Technical publications and technical content sites are one of the most popular means of accessing relevant decision-making information for IT professionals. A recent IDG Enterprise survey found that 73% of IT pros use sites where they can keep up-to-date with new technologies and enhance the knowledge needed to be effective in their roles.
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Big Data is “the next frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity,” says McKinsey & Company. But companies and executives rushing into data collection and analysis expecting immediate payoffs are bound to be disappointed. Most companies are years away from being able to effectively profit from data—and not simply for a lack of technology. Instead, at least three entrenched challenges need to be addressed before Big Data can have real impact.
First is the gut-driven approach to strategy that pervades the business world. Leadership by the “highest paid person’s opinion” is a common organizational weakness that should ultimately be remedied by Big Data. But that will happen only when the mindset also shifts so that this person’s decisions are based on real data, not gut assumptions. Simply having more data will not be enough to overturn this mentality and could even make the transition more difficult.
A second challenge is the talent shortage. Currently, not enough people have the necessary skills to make rigorous use of data. A recent survey of IT professionals by SAS and IDG Research found that 57 percent of respondents said they lacked the skills and experience to properly analyze data. And this lack of confidence in analysis is only part of the deficiency. Those working with data must also be skilled in collecting the appropriate metrics with adequate precision.
Computerworld is seeking to identify the 100 top workplaces for IT professionals for our 21st annual Best Places to Work in IT list. We invite Computerworld readers, PR professionals and other interested parties to nominate organizations, in any industry, that they think are providing great working environments for IT employees, including challenging work, fair pay and ample training opportunities.
Nominate a company now through Dec. 13, 2012:
Computerworld’s 2014 IT Salary Survey: What’s your earning power? How does your salary compare with your IT peers? Computerworld’s 28th Annual IT Salary Survey will feature the latest IT salary trends and advice on where to find the best-paying jobs. This year’s survey participants can enter a drawing to win one of 3 American Express Gift cards for $500! The drawing is open to legal U.S. residents, age 18 or older.
Apple made waves during Tuesday’s media event when the company announced that its iLife and iWork suite would be free for customers who buy a new Mac or iOS device. But the apps are also free for users who already have the apps installed, and one app is free, period. Here’s our guide to demystifying Apple’s new pricing structure on its iLife and iWork apps.
How “free with purchase” works
When Apple first announced that its iOS apps would be free with the purchase of a new iPhone, I theorized that Apple might include a notification alert after you first activated your new device, with a link to download your free apps. Instead, there’s no link or alert to be found. If you want your free iWork and iLife apps—on OS X Mavericks or on iOS—you have to first visit the Mac App Store to do so. When you do, however, the “Buy” button for those apps will be replaced with “Download” or “Update” (or the iCloud icon on the iOS App Store). I’ll note that iWork and iLife apps only come free for the kind of device you’ve purchased—you won’t get the OS X versions of iLife and iWork for free because you recently purchased a new iPhone or iPad.
Though I can’t yet confirm it (I asked Apple for more details but have yet to receive a response), I suspect that Apple associates the iWork and iLife suite with your Apple ID when you first activate a new device. That way, when you visit the app’s page, it shows up as already “purchased” on your account, and you can download away.
“Big data” has become a catchall term for the vast amount of information generated by our digital lifestyles, and the analytics techniques for dealing with it all to improve marketing, products, and business intelligence. It’s become very fashionable to decry the value of “big data” for marketing, with many pundits and consultants calling it “no big deal.”
I believe in “big data” just like I believe in the power of all data to transform our lives. Just look at the powerful applications already emerging in healthcare, world hunger, global economics, and even for those for whom hockey is more important than life itself, sport competiveness.
The opportunity in marketing and business intelligence is just as strong. Our digital lifestyles generate a tremendous amount of personal and behavioral data – in fact, IDC estimates that by 2020, the number of commercial transactions on the Internet (both B2B and B2C) will reach 450 billion per day. McKinseyforecasts that demand for “big data” in the U.S. will create up to 190,000 high-paying jobs requiring deep analytical skills by 2018.
Used responsibly, all that data has a very meaningful impact on our lives and the economy. It’s time to clear up some of the myths surrounding big data and what it can do for marketers.
Though the iPhone 5s won’t be available in stores until September 20, we were able to use some demo models for a little while on Tuesday after Apple’s media event announcing them. We scanned our thumbs, took pictures, and tried to imagine what part of space is gray. Here’s our hands-on first look.
The iPhone 5s feels an awful lot like the iPhone 5. It isn’t noticeably heavier in hand, nor is the look particularly different—save for its new color options.
In using the iPhone 5s briefly, we found it speedy and snappy, and iOS 7 looks great. We weren’t able to run any benchmark tests or particularly hungry apps, so there was no way to put to the test Apple’s claims of it being twice as fast as the iPhone 5 in many tasks. As we said, the iPhone 5s feels more or less like the iPhone 5. It’s truly an iPhone with an “s” at the end at its name—a whole bunch of upgraded internals built on top of a phone design that seems quite familiar.