you have, the less power is left for the compiler. And so the Objective-C compiler has blinders on. Your code *looks* like a simple for-loop through an array. But how do we know you have not replaced NSArray with some object that has an infinite number of methods? How do we know the array is not procedurally generated and has an infinite number of elements? 


Bangladesh Bank Heist Probe Finds 'Negligent' Insiders

Former Bangladesh central bank governor Mohammed Farashuddin told Reuters that the government-appointed panel investigating the heist blamed, in part, the five low-level and mid-level officials. "They were negligent, careless and indirect accomplices," he told Reuters, adding that attackers had exploited vulnerabilities in the bank's information security defenses. "The committee came to the conclusion that the heist was essentially committed by external elements." A Bangladesh Bank spokesman didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on the commission's findings or with whom they've been shared. In the February heist, hackers attempted to steal $951 million from Bangladesh Bank's Federal Reserve Bank of New York account and move it into five accounts held at Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation in the Philippines via the SWIFT interbank messaging network.


60 Keyboard Shortcuts That Will Make You More Productive

Every day your work probably requires you to navigate lots of different operating systems, browsers, and software. That's why I've previously shared some brilliant hacks to make your life simpler--especially if you use Gmail, Excel, Word, Twitter, and Google search. Think about it. All that time you take hunting around through pulldown menus with your mouse adds up. Where the heck is that thing you're always looking for? Is under File, Edit, View, or somewhere else? This way of doing things is for the donkeys. Don't be a donkey! Wouldn't it be great if there were a "cheat sheet" that compiled the most essential keyboard shortcuts? Lucky for you, someone has done just that. Essay Writing Service Pro has created an infographic that compiles 60 essential keyboard shortcuts every office worker needs to know.


Predictive Marketing: The Next Must-Have Technology for CMOs

The real value lies in finding a predictive platform with open architecture — one that integrates with your applications for things like CRM, marketing automation, or business intelligence (BI) and uses them to make accurate and actionable predictions. Reliable first-party data on wins and losses is especially important for the success of predictive models. To understand which leads will convert to customers in the future, predictive tools have to pull data from a system of record like Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Insightly, Marketo or HubSpot and identify the characteristics and behavior of prospects that closed. An open architecture also means you don’t have to disrupt current workflows adding more complexity to daily activity. Your marketing team can see predictive insights like lead or account scores and compare them to campaign conversions, right in the tools they are accustomed to using.


Three Ways To Ensure Your Data Tells The Right Story

Good visualization tools can help you create and choose graphs and images that will help clarify the data rather than confuse it. But, as I said above, be careful not to equate more visualizations with better storytelling. Too many companies give their audience the data all wrapped up in beautiful graphs — without any context. The goal of visualizations should always be to provide context and clarity to the story being told. Companies are moving fast to fill the knowledge and skills gap left by the lack of qualified data scientists by creating DIY data reporting and visualization tools. These tools are important and help everyone within a team be able to access their data and probe it for associations and insights. But the downside of these tools is that companies see them as a replacement for the data scientist, who is in actuality the data storyteller.


Time for change

In progressive organisations, Lötter states, more visionary CIOs have embraced a cloud strategy to maximise the value for their organisations. "In these organisations, we've seen enterprise architects educated on cloud, delivery options, integration and security. They work with business to understand requirements and help introduce cloud in a structured manner. Maturity levels of enterprise architectures vary significantly across South African business, and we believe when applying enterprise architecture in the full sense, it means translating business strategy into an operating model supported by process, people and technology architectures. When enterprise architecture is applied in this way, cloud is seen as an enabler and not penalised by a narrow IT-focused enterprise architecture to gain control over the IT landscape and budget."


Artificial intelligence finds its way into business through sales

“With AI, customer interactions become fine-tuned and ultimately smarter with every interaction and additional piece of data,” she said. It’s about using the power of that platform to be a better salesperson, and giving them more time to spend working with customers and closing sales. “For a salesperson to predict where to spend their time or take next best action — they need the right data at the right time. They have to take data from every data source and they have to have a cognitive platform in place to evaluate that data to make decisions,” she explained. We are also seeing intelligence being applied to customer service with the increasing use of bots to handle initial contact with customers. The idea is to have the bot deal with simple tasks, handing off more complex interactions and requests to human operators to handle.


Buyers Beware: Data Visualization is Not Data Analytics

For an analysis tool to be truly useful to an organization it must be updated constantly to account for changes. But this can easily lead to bottlenecks forming in businesses when updates are left to be done by a single factor or department such as IT. Visualization tools that don’t have preparation capabilities will pull their data from decentralized sources that can easily fall out of sync with a number of collaborators accessing them. Then you get a big mess of different data with unreliable dashboards and reports because it becomes extremely hard to keep on top of who has the latest numbers. The more users you have accessing the data sources and changing or updating it, the more errors you get, and the harder it becomes to use the system.


Polymorphism of MVC-esque Web Architecture: Real Time Reactive Fulfillment

At the heart of MVC architectural approach is observable event-driven fulfilments of synchronization between the user’s views and their related real or virtual world that the views reflect upon. The views are expected to, with or without additional commands from the user, react to the changing world. This ideal has been reflected in many MVC realizations from the original desktop GUI to modern augmented and virtual reality. As discussed in the WMVC classification article, this fundamental idea had been largely absent in web applications over the first two decades of the web age. During this time, web applications are dominated by sWMVC-based approach. It has been somewhat revitalized in WUI application development community in recent years. This new movement has been driven by a number of recent technological offerings and standardized protocols.



Quote for the day:


"Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought." -- Henri-Louis Bergson