By John Armstrong
The current tech narrative is rife with examples of how data analytics has reshaped our world and the industries that play in it. Healthcare providers are able to analyze vast pools of data to improve patient care through greater understanding of an individual’s medical history or determine which treatment is likely to be most effective, for example. Retailers can keep tabs on their customer’s purchases to make product recommendations that are most inclined to catch their interest.
Buoyed by these successes, the industry is pushing data into new, unexpected corners. Recently, we’ve seen individual companies begin to experiment with how data can inform design, from a company’s products to the experiences they offer. It’s about taking something that was once largely art and enriching it through science.
For example, Nike experimented with what it calls “smart data,” using the right data and scenario planning to come up with more sustainable designs for its products, such as a dyeing technique that doesn’t need water. Continue Reading »
By Dan Ricci
Remember when car dealers pushed tinted windows, rust proofing, and keyless entry to sell cars? That’s ancient history for automakers. Today’s new competitive edge is centered around the Connected Car – and using real-time insights from big data inside and outside of vehicles to improve safety, enhance vehicle quality and enrich the driving and service experience.
Cars are rolling gold mines of information, gathering data about the driver, the driving environment and the car itself, as well as any connected devices. In fact, up to 25 gigabytes of data is generated from a single plug-in hybrid vehicle in just an hour.
And although auto manufacturers have been capturing telematics information for years, something different, more sophisticated is going on now and it has everything to do with big data and analytics. Continue Reading »
By Kala Fleming
On the tiny island of Antigua where I grew up we always had enough water. We never had to call a water truck and to our knowledge, no one ever got sick from drinking the water in its natural state. The ‘natural’ state of water on Antigua is straight to the downpipe from the roof and into a concrete tank in the ground under each house. Community ponds also captured extra rainfall that others used for watering animals and washing cars.
Rainwater harvesting in the Caribbean provides a more reliable source of supply than piped systems and the geology of the region limits the availability of ground water. In the Virgin Islands, building regulations even require all new houses to harvest rainwater. So, in places such as urban Africa where ensuring water security has become increasingly tricky, why has this approach not caught on? Continue Reading »
By Sean McKenna, PhD.
In heavily populated regions of the world, the available water is fully subscribed. That is, claims have been made on all the available water for different uses including recreation, drinking water supply, industry, agriculture, and energy production.
As global energy consumption continues to rise (estimated 56 percent growth between 2010 and 2040 – US Energy Information Administration, 2013), additional water will be needed to increase energy production.
Finding water that is not already claimed is becoming difficult. However additional efficiencies can be obtained through improved management of the existing water resource. Generating energy through less water intensive means is another approach, but even Solar PV and wind turbines require water to mine and manufacture the materials that comprise them. Continue Reading »
By Robert Griffin
“Fraud is a normal cost of doing business.”
Any organization that subscribes to this long-standing mantra needs to rethink their priorities. With 2.5 billion gigabytes of data created every day, fraud is taking on a new face in the Big Data world.
According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), organizations forfeit five percent of annual revenue to fraud, which by conservative estimates amounts to more than $3.5 trillion lost each year to global fraud and financial crimes. Fraudulent activity has grown in scope, volume and complexity, with the brash sophistication of recent attacks — and magnitude of damage, both to the brand and bottom line — elevating the anti-fraud conversation from acceptable loss to C-Suite imperative.
Today’s generation of organized and digitally-savvy criminals are using the same technologies that deliver efficiency to business and convenience to consumers — such as mobile devices, social networks and cloud platforms — to constantly probe for vulnerabilities and weaknesses. The pace of this threat continues to accelerate. Identity fraud impacted more than 12 million individuals in 2012, resulting in theft of nearly $21 billion, and each day the U.S. healthcare industry loses $650 million due to fraudulent claims and payments. Continue Reading »
By Steven Rodriguez & Alexa Genova
While attending the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Annual BIG Show, it became apparent what an impact technology is going to have on the future of retail.
Sure, we see and use technology to shop now, whether it’s shopping online, using our Smartphone for a coupon or just “checking in” via social media at a store. But what we saw at NRF gave us a glimpse into how technology will change retail as we know it.
By Dr. P.N. Ravindra
Bangalore, a name synonymous to the India’s Silicon Valley, has seen much change over the past few years. The metropolis has seen a boom in the IT sector, an unstoppable infrastructure development and ever increasing population influx. Currently, housing around 10 million people, the mega-city has been spurred by rapid growth and has acted as an engine of economic development. This unprecedented growth has led to an increased demand on the natural resources and put tremendous amount of pressure on water supply.
Water is critical to every aspect of our lives – be it food, healthcare, businesses. To meet the growing needs of the population, Bangalore currently gets a supply of around 1,125 million liters of water per day from various sources. The most important resource is River Cauvery, located 100 km away, which supplies 95 percent share of drinking water, which is pumped up a gradient of 300 meters to bring it to the city. Apart from this, water from various reservoirs surrounding the city caters to the needs of the people. However, the water supply in Bangalore is still under deficit as the demand grows exponentially. Continue Reading »
By Evan Nisonson
A staggering one-in-three high school graduates who took the ACT tests in 2013 are not ready for college, the testing organization has said in a recent report. Of the 1.8 million high school graduates who took the test last year, only 26 percent achieved college readiness benchmarks in all four subjects of English, reading, math and science. Another 27 percent met two or three benchmarks, and 16 percent met just one.
This is a significant challenge to the expectations of policy makers, educators, parents and students themselves who look to our educational systems to better prepare the youth of today into the skilled workforce of the future. To be clear, the number of unprepared, or even under-prepared, college freshman can impact states even today through a rise in unemployment and a decrease in the number of much-needed skilled workers. We must do better.
One part of a solution is to arm our teachers with better tools, such as digital content, that would lead to a more personalized and more impactful curricula for students. The other is harnessing the multitude of data generated in education to establish linkages between K-12, postsecondary, and workforce partners.
The latter part of the solution is what the Montana Office of Public Instruction (OPI) has chosen to deploy to better prepare their students for college and careers. The aim of the project is to facilitate collaboration between educators, parents, and students to develop academic, financial, and future career plans that align with student aspirations. Continue Reading »
By Claudia Fan Munce
IBM has long had a keen interest in tech startups. For nearly two decades, behind the scenes, we forged relationships with venture capitalists to learn about their portfolio companies with an eye to acquiring some of the best of them when the time was right. That strategy served us well. Over the past decade, we have acquired more than 120 companies for a total of more than $34 billion dollars in critically strategic areas such as cloud computing, digital marketing and data analytics.
But oh how our world is changing.
Today, IBM is emerging as a major player in the startup economy. We continue to pursue our acquisition strategy, but now we’re doing much more. We have begun to invest directly in startups, we offer cloud services for thousands of born-on-the-Web companies, and we’re working with startups to help them build services powered by Watson, the cognitive computing system that shook up the world by beating two former grand-champions on the TV quiz show Jeopardy!. Continue Reading »