Tableau Tackles the Challenge of ‘Democratizing Analytics’ by Offering New Tools

R. Bhattacharyya

Summary Bullets:

  • The ‘democratization of analytics,’ essentially getting analytics tools and insights into the hands of the masses, is the next step forward in a world eager to leverage greater business intelligence.
  • Tableau is taking on the challenge by providing tools such as Explain Data and Ask Data, which are designed to make it easier for line-of-business users to extract insights from their data visualizations.

There is no doubt that the vast amounts of data being generated today contain a wealth of valuable information. But, unlocking the strategic insights contained within this treasure trove of material remains elusive to many. Sure, data scientists and data programmers have the tools to perform the analysis at their fingertips, but their techniques remain out of reach to many line-of-business users. Extracting insights from data and getting it into the hands of those outside of the IT department is a challenge. The ‘democratization of analytics,’ essentially getting analytics tools and insights into the hands of the masses, is the next step forward in a world eager to leverage greater business intelligence. Continue reading “Tableau Tackles the Challenge of ‘Democratizing Analytics’ by Offering New Tools”

Tableau Tackles Analytics at Scale, Not Through Tech Alone but with a ‘Culture of Data’

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • At its annual user conference, Tableau rolled out several data prep and management capabilities, highlighted by the ability for Tableau Prep Builder users to write out to third-party data stores, such as the popular Snowflake solution.
  • This, along with several ongoing cloud and database initiatives, marks a significant philosophical shift for the vendor away from pure analytics and toward a more complete solution to help buyers establish a company-wide data culture.

For a company powered by analytics, Tableau put very few on display during its annual user conference in Las Vegas last week. Certainly, there were numerous stats to be found, particularly relating to the adoption of Tableau Online, where there are now 15,000+ active customer accounts. What’s more, Tableau Online is maintaining 100% YoY growth, as reported by CEO Adam Selipsky – a fitting fact given that Tableau and its new, cloud-first parent company, Salesforce, are now free to talk integration and rationalization. Continue reading “Tableau Tackles Analytics at Scale, Not Through Tech Alone but with a ‘Culture of Data’”

Is There Room for Start-ups in the Lucrative AI Chip Market?

R. Bhattacharyya

Summary Bullets:

• Competition in the AI chipset space is heating up; new players are looking to join the fray and they are raising impressive amounts of capital.

• New vendors face stiff competition from tech heavyweights such as Nvidia, hyper-scale cloud providers such as Google and Amazon, and well-funded Chinese organizations.

Just as the market for AI platforms is heating up, so is competition in the AI chipset space. And it isn’t only the large well-established competitors such as Nvidia, Google, and Huawei vying for market share. New players are looking to join the fray as well, and they are raising impressive amounts of capital. Untether, a Toronto-based chip manufacturing start-up, announced in early November that it had raised $20 million in series A funding. The one year old company plans to release a chip designed for AI inference using near-memory design, reducing the distance data must travel, thereby moving data to processors at 2.5 petabits per second, which improves overall processing efficiency. Across the pond, Graphcore, a UK-based organization, has raised a substantial $200 million to develop its Intelligence Processing Units (IPUs), parallel processors designed for machine learning.

Continue reading “Is There Room for Start-ups in the Lucrative AI Chip Market?”

IBM Data and AI Forum: Say Hello to a More Accessible IBM Watson

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • Just one short year after an internal reorganization to more fully meld artificial intelligence (AI) with data and analytics, IBM is back with a new, more accessible vision for IBM Watson.
  • This time around, the company isn’t focused on game shows or scientific discovery but instead on solving very basic, often human-centric challenges.

When it comes to chasing the market’s heated but somewhat unrequited love affair with AI, IBM has certainly done its part in terms of generating hype for its multi-billion dollar investment in IBM Watson. That hype, which has taken aim at some rather lofty goals such as identifying and diagnosing cancer, has not fully panned out, with some early adopters scaling back or halting operations altogether due to concerns over cost and efficacy. Continue reading “IBM Data and AI Forum: Say Hello to a More Accessible IBM Watson”

Nutanix Is Reasserting Itself as an Alternative to VMware in the Data Center and in the Cloud

Summary Bullets:

• Nutanix marked its ten-year anniversary with an expanded commitment to providing new on-premises support for emerging workloads, and solutions that enable hybrid and multi-cloud architectures.

• New solutions like Nutanix Xi Clusters on AWS promise to further intensify the growing competition in the fast-changing market for hybrid and multi-cloud solutions.

This year’s Nutanix .NEXT conference in Copenhagen was a milestone event for the company, marking just over ten years since it was first established, and giving Nutanix a timely forum in which to map out its strategy for the next ten years.
Continue reading “Nutanix Is Reasserting Itself as an Alternative to VMware in the Data Center and in the Cloud”

IBM Advocates Open, Hybrid, and Multi-Cloud in Helping Customers Transform their IT

S. Soh

Summary Bullets:

• IBM is poised to grow its cloud services business by helping customers to accelerate their migration of mission-critical applications to the cloud.

