Nine years (and still together)

plastic bride and groom on a wedding cakeThe IT industry is littered with examples of short-lived corporate partnerships and alliances that often appear impressive but regularly end or are withdrawn after the initial enthusiasm wanes. The old adage that “actions speaker louder than words” is especially pertinent and I regularly encourage clients to look for tangible examples of co-operation beyond the text of a press release.

I wanted to use this blog post to highlight the existence of a relationship that began in late 2007 and bucks the industry trend. Cast your mind back to 2007: Can you remember when Vista was the predominant PC operating system, the Apple iPhone had just been launched, Android had yet to be announced and Uber didn’t even exist ?

This lengthy preamble is simply a way to introduce the SAS partnership with Teradata, a relationship which is now nine years old and has been responsible for some significant achievements: Read More »

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Winning Olympic gold: My story

Gold medal

Great Britain's men's eight rowing team won gold in Rio to reclaim the Olympic title for the first time since 2000.

When you read people’s stories of winning Olympic medals, they often fall into cliché. It's hard not to. In my experience, the nerves, the expectations, the emotions are all heightened beyond what I've ever experienced, so it becomes necessary to use all the hyperbole at your disposal. That said, winning gold felt more muted than I imagined it would.

Please don't misunderstand me. Everything up to winning was more exaggerated, volatile and exciting than anything else in my life up to that point. In the days preceding the final, I went from being silent and morose to loud and optimistic following a single training session. I challenged our chief coach about changes to the boat; I was sure we would lose given the wrong weather conditions; and I was certain we would win after doing a short practice piece.

In the hours before the final, I used every trick to try and calm nerves that threatened to overflow and wash me away with them. Even writing this now, I can feel my jaw clench and my arms start to shake. In the seconds before, the realisation that in five minutes this single goal I had trained for four years would be over, battled to be a comfort and a torture, crushing all other considerations in their path.

See? It's very hard not to revert to cliché. Read More »

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Disrupting risk management: how financial models are changing

In many ways financial services is about risk management. Regulatory pressures such as BCBS 239, stress-testing, IFRS9, Solvency II and the Fundamental Review of Trading Book have hugely strengthened that focus.

But there are other concerns too. Cost pressures are increasingly important, as is the rise of challengers to the status quo, including online-only providers and new entrants to the market, often more specialist and more targeted than the incumbents. Digital transformation and the drive towards online services, and the rise of the internet of things (IoT) are other challenges.

But perhaps the most difficult area for financial services is the connection between digital transformation and regulation.  The challenge is to maintain current risk processes and systems, but integrate them with new platforms such as Apple Pay, in a way that is compliant with regulations. Are risk managers looking at these issues? Our discussions with a cross section of risk managers suggest that the answer is a resounding no. Read More »

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How to manage the IoT Analytical lifecycle

Since the idea of an “IoT analytical lifecycle,” may be understood in many different ways, let’s start with a definition. Performing analytics at the data center and the cloud is well established practice, and is still quite relevant. With growing numbers of connected devices and availability of computing capabilities at various layers of the network, however, there is an opportunity to extend internet of things (IoT) analytics towards the edge of the network.

How can you extend analytics closer to the edge of the #IoT network? Click To Tweet

The kind of analytics that can be done closer to the edge will be more localized in nature since it would only be applied towards data emerging from one or a few specific end points in the business eco-system, such as a fleet vehicle, a manufacturing plant floor, an offshore drilling station etc. After the application of these localized analytics, the resulting data still would need to flow back to the data center or cloud to allow more comprehensive, enterprise level analytics to be applied and used in decision-making, which renders the IoT data more valuable.

For example, cloud or data center analytics may move from analyzing data for a single vehicle to analyzing data at the fleet level. This data center or cloud based analytics would not only drive decision making at the enterprise level but will also result in insights that can improve the localized models that need to be pushed back towards the edge. Establishing this feedback loop from the edge to the cloud or data center and back to the edge is how we create an analytical lifecycle for IoT. Read More »

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How can cognitive computing improve air travel?

travelers pulling suitcases through an airport security lineIf cognitive computing were adopted widely by companies in the travel industry, what would a typical trip look like for a business traveler? Might some of your biggest travel frustrations be relieved? Let’s find out.

It’s a beautiful day, and you have an important customer briefing in LA. You’ve already received a text that your flight is on time.  Monday morning is one of the busiest times at the airport, and naturally you’re running a tad late. You start to worry about finding a spot to park in the packed airport garage, but then your navigation system uses image detection to direct you right to the best open spot.  Without realizing it, you got one of the last four spots in the main parking lot.

How did this happen? Using convolutional networks, the computer can analyze photos of the parking lot in real time and detect images with a 6 percent error rate, which is better than the human eye.

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Learn more about data for good at Analytics Experience

Analytics Experience 2016 logoSAS was founded on the principal of using analytics to change the world. From fighting cancer and researching the Zika virus to changing the lives of Ghana women by teaching them how to code, SAS has remained committed to helping solve critical humanitarian issues using data and analytics.

