Big Data News – 13 Sep 2016

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Sophos Intercept X uses Big Data analytics applications to detect potential threats.

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Enterprise Productivity and Integration of Apache NiFi, Kafka and Storm, together with Ambari and Ranger We are pleased to announce that Hortonworks DataFlow (HDF™) Version 2.0 is now generally available for download!  As part of a Open and Connected Data Platforms offering from Hortonworks, HDF 2.0 provides a new level of enterprise integration for data…

Most businesses are no strangers to using video as a means to maintain good security, but that's only the tip of the iceberg in the benefits a good video system can provide. With advances in big data analytics and automated technologies, many organizations are starting to take advantage of video analytics.

We're seeing a huge move toward consumers buying products on a subscription basis. It used to be just electricity, phone lines and magazines, but now everything from underwear to razors, auto usage and software can be bought by subscription.

What are some challenges retailers face as they develop omnichannel strategies to compete against the customer-experience expectations set by Amazon?

Memory management can be challenge enough on traditional data sets, but when big data enters the picture, things can slow way, way down. A new programming language announced by MIT this week aims to remedy that problem, and so far it's been found to deliver fourfold speed boosts on common algorithms.

Every company wants to guarantee uptime and positive experiences for its customers. Behind the scenes, in increasingly complex IT environments, this means giving operations teams greater visibility into their systems — stretching the window of insight from hours or days to months and even multiple years. After all, how can IT leaders drive effective operations today if they don't have the full-scale visibility needed to align IT metrics with business results?

Gmail service for users of the Google for Work cloud-based productivity suite has been down for over 12 hours on Wednesday, apparently affecting users in a number of countries including the U.S. Google first acknowledged the problem on its Apps Status Dashboard at 8:16 a.m. Pacific Time on Wednesday, stating that it is investigating reports of an issue with Gmail.

Survey of 200 executives indicates most manufacturers plan to increase investments in data analytics over next year — even while delaying other technology investments

For investors, deciding whether to invest money into renewable-energy projects can be difficult. The issue is volatility: Wind-powered energy production, for instance, changes annually — and even weekly or daily — which creates uncertainty and investment risks. With limited options to accurately quantify that volatility, today's investors tend to act conservatively. An MIT spinout, EverVest, has built a data-analytics platform whose goal is to give investors rapid, accurate cash-flow models and financial risk analyses for renewable-energy projects. Recently acquired by asset-management firm Ultra Capital, EverVest's platform could help boost investments in sustainable-infrastructure projects, including wind and solar power.

We introduce d2o, a Python module for cluster-distributed multi-dimensional numerical arrays. It acts as a layer of abstraction between the algorithm code and the data-distribution logic. The main goal is to …

The autonomous vehicle has methodically evolved to the point where it is accepted as a near-term technology.

Memory management can be challenge enough on traditional data sets, but when big data enters the picture, things can slow way, way down. A new programming language announced by MIT this week aims to remedy that problem, and so far it's been found to deliver fourfold speed boosts on common algorithms. The principle of locality is what governs memory management in most computer chips today, meaning that if a program needs a chunk of data stored at some memory location, it's generally assumed to need the neighboring chunks as well. In big data, however, that's not always the case. Instead, programs often must act on just a few data items scattered across huge data sets.

Enterprise app stores provide a single "shopping experience" for employees and support both a BYOD model and a self-service IT model.

In the interest of advancing DevOps adoption, multiple vendors across the category need to work more closely together.

AWS, or Amazon Web Services, is the premier cloud computing platform that services companies worldwide. Master this in-demand platform, and you're certain to command a hefty paycheck.

Aerohive Networks announces what it describes as the first software-defined LAN spanning both wired and wireless networking environments.

Teradata makes a number of announcements about its databases.

With several major players emerging as mega-cloud vendors, the distinctions between IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS have blurred. Here's a primer on the various offerings, based on the latest Forrester Wave report.

Aruba, a division of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, announced software today that's designed to help companies speed up secure integration of mobile devices and Internet of Things objects into their networks. Called Aruba Mobile First Platform, the software is based on application programming interfaces (APIs) for use by third-party developers and developer teams inside companies to help them boost automation with IoT devices and allow mobile workers to be more efficient. Mobile First is built on Aruba OS 8.0, the company's new operating system, which is deployed as a virtual machine on a server appliance. Also, Aruba announced enhancements to its existing Aruba ClearPass software for Mobile First to make it easier for IT security teams to integrate cloud-hosted services into ClearPass. This means customers can more easily build software workflows for Enterprise Mobility Management packages.

Accelerated change challenges change management, security DevOps and emerging technologies that enable business innovation and opportunities demand fast, frequent change from the enterprise. The speed and regularity as well as the kinds of change challenge change management and ultimately security. To secure the enterprise in environments of unwieldy change, the business needs to know how each new technology affects change management and the organization's security defenses. Organizations can then begin to evolve change management and security to close those gaps and avoid impacts on security. Emerging technologies such as DevOps, IoT, automation/intelligent software, information technology service partnering, cloud computing and BYOD all straighten out the curves in the race to make changes that propel the enterprise forward.

