Category Archives: Big Data

Sports Data Analytics and the National Hockey League (NHL)

Sports Data Analytics and the National Hockey League (NHL)

Sport Data Analytics

Sports teams are always looking to get ahead of the competition. Winning doesn’t come easy and many different decisions go into making sure you are successful. Decisions like what players to draft, who to trade, and style of coaching all can help a team win.

However, when Billy Beane of the Oakland A’s came along, things were about to change. In the mid-1990’s, Beane used sabermetrics to determine the value, making him the first to prioritize advanced statistical data in predicting player performance. The method worked and saved the team money as they had one of the smallest budgets in the league, but were one of the best teams. He is not the first to ever use analytics in sports, but he is the one who brought it to the mainstream.

Due to the success of Beane and the Oakland A’s, other teams in various different leagues took notice. As a result, almost every professional sports team has a department or individual in charge of analytics.

Hockey is one of the newest sports to get into the sports data analytics bandwagon. While bloggers and amateur statisticians have been using data analysis in hockey for a while, it is finally coming to the forefront. Teams are finally adopting these methods and even the NHL officially partnered with SAP SE in order to create and enhanced and more diverse stat package for their website.

Sports Data AnalyticsThere are different advanced stats that each league uses and the NHL focuses on three in particular. They are Corsi, Fenwick and PDO. Corsi looks at the sum of shots on goal (including misses and blocked shots). This is used to approximate a players puck possession. Fenwick is similar, but it doesn’t look at blocked shots and is viewed to have a stronger correlation to scoring chances. PDO is the sum of a team’s shooting percentage and its save percentage. This is basically a way to see how “lucky” a team is as most teams will regress to a sum of 100.

But despite the proven success of these stats and their widespread use in many sports, many players aren’t a fan of them. For instance, Drew Doughty (one of the best Corsi scores in the NHL) said that the method is “a bunch of crap”. Many players share his testaments as they are use to goals and assists measuring their success, not their shot percentage and even-strength shot differential.

But whether they like it or not, using advanced metrics and stats to judge players is likely here to stay. In fact, Florida Panthers let go of their head coach Gerard Gallant who often spoke openly against analytics usage (something which the Panthers want to use heavily going forward).

 “The Panthers’ ownership and other team officials want the club to rely heavily on advanced statistics, and Gallant and Kelly were not the biggest fans of the analytics craze. They spoke openly about how their views differed from the perspective of Florida’s management on the analytics issue in August 2015, at a fundraising event hosted by the University of Prince Edward Island…”

Many different NHL teams have made personnel hiring decisions recently that show they are adapting to the changes in the sport. The Toronto Maple Leafs hired Kyle Dubas as their assistant GM, and numerous other teams have brought on bloggers and advanced stats pioneers like Sunny Mehta and Tyler Dellow. However, not everything is peaches and cream for these guys as the Canadiens let go of their analytics man (Matt Pfeffer) after he advised them to not trade P.K Subban to the Predators.

If you are interested in learning more about these advanced stats for players and teams, there are a number of different sites that you can visit. These sites will give you a deeper understanding about the value of a player or an inside look at how the teams are doing.

Some recommended sites are: stats.hockeyanalysis, behindthenet.capuckalytics.com and sportlogiq.com are just a few of them.

By Kale Havervold

Optimized Online Research For Black Friday Searches

Optimized Online Research For Black Friday Searches

Black Friday Searches

Online search and research can be a highly effective way of sorting through the masses of data available through both cyber channels such as social media and websites as well as the more traditional print sources which are quickly making their way onto the net. But effectively taking advantage of search engines and sifting through the promoted content is a significant hurdle. Sadly, search engines often produce less than satisfactory results, many from questionable sources, and sifting the wheat from the chaff can be a time-consuming nuisance. However, with the right strategy and a few crafty tips and tricks we’ll have you zooming through the noise and pinning down the most applicable results in no time.

Tips for More Effective Online Searching

Starting with the popular search engines, it’s important to understand some of the ‘hidden’ features to make the most basic search request more effective.

