Why Do Supply Chain Managers Need Predictive Analytics?

Why Do Supply Chain Managers Need Predictive Analytics?

Supply chain leaders are aware that technology will have an effect on business in the next two or three years, but as research shows, only less than half (44%) currently have a strategy in place. The change will most likely come from predictive analytics, which is expected to impact the entire business, from demand prediction to after-sales modeling.

This technique has the advantage of enabling real-time decisions based on statistical estimates of future outcomes. It has the potential to enhance strategic thinking and overall performance. The difference is that it offers a proactive approach, compared with reactive actions, as deemed by historical reports.

Usability

Using predictive analytics is expected to have a clear and positive impact on improving the accuracy of forecasts, product tracing and offering growth paths.  A study from 2017 identified and classified the use cases for supply chain analytics based on importance and level of adoption. These included:


Inventory level optimizations
Production and sourcing optimizations to reduce costs
Identifying and resolving quality defects and root causes
Identifying product cost variances
Analyzing customer service level performance
Tracking product traceability
Analyzing forecast accuracy and more


Although necessary, these could seem a bit too general for daily use. We will strive to examine straightforward ways of using predictive analytics, together with ...


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Image Analysis in Marketing: See How it Can Make a Difference

Image Analysis in Marketing: See How it Can Make a Difference

Until recently, the growing popularity of images on social media and in consumer communication has been widening a gap in marketers’ capability to analyze consumer sentiment and preferences.

Now this gap is soon to close as image analysis technology finally gives digital platforms the gift of sight, enabling marketers to monitor not only consumer chatter, but also huge volumes of visual intelligence that was largely hidden from the analytical radar.

In this article, you’ll find a handful of suggestions on incorporating image analysis into your marketing activity, once you have integrated the appropriate software into your marketing, ecommerce, CRM, or ERP solutions.

Hear the Unspoken Sentiments

As you read this article, there is a cacophony of chatter taking place, all about your brand and products. The problem is, no matter how much effort you put into social media listening, you are only capturing a fraction of the sentiment expressed by your existing and future customers.

That’s because people are visually sharing their interactions with your products through the pictures they post on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and other high-profile platforms. The text accompanying these images often contains no mention of the brand or product. In fact, according to Brandwatch, this is true in 80% of ...


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How to Use Blockchain to Address Cyber Security Threats

How to Use Blockchain to Address Cyber Security Threats

Cybersecurity has emerged as a grave concern for many businesses. Organizations now store large amounts of data on the web. Many transactions are conducted online as well, while numerous activities and workflows are coordinated through connected apps and devices. Unfortunately, this heavy reliance on the internet leaves companies vulnerable to hacks and exploitation.

Cybersecurity experts are constantly looking for new solutions and measures to address this. Now, many blockchain developers are working on cybersecurity solutions too, which can potentially redefine the security field as blockchain has several inherent traits that can resolve specific threats.

Now that blockchain has become one of the hottest cybersecurity topics, some experts believe that it could shake up the industry while others write it off as a buzzword. Which view is right, it could the answer fall in-between? Let’s see.

What is blockchain?

Bitcoin popularised blockchain, but it’s a technology in its own right. Basically, blockchain stands for a public ledger that records and verifies every transaction, whether with cryptocurrencies or other. ‘Blocks’ of transactions are verified, processed, and then added to the ‘chain’, creating an immutable record.

Some security experts believe that blockchain offers several inherent advantages for cybersecurity. Writing for Infosecurity Magazine, Savaram Ravindra argues that such distributed ...


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Big Data for Startups: What Are the Options?

Big Data for Startups: What Are the Options?

Businesses of all sizes should be adequately prepared to invest in the infrastructure and resources to collect and analyze big data or obtain it by other means.

Big data is not simply that avalanching amount of data you aggregate in your operations. In the near future, it will become a necessity to compete effectively. However, there is a slight misconception about startup companies and big data.

It is often assumed that startups are unable to take advantage of big data because they have a smaller pool of data in comparison to larger companies. This is not true, as there are plenty of ways startups can also get involved in big data, too.

Here are a few options for startup companies to take advantage of big data to improve both their operations and customer experience.

Purchase the Data You Lack

Ideally, startups should use their own data where possible as it reflects their own actions and choices, but sometimes the pool of data on hand is just very small to work with. In that case, in order to understand your industry and audience better, it might be a good idea to purchase data from other companies or take advantage of free online datasets.

Yet, while ...


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A Guide to Data Analysis with Python Libraries

A Guide to Data Analysis with Python Libraries

Why Python

Python is a general-purpose language which can be fine-tuned to serve data analysis purposes but is not limited to those only, like R and MATLAB. Also, it offers important advantages such as speed, performance, and scalability. An expert Python developer from Iflexion also mentioned flexibility and capacity, making this a great tool to handle Big Data projects. The extended community built around it adds to rating Python as a top choice, since you can always have someone to ask for help.

Where to Start

Python is so widespread it could be overwhelming to choose what course or framework to learn first. There are a lot of free and paid options, you just need to find a teaching style that speaks to you, no matter if you choose a more academic path or go for a gamified approach. Just make sure you understand the basics of syntax and logic. Don’t spend an overwhelming amount of time delving into all the nuts and bolts, especially if you just want to use it for data analysis. Get up to speed and then head out to learn the necessary libraries. 

