Category Archives: Cloud Computing

Amazon Web Services Launch Cloud-Based Precision Medicine Data Marketplace

Amazon Web Services Launch Cloud-Based Precision Medicine Data Marketplace

NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — The American Heart Association (AHA) announced a milestone in its strategic collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS) – the launch of a global, secure cloud-based data marketplace that will help revolutionize how researchers and clinicians come together as one community to access and analyze rich and diverse data to accelerate solutions for cardiovascular diseases — the No. 1 cause of death worldwide.

The AHA Precision Medicine Platform, announced at today’s AHA Scientific Sessions in New Orleans, will include a vast array of curated rich datasets, that are centrally stored, easily searched and accessible, and managed on the AWS cloud.  This platform enables researchers and clinicians to aggregate and analyze a rich breadth and depth of data including longitudinal cohorts, proteomic, genomic, and gene expression data using a precision medicine approach to uncover critical cardiovascular disease insights that translate into medical innovations that positively impact millions of lives.

Precision cardiovascular medicine takes into account an individual’s biology, environment and lifestyle and is driven by advanced methods of aggregating, integrating and analyzing patient data to develop prevention and treatment strategies for individuals. Derived from the fullest possible range of biological and environmental factors relevant to a patient’s cardiovascular health, the Platform will integrate data from clinical trials, long-running epidemiologic studies, clinical registries, and real-time health data acquired through wearable devices and technology.

The Platform will harness the power of big data to revolutionize the way cardiovascular research is performed and speed the promise of precision cardiovascular medicine,” said AHA CEO Nancy Brown. “The AHA remains steadfast in its commitment to eliminate the tragic global burden cardiovascular disease places on individuals, families, healthcare systems, and entire nations by mapping scientific discovery to the dramatic advances in biomedical research and technology innovation.”

The Power of Cloud Technology

AWS, a leading cloud services provider, provides the computational and analyticteresa-carlson power needed to manage an information ecosystem of this magnitude. Cloud computing is already accelerating scientific progress throughout academia, industry and government, helping to forge new models of open science, collaboration and discovery. Through a cloud-based infrastructure, the Precision Medicine Platform will advance our community of researchers together to find solutions for patients.

AHA and AWS bring unique strengths and complementary expertise to the Precision Medicine Data Marketplace with AWS offering the immense computational and analytical power necessary to manage the information ecosystem of this magnitude,” said Teresa Carlson, Vice President Worldwide Public Sector, AWS, Inc. “We are very excited to work with AHA to quickly bring resources and advancements to patients more rapidly and to make these scientific discoveries a reality.

The Promise of Precision Medicine Platform

Several initial healthcare and research organizations are leading the way as data contributors to the AHA Precision Medicine Platform including: AstraZeneca, Cedars Sinai Heart Institute, Dallas Heart Study, the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI), Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute, the International Stroke Genetics Consortium, and Stanford Cardiovascular Institute.

AstraZeneca is pleased to work with the AHA, AWS and other groups on this important initiative. By contributing de-identified data from our clinical trials and bringing together – under one umbrella – the data, and the tools, this initiative will help scientists and clinicians advance our understanding of cardiovascular disease in a cost and time effective manner, to ultimately bring benefits to patients,” said Fouzia Laghrissi Thode, V.P. GPPS Therapy Area, Cardiovascular & Metabolism, AstraZeneca.

This platform will facilitate important collaborations that should help uncover new causal factors and targets for therapy.” said James de Lemos, MD of the Dallas Heart Study.

By making large numbers of data sources more easily available to researchers, this collaboration will accelerate the movement toward greater openness in clinical research,” said DCRI Executive Director Eric Peterson, MD, MPH. “It will also help speed the development of scientific discoveries into usable treatments for the patients who need them most.”

These findings could help stratify individuals, groups, and entire populations according to their risk of cardiovascular disease and likely response to treatments,” said Joseph C. Wu, MD, PhD, Director of the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute.