  • Exact phrases: To ensure exact phrases are included, surround them with quotation marks (“3D printing”).
  • Optional keywords: Perhaps you haven’t got your keywords as defined as you’d like; try separating these keywords with ‘OR’ for narrowed results (cloud computing OR technology OR tools).
  • Narrow the results: Sometimes it’s difficult to provide keywords specific enough to provide relevant data. In this case, use the ‘-‘ to exclude keywords (AWS –cloud).
  • Site-specific searches: If you’d like so search a particular site for something using the power of a search engine, just add ‘site: specific_domain’ to your query (“big data” site:example.com). And hey, you can even add the ‘OR’ function to add a second site to your search.
  • Related site searches: Should you wish to find other sites similar to the one you’re already using, try ‘related: specific_domain’ (related:example.com).
  • File specific searches: It’s even possible to narrow results down to specific file types. Just add ‘filetype: specific_filetype’ to the end of your string (AI filetype:pdf).

There are just a few of the most common tools search engines provide us with to help navigate the ever-increasing content available online, but don’t forget to give the ‘advanced’ search options a go too; most search engines provide this function further helping you define your query with focus on anything from language to region to date of publication. (Infographic below discovered via Adweek reveals Google data about Black Friday Shoppers)

Black Friday Searches

Awesome Research Apps & Sites

So you’ve heard about Google. Sure, and probably Yahoo and Bing too. But how about some of the lesser-known search engines with tapered concentrations?

Find information related specifically to artists or art movements.

Freely accessible scientific research publishing over 290 peer-reviewed journals in Biology, Clinical Medicine, and Health.

An interactive site for those looking into US history.

A targeted search engine for editor-reviewed content; ideal for students, teachers, and administrators.

For content on different cultures, check out this site that’s run by the United States Library of Congress and UNESCO.

Research Tools & Apps

Finally, we’ll take a look at a few applications available that help smooth the overall research process:

Your personal research assistant, Zotero is available for Mac, Windows, and Linux and makes it easy to grab web content from your browser and add it to a personal library. With a range of file types available, you’ve got everything stored in one place.

A smarter way to research,” EndNote takes care of your research organization and administration. From formatting bibliographies to searching for references, this application adds team collaboration tools too.

A free reference manager and academic social network, Mendeley manages research, provides collaboration options with global researchers, and offers a platform to showcase your work.

Whether trawling for the latest Black Friday deals, gathering information for a project, or delving into the realms of academic research, the web offers an excess of information. Filtering out quality content needn’t be a laborious or grueling process. Be sure to let us know of your own tips or tricks not mentioned above.

By Jennifer Klostermann

When The Cloud Comes To The Black Friday Table

When The Cloud Comes To The Black Friday Table

Black Friday

table-black-friday

Black Friday, as most people know, is the busiest shopping day of the year, occurring immediately after U.S. Thanksgiving, and ushering in the “official” beginning of the Christmas/Holiday shopping season. Its name has come to represent the time of the year at which most retailers start to turn a profit (operating in the black), as opposed to running at a loss (in the red) as they have been doing since January 1. Although this dire financial situation does not apply to all retailers everywhere, it is no surprise that the onslaught of aggressive, deal-hungry shoppers delivers a fresh wave of commerce and cash, much like a coastal ocean swell replenishing a tide pool.

Cloud technology has a major role to play in supporting the activities of the Black Friday weekend of course, first by managing the spike in commercial transactions that happens on the Friday and the weekend, and then secondly in coordinating the online sales that occur on the following “Cyber Monday,” a relatively more recent tradition in which shoppers turn to online retailers to complete the shopping they could not finish over the weekend. Retailers the world over now rely on the cloud to fulfill every element of the retail process from the pre-season wholesale ordering of goods through to post-sale delivery and customer service, and everything in between.

Though, Black Friday still seems to be a retail-oriented phenomenon, aimed squarely at consumers – the public – the B2C arena. Seasonal deals in the business-to-business (B2B) sphere are few and far between, and seem relegated to the primary levels of the industry, such as the occasional cloud hosting or web page-hosting provider offering up extra space for any new customers that sign up on this special weekend.

