What to Look For When Picking a Big Data-as-a-Service Provider

What to Look For When Picking a Big Data-as-a-Service Provider

The Big Data-as-a-Service (BDaaS) market is one to definitely keep an eye on in the coming years. It’s been quickly growing as more and more companies understand the value that big data solutions can bring to their individual organizations. This is especially true among mid-size businesses which likely didn’t have the budget or resources to invest in things like constructing their own data centers or employing the best data scientists. With the rise of BDaaS, all of the potential found within big data is now at their fingertips in much the same way other cloud services have led to more opportunities and capabilities. While a company may want to work with a BDaaS provider, choosing one can prove to be difficult. The BDaaS market is changing, at time rapidly so, making the decision a challenging one. Though the market is evolving, there are a number of things you can look for when you’re considering a BDaaS provider.

The first thing you’ll want to do is evaluate your company’s needs. Since this will be different for each organization, it’s a good beginning step for determining a BDaaS provider. When you know the ways in which big data will help your business, you ...


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The Day-to-Day Life of a Data Scientist

The Day-to-Day Life of a Data Scientist

Many businesses and industries understand there is great potential ready to be unlocked in data science, so much so that they’re eager to hire the best data scientists. Despite this, there is still a great deal of confusion about what exactly a data scientist does. Broadly speaking, data scientists use data to solve problems for the businesses and clients they work with, but that general explanation doesn’t even begin to delve into their individual responsibilities and what their day-to-day schedules and tasks are like. To better understand how data scientists work, it’s important to get a feel for what they do in a typical work day. Note, however, that the following is a mere generalization and that daily tasks can differ greatly depending on the data scientist and who they work for. This should only be read as a wide view and not a concrete example.

It may come as a surprise to some business leaders, but the typical day for a data scientist can resemble a typical day for any employee. Meetings are common, and they usually happen on a daily basis. In fact, that’s how many data scientists begin their day, talking about and discussing the work they were ...


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The Day-to-Day Live of a Data Scientist

The Day-to-Day Live of a Data Scientist

Many businesses and industries understand there is great potential ready to be unlocked in data science, so much so that they’re eager to hire the best data scientists. Despite this, there is still a great deal of confusion about what exactly a data scientist does. Broadly speaking, data scientists use data to solve problems for the businesses and clients they work with, but that general explanation doesn’t even begin to delve into their individual responsibilities and what their day-to-day schedules and tasks are like. To better understand how data scientists work, it’s important to get a feel for what they do in a typical work day. Note, however, that the following is a mere generalization and that daily tasks can differ greatly depending on the data scientist and who they work for. This should only be read as a wide view and not a concrete example.

It may come as a surprise to some business leaders, but the typical day for a data scientist can resemble a typical day for any employee. Meetings are common, and they usually happen on a daily basis. In fact, that’s how many data scientists begin their day, talking about and discussing the work they were ...


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Small Businesses are Quickly Adapting as Big Data is Becoming More User Friendly

Small Businesses are Quickly Adapting as Big Data is Becoming More User Friendly

While businesses of all sizes have challenges to overcome, small businesses often deal with growing pains. It can be hard to keep an operation profitable, especially when resources are limited. Most small-business managers want to concentrate on only the most vital aspects of their organization.

Though certain things in the world of business were once reserved for only the largest and most successful organizations, technological breakthroughs are changing this fact. Big data is becoming more user-friendly than ever.

This type of change has big implications for small businesses. While some people would assume that businesses would only analyze and consider data relevant to their size, this isn’t always the case. In fact, analyzing large scale data and information can help a small business grow effectively.

Why Analyzing Data is a Good Move for Businesses

While organizations of all sizes will experience their share of successes and failures if their organization has been going long enough, both of these instances can prove valuable. Businesses can learn what works (and what doesn’t) by analyzing data.

Everything from search engine results to sales records can help organizations find out what steps they should be taking next. For smaller organizations, this is especially valuable. These organizations can’t afford to ...


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Is Data the Currency of the Future?

Is Data the Currency of the Future?

Technology has now infiltrated nearly every facet of human life, making the world more connected than it’s ever been. Think about it - in just a few short years a completely new tech vernacular has emerged, making commonplace inventive terms like trolling, cookies, memes and overgrams. One of the most descriptive, and now relevant phrases that has come into being as a result of the digital revolution is “data mining.” Data mining is exactly what it sounds like - digging for data. The idea that data is a valuable commodity is implicit in this phrase. And it is. In fact, recently data has become such a critical part of the business world and the world in general that the question has been raised: is data becoming a form of currency?

The intrinsic, quantifiable value of data is without question. Think about all the ways that data provides monetary value to companies. First, there is the obvious fact that data-informed insights are more likely to pay off. Eliminating “gut-based” decision-making allows companies to grow more consistently and methodically. Secondly, consider how the wealth of consumer insights available through data mining has allowed marketers and brand ambassadors to connect with their customers like ...


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What is the Key to Securing your Big Data Environments

What is the Key to Securing your Big Data Environments

Big data environments are now more common in companies; nearly every industry has its hand in the cookie jar. Because of this, companies are generating more data today than any other point in history. Vast “silos” of information are being structured and filled every day giving companies a competitive advantage to better tailor their products to their customers’ needs. But with this growth of big data and big data environments, we are also seeing growth in cybercrime as well. Security for big data has become a great concern in the last few years. Much of the data that is gleaned is sensitive; we know it, you know it, and cybercriminals absolutely know it and love it.

For companies that run big data environments, securing their data warehouses and modes of deployment is vital to not only their success but also to their customers’, clients’ and business partners’ privacy. Knowing how to secure your big data isn’t as difficult as it might sound.

Security strategies can be found through asking specific questions such as “Who is running specific big data requests,” “What analytics requests are users running” or “Are users trying to download sensitive data or is the request part of a job ...


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What are the Most Lucrative Data Scientist Careers

What are the Most Lucrative Data Scientist Careers

Fields within data science have continued to prove their worth as in-demand, rewarding careers. Unlike broader subjects like information science, data science is about utilizing data in the search for trends and prevailing tendencies, which can help produce worthwhile concepts and insight.

As Big Data continues to accumulate, an even greater amount of research and focus has been placed on assessing the collective of shared information across the world. As a result, data science is about more than just analyzing and understanding the past. It is now becoming an essential component for developing predictive trends to better understand the best course of action across all industries.

Valuable Skills with Impressive Salaries

Data scientists are charged with integrating a variety of skills – including database compilation and access, AI, mathematics, machine-based learning, and more. The development of these predictive trends yields highly valuable insight that companies are willing to pay handsomely to acquire and curate.

Take a look at these statistics on typical data scientist salaries:


The average salary rests at $117,000 per year – with $89,200 as the low and $242,000 the impressive high-end.
Data scientists can also expect perks such as an average $24,500 of annual bonus, equity levels above $50,000, and signing bonuses which ...


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What Big Data Could Have in Store for the Car Industry by the Year 2030

What Big Data Could Have in Store for the Car Industry by the Year 2030

For the past ten years, the car industry has been one of the biggest industries that has had the most beneficial technological advancements. The use of data in and outside the cars has been the a very significant technological improvement. With this technology, cars are safer, more user friendly and more efficient. Car manufacturers are always looking to improve their models and with big data, they are able to spring forward in their industry.

With the advancements of bluetooth, sensors, seats, trunks, screens and apps, big data has improved these new features even more. What customers are looking for is the bigger, better model and each car company is competing to come out with the features everyone wants. Whether it’s the Toyota Rav4 Hybrid or the 2017 Honda Civic, customers want fancier, flashier cars. It’s the science of the car industry.

The question on both the manufacturer's and the customer’s minds is, what is next? Customers, in any industry ask this question that puts pressure on the company but it also pushes the company to become bigger and better. Customer’s interest and loyalty is the reason car companies come out with new models every year. So, with the addition of big data ...


