How to Start with Conversational AI

How to Start with Conversational AI

Since a few years, chatbots are here, and they will not go away any time soon. Facebook popularised the chatbot with Facebook Messenger Bots, but the first chatbot was already developed in the 1960s. MIT professor Joseph Weizenbaum developed a chatbot called ELIZA. The chatbot was developed to demonstrate the superficiality of communication between humans and machines, and it used very simple natural language processing. Of course, since then we have progressed a lot and, nowadays, it is possible to have lengthy conversations with a chatbot. For an overview of the history of chatbots, you can read this article.

Chatbots are a very tangible example where humans and machines work together to achieve a goal. A chatbot is a communication interface that helps individuals and organisations have conversations, and many organisations have developed a chatbot. There are multiple reasons for organisations to develop a chatbot, including obtaining experience with AI, engaging with customers and improving marketing, reducing the number of employees required for customer support, disseminating information and content in a way that users are comfortable with and, of course, increasing sales.

Chatbots offer a lot of opportunities for organisations, and they can be fun to interact with if developed correctly. But ...


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Tokenomics: Why and How Tokens Fuel the Decentralised Economy

Tokenomics: Why and How Tokens Fuel the Decentralised Economy

The decentralised economy is booming, despite heavy losses on the crypto market in the past months. In the first quarter of 2018, venture fundraising in blockchain startups has been more than 40% of the total VC funding in 2017, promising a good year for crypto startups concerning VC investments. On the other hand, nearly 50% of the companies that did an ICO in 2017, have already failed, despite having raised over $104 million.

Despite the differences in industry, location, product and service on offer, they all have one thing in common: they use some sort of token as the key enabler to the platform. Startups have multiple options when selecting the type of crypto token and the token economics they opt for influences the likelihood of success for the crypto startup. Therefore, let’s dive into token economics to understand how this new component of the economy works.

Four Types of Tokens

Tokens are the fuel of the decentralised economy and a token has been described as:

“A unit of value that an organisation creates to self-govern its business model, and empower its users to interact with its products while facilitating the distribution and sharing of rewards and benefits to all of its stakeholders.� – ...


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3 Ways How Blockchain Could Disrupt the Telecom Industry

3 Ways How Blockchain Could Disrupt the Telecom Industry

The Telecom industry is known for reinventing itself. In the early days of telecom, fixed landlines were the key product of Telco's, while with the advent of the mobile phone this moved to mobile subscriptions and the massive cash cow SMS. However, in recent years, for many Telecom organisations the main revenue is no longer call but data, which required another change in their business model. With every organisation turning into a data organisation, there are significant opportunities for the Telecom industry to reinvent itself once again, thanks to Blockchain.

 

Since telephony is so pervasive, the telecom industry is huge and often complex, with over 2000 mobile network operators. Many different players and billions of consumers and devices that interchangeably use a variety of networks. In addition, the Internet of Things will add tens of billions of devices to the global telecom networks, providing a huge opportunity for the Telecom industry. All these connections and billions of transactions have to be managed, and Blockchain is. Blockchain’s core attributes to make data immutable, verifiable and traceable enables the Telecom industry to create an ecosystem where consumers are in full control, and there is trust, security and transparency in the participating ecosystem. The ...


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Data Security: The Importance of End-to-End Quantum-Resistant Encryption

Data Security: The Importance of End-to-End Quantum-Resistant Encryption

In a world that increasingly revolves around data, security is key. Unfortunately, too often organisations do not take security seriously. Big tech giants like Facebook allow firms such as Cambridge Analytica to syphon away 50 million user profiles, while the average Internet of Things device is so easy to hack that a kid can do it, even if it is meant to be a highly-secure crypto wallet. In the years to come, data will only increase in importance and as such in value. With that will come increased attention by hackers to steal data or hack your products, services or servers. More than ever, data security is vital if we wish to benefit from it.

Data security comes in many flavours, which roughly speaking can be divided into three different streams:


Processes and organisational solutions;
Technical and hardware solutions;
Data and software solutions.


Let’s briefly discuss the first two, which should be obvious for all of us by now and take deep dive in the third stream:

Processes and organisational solutions

Security processes and organisational solutions are very straightforward, or at least should be. By now, every organisation should enforce a hard-to-guess password, preventing users and employees from using passwords such as 123456 or qwertyui, which, unfortunately, ...


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Why the Current Cambridge Analytica / Facebook Scandal Requires us to Rethink Social Media

Why the Current Cambridge Analytica / Facebook Scandal Requires us to Rethink Social Media

It is an outrageous scandal that we should not accept. Even if your Facebook profile has not been obtained by Cambridge Analytica, we should not accept such a massive breach of privacy, and those responsible should be held accountable. Those valuing their privacy should think carefully about their usage of Facebook.

For those unaware of Cambridge Analytica, it is a data mining and data analysis company that has played a pivotal role in the US Presidential Election of 2016, the Brexit vote and many other political races. Behind the company are key figures of President Trump, including Steve Bannon, Trump’s former strategic advisor, and Robert Mercer, founder of the Government Accountability Institute that uses the dark web and bots to denigrate political opponents. 

In 2014, the company used personal information obtained without the authorisation of the users to develop a highly effective system to target individual US voters. Under the pretence of academic research, they harvested 50 million profiles without those users approving of being harvested and then used that data to influence the US election. It is a privacy breach at an unprecedented scale, and it shows that Facebook’s attempts to protect their users are not working.

The previous fake news scandal ...


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How to Develop a Blockchain Strategy: A Blockchain Roadmap for Your Business

How to Develop a Blockchain Strategy: A Blockchain Roadmap for Your Business

Knowing what blockchain is and how it can contribute to solving some of the world’s biggest challenges is one thing; knowing how to develop a blockchain strategy is another thing altogether. Meanwhile, understanding how to implement a blockchain strategy within your business is even more difficult.

Blockchain, particularly when used in concert with emerging technologies such as Big Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence or the Internet of Things, offers organisations an opportunity to re-think their internal processes, remove inefficiencies and build a better organisation. However, within large process-oriented organisations, transforming a centralised business to a decentralised organisation, where cryptography is used to create trust, where smart contracts automate decision-making, and where governance is embedded in the code, can be a daunting task. While in fact, the steps that are required to transform your business into a decentralised organisation are clear and straightforward.

Step 1: Understanding Blockchain

At its core, Blockchain is nothing more than a database technology, but the implications of the technology are far-reaching. Therefore, if you wish to start with Blockchain within your organisation, it is crucial that there is a shared understanding of what Blockchain is and what it can do for your organisation and industry. Blockchain can be applied to ...


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How to Develop a Blockchain Strategy: A Blockchain Roadmap for Your Business

How to Develop a Blockchain Strategy: A Blockchain Roadmap for Your Business

Knowing what blockchain is and how it can contribute to solving some of the world’s biggest challenges is one thing; knowing how to develop a blockchain strategy is another thing altogether. Meanwhile, understanding how to implement a blockchain strategy within your business is even more difficult.

Blockchain, particularly when used in concert with emerging technologies such as Big Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence or the Internet of Things, offers organisations an opportunity to re-think their internal processes, remove inefficiencies and build a better organisation. However, within large process-oriented organisations, transforming a centralised business to a decentralised organisation, where cryptography is used to create trust, where smart contracts automate decision-making, and where governance is embedded in the code, can be a daunting task. While in fact, the steps that are required to transform your business into a decentralised organisation are clear and straightforward.

Step 1: Understanding Blockchain

At its core, Blockchain is nothing more than a database technology, but the implications of the technology are far-reaching. Therefore, if you wish to start with Blockchain within your organisation, it is crucial that there is a shared understanding of what Blockchain is and what it can do for your organisation and industry. Blockchain can be applied to ...


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How Blockchain Can Improve the Democratic Process and Enable a Liquid Democracy

How Blockchain Can Improve the Democratic Process and Enable a Liquid Democracy

With the authoritarian model gaining strength in the world and President Xi Jinping of China consolidating his power and changing the rules to effectively become “emperor for life, democracy is having a tough time at the moment. Even President Trump praised Xi’s move and joked about doing the same thing in the US.

The Democracy Index, developed by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), measures the state of democracy in 167 countries. The 2017 edition of the Democracy Index, showed that 19 countries are a full democracy, 57 countries are a flawed democracy, 39 countries are a hybrid regime and 52 countries have an authoritarian regime. The index measures components such as the electoral process, the functioning of the government, the level of political participation, the political culture and civil liberties. With only 11% of the countries being a full democracy and 23% being a flawed democracy, there is still a long road to go.

Despite the long road ahead of us, democracies have been performing better in terms of consistency of growth as well as social welfare dimensions such as life expectancy or child mortality. That does not mean that the current form of democracy is the best form. As Winston Churchill ...


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AI is Like Lego, That’s Why You Should Hire a Chief AI Now

AI is Like Lego, That’s Why You Should Hire a Chief AI Now

Artificial Intelligence is like Lego; to build something nice, you need to combine the right pieces in the right way.

Most of us have played with Lego when we were small. I did at least and I absolutely loved it. I can remember the days when my friends and I were playing with Lego for hours on end, constantly creating new structures and building complete cities. We loved it and I am sure it stimulated my creativity. Even adults still play with Lego, often in group exercises to get some creativity flowing. Lego is a wonderful product and I thank Ole Kirk Christiansen for inventing it.

Lego actually comes in thousands of different shapes and 100 different colours and with that, the most amazing structures can be built. Each Lego piece can only be used in a small number of ways (depending on the size of the Lego block). Each piece is compatible with every other piece ever created and every Lego piece created is manufactured to an exact degree of precision, with a fault tolerance of only 10 micrometres. With the right pieces and enough creativity, you can build almost anything you wish.

Artificial intelligence is no different to Lego; you want ...


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Crypto Regulations: How ICO Regulations Differ Across the Globe

Crypto Regulations: How ICO Regulations Differ Across the Globe

For those of you who have been reading my recent articles, I have been focussing my attention on the necessity of regulations in the crypto world. The number of scams among ICOs seems to be growing and on a daily basis, I receive invitations to join another ICO as an ‘advisor'. I do not have to do anything, just give my name, and reputation, to this ‘startup' and they will list me as an advisor on their website. Most of the time, they do not have any code, no community, barely a team, a badly-written white paper, hardly any information on their token and why they need a token and if I ask them several critical questions, I never hear back from them.

Still, many of these scams manage to raise millions, simply because the ‘investors’ in these ICOs do not care about the product, but simply want to make a quick buck. As may be clear, I do not believe in such ICOs and I certainly do not lend my name to these startups. Neither should anyone else, as it gives them a podium to raise money from poorly-informed ‘investors’.

Fortunately, there is some light at the end of the tunnel ...


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Why AI-Powered Fake News is Very Dangerous

Why AI-Powered Fake News is Very Dangerous

We live in unprecedented times, where, unfortunately, increasingly things are not what they seem to be or what they should be. We only have been in this situation for less than 18 months, but it is rapidly affecting our lives on a daily basis. I am talking about fake news and how it has become one of the greatest threats to democracy, free debate and capitalism. Unfortunately, for many, fake news is not a problem at all. It is even Trump's favourite topic. But above all, there is disagreement about what constitutes as fake news, how big the problem is and what to do about it. And that is a very dangerous situation to be in.

The reason for this week’s article, was an article I read on Monday about how Aviv Ovadya, Chief Technologist at the Center for Social Media Responsibility, fears the fake news crisis and how he is now worried about an information apocalypse. Unfortunately, the fake news crisis is a lot bigger than Russian propaganda during the US Elections, which in itself is already a massive problem. Fake news is spreading to other domains and stopping it is becoming increasingly difficult.

Disturbing Examples of Fake News

Since the inception ...


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Why the Current Crash in the Crypto Market is Good for Cryptocurrencies

Why the Current Crash in the Crypto Market is Good for Cryptocurrencies

On October 8, 2017, the total market cap of the cryptocurrency market was $148 billion. Three months later, on January 8, 2018, the market cap reached its highest point of $ 813 billion. A staggering increase of 449% in just three months. However, one month later, as of February 6, 2018, the market cap dropped to $308 billion, a drop of 62% in just one month. It is clear that current cryptocurrency market is a bubble and we have only started to drop back to normal figures.

In a classic bull market, there are four phases: stealth phase, awareness phase, mania phase and blow off phase. In the first years of cryptocurrencies, it clearly was a stealth phase. Let’s say from the beginning in 2009 until the start of 2017, when the total market cap of cryptocurrencies increased from $ 0 to $ 18 billion.

Then the awareness phase started, with increasingly cryptocurrencies getting more attention in the media. This awareness phase typically ends with the first bear trap and this bear trap started end of August when the market cap dropped from $148 billion to $ 124 billion in less than three weeks.

The third phase is the mania phase, where FOMO ...