Cloud Black Friday

How long might it be before the world sees “Black Friday” sales on a higher-level? A cloud industry level? For a start, the increased awareness of the need for high-performance cloud technology in support of this busy retail season can easily translate into a plethora of conversations about robust cloud technology in areas such as analytics, security, application development and migration.

If one were to accept the notion that Black Friday was thus named for the arrival of profits, rather than losses in a storekeeper’s books, then today’s retail madness was actually born out of an accounting term. If the world can translate an event from “accounting” to “shopping”, then it might be just as easy to reconfigure the Black Friday concept from “retail” to “industry”.

Selling cloud technology is a big and very tangible business, as can be seen by the number of major trade shows and events that occur around the world, hosted in huge convention centers and attracting thousands of delegates. Although virtualization may be a central theme of cloud, there are still many solid parts to the machines behind it, and these need to be seen, touched and experienced by business buyers.

Although cloud has no season, techniques for selling cloud technology follow the same traditions as selling cars, phones and video games: newer equals better, cheaper, sexier, with more features and greater reliability. Cloud technology has made great strides in separating itself from old-school mainframe ideologies, through its current marketing approaches and its open-source attitude. Very soon, as in a couple of years soon, it is highly likely that the new generation of business-to-business will take a page from its retail sibling and start to sell its wares seasonally.

(Updated and edited: November 24th, 2016)

By Steve Prentice

Security Audits, Cyberattacks and other Potential Front Line Issues

Security Audits, Cyberattacks and other Potential Front Line Issues

Defending the Organization

When people talk about security audits in an organization, thoughts immediately go to malware, cyberattacks and other front line issues. These appear as the most obvious types of threats and are consequently given the greatest attention. As essential as these responses are, companies need additional layers of audit and defence further up the hierarchy if they are to build a culture of perpetual and successful self-governance. The problem is, internal compliance and control – the key elements of self-governance – are falling woefully behind the times thanks to traditions that have not yet received a full overhaul. This is bad news for business in the private and public sectors, since the enemies they face have already stepped up to the speed of “now.”

Traditionally, businesses have relied upon three lines of defence for standing up against risk. Called the “Combined Assurance Model,” it relies first on line managers to watch over the business processes. The second line belongs to internal risk managers and assurance providers, and then thirdly comes the internal and external auditors.

Security Audits

Such a structure has not always proven to be reliable. In 2013, Financial Times journalist Howard Davies quoted British lawmakers as suggesting the model “promoted a wholly misplaced sense of security.” He added, “Far from complementing each other as happy teammates, they think the second and third lines are in the chocolate teapot category of uselessness, with “the front line, remunerated for revenue generation, dominant over the compliance risk and audit apparatus.” 

These are the types of issues that worry Shrikant Deshpande, senior banking technology, risk and assurance professional and (ISC)2 Certified Cloud Security Professional. He suggests there seems to be a gap between Internal Audit, GRC (Governance, Risk management, and Compliance) and Cyber Security in terms of formalized methods of defining risks, monitoring and assurance. “There is certainly a meeting of minds and policy level agreement on objectives,” he states, “however a formal process of risk mapping and traceability of assurance outcomes to agreed high level risk needs to improve.

What this means in the most straightforward terms is that audit and GRC education must keep up with the times, and with the new technologies now impacting business globally, like cloud, big data and IoT. There needs to be greater investment in security monitoring technologies and in internal education, and this requires getting through to executive decision makers in a way that effectively conveys both urgency and importance.

Shrikant highlights the recommendations of a 2010 research paper published by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, outlining a process of continuous assurance for the digital world. Central to its thesis was the notion of “better matching internal and external auditing practices to the reality of the IT-enabled world, to provide stakeholders with more timely assurance.” The authors advocate “audit automation,” to move the audit process away from a “manual, periodic paradigm” to something more real-time.

Shrikant points out that a variety of cloud technology neutral assurance methods and processes already exist, such as COBIT, ISO 27k , ISO 30k, and NIST. The challenge is that audit and GRC professionals need to mature their skills and knowledge to apply these in specific technology environments like the cloud.

This is where a combination of techniques like assurance mapping, combined assurance and continuous auditing can coexist and assist.

