Adopting Big Data for Business Decision-Making

first_imgBig Data is one of the hottest topics in business right now and continues to be at the forefront of organizations’ strategy, particularly as it has the potential to transform IT departments into empowered strategic partners within business. To better understand this trend, we asked customers at EMC Forums this year to tell us about their Big Data strategies.We asked over 10,500 IT professionals, technical architects, data scientists and storage/infrastructure managers from more than 50 countries to share where they currently are in their Big Data implementation and where they plan to be, as well as how IT innovation helps them compete locally and globally.Some of the global results took me truly by surprise. Nearly one-third of the companies report they do not have any current plans to implement Big Data technology. This is the equivalent of leaving volumes of consumer insight unexplored, which could mean lost sales opportunities or inefficient operational processes – both of which hinder business growth and agility.Interestingly, this data point is balanced by 79% reporting that they believe using Big Data will lead to better decision-making. Encouraging to be sure! In fact, 36% said they have already achieved a competitive advantage as a result of using Big Data.Moreover, 76% of these IT decision-makers report that their business believes technology investment is a strategic way to achieve its goals.  Further indication that with validation, IT investments are possible in the near future.So the majority recognizes the value of Big Data and is in companies that value investing in IT transformation.  I choose to view this optimistically and expect 2014 to be an important year for adopting Big Data in new ways.Our EMC Forum series creates a network of peers learning together and will continue in 2014.  Check out the EMC Forum website for more information and click on specific countries to see survey results for IT leaders near you.last_img read more

People Transformation is the Enabler for All Other Change

first_imgDo you know that strange mixture of excitement and worry when you switch jobs? Excited to start something new, but also worried to leave behind what you’ve worked so hard for over recent years (and that works so well). Well, I’m in that place right now. And it got me thinking about why I accepted the challenge.The quick answer is this: change is the only constant in life and when opportunity knocks, you’d better act on it. As John Lennon wrote: “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”The longer answer sounds like this: at Dell EMC, we pride ourselves in bringing transformation solutions to our customers in the fields of digital, IT, security and workforce.But, to me,there’s an additional transformation that underpins all of them: ‘people transformation’. As people and employees, we have to fully embrace change. It’s the best way to stay ahead and serve our customers better. It’s something everybody should do and every company should enable. People transformation may very well be the most important type of transformation there is.People transformationWhen people are open to transformation, all other forms of transformation will become easier as well. As such, people transformation brings balance to other forms of change.One example of the impact of people transformation is how managers and leaders assume their roles and how this has changed dramatically. These days, top down is out, being an influencer is in. Strong managers and leaders have become facilitators for the employees who now hold the primary ownership role in execution. Managers and leaders now point out to their teams and colleagues how the dots in our complex business world are connected. And really, really smart managers and leaders can consolidate all the available dots and paint, from this, an exciting vision of where we’re heading as a team and as a company.People transformation amongst managers and leaders is about creating the right environment and conditions (open, caring, constructive, inclusive – we will come back to that later) to enable change. It is also about fueling the right transformational mindset amongst individual employees. It stimulates everyone to become an even stronger professional so that we can all serve the customer better. And as we all know: “Customers will never love a company until employees love it first.”*Coming full circlePeople transformation comes full circle when people understand why transformation happens; where we’re heading together and what the role of each of us is. Doing that is an ongoing balancing act for everyone involved. Not just managers and leaders; also for employees who are increasingly considered the leaders of their own destiny and success. And when you combine that type of leadership across your whole organization, you get a multiplier for business success. As the world around us changes all the time, people and businesses must follow suite.This will be a key objective for me in my new role as Chief of Staff for a massive pan-European organization here at Dell EMC. It’s one of the main reasons that made me decide to embark on this new journey. To help my colleagues see how the dots are connected and how it all adds up to a meaningful, well-balanced picture that will ultimately benefit them, as well as all our customers.People transformation is a constant in life, both personally and business-wise.* Quote by Simon Sinek.last_img read more

