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I recently had the opportunity to give a 10-minute keynote at DataWorks Summit 2017.  I know what most of you are thinking: Schmarzo can barely introduce himself in 10 minutes! What sort of keynote could he give in just 10 minutes?  And to be honest, I too struggled with what to say. But after some brainstorming with my marketing experts (Jeff Abbott, Erin Banks, and Chris Hill), we came up with an idea:  Pose five questions that every organization needs to consider as they prepare themselves for digital transformation.  And while I didn’t have enough time in 10 minutes to answer those questions in a keynote, I certainly do in a blog! So here we go!! Question #1:  How effective is your organization at leveraging data and analytics to power your business model? The Big Data Business Model Maturity Index was developed to help organizations to measure or benchmark their... (more)

Quantum Computing, AI and Solving the Impossible | @ThingsExpo #AI #DX #IoT #M2M

Quantum Computing, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Solving the Impossible In the blog “From Autonomous to Smart:  Importance of Artificial Intelligence,” we discussed the two critical artificial intelligence (AI) challenges in creating “smart” edge devices: Artificial Intelligence Challenge #1: How do the Artificial Intelligence algorithms handle the unexpected, such as flash flooding, terrorist attacks, earthquakes, tornadoes, police car chases, emergency vehicles, blown tires, a child chasing a ball into the street, etc.? Artificial Intelligence Challenge #2: The more complex the problem state, the more data storage (to retain known state history) and CPU processing power (to find the optimal or best solution) is required in the edge devices in order to create “smart”. In the blog “Reinforcement Learning to the Rescue,” we talked about how Moore’s Law isn’t going... (more)

Understanding Chaos Theory | @ThingsExpo #DX #BI #IoT #M2M #Analytics

Why Understanding Chaos Theory Is Important to Your Business “Chaos: When the present determines the future, but the approximate present does not approximately determine the future.” – Edward Lorenz We all probably remember the movie (“Jurassic Park”), even if we don’t remember this exact scene: Dr. Malcolm, played by Jeff Goldblum is explaining Chaos Theory to Dr. Ellie Sattler, played by Laura Dern. Dr. Malcolm is explaining how random, seemingly negligible events can disrupt even the most carefully laid out plans. Dr. Ian Malcolm: [after the T-Rex failed to appear for the tour group]. “You see a Tyrannosaur doesn’t follow a set pattern or park schedules, the essence of chaos.” And then later in the movie… Dr. Ian Malcolm: “Oh, yeah. Oooh, ahhh, that’s how it always starts. Then later there’s running and um, screaming.” Yes, running and screaming. That’s what hap... (more)

Demystifying #DataScience | @CloudExpo #BigData #AI #ArtificialIntelligence

[Opening Scene]: Billy Dean is pacing the office. He’s struggling to keep his delivery trucks at full capacity and on the road. Random breakdowns, unexpected employee absences, and unscheduled truck maintenance are impacting bookings, revenues and ultimately customer satisfaction. He keeps hearing from his business customers how they are leveraging data science to improve their business operations. Billy Dean starts to wonder if data science can help him. As he contemplates what data science can do for him, he slowly drifts off to sleep, and visions of Data Science starts dancing in his head… [Poof! Suddenly Wizard Wei appears]: Hi, I’m your data science wizard to help alleviate your data science concerns. I don’t understand why folks try to make the data science discussion complicated. Let’s start simple with a simple definition of data science: Data science is a... (more)

Me, Myself and Digital Twins | @ThingsExpo #AI #IoT #BigData #DX #DigitalTransformation

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? What Is a Digital Twin? A Digital Twin is a digital representation of an industrial asset that enables companies to better understand and predict the performance of their machines, find new revenue streams, and change the way their business operates[1]. GE uses the concept of Digital Twins to create a digital replica of their physical product (e.g., wind turbine, jet engine, locomotive) that captures ... (more)

Embracing Conflict to Fuel Digital Innovation | @ThingsExpo #DX #IoT #M2M #BigData