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How Criminals are Using Big Data for Their Crimes

How Criminals are Using Big Data for Their Crimes

For all the advantages big data has given to organizations, one that has proven especially beneficial is its use in tracking down and capturing criminals. The utilization of massive sets of data to figure out where criminals will strike and how they will act has given a major boost to law enforcement officials. Predictive analysis is key to busting the culprits. Many businesses have embraced this technology has well as they seek to protect their most valuable data. However, for all the advantages it provides, big data can also be used by the enemy. In fact, that’s exactly what we’re seeing. Security breaches are on the rise, and massive databases have been compromised. Considering the amount of information at risk in the internet economy, organizations have reason to be concerned. It’s clear that cyber criminals view big data as their next effective tool, and security experts are warning that the worst may be yet to come.

Perhaps it should come as no surprise that hackers have turned to big data analytics as another weapon within their arsenal. Hackers gravitate towards technologies that make their goals easier to achieve, and considering that many big data tools are based on open source software, ...


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Could Big Data Reduce Hospital Readmission Rates?

Could Big Data Reduce Hospital Readmission Rates?

Hospitals are inching away — far away — from the statistical and analytical approach to collection data models that have been in place for some time, and sprinting towards implementing Big Data. The model that is currently customary in many hospitals, when compared to the big data model, is almost too generic, as data harvested and stored is not syncing and meshing as seamlessly as it should, thus resulting in high readmission rates.

There is an urgency for big data implementation, as hospitals are seeing patient readmission rates rise. Readmission includes patients who return to the hospital within 30 days of their last visit for any ailment, including pneumonia, or those who have heart issues and have received care from a professional with ACLS recertification.

According to a study endorsed by Intel and Cloudera, a Apache Hadoop-based software company, “Per capita healthcare costs in the U.S. are the highest in the world, and have trended upward for decades. $25 billion [is] spent annually in readmissions alone.”

In an article published in Healthcare IT News, Pamela Peele, the chief analytics officer for University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s (UPMC) insurance division, said, “Together with her team of 25, have done what many hospitals and payers ...


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How Big Data Could Affect What You Pay For Car Insurance

How Big Data Could Affect What You Pay For Car Insurance

Whether you are a good driver or a careless one, there are insurance companies who will be happy to reward you for your skill (or lack thereof). When it comes to using big data collected from cars to benefit our lives, automobile insurance is one clear industry that could see big changes in the next fifteen years. For instance, based on the information that your vehicle shares, your insurance company can learn a whole lot about your driving style, habits, and most importantly what risks you should be rated for. Beyond the obvious data your car can share, there are more personal items which also may impact your future insurance premiums.

One study correlated a direct relationship between positive Twitter posts and a healthier heart. So while you are letting your autonomous car drive you to work, and updating your Twitter feed, you may one day be telling your insurance company how to treat your policy. It is a science known as "sentiment analysis" and while it is relatively new, it has been said to be quite accurate. Combine posts with artificial intelligence analysis, and you may be sharing more with your insurance company than you realized or wanted to.

As you ...


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Ways Your Marketers Probably Aren’t Using Big Data to Their Advantage

Ways Your Marketers Probably Aren’t Using Big Data to Their Advantage

Marketers love to say they are doing everything they need to get customers, but the truth is, most of them aren’t. The majority of marketing companies are failing in one HUGE area...big data. Companies realize data is critical in decision making, but a lot of companies aren’t exactly sure how to use it to its full advantage. Being able to analyze the data and implement it in your strategy is one of the most vital skills to have in the marketing world.

Analytics are the key to marketing these days. There is no better way to reach your audience and give them what they want than by reviewing analytics. You’ll know exactly where they are and what they react to the most. Never before have you been able to have this knowledge at the tips of your fingers so easily. Why not use this key information?

Knowing how to implement the data you get is the most important skill to have in the area of analytics. Being able to read the data means nothing if you don’t know what to do with the answers you get from them. You no longer have to wait weeks or months to get data and make ...


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Data-Driven Unemployment: Something to Worry About?

Data-Driven Unemployment: Something to Worry About?

The rise of big data has led to a great deal of excitement in its potential. Part of the hype surrounds big data’s ability to maximize efficiency and improve company operations. This can be accomplished a number of ways, from micro-targeting customers for marketing campaigns to identifying fraud and waste in financial transactions. Many companies have caught on to the advantage that big data analytics brings, and that has resulted in a technological revolution of sorts. Big data has spread everywhere, creeping into nearly any type of job you can imagine, from retail to sports to governments. With this growing popularity has come an even bigger concern. With so much happening in big data analytics, could that eventually lead to more data-driven unemployment? After all, greater efficiency usually leads the need for fewer jobs. As it turns out, the concerns surrounding data and computers taking over people’s jobs are legitimate.

The foundation for these concerns lies in several studies conducted by reputable organizations. One study from the World Economic Forum predicts that we’ll see a reduction in 5 million jobs over the next five years, all thanks to computers and robots utilizing big data more. As worrying as that prediction is, ...


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4 Ways Big Data is Helping Cardiologists Successfully Treat Heart Diseases

4 Ways Big Data is Helping Cardiologists Successfully Treat Heart Diseases

When it comes to diseases, most people are concerned about heart disease and cancer. Because of this concern, fundraisers are held and donations made to help researchers find cures. While some people do donate to heart disease research, in years past the majority of money was being raised for cancer research.

It is admirable that people have a strong desire to raise awareness about cancer and try to find a cure, but cardiovascular research is very necessary, too. In fact, according to UCSF, heart disease claims more lives than all cancers combined. It is obvious that more research needs to be done in order to stop heart disease from claiming the lives of so many people. And, thankfully, there are some big donations being made to collect big data in cardiovascular research.

How Big Data Is Acquired By Researchers

The Framingham Heart Study of 1948 was the first landmark study done in the field of cardiology. The research done on 5000 participants determined that smoking, family history and high levels of cholesterol all contribute to heart disease.

In 2003, UCSF started the eHeart Study, which utilizes technology to help gather, record and analyze vital data. That same year, The National Institutes of Health donated ...


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What is Video Analytics and Why is it Becoming Such a Big Player?

What is Video Analytics and Why is it Becoming Such a Big Player?

Explosive trends in the video analytics market has really caught the eye of business intelligent departments. This little known software is quickly picking up speed for an expansive amount of applications. From security to public safety to crowd management, video analytics have begun to see a big boom on the business world.

Video analytics, or intelligent video analytics, is software that is used to monitor video streams in near real-time. While monitoring the videos, the software identifies attributes, events or patterns of specific behavior via video analysis of monitored environments. Video analysis software also generates automatic alerts and can facilitate forensic analysis of historical data to identify trends, patterns and incidents. The software enables its users to analyze, organize and share any insight gained from the data to make smarter, better decisions. It can promote enhanced coordination across and within agencies and organizations. Its applications are widespread, including monitoring vehicle patterns or violations of traffic laws, or people entering restricted areas during defined time frames. The data can then be sorted by time and date or over an extended time period to create a trend analysis.

A simple function of video analytics is motion detection with a fixed background. More technical functions ...


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Becoming a Big Data Scientist: Skills You Need to Know and How to Learn Them

Becoming a Big Data Scientist: Skills You Need to Know and How to Learn Them

To say that data scientists are in high demand would actually be sort of an understatement. With big data being utilized more and more within organizations, executives want men and women who know big data inside and out. The number of data scientist positions is on the rise and growing each year. This demand is reflected in the amount of money being paid to data scientists, with the median salary for computer and information research scientists hitting more than $110,000 in 2015, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But it’s not enough to be considered a data scientist, you need to have the right skills to get noticed above your peers. In this way, you’ll be able to land the most coveted jobs that are out there. In other words, mastering certain skills will get you noticed far more quickly.

