Six Secrets to Big Data Success

Six Secrets to Big Data Success

Big Data has played a role in helping a number of industries immeasurably, as its role in the business world is becoming more important with each passing day. However, even though the utility of Big Data in a professional setting is immense, there are very few organizations capable to utilizing the technology at an optimal level to boost their operations.

A large number of companies fear that they will make mistakes with the technology, which stops them from moving forward with Big Data analytics and maximizing its value. This is because, when used poorly, Big Data analytics can make false predictions for the future. However, when implemented correctly, Big Data offers a lot of upside to an organization. Combine its capabilities with a focused vision and a competent team, and there is a good chance the technology will bolster your company’s operations and profitability.

Keep reading as we will help you develop such vision with our insights on how you can be successful with Big Data.

1. Skills matter more than technology

It’s no secret that without the right technological tools, it is nearly impossible to succeed in a growingly competitive and sophisticated business world. Nevertheless, technology alone is not enough to help you attain this success—having the skills to operate the technology properly is also needed. While talking of Big Data, your team’s skills are far more important than the technology itself since technical ability has a very small role to play in Big Data analytics. The Big Data analyst must have know how to come up with right business questions, developing a clear forward path to make the best of the technology. The analyst must also be competent enough to parse and analyze the unstructured data through pattern recognition and hypothesis formation. Eventually, the analyst should know how to use the appropriate statistical tools to generate a predictive analysis. It is not necessary for the analyst to have all these qualities before joining the organization. Instead, the organization must conduct workshops every now and then to update analysts on the latest uses of Big Data to add value to your business.

2. Run necessary pilots

Big Data Is generally adopted by firms that want a predictive analysis of market trends that they can use to to plan for their future. Such predictions are not always unearthed in a manner that ends up being useful to your organization. If the predictive data cannot be applied to your business, Big Data will not yield the fruits of success that you seek. Therefore, it is highly advisable that when looking for data-based predictions, you should run a pilot to determine whether your predictions can be applied to improve your systems or not. Doing so will not only help you rectify your errors, but will also help you redefine your prediction in a manner that better suits your market needs. Furthermore, running a pilot will also reveal any weak points on your plans from their inception through the execution of them. Thus, one pilot will strengthen the quality of your operations, as well as the overall strategies of your business.

3. Formulate targeted analysis

It is imperative that the data you compile from the market is raw and unstructured. The amount of data available is expected to grow eightfold over the next five years, according to Gartner, most of which will be unstructured. Keeping this in mind, organizations must ensure they are ready to parse and analyze the data in a manner that will be beneficial to your business. Targeted analysis is key as one dataset may be used to unearth insights about multiple topics, while other pieces of information may not need to be extracted as they may not be relevant to your goals. Know what you’re hoping to achieve before extracting insights from your datasets, and then proceed to analyze the data. Having the right technological tools beforehand that you can use to store and analyze data is key. Always keep a backlog with indices for relevant interpretations of the data, so that when you need to extract information from the same dataset in future, it will be readily available for any future analysis.

4. Extract the best data possible

Even a small dataset can sometimes prove to be effective in developing predictions, while it is also equally possible for big sets of unstructured data to lead you nowhere. Aim to always narrow the focus of the data you compile for analytical purpose without compromising the robustness of the predictions. Going this route will save you plenty of time, while also helping you attain an accurate and actionable prediction. Don’t continue running massive sets of unstructured data in the hope that it will definitely lead you to a robust prediction as this is a waste of your time.

5. Keep predictions within your organization’s operational ability

Do not aim for predictions that lie outside the ability of your firm. Not all organizations are equipped with the skills and technological prowess to make the most of your predictions, so make sure your predictions are targeted within your means. Most organizations have a limited amount of wiggle room and the challenge is to come up with predictions that your organization is comfortable with. Do not exhort unnecessary operational pressure on your organization because it will only hamper the pace and confidence of your workers.