Driving Precision Medicine through Data Grants

To spark collaboration, AHA is providing access to the Precision Medicine Platform through a series of grants. AWS is providing grant recipients free access to computational cloud storage and analysis as part of the AHA data grant portfolio.  Grant submissions are in progress and the first round of recipients will be announced in April 2017. More information on submission deadlines for the Data Grant Portfolio can be found at http://institute.heart.org.

The Precision Medicine Platform will be available at precision.heart.org and is a marquee project of the AHA Institute for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine.  Additional information can be found at http://institute.heart.org.

About the AHA Institute for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine

The American Heart Association Institute for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine is the only organization dedicated exclusively to advancing precision medicine in cardiovascular care.  The Institute aims to preserve and prolong health by architecting more precise scientific discoveries – those that take into account a person’s genetics, environment and lifestyle – for better prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. To learn more, apply for research grants or to get involved, visit http://institute.heart.org.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke –  the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country.  

The Cloud Isn’t a Security Issue; It’s a Security Opportunity

The Cloud Isn’t a Security Issue; It’s a Security Opportunity

Security Issue

In order to stay ahead in today’s competitive business landscape, companies need to constantly innovate. Development teams must continually release new products, features or services and cloud technology, along with agile development practices, make this perpetual iterating feasible.

Cloud technology has undoubtedly enabled companies to innovate quickly and frequently, however, historically it’s introduced a myriad of security concerns, often causing development, operations and security teams to become overwhelmed and distracted. Today, though, security doesn’t have to hold back high-velocity, cloud-based product development cycles. Companies can achieve complete cloud security and compliance without a security issue impacting delivery speed, as long as they use the right tools and best practices across their organization.

Security Issue

Below are three key tips companies should consider in order to overcome any lingering security concerns and scale quickly and securely in the cloud:

1. Educate your team

For companies moving to a cloud-based infrastructure for the first time, it’s essential to discuss the change and make sure everyone understands how they will be affected before any data is migrated over. A key part of this discussion should be explaining that security is no longer just about perimeter defense and prevention; understanding the behavior of your workloads, users and environment is critical knowledge that needs to be shared. It’s important that everyone on the development, operations and security teams understand what all of their assets are doing and what’s taking place within the cloud workload at all times, as this is the best way to detect real cloud security threats as soon as they take place.

2. Track the ephemeral

Back in the days of ‘racking and stacking,’ it was easy to know what servers you had and where they were. But with cloud-based infrastructures, one of the key value propositions is elasticity: you might spin up an EC2 instance or cluster, for instance, do some data analysis for an hour or two, and then turn it off. There are advantages to such elasticity; however, it’s crucial to also have the ability to go back in time and view activity to ensure compliance and potentially investigate any risks. Additionally, as you’re building up and burning down, you want to know that those transient systems and workloads were compliant with your security posture. All too often companies focus on catching cloud security incidents only when they’re happening. But to remain consistently secure and compliant, security teams need to be able to ‘rewind’ and look at instances that may no longer exist.

3. Embrace software-defined everything

The beauty of the software-defined nature of the cloud is that it can actually make security teams’ jobs easier; they’re able to inject themselves throughout the infrastructure landscape and lifecycle. They no longer need to figure out how to capture information from switches, routers, and other devices at various layers of the network and try to correlate the data, because it’s all tied together. Additionally, integrations with tools like PagerDuty and Slack enable internal dialogues that empower non-security team members to collaborate on detection and response to potential issues. And when it’s time for security teams to intervene and investigate, deep audit trails make it possible to track not just whether a user logged in, but what processes they kicked off (and whether it was really them).

Some companies think cloud technology introduces a new layer of vulnerability, however in reality, it’s just the opposite. The cloud presents companies with an opportunity to evaluate their security requirements and reconsider their strategy and processes. It can enable security teams to focus on more strategic initiatives and also improve collaboration with Operations and Engineering teams. This, in turn, allows development, operations and security teams to spend more time on projects that drive real business value and less time frantically checking for potential security gaps.

