The Ascent of Blockchain-Based Trading Platforms

The Ascent of Blockchain-Based Trading Platforms

Recently, BP, Royal Dutch Shell, and Norway based Statoil in conjunction with ABN Amro, Societe Generale, and ING, announced that they had started developing an energy trading platform based on blockchain technology. The venture will also involve Mercuria and Gunvor Koch supply and trading companies. This big oil and big finance collaboration is the latest in a series of moves by leading players in the technology and finance industries to harness the security and transparency offered by blockchain technology.

Why blockchains are big news

In a nutshell, blockchains are continuously updated and growing record. Each block usually contains a hash table linking the present block to its predecessor, a timestamp, and the current transaction details. Due to continuous and sequential timestamps, encryption, and hash table links, blockchains are highly resistant to change and interference. Typically, blockchains are stored in a distributed system similar to the ones used by cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. The distributed storage creates multiple redundancies since all interested parties can maintain a copy of the transactions. This open ledger approach makes it easy to detect and correct transaction record tampering.

When used as a basis for a distributed ledger trading platform deployment, blockchains are usually maintained by a peer to ...


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7 Ways Big Data Analytics Can Augment Your Marketing Strategy

7 Ways Big Data Analytics Can Augment Your Marketing Strategy

For the last few years, Big Data has been all the rage in the corporate world. Just when you thought the information age had been milked for all that could be squeezed out of it, the use of Big Data analytics became the avenue to massive corporate profits that keeps on giving. In fact, the more data that companies gather and leverage to improve their marketing strategies, the more income potential they stand to generate. This is why it is critical for smaller companies to get into the game and ride the Big Data wave in order to earn more from their marketing strategies.

1. Finding the Right Price Point

Every day information is being gathered on how much consumers are willing to pay for products and services your company is presently offering for sale. As more data is amassed about such pricing information, your company can take advantage of these Big Data findings to know how to zero in on the right pricing structure to use to attract more buyers. By adjusting your pricing to fit the data, you will inevitably increase sales without having to do so much guessing about how to price products and services being offered. This will ...


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What Are The Potential Dangers Of Quantum Computing?

What Are The Potential Dangers Of Quantum Computing?

The development of quantum computers may create serious cyber-security threats. The NSA has recently released statements expressing their concern over the potential of quantum computing to foil the cryptography protecting all data to date. Furthermore, the use of quantum computers may become widespread before many people expect.

What Are The Potential Dangers Of Quantum Computing?

A powerful quantum computer could crack the cryptographic algorithms that keep our data safe. While managed detection and response services are highly effective at keeping today's data safe, these services wouldn't be able to protect data from a quantum computer. Quantum computers could even break the algorithms that are used by New York's stock exchange. This could lead to the collapse of the stock market.

How Do Quantum Computers Work?

Quantum computers use quarks as bits (qubits) rather than bits made of silicon. The device's bits are the smallest particles in the universe, and this will make it possible for quantum computers to have a larger number of bits than conventional devices.

Quantum computers could have drives that contain hundreds of millions of terabytes or more. It's even possible that mobile devices could be this powerful!

Also, quantum computers use a code that is different than binary code. In fact, quarks ...


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3 Ways CRM How Real-time Data Can Improve Your Business

3 Ways CRM How Real-time Data Can Improve Your Business

Customer relationship management (CRM) platforms are an important modern business asset. The software automates many internal operations from lead generation to sales tracking and client management. CRM application integrates data from devices, products, forms, and other business apps to enable data insights for more centralized management. Here are three key benefits of adopting a CRM software.

Organize customer data

As a business' client base grows, so does the need for a centralized management platform. It's hard to imagine modern corporations operate without an enabling customer and data management tool. CRM platforms store data in backend tables and allow employees to access them via a user-friendly interface. For example, clients might customize their CRM dashboard to display relevant graphs on lead, sales, and monthly summaries.

CRM reporting tools also allow companies to chart data and measure their performance. Employees can create reports that organize sales by products and clients, for instance; or reports that populate forms with relevant data to present to partners and clients. Even if a default CRM application doesn't have an embedded reporting tool, users can integrate the CRM database with a third-party data warehousing tool like Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services.

Get actionable data insights

CRM applications can incorporate machine learning algorithms ...


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Semi-Autonomous Cars: Worries and Fears Driving Tesla-S and Similar Cars

Semi-Autonomous Cars: Worries and Fears Driving Tesla-S and Similar Cars

Science-fiction movies love to show off cars that drive themselves. In the original Total Recall, self-driving cars were even used to squeeze a little humor into the action film. For Tesla owners, there might not be much to laugh about when it comes to the semi-autonomous features associated with the vehicle. Not everyone feels comfortable with the automatic driving capabilities found in Tesla models and other cars. In time, however, such attitudes may change. Understanding the how's and why's of semi-autonomous cars could make them less frightening.

