Showing posts with label Data. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Data. Show all posts

September 27, 2017

A Mountain Of Data

So I heard this interesting perspective on information and data analytics...

Basically, it comes down to this: 
"Most organizations are data rich, but information/insight poor."

Or put another way:
"Data is collected, but not used."

Hence we don't know what we don't know and we end up making bad decisions based on poor information. 

Just imagine if we could actually make sense of all the data points, connect them, visualize them, and get good information from them.

How much better than a pile of rocks is that? 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 14, 2016

Your Computer Is All Wet

So I was at my first synagogue men's club event last week.

A guy at the door was checking people in with a laptop lent by my friend, who is the head of the men's club.

Sitting at the desk, the check-in guy had a cup of soda and at one point, it got knocked over and spilled on top of the MacAir. 

I raced over with some napkins to try and wipe it off quickly, and my friend grabbed his laptop and held it upside down to try and get the spill out.

For a while, the computer stayed on, but as I feared all the sugary stuff in the soda would do it in so it wouldn't turn on again. 

I emailed my friend a number of times during the week to find out how his laptop was doing. 

He had made an appointment with AppleCare and they said they could fix it, but he said it would cost almost as much as a new computer. 

Also, they gave him a contact somewhere else that specializes in recovering the data/contents on the computer. 

The saga with the computer isn't over, but on Shabbat my friend in synagogue said to me, "You know, you were the only one who contacted me to inquire how I was doing with the laptop."

And he gave me a warm smile that said thank you for actually giving a damn. 

I thought to myself perhaps we only have a few real friends in the world and it's not just about who gives us that old ada-boy at the fun events. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 23, 2014

Data 4 Ransom

The future of cybercrime will soon become the almost routine taking of your personal and corporate data as hostage. 

Once the hacker has control of it, with or without exfiltration, they will attach malware to it--like a ticking time bomb.


A simple threat will follow:


"I have your data. Either you pay for your data back unharmed OR your data will become vaporware! You have one hour to decide. If you call the authorities, you data is history."


So how valuable is your data to you?  


- Your personal information--financial, medical, legal, sentimental things, etc.


- Your corporate information--proprietary trade secrets, customer lists, employee data, more.


How long would it take you to reconstitute if it's destroyed?  How about if instead it's sold and used for identity theft or to copy your "secret sauce" (i.e. competitive advantage) or maybe even to surpass you in the marketplace? 


Data is not just inert...it is alive!


Data is not just valuable...often it's invaluable!


Exposed in our networks or the cloud, data is at risk of theft, distortion, or even ultimate destruction. 


When the time comes, how much will you pay to save your data?


(Source Comic: Andy Blumenthal)

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October 3, 2014

Data Like Clouds

So data is like clouds...

Clouds want to be free roaming the wild blue skies similar to how data wants to be searchable, accessible, useful, and so on. 

But with data, like clouds, when it rains it pours--and when data blows about with the windstorm and is compromised in terms of security or privacy, then we not only come away wet but very uncomfortable and unhappy. 

Then, as we actually end up putting our data in the great computing clouds of the likes of Amazon, iCloud, HP, and more, the data is just within arm's reach of the nearest smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer. 

But just as we aspire to reach to the clouds--and get to our data--other less scrupled (cyber criminals, terrorists, and nation states)--seek to grab some of those oh so soft, white cloud data too.

While you may want to lock your data cloud in a highly secure double vault, unfortunately, you won't be able to still get to it quickly and easily...it's a trade-off between security and accessibility. 

And leaving the doors wide open doesn't work either, because then no one even needs an (encryption) key to get in. 

So that's our dilemma--open data, but secured storage--white, soft, beautiful clouds wisping overhead, but not raining data on our organizational and personal parades. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 15, 2013

Challenging The Dunbar 150


Today, Facebook announced it's new search tool called Graph Search for locating information on people, places, interests, photos, music, restaurants, and more. 

Graph Search is still in beta, so you have to sign up in Facebook to get on the waiting list to use it. 

But Facebook is throwing down the gauntlet to Google by using natural language queries to search by just asking the question in plain language like: "my friends that like Rocky" and up comes those smart ladies and gents. 

But Graph Search is not just a challenge to Google, but to other social media tools and recommendation engines like Yelp and Foursquare, and even LinkedIn, which is now widely used for corporate recruiting. 

