Daily Tech Digest - April 17, 2022

What is the 9-box talent review? A matrix for identifying top performers

The first step in using a 9-box grid is to assess an employee’s performance, which is typically done by evaluating performance reviews or using talent management systems. Managers are tasked with ranking employees based on performance and behavior, and then those rankings are passed onto upper management and leaders who can then identify and rank employees for their leadership potential. Employees can rank as low, medium, or high performance depending on how well they meet the requirements of their role. Low-performing employees are those who do not complete job requirements and regularly fail to meet assigned KPIs or other benchmarks. Employees who fall into the medium category are those who meet expectations part of the time and complete job requirements half of the time. High-performing employees reach all their necessary benchmarks and job duties, often surpassing them. Despite the fact that the 9-box grid puts an emphasis on the highest and lowest performers, it’s not designed to pit workers against one another or to make them feel as if they’re being ranked.

Approach cloud architecture from the outside in

Outside in moves in the opposite direction. You begin with the specific business requirements, such as what the business use cases are for specific solutions or, more likely, many solutions or applications. Then you move inward to infrastructure and other technologies specifically chosen to support the many solutions or applications required, such as databases, storage, compute, and other enabling technologies. Most cloud architects move from the inside out. They pick their infrastructure before truly understanding the solution’s specific purpose. They partner with a cloud provider or database vendor and pick other infrastructure-related solutions that they assume will meet their specific business solutions requirements. In other words, they pick a solution in the wide before they pick a solution in the narrow. This is how enterprises get solutions that function but are grossly underoptimized or, more often, have many surprise issues such as the ones discussed earlier. Discovering these issues requires a great deal of work and typically requires the team to remove and replace technology solutions on the fly.

The future of the internet: Inside the race for Web3’s infrastructure

The fastest way to provide reliable infrastructure to power DApp ecosystems is for centralized companies to set up a fleet of blockchain nodes, commonly housed in Amazon Web Services (AWS) data centers, and allow developers to access it from anywhere for a subscription. That is exactly what a few players in the space did, but it came at the price of centralization. This is a major issue for the Web3 economy, as it leaves the ecosystem vulnerable to attacks and at the mercy of a few powerful players. ... Decentralization is a key tenet of the Web3 economy, and centralized blockchain infrastructure threatens to undermine it. For instance, Solana has suffered multiple outages due to a lack of sufficient, decentralized nodes that could handle spiking traffic. This is a common problem for blockchain protocols that are trying to scale. ... Even more importantly, decentralized infrastructure competition results in greater decentralization of the Web3 economy. This is a good thing, as it makes the economy more resilient against attacks and censorship.

Enterprise architecture is based on business strategy, is it not?

Interestingly, many attempts to develop actionable plans out of business strategy to enable it are precluded, first of all, by the symbolic and elusive nature of strategy itself. For example, a rather common industry situation with business strategy can be vividly illustrated by the following jocular quote of Jeanne Ross, a former principal research scientist at MIT Sloan Center for Information Systems Research (CISR): ‘I remember IBM saying, “Our strategy is, we’re gonna raise share price to $11 per share”, and I thought, “Who the heck is gonna enable that strategy?”’. In fact, decades of research on information systems planning have long identified a broad spectrum of problems associated with business strategy as a basis for acting. Strategy can be vague, ambiguous and interpreted differently by different people (e.g. ‘become number one’ or ‘provide best services’). Strategy can be purely aspirational and consist of mere motivational slogans. Strategy can comprise various objectives and indicators offering no actionable hints, especially for IT. Strategy can be market sensitive, deliberately obscure and surrounded by secrecy.

6 Best Data Governance Practices

People, procedures, and technology are all critical aspects of data management. Keep all three elements in mind when developing and executing your data plan. However, you don’t have to improve all three areas simultaneously. Start with the essential components and work your way up to the final image. Begin with people, progress to the procedure, and conclude with technology. Before any component may proceed, it must build on top of the preceding ones for the whole data governance plan to be well-rounded. The process won’t work without the correct individuals. If the people and procedures in your company aren’t managing your data as you intended, no cutting-edge technology can suddenly repair it. Before developing a process, search for and hire the proper people. ... It is critical to track progress and display the effectiveness of your data governance strategy, just as it would be with any other shift. Once you’ve acquired executive buy-in for your business case, you’ll need evidence to support each stage of your transition. Prepare ahead of time to establish metrics before implementing data policies so that you can build a baseline based on your current data management strategies.