• IBM brings a lot of value by helping customers remove complexities in their cloud migration; and avoiding vendor lock-in through an open source, hybrid cloud and multi-cloud strategy.

IBM held its annual analyst event – IBM Asia-Pacific 2019 Analyst Insights – in August 2019. The event was held in Singapore and coincided with THINK Singapore 2019, which was the first THINK event in the country. The THINK event helped IBM showcase its capabilities to customers in the country as it starts to ramp up customer engagement. Over the past few years, companies have experimented with AI and moved non-critical workloads to the cloud. IBM now advocates moving from experimentation to more substantial transformation to gain speed and scale. This will involve moving mission-critical applications (80% are still kept on-premises) to the cloud for scalability and agility. While this is ideal, to benefit from cloud-native features, enterprises need to deal with many layers of complexity ranging from regulations and compliance through to re-architecting legacy systems, security considerations, underlying infrastructure, and change management (people and processes). Continue reading “IBM Advocates Open, Hybrid, and Multi-Cloud in Helping Customers Transform their IT”

Huawei’s Ascend 910 Chip and MindSpore Framework Underscore its Ability to Forge Ahead with AI, Despite Escalating Tensions with the U.S.

R. Bhattacharyya

Summary Bullets:

• Huawei announced the commercial launch of the Ascend 910, an AI chip optimized for model training, as well as MindSpore, a training and inference framework.

• The announcements come during escalating tensions between the U.S. and China, underscoring that Huawei will forge ahead in emerging technologies, with or without the U.S.

In the realm of AI, Huawei is readying itself to go head to head with global leaders, including Google and Amazon. The company’s recent commercial launches of an AI chip optimized for model training, as well as a training and inference framework, come hot on the heels of the unveiling of its internally developed operating system for mobile devices. The timing of the announcements is opportune; they come during a period of escalating tensions between the U.S. and China, serving to underscore that Huawei will forge ahead in emerging technologies, with or without the U.S. Continue reading “Huawei’s Ascend 910 Chip and MindSpore Framework Underscore its Ability to Forge Ahead with AI, Despite Escalating Tensions with the U.S.”

HPE’s Acquisition of MapR Underscores That AI is All About Data

R. Bhattacharyya

Summary Bullets:

• HPE announced plans to acquire MapR, augmenting its data analytics portfolio with proprietary file system technology.

• HPE’s purchase reinforces the message that to derive true value from an artificial intelligence (AI) implementation, enterprises need to master the basics of data management.

Life isn’t always as it seems, and the same can be said of AI. Sure, the sexy parts of AI are the platforms, the algorithms, the APIs, and the use cases. We are enamored with the natural language processing capabilities, the predictive maintenance, the improved decision making, and the ability to provide a more personalized customer experience. But there is also the intrigue. The seedy underbelly of AI is comprised of the ethical concerns that reveal the potential dark sides of the technology. What if models result in unfair bias against a specific gender or race? What about privacy concerns? What if it’s used for destructive rather than constructive purposes? Continue reading “HPE’s Acquisition of MapR Underscores That AI is All About Data”

Making Money from AI: Use Cases and Experimentation

G. Barton
G. Barton

Summary Bullets:

  • Enterprises should be prepared to be ‘guinea pigs’ for large tech companies seeking to develop replicable AI solutions.
  • Off-the-shelf AI solutions for vertical and horizontal use cases are being offered by a growing number of providers.

One of the biggest challenges to adopting AI is knowing where to start. In theory, AI can be applied to any and all aspects of an organization’s day-to-day operations. Furthermore, even if AI enhances a particular part of a business’s operations, it does not necessarily mean that the value returned will be worth the investment. One of the biggest beasts in the telecoms technology world, Cisco, has acknowledged that it has not brought as many AI-enhanced solutions to the market as it anticipated because it is still developing the use cases for AI. Continue reading “Making Money from AI: Use Cases and Experimentation”

At Last, We Can Bid a Fond Farewell to Microsoft’s Troubled Skype for Business Online

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • Starting on September 1, 2019, Microsoft will begin onboarding new Office 365 users directly into Microsoft Teams, in essence removing the option for customers to run both Teams and the soon-to-be-retired Skype for Business Online.
  • Though somewhat extreme, this migration plan has been coming on for some time now, frankly ever since Microsoft introduced Microsoft Teams in 2017.

Via blog post earlier this week, Microsoft made the wholly unsurprising announcement that it would officially retire its long-term messaging solution, Skype for Business Online, on July 31st, 2021. Unlike many similar migration plans, where rival products can linger for years after closure, Microsoft does not intend to let Skype for Business Online slowly fade away. Continue reading “At Last, We Can Bid a Fond Farewell to Microsoft’s Troubled Skype for Business Online”