Industrial products maker A.W. Chesterton wanted to ratchet up sales, but its manual processes and siloed data just weren't doing the job anymore. The company didn't have a way to pull reports and analytics from 20-plus years of data on 1.5 million products that were locked away in disparate data sources in 100 countries. "Our sales guys really didn't want to deal with complex systems, but they desperately needed information about where to find customers, where they were in their orders [and] their margins, and what they had left to sell in the month," says Tom Meier, vice president of IT.

Organizational growth can sometimes lead to IT slowdowns. That's what happened when two leading Brazilian food companies merged in 2012. The newly formed company, BRF (formerly Brasil Foods), was the seventh-largest food company in the world and Brazil's market leader, and partly because of its size it now faced a costly problem. BRF serves global superstore chains such as Wal-Mart and Carrefour, as well as supermarkets, wholesalers, food-service operations and family-owned bodegas, and its SAP system was being hit with 20,000 to 25,000 pricing requests daily. However, it took 17 days to make price changes, which isn't ideal for a business that sells perishable commodities.

Cerner, a provider of healthcare technology, is putting big data and analytics to work to get a more complete picture of people's health and predict potentially life-threatening risks. Cerner's Enterprise Data Hub, which uses a big data platform from Cloudera, brings together data from an almost unlimited number of sources. By analyzing the petabytes of data available to them, data scientists can better understand patients, conditions or trends. They're now better able to determine, for example, the probability of a bloodstream infection, such as the early onset of sepsis. Cerner developed what it calls the St. John sepsis agent, a tool that uses an algorithmic approach to detect cases of the infection. It's deployed in a cloud-hosted production system that actively monitors more than 1 million patients daily, says Bharat Sutariya, vice president and chief medical officer of population health at Cerner.

When CPL Online opened for business in 2010, it offered 20,000 interactive online courses on food safety, health and safety, fire awareness and call centers. That number grew to 35,000 courses in 2011 and exploded to 160,000 by 2012. When its SQL platform couldn't keep up anymore, CPL seized the opportunity to transform its business and deployed the HPCC Systems platform, a high-performance big data analytics system from LexisNexis Risk Solutions. CPL's HPCC deployment uses data to track user trends, spot suspicious activity (to help root out cheaters) and identify the best-performing employees. Heat mapping shows how users work their way through every mouse-click of a course and helps CPL Online improve engagement and content. "They know which areas are more or less relevant or are attracting most of the focus from the users," says Flavio Villanustre, vice president of technology at LexisNexis Risk Solutions.

In 2010, Duke Energy launched a program called My Home Energy Report (MyHER), through which it sends customers an analysis of their energy use with comparisons to similar households. The goal is to motivate people to reduce their energy use, and Duke tries to help them do that by providing timely tips and special offers, including rebates on purchases of energy-efficient appliances, free and discounted lightbulbs, and free home energy audits. [ Download this story and lots more in Computerworld's September digital magazine! ] Homeowners receive MyHER reports eight times a year, says Kelly Kuehn, senior products and services manager at Duke Energy. When the program started, reports were only sent out in the mail, but now they're also available online, she says.

Two years ago, GE Healthcare faced a challenge: It had to transition its Centricity EDI Services Clearinghouse off of its existing platform to something new — and it had to do it without interrupting the flow of business. A unit of General Electric, GE Healthcare provides medical systems and services, and its clearinghouse serves more than 2,100 healthcare organizations in the U.S., processing some 588 million claims that annually represent $185 billion in transactions.

Like many law enforcement agencies, the Halton Regional Police Service has been collecting data on its activities for years. But as is the case with most such efforts, the data was ending up in a "digital filing cabinet" — and users couldn't find anything unless they knew exactly what they were looking for. So in 2014, the Toronto-area police department created an analytics unit with a mandate to make things more efficient. Operating like a technology startup, the unit works to promote a culture of data-driven decision-making; it's staffed with data scientists, mathematicians, programmers and police officers.

Welcome to the stories of the 2016 Computerworld Data+ Editors' Choice Award honorees. Chosen by a panel of Computerworld editors, this year's 20 winning organizations have used data analytics to achieve a wide spectrum of gains, from improving business profitability to uncovering trends in criminal activity and reducing energy use — even keeping trains running on schedule. Interested in finding a project that might be specific to what you do? We've collected and categorized them all in a searchable table, below — click through any item in the first column to see a project profile. Or, you can browse the projects by clicking through them in the navigation strip at the bottom of this story and all the project profiles. And remember to read through the full September digital magazine, which features the winners as well as news analysis, opinions and more.

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