Don’t let a past security issue prevent your company from migrating to the cloud and reaping its benefits. Discuss the change in detail and address any concerns with everyone in your organization well in advance. Track historical instances in order to ensure security and compliance, and consider implementing a cloud security solution to help gain deep insight into your environment in real-time, because software-defined everything is only possible with complete visibility (and vice versa).

By Chris Gervais

Progressions and Predictions of Marketing Technology

Progressions and Predictions of Marketing Technology

Predictions of Marketing Technology

In Gartner’s 2015 Data-Driven Marketing Survey we saw three new technologies entering the hype cycle, Predictive B2B Marketing, Ad Blocking, and Mobile Wallet. Further, the 2016 Hype Cycle for Digital Marketing and Advertising suggested that the combination of four key data-centric marketing driving forces including personalization, real-time marketing systems, the employment of contextual clues, and the convergence of Martech and Adtech would lead to more appropriate uses of IoT devices and analytics, and machine learning and personalization bolstering data-centric marketing tactics. As Gartner’s 2016-2017 Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Spend Survey predicts higher marketing budgets in 2017, one wonders what marketing technology holds for us in the year to come.

Early Adopters

ws_martech_leverage-stackIn the second annual State of Marketing Technology report from Walker Sands, it’s suggested that marketers are becoming more comfortable with the ever increasing variety of tools at their disposal, many adopting martech devices more quickly. Unfortunately, more than half of today’s marketers aren’t managing to keep up with these changes. Though many marketers are seen jumping in with both feet, taking advantage of what one expert summed a landscape of nearly 4,000 solutions, just as many others are entirely overwhelmed by the new technology and requirements of the evolving digital marketing space. Surprisingly, this tremendous array of tools has not led the majority of companies to seek a single vendor for their marketing cloud, a solution which might offer greater ease of use and comfort. Instead, the majority of organizations both large and small are focusing on the integration of best-of-breed architecture to provide the best solution for each requirement, no matter the mix required.

Integration and Best-of-Breed

Along with the data suggesting best-of-breed architecture leads in martech selections, Walker Sands’ study finds that integrated best-of-breed marketing technology is the most popular and the majority of respondents believe their companies are well able to leverage the power of integrated best-of-breed tools. But fragmented best-of-breed stacks shouldn’t be disqualified just yet; currently, 21% of participants indicated use – just 6% less than those using integrated best-of-breed stacks. In fact, integration didn’t rank particularly high when respondents were asked what would better help them leverage the full power of their current marketing technology stack; instead 39% of respondents submitted that better strategy was key to this improved leveraging, and improved analytics and more training also ranked high on the list of ‘keys to fully leveraging martech stack.’

Virtual & Augmented Reality

Both virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have recently been moving toward the mainstream with a range of industries developing methods to incorporate the once ‘science fiction’ tech. The advertising and marketing industries are no different. According to the IDC’s annual tech projections, “in 2017, 30% of consumer-facing Global 2000 companies will experiment with AR/VR as part of their marketing efforts.” As marketers recognize the value of interfaces for direct customer engagement, this evolution is occurring faster than expected and the IDC expects virtual and augmented reality adoption to reach mass levels by 2021. In just five years it’s projected that over a billion people globally will regularly use a virtual or augmented reality platform to access data, content, and apps.

It appears that, despite martech concerns such as ad-blocking tools and the effectiveness of some of the digital marketing and advertising tools, the role of digital marketing advertising moves from strength to strength and the plans for spend in this area remain high. A shift of offline media spending to digital channels is also being noted, suggesting that in years to come some of the better digital marketing tools we’re just coming to grips with today will hold an important position in the martech stack. 2017 will probably only see the foundations of a few of these innovations.

By Jennifer Klostermann

The Continued Growth of the SaaS Travel Industry

The Continued Growth of the SaaS Travel Industry

SaaS Travel Industry

The online travel industry can trace its roots to American Airlines in the late 1970s. It has grown from the SABRE (Semi-automated Business Research Environment) system, which was developed to automate booking reservations to, to a sprawling industry worth billions of dollars.