6. Be adaptive

The best results in Big Data analytics are achieved when the most actionable predictions happen to be affordable for your firm. As discussed earlier, don’t place an unnecessary burden on your firm in the hopes of achieving the best prediction possible. Instead, bring adaptive changes to your firm slowly in a way that will help it accommodate the best of ideas. When these ideas match the capabilities of your firm, great results will be only an arm’s reach away.

Also Read

What You Need to Know Before Migrating Your Business to the Cloud
Why You Should Care About AWS Well-Architected Framework
Infographic: Cloud Migration Overview and Benefits

AWS Summit – Chicago

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Event Details: The AWS Summit Chicago is a free event designed to bring together the cloud computing community to connect, collaborate, and learn about AWS. Summits are held in major cities around the world and attract technologists from multiple industries, segments, and learning levels who want to learn how AWS can help them innovate with speed and deliver services with scale, flexibility, and reliability.

Featured Topics: Choose from 80+ technical learning opportunities ranging from introductions to deep dives and includes small group hands-on workshops, lecture-style sessions, and open mic whiteboarding chalk talks. Topics will cover but are not limited to Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Serverless, Compute, Databases, Security & Compliance, and more.

[Know more about the Conference]

About Idexcel: Idexcel is a Professional Services and Technology Solutions provider specializing in Cloud Services, Application Modernization, and Data Analytics. Idexcel is proud that for more than 21 years it has provided services that implement complex technologies that are innovative, agile and successful and have provided our customers with lasting value.

Anand Allolankandy – (Sr. Director Technical Sales & Delivery at Idexcel) and Jed Tonelson – (Director of Cloud & DevOps Sales at Idexcel) will be attending this event. For further queries, please write to anand@idexcel.com or jed.tonelson@idexcel.com

What You Need to Know Before Migrating Your Business to the Cloud

What You Need to Know Before Migrating Your Business to the Cloud

Moving to the Cloud might be on every organization’s agenda, but the constant question to ask is, “Are these organizations ready to make a move to the Cloud?” The benefits of the Cloud might be numerous, but every organization needs to be prepped before the move can be successfully made. To get the most out of the move to the Cloud, here are a few necessary steps which need to be performed before moving to the Cloud.

Does the Cloud Have all the Resources to Sustain Your Needs?

The first step is to understand what resources you would need to post your move into the Cloud. During the investigation stage, check what hardware your business already has, and all you would need to move to the Cloud successfully. You need to take into consideration all your applications, web servers, storage possibilities, databases, along with the other necessary components. These days, most businesses are relying heavily on AWS services, along with databases like RDS and NoSQL to do their bidding.

An organization can make use of AWS services like EC2, S3, Glacier, and RDS amongst many other things. This way, one can understand the Cloud and its service options, while there are other ways to understand the different resources available within the Cloud. The idea is to know if these resources are enough for you to manage your deliverables.

Which Applications Go First?

This concept is a crucial factor since an organization can have a series of applications, which need to be migrated to the Cloud. During the migration stage, an organization has an option to push everything in one single instance or migrate slowly and steadily over some time. If you are doing the latter, you might want to identify the most critical applications to be relocated, which might be followed by the rest of the applications. On the contrary, you can try and push those applications which have minimum complexity, and dependencies, so that post-migration, there is minimum impact on production and operations.

How do You Use Scalability and Automation?

The Cloud is well known for its scalability and automation options, amongst other benefits. If you are using AWS, then you will soon understand that you have the opportunity to design a scalable infrastructure, right at the initial stage, which can help support increased traffic, while allowing you to retain your efficiency model. You have the liberty and flexibility to scale horizontally and vertically, depending on the resource availability. These are some excellent discussions which can be looked at, right during the planning stage, as these are primary factors worth considering in the long run.

How does Software Licensing Work?

Software licensing might look like a cake walk, but the reality is far from it. After moving into the Cloud, your software might need some additional licensing, which might not be available as and when you need it; this can be discussed with the Cloud vendor, at the time of negotiations. Licensing might seem like a big step, involving heavy financial budgeting; make sure you speak to your legal and business teams, before finalizing the list of software to be moved to the Cloud.

How Can We Make the Transition?