He adds, “the gap between risk management stakeholders and those who are actually monitoring risk and creating assurance continues to exist. There is a legacy of division that must be overcome if businesses and organizations hope to thrive in the extremely fast-paced world of cyber-connected business.” His advice: formally engage. Organizations need formal programs, formal assurance mapping and an up-to-speed monitoring program. The luxury of waiting no longer exists.

For more on the CCSP certification from (ISC)2, please visit their website. Sponsored by (ISC)2.

By Steve Prentice

Wearable Device Tweaks – Better Security, Engagement and Fulfillment

Wearable Device Tweaks – Better Security, Engagement and Fulfillment

Wearable Device Tweaks

Wearable Device Tweaks

Though for many of us wearable tech still equates to the fitness monitor we had to have, loved for a month, and then forgot about, or perhaps the smartwatch that was going to revolutionize our lives but now just tells us the time, the adoption rates of this technology are increasing rapidly and perhaps we should thank a few forward-thinking developers for this trend. Though fitness monitors certainly have their place, and many athletes swear by them, the wearable tech coming out today promises far more for the everyman with the latest devices supporting third-party apps, offering relevant insights into our lives, and making the things we do every day more enjoyable. The next generation of wearable device tweaks promises better engagement and enhanced fulfillment through the activities that matter to us the most.

Data Gathering

Much excitement exists around the realm of Big Data and all that it promises, and wearable tech is one of the most personalized collectors of such data. No longer simply measuring primary health metrics such as heart rate and sleep, wearable tech is now able to track far more personal statistics such as locations visited, time spent on specific websites and applications, stress levels, comprehensive body functions, and much more. In fact, we’re reaching a stage where if you want to track it, somebody is probably developing a device so that you can. The value of this very specific and personalized data is, of course, customized insights that pertain directly to the user for enhanced engagement in everything they’re already doing.

Security

An area not often reflected on with regards to wearable tech, security is, in fact, at the fore of many of these devices. From GPS locators ensuring that children are safely where they should be to panic buttons that send emergency services location and trauma details, wearable tech is helping keep us safe and offering peace of mind. Of course, if you’re not a fan of Big Brother watching your every move you might have some reservations, but that’s a debate for another day.

Educational Tools

Though still an area in the earlier stages of development, wearable educational devices could soon be encouraging us to stay focused both through devices that track our awareness and mechanisms that enhance our engagement. Already virtual reality is being used to provide experience-style education systems in many schools, but it might not be long before the majority of classrooms are equipped with sensors that help educators understand how best to captivate students through the monitoring of vital statistics or devices that expertly train users in practical applications.

Just For Fun

And let’s not forget the most appealing part of our day; wearables further promote good ol’ fashioned fun, enhancing our downtime by finding ways to make our leisure activities even more amusing. The mind-boggling craze Pokémon GO is one point in case, though I’ll admit perhaps suggesting this leisure activity is ‘traditional’ might be going a bit far. Already the Pokémon GO developers are looking for new ways of boosting user engagement with the possibilities of augmented reality technology and wearable technology coming up trumps. For those less inclined to wander the streets searching for stray Pokémon, however, developers are producing leisure devices with many other functions; UV sensors that monitor sun exposure, shoes that steer you in the right direction, selfie drones, and even cocktail-making dresses. If you can think it…

No matter your preferences, there’s probably already a wearable device designed to enrich your life. Though Gartner observes that “most wearables are still exploratory products,” the next decade is likely to see an influx of gadgets that monitor and improve a variety of fields and maximize user engagement in real life.

By Jennifer Klostermann

Cloud Predictions 2017: Forrester Research Highlights 10 Trends

Cloud Predictions 2017: Forrester Research Highlights 10 Trends

Cloud Predictions 2017

By 2020 it’s projected by Gartner that corporate no-cloud policies will be as scarce as no-internet policies are today. Not surprising considering how valuable the cloud and cloud tools already are to many businesses across a range of industries. But although we’re seeing mainstream uptake of popular cloud products and services, cloud developers aren’t resting on their laurels; instead, we’re noting the development of existing and new cloud devices that are likely to keep the cloud top of mind and increasingly appreciated in the years to come.