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What Telegram’s Upcoming ICO Could Mean for the Crypto World

What Telegram’s Upcoming ICO Could Mean for the Crypto World

A few weeks ago, the Telegram white paper leaked. The white paper discusses Telegram’s plans to build a decentralised ecosystem, launch a variety of Blockchain services and, of course, the Telegram Open Network (TON) comes with their own cryptocurrency called Gram. There are various rumours that Telegram is looking to raise at least $500 million in a pre-ICO sale and another $500 million in the actual ICO. As such, it could become the largest crypto raise to date and have a significant impact. However, it all depends on how Telegram will approach their ICO.

After all, the current trend within the crypto market is to run an ICO with simply a white paper and raise millions to build the vision presented in that whitepaper. More of than not, these ICOs are a scam as we saw last week when Ethereum startup Prodeum disappeared after having raised $11 million. Apart from scamming investors, they also performed identity theft, as the ‘founders’ of Prodeum claim they were not aware that their names had been used in the scam. Such scams are a threat to the crypto community and it is time for regulators to start regulating ICOs just as we have regulated IPOs, ...


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How Blockchain Could Create a Decentralised Reputation-Based Society

How Blockchain Could Create a Decentralised Reputation-Based Society

In the past, when you required some work done, you would ask a local craftsman to do so. You were confident that you could trust the craftsman as it was a small village and any betrayal by him or her would result in loss of business. On the other hand, the craftsman knew he/she could trust you as when you would betray the craftsman it would mean that no one in the village wanted to work for you again. It was a system that worked very well. Unfortunately, with the internet turning the world into a small global village, that system pretty much disappeared. As a result, it has become increasingly difficult to trust someone you don’t know.

What is reputation?

To understand the challenges we face with reputation, it is important to understand what reputation is and how it is created. Reputation, or image, is a certain opinion about that person, company or device. A reputation is created over time, based on a set of criteria. It is a mechanism of control within societies and increasingly also among connected devices. It is important to know that reputation exists on multiple levels, ranging from an individual, organisation, communities to countries and cultures. ...


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Why Banning Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies is Not the Solution

Why Banning Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies is Not the Solution

Many government bodies, regulators, investors and banks see Bitcoin, or even the whole cryptocurrency market, as a speculative bubble. Some say it is a fraud, while others speculate that it will continue to rise in 2018. Earlier, I wrote an article why I believe that Bitcoin will fail. Not because it is a fraud, but because it is flawed. Despite my belief that Bitcoin will eventually fail, blockchain and some, not all, cryptocurrencies will likely reach mass adoption and bring significant change to how we run organisations and societies. Since the innovation of blockchain and cryptocurrencies is too important, I do not believe that considering banning cryptocurrencies is a solution as is now being considered by multiple countries.

Cryptocurrencies are a completely new way of doing business, raising money, transferring money, making transactions etc. Bitcoin is only nine years old, and as such, we are still learning how the underlying technology, blockchain, works; how we should deal with it; how we can implement it within our products and services, etc., resulting in a plethora of new cryptocurrencies.

Cryptocurrencies and opportunism

Of course, with such a new technology, there is a lot of opportunism, which is what you see happening now. This is nothing ...


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Why the Organisation of the Tomorrow is a Data Organisation

Why the Organisation of the Tomorrow is a Data Organisation

The fast-changing, uncertain and ambiguous environments that organisations operate in today, requires organisations to re-think all their internal business processes and customer touch points. In addition, due to the availability of emerging (information) technologies such as big data, blockchain and artificial intelligence, it has become easier for startups to compete with existing organisations. Often these startups are more flexible and agile than Fortune 1000 companies and they can become a significant threat if not paid attention to. Therefore, focusing purely on the day-to-day operation is simply not and organisations have to become innovative and adaptive to change if they wish to remain competitive.

The Paradigm Shift

The key characteristic of these new startups is that they are, at its core, a data company, regardless of the product or service they offer. Companies such as Google, Facebook, WeChat or Amazon have long understood the importance of data, but, unfortunately, many large organisations still struggle with this paradigm shift. I often tell organisations that viewing the company as a data company will completely change all processes and customer touchpoints. This is a difficult change but required if they want to be able to compete with startups who have been doing this from the beginning.

Therefore, ...


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How Big Data Enables Open Strategizing

How Big Data Enables Open Strategizing

Open strategy is the decentralisation of strategy formulation across, previously excluded, internal and external stakeholders. Traditionally, companies focused on control and ownership of an organisation’s assets to ensure competitive advantage. However, this focus on control of resources is no longer the key to success. In today’s data-driven societies, knowledge, i.e. data, is widespread and easily accessible and organisations are increasingly turning into data companies. Access to this knowledge can fuel innovation, especially when it is used to embrace external ideas and data and when these insights are combined with internal R&D. This enables organisations to find new opportunities, develop a new business model and remain competitive in this digital age. 

The process of open strategizing is possible thanks to the plummeting costs of communication and the availability of new technologies such as big data, blockchain and artificial intelligence.  These technologies allow organisations to understand better and apply the intelligence of the crowd, resulting in better solutions, improved innovations and more-informed decision-making. Open strategizing is increasingly being adopted by organisations.

IBM’s Innovation Jam

Open strategy has been around for almost 20 years since it was first used by IBM in their Innovation Jam. It can be seen as an extension of open innovation, which ...


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A Global Perspective: The Future of Artificial Intelligence

A Global Perspective: The Future of Artificial Intelligence

The world is being transformed through rapid breakthroughs in data and AI. Every day, we hear about more innovations -- from small startups to global economies. Nearly every job currently occupied by human labour--from farmers, offshore customer service representatives and even taxi drivers--could be given to a robot within the next few decades.

As 2017 draws to a close, let's take a look at how AI is being developed around the globe and what artificial intelligence has in store for us in the coming year.

USA: Utilizing AI for AgTech

Accenture predicts that by 2035, AI may boost U.S. labour productivity by 35 percent. This means an increase in profitability rates by an average of 38 percent across 16 industries.

In North America, tech institutes are developing technology to transform agriculture. Farming may be one of the oldest forms of livelihood known to man, but here you see farmers utilising modern technology to feed the planet.

For example, Abundant Robotics uses AI to harvest firm fruits autonomously. With Robotic Solutions, they automate equipment for use. Literally, crop-harvesting robots.

AgVoice is a startup in Georgia that has found a way to create a natural language processing tool-kit for crop scouts and agronomists. AgVoice's system detects soy fungal ...


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How Blockchain Will Disrupt the Content Industry

How Blockchain Will Disrupt the Content Industry

From its humble beginnings with bitcoin, blockchain has morphed into a technology that has the potential to affect nearly every industry from banking to online publishing. At dscvr.it, we also see the enormous potential of blockchain, which is why we are developing a decentralised collaboration platform that will offer solutions to fake news, clickbait and plagiarism. There are several ways blockchain can solve problems such as plagiarism and spam, let’s see how blockchain will dramatically improve content as we know it since the ripple effects of blockchain are just beginning to be felt.

Problems with Existing Content

Ever since the first online article or video was published, there have been a plethora of problems that content creators face, no matter how secure or professional the sites may be. Almost any content creator has experienced their content being copied or ripped by others, without their consent. Also, since the start of Trump’s Presidency, fake news is, unfortunately, the new normal. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, even medical journals are now experiencing problems with fake news. The open-access system of allowing the internet to distribute high-quality research to a wider audience has allowed unreliable content into the mix.

Spam also remains a problem, since people keep ...


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How Artificial Intelligence Will Change Corporate Governance

How Artificial Intelligence Will Change Corporate Governance

Growing investments in Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology have transformed many areas in the business world, especially among high-tech and financial organisations. External spending on AI-related projects went up to $12 billion in 2016.

Companies looking into AI may focus on the potential for automating low-skill tasks, but they are overlooking a major opportunity. Artificial Intelligence can also play a significant role in corporate governance. AI can help streamline decision-making processes, transform big decisions from gut feelings to data-driven knowledge, and better predict the future outcome of such decisions. As such, AI can improve an organisation’s leadership.

Streamlining Corporate Governance

One of the most daunting tasks of any board member is determining which executives to trust. Who has the data to back up their claims, and who is simply giving the board the runaround?

Companies like Salesforce have already started implementing AI tech into their boardroom to help settle disputes. CEO Marc Benioff has "hired" an AI "assistant" called Einstein.

According to "Business Insider," Einstein accompanies Benioff to all of his meetings. After everyone has spoken, Benioff can turn to Einstein and ask the AI what executives "need attention" and which ones are giving him inaccurate information.

The data gained from AI technology works well as a ...


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The Top 7 Technology Trends for 2018

The Top 7 Technology Trends for 2018

It is that time of the year again and 2017 is over before we knew it. The Year of Intelligence brought us a lot of progress and change; from over-hyped ICO’s to algorithms that created secret languages. As every year since 2012, I provide you with seven of the most important technology trends for 2018 to help you, and your business, prepare for the next year.

One thing that we can state is that we are on our way to enter the 4th Industrial Revolution. Many of the technologies that have been promised for decades are constantly improving and are now reaching a point of maturity. Once that happens, it will radically change our societies, how we work and how we live. However, we are not there yet.

Although technological developments are accelerating, they have not yet reached the state of full maturity and adoption to cause a paradigm shift in our societies. Nevertheless, it is safe to say we have left behind the Information Revolution of the 1970s, which we have known for so long. Today, information technology is capable of so many great things. However, we are not yet ready to fully enter the 4th Industrial Revolution. That is why ...


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How Zero Knowledge Proof Will Enable Trustless Transactions and Increase our Privacy

How Zero Knowledge Proof Will Enable Trustless Transactions and Increase our Privacy

While the challenges facing the future viability of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies remain unresolved, the underpinning technology that supports Bitcoin, Blockchain, has the potential to revolutionise the way we leverage trust- and even the way we think about trust.

Trust is a fundamental good that, while largely intangible, is key to the functioning of practically every meaningful interaction in society. We tend to think of trust concerning business, banking, relationships and finance since the necessity of trust in these areas is clear and undeniable. In fact, without trust, no transaction can go forward - indeed, the very idea of even the simplest negotiations becomes implausible without it. Without trust, the law becomes tyranny and business become piracy.

At present, trust has been made diffuse across systems. We have our system of credit, various checks and balances, laws, and regulations, as well as whatever security measures we have in place. We extend credit to people and organisations in whom we have trust. To establish this trust, we rely on reputation, proven track records of trustworthiness, and other vague notions. This allows us to do business with people whom we may not necessarily trust - in the strictest sense of the word. But there ...


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Why We Should Use Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence to Enable the Imagination Age

Why We Should Use Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence to Enable the Imagination Age

When the web was developed over 25 years ago, the technologies in place significantly lowered the cost of building a global company. Thanks to the internet, it has become possible to reach a large part of the global population simply from behind your computer. Those companies who first understood the power of the web, and managed to execute their vision correctly, are now the leading global monopolies we are so familiar with: we use Google for finding information, Facebook or WeChat for social activities, Amazon to shop and Apple for our hardware, etc.

For years, these companies have understood that data is a goldmine. Since their beginning, these companies have rigorously been collecting and storing data, resulting in them not only becoming powerful monopolies but also contributing to a centralisation of the world wide web. This centralisation is in stark contrast to Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s vision of a decentralised web in which everybody participates and has full control over their data and the content that they create.

Content Controlled by Tech Giants

As a result, these companies have become exceptionally influential. They have access to large amounts of data of their customers, which they use and misuse to track (potential) customers around the ...


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Why We Should Use Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence to Enable the Imagination Age

Why We Should Use Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence to Enable the Imagination Age

When the web was developed over 25 years ago, the technologies in place significantly lowered the cost of building a global company. Thanks to the internet, it has become possible to reach a large part of the global population simply from behind your computer. Those companies who first understood the power of the web, and managed to execute their vision correctly, are now the leading global monopolies we are so familiar with: we use Google for finding information, Facebook or WeChat for social activities, Amazon to shop and Apple for our hardware, etc.

For years, these companies have understood that data is a goldmine. Since their beginning, these companies have rigorously been collecting and storing data, resulting in them not only becoming powerful monopolies but also contributing to a centralisation of the world wide web. This centralisation is in stark contrast to Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s vision of a decentralised web in which everybody participates and has full control over their data and the content that they create.

Content Controlled by Tech Giants

As a result, these companies have become exceptionally influential. They have access to large amounts of data of their customers, which they use and misuse to track (potential) customers around the ...


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Beyond Bitcoin: Seven of the Top Trending Cryptocurrencies

Beyond Bitcoin: Seven of the Top Trending Cryptocurrencies

When most people think of a cryptocurrency, the first thing to come to mind is probably Bitcoin. But Bitcoin is just one of many. At the moment, there are over 1275 cryptocurrencies, with a total market cap of over $200 billion, each of which offers different values and benefits.

Unlike traditional currencies like dollars and euros, which have a fixed value regardless of how and where you use them, different types of cryptocurrencies and tokens perform differently and are designed to solve various issues and problems in the digital world. A dollar or euro has the same value whether you use it to buy a shirt at Target or a book on Amazon, but the different cryptocurrencies are designed to offer users specific features, like the ability to purchase goods and services anonymously, or to facilitate a particular action, like raising money online.

