July 09, 2014

The Agile BI Ship has Sailed — Get On Board Quickly or Risk Falling Behind
Do not use the term Agile BI synonymously with the terms intuitive and user friendly — two hugely overused and hyped terms in BI. Unfortunately, these terms are highly subjective and qualitative. Point-and-click, drag-and-drop GUIs may be intuitive to an experienced professional with a background in command line interfaces, but not so obvious to a millennial who grew up with a thumb-typing mobile phone UI. And while menu- and prompt-driven instrumented (radio buttons, dialog boxes, etc.) applications may seem user friendly to left-brained people (who think in numbers and lists), right-brained office workers (who see the world in pictures and associations) may prefer an application driven by icons, visual associations, and artistic Infographics.

Want to innovate? Become a "now-ist"
“Remember when people used to try to predict the future?” In this engaging talk, the head of the MIT Media Lab skips the future predictions and instead shares a new approach to creating in the moment: building quickly and improving constantly, without waiting for permission or for proof that you have the right idea. This kind of bottom-up innovation is seen in the most fascinating, futuristic projects emerging today, and it starts, he says, with being open and alert to what’s going on around you right now. Don’t be a futurist, he suggests: be a now-ist.

Google Tests Personal Data Market To Find Out How Much Your Personal Information Is Worth
Unsurprisingly, people value certain kinds of information more highly than others. But exactly how they value it depends on a complex set of other factors, such as the conditions under which information was gathered. The experiment involved a kind of living lab in Italy that monitored people continuously. The team recruited 60 people to take part in the study and gave them each a smart phone that recorded phone calls made and received, which applications were in use at any time and the time spent on them, the users’ locations throughout the day and the number of photographs taken.

How to dilute the value of analytics
Business Intelligence (BI) can mean many things to many people, but generally BI is associated with business reports. When you fold business analytics (BA), especially advanced analytics that are predictive or prescriptive, under the BI umbrella you inherently dilute the value proposition that analytics can provide to an organization. Why is this important? Because everyone knows analytics is hot, so everyone today is selling some kind of analytics. When we allow business analytics to be synonymous with BI, we allow everyone's claims that they can "do analytics" appear to ring true.

Free ebook: Rethinking Enterprise Storage: A Hybrid Cloud Model
Rethinking Enterprise Storage: A Hybrid Cloud Model describes a storage architecture that some experts are calling a game changer in the infrastructure industry. Called the Microsoft hybrid cloud storage (HCS) solution, it was developed as a way to integrate cloud storage services with traditional enterprise storage. The author, Marc Farley, works at Microsoft on hybrid cloud storage solutions as a senior marketing manager. The book includes a Foreword by storage industry expert and noted blogger Martin Glassborow, better known in the industry as Storagebod.

This is what the new hybrid cloud looks like
Leong says hybrid cloud management is not about bursting, instead customers should think about supporting two basic IT environments today: an old one and a new one, what she calls “bi-modal’ management. The old environment is typically a company’s system of record that is heavily customized to the organization’s specific use case and serves a core function for the business. The new IT environment is where the company pursues leading edge projects; applications and software are developed rapidly, with fast iterations and quick launches. And IT has a challenge: “You don’t want your old stuff to slow down your new stuff,” Leong says. “If you try to blend those two you’ll end up doing neither one well.”

CloudPhysics Adds Virtual Storage Troubleshooting Service
Cloud Physics is a new kind of online monitoring company that analyzes the data from many customers to see what's working where and what isn't. Then as fresh trouble brews, its analytics system consults the knowledge base and alerts customers to the remedies. Its monitoring service can spot underlying hardware issues, such as firmware bugs or device incompatibilities, as well as report on the overall operational health of a virtualized environment. Unlike other systems monitoring, however, it claims to be predictive and prescriptive, allowing customers to take actions that head off trouble before end users are inconvenienced or systems are brought to a halt.

Panel tackles how to make mobile devices as secure as they are indispensable
As smartphones have become de rigueur in the global digital economy, users want them to do more work, and businesses want them to be more productive for their employees — as well as powerful added channels to consumers. But neither businesses nor mobile-service providers have a cross-domain architecture that supports all the new requirements for a secure digital economy, one that allows safe commerce, data sharing and user privacy. So how do we blaze a better path to a secure mobile future? How do we make today’s ubiquitous mobile devices as low risk as they are indispensable? BriefingsDirect recently posed these and other questions to a panel of experts on mobile security:

Simplifying IT Pays Off With Big Savings, Better Business Success
IT organizations that support demanding business requirements often find they need to support greater levels of complexity. The business side wants better accessibility for users and easier access into customer data. Ironically, as technology gets simpler for end-users its gets more complicated behind the scenes. Complexity is a fact of life for IT professionals, but according to a new IDC study, corralling that complexity can save enterprises big-time and improve business outcomes.

Architecting for big data
The disjunction between accurate and fast will only grow as big data gets bigger. As the Internet of Things (IoT) moves in, IT departments will face ever more infrastructure bottlenecks. Jarr said the three most common points of congestion are ingesting more and new sources of data, developing processes to quickly access that data to make data-driven decisions, and producing faster analytics for the business. Removing the roadblocks will "take fast data and start making it very smart data," he said. The problem may be that IT has simply outgrown its legacy relational database management systems (RDBMS).

Quote for the day:

"I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." -- Chinese Proverb

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