Python Basics

Since this is a programming language, you will need to get a good grasp of data ...


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How Can Big Data Help Cancer Research?

How Can Big Data Help Cancer Research?

A ray of hope is shining on cancer research, and it is coming from Big Data. This umbrella concept, more common in the technology sector is making its way into other industries, including healthcare, through its applications. The idea behind Big Data is that by analyzing vast volumes of information like medical records, lab tests, and even DNA information, it is possible to detect patterns. To be of any use, these patterns should be unique to each type of cancer, like a signature. So far, doctors look at symptoms and work to identify the cause; now they are aiming to get a tissue sample, analyze it and look for signatures by comparing results with an existing, ever-growing database.

Why is mesothelioma frightening?

Cancer, in general, is one of the most chilling words. It is associated with painful treatments, a significant decrease of if the quality of life and even a gloomy perspective on surviving. To make matters worse, mesothelioma is considered a particularly aggressive type of cancer. The tumor affects the lining of internal organs, for example, the pleura that surrounds the lungs. It is believed that the cause is the exposure to asbestos.

The survival rates of mesothelioma, although improving in the ...


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IoT Testing Challenges and Legacy

IoT Testing Challenges and Legacy

We live in a world where your car will soon be a far better driver than you, and your fridge will be more responsible as well, even ordering groceries when supplies start to run low. This is feasible through the advancements of embedded systems into the Internet of Things (IoT). The quality and performance of such systems still require the improvement of existing testing methods to ensure quality while taking into consideration speed and scalability.

Embedded systems have been around for decades now, while the IoT is still in its infancy. The difference between the two is that embedded systems are self-contained and isolated, while IoT gadgets are in permanent communication with the server and, soon, with each other. Such a degree of integration  and interoperability poses significant problems regarding testing and robustness due to differences in protocols and security.

Old Tools, New Challenges

Traditional testing methods take time, which is no longer a viable option. The entire development process needs to be agile, detecting problems as early as possible. The new mantra is "test early, test often" and the result is continuous integration, which is even more important in an IoT environment. The sensors, communication channels, protocols, software-hardware interactions, and configurations determine an ...


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How to Leverage AI for Cybersecurity Assurance

How to Leverage AI for Cybersecurity Assurance

In the game of cybersecurity, humans are the weakest link and usually the cause of unwanted breaches. Even highly educated and influent individuals can become unsuspecting targets of cyber-attacks, due to a lack of vigilance and taking security matters too lightly. Until now, this war was mainly human versus human. Things are about to change with the introduction of AI as the future of cybersecurity. It will soon be a challenge of super-computers against each other, much like it already is in the world of automated trading.

Challenges of cybersecurity

Human nature

The biggest threat to cyber security at this time is the careless nature of people towards passwords. The complexity of currently available algorithms would take years of continuous work by computers to break through brute force. However, users jeopardize their online safety by using simple passwords such as "123456" or their pet's names. Most users release a significant amount of personal data through social media every day. It could take seconds for an algorithm powered by AI to break into sensitive accounts by leveraging user-generated content, freely available online.

Although awareness about cyber threats is high, there has been no notable change in the behavior of people, leading to better protection. We are afraid of ...


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8 Ways IoT Can Improve Healthcare

8 Ways IoT Can Improve Healthcare

Over the past few decades, we’ve gotten used to the Internet and cannot imagine our lives without it. But now the Internet of Things (IoT) is changing the way we operate commodities around us. The Internet of Things is a real-time connection and communication among all sorts of objects, gadgets, wearables, and devices. Essentially, it represents interoperability between all the things around us (excluding computers and phones). Needless to say, IoT is changing entire industries, as it reduces costs, boosts productivity, and improves quality. One of the areas where IoT is contributing the most is medicine. In this article, we will check out 8 ways how IoT is improving the healthcare industry.

How is IoT Changing Healthcare?

With its advanced technologies, IoT gives a significant boost to healthcare development. Some forecasts even estimate that the field of IoT will climb to $117 billion by 2020. How is that possible? Let’s discuss some of the key points!



Data management



IoT provides countless possibilities for hospitals to gather relevant information about their patients, both on-site and outside of the medical premises. Healthcare relies on telemetry here to capture data and communicate it automatically and remotely. This offers medical staff a chance to act promptly and provide patients with better ...


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Why Marketing Needs Quality Data before Big Data and Predictive Analytics

Why Marketing Needs Quality Data before Big Data and Predictive Analytics

Recent marketing hype has been about new analytics and big data, and becoming marketing technologists. However, there are some fundamentals which must first be addressed, and a key stumbling block to effective marketing is the general poor quality of data. Data quality is non-negotiable. In a recent study, Britain's Royal Mail Data Services found that the average impact on businesses was a cost of 6% of annual revenue. While there was some variance among respondents, clearly no company can afford to ignore this problem.

This concern with data quality is not limited to the United Kingdom. Experian's data quality arm, in their annual benchmark report on global data quality, reported that while most businesses globally (and 95% in the US) use data to meet their business objectives, less than 44% of them trust their data.

Customer Experience is Top of Mind for 2017

Some 56% of the respondents in Experian's report want to serve their customers better in 2017, and recognize that a key factor in achieving this is better data. Providing a rich customer experience is the name of the game, and poor or erroneous information about that customer could cause the end of that relationship. It has become apparent to most ...


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