Recent Posts

Metrics and Areas of Focus for Big Data Endeavors

As CIO Miguel Blanco sees it, productivity measurement occurs in two forms with big data teams. One regards the efficiency of the internal team itself, and the other, more significant one regards how much the data is expanding business capabilities. In an article for the Enterprisers Project, Blanco further discusses what areas CIOs should be scrutinizing in big data initiatives. The Big Targets The first area to consider is business team data access velocity. The …

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7 Software Testing Principles

When you take the essentials for granted, you can start to get sloppy. This idea holds true in a lot of places, including software testing. An article and video at Guru99 review seven basic software testing principles that make building reliable software possible: Impossibility of exhaustive testing Defect clustering Pesticide paradox Highlighting the presence of defects Absence of error Early testing Dependence on context Time-Tested Ideas The amount of different scenarios that can occur in …

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Cloud File Services: Benchmarking Considerations

There are oodles of cloud file services out there, and not all of them are terrific. It is within your power to do some basic benchmarking to find the service that is most useful to you. In an article for TechTarget, Kevin Tolly shares some methods to weed out the pretenders and find the real deal. Cumulous Cloud or Crumby Cloud? Internet connection speed between you and your provider is a pretty obvious factor to …

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3 Ways Data Dashboards Can Mislead You

Dashboards tell managers and executives how the business is doing right now, via some ideally attractive graphs. Divorced from the context of the data though, relying on the front page of dashboards to make decisions can be risky. In an article for Harvard Business Review, Joel Shapiro discusses three “traps” of working with dashboards. Trapped Perspective By design, the front end of a dashboard is not going to display every trivial piece of business data …

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Apply Metrics in Logical Groups for the Real Picture

The concept known as Goodhart’s law finds that, when a measure becomes a target, the measure stops being useful. In other words, treating a healthy metric as the end goal in itself does not serve the business. In an article for CMSWire, Stephen Fishman explains that complementary metrics should be grouped and examined together—both to avoid deifying a metric and to create more reliable insights. A Bundle of Accuracy A conniving person can game one …

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Building KPIs in ITSM with a Lean Perspective

IT service management (ITSM) uses technology to enable and facilitate greater business functions. Lean methodology skims the fat to provide more value with fewer resources. In a post at his blog, Joe the IT Guy seeks to merge the two. Specifically, he seeks to create KPIs that are useful to ITSM while keeping a lean spirit in mind. Creating Clearer KPIs Joe wants to do away with KPIs that are derived from scary-looking formulas and …

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The Complexities of IT Server Benchmarking

When vendors publish their server benchmarks, they probably do not precisely reflect reality. What is more likely is that those results are carefully sculpted works of art, and they conveniently showcase vendor offerings in the best possible light. For this and many other reasons, subtle nuance works its way into getting accurate benchmarking data. Jim O’Reilly discusses the challenge in an article for TechTarget. Myriad Methods, Same Result Among the unambiguous technical elements, we know …

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The Research on What Really Drives Employee Engagement

The deeper that employees actually care about their work, the higher the final quality of that work will be. Thus, businesses are eager to better understand what drives engagement. Research by Oracle tackles this topic. They have interviewed over 4,700 people across 20 countries to learn how engagement is affected across a spectrum of factors. Engaging with Disappointment Oracle considered seven factors altogether: culture, performance, rewards, development and progression opportunities, experiences with collaboration technology, impact …

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Five Key Metrics to Gauge Application Performance

Application performance is a pretty common hot topic with IT. In an article for IBM’s Mobile Business Insights, Jonathan Hassell briefly adds his insights to the conversation. He touches upon common mistakes, and then gets into five metrics that could be of benefit to any mobile application. Relevant Mistakes, Relevant Metrics Let’s start with the biggest mistake that Hassell identifies: Counting transaction use data, such as number of downloads. A Forrester Research survey of 200 …

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The ROI of DevOps: 5 Key Metrics

DevOps is still a more nebulous concept to many than it should be. Zubin Irani says DevOps can be identified by the existence of six elements: continuous integration (CI), continuous delivery (CD), dynamic cloud infrastructure, test automation, security automation, and monitoring. And in an article for Datamation, he further identifies five categories to determine the ROI on DevOps: Faster time-to-market Fewer employees and higher productivity No downtime Reduced infrastructure costs Improved quality and performance of …

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Why You’re Not Getting Value from Your Data Science

Machine learning experts—the data scientists who specialize in training and testing predictive models—have a very complex job. It is so complex that many of them are not actually delivering the value the business wants. In an article for Harvard Business Review, Kalyan Veeramachaneni documents concrete, seldom-discussed reasons why machine learning goes wrong. Data Corruption One of the first issues always raised about machine learning is that the starting data is a “mess.” However, Veeramachaneni discovered …

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The Best Data Scientists Know How to Tell Stories

Being a data scientist requires heaping helpings of computational and statistical skills. Being a great data scientist requires having those skills and knowing how to convey the story behind data in a way that makes sense to regular human beings. In an article for Harvard Business Review, Michael Li shares the three most sought-after attributes of great data scientists: Ability to articulate the business value of their work Sharing the right level of technical detail …

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Key Performance Drivers: The KPI Evolved?

Key performance indicators (KPIs) read the pulse of the business as it is right now. They grant confidence that the business is healthy. KPIs do not inherently paint a picture of where the business is going though—they are only “backward-looking.”  In an article for CFO.com, Michael S. Blake suggests that key performance drivers (KPDs) may be used to go beyond those limitations. Keys to the Kingdom In essence, Blake’s aim is to get from reactive …

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Business Context Dictates How to Measure Quality

As Rob Enderle notes, there is an inherent problem with many customer satisfaction scores: They only tell you if the customer is annoyed right this instant. In the worst case scenario, they measure a person’s mood more than quality of business products and services. In an article for IT Business Edge, Enderle examines how Dell Technologies and HP Inc. both use the Net Promoter Score (NPS), but in ways uniquely suited to help those companies …

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Benchmarking Blunders: Three Pitfalls to Avoid

There is plenty of advice on how to get benchmarking done right. Megan Stoffer has three tips about how to not get it wrong. There is a subtle but useful difference between the two. Jump These Gaps A vague or unclear objective An uninspiring comparison group A lack of action It is critical that when a business decides to benchmark that it does so with a specific goal in mind. In the rush to find …

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