Latest Commentary

The law of diminishing returns and the rise of data strategists

2016 will see the rise of data strategists. Most will not be data scientists or data managers, but rather well-rounded, tech-savvy business strategists who know how to find and use information, much of which – but not all – will come from digital data sources. 

New AWS public data sets and the rise of a data singularity

Among the latest efforts on the path to life-saving cures is AWS's recent announcement of two new public data sets: The Cancer Genome Atlas and The International Cancer Genome Consortium PanCancer dataset. These are two of the world's largest collections of cancer genome data and they're both now available at no cost on AWS as part of the AWS Public Data Sets program.

After Paris: Turning wearables into eyewitness accounts of terrorism

The free world is mourning the tremendous loss of human life to terrorist attacks in Paris this past weekend. As of this writing, details of the attacks were still being sorted out, but ISIS took credit for the carnage. While virtually no one disputes the claim of responsibility, the world still knows little about what actually happened in each of the separate but coordinated attacks. In the future though, wearables may erase most or all such uncertainties. Here's how.

How big data can derail long-term profits

In an age when shareholders can't see past this quarter's returns, perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that big data analytics are, by and large, focused only as far in the future as the end of our companies' metaphorical noses.

Jeff Klaus on Intel's DCIM report

It's interesting to see what vendors glean from surveys they've done or sponsored, as that is a hint at what IT and other business pros might expect to come next in product upgrades, technical support and customer service. Here's what Jeff Klaus, GM at data center solutions of Intel DCM, learned from Intel's State of the Data Center report.

Machine learning demystified

Even researchers skilled in statistical modeling and other research techniques are sometimes a bit confused over how exactly a machine can learn and what that means to them and their work. More than a few IT professionals are confused over it too and struggle to understand products that offer it. To the uninitiated, the sea of algorithms and their many uses can appear unfathomable and indistinguishable.

Analytics in action: Sorting the winning presidential candidates

President Obama's initial campaign for the top position in the land is largely credited for bringing big data into political play. Since then, candidates and observers alike have been keen on using analytics to assess the odds of a given candidate winning in the general election, and in evaluating who is winning in the moment, like during a debate. As a result, we now have a bevy of results on current presidential candidates to consider.

Avoiding the 'Hollywood remake effect' in big data projects

Hollywood is notorious for remaking films that made big money in the past rather than taking a risk on producing too many new movie scripts. Sure, the remakes are juiced up and refreshed in a myriad of ways to make an old story more palatable to modern audiences, but face it, they're still serving leftovers. Unfortunately, too many companies in other industries are doing the same thing with big data.

Notes on disruption in clinical trial research from the NY Academy of Sciences Mobile Health conference

One of the hardest things for any industry to accept is that it can and will be disrupted. The tendency, especially in industries that have existed in much the same way for decades, is to think that processes have been perfected over time and that business will continue as usual. Even when new technologies arise loaded with data collection capabilities and analytics, many see them only as a means to add efficiencies rather than as a mode of change. And so it was that the message of impending disruption and how to adapt came as a surprise to some at the NY Academy of Sciences Mobile Health conference, and as welcomed information to others.

NY is the place to be this week: Strata, NY Academy of Sciences and more, oh my

Yes, the conference season is in full swing. This week, several tech conferences are in NYC, including the Strata + Hadoop World conference, the NY Academy of Sciences event on "Mobile Health: The Power of Wearables, Sensors and Apps to Transform Clinical Trials," Bloomberg's Data for Good Exchange event and Pepcom's Holiday Spectacular! East event. There's probably more events than those four this week, but those four alone are blockbusters!