The current cryptocurrency marketplace has been likened to a "Wild West", with massive daily fluctuations. It is still in the infancy stage and is likely to continue to grow apace with technological developments and consumer appetite for more decentralised and democratic systems.

Five Cryptocurrency Trends

The cryptocurrency market is developing at a rapid pace and trends come and go. Nevertheless, there ...


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Are You Ready to Have a Robot as Your Boss?

Are You Ready to Have a Robot as Your Boss?

Artificial intelligence (AI) and robots have slowly but steadily made their way into a variety of industries spanning fast food to the financial sectors. This expansion is projected to continue and is forecasted to replace a considerable amount of jobs. A Forrester report notes that AI can replace as many as six percent of jobs by 2021. A PwC reports notes that many jobs across the globe will be affected by the 2030s, including 38 percent of U.S. jobs; 35 percent of jobs in Germany; 30 percent of U.K. jobs, and 21 percent of occupations in Japan.

There is no doubt that AI and robots can replace frontline workers who complete routine tasks. But what does this mean for managers, supervisors and even executives? Are today's workers ready to have robots be their future bosses? Here are some factors to explore.

The Robots Are Coming

There are several reports about the positive and adverse implications of Artificial Intelligence. AI and robots are expected to increase production and efficiency in the workplace and increase salaries. They are even expected to increase jobs in sectors that are difficult to automate, such as health care, social work, and education. However, the influx of a robot workforce ...


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Why Artificial Intelligence Will Be Fundamentally Different from Human Intelligence

Why Artificial Intelligence Will Be Fundamentally Different from Human Intelligence

Last week, Dubai announced a minister of Artificial Intelligence. The 27-year-old Omar Bin Sultan Al Olama is the UAE’s first State Minister of AI. A remarkable move by UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who said: “we want the UAE to become the world’s most prepared country for artificial intelligence�. The role focuses on future skills, future sciences and future technology and offers Dubai a chance to be ready for an AI-driven future. The move by Dubai is a great showcase of vision and dare to take risk, since artificial intelligence will increasingly define our future.

In fact, I would recommend any country that takes digitalisation serious to follow Dubai’s example and appoint a minister of Artificial Intelligence. Even more, I believe that every organisation should employ a Chief AI within their organisation to understand how AI will impact the business and how it will affect organisations and societies. Why? Simply because Artificial Intelligence will be fundamentally different from human intelligence and understanding this can bring you a competitive advantage and can help us mitigate risks.

Why AI Will Be Different

Intelligence is “the complex expression of a complex set of principles�, consisting of various interdependent subsystems all ...


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How Augmented Reality Will Affect Marketing Campaigns

How Augmented Reality Will Affect Marketing Campaigns

Often, I write about emerging technologies such as big data, blockchain, IoT and AI. However, other technologies are also increasingly affecting organizations, one of them being Augmented Reality (AR). Thanks to technological advancements, Augmented reality is rapidly growing and is projected to drive billion-dollar annual revenues within the next decade. A Markets and Markets report estimates that AR will grow to be a $117.4 billion market by 2022. Moreover, A Citi GPS report projects AR's billion-dollar annual revenues will further increase to $692 billion by 2025. AR will be booming and offers great opportunities for organizations to expand and enhance marketing activities. Take a look at augmented reality's impact on marketing:

AR Marketing Will Change the Marketer's Role and Marketing

Augmented reality will have significant implications for marketers. To leverage AR's opportunities for marketing campaigns, it is key to understand AR's differences and similarities in comparison to other digital engagement platforms. AR is easy to adopt for many users because virtual aspects are superimposed over familiar environments. For instance, one study found that consumers enjoyed the playful experience of an AR mirror-app, compared to physical testers. The app helped them to virtually 'try on' eyeshadow and lipstick so they could easily visualize ...


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How AI Will Affect the Travel Industry

How AI Will Affect the Travel Industry

Since I have a passion for travelling as well as the hospitality industry (having a bachelor in hospitality management), and I believe in the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI), for this week’s article I decided to look into what happens when you combine the two. As it seems, Artificial Intelligence is set to be a game-changer for the travel industry.  It is helping consumers and companies simplify making travel arrangements and streamlining business processes. AI is also modernising travel by taking it from a complicated, drawn-out experience to one that is more enhanced and customer-focused by improving the overall efficiency for hotels, airlines, and other travel providers. AI's impact on the travel industry is powerful and massive and it has the potential to transform business completely. Here's how AI will revolutionise the travel industry:

Enhanced Booking and Ticketing via Dynamic Pricing

Tracking price fluctuations for travel and lodging accommodations can be difficult for travellers who are looking for the best time to book a hotel, flights or vacation packages. However, travel providers can help enhance the customer experience using dynamic pricing tools that leverage predictive, or even prescriptive, analytics such as the Hopper's travel deal tracking app. These tools help consumers track ...


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How Blockchain Will Bring Back Data Ownership to Consumers

How Blockchain Will Bring Back Data Ownership to Consumers

Blockchain is set to change data ownership. It will help restore data control to the user by empowering them to determine who has access to their information online. It is a paradigm shift in how we deal with data and it will offer consumers the much-needed control over their own data.

Blockchain Will Drive the Need for Change

Change is required for various reasons, including security and privacy concerns. A 2016 Pew Research study revealed that 74 percent of its participants ranked control over who can access information online as a primary concern. The study also revealed that transparency of data collection is a concern. Often, consumers do not even realize that they provide companies with the permission to use their data based on the use of their applications. Websites and applications served as some of the first collectors of personal data. Now data can be collected in many ways, including via smart devices and vehicles.

The issue of privacy, security, and transparency can grow when third-party vendors who create accessories or supplemental services have access to consumer information. Moreover, the amount of data produced every day is increasing exponentially. Every person is expected to produce 1.7 megabytes of new data per second ...


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Why Prescriptive Analytics Is the Future of Big Data

Why Prescriptive Analytics Is the Future of Big Data

Big Data has ushered in an era of data analytics that is taking different forms, including prescriptive analytics. This type of business analytics helps you find the best approach for a specific circumstance. It is also considered the third or final part of business analytics, which also encompasses descriptive analytics and predictive analytics. Prescriptive analytics leverages predictive analytics and descriptive analytics to derive ideal outcomes or solutions from helping you solve business problems, and it is driving the future of Big Data. Here's how:

Differences Between Prescriptive Analytics and Predictive Analytics

Raw data is plentiful in today's digital age. Approximately 90 percent of today's online data represents a compilation of data that was generated in only a few years, and it is projected to grow rapidly. Consumers send billions of messages via instant messaging apps and social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, and generate upwards of six billion on Google every day via their mobile devices and desktops. However, this raw data does not create value on its own. It must be processed in a way that delivers valuable insight to your enterprise for it to be resourceful. With raw data, you can identify patterns, build models based on these ...


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3 Ways Blockchain Will Transform the Internet of Things

3 Ways Blockchain Will Transform the Internet of Things

There is no denying the power of the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT devices are already in 60 percent of U.S. homes using a broadband connection, and an estimated 200 million vehicles will be connected to the internet by 2020, standing to transform entire industries for a good reason. By the end of 2017, approximately 8.4 billion devices are projected to be connected to the IoT -- that is more than the human population. It is only going to expand as time moves on, as more data is created by these smart devices and as technology continues to advance. These numbers are expected to increase exponentially to 24 billion IoT devices communicating by 2020 and as many as 75.44 billion IoT devices by 2025. However, this also brings about some concerns that you should be aware of, including security concerns, reliability and the validity of transactions.

However, blockchain technology stands to cause a huge impact on the Internet of Things. The combination of data that cannot be altered but can be traced and verified from connected devices will drive the birth of transactions among connected devices. With the power of blockchain technology, connected devices will be able to network to conduct ...


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Why Bitcoin Will Ultimately Fail and What Will Come Next

Why Bitcoin Will Ultimately Fail and What Will Come Next

We live in exciting times, where it has become possible to send money across the globe nearly instantaneously, where you can create value out of nothing and where we are working towards a future that is decentralised. The first application that kickstarted this revolution was Bitcoin when it was launched in 2009. Since then, the price of Bitcoin has increased dramatically, reaching $5000 for the first time in September 2017. The news of the Chinese government banning ICO’s resulted in a brief dip in the value of the coin, as well as almost all other cryptocurrencies, but after two days it recovered already. It seems that Bitcoin continues to rise in value, with multiple people predicting that Bitcoin will reach $10.000 by the end of 2017, $250.000 in ten years, $500.000 by 2030 or would even reach a value of $ 1 million in 5-10 years. Obviously, there is a hype going on if such enormous returns are predicted.

However, I believe that Bitcoin will not reach those valuations. In fact, I believe that Bitcoin will ultimately fail and be worth nothing or close to nothing. This will probably not happen in the short term. Most likely the value will keep ...


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How Conversational AI Will Change Customer Service

How Conversational AI Will Change Customer Service

By 2020, approximately 20.4 billion devices are estimated to be connected to the internet. These IoT devices are getting smarter, connecting to intelligent applications, such as Amazon's Alexa or Apple's Siri, and helping consumers make transactions and complete tasks. However, they are also sparking conversational AI, and it stands to change customer service. Explore conversational AI, its benefits and challenges, and how it will help change customer service:

What Is Conversational AI?

Conversational AI consists of an advanced technology that uses natural language processing (NLP) so that computers can comprehend human language. Conversational AI includes a variety of technologies, such as chatbots, advanced notifications and personal assistants.

Technical Challenges

Conversational AI is not without its challenges. Some of the technical challenges conversational AI faces include enhanced user interfaces. For example, product browsing lacks support due to the single-column layout of many chat messaging canvases. Also, there is a lack of organizing the various bots in a directory. Moreover, bots still require time to learn patterns of human behavior and speech, such as the correct use of pronouns, to provide a user experience that is natural and effortless.

Key Benefits

Organizations can use conversational AI in several ways, including via chatbots, and there are myriad of benefits ...


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Why Security Analytics is so Important for the Success of the Internet of Things

Why Security Analytics is so Important for the Success of the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things is expected to grow to 8.4 billion devices in 2017, with predictions of more than 20 billion devices by 2020. While this market is growing rapidly, it faces a major barrier on the way to its success.

Connected devices are vulnerable, as seen in the DDoS attack on October 21st, 2016, which took down the DNS provider Dyn. Large websites such as Etsy, Twitter, PayPal, Verizon, Comcast and Reddit were among the many that were virtually unusable during this attack. The hackers turned to unsecured IoT devices to create an extensive botnet so they could push enough traffic to take down Dyn.

While this was the largest attack caused by IoT security issues, it certainly isn't the first. The IoT market needs to find a way to properly secure these devices before more high-profile attacks completely negate the benefits of having this connected technology in your organization.

The Consequences of Unsecured Connected Devices

IoT devices add countless potential attack surfaces to an organization, whether you have an official policy or people are bringing in their own technology. They are trying to connect to your network and have the potential of giving attackers a direct entry point to your infrastructure.

While several ...


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Here’s Why Blockchain Matters for Your Online Reputation

Here’s Why Blockchain Matters for Your Online Reputation

Just as word-of-mouth can make or break your business, your online reputation can either help or hurt your business. In today's digital world, our "real" lives are increasingly becoming merged with our digital lives and it is transcending to the world of business and e-commerce. But how can you ensure what is being said about your company or one that you plan to do business with is true? The answer rests in the power of the blockchain. Blockchain technology stands to change online reputations in more ways than you think, and it is worthwhile incorporating online reputation management (ORM) with your blockchain strategy. Here is what you need to know:

What is Online Reputation?

The advent of the internet and social media have empowered anyone with access to any device that can type content to become critics. This criticism has emblazoned the online reputation--a conglomerate of opinions, beliefs, and experiences expressed typically online. It is not just limited to employees or celebrities. Companies have online reputations, too. It has become so important that it has created a niche in the form of online reputation management or ORM. ORM businesses drum up "dream teams" that include SEO experts, private investigators, attorneys, publicists and ...


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How Blockchain Could Improve Your Big Data

How Blockchain Could Improve Your Big Data

The rise of cloud storage has helped companies collect and manage massive amounts of data. Data comes from corporate systems, Internet of Things objects and unstructured sources like online forums. New analytics tools like Hadoop help companies make sense of that data.

Yet simply having data and analysis tools doesn't mean the results of an analysis are meaningful. Getting true insight from data depends on the data being correct. With the many sources that feed into data lakes and the many transformations big data goes through to be processed, there are many possible ways for errors to be accidentally or deliberately introduced. It's no surprise, then, that one survey found only a third of executives trust their analytics programs.

This lack of trust in the data not only limits its use within the enterprise that collected it but also limits the potential for companies to monetize their data by sharing it with others.

The solution to these problems may be found in an unexpected source: the blockchain technology that supports cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

Blockchain and Data Quality

As a technology, blockchain became famous along with Bitcoin, and most companies probably think its relevance, if any, is as another payments technology.

The right way to view blockchain, ...