Trends for 2017 and Beyond

Cloud Predictions 2017

Forrester Research has released a new report outlining cloud predictions for 2017 and highlighting ten trends for the coming year they believe necessary to act on. It’s expected that the cloud will be saving users money in many ways, not just through their traditional pay-per-use models, but also through the advancement of best practices optimizing costs. Expense transparency may also be realized through integrated cost management tools. And though Forrester says ‘size still matters,’ it’s clear that mega cloud providers will be balanced with niche providers. The public cloud option with its scalability and good economics continues to be a popular choice for enterprises averse to setting up their own private cloud networks, but the customization available through niche cloud provider services promises the smaller dedicated providers will also have a slice of the pie.

Furthermore, Forrester suggests that ‘hyper-converged infrastructure will help private clouds get real.’ These systems create integration of contrasting services on private cloud networks, and Forrester believes hyper-converged infrastructures should be the foundation for the development of private cloud networks, ensuring effortless and effective implementations. It’s also likely that containers will ‘shake up’ cloud platform and management strategies as Forrester predicts container-driven software code management will advance with Linux containers likely available in the majority of private and public cloud platforms early on in 2017. This, however, increases security challenges and is just one motive for the belief that cloud service providers will begin developing better security protocols into their offerings.

And further encouraging the cloud shift, Forrester believes that migration is going to become easier thanks to ‘lift-and-shift’ tools. Cloud migration applications are expected to be highly relevant in 2017, enabling smooth implementation and making the switch from public to private cloud, or vice versa, straightforward. Forrester does also expect enterprises to avoid large, complex and expensive cloud software suites, but also concludes that hybrid cloud networking will continue to create challenges for the hybrid cloud. We might also see SaaS moving towards regional and industry solutions instead of the prevalent one-stop-shops of today. Finally, Forrester suggests we keep an eye on what’s coming out of China as it’s expected that ‘Chinese firms will be key drivers of global cloud evolution.’

What the Cloud has in Store for Enterprises

Taking a look at enterprise advances, it’s suggested that the cloud market will accelerate more rapidly in 2017 as businesses attempt to improve efficiencies while scaling computing resources for better customer service. Says Forrester analyst Dave Bartoletti, “The number one trend is here come the enterprises. Enterprises with big budgets, data centers, and complex applications are now looking at cloud as a viable place to run core business applications.” Forrester recognizes Amazon Web Services as the originators of the first wave of cloud computing, launching basic storage and computing services back in 2006; ten years on and the results are mind-boggling. With 38% of surveyed North American and European enterprise infrastructure technology directors building private clouds and a further 32% securing public cloud services it’s evident that businesses are well into their cloud journey and nudging providers toward greater developments and innovations for the future.

By Jennifer Klostermann

How the Cloud Is Improving DNA Sequencing

How the Cloud Is Improving DNA Sequencing

DNA Sequencing

For many of us, the cloud is part of our daily lives.

We use these virtual storage servers to hold our pictures, our memories and our work documents, just to name a few. Cloud storage is also making its mark in the medical industry, with electronic health records making patient care easier no matter where you’re making your appointments.

This utilization of virtual information storage is also being used to improve the speed and accuracy of DNA sequencing. How can cloud storage change the way we look at DNA?

The Importance of DNA Sequencing

dna sequencingDNA, which stands for deoxyribonucleic acid, is the smallest building block of life. It’s found in almost all living things on the planet. Your DNA, found in every cell in your body, holds the blueprint that governs why you are the way you are.

Do you have red hair, or blue eyes? That’s written into your DNA. Are you tall, short, fat, skinny or athletic? You guessed it — that’s written into your DNA as well. Do you hate cilantro and think it tastes like soap? Believe it or not, that’s something that’s written into your DNA too.

In that DNA blueprint, there are answers to thousands of questions that we’ve been posing for centuries, including things like how long we’ll live, what diseases we may be predisposed to, and many others. That is where DNA sequencing comes in.

To stick with our same metaphor from a moment ago, you wouldn’t be able to read a blueprint without a key to tell you what different symbols mean, right? DNA sequencing provides researchers with the key to our DNA blueprint. By learning the order of the four base amino acids that make up DNA, researchers can determine which combinations of genes produce what result.