Graph Search uses the Bing search engine and it's secret sauce according to CNN is that is culls information from over 1 billion Facebook accounts, 24 billion photos, and 1 trillion connections--so there is an enormous and growing database to pull from. 

So while the average Facebook user has about 190 connections, some people have as many as 5,000 and like the now antiquated business card file or Rolodex, all the people in your social network can provide important opportunities to learn and share. And while in the aggregate six degrees of separation, none of us are too far removed from everyone else anyway, we can still only Graph Search people and content in our network.

Interestingly enough, while Facebook rolls out Graph Search to try to capitalize on its treasure trove personal data and seemingly infinite connections, Bloomberg BusinessWeek (10 January 2013) ran an article called "The Dunbar Number" about how the human brain can only handle up to "150 meaningful relationships."

Whether hunter-gather clans, military units, corporate divisions, or an individual's network of family, friends, and colleagues--our brain "has limits" and 150 is it when it comes to substantial real world or virtual relationships--our brains have to process all the facets involved in social interactions from working together against outside "predators" to guarding against "bullies and cheats" from within the network. 

According to Dunbar, digital technologies like the Internet and social media, while enabling people to grow their virtual Rolodex, does not really increase our social relationships in the real meaning of the word. 

So with Graph Search, while you can mine your network for great talent, interesting places to visit, or restaurants to eat at, you are still fundamentally interacting with your core 150 when it comes to sharing the joys and challenges of everyday life. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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December 3, 2012

The Information High


Kids_and_technology

A new article by Andy Blumenthal called "The Information High" at Public CIO Magazine (29 November 2012).

"In addition to being slaves to our things--including technology gadgets--we are also addicted to the data and information they serve up."

Hope you enjoy! ;-)

Andy

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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March 3, 2012

In The Year 2032 And Beyond

Trends help us to see where things are coming from and potentially where they are going.

There is a Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast for 2010-2015 that projects global IP traffic (voice, video, and data) and the numbers are ginormous!

Here are some highlights from their highlights for where we will be in only 3 years--by 2015: 

- Annual global IP traffic will reach one zettabyte (which is about 100 million x all printed material in the U.S. Library of Congress (which is 10 terabytes)).

- Devices connected to the network will be 2 for 1 for every person on this planet (and many people who live in 3rd world conditions do not have any devices, so what does that say for how many devices the rest of us have?).

- Non-PC traffic (from TVs, tablets, smartphones, more) will reach 15% and is more than doubling every year (makes you think about when you fridge and toaster are going to be connected to the Internet).

- Mobile Data traffic is practically doubling (or 92%) annually meaning a growth of 2,600% over 5 years (and according to the New York Times (5 Jan 2012) "The Top 1% of Mobile Users Consume Half of The World's Bandwidth" and the top 10% of users consume 90%!).

- Video traffic (TV, Video on Demand, Peer to Peer, etc.) will be almost 2/3 (or 62%) of all consumer internet traffic (and services like YouTube, Skype, FaceTime, Hulu are WebEx all play a role as we want to see as much or more than hear what is going on).

The takeaway for me from all this is that truly information transmission is exploding over the Internet, and we will continue to need more advanced technologies to "pipe" it all to where its going and do it faster than ever. 

However to build on these forecasts, over the longer term (further out in time, so more risky, of course)--say 20 years or so--some of my colleagues and I studying at National Defense University project the following:

- Rather than transmitting voice, video, and data over the Internet, we will be focused on transmitting thoughts (mental activity rather than spoken) and transmitting matter (like the Transporter on Star Trek).  

- Transmission of thoughts will occur in real-time, through persistent connections, probably implants in teeth, glasses, subcutaneous, etc.

- Safety and health will be monitored through these same "connections" and medicine or other physiological treatments for routine things will be administered remotely through the same.

- Education will be through instantaneous zaps of information to your brain (like in The Matrix) from a universal database, rather than through traditional in-class or online courses.

- Like now, the contextual policy and legal issues will be around privacy and security--and you will need to pay dutifully for each in a world where not only what you say and do, but rather what you think, can get you in lots of trouble. 

Okay, for these things to happen by 2032 is probably a little aggressive, but don't rule any of them out over time.  ;-)

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February 29, 2012

Progressing From Data to Wisdom

I liked this explanation (not verbatim) by Dr. Jim Chen of data, information, knowledge, and wisdom.

- Data: This is an alphanumeric entity and/or symbol (ABC, 123, !@#...)