Expedia, Yahoo Travel, Booking.com, Justfly, and Priceline, makeup just a few of the companies vying to establish themselves at the top of the digital travel industry.

In 1999, before the internet became truly globalised, the Travel Industry Association of America reported that 15.1 million people in the United States booked their travel arrangements online. Worldwide digital travel sales surpassed $533 billion in 2015, a 13.3% increase from 2014, and that number is set to grow again this year. It may shock you a little to discover that, 17 years later, despite the massive growth of the internet, more than half of all travel bookings are still made offline – either over the phone or through retail travel agents.

mobile-travel

However, the online travel industry is set to continue to grow rapidly over the next few years. It has been estimated that by 2020, the highest percentage of total sales made by online payments will be held by the travel industry (see fig. 1). This growth can be attributed to the growth of the travel industry in general, with developing countries like China and India housing an ever expanding middle class, the amount of disposable income that these countries as a whole can spend on travel is set to skyrocket over the next decade.

Of the many travel sites that have benefitted from the meteoric rise of the internet over the last decade, Justfly has been one of the more recent success stories. JustFly is the fastest growing online travel company in the US, whose exponential rise can be attributed, at least in part, to their drive to stay ahead of the curve in providing modern technological benefits with a human touch.

The fact that over half of bookings still occur offline, can give us an insight into the public desire to deal with people rather than booking sites, when it comes to travel arrangements. Sites like Justfly or Expedia, who combined the best of modern technology, along with a human component seem to be enjoying the most success. Although some airlines have attempted to lessen the impact of these middle-men, they are fighting a losing battle. Michelle Evans, the digital consumer manager at Euromonitor, commented recently that online travel agencies are leading the overall growth in online and mobile travel bookings, though there has been some growth in direct bookings for hotels and lodgings.

Co-founder of ComScore, a U.S. Internet analytics company, Gian Fulgoni did suggest that airlines have been doing more to hold onto revenue that hotels, since branded travel sites have more to lose from receiving bookings through OTA’s (Outside Travel Agencies).

In contrast to the earlier statistic, that over half of all bookings are still made offline, a 2015 report by CNBC, suggested that 7 out of 10 people using the internet in the US were visiting travel sites. So, how do we account for this gap in the statistics? People are using the internet to find and compare prices, and many of them will then go to more traditional methods of booking to finalise their arrangements. Why else would sites like Expedia and Justfly place such a high value on the need for a human element to travel booking? Justfly’s entire matra is built on combining a team of travel experts, with their “efficient and technologically bullet-proof platform”.

Add all this to the fact that TripAdvisor garnered substantially more internet traffic (14.5% share of the market) this year, than any other travel site, the stats suggest that we are becoming smarter consumers. We are learning to take all aspects of the travel industry, both digital and human, and combine them to help us to find the best prices for our travels. As Gian Fulgoni put it, “The Internet has put pricing power in the hands of the consumer“.

Sponsored by Justfly

By Josh Hamilton

Why An Inside-Out Approach to Cloud Security Is Your Safest Bet

Why An Inside-Out Approach to Cloud Security Is Your Safest Bet

Cloud Security

In September, McKinsey released what might be looked back upon as a seminal survey. It opened the report with a simple, powerful declaration: “The cloud debate is over.” The data told a story that the pace of IT workloads moving to cloud is now at a “material” level and the impact would ripple across the industry. The survey reaffirmed the view of CIO’s and IT executives that security and compliance continue to be the top concerns of cloud adoption.

Now that the cloud is just accepted as a safe and viable growth path, it’s important that decision makers think about budgeting for cloud security differently. They are no longer buying hardware appliances and enterprise software. They need agile SaaS tools that can can scale and adapt to their cloud-based infrastructures to grow confidently and allow them to move even faster.