Data quality can make or break efforts to bring artificial intelligence to IT operations

The success of AIOps is inexorably tied to "data, data, data, and how well you can handle and process the data," Krishnamsetty agrees. One of the most vexing issues is data access and acquisition, he points out. "You want to pull data from your AWS environment, or your application performance monitoring tools, or your log analytics tool. But all this data is in different formats." RDA addresses the data challenges associated with AIOps, Krishnamsetty continues. "If you don't have the proper data, it's garbage-in, garbage-out. However, powerful your machine learning algorithms are, if your data quality is poor, you are not going to get good insights and analytics." For example, "if you look at any raw alerts coming from any of your management or monitoring systems, you will know how sparse the data is," he illustrates. "A human can't make a quick decision on it unless it is automatically enriched. The data is incomplete. What application, what infrastructure, and so forth." RDA also helps address the skills gap, which is in short supply for assuring the quality of data that is fed into AI systems, he continues. 

How Crypto Lending Platforms will revolutionize the Fintech Industry moving in 2022

The transformative role that crypto based lending platform can have cannot be understated. It gives the power to each person to become their own bank. Not only can they borrow from others at rates and conditions more favorable than traditional financial institutions, but they can also borrow against their own assets. For example, one could deposit their crypto assets and take out a loan against their cryptocurrency. SO, when it appreciates, they have an increased asset position, plus the ability to meet urgent need for liquidity. Credit forms the backbone of any healthy economy and the access to that credit determines it success in the global markets. Credit helps businesses and individuals grow in the backdrop of a growing economy. It provides business much needed capital to expand, maintain inventory, spend on research and development, and sustainably pay wages. Without easy access to credit, business is often placed under a glass ceiling which hampers their ability to grow. Thanks to the internet the world has gone global much faster than air travel ever connected us. 

Do You Need a Semantic Layer?

Most organizations don’t trust their data, leading to slow decisions or no decisions at all. In fact, according to the recent Chief Data Officer Survey, 72% of data and analytics leaders are heavily involved in or leading digital business initiatives, but they are uncertain how they can build a trusted data foundation to accelerate them. It’s not hard to see why a lack of trust in analytics outputs is so pervasive. Conflicting analytics outputs are all but assured when multiple business units, groups, business users, and data scientists prepare their analytics using their own business definitions and their own tools. A semantic layer can drive trust in data by empowering data self-service while ensuring the consistency, fidelity, and explainability of analytic outputs. With the fast pace of today’s business climate, waiting for a centralized data team to produce analytics for the business is a thing of the past. The self-service analytics revolution was born in response to the need for businesses to free themselves from the constraints of IT. 

Do CBDCs Need Blockchain? Growing Number of Central Banks Say No

It’s still too early to say that blockchain provides any definitive benefits, Dinesh Shah, the Bank of Canada’s director of FinTech research, told crypto industry news outlet The Block last week. Blockchain “is not a given but it’s still on our list of potentials,” when it comes to designing a CBDC, said Shah, who has expressed skepticism about the technology crypto is built on in the past. That is roughly where MIT’s researchers came down in a February test of technologies performed with the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, which found that in a head-to-head test of a barebones CBDC design, a blockchain-based platform was far inferior. The blockchain-based platform was capable of only 10% of the scalability of a non-DLT system because of bottlenecks created by the need for a single and complete record of transactions in the order in which they were processed. Shah said that’s especially noteworthy because the Bank of Canada is collaborating with the Boston Fed and the Bank of England — also an MIT partner — on this research.

Test Case vs. Test Scenario: Key Differences to Note for Software Developers

It’s worth noting that test cases often form part of a test scenario. A test scenario is focused on an aspect of the project — for instance, "test the login function." Test cases are your means of checking if that aspect works as intended — in this case, that would be detailing the steps to take. ... Because test scenarios usually have one simple goal, the means of getting to that goal is more flexible than in test cases (where the process is more specific). The test documents will reflect these differences. A test case document will have specific guidelines for every case: the test case name, pre-conditions, post-conditions, description, input data, test steps, expected output, actual output, results, and status fields will all be laid out in the case document. ... In contrast, a test scenario document is open to interpretation by the team. They should identify the most important goal of the project and then design tests around reaching that goal. Test case scenarios allow for creativity on the part of the testers.

Quote for the day:

"Don't be buffaloed by experts and elites. Experts often possess more data than judgement." -- Colin Powell

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