Old Tech, New Tech

Until now, DNA sequencing was performed on non-networked computers. While breakthroughs were being made, they were limited by the small subset of information available and the insufficient computer processing speeds. In other words, individual computers used for DNA sequencing are limited by the amount of processing power that they can possess.

Moore’s Law, coined by Gordon Moore — one of the founders of Intel — suggests that computers are limited by the number of transistors that can be placed on a single chip. He stated that this number would likely double every two years, and all current trends show that even with today’s advances, Moore’s Law still holds true.

Advances in DNA sequencing are appearing exponentially, and in many cases are only being limited by the available processing power.

Predictive Analytics

Predictive analytics, or the study of patterns to make predictions, has already made its way into the medical fields. When applied to DNA sequencing, it’s often dubbed Predictive Genomics. Cloud computing is a key component in the success of predictive genomics for a variety of reasons, including:

  • The amount of data — The sheer amount of data in one human being’s genome is almost mind-boggling. Each individual’s genome has up to 25,000 genes. These genes are made up of almost 3 million base pairs. When you break that down into digital data, you’re looking at upwards of 100 gigabytes of data per person.
  • The cost — Right now, having your personal genetic code sequenced costs between $1,500 and $4,000. This also plays a large role in the high cost of testing for specific genetic markers, like the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes that indicate a higher chance of breast cancer.

The use of cloud computing and predictive genomics can reduce costs, ensure quality and improve accuracy throughout the world of DNA sequencing.

Amazon, our favorite online shopping mall, is doing what they can to help in the world of cloud computing and genomics. Amazon Web Services provides a cloud computing service that a number of companies, including DNAnexus and Helix, are using to improve the speed and accuracy of their genome sequencing.

There’s an App for That

While sending off a saliva-soaked q-tip to have your DNA tested isn’t a new concept, this is the first time it’s heading to both the cloud and the App Store.

A new startup from Silicon Valley named Helix has recently hit the DNA sequencing market with a new twist on the DNA game. Now, not only can you have your DNA tested for all sorts of information, but you can also have your genetic ancestry analyzed by the minds at National Geographic.

As the icing on the cake, all of your information will be stored on the cloud and accessible through Helix’s app.

Cloud computing is becoming an invaluable tool for a variety of different industries, with DNA sequencing as just the latest in a long line of innovations. As this advancement becomes more mainstream, only time will tell what secrets our DNA holds, and what we’ll be able to do with them once we find them.

By Kayla Matthews

Is Machine Learning Making Your Data Scientists Obsolete?

Is Machine Learning Making Your Data Scientists Obsolete?

Machine Learning and Data Scientists

In a recent study, almost all the businesses surveyed stated that big data analytics were fundamental to their business strategies. Although the field of computer and information research scientists is growing faster than any other occupation, the increasing applicability of data science across business sectors is leading to an exponential deficit between supply and demand.

When a 2012 article in the Harvard Business Review, co-written by U.S. chief data scientist DJ Patil, declared the role of data scientist “the sexiest job of the 21st century,” it sparked a frenzy of hiring people with an understanding of data analysis. Even today, enterprises are scrambling to identify and build analytics teams that can not only analyze the data received from a multitude of human and machine sources, but also can put it to work creatively.

One of the key areas of concern has been the ability of machines to gain cognitive power as their intelligence capacities increase. Beyond the ability to leverage data to disrupt multiple white-collar professions, signs that machine learning has matured enough to execute roles traditionally done by data scientists are increasing. After all, advances in deep learning are automating the time-consuming and challenging tasks of feature engineering.

While reflecting on the increasing power of machine learning, one disconcerting question comes to mind: Would advances in machine learning make data scientists obsolete?

The Day the Machines Take Over

machine

Advances in the development of machine learning platforms from leaders like Microsoft, Google, and a range of startups mean that a lot of work done by data scientists would be very amenable to automation — including multiple steps in data cleansing, determination of optimal features, and development of domain-specific variations for predictive models.

With these platforms’ increasing maturity and ability to create market-standard models and data-exchange interfaces, the focus shifts toward tapping machine-learning algorithms with a “black box” approach and away from worrying about the internal complexities.