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How AI Is Changing Retail Banking

How AI Is Changing Retail Banking

With technological advancement, artificial intelligence is set to touch and modify the financial sector, specifically retail banking in many different ways. It's still the beginning stages of AI adoption for most banks. A Narrative Science survey highlighted that 32 percent of financial executive participants utilize AI technology, such as voice recognition and predictive analytics. Moreover, an Accenture survey noted that 76 percent those surveyed believe most banks will use AI interfaces primarily for customer interaction by 2020. But AI is changing retail banking in more ways than one. Here's how:

Automated Services via RPA

IT costs are a pain point of retail banking, as they can account for as much as 10 to 15 percent of a bank's total annual expenditures. While some of these costs are attributable to improving security or enhancing services, maintaining legacy systems account for 70 percent of banks' IT expenses. However, AI offers an opportunity for reducing these costs via automated services. For example, robotics process automation (RPA) enables you to create a platform that is automated to support functions in various departments, such as front-line operational support for new account entry or back office support for writing off bad debt. An Accenture report notes that RPA ...


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Blockchain and Voting; How to Change the Democratic Process

Blockchain and Voting; How to Change the Democratic Process

Distributed ledger technologies such as Blockchain are a hot topic at the moment. Startups incorporating blockchain technology are raising hundreds of millions of dollars using a new form of crowdfunding called the Initial Coin Offering (ICO). Many of these startups offer new solutions for existing problems or are adapting existing services with Blockchain to differentiate themselves. It seems that almost any industry or service can and will be disrupted by Blockchain. One area that I would like to discuss in this article is the usage of Blockchain for the democratic process, because as it seems using blockchain in our democratic processes could significantly improve the democratic system.

Voting using blockchain could eliminate electoral fraud by making votes immutable, verifiable and traceable and it will make results available instantly, as soon as the election closes. As such, when votes are recorded on a blockchain, it will enable citizens to be 100% sure that their vote is submitted, that it is counted and that it has not been changed while ensuring complete privacy for the voter. One country that has been experimenting with blockchain-based voting is Estonia. Estonia is by far the most advanced country in terms of electronic voting. This is made ...


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How to Solve a Global Identity Crisis Using Blockchain and Propel identity into the 21st Century

How to Solve a Global Identity Crisis Using Blockchain and Propel identity into the 21st Century

Our identity system is hopelessly outdated. You might not be aware of it because you are using it on a daily basis and all seems to be fine. However, identity faces a major crisis and some big challenges need to be solved, which can only be done by bringing identity into the 21st century. However, what is identity? Only if we know what identity is, will we be able to change how we deal with identity.

Know thyself, it was already inscribed in the forecourt of the Greek Temple of Apollo at Delphi and since then philosophers, psychologists, scientists, poets, authors, artists and politicians have discussed and debated the topic. Plato referred to it as long-standing wisdom, which was given as advice by the Gods, and according to Socrates, “to know thyself is the beginning of wisdom�.  It seems such an easy question to answer Who am I and What is my identity? But it is a lot more difficult than one would expect. Is your identity what is stated on your government issued identity document such as a passport or driver’s license, that is if you have such a document? Is identity your name that your parents gave you or ...


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The Race is On: How Blockchain Will Change Governments

The Race is On: How Blockchain Will Change Governments

We are at a global crossing point and if we manage to solve some of the problems that we have created in the past decades, the world can become a better place. When the internet was developed 28 years ago, the objective was to create a decentralised internet. However, somehow, we ended up with an internet which is in the hands of a few very powerful companies. As a result, the internet can go down for millions of people if one of those companies has a problem. This was the case a few months ago, when AWS experienced ‘a glitch’, or better know a typo, which brought down the internet for millions of users.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee explained it eloquently during the Decentralised Web Summit in 2016:

“The web was designed to be decentralised so that everybody could participate by having their own domain and having their own webserver and this hasn’t worked out. Instead, we’ve got the situation where individual personal data has been locked up in these silos.� - Sir Tim Berners-Lee

Fortunately, a new technology has appeared that can solve the existing problems with the internet and bring it back to its origins; a decentralised web, where everyone can participate ...


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Collaboration in the Era of Big Data; How Empowerment Will Drive Change

Collaboration in the Era of Big Data; How Empowerment Will Drive Change

As discussed in the 7 Big Data Trends for 2017, organisations need to apply big data analytics to make sense of their organisation and their environment. The impact big data analytics will have on your organisation depends on which type of business analytics is applied within the business. There are four types of analytics, ranging from descriptive and diagnostic analytics to the more advanced predictive and prescriptive analytics. These are different stages of understanding your business and the more advanced the analytics is, the more complex it will be, but also the more value it can create for your organisation.

Organisations that apply business analytics tools will be better able to understand their organisation as well as their environment. It will improve the ability to make the right decisions at the right moment and as such seize the right opportunities to create competitive advantage. Descriptive and diagnostic analytics enable an organisation to use a variety of structured data sources to achieve insights in what has happened, it is commonly referred to as business intelligence. Predictive analytics uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to discover patterns and understand relationships in various unstructured and structured data sources to develop predictions for the future. Finally, ...


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What’s in a Name; 7 Blockchain Benefits for the Finance Industry

What’s in a Name; 7 Blockchain Benefits for the Finance Industry

A few days ago, The Merkle ran a story that R3CEV, the largest blockchain consortium of banks and technology firms, admitted that the technology they are developing does not use a blockchain and as such they admitted defeat. A day before that article, R3CEV released a story about when a blockchain is not a blockchain to explain that what the R3 partnership is developing is actually not a blockchain, but an open source distributed ledger technology (Corda). As R3CEV explains in their article, it is “heavily inspired by and captures the benefits of blockchain systems, but with design choices that make it able to meet the needs of regulated financial institutions”.

The distributed ledger platform that has been developed by R3CEV in collaboration with 70 global institutions from all corners of the financial services industry has a few unique settings that, according to R3CEV, makes it not a blockchain. These changes were required to satisfy regulatory, privacy and scalability concerns. As such, the platform restricts access to data within agreements to predetermined actors and the financial agreements used are smart contracts that are actually legally enforceable as they are rooted firmly in law.

Whether it is a blockchain or not, or simply ...


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Garbage In is Garbage Out; How Big Data Scientists Can Benefit from Human Judgment

Garbage In is Garbage Out; How Big Data Scientists Can Benefit from Human Judgment

This article is Sponsored by Search Strategy Solutions, experts in offering your data scientists high-quality, reliable human judgments and support.

The quality of your data determines the quality of your insights from that data. Of course, the quality of your data models and algorithms have an impact on your results as well, but in general it is garbage in, garbage out. Therefore, (Total) Data Quality Management (DQM) or Master Data Management (MDM) have been around for a very long time and it should be a vital aspect of your data governance policies.

Data governance can offer many benefits for organizations, including reduced head count, higher quality of data, better data analysis and time savings. As such, those companies that can maintain a balance of value creation and risk exposure in relation to data can create competitive advantage.

Human judgments and Data Quality

Garbage in, garbage out. Especially with the hype around artificial intelligence and machine learning, that has become more important than ever. Any organization that takes itself serious and employs data scientists to develop artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions should take the quality of data very serious. Data that is used to develop, test and train algorithms should be of high quality, ...


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Algorithms are Black Boxes, That is Why We Need Explainable AI

Algorithms are Black Boxes, That is Why We Need Explainable AI

Artificial Intelligence offers a lot of advantages for organisations by creating better and more efficient organisations, improving customer services with conversational AI and reducing a wide variety of risks in different industries. Although we are only at the beginning of the AI revolution that is upon us, we can already see that artificial intelligence will have a profound effect on our lives. As a result, AI governance is also becoming increasingly important, if we want to reap the benefits of artificial intelligence.

Data governance and ethics have always been important and a few years ago, I developed ethical guidelines for organisations to follow, if they want to get started with big data. Such ethical guidelines are becoming more important, especially now since algorithms are taking over more and more decisions. Automated decision-making is great until it has a negative outcome for you and you can’t change that decision or, at least, understand the rationale behind that decision. In addition, algorithms offer tremendous opportunities, but they have two major flaws:


Algorithms are extremely literal; they pursue their (ultimate) goal literally and do exactly what is told while ignoring any other, important, consideration;
Algorithms are black boxes; whatever happens inside an algorithm is only known ...


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The Future of Artificial Intelligence; Why We Need Explainable AI

The Future of Artificial Intelligence; Why We Need Explainable AI

Artificial Intelligence offers a lot of advantages for organisations by creating better and more efficient organisations, improving customer services with conversational AI and reducing a wide variety of risks in different industries. Although we are only at the beginning of the AI revolution that is upon us, we can already see that artificial intelligence will have a profound effect on our lives. As a result, AI governance is also becoming increasingly important, if we want to reap the benefits of artificial intelligence.

Data governance and ethics have always been important and a few years ago, I developed ethical guidelines for organisations to follow, if they want to get started with big data. Such ethical guidelines are becoming more important, especially now since algorithms are taking over more and more decisions. Automated decision-making is great until it has a negative outcome for you and you can’t change that decision or, at least, understand the rationale behind that decision. In addition, algorithms offer tremendous opportunities, but they have two major flaws:


Algorithms are extremely literal; they pursue their (ultimate) goal literally and do exactly what is told while ignoring any other, important, consideration;
Algorithms are black boxes; whatever happens inside an algorithm is only known ...


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How Blockchain Could Help End Poverty in All Its Forms

How Blockchain Could Help End Poverty in All Its Forms

Technological advancements have reduced global poverty significantly in the past 100 years. Although many people have been able to leave poverty due to this, however, still more than 1.3 billion people live in extreme poverty. Extreme poverty is defined as having less than $1.25 to spend every day. There are a wide variety of causes for poverty, which differ per country, but in general causes for poverty include: lack of education, environmental problems, lack of access to banking facilities, lack of legal ownership of property, lack of rule of law, overpopulation, epidemic diseases or changing trends in a country’s economy.

Overcoming poverty is vital if we want to create a world that is peaceful and fair for everyone. Besides, in 2015 the United Nations adopted the Sustainable Development Goals, which includes challenging global leaders to help end poverty in all its forms, everywhere, by 2030. In this article, I will argue why and how Blockchain could help achieving this goal. Breaking the cycle of poverty begins with investing in children and providing them with quality education, knowledge and skills to enable them to realise their full potential. Next to education comes access to affordable proper health care, access to clean water ...


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Top 10 Insights with Datafloq Articles in 2016

Top 10 Insights with Datafloq Articles in 2016

2016 has come to an end, so it is time to look back at all the great articles that were published on Datafloq. From artificial intelligence to blockchain and the Internet of Things, our most popular articles covered leading and emerging technology trends. Take a minute and read-up on the articles help you better understand these trends.

For 2017, we will continue to publish great articles to help you understand and get started with these technologies. At Datafloq we are looking to grow our network of expert contributors. If you have expertise in Big Data, AI, Robotics, IoT, VR, Cloud, or Technology in general and are interested in contributing please click here.

For now, enjoy reading these articles and we wish you a fantastic 2017 with new emerging technology and trends!

12 Algorithms Every Data Scientist Should Know

Algorithms have become part of our daily lives and can be found in any aspect of business. What are the 12 algorithms every data scientist should know?

The Top 7 Big Data Trends for 2017

Which Big Data trends will create the Year of Intelligence? Here are the top 7 Big Data trends for 2017 that will affect organisations and governments.

13 Predictions on Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence already had a ...


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How Blockchain Can Help Combat Climate Change

How Blockchain Can Help Combat Climate Change

Blockchain technology will enable us to decentralise the web and decentralise many, if not all, the services that are offered via the web. A decentralised internet was how the internet was originally envisioned, but somehow in the past 25 years, it ended up in the hands of a few very powerful companies. As Sir Tim Berners-Lee said during the Decentralised Web Summit in 2016:

“The web was designed to be decentralised so that everybody could participate by having their own domain and having their own webserver and this hasn’t worked out. Instead, we’ve got the situation where individual personal data has been locked up in these silos.”

Fortunately, Blockchain will allow us to bring back the power to the users and to create a decentralised society. Already, Blockchain challenges many industries, of which the financial industry will see the largest impact of Blockchain in the coming years. The question, however, is how Blockchain will have an impact on other global problems. In a new series of Blockchain posts, I will dive into different problems we face and see if and how the Blockchain could help solve these issues. I will discuss problems such as climate change, poverty, refugee crisis, voting fraud, censorship ...


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The Top 7 Big Data Trends for 2017

The Top 7 Big Data Trends for 2017

It is the end of the year again and a lot has happened in 2016. Google’s AlphGo algorithm beat Lee Se-dol in the game of Go, Blockchain really took off and governments around the globe are investing heavily in smart cities. As every year, I will provide you with the big data trends for the upcoming year, just as I did for 2014, 2015 and 2016. 2017 promises to be a big year for Big Data. The Big Data hype is finally over and, therefore, we can finally get started with Big Data. That is why I would like to call 2017 the Year of Intelligence. So, which big data trends will affect your organisation in 2017? Let’s have a look at the seven top big data trends for 2017.