- Information: This is when entities are related/associated to each other and thereby derive meaning. (Information = Data + Meaning)

- Knowledge: This is information applied to context. (Knowledge = Data + Meaning + Context)

- Wisdom: This is knowledge applied to multiple contexts. (Wisdom = Data + Meaning + (Context x N cases)).

I'd like to end this blog with a short quote that I thought sort of sums it up:

"A man may be born to wealth, but wisdom comes only with length of days." - Anonymous
(Source Photo: here)

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December 12, 2010

3G, 4G, XG...Huh?

There is a huge need for speed on our networks—as we demand the latest and greatest download streaming of books, movies, games, and more.

The network generation (or mobile telephony) standards have evolved to soon to be 4th generation (or 4G).

While 3G standards require network speeds for voice and data of at least 200 kbit/s, the 4G-performance hurdle jumps (500x) to 100 mbit/s.

The chart from Wikipedia shows the various standards and how they have evolved over time.

What are interesting to me are two things:

1) Network carriers that are competing for your business are already boasting 4G deliveries even though they do not meet the standards set out by The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), an agency of the U.N. According to Computerworld (22 November 2010), the 100 mbit/s standard is “about 10 times the performance that any carrier…can offer today.” Moreover, technologies such as LTE-Advanced and WiMax 2 that are expected to be 4G complaint aren’t “expected to go live commercially until 2014 or 2015.”

2) While the carriers are touting their various breakthrough standards, most people really have no clue what they are talking about. According to the Wall Street Journal (4 November 2010) on a survey by Yankee Group that “of more than 1,200 consumers found 57% had either never heard of 3G or didn’t understand the term. [And] With 4G, the ranks of the confused jump to 68%.”

Some lessons learned:

In the first case, we need to keep in mind the principle of caveat emptor (or let the buyer beware) when it comes to what the Wall Street Journal is calling the “increased rhetoric underscoring the high-stakes games played by the carriers as they jockey for position.”

In the second, vendors and technologists should understand that they are losing the consumer when they talk “techno-geek.” Instead, all need to use plain language when communicating, and simplify the technical jargon.

The comic in Computerworld (22 November 2010) summarized it well with pictures of all the various GGGG… technologies and the people next it to it saying, “At this point the labels are ahead of the technology.” Of course, I would add that the labels are also ahead of most people’s ability to understand the geek-speak. And we need to fix the communications of both.


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October 3, 2010

Policing, Armed And Data-Rich

http://news.yahoo.com/video/us-15749625/predictive-policing-22251759

Watch how COMPSTAT (COMPuter STATistics) and technology is being used for predictive policing.

Data, geographic information systems (GIS), and business intelligence/analytics come together to predict and fight crime in major U.S. cities like LA, NY, and others.

As one officer said: "Information can predict the future. Information can lead you to make good decisions and it's shown in a business model everyday!"

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September 24, 2010

The User-centric Web

David Siegel has written a book called “Pull: The Power of the Semantic Web To Transform Your Business” (Dec. 2009).

The main idea is that businesses (suppliers) need to adapt to a new world, where rather than them “push” whatever data they want to us when they want, we (consumers) will be able to get to the information we want and “pull” it whenever we need it (i.e. on demand).

Siegel identifies three types of data online of which less than 1% is currently visible web pages:

  • Public Web—what “we normally see when searching and browsing for information online: at least 21 billion pages indexed by search engines.
  • Deep Web—includes the “large data repositories that requires their internal searches,” such as Facebook, Craigslist, etc.—“about 6 trillion documents generally not seen by search engines.”
  • Private Web—data that “we can only get access to if we qualify: corporate intranets, private networks, subscription based services, and so on—about 3 trillion pages also not seen by search engines.”

In the future, Siegel sees an end of push (i.e. viewing just the Public Web) and instead a new world of pull (i.e. access to the Deep Web).

Moreover, Siegel builds on the “Semantic Web” definition of Sir Tim Berners-Lee who coined the term in the 1990s, as a virtual world where:

  • Data is unambiguous (i.e. means exactly the same things to anyone or any system).
  • Data is interconnected (i.e. it lives online in a web of databases, rather than in incompatible silos buried and inaccessible).
  • Data has an authoritative source (i.e. each piece of information has a unique name, single source, and specified terms of distribution).