Wicked Alum Katie Rose Clarke Joins Allegiance on B’way

first_img Allegiance Show Closed This production ended its run on Feb. 14, 2016 View Comments has confirmed that Wicked alum Katie Rose Clarke will appear in the upcoming Great White Way production of Allegiance. Clarke takes on the role of Hannah, which was originally played by Allie Trimm in the Old Globe production in 2012. She joins a cast that includes George Takei, Lea Salonga and Telly Leung. Performances will begin on October 6 at the Longacre Theatre. Opening night is set for November 8.In addition to Wicked, Clarke appeared as Clara Johnson in the Broadway and first national touring company of The Light in the Piazza. Other credits include Prayer for My Enemy and Anything Goes. Additional casting will be announced later.Directed by Stafford Arima and based on Takei’s childhood experience in a Japanese-American interment camp, Allegiance features music and lyrics by Jay Kuo and a book by Marc Acito. A story of family, love and patriotism set during World War II and beyond, the show follows veteran Sam Otsuka and his sister Kei as they find themselves torn between loyalty to their family and allegiance to their country. Related Showslast_img read more

Tomato menagerie

first_imgBy William Terry KelleyUniversity ofGeorgiaFor a long time, gardeners were unwilling to change tomatovarieties. What worked for their grandfather still worked forthem. And since that variety performed well, this wasn’t a badphilosophy. Probably, though, many others would have done just aswell or better.Many old tomato varieties are still in circulation. But in recentyears, many gardeners have adopted hybrid varieties that havebetter disease resistance and better yields.Even more recently, tomato growers have been faced with theever-increasing presence of tomato spotted wilt virus.Transmitted by thrips, this virus is not only the plague ofcommercial growers but is actually even worse for home gardeners.Only in the past couple of years have varieties been introducedthat have resistance to TSWV. Since then, many gardeners haveopted to go with a resistant variety to be able to grow tomatoessuccessfully.TSWV resistanceOver the past few years, there have been two varieties withresistance to TSWV: “BHN 444” and “BHN 555.” These have becomemore available to gardeners in the past year or two.This season, for the first time, three new varieties with TSWV resistance were released: “Amelia,” also known as HMX 0800, from HarrisMoran Seed Company; “BHN 640,” an improved BHN 444 from BHNGenetics; and “503,” from Seminis Seed Company.These varieties are generally only available in large seedquantities. So gardeners will find it easier to buy plants thanseed.However, in 2002, TSWV was detected to some degree in resistantvarieties. The resistance in these varieties is from a singledominant gene. In layman’s terms, this means that the resistancecan more easily be broken by the virus than if it were amulti-gene resistance trait.Fragile resistanceThe resistance in all of these varieties is the same. Therefore,when resistance is broken in one it will likely be broken in allof them.What does this mean? Primarily it means the resistant tomatoesavailable right now will probably only buy growers a little timebefore TSWV overcomes this resistance.In the meantime, we can hope that other types of resistance canbe found.Other than TSWV-resistant types, there still are an abundance oftomato varieties available.Two companies that specialize in tomatoes include Tomato GrowersSupply Company ( and Totally Tomatoes( In all likelihood, if it’s a varietythat has been grown to any extent in gardens over the past 100years, you’ll find it in one of these catalogs.Heirlooms, novelties, hybridsThis is not to say you can’t get many of the same varieties fromother companies. And some have excellent proprietary varietiesonly they can sell. However, those specializing in tomatoes havea long list of heirloom and novelty varieties, as well as manyhybrids.For instance, have you ever heard of a white tomato? “WhiteBeauty” is only one of several white varieties available.”Cherokee Purple” has dusky, rose-purple fruit. “Green Zebra” isamber green with dark green stripes when mature. “Hillbilly” is ahuge, bicolored tomato that has yellow-orange skin with redstreaking.There are many beefsteak varieties, oxhearts, brandywines, pasteand grape tomatoes, too, and many imported from other parts ofthe world.’Mortgage Lifter’Remember “Abraham Lincoln” (the tomato, not the president)? Itwas introduced in Illinois in the 1920s. “Mortgage Lifter” is avariety Uncle Joe used to grow. Legend has it that the firstfarmer that grew it sold enough tomatoes to pay off his mortgage.There’s a difference between garden varieties and shippingtomatoes. The ones for commercial growers have been bred forshipping (including all TSWV-resistant varieties). They will stayfirm longer than garden varieties. But tomatoes will almostalways taste better when picked vine-ripe.Whether you’re looking for an old favorite, something withdisease resistance or just a novelty, though, there is a tomatoout there for you.last_img read more

