Recent Posts

4 Steps to Analytics Success

It used to be that businesses could never learn enough about their customers or about business process shortcomings. Now, businesses can learn virtually anything they want, and the harder challenge is deciding what parts are important. In an article for InformationWeek, Rosemary Radich shares four steps to distinguish important data from fluff and use it to transform the company: Identify your end goal. Identify the good, the irrelevant, and the unusable. Data is only as …

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5 Pitfalls of Benchmarking Big Data Systems

Benchmarking can be valuable in virtually any circumstance, but it is especially important when it comes to big data systems, where speed is everything. You should thus be striving for as much accuracy as possible with measuring. In an article for Cloud Data Architect, Justin Kestelyn highlights five pitfalls to avoid to get more reliable results: Comparing apples to oranges Not testing at scale Believing in miracles Using unrealistic benchmarks Communicating results poorly Data Deception …

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Why Hoarding Your Data Is Hurting Your Business

Ostensibly, wanting to secure every bit of data in the business makes perfect sense. It is your property, and you would never let someone walk into your house and take your TV. But the reality is that holding data too close to the vest may actually be hurting you. In an article for Inc., Joshua Klein describes where hoarding goes wrong and what should be done with data instead. Show and Tell and Profit In …

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Are You Managing the IT Skills Gap?

The IT skills gap is real, prevalent, and your business is probably feeling it already. A survey of 600 professionals in the United States conducted by CompTIA has yielded new data on what the gap looks like and how well (or poorly) businesses are addressing it. Does your business have a viable strategy to close the gap? The Only Gap Closing Is the Retailer Incidentally, one reason the skills gap is so problematic is because …

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Does Your Company Know What to Do with All Its Data?

The trouble with buried treasure is just knowing where to dig the hole. Likewise, you might be collecting a lot of data in your business, but if you do not know where to “start digging” with it, you will never strike gold. In an article for Harvard Business Review, Thomas C. Redman discusses some of the many ways that you can use your data to create new advantages: Make better decisions. Innovate products, services, and …

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How to Select Dashboards That Improve KPI Tracking and Project Success Rates

We make decisions based on what we know. When we think we know what is going on and we actually do not, we are more likely to make the wrong decisions. Thus, something as “simple” as a dashboard can make a dramatic difference to decision-making and project success in the business. In an article for TechRepublic, Moira Alexander shares some tips to select the best dashboard for your operations. The Dash for Knowledge Dashboards must …

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9 Common Myths of Being a Software Tester

Testing is typically treated as one of the less glamorous parts of software development, in spite of its critical importance. This lack of enthusiasm has in turn given way to various myths about software testers, and buying in to them can make development even harder. In a post for Software Testing Help, Meenal Balajiwale addresses nine of these myths: Testers get involved only during post-development in the project lifecycle. Testers will not become project managers. …

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How Managers Drive Results and Employee Engagement Simultaneously

A team can tenaciously pursue business goals while still having a sense of comfort and fun. The problem is not many managers know how to lead in such a way as to get this best-of-both-worlds scenario. However, in an article for Harvard Business Review, Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman use their data collected from over 60,000 leaders to pinpoints six traits of the managers who really do achieve both: Communicates clear strategy and direction Inspires …

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Clean It Up: The Value of Benchmarking Data

The demand for data has never been higher, but it is important to remember not all data is quality data. Making business decisions based on bad data is like living off a diet of Big Macs—death will come sooner rather than later. As Doug Bonderud explains in an article for Spark, benchmarking data can be an effective way to clean up data and create a more competitive business. McData Whether across silos inside the business …

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If Technology Isn’t Holding Back Your Analytics, What Is?

Failing to adhere to the fundamentals is the cause of too many problems in business. In an article for Harvard Business Review, Todd Clark and Dan Wiesenfeld find that this phenomenon even applies to business analytics. When it comes to floundering data strategy—organizational structure, culture, or methodology may be to blame. The Balanced Strategy Obviously, the structure of the analytics department will have a significant effect on their ultimate success. For instance, if the department …

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The Struggle with Quality Metrics

Quantifying the value of quality management and broadcasting it across the business is not as intuitive as it sounds. There are still several companies who struggle with measuring their quality metrics. In an article for Quality Digest, Sameer Kadam and Mickey Shah identify four problems that arise and how to handle them: Problems with the consistent capture of quality-related data Problems with non-digital systems of record Problems with storage and retrieval Problems with understanding which …

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4 Factors Driving IT Forward in 2017

In their second annual “State of IT” report, Salesforce has surveyed over 2,200 global IT leaders. They received leaders’ insights on the subjects of IT’s changing role, new technologies, and the traits that define top IT teams. From the data, four big takeaways were identified: Lines are blurring between IT and business units. Innovation is becoming the major imperative for IT. IT is exploring app-building capabilities for users to increase speed. The business is eager …

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ISBSG Releases New Data Repository Relevant to Agile Project Costs

The International Software Benchmarking Standards Group (ISBSG) is an invaluable resource for IT industry data. It has recently released a new development and enhancement repository for purchase, 2017 R1. “Over 500 projects have been added and the number of new development projects, releases and series of sprints is now over 8000.” As ISBSG notes, the challenge of the shift to agile software development is that organizations have lost some numeric insight into development. Story points …

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PwC’s 2017 Global Survey on Digital IQ

PwC has been tracking the proliferation of digital technologies in organizations for a decade. Attitudes toward CIOs and the role of IT have improved dramatically since then, but according to PwC, businesses’ ability to handle technological change is overall no better now than 10 years ago. Their research this year surveys over 2,200 executives from 53 countries and makes recommendations about what business must do to stay competitive. Learning Fast, but Tech Is Faster Of …

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Which Size Metric Works for Testing?

Different situations inspire testing teams to adopt different size metrics for work. In a post at his blog, Tom Cagley touches upon the factors that should influence how you approach test measurements. Here are three considerations: How testing is organized Where testing is incorporated into the value delivery chain Whether work is being done for a fee Molded to the Situation When it comes to organization, there are typically two models seen—one where there are …

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