Welcome!

Machine Learning Authors: Elizabeth White, Rene Buest, Liz McMillan, Jason Bloomberg, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: @BigDataExpo, @CloudExpo, @ThingsExpo

@BigDataExpo: Blog Feed Post

Identifying Where and How to Start the Big Data Journey | @BigDataExpo #BigData #DataLake #Analytics

Organizations are eager to realize the business benefits of Big Data that they don’t take the time to do the little things first

Decisions Exercise: Identifying Where and How to Start the Big Data Journey

The recent deluge of rains in Northern California have flooded streets, brought down trees and plugged storm sewers.  As I was trying to make my way around the neighborhood, I thought of a classroom exercise to help my MBA students to identify the use cases upon which they could focus data and analytics.  In this exercise, I’m going to ask my students to pretend that they have been hired by the city to “Optimize Street Maintenance” after these rainstorms. In particular, the students need to address the following questions:

  • Where and how do you start to address this initiative?
  • What data might you need to support this initiative?

These are classic questions that I hear all the time when I meet with clients about their big data journeys.  Let’s walk through how I’ll teach my students to address this challenge.

Step 1:  Identify and Brainstorm the Decisions
“Where and how to start?” is such an open ended question.  How does one even begin to think about that question?  We recommend that organizations start by identifying the decisions that need to be made to support the targeted business initiative, which is “Optimize Street Maintenance” in this exercise.

I will break up the students into small groups (3 to 5 students) and ask them to brainstorm the decisions that need to be made with respect to the “Optimize Street Maintenance” initiative.  Those decisions could include:

  • What streets and intersections need maintenance?
  • What storm sewers are blocked?
  • What is blocking those storm sewers?
  • What sort of maintenance is needed?
  • What is the impact of street cleaning and debris removal on flooding?
  • What streets and intersections should we fix first?
  • How busy are the streets and intersections?
  • What worker skills are needed to fix the street?
  • What equipment and materials are needed to fix the street?
  • What time of the day / day of the week is ideal for doing that maintenance work?
  • How many workers are available?
  • Do I have access to temporary workers?
  • How much overtime can I afford?
  • How do I warn residents that a road is flooded?
  • What options do I give residents when the major arteries are flooded?

This brainstorming is much more effective when you have brought together the different business stakeholders who either impact or are impacted by the “Accelerate Street Maintenance” initiative (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: Brainstorm Decisions Across Different Stakeholders

Some key process points about Step 1:

  • Allow individuals to brainstorm on their own at first. When it is entirely a group exercise, some folks go quiet and we potentially lose some good ideas.
  • Be sure to capture each decision on a separate Post-It note for later usage.
  • Place the decisions/Post-it Notes on a flip chart (or two).
  • You don’t need to group decisions by business function. I just did it here to demonstrate the process.

Finally, “all ideas are worthy of consideration.”  This is the key to any brainstorming session; to create an environment where everyone feels comfortable to contribute without someone passing judgment about his or her thoughts or ideas.

Step 2:  Group Decisions Into Use Cases
Next, we want to group the decisions into common subject areas or use cases (which is much easier to do if each decision is captured on a separate Post-It note).  I will bring all the students together around the decisions on Post-it Notes, and have them look for logical groupings.

Looking over the decisions captured above, we can start to see some natural “Accelerate Street Maintenance” use cases emerging, such as:

Prioritize Streets and Intersections

  • What streets and intersections should we fix first?
  • What streets and intersections are busiest at what times of the day?
  • What are the alternative route options during maintenance?
  • What are the alternative transportation options during maintenance?
  • What business parks or malls will be disrupted by the maintenance work?
  • Which streets and intersections raise safety concerns for bikers and pedestrians?

Estimate Maintenance Effort

  • What streets and intersections need maintenance?
  • What storm sewers need maintenance?
  • How much maintenance is needed?
  • What type of maintenance is needed?
  • What worker maintenance skills are needed?
  • What types of equipment and materials are needed?