1. Blockchain-enabled Smart Contracts: Blockchain 2.0



Zapp2Photo/Shutterstock

In 2016, Blockchain took off with a lot of media attention on the distributed technology that will drastically change organisations and societies. Many organisations are exploring Blockchain solutions. The R3 Partnership, which involves over 70 of the largest banks in the world, seeks to invest almost $60 million in the development of their blockchain platform. Although four prominent banks left the consortium, it shows that banks ...


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What is the Blockchain – part 5 – ICOs and DAOs

What is the Blockchain – part 5 – ICOs and DAOs

The Blockchain has the potential to completely change our societies. However, it is still a nascent technology, one which can be difficult to grasp. Therefore, I am writing a series of blog posts on what is the blockchain. This is part 5 and the final blog post of this series. The first blog post was a generic introduction to the blockchain. The second post provided insights into consensus mechanisms and different types of blockchain. The third post offered information on five challenges of the blockchain that need to be solved and the fourth post talked about smart contracts on the blockchain. In this final post, I will dive into two concepts that have enormous potential to radically change our world; ICOs and DAOs.

ICOs – Every Company Its Own Central Bank

Startups have always been looking for funds to invest in their venture to build the next Facebook or Google. However, money is expensive and any startup that raises money has to give a share of the company to the investors. The earlier an investor joins, the higher the risk, the more expensive it becomes. That has been the paradigm for the past decades. Not anymore. Since the rise of the Blockchain, ...


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How to Transform Your Business into an Analytics Company?

How to Transform Your Business into an Analytics Company?

This thought leadership article is brought to you by SayOne Technologies – providing tailored data analytics applications for customers around the world.

Many organizations are affected by the rapid changes in our society due to new technologies. The rate of change that organizations experience has increased to such an extent that half of S&P 500 companies are expected to be replaced by newcomers in the next 10 years. These newcomers use emerging technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, 3D printing or the Internet of Things. In addition, most of the new organizations take a different form than traditional organizations; many new organizations, or startups, are decentralized platform organizations that have been around for less than a decade but have experienced exponential growth.

Examples of these newcomers are Uber, which is the world’s largest taxi company that does not own any taxis; AirBnB, the world’s largest accommodation provider that does not own any hotels; WhatsApp, the world’s largest telecom company that does not own any telecom infrastructure or Alibaba, the second largest retailer that does not own any inventory. Each of these innovators disrupts an entire industry and they have two common denominators; they collect data in everything they do and they use ...


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What is the Blockchain – part 4 – Transactions and Smart Contracts

What is the Blockchain – part 4 – Transactions and Smart Contracts

Blockchain is rapidly gaining attention from organisations in every industry. However, it is a difficult to understand technology that, if not executed correctly could result in serious harm for your organisation. Therefore, in this series of posts on the blockchain, I explain what the Blockchain is and how it affects your organisation. The first part was a generic introduction on the Blockchain, while the second part focused on different types of blockchains and dApps. The third blog provided insights in several startups that are working hard on developing the required technology as well as several Blockchain challenges that need to be overcome before we will see wide-scale adoption of the Blockchain. In this fourth post, I will dive deeper in the different type of transactions that can be recorded on the blockchain as well as one particular type of transactions; smart contracts.

Different Transactions

A key characteristic of the blockchain is that it removes the need for trusted intermediaries; centralised organisations that take a fee for verifying transactions. Removing the middlemen, completely changes the game for organisations that want to do business with each other. Last week, for the first time, a transaction took place between two organisations across the globe which ...


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What is the Blockchain – part 3 – Blockchain Startups and Five Challenges to Overcome

What is the Blockchain – part 3 – Blockchain Startups and Five Challenges to Overcome

In this series of posts, I am providing insights in a technology that will change our world. Blockchain has been said to be as important invention as the Internet and Johann Palychata, a research analyst from BNP Baripas, called Blockchain an invention like the steam or combustion engine.

In part 1 of this series I gave an introduction to Blockchain and in part 2 I provided insights in different types of Blockchain and consensus algorithms. This third part will discuss some of the major challenges we will need to overcome to make Blockchain truly change our world for the better. But first, let’s look at some startups who are trying to change the world through Blockchain

Blockchain Startups

Ethereum

Ethereum has the ambition to reinvent the internet and they are well on track to achieve that. Ethereum has been around for a few years now and it is a decentralised platform to develop Decentralised Applications (DApps) that run through smart contracts. These smart contracts are small software programs that execute a task, a sort of If This Then That statement, but then a lot more complex. They run on a custom-built blockchain and as such, there is not a chance for fraud, censorship or ...


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What is the Blockchain – part 2 – and Why It Will Change Our World

What is the Blockchain – part 2 – and Why It Will Change Our World

For the tech-savvy people among us, the Blockchain might be nothing new and it may be clear that it will have a big impact on the world. However, for many people, the Blockchain is still a mystery, a puzzle or an unknown unknown. Therefore, in a series of posts, I share with you what the Blockchain is, how it works and how it will completely change the world as we know it, if we get it right.

In my first post about the Blockchain, I explained the basics of the Blockchain and in this post I will go a bit deeper and talk about the different types of Blockchains, some examples of dApps and talk about the most important part of the Blockchain; the consensus algorithms to validate the data.

Different Types of Blockchains

The most well-known Blockchain is the Bitcoin Blockchain. The Bitcoin Blockchain was envisioned by Satoshi Nakamato in 2008 and this is a so-called Permissionless Blockchain, or public Blockchain. This means that anyone interested to join the Blockchain, can do so by simply hooking-up his/her computer to the decentralised Blockchain network, download the Blockchain and contribute to the processing of transactions. It is not required to have a previous relationship with ...


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Kick-Starting the 4th Industrial Revolution, One Blockchain at a Time

Kick-Starting the 4th Industrial Revolution, One Blockchain at a Time

We live in a future of accelerated change and today’s world is changing faster than we have ever seen before. New technology is changing the way we live, work and collaborate. No longer is it sufficient to for organisations to sit back and stick to the status quo. Today’s new technologies require an active attitude by organizations, if they want to remain in business in the next decade.

I am talking about the 4th Industrial Revolution that is rapidly approaching and it will bring change at unlike we have ever seen before. In fact, it will change what it means to be humans. It also offers us a tremendous opportunity to create a world that is good for all, where technology is used for the good, privacy of consumers is respected and data is used to improve the lives of all humans. The 4th Industrial Revolution is all about Algorithms, Machine-Learning and Artificial Intelligence. It is about robotics, 3D printing and VR/AR, Nano technology, and many more emerging technologies. It is disruption on all levels, resulting in system-wide innovations that can change an industry in years instead of decades. The combination of such revolutionary emerging technologies will bring us realities that until recently would ...


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What is the Blockchain and Why is it So Important?

What is the Blockchain and Why is it So Important?

Blockchain is growing in importance. Increasingly organisations have to explore what this revolutionary technology will mean for their business. Marc Andreessen from the well-known VC firm Andreessen Horowitz calls it as big an invention as the internet. Last year, in my Big Data Trends prediction for 2016, I already foresaw that 2016 would become the year of the Blockchain and now also Gartner has included in their Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies.

Many organisations are already exploring the possibilities of the Blockchain, although primarily still in the Financial Services industry. The R3 Partnership is a consortium of 45 of the biggest financial institutions, investigating what the Blockchain means for them. Next to the R3 consortium, four of the biggest global banks, led by Swiss bank UBS, have developed a “Utility Settlement Coin” (USC), which is the digital counterpart of each of the major currencies backed by central banks. Their objective is to develop a settlement system that processes transactions in (near) real-time instead of days. A third example is Australia Post, who have released plans for developing a blockchain-based e-voting system for the state of Victoria.

The possibilities of the Blockchain are enormous and it seems that almost any industry that deals ...


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Why the 2016 Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies is all about Data

Why the 2016 Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies is all about Data

Every year, Gartner published the Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies and today revealed the 2016 edition. Last year, Gartner tempered the expectations of Big Data, by predicting it would take another 5-10 before it would reach the plateau of productivity. This year, Gartner finally added “emerging” technologies such as the Blockchain and Machine Learning. Let’s have a look at the 2016 Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies and see what it means.



Gartner identified three key technology trends that organisations need to track in order to gain competitive advantage:

1. The Perceptual Smart Machine Age

Gartner added ‘General Purpose Machine Intelligence’ as an ‘Innovation Trigger’ to this year’s hype cycle and expects it to take more than 10 years to reach the plateau of productivity. Of course, machine intelligence is nothing new, but that is (very) specific machine intelligence, i.e. a machine is extremely good in doing one, simple, task. General purpose machine intelligence is something different and requires extreme amounts of computing power and near-endless amounts of data, which is why it will probably take a lot longer. It is also called Artificial General Intelligence and it is an emerging field dealing with the development of ‘thinking machines’ with intelligence that is ...


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Why Blending Data Analytics and Gut-Feeling Benefits your Business

Why Blending Data Analytics and Gut-Feeling Benefits your Business

Understanding the impact of Big Data is not self-evident for many companies. Big Data offers almost endless possibilities and as such organizations are overwhelmed. Big Data requires different technologies, new IT systems, new processes and a different way of working. In addition, Big Data requires a different culture and changing your company culture is always hard, especially when new technology is involved.

In order to be successful with big data, you need a culture that incorporates data-driven decision-making. That does not mean, however, that organizations should only focus on big data analytics and that they should ignore gut-feeling. Gut-feeling, or intuitive synthesis, is an important aspect of decision-making and successful companies are capable of combining the two in what has become known as Design Thinking.

Design Thinking; A Creative and Data-Driven Process

In the past decade, design thinking, also known as a human-centered approach to innovation, has become a popular practice at organizations from around the world to generate innovative and competitive strategies. Although the history of design thinking can be traced back to the 1960s, the adaptation of design thinking for business purposes followed in 1991 by the founder of IDEO, David Kelley. Specialized design thinking firms such as IDEO help organizations create ...


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Why Humanizing Algorithms Could Prevent them from Going Awry

Why Humanizing Algorithms Could Prevent them from Going Awry

Algorithms are taking over the world. Not yet completely and not yet definitely, but they are well on their way to automate a lot of tasks and jobs. This algorithmization offers many benefits for organizations and consumers; boring tasks can be outsourced to an algorithm that is exceptionally well at a very dull task, much better than humans could ever become. More complicated tasks can benefit from insights derived from analyzing multiple data sources and these insights can help humans in the task at hand. Soon, however, also these tasks could be taken over by algorithms.

We know many examples of the first, ranging from robots that build your smartphone to algorithms that find that particular website within milliseconds. More and more we also see great examples of the latter, from an algorithm that has a seat at the board of directors of Hong Kong venture capital firm Deep Knowledge Ventures to algorithms that can instantly translate spoken language into a different language.

Algorithms are therefore rapidly changing how we do business. Businesses consist of value propositions, customer segments, consumer relationships, channels, revenue streams, cost structures, limited resources, partnerships and activities. Algorithms enable each of these elements to be automated and using ...


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Why Humanizing Algorithms Is a Good Idea

Why Humanizing Algorithms Is a Good Idea

Algorithms are taking over the world. Not yet completely and not yet definitely, but they are well on their way to automate a lot of tasks and jobs. This algorithmization offers many benefits for organizations and consumers; boring tasks can be outsourced to an algorithm that is exceptionally well at a very dull task, much better than humans could ever become. More complicated tasks can benefit from insights derived from analyzing multiple data sources and these insights can help humans in the task at hand. Soon, however, also these tasks could be taken over by algorithms.

We know many examples of the first, ranging from robots that build your smartphone to algorithms that find that particular website within milliseconds. More and more we also see great examples of the latter. There is an algorithm that has a seat at the board of directors of Hong Kong venture capital firm Deep Knowledge Ventures. In addition, there ar algorithms that can instantly translate spoken language into a different language.

Algorithms are therefore rapidly changing how we do business. Businesses consist of value propositions, customer segments, consumer relationships, channels, revenue streams, cost structures, limited resources, partnerships and activities. Algorithms enable each of these elements to be automated ...


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How Unlimited Computing Power, Swarms of Sensors and Algorithms Will Rock our World

How Unlimited Computing Power, Swarms of Sensors and Algorithms Will Rock our World

We have entered a world where accelerated change is the only constant. The speed at which technologies are currently developing is unlike any other since the existence of mankind. When we look at the past two hundred years, we have seen multiple inventions that changed society as we knew it. First we had the invention of the book press, which made books available for the (general) public. Then we had the invention of the steam machine, which significantly altered any industry on earth and pushed mankind to the next level. And in the 20th century we saw the invention of the Internet and the computer. This latest ‘information revolution’ is of a different scale than the industrial revolution made possible by the steam machine. 

Although when the Internet was invented, it did not yet look like something major was going one. But isn't that always the case with ground breaking inventions? It takes some time before you know what has happened. Now, almost fifty years later, we can finally get a glimpse about the profoundness of this invention as we slowly, but surely, enter the information era. 

In the past decades, we have seen the creation of a digital infrastructure that is ...