One can look at data science skills you should know through a broad lens. Simply saying you need programming skills, for example, would be accurate, but let’s get more specific than that. In an analysis from CrowdFlower of LinkedIn job postings, the most cited skill for data scientist openings was SQL. In fact, more than half (57 percent) listed SQL ...


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Why You Should Level Up Your Data Wrangling Skills

Why You Should Level Up Your Data Wrangling Skills

Big data analytics seems to be everywhere these days, but it’s not one of those trends that simply pops up without reason. Big data analytics has proven to be crucial to discovering new insights for businesses, giving them new capabilities and improving on their existing operations. To actually get down to using that data is the big challenge many organizations are facing. It’s easy to simply say that companies need to gather data and analyze it, but in practice the process can be complex.

That’s where data wrangling comes in. Before businesses can even think of fully implementing results from big data analyses, they need to engage in a bit of data wrangling. Perhaps this is your job, making your role the first step in a larger strategy. While many may dismiss the role of data wrangler as mere janitorial work, when done well, it can make all the difference between successful big data efforts and continuing struggles. But first, you need to ensure your data wrangling skills are up to par.

So what exactly makes a good data wrangler? If it’s a job that’s often thought of as less than glamorous, why even bother honing your data wrangling skills? To be ...


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Why The Internet of Things is Getting Real Now

Why The Internet of Things is Getting Real Now

Few things have gotten as much hype as the Internet of Things (IoT). Some say it will be the biggest technological revolution since the rise of the internet itself. To be honest, the predictions aren’t that far off. If the IoT manages to live up to expectations, the impact it will have dwarfs anything that’s come before. At times, though, it becomes difficult to imagine what the IoT means for the individual. Yes, all this talk of connected toasters and cars can sound exciting, but it all seems a far way off, and you might not think it will affect you all that much. It’s natural to be a bit sceptical when everyone is proclaiming how amazing the IoT will be, but it’s time to set aside the prognostication. The Internet of Things is getting real, and the impact will be felt all over the world.

It’s not just that the Internet of Things has the ability to make our lives more convenient, it’s that it can improve quality of life tremendously. A lot of people are buzzing about wearable technology and how well it fits in with the IoT, but wearable tech goes far beyond people being able to track ...


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What to Know to Avoid Hiring a Bad Data Scientist

What to Know to Avoid Hiring a Bad Data Scientist

One of the biggest challenges companies face today is the big data talent gap. Businesses want to use big data, but in order to do that, they need to have the right personnel on hand capable of performing those tasks. This is a tall order for many organizations, mostly because good data scientists are hard to come by. The demand for talented data scientists is high, but sadly the supply is low. Universities and other educational institutions are working hard to teach a new generation of data scientists, but we’re still years away from even coming close to having supply reach demand. That means businesses have tough decisions to make when it comes to hiring a data scientist. While they certainly want to make the best hire possible, it’s just as easy to get that decision wrong. With this in mind, here are several things to keep in mind to make sure you don’t make the mistake of hiring a bad data scientist.

Perfection Doesn’t Exist

A data scientist that has mastered every single programming language, has become an expert in each big data platform, and is the top of the class at statistics, mathematics, and development is often called a unicorn. ...


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Where Hadoop Can Use a Tuneup

Where Hadoop Can Use a Tuneup

With Hadoop becoming more versatile and useful to businesses of nearly any type and size, more organizations than ever before have started using this helpful big data tool. Hadoop has been around for more than a decade now, but the rise of big data analytics has placed the magnifying lens squarely over the platform. Its open source nature has allowed Hadoop to evolve over that timeframe, giving it more capabilities and solving some of the issues that plagued it from its early years. Having said that, Hadoop is not a perfect tool. Far from it, in fact. There are still improvements to be made. These aren’t the type of improvements that require wholesale changes to Hadoop. Consider these adjustments to be more of a tuneup -- slight modifications that can make Hadoop a sleeker, faster-performing tool able to give businesses the results they’re looking for without some of the headaches they experience now.

One issue, often considered one of the biggest ones, is the need to improve Hadoop’s quality of service. Workloads in the Hadoop environment can often grow to be complex, especially as the number of data businesses collects multiplies. The more jobs that are run in Hadoop, the more ...


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Why Google is So Sure Their AI Solution Will Beat Out the Rest

Why Google is So Sure Their AI Solution Will Beat Out the Rest

Google has mastered search. It has dominated the field in this area, but the company is making its way in cloud computing as well. Another area it seeks to lead? Artificial Intelligence (AI). Technology companies are selling AI as part of their cloud services, and profiting as a result. The capacity of data centers is sufficient enough to support it.

A technology prowess, Google has experience with the cloud. It is now looking to serve external customers in new ways, rather than focus all the attention on its internal operations. Customers are not only the end user consumers one sees every day on the street. Competitors are big names such as Microsoft and Amazon, as the company aims to draw in customers such as Netflix and Spotify.

Why does Google see its AI solution as the one to beat out of other business services? The answer may be in the techniques and capabilities the company is investing in. Machine learning is one of them, and has been an interest for a long time. Others include image recognition and also search and video recommendations.

Bridging the Gap Between Machines and English


SyntaxNet: One of many AI software systems, SyntaxNet enables machines to break sentences into ...


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Why IT Spending Took a Nosedive in 2015

Why IT Spending Took a Nosedive in 2015

If you looked at a graph of 2015’s worldwide IT spending predictions, you wouldn’t know if you were looking at a blueprint for a roller coaster or an IT spending graph. Worldwide IT spending topped out at $3.52 trillion dollars by the end of 2015, but the predictions throughout the year had it going all over the place.

At the beginning of the first quarter, Gartner said IT spending was on pace to grow 2.4 percent in 2015, but by the end of the second quarter, that prediction turned into a decline of 5.5 percent. Their Q3 prediction had it rising to only a 3.5 percent decrease, but by the end of the year that number took a nosedive and ended at nearly a 6 percent worldwide decrease. This was the largest drop in IT spending since Gartner began tracking IT spending. So what caused this historic drop in worldwide IT spending? It’s difficult to say exactly what caused this historic event, but here’s what we know played a large role.

A Strong U.S. Dollar

Gartner was one of the first to point out at that the main culprit of this IT spending decrease came from a strong U.S. dollar. In 2015, the ...


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Who is Adopting Big Data?

Who is Adopting Big Data?

If you want to stay ahead of your competition and gain better and quicker insights from your data, it would be a smart strategy to start considering the adoption of big data in your company. As this infographic of a survey conducted by big data vendor Qubole points out, enterprises are following “Digital First” companies into big data and cloud computing adoption.

According to the survey, 93 percent of companies with revenue of less than $500 million are considering or currently implementing Big Data as a Service, and 80 percent with that same revenue are considering, implementing, or currently using the public cloud. It’s not just smaller businesses that are seeking the advantage of big data; 81 percent of companies with revenue of $500 million or more are considering or currently implementing Big Data as a Service, and 70 percent are considering, implementing, or using the public cloud as well.

This survey doesn’t only identify trends in the initial stage of big data adoption, it also lends insights into how companies feel big data is solving their problems and what their common challenges are. 48 percent reported that the limited availability of skilled employees was a challenge, 47 percent listed limited budget, ...


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Is Big Data the Key to More Workforce Diversity?

Is Big Data the Key to More Workforce Diversity?

Ask any business their thoughts on having a diverse workforce and nearly everyone will say promoting diversity is one of their top priorities. Putting that idea into practice, however, has proven to be very difficult. Despite some notable efforts, many workforces remain relatively the same, dominated by white men, especially in leadership positions.

