All posts on March, 2017


3 paths to analytics leadership roles

In the past couple of years, organizations in all kinds of industries have created hundreds of new executive roles in analytics. Employers are on the hunt for leaders who not only understand the massive amounts of data at their disposal, but also are able to identify the threats and opportunities that arise as the analytics landscape evolves.

According to research firm Gartner, the role of chief data officer (CDO) is new to most organizations — more than 80 percent added the role in the last two years, and 60 percent of current CDO positions were created in 2015. So who are the people who have taken charge of analytics initiatives, and how did their professional experiences lead them to their new roles?

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DataStax sets sights on customer experience

Enterprises are increasingly seeing the need for their data to generate real-time, contextually aware insights in milliseconds or even microseconds — providing personalized responsiveness every time a customer taps a screen, changes lanes in a car and so on.

Responding to this need to support what it describes as the “right-now economy,” DataStax, a specialist in database software for cloud applications built on the open source foundations of Apache Cassandra and Apache TinkerPop, last week announced its adoption of a comprehensive strategy to help enterprises design and implement Customer Experience (CX) applications.

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Data the key ingredient for restaurant chain success

Businesses have more data than ever about their operations, supply chains and customers. The problem is often they can’t see it, don’t know where it is, and don’t have an easy want to pull it all together and analyze it. So, they are unable to make smart decisions and can lose thousands of dollars a year. 

It’s a challenge restaurant franchisors such as CraftWorks Restaurants and Breweries Inc. face. CraftWorks has found a solution, though—OnDemand software from ArrowStream

+ Also on Network World: 8 big data predictions for 2017 +

OnDemand does the “dirty work” of collecting data from food distributors, cleaning the data, analyzing it and putting the information front and center for supply chain restaurant managers, said Jeff Dorr, chief customer officer of ArrowStream. 

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Machine learning proves its worth to business

Machine learning couldn’t be hotter. A type of artificial intelligence that enables computers to learn to perform tasks and make predictions without explicit programming, machine learning has caught fire among the hip tech set, but remains a somewhat futuristic concept for most enterprises. But thanks to technological advances and emerging frameworks, machine learning may soon hit the mainstream.

Consulting firm Deloitte expects to see a big increase in the use and adoption of machine learning in the coming year. This is in large part because the technology is becoming much more pervasive. The firm’s latest research shows that worldwide more than 300 million smartphones, or more than one-fifth of units sold in 2017, will have machine learning capabilities on board.

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Google makes AI talent play with Kaggle buy

If you’re a company entrenched in an arms race for artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, you could do worse than tapping into a pool of thousands of data scientists to augment your digital products and services.

That’s the pole position Google holds after acquiring crowdsourcing platform Kaggle last week for an undisclosed sum. Some 600,000 professional data crunchers use Kaggle to build prediction models for such heady challenges as cancer detection and heart disease diagnoses. And experts say Kaggle could help Google facilitate broader adoption of AI technologies.

“Data science and machine learning is now global and this is a validation of the idea that Google recognizes that most of the smartest people in the world work for somebody else,” Neil Jacobstein, who chairs the artificial intelligence and robotics track at Singularity University, told CIO.com. “This is potentially a very positive move, I think, that could make everybody more competitive.”

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