The Concept of Semi-Autonomous Cars

Semi-autonomous cars present a very valuable feature, one capable of helping drivers avoid mishaps and calamities on the road. Semi-autonomous is not the same thing as self-driving. Semi-autonomous cars do handle some of the tasks associated with driving, but do require the driver to do some work as well. So, the vehicle does not take on all the responsibilities of driving. Rather, a semi-autonomous car lends an assist. For those nervous about allowing a Tesla to run "on its own," the semi-autonomous features gives them some control.

The Purpose of Semi-Autonomous Cars

The main purpose of semi-autonomous cars is not just to make driving one of the vehicles very leisurely. One huge ...


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How to Overcome the Hurdles of Big Data in Marketing

How to Overcome the Hurdles of Big Data in Marketing

There are many things to look out for when it comes to big data and how advertisers will use this information in the future. Its impact will be omnipresent. This is why there is a lot of information to examine when it comes to the influence that big data will continue to have on businesses and the way they handle large amounts of information. The force that big data will have on the ways that advertisers use, process, and gather information will affect the lives of consumers. This information will provide advertisers with personal details about consumers and their lifestyles which will provide the data needed to create unique and personalized experiences for consumers.

Understand Privacy Rights

Nowadays, most advertisers are willing to reward you in exchange for a peek at your information. Many of us are all too willing to allow free access to this information as long as the dangling carrot is compelling enough. However, how much information is too much and is the compensation offered really adequate? This is the question. The advertising world is fraught with situations where a lack of transparency may be an issue on the part of many marketing companies. This raises the question of ...


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How Data Analytics is Being Leveraged by Professional Sports

How Data Analytics is Being Leveraged by Professional Sports

In the age of Big Data, the term analytics gets tossed around a lot, especially in the world of sports. Analytics insights from sports range from the truly strange, such as the fact the pro tennis player who grunts the most effectively tends to win, to the genuinely game-changing, such as NBA teams changing their season long approach to player rest. If so many sports are seen as games of inches, what might seem like a rounding error may in fact be the difference between victory and defeat. Let's take a look at some ways data analytics as a field is being leveraged in professional sports.

Missile-Tracking in the NBA

STATS SportVu is a system that's based on existing missile-tracking technologies, and it's a popular choice across many North American sports leagues for recording the positions of every player and the ball. It has become especially popular in the NBA, where it is being used to track where players take their shots, how they come into the offensive or defensive zone and how likely they are to succeed or fail. Teams decide one-on-one match-ups based on this information, and the teams that process the data most effectively tend to win. It's not ...


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How Future Technology Will Increase the Reach of the Internet

How Future Technology Will Increase the Reach of the Internet

Nothing in the history of the world has equaled the explosive growth of the internet. It has become an integral part of people's daily lives, expanding from 16 million users in 1995 to almost 3.8 billion by March, 2017. The internet boasts more than a billion websites with more added every minute and is used by approximately 40% of people worldwide. However, the internet's reach doesn't yet extend to every corner of the globe.

Putting the Internet in Perspective

The development and expansion of the world's telephone infrastructure laid the groundwork for the eventual explosion of the internet. Alexander Graham Bell made the first phone call in 1876, but for many years phones were only available to the wealthy. Others wrote letters or sent telegrams in emergencies. It wasn't until the early twentieth century that phones became a fixture in homes worldwide. The internet was not widely accessed until the 1990s.

Taking the Internet to Mars

The definition of "remote regions" is expanding far beyond a cabin sitting on a mountaintop. Elon Musk, the entrepreneurial founder of SpaceX, plans to expand the internet to Mars. He plans to accomplish this by placing hundreds of satellites in orbit above the earth.

Satellites - Expanding the Internet

Satellites ...


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How Big Data is Changing the Music Industry

How Big Data is Changing the Music Industry

The music industry has needed a face-lift for a long time. Luckily, the advent of big data might provide musicians with a more successful revenue model. This represents one of the biggest industry shifts that music has seen in decades. Let's explore the possibilities big data currently offers the long-suffering music industry.

A New Revenue Model

The entire revenue model of the music industry has changed in the last decade. Although streaming sites like Spotify helped curb online piracy, the music industry hasn't yet clearly defined the royalty rates for streaming music.

Big data might change that, because it helps bring artists and corporations together more effectively via high speed data analysis such as a Hadoop cluster. Data from streaming sites provide companies fantastic insights into the genres and styles their target demographic currently likes.

Although there's a long-raging debate about "selling out", it's starting to look like a big data-backed strategy might be the last refuge to get musicians paid.