Optimize Maintenance Effort

  • What worker skills are needed to fix the street?
  • How many workers with those skills are available?
  • What equipment is available to fix the street?
  • What tools are needed to fix the street?
  • What materials (concrete, asphalt) are needed to fix the street?
  • How effective is street cleaning and debris removal in preventing flooding?

Minimize Traffic Disruptions

  • Which streets are bottlenecks for schools and at what times of the day?
  • Which streets are bottlenecks for shopping malls and at what times of the day?
  • Which streets are bottlenecks for business parks and at what times of the day?
  • What are the alternative route options?
  • What are the public transportation options?

Minimize Maintenance Costs

  • How many workers are available?
  • To what temporary workers do we have access?
  • How much overtime can I afford?
  • How much maintenance budget is available?

Improve Resident Communications

  • What streets need maintenance?
  • What streets and intersections are likely to need maintenance?
  • What are alternative travel routes?
  • What are alternative transportation options?

Increase Resident Satisfaction

  • How many residents did the flooding impact?
  • How long were those residents impacted?
  • What comments or feedback are most important and/or relevant?
  • What phone calls are most important and/or relevant?
  • What social media postings are important and/or relevant?

See Figure 2 for an example of how the end point of Step 2 might look.

A key process point about Step 2:

  • Ideally you will end up with 7 to 12 use cases. If you have fewer than 7, then look for ways to break up some of the groupings.  If you have more than 12, then look for ways to aggregate similar use cases.  Not sure why, but 7 to 12 use cases always seems to work out to the right level of granularity in the use cases.

Step 3:  Prioritize Use Cases
Not all use cases are equal, and some use cases are dependent upon other use cases.  The prioritization matrix takes the different business stakeholders through a facilitated process to prioritize each use case vis-à-vis its business value and implementation feasibility (see Figure 3).

Figure 3: Prioritization Matrix

For more details on the prioritization process, check out these blogs:

Summary
The news really surprised no one:  “MD Anderson Benches IBM Watson In Setback For Artificial Intelligence In Medicine.”  From the press release:

“The partnership between IBM and one of the world’s top cancer research institutions is falling apart. The project is on hold, MD Anderson confirms, and has been since late last year. MD Anderson is actively requesting bids from other contractors who might replace IBM in future efforts.  And a scathing report from auditors at the University of Texas says the project cost MD Anderson more than $62 million and yet did not meet its goals.”

If big data were only about buying and installing technology, then it would be easy.  Unfortunately, companies are learning the hard way that the “big bang” approach for implementing big data is fraught with misguided expectations and outright failures.

Organizations are so eager to realize the business benefits of big data, that they don’t take the time to do the little things first, like identifying and prioritizing those use cases that offer the optimal mix of business value and implementation feasibility. While I applaud all efforts to cure cancer (my mom died from cancer, so I have a vested interest like so many others), sometimes “curing cancer” might not be the best place to start.  Identifying and prioritizing those use cases that move the organization towards that “cure cancer” aspiration is the best way to achieve that goal.

The post Decisions Exercise: Identifying Where and How To Start the Big Data Journey appeared first on InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By William Schmarzo

Bill Schmarzo, author of “Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business”, is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service line offerings and capabilities for the EMC Global Services organization. As part of Bill’s CTO charter, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He’s written several white papers, avid blogger and is a frequent speaker on the use of Big Data and advanced analytics to power organization’s key business initiatives. He also teaches the “Big Data MBA” at the University of San Francisco School of Management.

Bill has nearly three decades of experience in data warehousing, BI and analytics. Bill authored EMC’s Vision Workshop methodology that links an organization’s strategic business initiatives with their supporting data and analytic requirements, and co-authored with Ralph Kimball a series of articles on analytic applications. Bill has served on The Data Warehouse Institute’s faculty as the head of the analytic applications curriculum.

Previously, Bill was the Vice President of Advertiser Analytics at Yahoo and the Vice President of Analytic Applications at Business Objects.

