November 28, 2015

How to stop IT woes hurting your M&A plans

If you allow what I like to call ‘the right of infinite appeal’, where the decisions keep getting questioned and nothing gets implemented, that can kill an integration project. It’s the nature of the beast that you typically have two great CIOs, their hand-picked lieutenants, great employees and they can’t all keep the same jobs that they had in the standalone company. In some cases, the team of the company doing the buying will tend to end up in the roles, but there are also cases where part of the allure of the acquisition is an extremely strong team that can fill holes in the parent organisation, essentially where they are also buying a management team. When the best person is selected for each position regardless of where they came from, it can send a very positive message to the rest of the employees and help to retain the best and brightest.

In-Memory Graph Database API for .NET

Data is represented as a directed acyclic graph of “datums” connected by “is” links. Because DatumTron API represents data at such a fundamental level, we are able to manipulate data in generic ways. We discuss how inheritance, time, and code are represented in the graph. We explain how to import an SQL database (Northwind) into memory as a DatumTron graph database. Then we show how to query, and mine the database in a fast in-memory graph using a simple set of operators. In DatumTron, finding all rows that have the same column value is achieved in constant time. For example, a query to get the customers who live in Paris is written in the following C# statement. Where CustomerCity is the datum representing the customer city column in the graph.

Online tracking by news organizations is excessive, say researchers

"The surprising extent to which news organizations subject readers to third-party tracking deserves closer attention," write Pickard and Libert in this The Conversation commentary. "As a society, we often hold news organizations to higher ethical standards. They're not just businesses; they are supposed to provide a vital public service, and they depend on public trust." With a nod towards Apple's recent decision, the two authors mention, "While the ethics of readers unknowingly 'paying' for content with their privacy are certainly questionable, the practice is also indicative of the precarious situation in which the news industry finds

How IT Plays a Critical Role in Health Care

By investing in IT, we are now able to offer patients a level of engagement and involvement in their own care that just wasn’t possible before. Whether it’s orders and results flowing seamlessly between our clinics and hospital, or their entire patient health summary being viewable to them in near real-time on our new patient portal, one of our biggest goals has been to make it easy and intuitive for our patients to be involved in, and informed about, their own care. We don’t just make it easy for the patients to get their own information, though, we also make it easy for that information to get to other outside providers who need it for that patient’s care as well. When you’re dealing with the kinds of geographic distances between facilities that we have to, the ability to get potentially life-saving information to another provider at the click of a button is a real game changer.

Eight tips for working more efficiently in the Visual Basic Editor

Office uses Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), an application development language, to extend functionality beyond its standard features. You might write a simple printing macro or use more complex procedures to perform custom tasks or even apply business rules. To add VBA code to a project, you use the Visual Basic Editor (VBE), a built-in interface. It's adequate, but some tasks seem harder than necessary. Here are some tips that can help you fine-tune your coding sessions. You'll spend less time with routine tasks and more time actually coding. The VBE, shown in Figure A, is essentially the same across all of the Office products, and there's been little to no change for several versions.

Fighting Frauds using Big Data Visibility and Intelligence

Organizations are struggling hard to find significant and effective methods to combat frauds happening internally in these enterprises. To give you a better idea, we are talking about a small fraud in an organization that has an enormously huge amount of information- a little fraud-search can be compared to searching for a needle in a haystack. It can turn out to be time and effort consuming. Traversing through such huge information is cumbersome. This type information is usually a sum of complex correlations and aggregations and as such, ‘little’ mistakes can be very crucial. With this blog, we will stress how big data analytics can help in overcoming the frauds happening within various type of organizations.

Cyber Monday Is Dead. Long Live Cyber Friday

"Cyber Monday is dead," said Steven Skinner, senior vice president of Cognizant Technology Solutions in Teaneck, New Jersey. "People are no longer waiting until they get back to work to shop. I have a better connection on my phone right now than I do at my desk at work."More than three-in-four consumers have smartphones and 41 percent will use them to make online purchases this year, according to a holiday survey by Deloitte University Press that predicts the Friday after Thanksgiving will surpass Cyber Monday as the most popular online shopping day this year. The shift shows that holiday spending is alive and well even as some consumers and retail employees grumble about consumerism overshadowing family time.

When your ‘Agile’ Team Moves at Snail Pace: 5 Key Roadblocks and How to Overcome Them

The best way to avoid this situation is to have a trained and experienced Scrum Master at helm, who is able to visualize and predict future requirements, prioritize effectively, and create an optimized plan for product engineering.  ... Only when all the parts of development – design, JPGs, HTML, code, middle layers and DB – are joined together, can the product owner get a clear view of an actual useable product. Teams can deliver a functional, interactive product each sprint. The product is built layer by layer, giving a clearer picture to the product owner with every iteration. This helps deliver the MVP on time, reducing major changes in later stages of development.

The Role of KPIs in Managing Big Data

KPIs – Key Performance Indicators – are vital to help businesses, and especially CFOs, optimise performance. They provide insight into the here and now, and how it is directing what is to come – unlike a report on how you did in the past. As the example shows, these KPIs have a dynamic relationship – information from one set of performance indicators can suddenly draw attention to the key role of another indicator – so we need to access them in real time, not in a historical report. According to a KPI is: “A set of quantifiable measures that a company or industry uses to gauge or compare performance in terms of meeting their strategic and operational goals”.

FileUtilities - a library for reading flat files into POCOs

Whilst many modern applications exchange data in well defined standard ways (such as XML or JSON) the reality is that a great deal of data is still packaged in flat files (by which I mean comma separated values, or fixed width text files).  This library is concerned with turning these files into arrays of type-safe objects and using semantic meaning in those objects to validate the files concerned. The use of attributes to tag properties of your classes is quite common in both Entity Framework and also in System.Runtime.Serialization. This library very much follows that model but if you are not familiar with it then I recommend reading this article to start with.

Quote for the day:

"If something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it." --@elonmusk

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