What SAS has been doing for more than 40 years is now taking main stage in the industry as a data for good (#data4good) movement. Instead of just using data to boost the bottom line, organizations are looking for new ways to use analytics to make a difference.

As a way to put a spotlight on other companies supporting the data for good movement, you’ll see a big data for good presence at Analytics Experience 2016, Sept. 12-14 in Las Vegas. Jake Porway, founder of DataKind, will be one of this year’s keynote speakers. There will also be data for good breakout presentations from SAS, Dignity Health, Elliot Hospital Systems, San Bernardino County Behavioral Health Department and more. You can find all the sessions by filtering in the agenda for “data for good” in the mobile app. Read More »

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Partnering for prevention: Dignity Health and SAS combat sepsis

There’s been an uptick recently in corporations working together to improve patient experiences and even saves lives. From the recent buzz about drug developers coming together to combat Alzheimer’s, to health systems opening data to researchers, companies realize that partnering just might produce the greatest impact.

As highlighted in Dignity Health demonstrates the power of advanced analytics at HIMSS16, Dignity Health, the fifth largest health system in the nation, and SAS, the world’s largest privately held software company, have teamed since 2014 to use analytics to improve health care delivery.

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Are you ready for the Analytics Fast Track? Part II: The purchase option

In my previous post, Are you ready for the Analytics Fast Track? Part I, I shared details of the SAS and Intel proof of concept program, and promised to follow up with information about our “For Purchase” program.

Meet "rolling SAS" part of our Analytics Fast Track program.

Meet "rolling SAS" part of our Analytics Fast Track program.

Many organizations are looking for sandbox environments that allow their data scientists to play with data, model, explore and fail-fast. They want an environment that's connected to the corporate network, but isolated from production systems -- an environment specifically designed for speed and robust analytical analysis, but in a playpen area where analysts can experiment with many different modeling techniques.

The Analytics Fast Track™ for SAS® (AFT) has an option that allows you to purchase just such a software and hardware environment. SAS has determined a number of software stack use cases that have been built into virtual machines for fast and easy deployment, as well as maintenance.

For example, SAS can provide you with a six-month license of one of the identified software stacks, instructor-led training and SAS Professional Services' “Rapid Start” support. SAS and Intel work with you and the hardware vendor of your choice for the server purchase. We can work with IBM, Cisco, Dell and HP as part of the AFT hardware program. A typical AFT server configuration is 72 core, 3 TB of RAM with 25 TB of SSD storage.

When you purchase an AFT, you're getting industry-leading software and services from SAS, along with a fast server and support from your preferred vendor. After six-months, you have the option for one additional six-month license period, or the production license of the software stack and then you own the server to do with as you please.

The main goal of the AFT For Purchase option is to provide an organization with a state of the art software and hardware environment designed for today’s data scientist. Please contact your account team for any AFT For Purchase questions.

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The road to success with the connected customer and analytics maturity

In an increasingly connected world, the automotive industry is embracing opportunities from the Connected Vehicle and Connected Dealer to reach the Connected Customer. At the recent Automotive Analytics Executive Forum, we heard terrific success stories and far-reaching experiments aimed at facilitating the best customer experiences whether buying a vehicle or getting it serviced.

The connected vehicle will drive new business models and innovation

The connected vehicle and smart mobility are enabling new business models for the automotive industry. Having done analytics for decades, we at SAS have a long history helping our customers leverage analytics as the key differentiator for growth. For the connected vehicle, that means making your customer interactions more intelligent, and accelerating the pace of insights for personalized experiences, product development and improvements to quality, while enabling new business models.

Bob Proctor Quote

Global megatrends can radically change the mobility industry

McKinsey’s Andreas Beiter covered key highlights from their study on the Automotive Revolution – Perspectives Towards 2030. We learned how four disruptive automotive technology-driven trends (connectivity, diverse mobility, autonomous driving, and electrification) will expand revenue pools for Auto OEM’s by 30% (up to $1.5 Trillion). Read More »

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Smart grid analytics and what makes IoT special for utilities

sun setting behind utility wiresYesterday I opened up the Wall Street Journal and found the usual mix of ads from major technology vendors touting their IoT (Internet of Things) prowess, and claiming they all have the secret sauce to make all of our IoT dreams come true. Where do I sign up?!

Meanwhile, back here on planet earth, we're all looking at the massive potential for IoT, and figuring out how to best use this new flood of streaming data to benefit our organizations. For many companies in the utilities industry, that means looking at where and how to best leverage the massive IoT instance right in your backyard: the smart grid.

Beyond the hype in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal was an interesting article by one of their columnists, Christopher Mims, who says the internet of things isn’t about things; it’s about services, which of course put me immediately in a defensive posture… “What does this guy know? It’s all about data!”

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