Teaching technology

first_imgThis semester, nearly 50 students are logging on and learning through an innovative program at the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. They are earning their UGA master’s degrees in agricultural leadership conveniently online. “The master’s program is designed to develop agricultural leaders,” said Dennis Duncan, head of the CAES department of agricultural education, leadership and communication, where the program is offered. Students in the Master of Agricultural Leadership, or MAL, engage with instructors and each other through online learning communities. “This program offers professionals an opportunity to obtain a master’s degree without commuting to Tifton, Griffin or Athens (where CAES has campuses),” Duncan said. “The objective of the program is to provide training for educators, county agents and other individuals seeking leadership positions at agricultural agencies, producer groups, government agencies and related businesses.” Diana King is one of several instructors engaging students in this new learning environment. “All professors teach differently,” King said. “My classes are asynchronous. I create a series of modules and students progress their way through them throughout the semester. I expect students to complete one module each week.” King’s online modules include reading assignments, instructional videos, quizzes and other course work. To foster communication, King has students in her Youth Organizations class participate in discussion boards and respond to each other’s posts. King holds online office hours where she is available to answer questions and facilitate discussions. Donald Gilman, Worth County High School teacher in Sylvester, Ga., and MAL graduate, said the online learning community helped him manage his career and schooling. “I chose the MAL program because it offered a unique opportunity to earn a master’s degree from the University of Georgia and do so by utilizing new technology rather than strictly face-to-face classes,” Gilman said. “I could attend class when it was convenient for me.” Gilman is now working on his doctorate degree. “The level of instruction in the MAL not only helped me deliver better programs to my students, but it also has prepared me for the rigors of the PhD program that I am currently enrolled in,” he said. Some courses are taught using online classrooms, essentially chat rooms with presentation tools. Instructors can chat via text or be heard, use web cams and present material through PowerPoint document sharing or screen sharing. Using technology like Wimba and Skype, professors deliver instruction to students across the state, or from other states. “Because it is online, we can have guest speakers from literally anywhere, because they can participate using distance technology” King said. Separate online classrooms are built for students to use while working on group projects. They can collectively contribute to presentations and participate in discussions. MAL courses include Youth Organizations, International Agricultural Development, Program Evaluation and Diffusion of Innovation — to name a few. Students hoping to become teachers can earn the certification required to lead a classroom in Georgia’s school system. To find out more information about the program, contact Duncan at or visit the website read more

Bear Encounter in Shenandoah National Park Results in Dog Death

first_imgAccording to a press release put out by the National Park Service, a dog that was accompanying  its owner on hike in Shenandoah National Park was killed yesterday after encountering a black bear sow with cubs.The release states that the hiker happened upon the sow black bear and its two cubs when hiking the Snead Farm Fire Road near the Dickey Ridge Visitor Center.Read the press release below for more details.Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 3.14.18 PMHere’s a Press Release from the NPS: Luray, Virginia: On August 3, 2016 a hiker reported an encounter with a mother bear and two cubs on the Snead Farm Fire Road near Dickey Ridge Visitor Center (mile 4.6 Skyline Drive).The hiker was accompanied by two dogs on retractable leashes. Confronted by the bear, the hiker fled the area, at which point the bear attacked the trailing dog who later died of its injuries.The Snead Farm Fire Road and Loop Trail will remain closed while park staff monitor the area. Hikers with dogs are asked to avoid the Dickey Ridge Area.Park Superintendent Jim Northup said  “We are very sad to learn about this dog that died as a result of injuries from an encounter with a bear in the park. This is a very rare event, and we offer our condolences to the dog’s family”.Park regulations require that dogs be leashed at all times on a leash that is 6′ or less. When confronted by a bear, walkers and hikers should stand their ground, wave their arms and make a lot of noise. Running from a bear can trigger their prey response.last_img read more

