April 29, 2014

Dissecting data measurement: Key metrics for assessing data quality
Arkady Maydanchik defines the purpose of data quality assessment: to identify data errors and erroneous data elements and to measure the impact of various data-driven business processes. Both components -- to identify errors and to understand their implications -- are critical. Data quality assessment can be accomplished in different ways, from simple qualitative assessment to detailed quantitative measurement. Assessments can be made based on general knowledge, guiding principles or specific standards. Data can be assessed at the macro level of general content or at the micro level of specific fields or values.

Windows 8.1 tablets with 8-inch screens: Which one is right for you?
There is a specific category of Windows 8.1 tablets with 8-inch screens that share the same minimum specs: Intel Atom Z3740 processors, 2GB RAM, 32GB onboard storage, Bluetooth, front- and rear-facing cameras, micro SD slot, micro USB 2.0 port, and Microsoft Office Home & Student 2013 pre-installed. ... Five major computer makers are selling such Windows 8.1 tablets with 8-inch screens. Because it can be tough to tell them apart, we put together this guide to quickly explain why you may (or may not) want to buy a particular model.

The Secret Path to Innovation
In meetings, the person in control of the conversation is often a leader who is forwarding a well thought-out agenda. But for the employee who is listening to the information, it may be perceived as uninteresting or even threatening. When we are uninterested, the RAS is not activated and what we hear just becomes noise. And when we feel threatened by something because we don't understand it or it seems overly burdensome, many of us shut down. Bolt, the fastest pigeon in the world was sold for £300,000 last year to a Chinese millionaire.

White House report on big data and privacy: Too little, too late
The White House is either late to the game -- or, as with exploit sales, a system with opportunistic holes hasn't been such a bad thing for defense. Stalking victims, civil and privacy rights groups, targeted segments of the population, and even the Federal Trade Commission have been fighting sellers like Spokeo -- and losing the battle -- for years. The FTC recently settled two cases with data brokers Checkmate and InfoTrack for selling consumer data to prospective employers and landlords in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. In June 2012, Spokeo paid $800,000 to settle an FTC suit that alleged Spokeo illegally sold personal information.

How Moore’s Law Is Changing Everything
Saying that the pace of change in today’s business world is accelerating has become a leading cliché among executives and business consultants. But most of us leave it there. You can’t prove it, right? Besides, it’s not like we’re the first people to live through a time of aggressive transformation. Consider how British business leaders must have felt during the reign of King George III, as the steam engine, the cotton gin, and the railroad upended the old commercial world order. In their new book, however, MIT professors Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee make the case that the cliché is indeed true, and they do it in a highly persuasive manner.

The state of the Internet: Faster, with more IPv6 -- and more attacks
With the increase in speed has also come an increase in IPv6 connectivity, particularly among educational institutions and a few key ISPs, such as Google Fiber and Verizon Wireless. It makes sense that Google Fiber is IPv6-connected by default, given the sheer newness of the network; ditto Verizon Wireless, which has a relatively rapid turnover in mobile devices and a newly deployed 4G LTE network. But IPv6 connectivity isn't close to what it ought to be, especially considering IPv4 addresses are expected to be entirely allocated by the end of the year.

The First Step Toward Successful Innovation
There are many steps along the path to delivering successful innovation: idea generation, identifying the most worthy ideas and delivering a fully formed product or technology to market. I’ve been thinking lately about the first phase of the innovation journey — creating or finding the right ideas in the sea of concepts competing for our attention. Sometimes I hear concerns that companies are overlooking promising ideas from employees already within the company; other times I hear worries that “not invented here” syndrome is keeping teams overly focused in their existing network echo chamber, unable to see the great ideas just outside their own walls.

Agile doesn't (necessarily) mean fragile
According to Gene Kim, founder of IT security firm Tripwire and DevOps author and speaker says that this highly cooperative and iterative environment doesn't create the shoddy environment (security wise, that is) they fear: in fact it can enhance security. "We've witnessed this downward spiral that happens in almost every IT organization. It became typical that whenever you wanted a new release or deployment, in most enterprises, it would take days or weeks or longer to complete. It involves tons of project sign-offs and hand-offs. This includes developers, DBAs, release teams, security and compliance people, operations teams and so on. This creates delays and is itself very error prone," Kim says.

Perceptive Software's closing the gaps in enterprise content management
Also newsworthy is Perceptive Software's entrance into the Leaders quadrant of Gartner's ECM Magic Quadrant report in September 2013. Gartner cited Perceptive Software's "strong execution and customer focus," adding that "customers are generally highly satisfied" with their product line and its ease of deployment. Since 2010, Perceptive has used acquisitions (with financial and strategic support from Lexmark) to fuel a substantial part of its double-digit growth. In the ECM Magic Quadrant report, Gartner wrote that Perceptive "needs to better articulate its strategy and road map" for its acquisitions, noting that its purchase of  Twistage and Acuo Technologies helped to strengthen its solutions in healthcare and higher education.

Being Agile: Eleven Breakthrough Techniques to Keep You from "Waterfalling Backward"
Having teams work closely together on one thing at a time helps eliminate multi-tasking – the each team shares a common goal (i.e., completing a user story) and any interruptions are met with stiff resistance because it impacts what the team is trying to accomplish. What we tend to see when teams don’t get the whole team approach is individual team members off in their cubes, isolated from each other, working for a week or two at a time, and being relatively unaware of what other team members are doing. The results are usually predictable – major problems at the end of an iteration due to a lack of regular interaction.

Quote for the day:

"Success is often the result of taking a misstep in the right direction." -- Al Bernstein

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