One has to understand that moving to the Cloud is no simple task. Having said this, it is essential to decide the migration plan, and what all it will entail. There is a lot of critical planning which goes into determining the type of Cloud service to undertake; an organization needs to weigh the pros and cons of each kind of Cloud model, and accordingly make a move. There are three types of Cloud services which are currently prominent: private, public, and hybrid. As per the cost, security needs, and other factors, an organization can narrow down the options and choose the one with the best fit.

What About Training Staff to Work in the Cloud?

While this might seem to be a bit overrated, it’s nonetheless essential to train your staff to work on the Cloud more seamlessly and efficiently. Rest assured, your team would face a few teething issues, considering the exposure to an altogether new environment, which might not seem as conducive in the beginning, as you might want it to be. Identify the teams which will be on-boarded to the Cloud first, and create elaborate training manuals to help the teams move forward and adopt the Cloud to the best possible extent.

See how Idexcel can help your cloud migration strategy with a free Asset discovery and Dependency mapping report

Why You Should Care About AWS Well-Architected Framework

Top Digital Transformation Trends in the Financial Industry

The framework for AWS is the structure that allows engineers or more profoundly, a broader group of IT professionals to architect any problem or project adequately. So this brings us precisely to the point, “What is the AWS architecture and why should an organization give it any importance?” Let’s find out more about it.

Why are AWS Architectural Frameworks Necessary?

Five specific pillars have been perfectly designed within the AWS framework; the structure has been finely tuned keeping in mind the underlying purpose of AWS. These pillars will permit the developer to evaluate the infrastructure at hand, thereby allowing the Cloud to be utterly compliant while making use of the best practices at hand.

The Five Structured Pillars of the AWS Framework

The AWS framework consists of five pillars that enable proper structure and efficiency in the Cloud; these include reliability, security, performance efficiency, cost, and operational excellence. This framework is durable, scalable and allows for greater flexibility than any of its immediate competitors.

Reliability

As one of the main pillars, Reliability showcases the ability of a system to recover from any service disruption; this ensures that the system is architected in such a way that it automatically provisions resources based on demand, and automatically heals itself in case of any misconfiguration or network issues and system downtimes.

This pillar focuses specifically on implementing measures that influence the reliability of a system. Any negligence to this can hurt the availability of the application. For this very reason, the framework is often preferred, given its feasibility and capabilities to provide uptime at all times.
By following the framework rules for this pillar, an organization can eliminate the impact of any potential failures and by doing so, design their infrastructure effectively.

Security

Being active with any online activity that includes data, especially an organization’s data, make security one of the most significant and most essential pillars within the AWS framework. For instance, If you are being offered a service regarding Big Data, any data service provider you work with must follow the proper security protocol to help sustain the security standards of preserving large volumes of data.

The security pillar will enable the protection of information, assets, and systems; this can be facilitated by delivering proper value through effective risk management, as well as by generating mitigation strategies for fraud prevention purposes.

While architecting any system, the number one thing you have to have is minimal access to the infrastructure. Not having addressed this will lead to the leakage of data, which can cost your company millions of dollars. Confidentiality and integrity of data have to be maintained by all possible means like protection of system and services, identity and access management and robust data protection. As Cloud is a Shared Responsibility Model, AWS also takes the responsibility of physically securing the infrastructure in addition to efforts from the customers’ end.

Performance Efficiency

The third pillar is performance efficiency; it plays a crucial part when it comes to the proper usage of computing resources. This way, the architecture needs to be designed in such a way that the appropriate system requirements are met with growing demands within the technological realms. A periodical review of the choices furthermore allows for services to evolve and consistently continue to improve as new methodologies are introduced within the cloud.

The performance efficiency pillar allows the delivery of the best experiences to users since it insists on regular review of your resources and helps in right-sizing our infrastructure for higher performance.

If you’ve experienced any performance-based issues in the past, with any other service provider, you can rest assured that AWS will help you build architectures that ensure performance efficiency. Taking into consideration factors like monitoring, cyclical review process, load tests, trade-offs, etc. will ensure that this fundamental pillar is laid for you.