Laws intended to address the issue have made some impact, but the results still seem to be lacking. This may lead some to believe there is no silver bullet that will solve the problem, but the true answer may lie in an unlikely place. Big data, already a prominent tool within many businesses, could be the missing ingredient needed to truly promote diversity at every level. How this happens will still depend on what businesses choose to focus on, but big data analytics may be the key so many people have been searching for.

Many organizations have already utilized big data solutions for their employees in one fashion. HR analytics is steadily growing in popularity have been used to find the right additions for the right positions in a company. That’s merely scratching the surface of what big data can do for human resources, however. Part of HR analytics’ ...


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5 Myths of Cloud Computing that are Holding You Back

5 Myths of Cloud Computing that are Holding You Back

Even with rapid adoption of cloud technologies, many company executives are holding on to myths that are simply holding back their organization. The truth is cloud resources can drive all infrastructures, platforms, and software, but the system will take some administration. Your organization has to know something about the technology. That will help you work together with a vendor. The leading myths preventing many corporate technology officers from making the leap are dispelled below.

1. There Is No Security

In today’s digital world, data and security are words hardly ever mentioned one without the other. Any reputable cloud provider will handle security and compliance. The main difference is they handle all the security issues that were tackled on premise. Their infrastructure and business model incorporates the latest encryption, monitoring, intrusion detection, firewalls, and other defenses against the outside world. Also, the leading cloud vendors are familiar with ISO-, PCI DSS-, and ISAE-compliant standards.

2. It Is Not a Mature Technology

There are numerous articles and people that say the cloud isn’t mature or it hasn’t evolved enough. But it sure has and getting pretty darn close to maturity. Leading brands operate cloud management systems, cloud broker platforms, and service offerings such as SaaS, PaaS, ...


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How Technology Creates The Next-Generation Data Centers

How Technology Creates The Next-Generation Data Centers

Many organizations are beginning to think that they might be done with data centers entirely, at least those that are on-premise. With so much emphasis now placed on the future of cloud computing and the services delivered via the cloud, a common thought is that the traditional data center has outlived its usefulness.

This thinking may be off the mark, but it is correct in at least one sense - the traditional data center is no longer as effective and vital as it used to be. Data centers can be important ingredients of a company's success, but they need to adapt with the times, becoming data centers for the next generation. Improvements are quickly coming to the modern data center and while some organizations may believe they are done with them, they would be missing out on some beneficial opportunities they can’t get anywhere else.

The major improvements coming to this new generation of data centers are usually centered around two core concepts. The first is that modern data centers should be designed specifically with the individual enterprise in mind. The second is that data centers should become much more defined by the software they use.

These two changes are commonly referred to as ...


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What Organizations Should Consider When Looking Into Big Data Vendors

What Organizations Should Consider When Looking Into Big Data Vendors

The need for big data solutions has become greater than ever before as companies step into a new era where information is crucial to success. Big data is by no means a secret by now, yet many businesses still struggle with implementing it. Considering the cutting edge technology involved and the complexity associated with big data analytics, perhaps this shouldn’t come as a surprise.

To overcome the challenge, many companies are turning to big data vendors to better utilize big data without needing to fully master it. Choosing the right big data vendor, however, is far from an easy task. There are many factors to consider when making this important decision. Getting it wrong can set your organization back, while the correct choice could lead to many years of success at a new level.

Before looking at big data vendors, you’ll need to establish what your company’s needs are in the first place. Big data has a lot to offer, but its versatility can become overwhelming if you don’t know what your goals are. Each industry will have different needs, some varying greatly from the others. For example, a financial company will want to use big data for many different reasons ...


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Predicting and Preventing Health Issues with Big Data

Predicting and Preventing Health Issues with Big Data

For eons, healthcare, in whatever form it came in, was fairly straightforward. Someone would get sick or injured, and a physician would prescribe a cure or treatment using the prevailing medical knowledge of the day. This has held true even in modern times, where many people only think about their health during those times when it fails them.

While this approach is a practical one, especially when many have other concerns on their mind, it doesn’t make for long term healthy outcomes. That’s why many medical institutions are trying to use the latest technology to improve patient care and help people live healthier lives by trying to predict health problems before they happen.

Some of this advanced technology is obvious and visible, while much of it happens behind the scenes. This is where big data is being used. On the surface, big data may seem like an odd choice for the healthcare industry, but it’s actually a perfect fit that can help health professionals predict and prevent health issues.

When broken down into its most basic parts, healthcare is really all about data. Doctors are often seen carrying clipboards filled out with patient data such as age, height, weight, blood pressure, ...


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Hangups and Solutions in Applying Big Data in Healthcare

Hangups and Solutions in Applying Big Data in Healthcare

It’s not just high-tech businesses that have latched onto the idea of using big data analytics to improve their operations. The healthcare industry has seen the potential that big data has to offer, leading to a movement to digitize health data to improve patient care and the efficiency of administrative tasks.

Big data might just transform healthcare all around the world, but such revolutionary concepts aren’t always implemented smoothly. Problems have cropped up as hospitals and health institutions have tried to integrate big data analytics into their work. It’s certainly a worthy cause, with the list of possible benefits being and extensive one.

Hangups in this process, however, are all too common. If the healthcare industry wishes to succeed in this effort, they’ll have to be aware of what these hangups are and how best to overcome them.

One of the biggest obstacles healthcare institutions will likely confront isn’t all that unique. Other industries have encountered problems with data silos, and hospitals and clinics are certainly no exception. Many people don’t realize how expansive and diverse the healthcare industry is.

While the majority of people experience healthcare solely by their interactions with their doctor, hospitals also include many departments like labs, ...


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An Explosion in Demand for Big Data Talent Results in More Data Science Courses in India

An Explosion in Demand for Big Data Talent Results in More Data Science Courses in India

Big data remains on an upward trend throughout the world. More and more businesses are realizing the benefits that big data analytics provides and doing their best to get the right talent to oversee future big data operations. Some of the most impressive growth is actually happening in India, which is why a recent announcement from Coursera is just the latest indication of the prevalence of big data in that region.

Coursera, an online learning platform, announced it will be introducing hundreds of new courses designed around topics like business, technology, and, most importantly, data science. With this big announcement, it’s clear that many companies see educating Indian students about big data as a high priority as more organizations rely upon the insights that data science reveals.

The recent rise in data science training in India has not come about by happenstance. India has been a major player in the technological field for some time now, and its influence is only beginning to be felt. Not only is India one of the most heavily populated countries in the world, it also has a high concentration of people who have or are interested in acquiring advanced technical skills. India has a lot ...


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The NFL Gets Into the Internet of Things Game

The NFL Gets Into the Internet of Things Game

Are you noticing something different on the football field this NFL season? On the surface, it all seems like the same hard-hitting action and incredible athletic plays we’ve gotten used to over the years. That part hasn’t changed, at least. But a revolution is taking place under the surface, one which you cannot see from the stands or the comfort of your living room couch but could be more impactful than anything the NFL has seen in a long time. The Internet of Things (IoT) has officially come to the NFL, and it looks like it will benefit players, fans, and teams alike.

When speaking of change happening beneath the surface, that description is literal. Beneath the jerseys of NFL players, special RFID tracking tags have been placed in each athlete’s shoulder pads. This is a result of a recent partnership deal the NFL struck with Zebra Technologies, a tech company that has specialized in tracking devices for decades. The RFID tags used are a result of the advancement of the Internet of Things, where sensors embedded within items can communicate with each other and collect and send data on users.

The tags embedded within the shoulder pads of the players ...


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What Does Alibaba’s Latest Cloud Computing Move Mean for the Competition?

What Does Alibaba’s Latest Cloud Computing Move Mean for the Competition?

When it comes to cloud computing, most people will think of some of the major players in that market. Names like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google automatically come to mind, but they may soon be joined by another competitor, one not as well known within the U.S.

The Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba has made some recent and significant strides at expanding its cloud business, and it’s making waves among the cloud computing community. Alibaba recently announced that its cloud unit Aliyun will be opening a data center in Singapore.

This will serve as an international headquarters for Alibaba. While the announcement might seem rather mundane and unimportant on this side of the world, this move could be just a sign of things to come as Alibaba works to expand its influence and compete with the other big names in the cloud to store your big data.

The details of this major move by Alibaba reveal just how significant the company’s strategy is. Alibaba invested $1 billion in Aliyun with the express intent of global cloud expansion. Establishing a data center in Singapore is just part of the plan. Data centers have already been built in Hong Kong and Silicon Valley, outside of those that ...


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What Does Alibaba’s Latest Cloud Computing Move Mean for the Competition?

What Does Alibaba’s Latest Cloud Computing Move Mean for the Competition?

When it comes to cloud computing, most people will think of some of the major players in that market. Names like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google automatically come to mind, but they may soon be joined by another competitor, one not as well known within the U.S.

The Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba has made some recent and significant strides at expanding its cloud business, and it’s making waves among the cloud computing community. Alibaba recently announced that its cloud unit Aliyun will be opening a data center in Singapore.

This will serve as an international headquarters for Alibaba. While the announcement might seem rather mundane and unimportant on this side of the world, this move could be just a sign of things to come as Alibaba works to expand its influence and compete with the other big names in the cloud to store your big data.

The details of this major move by Alibaba reveal just how significant the company’s strategy is. Alibaba invested $1 billion in Aliyun with the express intent of global cloud expansion. Establishing a data center in Singapore is just part of the plan. Data centers have already been built in Hong Kong and Silicon Valley, outside of those that ...


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Can Big Data Remove Bias in Hiring and Business Practices?

Can Big Data Remove Bias in Hiring and Business Practices?

Businesses are turning more to Big Data for hiring and in day to day business practices. This has ignited the discussion as to whether bias can be eliminated. Does Big Data in fact remove bias? Some say yes because algorithms are mathematical in nature. They aren’t subjective. Other say the data and algorithms are as biased as their creators.

To better assess this argument, consider the types of Big Data used to judge people. One is FICO credit scores. Basic types of information such as payment history, amounts owned, types of credit, new credit, and credit history are taken into account. It’s for the most part data-driven and based on credit alone. Can the same approach be used by human resources?

Big Data for Evaluating People

Beyond the lending industry, assessing people is done in many ways. One of these elements is SAT scores. Those who score higher tend to come from more affluent families, rather than having a stronger and more desirable individual character. How people score depends on many things, including how the questions are structured. As for the credit example, one can drop their phone number, but that could mean avoiding either creditors or abusive partners.

A New York Times article, ...


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Can Big Data Remove Bias in Hiring and Business Practices?

Can Big Data Remove Bias in Hiring and Business Practices?

Businesses are turning more to Big Data for hiring and in day to day business practices. This has ignited the discussion as to whether bias can be eliminated. Does Big Data in fact remove bias? Some say yes because algorithms are mathematical in nature. They aren’t subjective. Other say the data and algorithms are as biased as their creators.

To better assess this argument, consider the types of Big Data used to judge people. One is FICO credit scores. Basic types of information such as payment history, amounts owned, types of credit, new credit, and credit history are taken into account. It’s for the most part data-driven and based on credit alone. Can the same approach be used by human resources?

Big Data for Evaluating People

Beyond the lending industry, assessing people is done in many ways. One of these elements is SAT scores. Those who score higher tend to come from more affluent families, rather than having a stronger and more desirable individual character. How people score depends on many things, including how the questions are structured. As for the credit example, one can drop their phone number, but that could mean avoiding either creditors or abusive partners.

A New York Times article, ...


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5 Things that Wouldn’t Exist Without the Cloud

5 Things that Wouldn’t Exist Without the Cloud

It’s safe to say by this point that the cloud has truly transformed how we live. Cloud computing has become so prevalent, that those who don’t know much about it or understand how the technology works still use it prevalently in their day to day lives. Here’s an interesting thought experiment for those who dismiss the influence of the cloud today.

What would the world look like if cloud computing had never caught on? Put simply, it would look quite a bit different, with changes affecting nearly every aspect of our lives. Many services and companies have now become dependent on cloud operations. Here are just a few things that wouldn’t exist without cloud computing that you might not have thought about.

1. Netflix Streaming

Yes, it’s true that Netflix first started out as a DVD-by-mail company, but it didn’t stay that way for long. The company first introduced streaming video back in 2007, about ten years after its founding, which effectively changed the way the company operated.

While Netflix still uses traditional mail for movie rentals, the bulk of its business comes from streaming films online. This development lead to an explosion in Netflix subscribers -- roughly 60 million worldwide as of April 2015. The ...


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Why Flash Proves to be Cheaper and Faster for Big Data

Why Flash Proves to be Cheaper and Faster for Big Data

Data is driving the world in ways many could only have imagined a few years ago. Detailed information about nearly every aspect of life is being generated at an unprecedented pace, with some estimates even showing that the amount of data generated doubles every two years.

Simply put, that’s a lot of numbers that need to be collected, sorted, analyzed, and applied to whatever solutions organizations are pursuing. Finding the best way to adopt big data analytics in an affordable and effective way has been the challenge for many businesses.

For years, the use of RAM for high-speed data processing has been the default choice for companies, in part because it was cheap and could handle the workload. But as data grows around the world, RAM has struggled to keep up with demand. Now many are starting to turn to flash as the means by which data can be processed and used more effectively.

Much of the optimism surrounding NAND flash comes from a recent study at MIT that compared the capabilities of RAM and flash when it comes to big data. In that study, researchers were able to build a server network that showed flash could get the job of ...


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A Closer Look at the Energy Needed to Run the Cloud

A Closer Look at the Energy Needed to Run the Cloud

The advantages of using the cloud have become clear and indisputable in the past couple of years. These benefits have largely driven the adoption of cloud computing all across the world, leading to the construction and maintenance of thousands of data centers globally.

As versatile as the cloud is turning out to be, many organizations still have questions regarding how it works. Or to be more specific, companies are searching for more clarity concerning how much energy the cloud actually consumes. It’s a question that’s not necessarily easy to answer since cloud providers can vary greatly depending on their size, the number of customers they have, and what features they offer.

Finding out the correct information, however, is the goal of many organizations and could help quantify the tradeoffs businesses make when moving their operations to the cloud.

 

Reasons for Understanding Energy Consumption

There are, of course, many reasons a business may wish to know how much power is needed to use cloud computing. One of the major ones involves environmental concerns. That’s why 19 customers of Amazon Web Services (AWS) have signed a letter urging Amazon to release information regarding the company’s energy consumption and carbon footprint.

Some of those customers, like Hootsuite, are ...


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How Car Manufacturers are Using Big Data

How Car Manufacturers are Using Big Data

Big data is everywhere and used in nearly every type of business. While many people might not be aware of its prevalence, it’s clear from the way companies are engaging in big data analytics that it is playing a big role in achieving new levels of success.

New technologies used in today’s businesses help us to become aware of big data and its value. Examples of this can be seen in storage, pricing, and retailers who use online activity to pinpoint behavioral trends in marketing campaigns that can be greatly improved. Other uses for big data can be found in utilities, where they can predict outages through energy levels used enabling energy consumption to become more efficient; and by Google and government institutions, who use Big Data to track and detect outbreaks of disease through signals in social media.

But it isn’t just the web and utility companies that use big data; car manufacturers have also been using it on the outside and inside of the vehicle, thus enabling them to improve vehicle quality, enrich the service and driving experience, and enhance safety.

The wonderful thing about cars is that they are a wealth of information, accumulating data taken from the driver, the ...


