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Problems with the Language of Probability

April 6, 2015 by Paul Barsch

Risky Business column.

Using probabilistic terminology to communicate the “likelihood” of an event occurring to those untrained in understanding such terms, can in some instances lead to the ruin of careers, companies and in worst cases—loss of life.[read more]

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Hygienic Hadoop Data Lakes Not Just Happenstance

February 23, 2015 by Paul Barsch

Risky Business column.

If you work with Hadoop on a daily basis you already know that data cannot simply be dumped into Hadoop’s file system and be of high value to rank and file business users. To be sure, data management is crucial if you’re planning on Hadoop serving as a true lake or “hub” for all your organization’s data.[read more]

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Is Your IT Architecture Ready for Big Data?

January 6, 2015 by Paul Barsch

Risky Business column.

Companies desperately need to assess their current situation and future business needs, and then design and deliver on a IT architecture that will deliver insights from all data types.[read more]

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Changing Your Mind About Big Data Isn’t Dumb

December 9, 2014 by Paul Barsch

Risky Business column.

While big data technologies have enjoyed plenty of hype, there’s a new reality setting in regarding getting more value from big data investments. With this in mind, it's OK to step back for a moment, pause your programs for a time if necessary, and—yes, even change your mind about big data.[read more]

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Storytelling with the Sounds of Big Data

November 10, 2014 by Paul Barsch

Risky Business column.

Trying to internally “sell” the merits of a big data program to your executive team? Numbers and facts probably won’t make the sales pitch complete. You will also need to appeal to the emotional side of the sale by incorporating the sounds of big data.[read more]

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3 Tips to Make You a Genius Forecaster

October 13, 2014 by Paul Barsch
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Forecasting is hard, and even those who sometimes get it right, often fail on a continuous basis. But fear not, there are three steps you can take to drastically improve your forecast accuracy, but you’ll have to be willing to put in the work, and possibly put your ego aside to get there.[read more]

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CAPEX Deferred Eventually Makes the Company Sick

September 22, 2014 by Paul Barsch
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Risky Business column.

Instead of investments in IT, machinery, buildings and more, CEOs and CFOs are content to predominantly spend cash on stock buy-backs and/or dividends. Deferring CAPEX spend, or “sweating the assets” will work for a little while, but it’s not a strategy for long-term success.[read more]

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Building Information Technology Liquidity

August 25, 2014 by Paul Barsch

Risky Business column.

In the financial world, liquid assets can allow companies to react and capitalize on market opportunities. Liquidity in IT means that companies have enough extra compute firepower, people resources and are agile enough with IT processes to respond to unplanned events and demand, in whatever shape, form or order they arrive.[read more]

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Adapting to Winds of Change

August 6, 2014 by Paul Barsch

Risky Business column.

There’s much work to do before you can take advantage of cloud resources, and just-in-time planning doesn't cut it. With the flexibility, speed and power that cloud offers, there’s really no excuses to let opportunities to capture unplanned demand pass you by.[read more]

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The Rule of Three Works for IT

July 14, 2014 by Paul Barsch

Risky Business column.

The rule of three is a teaching, writing or presenting device where a key concept is broken into three easy to remember pieces. Does the rule of three apply to the fields of technology and business? Going forward, let’s be sure to use more tricolons in our training materials, internal presentations and customer whitepapers.[read more]

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Beware of Big Data Technology Zealotry

June 23, 2014 by Paul Barsch

Risky Business column.

Invariably, there are hundreds of additional arguments proffered by big data vendors and technology zealots inhabiting organizations just like yours. However, there are few crisp binary choices in technology decision making, especially in today’s heterogeneous big data environments. Beware big data zealots that counsel you otherwise.[read more]

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When Ideology Reigns Over Data

June 2, 2014 by Paul Barsch

Risky Business column.

Increasingly, the mantra of “let the data speak for themselves” is falling by the wayside. There are dangers to reputations, companies and global economies when researchers and/or statisticians either see what they want to see—despite the data, or worse, gently massage data to get “the right results.”[read more]

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Ramifications of IT Infrastructure Everywhere

May 20, 2014 by Paul Barsch

Risky Business column.

Most people don’t notice that information technology pervades our daily lives. Some IT infrastructure is in the open and easy to spot, however plenty of IT infrastructures are nearly invisible as they reside in locked network rooms or heavily guarded data centers. Let's take off the covers of this often invisible underpinning and examine just a few ramifications of IT infrastructure everywhere.[read more]

The High Cost of Low Quality IT

April 25, 2014 by Paul Barsch

Risky Business column.

Technology purchases and implementations aren't like buying widgets. A half-baked solution full of “second choice” technologies may end up being unusable to end-users, and cut-rate implementations that are seriously delayed or over-budget can translate into lost revenues, and/or delayed time to market.[read more]

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Mobile: It's Still a Big Deal

March 31, 2014 by Paul Barsch

Mobile is still a big deal.

Taking a look at the latest round of capital investments from the internet giants, it’s easy to believe they’re more infatuated with self-driving cars, robots and drones that deliver packages than driving value to mobile consumers. That should leave a pretty wide open gap for businesses of all stripes to invest in meeting the needs of the mobile consumer.[read more]