Are you really ready to move on Big Data?
Author and speaker Phil Simon doesn’t think so. He’s not talking about you specifically (or at least, not necessarily), of course, but he does doubt the rash of recent surveys and reports claiming that most organizations are deploying Big Data right now.
He has his reasons for disagreeing, but I’ll let you read that. What I think has more value in this piece is his assessment about which organizations are NOT ready to leverage Big Data. It makes a nice checklist.
Computerworld — If you work with data much, you don't need a statistical model to predict that the odds of consistently getting data in the format you need for analysis are pretty low. Those who do a great deal of data cleaning and reformatting often turn to scripting languages like Python or specialty tools such as OpenRefine or R.
But it turns out that there's a lot of data munging you can do in a plain old Excel spreadsheet -- if you know how to craft the proper formulas.
In a presentation at the recent 2014 Computer Assisted Reporting (CAR) conference, MaryJo Webster, senior data reporter with Digital First Media -- a newspaper group in New York -- shared some of her favorite Excel tricks. The goal of these tips, Webster said: Learn at least one new thing that will make you say, "Why didn't I know this before?"
Last year, retail and consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies faced challenges stemming from evolving regulatory compliance, brand exposure, reputational risk and increasingly complex global supply chains. No doubt 2014 will prove to be a pivotal year for organizations to demonstrate their focus and commitment to strong governance, risk management, and compliance in order to truly emerge as leaders. Here is a look at some top trends that have influenced the industry, and a few predictions that will shape the year ahead.
2013 Key Trends:
Increased Volume and Complexity of Regulations. In 2013, the retail/CPG industry faced a flurry of new and amended regulations spanning environmental compliance, conflict minerals reporting, product safety, data privacy, anti-corruption, product packaging and labeling to name a few. Ensuring compliance and staying one step ahead of regulators requires that retail and CPG organizations establish more centralized and collaborative compliance programs.
CSO — Over the past twenty years or more, corporations in nearly all industries have been outsourcing and offshoring at hyperdrive.
Venture capitalist firms, public shareholders, various types of financial firms, and corporate executives are driven by the temptation of reducing labor expenses, so they're delegating accountability and responsibility to foreign parties. Often the money saved by offshoring simply goes back into the pocketbooks of executives. They also often get bonuses, sometimes in seven or eight figures, to reduce as much domestic labor as possible.
But the costs of this trend are insurmountable.
First of all, with more and more Americans, Canadians, and other people in developed countries out of work, our economies are being destroyed. That doesn't reflect in the stock market -- not yet, anyway. But it will, probably within the next decade. Often the millions of chronically unemployed or underemployed (such as working at McDonald's or Walmart) have BAs, MAs, or even PhDs. Many more have significant licenses and certifications in various trades.
"When outage horror stories take over headlines, executives tend to have kneejerk reactions and look to adopt whatever disaster recovery offering they can implement fastest," he says. "But every organization and location is unique, and failing to thoroughly assess your situation may lead you to adopt a solution that is expensive overkill or cheap and inadequate."
And while most IT executives and data management experts acknowledge that there isn't one failsafe solution to protecting and recovering data, they agree that there are certain steps organizations should take.
What are the necessary precautions companies should take to protect critical files and applications in the event of disaster? Dozens of data storage, data management and disaster recovery experts share their advice. Here are their top 12 suggestions regarding how to disaster-proof data (files and applications).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — With the success of its free open online course system, called MITx, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology finds itself sitting on a wealth of student data that researchers might use to compare the efficacy of virtual teaching methods, and perhaps advance the field of Web-based instruction.
Since its inception several years ago, for instance, MITx has attracted more than 760,000 unique registered users from about 190 countries, university officials said. Those users have generated 700 million interactions with the school’s learning system and have contributed around 423,000 forum entries, many of them quite personal.
As researchers contemplate mining the students’ details, however, the university is grappling with ethical issues raised by the collection and analysis of these huge data sets, known familiarly as Big Data, said L. Rafael Reif, the president of M.I.T.
Interoperability testing reveals 300 percent faster backups vs. local disk
Newark, Calif. – March 5, 2014 – Tegile Systems, the leading provider of flash-driven storage arrays for virtualized server and virtual desktop environments, today announced that it has aligned with Veeam® Software, innovative provider of Protection for the Modern Data Center™, to provide organizations with an easy-to-use, easy-to-manage VM-aware backup and restore solution.
Tegile’s Zebi new generation of flash-driven storage arrays are designed to make server virtualization easier, faster, more reliable, more scalable and less expensive, allowing IT personnel to manage more hypervisors at a significantly lower cost than with standard hard disk-based arrays. When used in conjunction with Tegile Zebi storage arrays, Veeam Backup and Replication™ completes backup jobs 300 percent faster than local disk while performing restore operations 20 percent faster in Tegile lab testing compared to standard disk systems, helping organizations meet their most-demanding recovery time objectives with as little manual management as possible.
“While virtualization offers a tremendous amount of benefits on the server side, its use can add layers of complexity to the storage and backup side of the equation,” said Warren Adair, the Vice President Information Technology at Donahue Schriber Realty Group. “With both Veeam and Tegile being VM-aware solutions, they simplify the management of virtual machines independently but when used together, they take it to an even higher level. The combined attributes of Veeam and Tegile make it possible for us to concentrate on managing our business rather than our backup and storage processes.”
Veeam Backup & Replication provides fast, flexible, and reliable recovery of virtualized applications and data. It unifies backup and replication in a single solution, increases the value of backup, and reinvents data protection for VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V virtual environments.
Zebi arrays leverage the performance of SSD and low cost per TB of high capacity disk drives to deliver five times the performance and up to 75 percent less capacity required than legacy arrays. Tegile has architected the performance benefits of SSDs throughout the data path, giving every application a performance boost. One-click virtual machine optimized storage creation can deploy hundreds of virtual machines and desktops in minutes, not hours.
“The simple fact is that trying to backup and store virtualized data with 20- to 30-year-old management techniques just isn’t going to cut it,” said Rob Commins, VP Marketing of Tegile Systems. “The combination of Veeam’s VM-aware backup and Tegile’s VM-aware storage is a nice marriage. It allows the IT guys to figure out which VM is associated with which array to simplify management and provide ease of use while ensuring that backups and restores can occur magnitudes of order faster than local disk.”
About Tegile Systems
Tegile Systems is pioneering a new generation of flash-driven enterprise storage arrays that balance performance, capacity, features and price for virtualization, file services and database applications. With Tegile’s Zebi line of hybrid storage arrays, the company is redefining the traditional approach to storage by providing a family of arrays that is significantly faster than all hard disk-based arrays and significantly less expensive than all solid-state disk-based arrays.
Tegile’s patented MASS technology accelerates the Zebi’s performance and enables on-the-fly de-duplication and compression of data so each Zebi has a usable capacity far greater than its raw capacity. Tegile’s award-winning technology solutions enable customers to better address the requirements of server virtualization, virtual desktop integration and database integration than other offerings. Featuring both NAS and SAN connectivity, Tegile arrays are easy-to-use, fully redundant, and highly scalable. They come complete with built-in auto-snapshot, auto-replication, near-instant recovery, onsite or offsite failover, and virtualization management features. Additional information is available at www.tegile.com. Follow Tegile on Twitter @tegile.