The Current State of Cloud Security

The growth of cloud adoption brings with it a serious need for more disciplined security practices. Between the MICROS/Oracle breach, the SWIFT Network attacks and a rash of healthcare industry data breaches, it seems every week there’s another major story about vulnerable data getting into the wrong hands. In today’s cloud-based business landscape, it’s no longer a question of if your organization will be targeted; it’s when.

complience-cloud-risks

While major cybersecurity breaches continue to dominate the news, the reality is only 3% of companies experience catastrophic losses worth more than $1 million. Smaller, internal threats are far more common for most organizations, and they can still cost companies significant capital. In fact, the Ponemon Institute found that insider activity is the most expensive ongoing cybersecurity threat to date, costing companies an average of $144,542 annually.

To combat cybercrime and proactively protect your organization, a more evolved approach to cloud security is necessary. Many organizations implement an outside-in approach, working to protect their infrastructure perimeter and company assets from malicious intruders who may be trying to gain access. However, this approach doesn’t take into account the possibility of internal threats, or hackers who have already gained access. Organizations and cloud security professionals need to focus on thwarting the advanced threats within cloud environments themselves, all while maintaining total compliance, of course.

This inside-out approach to cloud security isn’t always easy, however, and it can be made more difficult by the fact that cloud security professionals capable of handling the cloud’s advanced threats and compliance issues are becoming increasingly rare. Case in point? Cybersecurity Ventures found that the cybersecurity workforce shortage is expected to reach 1.5 million by 2019. This is creating a need for better tools to help operations teams level-up on security, thus improving operational efficiency. The big benefit: empowering those closest to the infrastructure to make the rapid changes necessary to improve security and continuously manage their security state over time.

Inside-Out Cloud Security Monitoring Considerations

Monitoring needs to occur at the workload layer, because here, activity can be monitored across multiple areas deep within the environment to accurately identify and stop inappropriate internal behavior before it causes damage.

security watch

It’s equally important for organizations to consider their Operations team when evaluating cloud security monitoring services or tools. Given the increasing overlap between Operations and security, monitoring tools should be able to integrate security alerts directly into “DevOps” workflows so teams can respond quickly and with context about what occurred. In other words, security information needs to move to where your teams are working every day and you need to choose platforms that can integrate easily and surface alerts and context in situations that matter.

One example of an inside-out approach to cloud security monitoring includes vulnerability management, which is used for scanning three key areas particularly prone to attacks: web applications, operating systems and everyday packages. With access to production, for example, a misguided or malicious employee could easily install an unauthorized package in your base AMI, or worse yet, install a package directly on production environments. With vulnerability management implemented as an inside-out strategy, however, DevOps teams can verify the attack surface of every installed package before it goes live and wreaks havoc.

By continuously monitoring for suspicious or unauthorized behaviors, organizations can identify internal threats before they spiral out of control. Real-time cloud security monitoring can aid organizations in their efforts to combat cybercrime and thankfully, such technology doesn’t require designated, in-house security professionals. However, it’s important to ensure monitoring is conducted from within the cloud workload itself and that it provides immediate and actionable alerts so DevOps teams can rapidly plan and carry out effective remediation. Lastly, to effectively protect your organization’s data, systems, customers and brand reputation, it’s critical to implement monitoring technology that can analyze normal system behavior as well as anomalous trends, so that any new or suspicious activities can be swiftly identified and contained before a breach occurs.

By Chris Gervais

AI: The Dark Side – Part 1

AI: The Dark Side – Part 1

The Future of A.I

On Friday 21st October, the world witnessed the largest cyber-attack in history. The attack set a new precedent for the size, scale, and potential threat of cyber-attacks; it used the Mirai botnet to corrupt IoT (Internet of Things) devices and repurpose them to conduct a massive coordinated DDoS attack. The attack was registered at a massive 1.2Tbps, and, rather worryingly, there has been speculation that the hackers could have used up 5 times as many devices. Many people have been quick to declare this as the beginning of a new era in cyber-crime, and Elon Musk has speculated that it is “only a matter of time before AI is used to do this”. But how at risk are we?