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 improve product line profitability by cutting all marketing and advertising spending and laying off anyone not directly related to manufacturing and sell products. Where organizations need to get innovative is when the business initiative has more than one dimension or condition, for example: Reduce customer churn while reducing customer service costs, or Reduce inventory costs w... (more)

What Is #DigitalTransformation? | @ThingsExpo #AI #DX #IoT #SmartCities

For a phrase that’s being thrown around a lot recently, what does “Digital Transformation” really mean? When someone says that they want to digitally transform their business, what does one really mean, why do they want to do it, and should they approach this “digital transformation” process? First off, let’s start with a definition. If we don’t know what we are trying to achieve, then how do we know how to get there? Or to quote the famous Greek philosopher Yogi Berra: “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” In a recent blog “How To Achieve Digital Transformation,” I stated with the following definition of Digital Transformation: “The coupling of granular, real-time data (e.g., smartphones, connected devices, smart appliances, wearables, mobile commerce, video surveillance) with modern technologies (e.g., cloud native apps, big data ... (more)

Golden State Warriors Analytics Exercise | @BigDataExpo #BigData #Analytics

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 require them to: Set up a basic analytic environment Gather and organize different data sources Explore the data using different visualization techniques Create and test composite metrics by grouping and transforming base metrics Create a score or analytic model that supports their recommendations I gave them the links to 10 Warrior games (5 regulation wins, 3 overtime losses and 2 regulation losses) as their star... (more)

Azure Stack Hybrid Cloud From @DellEMC | @CloudExpo @Azure #AI #ML #DX

Dell EMC Announce Azure Stack Hybrid Cloud Solution Dell EMC have announced their Microsoft Azure Stack hybrid cloud platform solutions. This announcement builds upon earlier statements of support and intention by Dell EMC to be part of the Microsoft Azure Stack community. For those of you who are not familiar, Azure Stack is an on premise extension of Microsoft Azure public cloud. What this means is that essentially you can have the Microsoft Azure experience (or a subset of it) in your own data center or data infrastructure, enabling cloud experiences and abilities at your own pace, your own way with control. Learn more about Microsoft Azure Stack including my experiences with and installing Technique Preview 3 (TP3) here. What Is Azure Stack Microsoft Azure Stack is an on-premise (e.g., in your own data center) private (or hybrid when connected to Azure) cloud pl... (more)

Whose Data Is It? | @CloudExpo #IoT #AI #ML #DL #M2M #BigData #Analytics

Many times, sports have been at the leading edge of data analytics.  The book “Moneyball” was one of the first popular books to bring the basic concepts behind data analytics and data science to the general audience.  Fantasy leagues, sabermetrics and even games like “Strat-O-Matic” baseball and basketball provided an introduction into basic statistical concepts. And it now seems that sports, in this case the National Basketball Association (NBA), are breaking new ground with another data analytics topic: who owns the data?  The National Basketball Players Association recently banned NBA teams from using a player’s wearable data in contract negotiations or other transactions (see “NBA Bans Teams From Using Wearable Data In Contract Negotiations”). Maybe after the bitter fights professional and college athletes had about their “likeness” being used for advertising... (more)

Can Design Thinking Unleash Organizational Innovation? | @ThingsExpo #IoT #M2M #BigData

I am so blessed with smart friends, and I am fortunate to count John Morley among that group. John recently introduced me to Stanford’s Design School (d.school). To say I was blown away would be an understatement. I was so jazzed by the one-hour tour that I have signed up for a 3-hour class (very expensive…costs like $12…my Starbucks coffee that will get me fired up for the class costs almost that much). So what about design thinking got me so jazzed? Three things immediately jumped out at me about the design thinking concept: The design techniques that the school teaches are very similar to the envisioning techniques that we use in our Vision Workshop consulting engagements at Dell EMC, so I’ve uncovered this opportunity to expand our Vision Workshop methodology with some new tools, tips, and techniques. There appears to be a very close correlation between the desi... (more)