Cost Optimization

Practical Implementation of this pillar lies mostly in the hands of the customer; this is usually achieved over the time by endless iterations of review of resource utilization and appropriate selection of the resources for your use case. Used for eliminating additional costs and unnecessary resources, AWS uses the saved money to add extra benefits to your company.

After assessing your business and overall usage of AWS, this framework is equipped to eliminate the costs of any underused services. Customers also need to ascertain that any cost-effectiveness should not come at the expense of performance degradation; this will reduce the total cost of services and get rid of unnecessary resources in your overall business infrastructure. There are services, cost-effectiveness programs, and other purchasing options offered by AWS, that will help you implement this process.

Operational Excellence Promised

Finally, operational excellence is a pillar that stands firm in the AWS-architectural framework; it enhances the ability to improve operational procedures and daily practices, which are implemented to manage your business’s production workload.

Various changes are implemented, executed, and automated, to provide you with better efficiency. The three best practice areas, as recommended by AWS, Prepare, Operate and Evolve should be adopted and adhered continuously in the long run to achieve this pillar.

These processes are also tested, reviewed and documented daily to allow for even more reliability, making the AWS-architectural framework the best service provider that allows for optimal performance, growth, and sustainability of your business.

Get your free AWS Well-Architected Framework Review

Top Digital Transformation Trends in the Financial Industry

Top Digital Transformation Trends in the Financial Industry

When it comes to the financial industry, the year 2019 is going to prove to be a changing point, especially concerning digital transformation. There will be a paradigm shift for the banking industry, especially for those who have functioned within the brick and mortar layout. The point is that consumers have been split for choices, which would, in turn, mean that financial institutions need to adapt to the new age technological trends, to stay in business.

Even though the word ‘digital transformation’ might seem like a buzzword, there is a lot more to it than meets the eye. Through the implementation of digitization, financial services can be altered effectively, to ensure economic growth is visible clearly. Let’s take the example of mobile banking — banks are competing with each other in the virtual space to help ease their customers’ financial transactions. The smoother the banking app, the better would be the digital transactions and the economic growth of a banking organization.

On the other hand, banks and credit card companies rely heavily on enhancing their mobile customer experience, without incurring any downtime during the transaction stages. This way, other financial establishments like fund managers, capital markets, equity markets, etc., can utilize tools like big data and machine learning to automate their existing processes and drive automation in a more structured and reliable manner, thereby making the process seamless and extremely user-friendly.

The services listed below can prove to be the game changers in the year 2019, which will shape up the financial structure with their digital transformation trends.

Mobile Banking

Mobile banking has eased the way consumers access their banking accounts and other banking services. When was the last time you set foot in the bank? Right from depositing checks, applying for loans, to transferring money, everything is happening at the click of a few buttons, right from our mobile devices. Customers of today don’t want a brick and mortar bank; instead, they want something which can be accessed from their mobile phones. A combination of 24/7 access, ease of use, and almost negligible waiting time has changed the way banking and other financial institutions are functioning; this will continue to evolve, as more and more customers prefer mobile banking over other forms of banking.

Mobile Pay Utilities

Apps are evolving at the speed of light. There was a time when mobile wallets were unheard of to the average consumer. While some people have argued over the security of storing electronic money, many others refrained from using this payment method due to lack of knowledge. However, times are changing, and so are ways of storing wealth and making payments. Mobile wallets have become the rule of the market; merchants, shopping complexes and other sellers prefer to use mobile payments versus traditional cash and checks. Convenience, security, and ease of availability have given way to a digital transformation over the years, which continue to evolve as time passes.

Blockchain

Blockchain might not have been an enormous success in 2018; however, it is slated to pick up in 2019. There will be more emphasis on blockchain concerning digital payments, escrow facilities, loan processing, etc. There is also an expected use of Blockchain in RegTech, wherein processes governed by regulations need to be automated to avoid unnecessary regulation breaches.

Automated Wealth Managers

Artificial Intelligence has become the talk of the era, given its magnitude of automation and possibilities. Wealth bots, or automated wealth managers, use complex algorithms to calculate the best investment opportunities, along with the best interest rates, the best loan providing institutions, etc. Financial planning has become a cinch, all thanks to automated wealth managers, which are rapidly helping people meet their financial goals with utmost precision and well-calculated returns.