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From Space to the Cloud: NASA Embraces Cloud Computing

From Space to the Cloud: NASA Embraces Cloud Computing

The journey to the cloud can be a long and complicated process for any company, regardless of size. Now imagine how monumental of a task it is for an agency like NASA. Seeing the potential benefits offered through cloud computing, NASA decided to move many of its operations to the cloud starting in March 2013. The process started small and grew gradually, making for an enormous project that is still ongoing. Deploying to the cloud is no small matter, and NASA has plenty of concerns that other organizations don’t have. As the cloud transition continues, NASA is beginning to reap some of the same benefits other businesses experience once they move to the cloud. The challenges the space agency face can also be instructive to companies that are planning a similar change.

The true scope of NASA’s migration to the cloud is impressive to say the least. NASA chose to deploy cloud solutions on Amazon Web Services (AWS), the leading cloud provider in the world. AWS has unique features that NASA found appealing, mainly the presence of both public and private cloud options, which would help the agency in placing types of data where it needed to go to remain secure. ...


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How Big Data is Aiding in the Fight Against Terrorism

How Big Data is Aiding in the Fight Against Terrorism

Of all the challenges facing the world, few are as important as stopping terrorism in its tracks. In just the past few years, extremist groups like ISIS have grown in number and marched across the Middle East, spreading violence and unrest wherever they go. The acts they have undertaken are shocking and disturbing to much of the civilized world, and many countries are realizing the urgent need to stop these terrorists before their war continues to spread. Luckily, the tools to fight extremists are more varied and effective than ever before, including one that might not be thought of as a key in the battle against terrorism: big data. Many in the business world have already seen how useful big data is, and governments and intelligence agencies have quickly adopted big data analytics to identify, track down, and eliminate threats. Though the technology is still in its beginning stages, big data is already proving to be a vital component in the fight.

Knowing exactly how the military and intelligence agencies in the U.S. and abroad are using big data is still a tricky endeavor. Military strategies and techniques are justifiably kept classified, but based on how big data is used in ...


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Smart Cities Could Make Traffic Jams a Thing of the Past

Smart Cities Could Make Traffic Jams a Thing of the Past

They’re a modern annoyance and frustration that many people feel is unavoidable. I’m speaking of traffic jams and the brutal reality of rush hour. In the largest cities in the world, and even those that aren’t so large, commuters waste hours and hours every year trying to get to work, moving forward inch by inch as other impatient drivers deal with the same ordeal. Traffic jams aren’t just annoying -- they’re costly. In the United States alone, rush hour traffic jams result in billions of dollars lost in the economy. As much of a nuisance as traffic jams are, many people feel like they have no choice but to learn to cope with it. But is that really true? A solution to the ever-growing problem may in fact not be too far away. Thanks to the promise of the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart cities, traffic jams may one day be only a memory.

First, we need to cover a little background on the Internet of Things. Put simply, the IoT is a term used to describe how everyday items from smartphones, clothing, and appliances can communicate with users and each other through the internet. The IoT operates by placing ...


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Big Data Job Growth and Trends to Watch in 2015

Big Data Job Growth and Trends to Watch in 2015

2014 was an exciting and eventful year for the Big Data market as the technology surrounding it became more versatile than ever before. Big Data has grown by leaps and bounds, and there appears to be no letting up from the dramatic increases seen over the past year. 2015 is now upon us, which means it’s time to take a look ahead to see what’s in store for Big Data over the next year. In particular, jobs requiring Big Data skills seem to be foremost on people’s minds. From a look at some of the 2015 predictions, some interesting trends begin to emerge which could help businesses and Big Data experts make solid plans over how to take advantage of Big Data’s solid and continuing growth.

Predicting the future can be tricky business, but one way to find the right continuing trends is to look at the trends from the previous year and see if they will remain consistent. Data from WANTED Analytics showcases which jobs saw the biggest increases in demand, which can be quite telling for what will be in demand for 2015. Several job categories immediately jump to the top of the list, the most prominent being Information Technology Project Managers (which saw a more than 123 percent growth in job demand), Computer Systems Engineers and Architects (around 89 percent), and Computer and Information Research Scientists (more than 85 percent). While these jobs aren’t necessarily centrally focused on Big Data, the demand for Big Data expertise in these areas is where the increased demand originates, and the results are increasing salaries for the people with the right skill sets.

The same jobs data also shows where these jobs are located most prominently. The higher job counts center around two major regions: northern California and the Washington D.C. area. More specifically, the markets most in demand of Big Data-related jobs include San Jose, Santa Clara, and San Francisco in California, and Arlington and Alexandria near Washington. New York, Boston, and Seattle are also important areas to keep an eye on. In other words, Big Data scientists searching for the places with the biggest job growth would be served by paying more attention to these areas and the emerging companies from there.

None of these increases in demand should come as any surprise, of course. Big Data has become big business, one that could reach $125 billion this year. Many of the current technological trends are the chief causes behind this booming market. Take the Internet of Things (IoT) for example. By embedding sensors within objects and products, and then connecting those sensors to the internet, more data will be generated than ever before. Combine the growth of the IoT with the explosion in mobile devices and cloud services, and companies have an unprecedented need for employees skilled in Big Data. Every application now needs some form of data analytics so it can identify and send the right data to those who need it the most.

Organizations are also placing a greater emphasis being on security in the wake of major data breaches and hacks of multiple large corporations around the world. Companies will likely look for experts in IT security who also possess the Big Data skills to better identify, combat, and prevent cyber security attacks in the future. In fact, this greater focus on security is also indicative of another trend: a shift from highlighting descriptive analytics to predictive analytics. Some experts view this as a natural evolution of Big Data that will likely reach new heights in 2015. While descriptive analytics can be used to tell what happened and even why something happened, predictive analytics can be used to figure out future events and outcomes. It is a far more versatile skill set, one that companies will want their data experts to have moving into the future.

These are just a few of the jobs and trends to watch for as we move deeper into 2015. Other areas, such as the growth of open source Big Data and prioritizing quality data over quantity, will also likely make a big impact on the Big Data market and have a lasting effect on the jobs and skill sets data scientists will need to develop to remain competitive into the future. Knowing what businesses and organizations will value and look for in their employees can prove to be a tremendous benefit as data experts continue in their careers.

 
Big Data and the Cloud: A Perfect Combination?

Big Data and the Cloud: A Perfect Combination?

There's certainly plenty of hype surrounding Big Data and cloud computing. Most businesses have likely looked into both technologies, if they haven’t adopted them in some form already. Taken separately, Big Data and the cloud can prove very beneficial to a company, providing numerous advantages that could give them the upper hand in an increasingly competitive business environment. While each technology is valuable on its own, many businesses are attempting to combine them in an effort to reap even more benefits. In fact, according to a survey taken in early 2014, roughly 80 percent of respondents said combining Big Data with cloud computing had led to a transformational impact in their organizations. Many industries around the world are waking up to the revolutionary change that can be brought about through the cloud and Big Data, and those that use both of them in tandem are realizing just how effective of a combination they can be.

The main use of Big Data is usually done through Big Data analytics. As cloud computing has improved and become more available, more companies are choosing to use Big Data analytics in the cloud. By utilizing the cloud for this purpose, businesses are able to derive better analysis from the large amounts of structured and unstructured data in their possession. This attribute of the cloud has proven so valuable that Big Data is even driving the adoption of cloud computing across numerous industries and enterprises. Cloud computing is much cheaper for companies to use when compared to the large-scale Big Data resources that organizations have used before. The cloud also makes it much easier for companies to integrate data from numerous different sources and databases. Cloud computing can also produce better results with a more consistent performance.