@CloudExpo Stories
"We do one of the best file systems in the world. We learned how to deal with Big Data many years ago and we implemented this knowledge into our software," explained Jakub Ratajczak, Business Development Manager at MooseFS, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Five years ago development was seen as a dead-end career, now it’s anything but – with an explosion in mobile and IoT initiatives increasing the demand for skilled engineers. But apart from having a ready supply of great coders, what constitutes true ‘DevOps Royalty’? It’ll be the ability to craft resilient architectures, supportability, security everywhere across the software lifecycle. In his keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Jeffrey Scheaffer, GM and SVP, Continuous Delivery Busine...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Lachapelle, CEO of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), provided an overview of various initiatives to certify the security of connected devices and future trends in ensuring public trust of IoT. Eric Lachapelle is the Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), an international certification body. His role is to help companies and individuals to achieve professional, accredited and worldwide re...
SYS-CON Events announced today that TechTarget has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TechTarget storage websites are the best online information resource for news, tips and expert advice for the storage, backup and disaster recovery markets.
The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to...
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
"Loom is applying artificial intelligence and machine learning into the entire log analysis process, from start to finish and at the end you will get a human touch,” explained Sabo Taylor Diab, Vice President, Marketing at Loom Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo taking place Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 21st International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datanami has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datanami is a communication channel dedicated to providing insight, analysis and up-to-the-minute information about emerging trends and solutions in Big Data. The publication sheds light on all cutting-edge technologies including networking, storage and applications, and the...
SYS-CON Events announced today that EnterpriseTech has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. EnterpriseTech is a professional resource for news and intelligence covering the migration of high-end technologies into the enterprise and business-IT industry, with a special focus on high-tech solutions in new product development, workload management, increased effi...
For organizations that have amassed large sums of software complexity, taking a microservices approach is the first step toward DevOps and continuous improvement / development. Integrating system-level analysis with microservices makes it easier to change and add functionality to applications at any time without the increase of risk. Before you start big transformation projects or a cloud migration, make sure these changes won’t take down your entire organization.
Cloud promises the agility required by today’s digital businesses. As organizations adopt cloud based infrastructures and services, their IT resources become increasingly dynamic and hybrid in nature. Managing these require modern IT operations and tools. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Raj Sundaram, Senior Principal Product Manager at CA Technologies, will discuss how to modernize your IT operations in order to proactively manage your hybrid cloud and IT environments. He will be sharing bes...
A look across the tech landscape at the disruptive technologies that are increasing in prominence and speculate as to which will be most impactful for communications – namely, AI and Cloud Computing. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Curtis Peterson, VP of Operations at RingCentral, highlighted the current challenges of these transformative technologies and shared strategies for preparing your organization for these changes. This “view from the top” outlined the latest trends and developments i...
Automation is enabling enterprises to design, deploy, and manage more complex, hybrid cloud environments. Yet the people who manage these environments must be trained in and understanding these environments better than ever before. A new era of analytics and cognitive computing is adding intelligence, but also more complexity, to these cloud environments. How smart is your cloud? How smart should it be? In this power panel at 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, paneli...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex software systems for startups and enterprises. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business...
Hardware virtualization and cloud computing allowed us to increase resource utilization and increase our flexibility to respond to business demand. Docker Containers are the next quantum leap - Are they?! Databases always represented an additional set of challenges unique to running workloads requiring a maximum of I/O, network, CPU resources combined with data locality.
SYS-CON Events announced today that GrapeUp, the leading provider of rapid product development at the speed of business, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market acr...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ayehu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara California. Ayehu provides IT Process Automation & Orchestration solutions for IT and Security professionals to identify and resolve critical incidents and enable rapid containment, eradication, and recovery from cyber security breaches. Ayehu provides customers greater control over IT infras...
Artificial intelligence, machine learning, neural networks. We’re in the midst of a wave of excitement around AI such as hasn’t been seen for a few decades. But those previous periods of inflated expectations led to troughs of disappointment. Will this time be different? Most likely. Applications of AI such as predictive analytics are already decreasing costs and improving reliability of industrial machinery. Furthermore, the funding and research going into AI now comes from a wide range of com...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SourceForge has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SourceForge is the largest, most trusted destination for Open Source Software development, collaboration, discovery and download on the web serving over 32 million viewers, 150 million downloads and over 460,000 active development projects each and every month.