Recent Posts

Privacy and Metrics of Testing and Staging Environments

The big hacks we have heard about have typically struck production environments, but staging environments sometimes have data worth stealing too. We need to become more mindful of the data used in CIAM (customer identity access management) systems and prevent untested code from reaching production. In an article for CSO magazine, Susan Morrow touches upon five areas of interest in protecting data: Data quality Data storage Code security Hardening endpoints Good security policy and best …

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5 Limitations of AI and How to Persevere

AI is a “moving target,” in that the cutting edge keeps cutting deeper. That being said, AI is still in its infancy, and there are sizeable limitations to its implementation. In an article for McKinsey & Company, Michael Chui, James Manyika, and Mehdi Miremadi discuss five of these limitations at length: Data labeling Obtaining massive training data sets The “explainability” problem The generalizing of learning Bias in data and algorithms Young and Dumb For AI …

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4 Steps to Better Customer Data Strategy

You need to be able to see the forest for the trees when it comes to your metrics, and vice versa. A strong comprehensive strategy has to be paired with day-to-day common sense. In an article for Business.com, Martin DeGhetto describes four steps that he believes applies this thinking to customer data: Measure quantitatively and qualitatively. Summarize your findings. Create new strategies. Transform strategies to action quickly. Know Your Customers to Know Yourself As it …

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Evolve Your Understanding of A/B Testing

A/B testing is one of the tried and true methods of answering the question, “Which one is better?” Its use is critical in software, marketing, and various other facets of business. In an article for Harvard Business Review, Amy Gallo provides a comprehensive refresher on the way to use A/B testing for the best possible results, informed by Columbia University’s Kaiser Fung. Test Your Assumptions Gallo explains that the theory behind A/B testing has existed …

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Metric-Driven Cultures Drive Product Development

Gut instinct, long the champion of decision-makers everywhere, has fallen out of favor. It is still critically important at some key moments, but day to day, metric-driven decision-making is becoming the norm. Or at the least, businesses certainly want to make that become the case. In an article for InformationWeek, Trevor Stuart discusses what a genuinely metric-driven culture looks like. Data Determinations Analytics tools are only the beginning of the conversation in becoming metric-driven. Among …

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Companies Are Failing at Social Media on the Most Basic Level

Although I still chuckle and roll my eyes at the term “social media guru,” the truth is that this kind of arrogant, mindless attitude toward social media is actually damaging businesses’ bottom line. Thriving in social media is much more complex and deserving of our attention than we realize. And it warrants better metrics than we are currently using. In an article for Harvard Business Review, Keith A. Quesenberry describes what needs to change. Anti-Social …

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Changing the Definition of Software Testing in the AI Era

AI is going to streamline—yet also turn on its head—much of what we know about software development. Software testing especially will become a whole new beast. In an article for CIO magazine, Kumar Srivastava discusses several areas where AI will bring change to business as usual. Artificial Difficulty For one thing, the point of functional testing will become to meet business criteria. AI will understand business logic, principles, and restraints and ensure that the software …

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Digital Transformation Metrics That Work for Everyone

The standard, time-tested key performance indicators (KPIs) are not so good at measuring the impact of digital transformation, which means new metrics are needed. What types of metrics will work for every business though? In an article for CMO.com, Stephanie Overby discusses metrics that can illuminate three different areas of transformation: Operational improvement Customer experience Financial impact Measured Growth A substantial aspect of operational improvement is whether people are actually buying into the change, so …

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Aligning IT and Business Objectives and Measuring Value

Many businesses are finally getting with the program and realizing that IT can be more than a cost center. But then again, “many” does not equate to “all.” In an article for Forbes, Vincent Bieri describes what IT can do in holdout organizations to demonstrate the genuine business value of IT. Making IT Matter Except in literal IT businesses, IT typically plays a supporting, background role in the delivery of products and services. The technological …

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Why the Entire C-Suite Needs to Use the Same Metrics for Cyber Risk

Cybersecurity has gone from “important” topic to “critical” topic, but the reality is that most businesses are still not treating it with the gravity it deserves. It is not for lack of trying though; this is just a big topic. In an article for Harvard Business Review, Jason J. Hogg prescribes a holistic approach for executives to apply cyber risk metrics uniformly across the organization. A United Front Right now, when cyber risk conversations occur …

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Four Phases of Successful Benchmarking

Without points of reference, you have no way of knowing which parts of your business are excelling and which parts are lagging. The process of benchmarking provides you with those points of reference, so that you can decide strategically where to invest in improvements. In an article for Field Technologies Online, Jamal Starr discusses the four phases of good benchmarking and how to execute them: Current state assessment Benchmarking participant identification Comparative analysis Strategic prognosis …

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Reorient Your IT Metrics for Better Results

IT often misses the forest for the trees with its metrics, and it does not need to be that way. Small changes can make a world of difference in the results to operations. In an article for CIO magazine, Mark Robinson describes a few quick tips for more effective IT metrics. Easy Fixes The first thing IT should do is to probably collect less data. Data is not like a box of crayons, where the …

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4 HR Benchmarks and What They’ll Tell You about the Business

You need to care about your employees, or else they will find another employer that does. Toward that end, there are general benchmarks to consider that will tell you how your workforce is doing. In an article for TLNT, Marc Rind discusses four of those benchmarks in the form of questions: Where do we stand on turnover? Are we helping our employees grow? Are there potential gender pay gaps? Is absenteeism a problem? Measuring the …

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How to Understand Your Organizational Health

What does a healthy organization look like? According to McKinsey, true organizational health comes from having a long-term focus. But more specifically, health comes from using short-term transformations to bolster long-term corporate objectives. In an article for McKinsey & Company, Lili Duan, Rajesh Krishnan, and Brooke Weddle share four “power practices” to use during transformation that can improve organizational health: Set a clear direction. Make it meaningful to employees. Spark ideas and innovation. Build strong …

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A Refresher: 6 Types of Testing with Microservice Architectures

Working in a distributed system is going to affect how you approach testing. In an article for Business 2 Community, Carey Wodehouse discusses six types of testing and how they are suited to microservice architectures: Base testing Unit testing Integration testing Load testing Stress testing Resiliency testing Micro Scrutiny End-to-end base testing just examines on a fundamental level if the software actually works. Wodehouse says it also works out the “steady state” of the distributed …

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