Lead story - Applying data science to real world data projects - a use case roundup
MyPOV: It was an analytics use case type of week at diginomica. Derek got the action started in There's no data science unicorn - building a data team at HSBC s The big lesson on scaling data science? Quit scrounging the applicant pool for unicorns - build diverse teams instead. Derek quotes HSBC's Global Head of Analytics:
Boteju said that he's realised during his time working in the field of data science that there is "no such thing as a data unicorn". He explained that four or five years ago there was a view that a single person could do everything - from data engineering, to building algorithms, to communicating really well and pulling it all together. However, this is not true and for real scale, you need to build a diverse team of talents with individual skills and knowledge.
Drilling into industry is where this needs go to next. As in Derek's Using data to reimagine the real estate industry at Zoopla. Via the Big Data LDN event this week, Derek relays lessons from Zoopla on their goal of company-wide data literacy:
The era of the algorithm economy - augmented analytics is one of the things that will come. A lot of jobs, a lot of the things people are doing right now, will be automated, whether we want it or not. You need to understand how fast this is evolving.
Yes - the pace of "general AI" may be slow, but automation is not - a wakeup call we'll return to momentarily. For a graph database angle, check Gary's Allianz - we’ve made €2m profit using graph technology.
Diginomica picks - my top stories on diginomica this week
- Rebooting the post-pandemic enterprise with AI automation - In my view, one of Kurt's most important articles of the year: "A recent Aon survey of business executives found that two-thirds believe the pandemic isn't a black swan event, but 'exposed new risks and vulnerabilities that require a significant change in how businesses like mine think about the future.' And a concerning AI/automation message: white collar jobs are next.
- More drones in the sky in one day than planes in a year - Amazonian number-crunching - Chris continues his series on drones - though he didn't mention the drones-inside-homes thing. Maybe I'll get to that in the whiffs section...
Vendor analysis, diginomica style.
The Oracle TikTok affair - Yeah, we finally added our take to the TikTokkery. Stuart did the needful last Monday in TikTok, Oracle, Walmart and Trump - the shape of things to come?(Updated)?.This story continues to
stall out and create more analyst hair loss evolve. We're not planning to go skinny dipping for page views add to the noise, but when the story advances, we'll be there.
My top vendor picks this week:
- Salesforce's new Holy Grail as its customer data platform finally goes on release - Sick of customer data platform hype? Too bad - something tells me there's going to be lots more CDP action this year. Stuart on Salesforce making it official. Also see: Phil's From road warrior to video warrior - Salesforce Meetings aids virtual selling.
- Microsoft floods Ignite with a surge of new Teams features - Microsoft Teams stole the spotlight at Microsoft Ignite. Phil's on the case.
- The e-commerce push isn't enough - how should retailers apply data in the pandemic economy? - I pressed an analytics leader at Zebra Technologies with the data issues retailers haven't solved.
Inforum 2020 is in the books, but the customer use cases rolled on:
- Inforum 2020 - Maine’s Northern Light Health consolidates data using Infor CloudSuite to respond to COVID-19
- How DB Schenker's supply chain transformation fared against COVID-19 disruptions - Jon
SAPfans and ERP watchers got another diginomica dollop of SAP developer drama, dialogue and use cases:
- Three code monkeys ask three wise men to help the SAP developer community - Den
- Getting ahead of the future with Nutanix and SAP HANA - how JR Simplot sowed the seeds of success - Gary
A few more vendor picks, without the quotables:
- Zoho, the tech company that's going back to the land - Phil
- Saving and spending app for kids gohenry migrates to Google Cloud - Derek
Jon's grab bag - Derek parses the annual Harvey Nash-KPMG CIO survey in How COVID-19 has changed - or not changed - CIO priorities. Gist: security and automation investments are in - financial applications or systems of record? Not so much.
Meanwhile, Neil bears down on the AI explainability apologists in The explainability problem - can new approaches pry open the AI black box? - and raises some interesting ways forward.
Best of the rest
Josh Greenbaum doesn't blog often these days, but he can be counted on for a creative/provocative take, as in: Customer Success, Vendor Empathy, and the Problem of Extreme Heterogeneity. I don't agree with all the points in here - for example I don't think suite versus best-of-breed is the best juxtaposition right now (I think it's more about aligning with an applications platform and integrating from there). But agreement isn't the point. Greenbaum puts enterprise software incumbents on notice:
What's important for the vendors that sell enterprise software, particularly the suite vendors – as their best-of-breed counterparts have understood the heterogeneity issue for a while – is that if they don't figure out how to do a better job talking to their customers about supporting other vendors' products, including competitors, they'll be co-opted by the hyperscalers.
Such a development would, of course, be a mockery to the "customer success"
marketing programs practices these vendors have adopted. Greenbaum didn't miss the irony. I don't think the "extreme heterogeneity" Greenbaum describes here is a viable way forward, but he's right about the reality of it, in most $1 billion+ companies.
- The travel industry turned upside down: Insights, analysis, and actions for travel executives - Even the most guru-tastic enthusiastic digital transformation enthusiasts struggle with what to say to the travel industry. McKinsey gives it a go.
- WannaCry Has IoT in Its Crosshairs - Another rough week for IoT security, and WannaCry is on the horizon.
- How humane is the UK’s plan to introduce robot companions in care homes? This is one area where I think robots can change the quality of life, but as this article points out, not at the expense of human contact.
- Diversity in AI: The Invisible Men and Women - I'd call it a wake-up call but it doesn't seem like the wake-up is working. Since 2014, "Companies profess that they’ve tried to address this diversity crisis, the needle has barely moved... Why didn’t it occur to anyone to test the software on cases involving people of color in the first place?" Queue Twitter and Zoom:
- Twitter and Zoom’s algorithmic bias issues - which we put the kibob last week.
Brexit - your go-to source for tragicomic IT snafus: Brexit travel permits designed to avoid 7,000-lorry jams come January depends on software that won't be finished till April. Including the dire-but-priceless line from The Register:
A Cabinet Office official told Bloomberg that beta is a standard labelling practice for a digital service that is fully operational. Experienced IT professionals may contest this definition.
Oh yeah, about those indoor Amazon drones:
Ring's New Security Camera Is a Drone Flying in Your House https://t.co/HvPCa6c5AG
-> I'm sure your dogs, cats, birds and kids won't bother it or take any notice of it.
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) September 26, 2020
And that rough week in IoT security I referred to earlier:
When coffee makers demand a ransom, you know IoT is screwed https://t.co/m8FHfoYKc0
"Specifically, he could trigger coffee maker to turn on burner, dispense water, spin the bean grinder, and display a ransom message, all while beeping repeatedly"
- our connected futures :)
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) September 26, 2020
Finally, let's keep those hot mics off - especially when diginomica is around.
— Stuart Lauchlan (@WhoStu) September 22, 2020
See you next time...
If you find an #ensw piece that qualifies for hits and misses - in a good or bad way - let me know in the comments as Clive (almost) always does. Most Enterprise hits and misses articles are selected from my curated @jonerpnewsfeed. 'myPOV' is borrowed with reluctant permission from the ubiquitous Ray Wang.