Musk has also postulated that as A.I. gets better and smarter, that we could see it used to optimise attacks on the internet infrastructure, attacks like the one we saw last month. He has brought light that (in his eyes) the internet is “particularly susceptible” to something called a “gradient descent algorithm”. A gradient descent algorithm, is a mathematical process that examines a complex function and finds the optimum solution – something that A.I.s are already incredibly good at, since it is integral to machine learning. The consequence of this is ultimately that this process of optimization could be used to launch devastating IoT attacks as a result of the fine-tuned digital weaponry. Ultimately, it could lead to A.I. vs A.I. cyber-warfare on a scale that we can only imagine at the moment.

fail-safe_security_low_res

All this comes as we are on the cusp of an A.I. revolution, the idea of A.I. no longer seems to be some far off concept; it is within our grasp. Yet, there are many parties warning of the vast dangers of A.I., including some of the greatest minds on earth. Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Stephen Hawking all fear what A.I. could mean for the human race as a whole. Hawking has warned that the moment robots gain the ability to build and redesign themselves, that they will continue to do so faster and faster. Thus spelling the end for the human race as the dominant species on the planet,

Once humans develop artificial intelligence, it will take off on its own and redesign itself at an ever-increasing rate….. Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete and would be superseded.” Similarly, Elon Musk made headlines speaking at the MIT Aeronautics and Astronautics department’s Centennial Symposium in October, when he compared creating artificial intelligence to summoning a demon.

I think we should be very careful about artificial intelligence. If I were to guess like what our biggest existential threat is, it’s probably that. So we need to be very careful with the artificial intelligence…. With artificial intelligence we are summoning the demon. In all those stories where there’s the guy with the pentagram and the holy water, it’s like yeah he’s sure he can control the demon. Didn’t work out.

Bill Gates, although noting what A.I. and automation can do for us, has also called for great caution to be taken. In a recent AMA on Reddit he questioned why some people aren’t as worried as he is!

First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don’t understand why some people are not concerned.”

Those of you who watch Westworld (HBO) will have seen this fear in its earliest form, where one of the A.I. robots is able to understand that it is controlled by a computer, and blackmails two engineers into making it much smarter than it “should be” – a terrifying and chilling moment, perhaps due to the fact that this could soon be reality. The technology is already coming into mainstream culture; Ross the A.I. lawyer has just been hired by a US law firm, Google’s A.I. has already pushed the limits of A.I. creativity, by creating abstract works of art, and that same A.I. has now created it’s very own form of encryption.

With all of these technologies becoming more and more prevalent in our society, it is key that we understand the risks of what we are doing, and take proper precautions. When the people who have led the tech revolution are warning of its risks, you know it is time to listen.

By Josh Hamilton

The Skill & Training Mandates of Big Data

The Skill & Training Mandates of Big Data

Big Data Mandates

For some years a dearth of data scientists and analysts has caused concern, with McKinsey expecting a demand for analytical expertise 60% greater than available supply by 2017. Additionally, Gartner predicts a shortage of 100,000 data scientists in the US by 2020. In more recent findings, Accenture reported the vast majority of its clients intended to hire employees with data science capabilities but over a third cited lack of talent an impediment. It should come as no surprise that this relatively new, but booming, arena is undergoing significant shifts; big data has suddenly been recognized as a valuable commodity, organizations are investing in big data analytics to improve strategies and operations, and universities and colleges are creating and streamlining data analytics training programs to meet these new skill requirements.

Big Data Analytics

In businesses around the world, the role of big data analytics has grown. Though big data is readily identified as a golden ticket to business success, most organizations are only just coming to terms with the need for suitable data science skills to turn this barrage of information into valuable and constructive insight. Some of the benefits gleaned from analyzed data and predictive analytics include targeted marketing campaigns that provide well-timed offers to the right people, exceptional customer service through better anticipation of needs, and progressive business models able to leverage connectivity for greater success.

As valuable as the data science tools we currently utilize are, industry experts believe the future holds much more. The International Institute for Analytics expects automated data curation and management to free up data scientists and analysts to do more of the work that interests them in future years while the IDC predicts that through 2020 spending on data preparation and self-service visual discovery tools will grow two and a half times faster than traditional IT-controlled tools for comparable functions. Unfortunately, the skills shortage is likely to persist, and Forrester believes the demand won’t be met in the short term, “even as more degree programs launch globally.”