Big Data

The fact today is that data is everything. Banking and financial institutions are rapidly making use of machine learning to process data to drive effective analytical solutions out of this data. This way, banks, and other financial institutions can better serve their customers, as well as improve their overall services to bring in more investment and create better work environments for their employees and customers alike.

The trends are endless; it is to see how the financial industry reacts to these changes eventually, which can prove to be a turning point in their existence.

Also Read

The 5 Best Practices for DevOps Transformation
How the Internet of Things is Changing the Healthcare Industry
Cloud Security Challenges for Enterprises
Why Enterprises Should Adopt a Multi-Cloud Strategy

The 5 Best Practices for DevOps Transformation

The 5 Best Practices for DevOps Transformation

DevOps is all about creating a culture where both IT and operations teams can work together. Deriving its roots from the Agile methodology, DevOps involves the use of automated processes to increase the rate of application deployment within organizations. The essential idea behind DevOps is to allow IT teams to work in a more coordinated manner with operational teams.

So how does an organization employ these DevOps principles in a streamlined and organized manner? Here are the five best practices for DevOps transformation, which can help organizations implement DevOps and gain maximum benefits out of its implementation.

Go Simple and Start Small: Experts say that organizations should not try and do everything at the same time. Businesses have an existing set of rules and policies, which can’t be changed overnight — working to make changes in a matter of days will not only become a recipe for disaster, but also not give any results. Instead, to get the most out of DevOps, it is advised to go small. Select a project which can prove to be successful and can bring out the best possible benefits once it is implemented. Some organizations implement changes on a large scale, but this will not always mean that large scale projects are going to be successful. Such projects usually take time for implementation, which means long delays in implementation.

Have a Developed Plan of Action: Each project needs to be well planned, and needs to be implemented appropriately. This way, the mode of implementation can be well defined, realistic milestones can be set, and the tools for implementation and automation can be discussed. Different teams will be involved; each detail will be addressed during the planning stage and mentioned clearly in the plan of action, to make the project a success.

Invest in Automation Technology: DevOps is more about automation; there are a lot of vendors who offer different configuration, monitoring, and automation tools, which can help organizations deploy applications in a much quicker and efficient manner. It’s the world of technology; different technologies can enable the effective use of software, which makes the process of implementing a lot more cost effective and efficient.

Seek Regular Feedback: Feedback is the key to success, especially when DevOps projects are being implemented. When developers and operations teams work together, they need to seek feedback from all involved groups, to plug all gaps, so that implementation is seamless, and on track at all times. This way, companies can meet their deadlines, and implement the logistics of DevOps as planned.

Establish KPIs to Measure Success: Keeping KPIs is an excellent method to understand what’s been achieved, and what’s still pending. This way, organizations can realize their milestones, their progress, and what needs to be resolved. Everything will remain well within limits, as organizations meet their milestones one after another. This way, delays can be managed, and gaps can be addressed with the right feedback from the involved teams. During the KPI discussion stage, ensure that the measures of success are achievable and realistic. As an organization, you don’t want to set KPIs which will prove to be unachievable in the long run.

DevOps is a long term process, and hurrying into DevOps can create a lot of problems for organizations. It’s a philosophy, which is implemented slowly and steadily; it is a movement which can help organizations benefit from the nuances of DevOps.

Also Read

How the Internet of Things is Changing the Healthcare Industry
Cloud Security Challenges for Enterprises
Why Enterprises Should Adopt a Multi-Cloud Strategy
The Differences Between Cloud and On-Premises Computing

How the Internet of Things is Changing the Healthcare Industry

Internet of Things is Changing the Healthcare Industry

Internet of Things (IoT) has transformed many industries in terms of catering and management of services, especially health care industries which have shown remarkable development in treating people. From scheduling doctors appointments to advice on a diagnosis, the sector has gone a long distance in redefining the way things operate. The increasing advancements in technology are consistently applied at every stage in the development of health care industries. From big devices that monitor the health of admitted patients to microdevices that track movements of the human body, IoT has simplified the whole paradigm of health care services.

