Business

Watson Teams Up with Standard Bank in Africa

watsonOluwabusayo Sotunde of Ventures Africa reports, “Africa’s most innovative bank, Standard Bank Plc has reached an agreement with leading IT services provider, IBM to implement the latter’s new Watson technology. IBM’s Watson technology breaks traditional barriers in computing by embracing artificial intelligence, natural language processing and dynamic learning when assisting customers and businesses with the interpretation of data. Head of Innovation and Channel Design at Standard Bank, Vuyo Mpako explained that the bank partnered with IBM so it could consolidate the technology into its operating system. This would enable Standard Chartered efficiently interpret and maximise its data.” Read more

Berners-Lee Shares Voices His Opinions on Data Ownership

timbernersleeAlex Hern of The Guardian reports, “The data we create about ourselves should be owned by each of us, not by the large companies that harvest it, the Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web, said today. Berners-Lee told the IPExpo Europe in London’s Excel Centre that the potential of big data will be wasted as its current owners use it to serve ever more ‘queasy’ targeted advertising. By gaining access to their own data, people could use it with information about themselves from other sources in order to create ‘rich data’ – a far more valuable commodity than mere ‘big data’, he said.”

Hern continues, “Berners-Lee said that ‘people only look at one angle’ of big data. ‘When you read big data pieces in a magazine, it’s about how big companies are spying on you. A lot of the marvel of big data is a threat to me. Read more

SAS Contextual Analysis Delivers Faster Insight From Unstructured Big Data by Automating Text Analysis

sasCARY, NC–(Marketwired – October 06, 2014) – New SAS® Contextual Analysis software eliminates tedious manual tagging and categorization for structuring unstructured data. For organizations craving big data insight from text such as social media or customer communications, that’s a huge time savings. SAS also added new upgrades across its advanced analytics portfolio. Read more

Can Semantic Analysis Predict a Tsunami from Ripples?

svManju Bansal of the MIT Technology Review recently wrote, “The year was 1961. Computers were still in their infancy, and the race to the moon was just beginning. Edward Lorenz, an MIT meteorologist, was developing a weather- prediction model. Lorenz theorized that a miniscule occurrence, such as a tiny butterfly flapping its wings in the Amazon, could hypothetically set in motion a chain of events that could cause tornadoes to touch down in Texas a few days later. That model (illustrations of which visually resembled a butterfly) eventually came to be known as the butterfly effect.” Read more

Blurred Lines: RDBMS Vendors Will Add NoSQL Database Features

forrlogoResearch firm Forrester at the end of September issued its Forrester Wave: NoSQL Key-Value Databases, Q3 2014 report. The report looked at seven enterprise-class vendors in the space: Amazon Web Services, Aerospike, Basho Technologies, Couchbase, DataStax, MapR Technologies, and Oracle.

Noting that the current adoption of NoSQL is at 20 percent and is likely to double by 2017, Forrester principal analyst and report author Noel Yuhanna and his co-authors explain that top use cases for key-value database include social and mobile apps, scale-out apps, Web 2.0, line-of-business apps, big data apps, and operational and analytical apps.

That said, he also notes that the lines between key-value store, document database and graph database NoSQL solutions are blurring, as vendors look to satisfy broader enterprise needs and better appeal to app developers. “Relational database management system vendors, such as Oracle, IBM, Microsoft and SAP, will broaden their current relational database products to include key-value, graph and document features and functionality to deliver more comprehensive data management platforms in the coming years,” the report states.

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The Semantic Web Can Make Big Data Smarter

14929685492_e990eb8663Alok Prasad and Lee Feigenbaum of Cambridge Semantics recently wrote for CMS Wire, “Over the past few years, major enterprises have shown interest in combining semantic web technology with big data for added value. Let’s take a look at what enterprises are seeking and why they think semantic web can make big data smarter… In traditional big data IT solutions, the data model and the IT solutions are designed to address specific business needs and to handle specific data types and data sources. As the business needs and data sources change, the IT solutions no longer work and new data marts and new solutions must be built.” Read more

Start Your Innovation Engines

Interop New York took place at the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan last week. The semantic web wasn’t a focus of the show, but innovation had its place among the various keynotes and sessions. And innovation certainly is a theme that goes hand-in-hand with the semantic web.

byzIn that spirit, we’ll share some comments from some of the speakers about how they embraced concepts and argued for changes that they believed would make them more innovative companies – even when that was a scary thing to do. With any luck, their experience, advice and thoughts may give you some direction when it comes to taking your ideas about how semantic web technologies could help your own business become more innovative, and acting on them:

  •  From Michael Bryzek, co-founder and CTO, Gilt: In discussing the e-retailer’s move to a micro-services architecture, which he said supports the concept of autonomous innovation and is part of implementing a culture where employees can thrive, Bryzek told the audience that accepting the risk of failure was the first step.  “Start with the assumption you’ll fail,” he said. “If you want a chance at innovation, that alleviates some of the pressure because we all agree we are going to do something risky and we are in it together now.” There are only so many great companies in the world, and it’s true you might not make it to be among them, but “it sure is fun and great to work together to try and build something amazing.”

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Twitter Invests $10M to Better Understand Online Interactions

TwitterAnu Passary of Tech Times reports, “Microblogging site Twitter is gearing up to partner with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on a new project, which hopes to gain a better understanding of online interactions. Twitter is investing $10 million for the development of the Laboratory for Social Machines (LSM) over a five-year period. The new MIT Lab will produce a new social networking platform, analytic tools and also mobile apps that will connect individuals better. The LSM will be able to access Twitter’s live streams of tweets and the site’s public archives right from the time Twitter began. The project will focus on the creation of novel technology that can understand ‘semantic and social patterns’.” Read more

EXL Acquires Blue Slate, a Business Process Management and Technology Solutions Firm

exlNEW YORK, July 7, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — EXL, a leading business process solutions company, today announced that it has acquired Blue Slate Solutions, LLC, enhancing its business process management capabilities. By adding Blue Slate’s consulting and execution acumen, EXL strengthens its ability to apply technology solutions to improve clients’ business operations.

[Read our past coverage of Blue Slate here.]

Blue Slate specializes in transforming operations through business process optimization, data integration and analytics, leveraging innovative techniques and technologies. Read more

The Most In-Demand Big Data Jobs Available Right Now

B5150336351_ae2a64336a_bernard Marr recently wrote, “It’s been estimated that by 2015, almost two million people will be employed in big data jobs in the US. Hal Varian, Google’s chief economist, is quoted as saying “…the sexy job in the next 10 years will be statisticians” and Tom Davenport, Distinguished Professor at Babson College, believes that a data scientist has the sexiest job of the 21st century. So what are these sexy jobs? Here’s a quick look at some of the positions available today that might allow you to break into the glamorous and exciting world of the big data professionals.” Read more

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