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Bill Schmarzo's Blog (25)

Using Data Analytics to Prevent, Not Just Report

I recently had another client conversation about optimizing their data warehouse and Business Intelligence (BI) environment. The client had lots of pride in their existing data warehouse and business intelligence accomplishments, and rightfully so. The heart of the conversation was about taking costs out of their reporting environments by consolidating runaway data marts and “spreadmarts,” and improving business analyst BI…

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Added by Bill Schmarzo on November 18, 2017 at 7:00am — No Comments

The 3 Phases of Digital Transformation

The research firm Technology Business Research (TBR) recently came out with a report titled, “Winning The Business Of Digital Transformation Services Requires A Process-Led Approach” authored by Sebastian Lagana and Jennifer Hamel. The report is full of good nuggets, but I especially liked the way that they categorized the 3 phases of Digital Transformation:

  • Substitution represents basic IT modernization; such as leveraging new…
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Added by Bill Schmarzo on November 12, 2017 at 5:00am — No Comments

Hacking the Autonomous Vehicle

I love it when I get feedback from a blog that I’ve written. I appreciate the different perspectives and insights that others bring to a topic of interest. 

The section of the blog that fueled the most comments stem from a scene in the movie I, Robot where Detective Spooner (played by Will Smith) is explaining to Doctor Calvin (who is responsible for giving robots human-like behaviors) why he distrusts and hates robots. He is describing an incident…

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Added by Bill Schmarzo on November 5, 2017 at 1:30pm — No Comments

Artificial Intelligence, Globalization and International Basketball

A strong declaration from a historically antagonist foe should put chills in the hearts of Americans preparing themselves for the world ahead: Russian President Vladimir Putin says the nation that leads in AI will be the ruler of the world  … The ruler of the world!

From the article (with some modification to avoid political landmines), we get the following:

“The development of artificial intelligence has increasingly become a national security…

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Added by Bill Schmarzo on November 4, 2017 at 6:00am — No Comments

3 Theorems on the Economic Value of Data

Since releasing the University of San Francisco research paper on “How to Determine the Economic Value of Your Data” (EvD), I have had numerous conversations with senior executives about the business and technology ramifications of EvD. Now with the release of Doug Laney’s “Infonomics” book that builds upon Doug’s EvD work at Gartner, I expect these conversations to intensify. In fact, I just traveled to Switzerland to discuss the potential business and technology…

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Added by Bill Schmarzo on November 1, 2017 at 11:00am — 1 Comment

Artificial Intelligence is not “Fake” Intelligence

Quick quiz!

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the following phrases?

  • Artificial grass
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Artificial flavors
  • Artificial plants
  • Artificial flowers
  • Artificial diamonds and jewelry
  • Artificial (fake) news

These phrases probably evoke thoughts such as “fake,” “not real,” or even “shabby.” Artificial is such a harsh adjective.…

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Added by Bill Schmarzo on October 30, 2017 at 6:30pm — No Comments

Data Warehouse and Data Lake Analytics Collaboration

This blog was written with the thoughtful assistance of David Leibowitz, Dell EMC Director of Business Intelligence, Analytics & Big Data

So data warehousing may not be cool anymore, you say? It’s yesterday’s technology (or 1990’s technology if you’re as old as me) that served yesterday’s business needs. And while it’s true that recent big data and data science technologies, architectures and methodologies seems…

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Added by Bill Schmarzo on October 29, 2017 at 4:30am — 3 Comments

Unintended Consequences of the Wrong Measures

In an attempt to put the patient first in healthcare, Congress and President Obama in 2015 approved a bipartisan bill for United States healthcare reform. The bill is known as “Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015,” or MACRA. Among the major provisions of MACRA is the Quality Payment Program. Under the Quality Payment Program, physicians and nurses receive positive, neutral or negative Medicare payment adjustments based upon a “Patient Satisfaction Score,” that…

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Added by Bill Schmarzo on October 19, 2017 at 8:30am — No Comments

Data Lake Business Model Maturity Index

This blog is written in collaboration with the witting and insightful Matt Maccaux and his leading edge work around our elastic data platform and data lake.

“Our organization is abuzz with the concept of data lakes!” a customer recently told me. And rightfully so, as the data lake holds the potential to help organizations become more effective at leveraging data and analytics to power their business models. That’s exactly what we propose when we…

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Added by Bill Schmarzo on October 14, 2017 at 2:30pm — No Comments

The #1 IOT Challenge: Use Case Identification, Validation and Prioritization

You can’t get to the “What” and the “Why” by focusing on the “How”

In the gold rush to “monetize” IOT, organizations are frantically installing sensors on everything that moves (and some things that should not move), hoping that someone in the business will figure out a way to get financial value out of the resulting data[1].…

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Added by Bill Schmarzo on October 8, 2017 at 1:00pm — No Comments

5 Steps to Building a Big Data Business Strategy

“The problem is that, in many cases, big data is not used well. Companies are better at collecting data – about their customers, about their products, about competitors – than analyzing that data and designing strategy around it.”  