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How Algorithms Could Propel Us to Earth 2.0

How Algorithms Could Propel Us to Earth 2.0

We have entered a world where accelerated change is the only constant. The speed at which technologies are currently developing is unlike any other since the existence of mankind. When we look at the past two hundred years, we have seen multiple inventions that changed society as we knew it. First we had the invention of the book press, which made books available for the (general) public. Then we had the invention of the steam machine, which significantly altered any industry on earth and pushed mankind to the next level. And in the 20th century we saw the invention of the Internet and the computer. This latest ‘information revolution’ is of a different scale than the industrial revolution made possible by the steam machine. 

Although when the Internet was invented, it did not yet look like something major was going one. But isn't that always the case with ground breaking inventions? It takes some time before you know what has happened. Now, almost fifty years later, we can finally get a glimpse about the profoundness of this invention as we slowly, but surely, enter the information era. 

In the past decades, we have seen the creation of a digital infrastructure that is ...


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How to Win your Customers for Life with Predictive Analytics

How to Win your Customers for Life with Predictive Analytics

Winning your customer for life is a challenging task for organizations. How can you connect with your customer and how can you ensure that they stay with your organization for a long time? Questions that many organizations face.  Fortunately, with the advance of big data and analytics, it has become a little bit easier for organizations. Last week, I spoke at the Retail, eCommerce, Payments and Cards conference in Dubai, one of the biggest in the Middle East, and I would like to share some of my keynote insights with you through this article.

These are challenging times for organizations. Organizations have to face disruptive innovations from many different angles and accelerated change in technological advances require organizations to constantly change and adapt. On the other hand, we have moved from descriptive and diagnostic analytics to the more advanced predictive analytics and we are moving towards prescriptive analytics. The more we use data to predict what will happen and what action should be taken, the more difficult it becomes, but also the more value that can be created.



Source: Gartner

New organizations that disrupt multiple industries understand this very well. They use data in every possible way. At every possible touchpoint with customers ...


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Datafloq Launches Recruitment Platform around Data Professionals

Datafloq Launches Recruitment Platform around Data Professionals

A unique recruitment platform focused around data professionals to hire the best big data talent or find that dream job.

According to research from Gartner, more that 75 percent of organizations are investing or planning to invest in big data, meaning an increased demand for data professionals around the globe. Fortunately, Datafloq is a large community of data lovers, engineers, data scientists, managers and chief data officers. Therefore, I am proud to announce that Datafloq launched a unique recruitment platform around data professionals to hire the best big data talent or find that dream job: datafloq.com/work

Data Employers Finding Talent

Organizations looking to attract data professionals will have extensive possibilities to find the best big data talent. They will be able to post, and promote, job posts using a unique skills and technology system, resulting in more qualified professionals to choose from. Users will be able to easily find big data jobs. They will be able to create unique data employer branding pages to showcase the unique company culture that aligns with the employment branding goals using video’s, images, employee quotes and much more, allowing professionals to find the best data employer.

Organizations can also find talent via our professional database search engine, which ...


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12 Qualities Your Next Chief Data Officer Should Have

12 Qualities Your Next Chief Data Officer Should Have

The Chief Data Officer is on the rise! In a 2015 Forrester research of 3005 data analytics decision-makers, 45% said that their company had appointed a Chief Data Officer (CDO). In addition, a survey among 254 CIO’s worldwide revealed that 90% of the current CIO’s believe that data is changing their business and 92% believe that a CDO could best manage this. Another survey revealed that 76% of CIO’s would like to see the CDO as a board level position by 2020.

It may be clear, the Chief Data Officer is here to stay and it is/will be an important role for organizations. It is also a difficult role, because the CDO has to have the right balance of Big Data skills and business skills in order to be able to deal with all aspects related to big data. Earlier, I developed a Chief Data Officer profile, to help organizations get an idea of what the CDO role should look like and what tasks the Chief Data Officer would have. Since many organizations are on the lookout for a suitable Chief Data Officer, let’s now have a look at what the key qualities and characteristics are that your next CDO should ...


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12 Algorithms Every Data Scientist Should Know

12 Algorithms Every Data Scientist Should Know

Algorithms have become part of our daily lives and they can be found in almost any aspect of business. Gartner call this the algorithmic business and it is changing the way we (should) run and manage our organizations. There are all kinds of algorithms and for each aspect of your business there are different algorithms, which nowadays you can even buy at an algorithm marketplace. Algoritmia provides developers with over 800 algorithms in the fields of audio and visual processing, machine learning and computer vision, saving developers precious time and money.

However, the algorithms available on the Algoritmia marketplace might not be suitable for your particular need. After all, for different circumstances you require different algorithms and the same algorithm in a different environment can produce different results. In fact, there are many different variables that determine which algorithm to be used and how the algorithm will perform. These variables include the type and volume of the data, the industry the algorithm will be applied to, the application it will be used for etc.

Therefore, sometimes buying an off-the-shelve algorithm and then tweaking it might not be the best option. Data scientists should still educate themselves in the most important algorithms; how ...


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3 Powerful Applications of Using Analytics-as-a-Service

3 Powerful Applications of Using Analytics-as-a-Service

This article is sponsored by CloudMoyo - Partner of choice for solutions at the intersection of Cloud & Analytics

Analytics-as-a-Service is the combination of analytics software and cloud technology. Instead of hosting any analytics software on premises using your own servers, you use a ready-to-go solution that is easy to deploy and most of the time has a pay-as-you-go payment system. It is part of a larger ‘as-a-Service’ solutions such as ‘Software-as-a-Service’ or ‘Platform-as-a-Service’. Thanks to the advancements made by well-known hosting providers such as AWS and Microsoft Azure, Analytics-as-a-Service has really taken off in the past years and is here to stay.

There are a lot of advantages for organizations if they use an Analytics-as-a-Service solution. Of course, the elimination of manual IT tasks will benefit many organizations, removing the need to hire expensive DevOps and Engineers. But the most benefits for organizations are in the central use and access to all internal, and external, data. This enables business analysts and end-users to have easy access to all the data and to explore the data at hand interactively, and potentially collaboratively.

Getting Started with Analytics-as-a-Service

In order to benefit from an Analytics-as-a-Service, organizations should make all of their internal data available in the ...


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How Secure is Your Payment Data? Not Very Secure It Seems!

How Secure is Your Payment Data? Not Very Secure It Seems!

Mobile payments are on the rise. Samsung and Apple have each introduced their own payment systems already some time ago and many new startups are entering the market as well, with of course Square being on top of the list. Consumers are also slowly getting used to mobile payments, be it with their smartphone or with their smart watch. In addition, large brands are also entering the mobile payment market. The best example is the Starbucks Card Mobile App, where Starbucks created an iPhone App that enables users to pay for their coffee. Although it is a closed loop system, it is a very convenient service for customers.

Next to these mobile payments systems, there are also various new payment opportunities. Across the world, new systems are being developed from the New Payments Platform (NPP) in Australia to the startup TransferWise, which claims to reduce the costs involved in transferring money abroad. All these new payment systems rely on big data and they work because they combine various data sources in smart ways.

All these new payment systems might be very convenient, the question remains whether they are also secure. After all, your mobile payment data consists of a lot of private ...


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Algorithms Are Changing Business: Here’s How to Leverage Them

Algorithms Are Changing Business: Here’s How to Leverage Them

When Google’s algorithm AlphaGo beat South Korean Go Grandmaster Lee Se-dol by 4-1 last week, it was a significant event in the world of algorithms and artificial intelligence. This is because it represented a new form of artificial intelligence: intuitive artificial intelligence, something which is remarkably more challenging than standard artificial intelligence.

The disruption happening thanks to algorithms is happening all around us. The largest taxi company in the world, Uber, owns no taxis, but uses smart algorithms to connect drivers and passengers. The largest telephone company in the world, WhatsApp, has no telecom infrastructure, but sends over 35 billion message per day. Finally, the world’s second most valuable retailer, Alibaba, owns no inventory but uses algorithms to help others sell products.

Companies like Uber, WhatsApp and Alibaba clearly show that smart algorithms can disrupt an entire industry. But we are just at the start of this disruption and the coming decade will likely see all industries being disrupted thanks to algorithms. Gartner calls this trend the “Algorithmic Business” and it will fundamentally change how we do business.

From Data to Algorithms

With the advance of technology, companies and consumers are generating more and more data. Some organisations, such as Walmart, create and store ...


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How to Close the Big Data Talent Gap at Your Organization

How to Close the Big Data Talent Gap at Your Organization

This article is sponsored by Acamar - a staffing agency specializing in emerging Information Management (IM) competencies.

Big data offers many benefits for organizations in all industries, but unfortunately a lot of companies don’t reap these benefits yet. The reason is not that they don’t want to start with big data, nor that they don’t understand what big data is. The challenge many companies face is attracting the right big data talent.

Big data talent is scarce and what is scarce is expensive. Finding the right data professionals for a big data project remains difficult for a lot of organizations. This does not come as a surprise if we look at the numbers around global big data talent.

A Growing Global Big Data Talent Shortage

Back in 2011, McKinsey already estimated that in 2018 there would be a shortage of 290,000 data scientists in the United States alone. Globally, demand for data scientists is projected to exceed supply by more than 50 percent by 2018. In the UK, the expected shortage is 56,000 data scientists by 2020. Currently there are over 500,000 big data jobs listed globally.

As it may be clear, demand is skyrocketing and this will only increase in the future. On the ...


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How The Internet of Things Is About to Explode

How The Internet of Things Is About to Explode

The Internet of Things is heading our way and it is heading here fast! In the past years we have seen that the Internet of Things (IoT) is really taking of and we can safely say that we are about to reach a tipping point. Any industry is currently working on connected devices. Ranging from connected cutlery (HAPIfork), smart locks for your door (August) or for your bike (SkyLock), connected toothbrush (Oral-B) to connected jewels (Wistiki).

The supply of connected devices is tremendous and the ones just mentioned are only those for consumers. Also the industries such as the mining industry are developing connected smart glasses (Vandrico), the transportation industry of course (what about self-driving gigantic mining trucks) and of course the rise of the robots. 

All these connected devices will have one or more sensors incorporated and this plethora of sensors will drive massive amounts of data. Together all these devices will create an Internet of Things ecosystem that will enable organizations, consumers and devices to be connected with each other. Of course, there are still several challenges that we need to solve before we will have a global, one, Internet of Things, but that is just a matter of time (and ...


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5 Cyber Risks Affecting the Internet of Things and How to Manage These Risks

5 Cyber Risks Affecting the Internet of Things and How to Manage These Risks

The Internet of Things will offer organizations tremendous value and will provide consumers with fantastic benefits. However, the Internet of Things also comes with a wide variety of cyber risks that could harm organizations and consumers who work with the IoT.

In order to protect your organization from these cyber risks you should have the right data governance procedures in place to protect the data that is generated by IoT devices. However, which data governance measures you should take depends on the different cyber risks that could affect your IoT business. And there are quite a few cyber risks to take into account:

5 Cyber Risks Affecting the Internet of Things

Denial of Service Attacks

A distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack are, unfortunately, very common attacks, where multiple systems flood the bandwidth or resources of a system, such as a web server. The result is that the web server goes down due to the unexpected massive amount of traffic a web server suddenly has to deal with.

Since the Internet of Things involves a network of sensors, devices and wearables connected with each other through the Internet, a DDoS attack could seriously harm your organization. There are several ways a DDoS attack could affect an IoT ...


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Why Trust and Data Breaches Don’t Get Along

Why Trust and Data Breaches Don’t Get Along

If you want to retain the trust of your customers, you better make sure that you don't have any data breaches. As this infographic, developed by Gemalto, shows, data breaches have a significant impact on consumer trust, loyalty and the perception of how seriously companies take the security of customers' personal and financial data.

According to the survey "nearly two-thirds (64%) of consumers surveyed worldwide say they are unlikely to shop or do business again with a company that had experienced a breach where financial information was stole​n, and almost half (49%) had the same opinion when it came to data breaches where personal information was stolen."

A loss of trust can be very expensive for any organization, especially if it is due to a data breach. Therefore, organizations should do what it takes to prevent a data breach from happening. By taking the right technical security measures as well as cultural / process measures a lot of data breaches can be prevented as quite often a data breach occurs due to human errors.

Unfortuantely, data breaches will not go away very soon and it is likely that if you are a large organization, it is just a matter of time before you ...


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How Big Data Can Upgrade the Customer Experience

How Big Data Can Upgrade the Customer Experience

Booking a hotel has become really easy in the past years. There are multiple booking engines that make it very simple to book the right hotel for your stay. Great customer experience is vital for these booking websites, as the competitor is quite often just one click away.

Therefore, Hotels.com is using Big Data to create the best customer experience to ensure that visitors book via Hotels.com and not via another booking website. In this interesting video, Thierry Bedos, CTO at Hotels.com, explains how they have embedded Big Data within their organization to upgrade the booking experience for their customers.