The sufficient magnitude of services required from the health care industry is also one of the reasons for inviting IoT to the rescue. Drawing facts, we see that the budget for IoT health care services has increased four times from 2017 to 2018. The large number itself is a direct representation of how largely IoT has become a trusted part of the health care industry. Let’s explore below how IoT is changing the health care industry, in more detail.

Health Data Simplified

Earlier, health care industries used to rely on first-hand data as provided by the visitor. With the help of IoT, the person is no longer constrained to produce raw, immediate data with which their prescriptions can be made. Instead, the person only has to use a device such as a wrist band, or an application which will keep track of your body behavior; this data is quantitative, transferable and first hand. Thus, doctors can look at data without the patient being present and form a better analysis of the patient’s situation due to quantifiable and transferable data. The added ease of interpreting data also reduces the gap between the doctor and the patient by connecting them through technology.

Quick Health Decisions

IoT makes it possible for a person to track his/her body behavior; this is done majorly through a wearable device which records precise data of steps, heart rate, air quality, blood flow and so on. With body behavior data, a person can be ahead of diseases by reporting them to a physician when he/she suspects an adverse change. Doing so, the person will always remain ahead of the condition and can reduce his/her chances of illness drastically. IoT devices can also bring in notice the details that are not precisely captured by other equipment. On the whole, the situations are transformed from cure to prevention.

Custom Health Services

With increased control over body behavior data, people can also control what treatment they want. Sometimes, a few conditions don’t require immediate care; in that case, they can choose what services they need immediately. Such customizability was not available in times when IoT could not provide regular data. With the help of IoT, one can decrease the financial pressure as involved in treatments. He/She can selectively opt for services that require attention and ignore that don’t.

Smart Scheduling

IoT makes things very organized when it comes to data storage. A person has to keep a record of various information if he/she wants a birds-eye view of his body behavior. However, maintaining such a tedious data requires sheer organization. With IoT, such an organization comes pre-programmed. This organization has an added benefit of managing your health schedules. You can program the device in such a way that reminds you of your medication cycle, the quantity of medicine to take, days until the next health appointment, and more.

Higher Satisfaction

Due to transparency rendered by IoT devices regarding the body behavior data, it becomes easy both for the doctor and the patient to tackle a particular disease. On the one hand, the patient knows well about his condition and can take custom treatment plans, and on the other, the doctor is better able to treat the patient due to transferable, first-hand data. As a result, both sides are better satisfied.

The importance of IoT varies from industry to industry due to the tasks that can be sanctioned. In general, IoT is needed in almost all sectors including education, municipal planning, automobiles, or even households. IoT in health care serves an altogether different purpose. In other industries, IoT serves as a tool to reach the results, in health care, IoT helps to achieve the beginning of treatments. In other words, the whole process of medication hinges on IoT devices that render actual data.

Also Read

Cloud Security Challenges for Enterprises
Why Enterprises Should Adopt a Multi-Cloud Strategy
The Differences Between Cloud and On-Premises Computing
Best Practices for Using DevOps in the Cloud

ATLASSIAN SUMMIT 2019

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Date: April 9-11, 2019
Location: Las Vegas

Event Details: The world’s next best innovations will be built by teams like yours. This is why our mission is to help unleash the potential in every team and why we hold Summit year after year. Join our team along with other users to be inspired, hear expert advice on the best ways to use Atlassian tools, learn about the latest technology and product updates, and celebrate the teams that make the world a better place.

[Know more about the Conference]

About Idexcel: Idexcel is a Professional Services and Technology Solutions provider specializing in Cloud Services, Application Modernization, and Data Analytics. Idexcel is proud that for more than 21 years it has provided services that implement complex technologies that are innovative, agile and successful and have provided our customers with lasting value.

Anand Allolankandy – (Sr. Director Technical Sales & Delivery at Idexcel) will be attending this event. For further queries, please write to anand@idexcel.com