The Failure of Subscription Services

YouTube recently unveiled their long-awaited subscription music service. It's a move designed to improve what some describe as their "absolute advertising overkill". Analysts are critical of this move--it certainly didn't work for Pandora or Spotify (not to name dozens of ...


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A Beginner’s Look at Big Data and its Benefits for Your Business

A Beginner’s Look at Big Data and its Benefits for Your Business

Not many people are familiar with the term "big data." Big data affects everyone and what's surprising is the fact that there is no education or training on its importance. In layman's terms, the phrase big data is used to refer to large and complex sets of data that can be computationally analysed to reveal trends and patterns. So, many people are not aware of the concept of big data, how it is used, or even what it is. Just to give a few examples, big data is collected on your supermarket loyalty card as you shop, on your social media account, and on your smartphone.

Uses of Big Data

Data collected from your supermarket loyalty card can be used by these stores to identify trends and to create personalized offers and deals providing benefits to both the organization and its customers. Data collected online from people's' social media accounts can be anonymised and used to improve users' experience online and many other good things. Data collected from satellites and smartphones can be used to determine the most popular routes in a city/town and help improve public transport. Local authorities can use big data to determine where social care is needed the ...


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The Basics of Deep Learning and How It Is Revolutionizing Technology

The Basics of Deep Learning and How It Is Revolutionizing Technology

Machine learning refers to a type of Artificial Intelligence (AI) that allows computers to learn beyond their initial static programming. These new programs are developed to analyze patterns in past data sets in order to adapt. More advanced computer programs are even capable of altering their code in response to prior exposure to an unfamiliar set of inputs, which opens a whole set of possibilities for the future of AI.

Some of the recent applications of machine learning include Google’s self-driving car and the algorithm behind the success of its web search function, companies providing online recommendation offers based on user's’ browsing history, and fraud detection.

Deep learning is a branch of machine learning that focuses on the neural network model inspired by our understanding of the biology of the human brain. The human brain contains billions of neurons that are capable of sending signals and connecting to each other within a certain physical distance. Programmers incorporated that structure by creating artificial neural networks that have discrete layers, connections, and directions in which the data propagates.

How Does Deep Learning Work?

Deep learning enables computer programs to process a lot of input data simultaneously, and use it to make decisions based on the ...


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Why Educational Systems Should Consider Big Data

Why Educational Systems Should Consider Big Data

Advances in technology have enabled good decision making in most educational institutions following the increased use of big data. The policy makers in the institutions have been using big data to understand the sentiments about the school and make systematic improvements to the student's performances. The term big data refers to a large amount of information flowing through various channels that only use computers for analysis. Learning institutions generate an immense amount of student's information that would be hard to capture and manage through conventional means. Therefore, big data comes in handy in helping improve the processing of data and increasing the storage capacity of the institutional data.

Understanding Big Data

Students' performances and experiences such as eating, social life, study, and sleeping have a high effect on their academic performance. Negative or traumatic experiences have a direct impact on the student's retention abilities. Therefore, most institutions now use big data to look into various aspects affecting the performance of a student. Academic institutions collect large quantities of data, but the problem lies in the analysis making it harder for the analytics to make data-based decisions and improve the organizational effectiveness.

Why Big Data and Not Small Data

Academic institutions collect data for many ...


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What Effect Will Deep Learning Have on Business?

What Effect Will Deep Learning Have on Business?

One thing that could have a deep impact on business is deep learning. Deep learning can be thought of as a subfield of machine learning. In specific, this form of machine learning was influenced by the study of the human brain. The algorithms involved are designed to mimic how the human brain operates to allow a machine to learn in the same way. This is done through a system known as an artificial neural network.

The benefits of deep learning for businesses are obvious. It allows a computer system with access to a lot of data to make its own autonomous decisions about the data through this learning process. It can produce better decisions and improve efficiency. There are many applications that can help improve a business’s operations and profit potential. Below are some of the possibilities.

Deep Learning Can Increase Sales

One of the best things deep learning can provide for a company obviously is helping it increase its bottom line. Deep learning, for example, can be deployed for the purpose of lead generation. Deep learning is a form of artificial intelligence. That AI can sift through all the data and then use it to present you with leads at that right ...


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How to Avoid a Data Breach

How to Avoid a Data Breach

Even a modest data breach can create serious problems that business owners cannot afford to take lightly. By some estimates, small businesses are the target of more than 40 percent of all online attacks. From providing staff and employees with the additional training in order to avoid any bad habits that may lead to security concerns to staying informed regarding the new threats that may be just over the horizon, business owners would be wise to take whatever steps may be necessary in order to enhance their level of digital security.