How can this still be the case? I mean after 5+ years of experience with Big Data, have we not learned a darn thing? We get the following observation from no less than the Harvard Business School:

The new…

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Added by Bill Schmarzo on September 26, 2017 at 6:30am — No Comments

Design Thinking: Future-proof Yourself from AI

It’s all over for us humans. It may not have been “The Matrix”[1], but the machines look like they are finally poised to take our jobs. Machines powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning process data faster, aren’t hindered by stupid human biases, don’t waste time with gossip on social media and don’t demand raises or more days…

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Added by Bill Schmarzo on August 31, 2017 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Autonomous to Smart: Importance of Artificial Intelligence

On Saturday February 11, 2017, my daughter and her friend were driving from a basketball game in Chico back to our home in Palo Alto. Unfortunately, due to several days of heavier than normal rains, the Oroville Dam spillway broke and flooded many of the roads between Chico and Palo Alto. My daughter’s smartphone mapping application wasn’t aware of the sudden danger, and proceeded to send her into the heart of the flooding (see Figure 1).…

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Added by Bill Schmarzo on July 22, 2017 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Embracing Conflict to Fuel Digital Innovation

When talking to clients about their business goals, most business executives are pretty clear as to what they want to accomplish, such as reducing customer churn or reducing inventory costs or improving quality of care or improving product line profitability. But these “one dimensional” business initiatives really don’t push the organization’s innovative thinking. For example, I can easily reduce marketing costs if I significantly reduce advertising and promotional spending. Or I can easily…

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Added by Bill Schmarzo on July 12, 2017 at 11:30am — No Comments

Me, Myself and Digital Twins

It’s hard to get into the world of the Internet of Things (IOT) without eventually talking about Digital Twins. I was first exposed to the concept of Digital Twins when working with GE. Great concept. But are Digital Twins only relevant to physical machines such as wind turbines, jet engines, and locomotives? What can we learn about the concept of digital twins that we can apply more broadly – to other physical entities (like contracts and agreements) and even humans?…

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Added by Bill Schmarzo on July 10, 2017 at 6:30pm — 2 Comments

Heart of the Data Science Revolution… Mankato, MN?

My job has the great advantage of bringing me in touch with some outstanding and truly brilliant people.  As an example, last year I spoke at the PrecisionAg Vision Conference in Phoenix (and I’ll be speaking there again this fall on October 12), and ran into a number of companies that were applying data science and big data principals to the world of agriculture.  Having grown up in Charles City, Iowa, I have a special place in my heart for farming and the importance of agriculture to the…

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Added by Bill Schmarzo on July 6, 2017 at 12:00pm — 2 Comments

What tomorrow’s business leaders need to know about Machine Learning?

Sometimes I write a blog just to formulate and organize a point of view, and I think it’s time that I pull together the bounty of excellent information about Machine Learning. This is a topic with which business leaders must become comfortable, especially tomorrow’s business leaders (tip for my next semester University of San Francisco business students!). Machine learning is a key capability that will help organizations drive optimization and monetization…

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Added by Bill Schmarzo on June 27, 2017 at 12:30pm — 3 Comments

Analytic Profiles: Key to Data Monetization

Many organizations are associating data monetization with selling their data. But selling data is not a trivial task, especially for organizations whose primary business relies on its data. Organizations new to selling data need to be concerned with privacy and Personally Identifiable Information (PII), data quality and accuracy, data transmission reliability, pricing, packaging, marketing, sales, support, etc. Companies such as Nielsen, Experian and Acxiom are…

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Added by Bill Schmarzo on June 10, 2017 at 5:30am — No Comments

Management Challenge: P-hacking or “The Danger of Alternative Facts”

Mark Twain famously said “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Maybe if Mark Twain were alive today, he’d add “alternative facts” to that list. BusinessWeek in the article “Lies, Damn Lies, and Financial Statistics” reminds us of the management challenges with statisticians or “data scientists” who manipulate the…

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Added by Bill Schmarzo on May 25, 2017 at 4:00am — No Comments

Golden State Warriors Data Analytics Exercise

For a recent University of San Francisco MBA class, I wanted to put my students in a challenging situation where they would be forced to make difficult data science trade-offs between gathering data, preparing the data and performing the actual analysis.

The purpose of the exercise was to test their ability to “think like a data scientist” with respect to identifying and quantifying variables that might be better predictors of performance. The exercise would…

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Added by Bill Schmarzo on May 18, 2017 at 1:00pm — No Comments

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