Customers' expectations have risen in the past few years. Customers much better know what they want and they expect to receive that when they book a hotel in terms of different features and the speed at which the website operates and delivers those features. Customers want a relevant and meaningful experience that is consistent through any channel and they want instant response or otherwise they go to the competitor. This of course is valid for any online organization and therefore any online organization should take a Big Data approach.

As Thierry Bedos explains in this video, Hotels.com have gone through a number of steps ...


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Why Humans Are the Weakest Link with Data Breaches

Why Humans Are the Weakest Link with Data Breaches

The recent TalkTalk data breach is going to be an expensive data breach. It seams that the British Internet Service Provider will have to spend 35 million pounds on recovery measurements. Although that is a lot of money, it is better than going bankrupt as happened to the Dutch security firm Diginotar after being hacked in 2011.

Being hacked is a threat for any organization that deals with a lot of data, which means it is a threat for basically any organization. Therefore, as an organization you should do what it takes to prevent a possible data breach from happening.

Apart from the required IT security measures, it is also important to focus on the processes within an organization. As the below infographic from TSG shows, employees are the weakest link in terms of a possible data breach happening.

There are a lot of possibilities, ranging from finding a USB-stick and being curious to what’s on the device to leaving a laptop on the train and many more different options. Check out the below infographic to gain a better understanding.


...


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5 Ways How Data Analytics is Changing Law Firms

5 Ways How Data Analytics is Changing Law Firms

Like any industry, also the legal industry is affected dramatically by big data analytics. Law firms that do not want to make the move to a data-driven legal practice are going to lose out from the innovative legal firms that embrace big data. Doing manual document review, using printed documents and storing documents in old-fashioned physical cabinets is no longer enough to win in court. Big Data is rapidly changing the way law firms do business.

This video was taken at the Big Law Business summit and it shows how some of the top law firms in the US are applying big data to improve their business. Law firms can no longer be reactive, they have to become pro-active if they want to stay in business. In short, there are 5 ways how data analytics is rapidly changing law firms:


Certain legal cases require certain expertise, something which might be in-house or something that need to come from outside. Big Data enables law firms to better inform whom to hire for outside counseling or, and that’s especially relevant for large law firms, which lawyer would best fit a certain case.
Information is power and having access to massive amounts of documents can only ...


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7 Important Big Data Trends for 2016

7 Important Big Data Trends for 2016

It is the end of the year again and that means it is time for the Big Data trends for next year. I did that for 2014, I did it for 2015 and now it is time for 2016. What is awaiting us in 2016? Which Big Data trends will have an impact on the global Big Data domain? How will Big Data affect organizations in 2016? Let’s have a look at seven of the most important Big Data trends for the year 2016.

1. The Rise of the Algorithms



Big Data is out, Algorithms are in. Data has become a commodity and every organization is capable of collecting and storing vast amounts of data. Analysing all that data is also not so spectacular anymore. Every organization can hire or train Big Data Analysts to understand the patterns within the data.

In 2016 it will be all about what actions you will derive from the data you have access to. Bring in the algorithms. Algorithms define action and they are very specific pieces of software that are very good at a very specific action, much better than humans can do. Think for example of quickly determining the right advertisement based on your profile when you visit ...


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The Future of Big Data: How Data Lakes Open New Possibilities for Your Organization

The Future of Big Data: How Data Lakes Open New Possibilities for Your Organization

This thought leadership article is brought to you by Zaloni – providing enterprise data management solutions for Hadoop Data Lakes

In the past years I have seen a flood of information on data lakes and it looks like it is becoming as much of a buzzword as Big Data. I described data lakes as a growing trend in 2015 – stating that it was time for organizations to experiment with data lakes. But are we seeing much progress?

Sure, organizations like Facebook, Google and Yahoo have advanced considerably and their developers experience numerous benefits using data lakes. But what does it actually mean - a data lake - and what are the benefits of it? And are ‘offline’ organizations such as retailers and financial services companies also moving towards a data lake model? What are the advantages and challenges of a data lake and how can you derive value from it? I think it’s time for a deep dive into data lakes.

The Data Lake Definition

But first, what exactly is a data lake. Data lakes are defined as a repository containing vast amounts of raw data, in native formats, while allowing different users to access and analyse that data as required. A data ...


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7 Reasons why the Algorithmic Business will Change Society

7 Reasons why the Algorithmic Business will Change Society

The world around us is changing so rapidly, that even the hype big data is already outdated. Big data is nothing new any more and by now we all know that more data is coming our way, rapidly.

But in big data itself is no value at all.  We can all generate massive amounts of data after all. By itself, big data is not transformative. Not even big data analytics is driving the change, after all any company can hire analysts to provide insights into your data. Where the real value lies is in algorithms. Algorithms define action and dynamic algorithms are at the core of future businesses. Welcome to the Algorithmic Business. 

The Algorithmic Business

The algorithmic business is a company build around smart algorithms. Algorithms that define company processes, that deliver customer services, that take action when necessary and as such define the way the world works. During the latest Gartner ITXpo, Gartner predicted the rise of the algorithmic business to forever change how we do business.

In order to understand all the data coming our way, algorithms will be required. In the digital era ahead of us, algorithms will be able to operate independently. These algorithms will be able to understand ...


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How Engineering Siemens Creates Value for Their Customers Using Big Data Analytics

How Engineering Siemens Creates Value for Their Customers Using Big Data Analytics

Siemens is a 168-years old engineering company that has prepared itself for the future. While most consumers might know Siemens from washing machines and electronic equipment, that image is largely out-dated. Today, Siemens manufactures trains, power plant equipment, healthcare equipment and offers a wide range of smart software solutions.

In the past decade, they have really moved forward and combined their engineering capability with great new analytical capabilities to really help their customers perform better. Let's look at three examples of how they are changing the game for the energy industry, racing industry and smart cities. 

From Price Per Turbine to Price per Gigawatt 

The energy industry faces difficult challenges, especially with the transition from fossil fuel to clean energy. Energy companies are in need to better understand what is going on within their power plant in order to reduce cost and work more efficiently. 

The amount of data that is created during power generation is growing rapidly. Siemens for example already has 8 global diagnostic centres that monitor over 9000 units. 

Their gas turbines create 30 gigabyte of data per day, their smart energy grid platform creates 25 gigabytes of data a day and Siemens' wind turbines create 200 gigabytes of data every day. 

With ...


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Why a Data Loss Could Mean the End of Your Organization

Why a Data Loss Could Mean the End of Your Organization

Prevention is always better than to repair things. Only 6% of the companies that don’t have an disaster recovery plan when they experience the loss of crucial company data will survive it. Although no one can predict when disaster will strike and what type of disaster will strike, we can and should always be prepared for it.

There can be a wide variety of causes in data loss, including battery failure, human errors, cyber attacks or weather related issues. According to Ponemon Institute’s Cost of Downtime study, every minute of downtime for large organization averages $ 7.900 in lost revenue, per minute. In addition, they estimated that the average recovery time for such an unplanned outage was 119 minutes, meaning an average loss of $ 901,500!

Of course, this amount will be much higher, the bigger the organization and the more the business depends on their digital activities. Not ensuring a well thought-through data recovery plan could therefore significantly endanger the survival of the organization.

So, which steps should be incorporated into a data recovery plan? Well, according to Singlehop who created the below infographic, there are three different steps to take:


Perform a Business Impact Analysis;
Perform a Risk Assessment;
Manage Your Risks.


Next to these ...


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5 Ways Big Data Will Improve Civil Infrastructure

5 Ways Big Data Will Improve Civil Infrastructure

On August 1, 2007 as people were driving home from work on the I-35W Mississippi River Bridge near Minneapolis, it all of a sudden collapsed. Thirteen people died and 145 people were injured. The bridge was constructed in 1967 and was expected to carry 66.000 vehicles per day. However, in 2004 an estimated 141.000 vehicles crossed the bridge on a daily basis. That’s a big difference and turned out to be too much.

The quality of the civil infrastructure within a country, determines its economic possibilities as well as a society’s wealth and quality of life. Therefore, if the infrastructure such as roads, rail tracks and bridges are deteriorating, it could have a big impact on a society. The Federal Highway Administration reported that the costs resulting from the loss of a critical bridge or tunnel could exceed $10 billion.

As the Civil Infrastructure System Task Group of the National Science Foundation once stated: “A civilization that stops investing in its infrastructure takes the first step toward decline”. Infrastructure is important, but also expensive. Fortunately, Big Data can help to bring down costs while improving safety. Let’s have a look:

Monitoring Dikes to Prevent Flooding

In The Netherlands, the IJkdijk has been a decade-long ...


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5 Ways Big Data Will Improve Civil Infrastructure

5 Ways Big Data Will Improve Civil Infrastructure

On August 1, 2007 as people were driving home from work on the I-35W Mississippi River Bridge near Minneapolis, it all of a sudden collapsed. Thirteen people died and 145 people were injured. The bridge was constructed in 1967 and was expected to carry 66.000 vehicles per day. However, in 2004 an estimated 141.000 vehicles crossed the bridge on a daily basis. That’s a big difference and turned out to be too much.

The quality of the civil infrastructure within a country, determines its economic possibilities as well as a society’s wealth and quality of life. Therefore, if the infrastructure such as roads, rail tracks and bridges are deteriorating, it could have a big impact on a society. The Federal Highway Administration reported that the costs resulting from the loss of a critical bridge or tunnel could exceed $10 billion.

As the Civil Infrastructure System Task Group of the National Science Foundation once stated: “A civilization that stops investing in its infrastructure takes the first step toward decline”. Infrastructure is important, but also expensive. Fortunately, Big Data can help to bring down costs while improving safety. Let’s have a look:

Monitoring Dikes to Prevent Flooding

In The Netherlands, the IJkdijk has been a decade-long ...


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How to Keep the Internet of Things Safe

How to Keep the Internet of Things Safe

The Internet of Things offers a lot of potential and when fully operational will have changed our lives dramatically. Once we live in a world were billion devices are connected to the Internet, our live will become a lot easier. There are already ample examples of this such as domotica in smart homes, the quantified self movement that monitors our daily behavior, smart cities were everything is monitored and even smart roads or bridges. 

But connecting all those devices to the Internet is only one aspect of the Internet of Things. Another, very important, aspect is the security aspect of the Internet of Things. How do we ensure that the data is safe and cannot be hacked? How do we ensure that connected cars cannot be hacked, as happened to Jeep, when hackers remotely killed a Jeep that was on the highway?

The security aspect of the Internet of Things is a major aspect if we want to successfully build the Internet of Things. An IoT that can will be trusted by consumers who will rely on it. Of course there is a technological aspect in securing the Internet of Things, but there is also a pracitcal aspect in securing the Internet of Things, ...


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How to Keep the Internet of Things Safe

How to Keep the Internet of Things Safe

The Internet of Things offers a lot of potential and when fully operational will have changed our lives dramatically. Once we live in a world were billion devices are connected to the Internet, our live will become a lot easier. There are already ample examples of this such as domotica in smart homes, the quantified self movement that monitors our daily behavior, smart cities were everything is monitored and even smart roads or bridges. 

But connecting all those devices to the Internet is only one aspect of the Internet of Things. Another, very important, aspect is the security aspect of the Internet of Things. How do we ensure that the data is safe and cannot be hacked? How do we ensure that connected cars cannot be hacked, as happened to Jeep, when hackers remotely killed a Jeep that was on the highway?

The security aspect of the Internet of Things is a major aspect if we want to successfully build the Internet of Things. An IoT that can will be trusted by consumers who will rely on it. Of course there is a technological aspect in securing the Internet of Things, but there is also a pracitcal aspect in securing the Internet of Things, ...


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7 Best Practices How Big Data Can Help the Air Force

7 Best Practices How Big Data Can Help the Air Force

In 1952, when the NSA was founded, they quickly employed thousands of cryptologists to deal with the massive amounts of data that was flowing into the organization. Since then, governments from around the world have been analyzing large streams of data. Therefore, it does not come as a surprise, that the armed forces have also been using data, and more lately big data, to gather intelligence and optimize the organization.

There are a lot of opportunities for the armed forces when they start using Big Data analytics. These advantages can be found within organizational efficiencies, regarding the equipment and personnel as well as on the battlefield.

The objective for the army is to rely on the OODA-model (observe, orient, decide and act) faster and more efficient than the enemy and Big Data can help in achieving that objective. Let’s therefore take a look at some examples how armed forces from around the world apply Big Data:

Social Media Analytics to Find the Enemy

Since the appearance of ISIS, we have seen surprised by their ability to use social media to recruit as well as to broadcast their victories. But this eagerness to share their results with the world has been turned against them in the ...


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Datafloq Launches Big Data Company Search Engine, Enabling Organizations to Easily Find a Big Data Technology

Datafloq Launches Big Data Company Search Engine, Enabling Organizations to Easily Find a Big Data Technology

A unique index that incorporates over 4.700 Big Data companies will make it easy to find the right Big Data technology

The Hague - Big Data is changing the world rapidly. As a result, the global Big Data market is growing at an unprecedented rate. It is a volatile market, where new Big Data startups and Big Data companies are entering the market daily. Acquisitions and investments are very common, resulting in a Big Data market that is hard to follow. For organizations to develop a Big Data strategy, it has become difficult to find the right solution for their particular problem.