Big Data Training

data-big

No matter the pessimism of some of our top analysts, educational programs aimed at bridging the big data skills gap are increasing and advancing. For those commencing training, a shortage of skills is a distinct advantage as they prepare for a market in which they have the upper hand. At the end of last year, RJMetrics reported that only 11,400 professionals classified themselves as data scientists and 52% of all data scientists had achieved their titles in the last four years. Many companies simply can’t wait for the next batch of graduates to meet their needs and some of the more progressive are implementing their own training schemes which encourage skill development within the organization. Along with STEM schools, online training platforms, and university partnerships, in-house training may help enlarge our skills pool.

It’s interesting also to note that Gartner expects an increase of citizen data scientists in the coming years; states Rita Sallam, VP of Research at Gartner, “Through 2017, the number of citizen data scientists will grow five times faster than the number of highly skilled data scientists.” As businesses and educational institutions provide their own investments into big data skills, it’s important to remember the opportunities technology has offered and continues to offer the self-made individual; opportunities abound too for the unconventionally trained but astute data scientist and as we navigate the current skills gap many have as much sway as their graduate colleagues.

Taking Advantage of the Talent Gap

According to SAS, a provider of industry-leading analytics software and solutions, it’s possible to turn the “analytical talent gap into an analytical talent dividend.” Developing key insights from MIT Sloan Management Review Research Report, “The Talent Dividend,” SAS highlights the value of finding talent that already exists in the business, integrating new hires with existing specialists, and pairing data scientists with business domain experts for better results. Practical business leaders are quickly learning that an innovative approach to talent cultivation often affords greater rewards.

Article sponsored by SAS Software and Big Data Forum

By Jennifer Klostermann

CloudTweaks Comics
Explosive Growth Of Data-Driven Marketing

Explosive Growth Of Data-Driven Marketing

Data-Driven Marketing There is an absolute endless amount of data that is being accumulated, dissected, analyzed with the important bits extracted and used for a number of purposes. With the amount of data in the world has already reached into multiple zettabytes annually. A Zettabyte is one million petabytes or one thousand exabytes. With data…

The Future Of Work: What Cloud Technology Has Allowed Us To Do Better

The Future Of Work: What Cloud Technology Has Allowed Us To Do Better

What Cloud Technology Has Allowed Us to Do Better The cloud has made our working lives easier, with everything from virtually unlimited email storage to access-from-anywhere enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. It’s no wonder the 2013 cloud computing research IDG survey revealed at least 84 percent of the companies surveyed run at least one cloud-based application.…

A New CCTV Nightmare: Botnets And DDoS attacks

A New CCTV Nightmare: Botnets And DDoS attacks

Botnets and DDoS Attacks There’s just so much that seems as though it could go wrong with closed-circuit television cameras, a.k.a. video surveillance. With an ever-increasing number of digital eyes on the average person at all times, people can hardly be blamed for feeling like they’re one misfortune away from joining the ranks of Don’t…

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…

Comparing Cloud Hosting Services

Comparing Cloud Hosting Services

Cloud Hosting Services Cloud hosting service providers are abundant and varied, with typical structures affording the reliability of virtual partitions, drawing resources externally; secure data centers; scalability and flexibility not limited by physical constraints; pay-per-use costing; and responsive load balancing for changing demands. While high end (and high price) services offer an extensive range of…

Cloud Infographic: The Future of File Storage

Cloud Infographic: The Future of File Storage

 The Future of File Storage A multi-billion dollar market Data storage has been readily increasing for decades. In 1989, an 8MB Macintosh Portable was top of the range; in 2006, the Dell Inspiron 6400 became available, boasting 160GB; and now, we have the ‘Next Generation’ MacBook Pro with 256GB of storage built in. But, of course,…

5 Predictions For Education Technology

5 Predictions For Education Technology

Education Technology Although technology has fast influenced most sectors of our world, education is an area that’s lagged behind. Many classrooms still employ the one-to-many lecturing model wherein the average student is catered for while a few are left behind, and others bored. Recently, there’s been a drive to uncover how to use technology successfully…