WHO raises pandemic alert to phase 5

first_imgApr 29, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – To confront the spreading swine influenza H1N1 virus, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) today raised the agency’s pandemic alert level to phase 5, one notch below a full-fledged influenza pandemic, signaling that it’s time for all countries to prepare.The move comes just 2 days after the WHO raised the alert from phase 3, where it had been for several years, to phase 4.”Based on assessment of all available information, and following several expert consultations, I have decided to raise the current level of influenza pandemic alert from phase 4 to phase 5,” WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan said in a prepared statement she read at a press conference in Geneva.”All countries should immediately activate their pandemic preparedness plans,” Chan said. “Countries should remain on high alert for unusual outbreaks of influenza-like illness and severe pneumonia.Officially, a phase 5 declaration means that a novel virus has caused sustained community outbreaks in two or more countries within one WHO region. In response to questions, Chan signaled that the spreading cases in Mexico and the United States meet that criterion. The official count of confirmed US cases today rose to 91, including 51 in New York City.The criterion for phase 5 is that “first we have to demonstrate human-to-human transmission in a sustainable manner and community spread, and we’ve seen this definitely in Mexico, and as information has emerged from US authorities, we are also seeing that” in the United States, Chan said.”When we see two countries in one region providing evidence to that effect, we are moving into phase 5,” she added.Phase 6, the peak phase of the WHO pandemic scale, is defined as the time when the virus has caused sustained community outbreaks in more than one WHO region. Dr. Keiji Fukuda, the WHO’s assistant director-general for health security, suggested that phase 6 may not be far off.”A pandemic means we have spread of this new virus in multiple countries and multiple regions,” he said in response to the question whether a pandemic is actually under way. “If this continues, we expect it will be in other countries and other regions.”He also called phase 5 “a situation in which the likelihood [of a pandemic] is very high to inevitable.”Chan, in her prepared statement, said, “At this stage, effective and essential measures include heightened surveillance, early detection and treatment of cases, and infection control in all health facilities.”This change to a higher phase of alert is a signal to governments, to ministries of health and other ministries, to the pharmaceutical industry and the business community that certain actions should now be undertaken with increased urgency, and at an accelerated pace.”Chan said she has “reached out” to manufacturers of antiviral drugs to assess capacity and all options for boosting production and has also contacted vaccine manufacturers that can contribute to producing a pandemic vaccine. She also has talked with donor countries, the World Bank, UNITAID, and the GAVI Alliance about helping in the swine flu fight.She warned that influenza “may cause mild disease in affluent countries, but more severe disease, with higher mortality, in developing countries.””No matter what the situation is, the international community should treat this as a window of opportunity to ramp up preparedness and response,” Chan said.”Above all, this is an opportunity for global solidarity as we look for responses and solutions that benefit all countries, all of humanity. After all, it really is all of humanity that is under threat during a pandemic,” she stated.Chan said the WHO will need donated antiviral drug supplies to help needy countries. The agency had an oseltamivir stockpile of 5 million doses donated by Roche, but some of those were distributed to countries threatened by avian flu, leaving roughly 3.5 million doses now, she reported. “Clearly that’s not enough,” she said.She said many private companies have told her they are prepared to provide resources to support the WHO’s efforts to battle the pandemic: “Broadly speaking, not a single company said to me, ‘We are not paying attention to the needs of the poor.'”Citing other positives, Chan said, “The world is better prepared for an influenza pandemic than at any time in history.”She said preparations triggered by avian flu prompted many countries to develop and test preparedness plans, which has led to early detection of swine flu cases. She praised the responses of the Mexican, US, and Canadian governments in particular.The WHO’s Mike Ryan said the response of affected countries in providing information has been “amazing,” adding, “I can certainly say that the world has changed in terms of the way we work.”When asked what governments should be doing now, Fukuda said they should make sure their pandemic plans are up to date and they are prepared to execute them. Further, governments should increase their disease surveillance, evaluate their ability to communicate with populations, and consider social distancing measures.As for what individuals should do, the WHO officials repeated the oft-heard advice about handwashing and using good respiratory hygiene, but did not mention stockpiling food, water, and medicines—measures recommended by many preparedness experts.In a WHO briefing earlier in the dady, Fukuda said the swine flu cases so far are generally similar to seasonal flu, but there is some evidence that diarrhea is more common than it is in seasonal flu.He said the evidence so far shows that the virus can cause a range of illness from mild to fatal. Experts still have no clue why the severe cases seem to be almost entirely confined to Mexico.In response to reports that Egypt may destroy its pigs in response to the outbreak, Fukuda said, “I want to make it very clear that we don’t believe that the infections in people are connected to exposure to pigs. This is a different situation from the avian influenza, where people were clearly getting infected from birds. This is really a virus which is being transmitted from person to person.”See also: Statement by Margaret Chan read more