Using the cloud also makes Big Data much more accessible in one straightforward way: it simplifies a business’s infrastructure. Analyzing Big Data can be a tremendous strain on infrastructure because the data comes in large volumes, different speeds, and various types which can be hard for more traditional infrastructures to keep up with. The cloud can solve the problems posed by these added workloads because cloud computing provides flexible infrastructure, which can be scaled according to the company’s needs at the time. Not only can it be scaled up and down, but it can be done through easy and convenient means. It can also integrate new workloads without much problem. So the relationship between the cloud and Big Data is almost symbiotic--businesses want to use Big Data, so they get the cloud, which in turn allows them to more easily use Big Data.

The benefits that come from using Big Data analytics and cloud computing are almost too numerous to mention in just one article, but here are just a few to keep in mind. This combination can decrease operating costs (like not having to invest in new infrastructure), which can help out a company’s bottom line. In addition to that, the cloud and Big Data can increase revenue while also creating new revenue streams. Both technologies can also help businesses better understand their customers. This can be seen particularly in customer relationship management (CRM) software--Salesforce being one of the more popular examples of this idea in action. The full view of customers provided by the cloud and Big Data helps businesses plan for the future and understand how products and services are being received in greater detail.

One of the biggest areas where both technologies can have a lasting impact is among small and medium-sized businesses. As mentioned above, cloud computing brings the overall cost of engaging in Big Data analytics down, which allows businesses with more limited resources and budgets access to it. According to some recent research, about 18 percent of small businesses and 57 percent of medium businesses currently use analytics solutions. But with the cloud becoming more prominent, those numbers are expected to increase over the next few years. As more small businesses adopt Big Data and the cloud, they’ll be able to speed up their product development cycle, respond to changing market conditions more quickly, and open up new markets that weren’t available to them before. Needless to say, cloud computing and Big Data can be game changers for smaller enterprises.

While challenges still exist, like data storage capabilities, it’s clear that the cloud and Big Data are an effective and powerful duo. By combining both of them, businesses can truly take advantage of the unique benefits each one offers. They improve each other, highlighting their strengths and even minimizing certain weaknesses. Put simply, Big Data and the cloud are a team that should be part of any organization looking to make its mark in the world.

Size Matters: Five Security Tips for Small Businesses

Size Matters: Five Security Tips for Small Businesses

Let’s get right to the point and not beat around the bush. If you’re a small business, there’s a good chance you’re a target for cybercriminals. You may be dismissive, after all, what could criminals possibly want with your information? They’d be far better served going after larger corporations, with all their credit card information and large customer base. Why would someone waste their time on Joe’s Family Pizza when they can get into Target or the Home Depot?

It’s simple actually. While big companies have lots of information, they also have much better security measures. Small businesses, for the most part, don’t make large investments in their network security. As a result, they are left incredibly vulnerable and are easy targets. That’s why, according to a survey by the National Small Business Association, about 44 percent of American small businesses have experienced cyber attacks. It wouldn’t be surprising if that number was similar for the UK.

Cybercriminals are after a lot more than just credit card and banking information. In many cases, attackers are looking to establish themselves in one network and then use it to gain access to another. For example, a small, local coffee shop is a popular hangout for students and professionals to come and get some work done. If someone can exploit a weakness in the coffee shop network, he or she could also gain access to everyone else using it.

The sad reality is that everyone is a target, and so businesses of all sizes will need to take appropriate action if they expect to secure their networks. But what can these smaller businesses do? In an ideal world, they could upgrade their IT security to match the likes of the corporate giants, but that’s not realistic. Smaller businesses have smaller budgets. They need to put as much money into the day-to-day operations that are necessary for growth, so security is usually a low priority.

Fortunately, that doesn’t need to be the case. There are a number of steps smaller businesses can take to improve their security measures.

Here are 5 simple tips to improve network security without breaking the bank:

Proper Training

The biggest threat facing organisations isn’t always the cybercriminals, but rather careless employees. Negligent employees misplace devices or have unsafe browsing and downloading habits that compromise data. A simple means of overcoming these problems would be proper instruction and training. This would include how to create strong passwords or how to follow proper internet safety procedures. Teach them how cybercriminals attempt to steal information or access the network, and how to stop that from happening.

Security Software

No matter how small your business is, there is no excuse for not having proper security software to protect your devices. It seems so trivial, but antivirus and anti-malware software can protect you from many of the common threats facing network security. There is even fairly good free software available for those on tight budgets looking to get started. Also, don’t forget about mobile devices. Install security apps on the phones your employees are using for work.

Secure your Wi-Fi

Unprotected and unsecured wireless networks are one of the most common access points for attackers. Make sure when you setup your router that you customize its settings. Don’t allow the network name to be broadcasted, and ensure it’s password protected. If you don’t, anyone can remotely access information and devices on your network.

Consider the Cloud

Cloud storage is one of the best security options for small businesses. It’s easy, affordable, flexible and manageable. There’s no additional hardware or software to buy, and it’s scalable to meet the needs of growing businesses. Storing information off-site with a reputable cloud provider limit the chance of an attack and give you access to data backup. 

Hire a professional

A robust and experienced IT department isn’t always in the budget. Sometimes even having one dedicated IT professional isn’t possible for some small businesses. That doesn’t mean you’re out of options. Many of these services can be outsourced. You can bring someone in on an as-needed-basis, which can be a very cost-effective approach. Have them set up your network, make further IT security recommendations and offer simple trainings for your employees.

Post written by Rick Delgado

The post Size Matters: Five Security Tips for Small Businesses appeared first on BigData-Startups.

Rick Delgado

The Latest Security Challenges Involving BYOD and Big Data

The Latest Security Challenges Involving BYOD and Big Data

Many businesses were presented with a no-win situation as smartphones and tablets exploded in popularity and employees began bringing them into the workplace. They could either ban personal devices and stick with providing workers with company-owned technology, which risked alienating employees. Or they could accept the personal devices into the office through bring you own device (BYOD) policies. While the latter seems like the better choice, BYOD is not without its challenges and difficulties, especially when it concerns security. Employees may enjoy BYOD since it gives them more freedom and allows them to be more productive, but many business leaders aren’t completely sold on the idea yet. As personal mobile devices make their way into work, companies have more security challenges on their hands, especially while those same devices become a portal for Big Data.

IT departments were already facing some formidable hurdles when BYOD was first introduced. IT workers were tasked with being able to support multiple different devices, each with different capabilities and features. At the same time, they had to ensure everything worked together smoothly and avoid hiccups in production and business operations. This all had to be done while still keeping company data secured and accomplishing their usual daily tasks with a limited staff. Needless to say, this was a tall order for many IT departments, and the rise of Big Data on mobile devices has only made their duties all the more complicated.

The constant evolution of technology has made preparing ahead of time for these revolutionary changes an increasingly difficult mission. Only recently have mobile devices begun to use Big Data applications, and smartphones and tablets are also being used for the purposes of data collection. These developments certainly don’t make preparing for security challenges any easier. In fact, in one recent survey, only 22% of IT workers said they had developed a BYOD policy with data access via personal devices in mind. BYOD mobile devices are also using cloud services more than ever, and those services are also utilizing Big Data in newer and more innovative ways. In other words, Big Data is being used by employees from their smartphones, and businesses, especially small ones, are finding it hard to keep up.

That’s not to say that the task of improving BYOD security in a world of Big Data is an impossible one. Even though small businesses may feel ill equipped to handle these new security challenges, there are ways to make BYOD personal devices better protected. On the part of the business, when adopting a BYOD policy, clear rules and guidelines need to be set up that employees understand and agree to. This may require additional training and education, but it’s only through a clearly defined policy that businesses will be able to identify when an employee is behaving in a suspicious manner. Implementation is another aspect that organizations need to take into account, mainly by making their infrastructure more standardized, which enables easier management.