While, I enjoyed browsing this book, I wasn’t completely satisfied:

  1. It’s not a tug of war between push and pullthey are not mutually exclusive. Providers push information out (i.e. make information available), and at the same time, consumers pull information in (access it on-demand).
  2. It’s not just about data anymore—it’s also about the applications (“apps”). Like data, apps are pushed out by suppliers and are pulled down by consumers. The apps make the data friendly and usable to the consumer. Rather than providing raw data or information overload, apps can help ready the data for end-user consumption.

All semantics aside, getting to information on the web is important—through a combination of push and pull—but ultimately, making the information more helpful to people through countless of innovative applications is the next phase of the how the web is evolving.

I would call this next phase, the “user-centric web.” It relies on a sound semantic web—where data is unambiguous, interconnected, and authoritative—but also takes it to the next level, serving up sound semantic information to the end-user through a myriad of applications that make the information available in ever changing and intelligent ways. This is more user-centric, and ultimately closer to where we want to be.


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March 12, 2009

What It Means to Get Madoff-ed

"Saying he was 'deeply sorry and ashamed,' Bernard Madoff pleaded guilty Thursday to pulling off perhaps the biggest swindle in Wall Street history and was immediately led off to jail in handcuffs to the delight of his seething victims. Madoff, 70, could get up to 150 years in prison when he is sentenced in June." -Associated Press

In enterprise architecture, defining data terms and usage is very important. So everyone is talking the same language!

Well with Bernie Madoff's plea of guilt to all 11 charges against him today involving a $50 billion Ponzi scheme (named after another financial crook), I believe are witnessing the birth of a new word in the English lexicon.

Here on in, Madoff will mean:

-verb
to swindle, cheat, defraud, deceive.

-noun
a person who swindles, cheats, defrauds, and deceives.

Congratulations Bernie, you lousy Madoff!

Another way to think of this new word...
he MADe OFF with a lot of people's hard-earned money.

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December 6, 2007

An Online Only World and Enterprise Architecture

How long will it be before the internet becomes our primary means of storing personal data and running software applications (web-based)?

MIT Technology Review, 3 December 2007, reports that one core vision for the evolution of technology (that of Google) is that we are moving from a computer-based technical environment to an online-only world, where “digital life, for the most part, exists on the Internet”—this is called cloud computing.

Already, users can perform many applications and storage functions online. For example:

  • “Google Calendar organizes events,
  • Picasa stores pictures,
  • YouTube holds videos,
  • Gmail stores email, and
  • Google Docs houses documents, spreadsheets, and presentations.”

Moreover, MIT Technology Review reports that it is rumored that Google is working on an umbrella application that will pull these disparate offerings together for a holistic cloud computing solution.

What’s the advantage of cloud computing?

A computer hard drive is no longer important. Accessibility to one’s information is limited only by one’s access to the internet, which is becoming virtually ubiquitous, and information can be shared with others easily. “The digital stuff that’s valuable… [is] equally accessible from his home computer, a public internet cafĂ©, or a web-enabled phone.”

What are some of the issues with cloud computing?


  • Privacy—“user privacy …becomes especially important if Google serves ads that correspond to all personal information, as it does in Gmail.”
  • Encryption—“Google’s encryption mechanisms aren’t flawless. There have been tales of people logging into Gmail and pulling up someone else’s account.”
  • Copyright—“one of the advantages of storing data in the cloud is that it can easily be shared with other people, but sharing files such as copyrighted music and movies is generally illegal.”
  • Connectivity—“a repository to online data isn’t useful if there’s no Internet connection to be had, or if the signal is spotty.”
Still Google’s vision is for “moving applications and data to the internet, Google is helping make the computer disappear.” Human-computer interaction has evolved from using command lines to graphical user interface to a web browser environment. “It’s about letting the computer get out of our way so we can work with other people and share our information.”

Of course, Google’s vision of an online-only world isn’t without challenge: Microsoft counters that “it’s always going to be a combination of [online and offline], and the solution that wins is going to be the one that does the best job with both.” So Microsoft is building capability for users “to keep some files on hard drives, and maintain that privacy, while still letting them access those files remotely.”

I will not predict a winner-take-all in this architecture battle of online and offline data and applications. However, I will say that we can definitely anticipate that information sharing, accessibility, privacy, and security will be centerpieces of what consumers care about and demand in a digital world. Online or offline these expectations will drive future technology evolution and implementation.
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