However, as with any breakthrough technology, we need to recognize that the impact of the technology is limited unless it is well-integrated into the overall business flow. Some of the most successful innovations have been driven not by a single breakthrough technology but by reimagining an end-to-end business process through creative integration of multiple existing components. Uber and Netflix offer prime examples of intelligence gleaned from data being integrated seamlessly into a company’s process flow. Data scientists play a key role in this by leveraging data to orchestrate processes for better customer experience and by optimizing through continuous experimentation.

While organizations across industries increasingly see a more strategic role for data, they often lack clarity around how to make it work. Their tendency to miss the big picture by looking for “easy wins” and working with traditional data sources means that data scientists have an opportunity to help frame problems and to clearly articulate the “realm of the possible.

From Data to Strategy

It is easy to get carried away by the initial hype that machine learning will be a panacea that can solve all the problems and concerns around its impact on the roles of data science practitioners. However, let us recall the AI winters in the mid-’70s, and later in the ’90s, when the journey to the “promised land” did not pan out.

data-cloud

Today, we don’t see the same concerns as in the past — lack of data, data storage costs, limitations of compute power — but we still find true challenges in identifying the right use cases and applying AI in a creative fashion. At the highest of levels, it helps to understand that machine learning capability needs to translate into one of two outcomes:

  • Interaction: Understanding user needs and building better and more seamless engagement
  • Execution: Meeting customer needs in the most optimal manner with ability to self-correct and fine-tune

Stakeholder management becomes extremely important throughout the process. Framing key business problems as amenable to data-led decision-making (in lieu of traditional gut feel) to secure stakeholder buy-in is critical. Consequently, multiple groups need to be involved in identifying the right set of data sources (or best alternatives) while staying conscious of data governance and privacy considerations. Finally, stakeholders need to be fully engaged to ensure that the insights feed into business processes.

Data Scientists Become Core Change Agents

Given the hype surrounding big data analytics, data scientists need to manage responses that fall on opposite ends of the spectrum by tempering extreme optimism and handling skepticism. A combination of the following skills that go beyond platforms and technology are thus needed:

  • Framing solutions to business problems as hypotheses that will require experimentation, incorporating user input as critical feedback
  • Identifying parameters by which outcomes can be judged and being sensitive to the need for learning and iteration
  • Safeguarding against correlations being read as causal factors
  • Ensuring the right framework for data use and governance, given the potential for misuse

This requires pivoting a data scientist’s remit in a company from a pure data-analysis function into a more consultative role, engaging across business functions. Data scientists are not becoming obsolete. They are becoming bigger, more powerful, and more central to organizations, morphing from technician into change agents through the use of data.

By Guha Ramasubramanian

guha-rGuha heads Corporate Business Development at Wipro Technologies and is focused on two strategic themes at the intersection of technology and business: cybersecurity framed from a business risk perspective and how to leverage machine learning for business transformation.

Guha is currently leading the development and deployment of Apollo, an anomaly detection platform that seeks to mitigate risk and improve process velocity through smarter detection.

CloudTweaks Comics
Cloud Computing – The Game Changer

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Shadow IT To Remain A Focus For Both Cloud Vendors And CIOs

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Why Hybrid Cloud Delivers Better Business Agility

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Choosing IaaS or a Cloud-Enabled Managed Hosting Provider?

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Big Data and Financial Services – Security Threat or Massive Opportunity?

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Using Big Data To Make Cities Smarter

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A New CCTV Nightmare: Botnets And DDoS attacks

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The Questions of Privacy In The Internet of Things Revolution

The Questions of Privacy In The Internet of Things Revolution

Privacy in the Internet of Things Revolution The Internet of Things (IoT) has been promising a lot to consumers for a few years and now we’re really starting to see some of the big ideas come to fruition, which means an ever-growing conversation around data security and privacy. Big data comes with big responsibilities and…

Cloud Computing Myths That SMBs Should Know

Cloud Computing Myths That SMBs Should Know

Cloud Computing and SMBs Cloud Computing is the hottest issue among IT intellects of Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs). Like any other computer-orientated technology, Cloud Computing has some misconceptions and myths that often kick-start arguments among the two opposing groups: Cloud Supporters and Cloud Opponents. Both of these groups have their own ideology and reasons…