Cloud Infographic – The Future Of Big Data

Cloud Infographic – The Future Of Big Data

The Future Of Big Data Big Data is BIG business and will continue to be one of the more predominant areas of focus in the coming years from small startups to large scale corporations. We’ve already covered on CloudTweaks how Big Data can be utilized in a number of interesting ways from preventing world hunger to helping teams win…

The Internet of Things – Redefining The Digital World As We Know It

The Internet of Things – Redefining The Digital World As We Know It

Redefining The Digital World According to Internet World Stats (June 30th, 2015), no fewer than 3.2 billion people across the world now use the internet in one way or another. This means an incredible amount of data sharing through the utilization of API’s, Cloud platforms and inevitably the world of connected Things. The Internet of Things is a…

The Internet of Things Lifts Off To The Cloud

The Internet of Things Lifts Off To The Cloud

The Staggering Size And Potential Of The Internet of Things Here’s a quick statistic that will blow your mind and give you a glimpse into the future. When you break that down, it translates to 127 new devices online every second. In only a decade from now, every single vehicle on earth will be connected…

Adopting A Cohesive GRC Mindset For Cloud Security

Adopting A Cohesive GRC Mindset For Cloud Security

Cloud Security Mindset Businesses are becoming wise to the compelling benefits of cloud computing. When adopting cloud, they need a high level of confidence in how it will be risk-managed and controlled, to preserve the security of their information and integrity of their operations. Cloud implementation is sometimes built up over time in a business,…

Having Your Cybersecurity And Eating It Too

Having Your Cybersecurity And Eating It Too

The Catch 22 The very same year Marc Andreessen famously said that software was eating the world, the Chief Information Officer of the United States was announcing a major Cloud First goal. That was 2011. Five years later, as both the private and public sectors continue to adopt cloud-based software services, we’re interested in this…

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…

The Rise Of BI Data And How To Use It Effectively

The Rise Of BI Data And How To Use It Effectively

The Rise of BI Data Every few years, a new concept or technological development is introduced that drastically improves the business world as a whole. In 1983, the first commercially handheld mobile phone debuted and provided workers with an unprecedented amount of availability, leading to more productivity and profits. More recently, the Cloud has taken…

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…

Do Not Rely On Passwords To Protect Your Online Information

Do Not Rely On Passwords To Protect Your Online Information

Password Challenges  Simple passwords are no longer safe to use online. John Barco, vice president of Global Product Marketing at ForgeRock, explains why it’s time the industry embraced more advanced identity-centric solutions that improve the customer experience while also providing stronger security. Since the beginning of logins, consumers have used a simple username and password to…

Four Recurring Revenue Imperatives

Four Recurring Revenue Imperatives

Revenue Imperatives “Follow the money” is always a good piece of advice, but in today’s recurring revenue-driven market, “follow the customer” may be more powerful. Two recurring revenue imperatives highlight the importance of responding to, and cherishing customer interactions. Technology and competitive advantage influence the final two. If you’re part of the movement towards recurring…

Ending The Great Enterprise Disconnect

Ending The Great Enterprise Disconnect

Five Requirements for Supporting a Connected Workforce It used to be that enterprises dictated how workers spent their day: stuck in a cubicle, tied to an enterprise-mandated computer, an enterprise-mandated desk phone with mysterious buttons, and perhaps an enterprise-mandated mobile phone if they traveled. All that is history. Today, a modern workforce is dictating how…

Virtual Immersion And The Extension/Expansion Of Virtual Reality

Virtual Immersion And The Extension/Expansion Of Virtual Reality

Virtual Immersion And Virtual Reality This is a term I created (Virtual Immersion). Ah…the sweet smell of Virtual Immersion Success! Virtual Immersion© (VI) an extension/expansion of Virtual Reality to include the senses beyond visual and auditory. Years ago there was a television commercial for a bathing product called Calgon. The tagline of the commercial was Calgon…