Consequences of a Breach

From the largest and most high-profile breaches to situations where business owners may not even be aware that their accounts or information may become compromised, calculating the true cost of a breach can often be difficult. In addition to more tangible instances that may involve the theft of funds or loss of assets, long-term damage to the brand or image of a business can often be quite costly. Consumers who have reason for heightened concern regarding their personal, account or financial information are far more likely to take their business elsewhere. Failing to address digital security concerns could end up sending the wrong message to potential ...


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How Your Small Business Can Take Advantage of the IoT Wave

How Your Small Business Can Take Advantage of the IoT Wave

From self-driving cars, tiny chips, automatic response sensors, smart machines to smart watches, the era of connected devices is already here. The IoT refers to the idea of connecting billions of devices to the internet. This concept has mostly affected how people are conducting business today.

Presently, technology plays a primary role in any business development. Both small and large businesses are embracing the state-of-the-art technology to keep speed with the stiff competition and the current clients' expectation.

According to world giant tech companies like Google, Xero, and Cisco, the world of business has only felt the surface of what technologies such as IoT and cloud technology has to offer.

Though big business and companies have already transformed in technology, small businesses and entrepreneurs are yet to venture into this new level of technology that makes the world a global village.

It is predicted that by 2020, small businesses will be dominated by smart machines and connected devices. Small businesses and other emerging areas of business will experience a rapid growth of connected things, leading to enhanced safety and security, improved marketing endeavors, and developing new business models.

Small businesses and entrepreneurs can benefit a great deal from the IoT applications to step up against ...


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Why Enhanced Connectivity Offers the Opportunity for Superior Data Analysis

Why Enhanced Connectivity Offers the Opportunity for Superior Data Analysis

Today's small businesses often have more numerous opportunities to employ data analysis than they might realize. Devices, appliances and equipment that maintain a constant connection to the Internet can often yield valuable information suitable for use in data analysis efforts. Being able to develop a clearer picture of their needs, situation and any opportunities that may be just over the horizon can ensure that small businesses are able to enhance the overall efficiency and profitability of their operations. The enhanced connectivity behind the so-called Internet of Things may offer significant benefits when it comes to auditing or analyzing data.

Putting Big Data to Work for Small Businesses

When it comes to the competitive world of business, being able to base decisions on more accurate information is often crucial. Small businesses can utilize data analysis in order to fine-tune cost-effective marketing efforts, analyze their current operations in an effort to identify areas of waste or inefficiency as well as ensuring that future policy changes and the implementation of new workflow processes may be tracked and assessed to greater effect. The electronic devices, systems and business equipment that businesses may rely upon during the course of their day to day operations may be able ...


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What Big Data Can Do For Your Small Business

What Big Data Can Do For Your Small Business

One of the most challenging aspects of running a business is managing the large volume of data it encounters on a day to day basis. Properly managing this information can provide some potentially useful insights that may ultimately increase your business’ capital. However, due to the large amount of data, those that contain invaluable knowledge are often buried underneath all the irrelevant information. Managing data may seem like a waste of time and effort when it produces no result. But once you learn how to efficiently manage big data, you’ll be able to make better decisions and plan better strategies for the betterment of your small business. Here’s how you can increase the capital of your small business by managing big data.

Hire Big Data Talent

The need for employees that are skilled in data analytics is dramatically increasing especially now that the world is mostly relying on technology to function. Thus, there is a shortage of employees that are exceptionally skilled in data analysis. Even for small businesses, one or two analytics expert is rarely enough. Building a team of highly skilled big data analytics experts, on the other hand, will make it easier for you to identify and address the ...


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What Is Fog Computing? And Why It Matters In Our IoT And Big Data World

What Is Fog Computing? And Why It Matters In Our IoT And Big Data World

Fog computing is a disruptive technology that adds another level of complexity to Cloud computing, which is the centralization of information into the hands of developers like Amazon (S3) who offer both massive storage and data analytics and processing for the data on their servers. Fog computing is a term that was laid out by a Cisco Systems paper, and is also known by IBM as “Edge Computing”. Fog computing is positioned to revolutionize production systems, transportation, and even the networks on which we execute business daily.

Contributions to Cloud Computing

Fog computing contributes to the Cloud computing platform by allowing for devices to transmit and process sensory data, system updates, and even application processing amongst themselves. The need for the Fog contribution is shown in a study by Forbes, which points out that the U.S. is ranked 35th for bandwidth per user in the world. This limitation will likely have a lessened impact on business as the Internet of Things and Big Data adapt to Fog Computing and transcend their current bandwidth limits.

Relation to Internet of Things

The discrepancy drives a need for innovation, and the Internet of Things (IoT) allows for devices to share processing power, as well as to push ...


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