Harvey Nics expands up north

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US rejects China’s claims in S. China Sea, adding to tensions

first_imgThe United States on Monday rejected China’s disputed claims to offshore resources in most of the South China Sea, a move that Beijing criticized as inciting tensions in the region and which highlighted an increasingly testy relationship.China has offered no coherent legal basis for its ambitions in the South China Sea and for years has been using intimidation against other Southeast Asian coastal states, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.”We are making clear: Beijing’s claims to offshore resources across most of the South China Sea are completely unlawful, as is its campaign of bullying to control them,” said Pompeo, a prominent China hawk within the Trump administration. Topics : The United States has long opposed China’s expansive territorial claims on the South China Sea, sending warships regularly through the strategic waterway to demonstrate freedom of navigation there. Monday’s comments reflect a harsher tone.”The world will not allow Beijing to treat the South China Sea as its maritime empire,” Pompeo said.The Chinese embassy in the United States said in a statement dated Tuesday that Washington’s accusation is “completely unjustified.””Under the pretext of preserving stability, (the US) is flexing muscles, stirring up tension and inciting confrontation in the region,” it said.center_img The top Republican and Democratic members of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee and House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee backed the administration’s new stance.”Continued ambiguity with respect to our policy on China’s maritime claims in the South China Sea no longer serves the shared interests of the Indo-Pacific region, given China’s aggressive actions and refusal to abide by international law,” Senators Jim Risch and Bob Menendez and Representatives Eliot Engel and Michael McCaul said in a statement.US policy had previously been ambiguous in that it urged all sides to resolve their disputes peacefully, diplomatically and in line with international law but it did not take a position on the legality of the competing claims.Regional analysts said it would be vital to see whether other nations adopt the US stance and what, if anything, Washington might do to reinforce its position and prevent Beijing from creating “facts on the water” to buttress its claims.The relationship between the United States and China has grown increasingly tense over the past six months over Beijing’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, its tightened grip on Hong Kong and its crackdown on China’s Uighur Muslim community.China claims 90% of the potentially energy-rich South China Sea, but Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also lay claim to parts of it, through which about $3 trillion of trade passes each year. Beijing has built bases atop atolls in the region but says its intentions are peaceful.Beijing routinely outlines the scope of its claims with reference to the so-called nine-dashed line that encompasses about nine-tenths of the 3.5-million-square-kilometer South China Sea on Chinese maps.”This is basically the first time we have called it illegitimate,” said Chris Johnson, an analyst with the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “It’s “fine to put out a statement, but what you going to do about it?”last_img read more

How to meet your new neighbours … on Facebook

first_imgA housing developer in Queensland is using social media to help a new community connect.Despite their new homes being still under construction, many residents of the Flagstone City development, in south east Queensland, already know each other.They formed their own Facebook group and have been meeting up in person while their new homes are being built.Flagstone residents Katie Moore and Daniel Gellatly (right) with their new neighbours Steffanie and Aaron Denzel with baby Marley. Picture: Anne BallinKatie Moore and Daniel Gellatly are one of the couples involved in the group, and Moore has been proactively connecting with her new neighbours.“A few of us met and started talking on the Flagstone community Facebook page and we decided to start our own little group for people who have bought in the new development area,” she says.“We’ve got 60 people in the group now and we talk every day and keep each other updated with anything new happening in the estate,” she says.“A few of us have even met up a few times – going out to brunch or catching up for coffee.”Jasmine and Christian Young love that they can share feedback about the building process.“It’s so valuable to know your neighbours prior to moving in – we already feel so welcomed in the street, it’s fantastic,” Jasmine said.“I talk to the other girls about twice a week, sometimes more – I already feel like I can invite them to events and that we’ll be lifelong friends.”New residents are already meeting up. Picture: Anne BallinThe group is planning a neighbourhood Christmas in July party later this year.The development at Flagstone will deliver 12,000 new homes, with a projected population of 30,000.Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 2:19Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -2:19 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels360p360p240p240pAutoA, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenQueensland property predictions02:20The $6.7 billion project will include a city centre with schools, shops and offices, with plans for a future hospital, tertiary campus and railway station.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this homeless than 1 hour agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor6 hours agoThe development is a joint venture of Peet Limited and industry superannuation company MTAA Super.An artist’s impression of the Flagstone CBD and regional park.Peet Limited CEO and Managing Director Brendan Gore says it was great to see the new residents hitting it off.“Creating a special Facebook group was their idea and the concept just seems to have taken off. Once they met online they were keen to get together in person and the relationships have grown since then,” Peet says.“The group is mostly couples, young families and first home buyers. We think of them as our pioneers because they will be the first to move into the new development area.“They have a lot in common so it’s been really helpful for them to share their experiences as they go through the building process. And when they move in there is an immediate sense of security and friendship because everyone knows each other.”last_img read more