Luckily for companies with limited resources, others are also responding to the complications that arise with Big Data and BYOD in the workplace. While enterprises may rely more on cloud computing, cloud vendors are recognizing the improvements that have to be made in cloud security and responding accordingly. Device manufacturers are also trying to help out businesses by introducing new security settings devoted exclusively to business use. Some of these measures include adoption of mobile device management (MDM) features, which allow devices to integrate more easily into a security framework within a company.

While Big Data can potentially complicate matters of BYOD security, it can be harnessed to improve it as well. The task of monitoring multiple systems and potentially hundreds of devices leads to the generation and collection of large amounts of information. By using Big Data services, companies can better organize and analyze this data by improving detection and prevention systems. In the same way it’s used to detect fraud within the financial sector, Big Data can help identify suspicious behaviors and locate systems that have been infiltrated. Big Data also can troubleshoot outages, conduct security audits, and identify the mobile devices used the most to provide IT with more time to prepare.

Big Data and BYOD’s entrance into the workplace has lead to more complications for IT departments focused on improving security. While both items can be valuable tools, businesses need to know the risks involved and how best to protect company data. Only then can they discover and gain the most from the benefits of BYOD and Big Data.

Post written by Rick Delgado

The post The Latest Security Challenges Involving BYOD and Big Data appeared first on BigData-Startups.

Rick Delgado

How Big Data and BYOD Can Help Sales Reps Sell

How Big Data and BYOD Can Help Sales Reps Sell

Sales teams are often the first to jump onboard with new technology. They are the early adopters of the business community, looking for the latest tool that will help them keep track of all their information, and perform better. In many cases, they’ll even go out and buy their own devices in order to get the edge they need.

The downside to this technical sales revolution is that software hasn’t always been there to keep up with the devices. While sales teams like new gadgets that help them sell, the software built for sales hasn’t really held its own. CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tools have proven to be pretty ineffective in the past, and more of a burden than an aid. Fortunately, there’s another trend that may end up saving CRM and transforming it into something reliable and useful. The hero? Big Data.

A recent IDG study predicts enterprises will have spent, on average, about $8M on Big Data initiatives in 2014. That’s really not too surprising, as Big Data analysis promises better data-driven decision making. By using historical information and inputting any number of variables, analysts hope to discover important trends and use them as an accurate way of predicting future results.

It’s not hard to see how this would lend itself to CRM. The management tool could be developed to help create better benchmarks, improve customer service and most importantly, calculate ROI more accurately.

Here’s a small list of benefits sales reps could experience thanks to Big Data integration into CRM:

Predictive Modeling

One of the biggest benefits of analyzing Big Data, is the ability to create models for future behavior. By imputing the right historical trends, businesses gain the ability to predict how customers may react in the future. Analysts can also modify trends to see how different variables could hinder or help new projects.

Customer Analysis

On the heels of predictive modeling, CRM and Big Data allow sales teams to segment customers according to actions, demographics or any other category of choice. Trends can then be used to predict needs, direct product development and create new promotions. Users could develop better benchmarks that’ll help determine what needs to be accomplished in order to be successful and get the right outcomes.

Real-Time Analytics

CRM can also call upon Big Data to help create customized solutions for customers right on the spot. Reps can input information based on the needs or concerns of their clients, and have the data tell them what options, services or products can meet those needs.

Better Decision Making

Finally, with all this information, it culminates down to the obvious benefit: better decision making. Big Data can provide endless details on products, what works and customer information. With the right benchmarks, improved understanding of customers and predictive models, there is plenty of information to help sales teams and management make more informed, confident decisions.

BYOD and Big Data

All of this converges at an interesting point. Not only do we have Big Data influencing CRM tools, but new devices influencing the way these tools are used. BYOD trends have made it so sales teams are using a wide range of devices. In order to meet the needs of its users, CRM is transitioning to mobile. This is invaluable, as reps can now have access to important tools and information wherever they are, whenever they need it. This will make them far more effective when meeting with potential customers, as they’ll have a better idea of how to tailor their approach based on specific needs. Even further, thanks to cloud storage capabilities, the information is no longer stored on a specific device. That means reps can use whatever machines they prefer, from Apple to Samsung.

While this offers exciting possibilities, it’s important to point out the hazards. Whenever we’re dealing with cloud computing, important data and BYOD policies, there is a very real security threat. While BYOD shouldn’t be limited, BYOD security measures should be taken seriously. Having the proper controls and oversight is important. Implementing the right policies in combination with new technology will ensure data protection and productivity.

Post written by Rick Delgado

The post How Big Data and BYOD Can Help Sales Reps Sell appeared first on BigData-Startups.

Rick Delgado

Startups That Are Expanding The Cloud

Startups That Are Expanding The Cloud

Did you know the global market for cloud equipment is expected to reach $79 billion by 2018? Or by the end of 2013, up to 75 percent of UK-based organizations will use at least one type of cloud service?

That’s pretty significant, but not hard to believe given the increasing dependence we’re placing on cloud computing. Nowhere is this more obvious than with our smartphones and the cloud services that power the applications we use daily, or in some cases, hourly.

While cloud technology has already made vast improvements in the way we share information, there is still so much more potential. Already there are a growing number of companies who recognize the opportunities within cloud computing, and are looking to push cloud tech and create some pretty revolutionary services.

The following are just four examples of new cloud companies looking to shake things up in the digital troposphere.

IndoorAtlas

Thanks to navigational apps on smartphones, we are able to plan our routes and arrive at our destinations with less stress. We might not admit it, but these apps are keeping our lives together as we rush from place to place without the time to make a wrong turn. While navigational apps are great at helping us find the right roads, what if we could use them indoors? Sound odd? Maybe at first, but if we consider the time spent wandering around looking for all the items on our shopping list, we start to see the benefits.

That’s what IndoorAtlas is looking to do. Using geolocation, IndoorAtlas wants to build mobile maps that outline entire stores, malls or even convention centers. We could plan our grocery and holiday shopping routes, or even survive the massive crowds at large indoor events. We could find exactly what we’re looking for and cut the time spent wandering aimlessly around.

Blue Jeans Network

In 2013, CIO Magazine ranked Blue Jeans third among the top ten cloud startups that year. Since then, it has exploded, racking up more investments and new clients. An issue facing a lot of businesses is the variety of different providers and platforms. This often makes it complicated to coordinate with clients or other organizations operating on different systems.

That’s where Blue Jeans found its niche. They provide interoperable cloud-based video conferencing without the need for downloading additional plugins or software. Subscribers can start meetings with anyone by simply sending a URL that launches the meeting right within their browser. It doesn’t matter what platform they’re on, or what device they have, as long as it has video capabilities and can connect to the Internet. 

Bitglass

Bitglass is a great example of a company looking to improve network security measures within the cloud. While cloud computing offers many advantages, it isn’t perfect (think Apple’s iCloud). Companies are looking for better ways to protect their information, and Bitglass is doing well to meet the need.

Bitglass is a Cloud Access Security Broker. What does that mean? Well, for example, when we log into Dropbox from our tablets, Bitglass will ensure that communication happens through a protected channel. It will encrypt any sensitive documents so only we can read them. Essentially Bitglass places itself between employees’ apps and corporate servers, and makes sure every communication is monitored, encrypted or redacted.

Airpost

Another big issue facing network security is the implementation of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). Allowing employees to use devices they are more comfortable with increases productivity, but it also puts company data at risk.

Enter Airpost. Airpost allows IT administrators to discover the different cloud services that employees are using on their various devices. Instead of simply blocking these applications, IT can gain a better understanding of usage and implement the right controls to enforce security policies.

There’s a lot to look forward to as we dive deeper into cloud computing. Already the industry is expanding, with many startups carving out their specific niches. Who knows, maybe these growing startups could be the solution to business needs you might have.

Image: husermet

Post written by Rick Delgado

The post Startups That Are Expanding The Cloud appeared first on BigData-Startups.

Rick Delgado

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