Not any more. Today, Datafloq, the number one Big Data platform that empowers organizations to create value with data, has launched a Big Data company index; a search engine that enables organizations to find the right Big Data technology for their specific needs.
 

Growing Market

The Big Data company index includes over 4.700 companies from around the world, ranging from large corporates to very small and innovative startups. These Big Data companies were founded by more than 5800 founders and have received over $ 24.5 billion in funding from 2800 investors from around the world. 
 

Freemium 'Netflix-Model'

Datafloq has created the first overview of the global ...


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Big Data-as-a-Service Solutions Will Revolutionize Big Data

Big Data-as-a-Service Solutions Will Revolutionize Big Data

Big Data services offered in the cloud is nothing new. In the past years we have seen many Big Data vendors that have created Big Data solutions that can be accessed via the web to crunch and analyse your data. Recently however, we have seen the rise of a new type of offering: Big Data-as-a-Service solutions.

These solutions differ from Software-as-a-Service solutions or Infrastructure-as-a-Service solutions, as they are more or less a combination of those two. This results in a complete package for companies to start working with Big Data. But what actually is Big Data as a Service and how could your organization benefit from it?

Big Data-as-a-Service basically brings together data analytics services for analysing large data sets over the web, while also hosting all that data on scalable cloud hosting services such as Amazon Web Services. It is therefore a complete Big Data solution, accessible over the web, without the requirements for in-house solution or a lot of Big Data expertise. 

Basically it can be seen as a combination of Software-as-a-Service and Infrastructure-as-a-Service. This has a lot of potential for organizations, and especially smaller and medium sized enterprises can benefit from it, as I already wrote in my 2014 Big ...


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How HPC and Big Data Can Bring Smart Innovation To Your Company

How HPC and Big Data Can Bring Smart Innovation To Your Company

With the amount of data that organizations have to deal, with expected to grow into the exabytes in the coming year(s), we will need better technology. Bring in High Performance Computing, or HPC in short, and a completely new world opens for you.

HPC is dramatically changing the playing field.  In the past years it has grown from an innovative feature used only by the most advanced scientific research centres, to a tool that enables organizations across industries to gain advantages of Big Data. Presidents from the USA to Russia have stressed the importance of HPC. Today more and more organizations are also valuing the qualities and possibilities of High Performance Computing. But what is HPC and what can you do with it? Let’s take a deep dive into High Performance Computing.

 

What is HPC and Why Do We Need It?

High Performance Computing refers to technology that is capable of storing, processing and analysing massive amounts of data in merely milliseconds. A HPC infrastructure basically is a large amount of clustered storage and computing servers, which are interconnected using extremely fast and efficient networking.

In itself it is not that interesting, but when you use HPC to analyse massive amounts of data, it ...


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5 Easy Steps to Embed Big Data in Your Business

5 Easy Steps to Embed Big Data in Your Business

For many organizations it is still difficult to understand what Big Data is and how it should be incorporated in their business. This is quite understandable, as Big Data offers such radical and disruptive new possibilities as well as requires a dramatic cultural change for many organizations. The past weeks I have been thinking a lot about this and how this process could be simplified. Because when more organizations understand how to embed Big Data in their business, the more it will drive innovation and economic growth.

We know by now that Big Data can have a big impact on any part of your organization. The Big Data Use Case Framework that I developed some time ago gives a great overview of these different. But when I talk to organizations, I still get a lot of questions how they should start with Big Data and what they should do to become really data-driven.

Well, as it turns out, there is a rather simple five-step approach that could help any organization to datafy their business and processes. These steps are:


Determine the Different Processes to be Improved
Determine the Stakeholders Involved
Turn Connections and Processes into Binary Code
Start Mixing and Analyzing the Different Data Sources
Continuously Improve ...


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How to Improve Your Customer Service with Big Data

How to Improve Your Customer Service with Big Data

Any organization with a call centre or with customer-facing employees receive complaints and compliments on a daily basis. They talk to customers via the phone, email, messaging App or face-to-face and while doing that, they create massive amounts of data. Unfortunately, very few organizations actually use that data to improve their customer service. While in fact, that data contains valuable information about your products or services.

Thanks to Big Data, organizations are not better capable of understanding their customers’ (latent) needs. It can enable them to better respond to customers’ requests, simply because they better know their customers. But then again, organizations should start collecting, and using, all that data.

Unfortunately however, many organizations just log customer complains/compliments/requests in a standard CRM program. They are not opening up the data to the rest of the organization, let alone combine it with other data sources for more insights. That is a pity, because the potential for organizations to improve their customer service with Big Data is enormous.

The below infographic, developed by ClickSoftware, offers an overview of the various opportunities for organizations when they start applying Big Data best practices. Above all, Big Data enables sales and marketing teams to have a better understanding ...


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5 Reasons Apache Spark is the Swiss Army Knife of Big Data Analytics

5 Reasons Apache Spark is the Swiss Army Knife of Big Data Analytics

We are living in exponential times. Especially if we are talking about data. The world is moving fast and more data is generated every day. With all that data coming your way, you need the right tools to deal with the growing amounts of data.

If you want to get any insights from all that data, you need tools that can process massive amounts of data quickly and efficiently. Fortunately the Big Data open source landscape is also growing rapidly and more and more tools come to the market to help you with this. One of these open source tools that is making fame at this moment is Apache Spark.

This week I was invited to join the IBM |Spark analyst session and the Apache™ Spark Community Event in San Francisco, where the latest news was shared on Apache Spark.

IBM announced their continuous contribution to the Apache Spark community. At the core of this commitment, IBM wants to offer Spark as a Service on the IBM Cloud as well as integrate Spark into all of its analytics platforms. They have also donated the IBM SystemML machine learning to the Spark open source ecosystem, allowing the Spark community to benefit from the powerful ...


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Big Data at Walmart is All About Big Numbers; 40 Petabytes a Day!

Big Data at Walmart is All About Big Numbers; 40 Petabytes a Day!

Some time ago, I already wrote about how Walmart has made Big Data part of their DNA. Since I wrote that post about two years ago, Walmart has continued to expand their Big Data practices. Their objective is “to know what every product in the world is, to know who every person in the world is and to have the ability to connect them together in transaction.”

Rather ambitious goals that Neil Ashe, Walmart CEO of Global E-commerce, stated some time ago. However, seeing their big data strategy, how they have progressed in the past two years and how they made big data part of their DNA it is not an unforeseeable future.

Currently Walmart processes over 40 Petabytes of data, per day. They have the second largest in-memory platform in the world. Billions of rows of data are mined every day in order to get valuable information about their 11.000 stores located in 27 countries, 11 ecommerce website or 250 million weekly customer needs.

They have build applications that rely on over 200 internal and external datasets, which are integrated into one big comprehensive Big Data platform. This means they can layer in things like weather, product sales status, pricing, inventory and ...


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The Ultimate Battle: R vs Python; Which is Better for Data Analysis?

The Ultimate Battle: R vs Python; Which is Better for Data Analysis?

Data analysis is of course an important part of Big Data. Analyzing your data streams and combining different data sources for new insights can be done with a variety of tools and programming languages. Which programming language or tool is the right tool for the job at hand? That is an important questions and especially for newbie data analysts it is difficult to determine whether to use Python or R for your data analysis project.

Fortunately, the guys from Datacamp have created a very detailed infographic on this hot topic. The below infographic combines multiple resources to gain a better understanding which programming language should be used for what project as well as explains more about the strengths and weaknesses of both languages. It shows in great detail the differences between the two programming languages from a data science perspective, so that as a data scientist, you can make the right choice.

Both Python and R can be seen as the most popular programming languages for data analysis and both have a large community that contribute to it. Both Python and R are easy to install and to get started with. Obviously, each language has is advantages and disadvantages for different projects ...


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Big Data Hadoop Alternatives: What They Offer and Who Uses Them

Big Data Hadoop Alternatives: What They Offer and Who Uses Them

Many people, particularly those new to the concept of Big Data, think of Big Data and Hadoop as almost one and the same. But there are frameworks other than Hadoop that are gaining popularity. The costs of implementing Hadoop can be quite high, and so organizations are exploring their other options.



Alternatives to Hadoop for big and unstructured data are emerging.

The two top Hadoop vendors, Hortonworks and Cloudera, aren't exactly suffering from an increase in competition at this point, but more organizations are discovering that Big Data comprises more than the Hadoop ecosystem. Following are some of these Big Data alternatives to Hadoop.

Apache Spark

Apache Spark promises faster speeds than Hadoop MapReduce along with good application programming interfaces. This open source framework runs in-memory on a cluster and is not tied to the Hadoop MapReduce two-stage paradigm, so repeated access to the same data is faster, plus it can read data directly from the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS).

It requires a lot of memory, however, because it loads a process into memory and keeps it there unless told otherwise. For iterative computations that pass over the same data multiple times, Spark excels. But with one-pass extract-transform-load (ETL) jobs, MapReduce is still tops. When all ...


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4 Breakthrough Uses for Big Data and Why You’ll Benefit From Them

4 Breakthrough Uses for Big Data and Why You’ll Benefit From Them

Big data analytics used to be reserved for large enterprises with deep enough pockets to fund both the IT infrastructure and the data scientists necessary to derive insight from massive data collections. Sure, smaller companies might collect or gain access to big data, but getting actionable information from it was an enormous challenge.



Gaining insights from big data analytics is no longer exclusive to big enterprises.

Artificial intelligence and deep machine learning are two advances that are now allowing the general business community - including small and medium-sized enterprises - to get their arms around big data analytics. Smaller enterprises can now perform data analysis so they can visualize and make sense of data. The possibilities are endless and fascinating, and range far beyond intelligent marketing, which has long been a major focus of big data analytics. Following are 4 breakthrough uses for big data, and what these advances tell us about the future of data analysis.

1. Improved Disaster Response

The earthquake that struck Nepal on April 25, 2015 was communicated around the world immediately, prompting charities, relief services, and rescue crews to action. Big data became part of the disaster response too, as crowdsourced efforts to connect people with loved ones and ...


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3 Ways How the Internet of Things Will Revolutionize Marketing

3 Ways How the Internet of Things Will Revolutionize Marketing

An industry that is expected to add $ 19 trillion to the Global GDP will definitely have an impact on all aspects of organizations. As such the Internet of Things will revolutionize marketing. Within a few years, thanks to the Internet of Things, a marketer’s job will look totally different than today. When products will be connected to the Internet, it means that we can start communicating with those products and that opens a whole new world of exciting possibilities for marketers:

Communicating With Your Products

Think of the possibilities that are created when brands will track your engagement with their products through the Internet. All of a sudden they have information about how you use, when you use them, who uses them etc. Information like how long you sleep and how often you toss and turn or how fast you empty your bottle of beer on a hot summer day can be very interesting for marketers. This data will completely change the way brands interact with their customers and that requires a new approach by your marketing departments.

Creating New Innovative Partnerships

When devices create so much data, it becomes interesting for organizations to partner with other companies to create exciting new campaigns. ...


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How the Industrial Internet Will Create an Economy of Services

How the Industrial Internet Will Create an Economy of Services

The consumer Internet connects 5 billion devices. The Industrial Internet, however, will connect 50 billion devices. That will have a dramatic effect on how we do business and how we should organize our factories and companies.

The connected devices will range from energy plants to health care systems to transportation systems. These 50 billion devices will also drive a major flood of new, innovative, startups around the globe that will create new services using the data from these connected devices.

All companies will have to rethink their business models and will have to datafy their business; moving away from products and moving towards services. Services that are connected to the Internet and that will offer the owner as well as the manufacturer a vast amount of data that can be used to improve the business and the utilization rates of the connected devices. These services will change everything.

For example, they will impact the utilizations rates such as that of cars. As Michael Steinbauer, Siemens, tells in this video: “today the utilization rate of cars is maybe 15%. Half of the time it is either in search for a parking spot or waiting in a traffic jams”. Automated systems and self-driving cars will ...


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5 Steps to Datafy Your Business and Be Successful

5 Steps to Datafy Your Business and Be Successful

In the fast-changing world, it has become common to create new words by combining two words or linking it to the –fication suffix. Examples of these include gamification and the latest is datafication. Datafication is the process of making a business data-driven. It involves collecting (new) data from various sources, storing them in a centralized location, combining them with each other and finding new insights that could lead to new opportunities as described in the Big Data Use Case framework. Datafication is relatively new phenomena and is characterised by the interaction between digital and physical objects.

The implications of the datafication of organizations and our lives are enormous. They probably are far more profound than we might expect today and therefore it is important to understand how you can datafy your business. This will enable you to be prepared for a data-driven society and be able to deal with your competitors.

Datafication and the Internet of Things

A great example of datafication is the quantified-self and the wearables trend, of which the most-talked about is probably the Apple Watch that is about to become available. The Apple Watch will enable users to generate massive amounts of data about their personal lives, analyse what’s ...


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