Digital Marketing Hubs And The Cloud

Digital Marketing Hubs And The Cloud

Digital Market Hubs Gartner’s recently released research, Magic Quadrant for Digital Marketing Hubs, recognizes the big four marketing cloud vendors as leaders, but also points to many challengers. Adobe, Marketo, Oracle, and Salesforce inhabit the leader’s block of the Magic Quadrant, reflecting both their growing capabilities as well as marketing technology platform scopes. Gartner believes…

Don’t Be Intimidated By Data Governance

Don’t Be Intimidated By Data Governance

Data Governance Data governance, the understanding of the raw data of an organization is an area IT departments have historically viewed as a lose-lose proposition. Not doing anything means organizations run the risk of data loss, data breaches and data anarchy – no control, no oversight – the Wild West with IT is just hoping…

The Fully Aware, Hybrid-Cloud Approach

The Fully Aware, Hybrid-Cloud Approach

Hybrid-Cloud Approach For over 20 years, organizations have been attempting to secure their networks and protect their data. However, have any of their efforts really improved security? Today we hear journalists and industry experts talk about the erosion of the perimeter. Some say it’s squishy, others say it’s spongy, and yet another claims it crunchy.…

Cloud-Based or On-Premise ERP Deployment? Find Out

Cloud-Based or On-Premise ERP Deployment? Find Out

ERP Deployment You know how ERP deployment can improve processes within your supply chain, and the things to keep in mind when implementing an ERP system. But do you know if cloud-based or on-premise ERP deployment is better for your company or industry? While cloud computing is becoming more and more popular, it is worth…

How Formal Verification Can Thwart Change-Induced Network Outages and Breaches

How Formal Verification Can Thwart Change-Induced Network Outages and Breaches

How Formal Verification Can Thwart  Breaches Formal verification is not a new concept. In a nutshell, the process uses sophisticated math to prove or disprove whether a system achieves its desired functional specifications. It is employed by organizations that build products that absolutely cannot fail. One of the reasons NASA rovers are still roaming Mars…

Achieving Network Security In The IoT

Achieving Network Security In The IoT

Security In The IoT The network security market is experiencing a pressing and transformative change, especially around access control and orchestration. Although it has been mature for decades, the network security market had to transform rapidly with the advent of the BYOD trend and emergence of the cloud, which swept enterprises a few years ago.…

Protecting Devices From Data Breach: Identity of Things (IDoT)

Protecting Devices From Data Breach: Identity of Things (IDoT)

How to Identify and Authenticate in the Expanding IoT Ecosystem It is a necessity to protect IoT devices and their associated data. As the IoT ecosystem continues to expand, the need to create an identity to newly-connected things is becoming increasingly crucial. These ‘things’ can include anything from basic sensors and gateways to industrial controls…

Moving Your Email To The Cloud? Beware Of Unintentional Data Spoliation!

Moving Your Email To The Cloud? Beware Of Unintentional Data Spoliation!

Cloud Email Migration In today’s litigious society, preserving your company’s data is a must if you (and your legal team) want to avoid hefty fines for data spoliation. But what about when you move to the cloud? Of course, you’ve probably thought of this already. You’ll have a migration strategy in place and you’ll carefully…

5 Things To Consider About Your Next Enterprise Sharing Solution

5 Things To Consider About Your Next Enterprise Sharing Solution

Enterprise File Sharing Solution Businesses have varying file sharing needs. Large, multi-regional businesses need to synchronize folders across a large number of sites, whereas small businesses may only need to support a handful of users in a single site. Construction or advertising firms require sharing and collaboration with very large (several Gigabytes) files. Financial services…

Lavabit, Edward Snowden and the Legal Battle For Privacy

Lavabit, Edward Snowden and the Legal Battle For Privacy

The Legal Battle For Privacy In early June 2013, Edward Snowden made headlines around the world when he leaked information about the National Security Agency (NSA) collecting the phone records of tens of millions of Americans. It was a dramatic story. Snowden flew to Hong Kong and then Russia to avoid deportation to the US,…