3 Predictions for 2018

MAKY_OREL / Pixabay

As we close out 2017 and prepare to welcome the new year, here are my top three predictions that will impact Big Data and Analytics space the most in 2018:

  • “Gigabit” high-speed internet goes main stream, driven by “Fiber to the Home” (FTTH) technology and improved mobile broadband coverage and speed, coupled with falling prices of broadband data connection.
    • What this means is that more connected devices and more data generated by connected devices and people, leading to even bigger challenge for Enterprises to analyze and make sense of higher volume of data.
  • Data privacy concerns will grow leading to demand for stronger regulation on privacy, data ownership and usage.
    • This means companies will have to spend more on safeguarding data that they collect, especially Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and put in more effort for legal compliance.
  • A.I. or Augmented Intelligence and Blockchain technology will gain wider acceptance in Enterprise IT market.
    • This means AI and Blockchain will drive Enterprise IT spend and will determine how companies undertake and execute Big Data and Analytics projects as “Data Management” is the underlying foundation for both A.I. and Blockchain projects.

I expect 2018 to be a great year for A.I., Big Data and Analytics professionals with strong hiring by large enterprises and consulting companies alike.


Wish You a Happy and Healthy 2018

USA-Reiseblogger / Pixabay

Wish You a Happy and Healthy 2018. The year 2017 taught us that “Change” is the only constant in life and those that adapt to change and thrive on it will come out as winners and those that are slow to adapt risk losing out.

What will be different in 2018 as compared to 2017 – rate of change, which is going to accelerate in the new year. What this means is that we need learn quicker and respond faster.

With the hyper-connected world that we live in today, it is a lot easier to learn and adapt to this change. One needs to be tuned to the “right” network. This is where the importance of Social Networking sites like LinkedIn and Twitter comes into play.

Connecting or following “thought leaders” and “doers” in your chosen field will help you stay abreast with the latest in the field and help you in adapting to the change.

So as we close out 2017 and prepare to welcome 2018, remember this – Change is going to accelerate in 2018 and we have to stay in forefront. Mantra for success in 2018 is going to be how fast we adapt to the change. This means learning new skills, mastering new tools and thinking out of the box. It is no longer enough just to operate within one’s “comfort zone”. We need to challenge ourselves regularly and set “stretched” goals for ourselves in 2018.

As we make our new year resolutions for 2018, I suggest that we include “Learning and Mastering” a new skill as top priority for the new year. Also, “actively” networking with thought leaders and doers in this chosen field through social networking tools such as LinkedIn and Twitter should be top priority as well. Days of just being a “passive” observer are coming to an end in 2017 and one needs to be a pro-active participant to be successful in 2018.

Wish You a Happy and Healthy New Year – one that is filled with new learning opportunities and success.

Why Digital or AI First is NOT Always Correct

In the mad dash for going digital or for using artificial intelligence in Enterprise Applications, it is not uncommon to hear senior executives of Fortune 1000 companies speak about “Digital First” or “AI First”. This is not a correct strategy in many (MOST!) cases.

Remember, Digital or AI represents Channel. Technology or Tools. It is means to an end, but not the end. End is Customer Delight, Employee Satisfaction and Shareholder Value (in that order).

You need to choose your channel, technology and tools based on what delights your customers most, what satisfies your employees most and what generates most value for your shareholders. Selecting a technology without keeping customers or employees in mind is like putting the cart before the horse and expecting it to take you places. No, it is not going to run.

How far have we come in #AI and #Robotics?

There is a lot of discussion around artificial intelligence and robotics these days and many consider AI and robotics to be more of a hype than of any real substance.

Given this, one question that is often asked is how far have we progressed when it comes to AI or Robotics.

Well, here is a very good proof. First video embedded below is that of Tiger Woods acing hole No. 16 at TPC Scottsdale in 1997.

The second video embedded below is that of a robot called Eldrick, which aced the exact same shot as Tiger Woods – 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale.

What do you think, isn’t this amazing progress? Please do share your thoughts …

10 Minute Crash Course in Public Speaking

Here are three great videos on effective public speaking by Dananjaya Hettiarachchi, the 2014 World Champion of Public Speaking.

These 3 videos together offer a great 10 minute crash course on effective public speaking and in making impactful presentations.

5 Easy & Quick Reads on Machine Learning

Here are five great resources for those interested in Machine Learning that provide a good starting point if you are interested:

  1. A Course in Machine Learning, also download CIML book – Link
  2. Slides from ScaledML 2016
  3. Approaching (Almost) Any Machine Learning Problem
  4. A Visual Introduction to Machine Learning
  5. The current state of machine intelligence 2.0

Apache Flink: The 4G of Big Data Annalytics

Here are three great presentations on Apache Flink by Slim Baltagi, Director of Big Data Engineering, Capital One. First Slideshare presentation embedded below is titled “Step by step introduction to Apache Flink”


Second Slideshare presentation embedded below is titled “Flink vs. Spark”


Third Slideshare presentation embedded below is titled “Apache Flink: What, How, Why, Who, Where?”

Learn to Listen: Global Listening

As many of you may already know, there are three levels of listening. They are:

  1. Internal Listening – when we listen to our thoughts and opinions
  2. Focused Listening – when we focus on “what” is being said, summarizing and analyzing
  3. Global Listening – when we don’t just focus on what is being said, but also focus on emotions behind what is said, body language, tone, gestures and all other environmental factors while being aware of our own thoughts and intuitions.

Although we are truly “in the moment” with speaker only when “Global Listening”, most of us, most of the time resort to either Internal Listening or Focused Listening. This is because we either focus on our own thoughts or focus just on words of speaker, missing out on so much of what is being communicated.

Remember, communication is not limited just to spoken words alone. And to be a good listener, one has to practice global listening by focusing not just on what is being said, but also on emotions, body language, feelings, tone, gestures and all other environmental cues, at the same time being aware of one’s thoughts and intuitions.

Please read Co-Active Coaching: New Skills for Coaching People Toward Success in Work and Life by Henry Kimsey-House, Karen Kimsey-House, Phillip Sandahl, Laura Whitworth, Nicholas Brealey Publishing if you want to know more about this.

Would love to know what do you think of Global Listening. How often do you practice global listening vis-a-vis Internal or Focused Listening? Please leave a comment:

Two Important Lessons from Yahoo’s Decline and Downfall

Verizon to Pay $4.8 Billion for Yahoo’s Core Business” reads the headline in today’s New York Times website. This is a stunning fall for a company which epitomized all things internet and which had a peak valuation of more than $125 billion dollars just over a decade ago. So what are the reasons for this stunning fall of Yahoo so fast and are there any important lessons to be learned from Yahoo’s downfall?

I think that there are two main reason for this dramatic a change in Yahoo’s fortunes and some important lessons to be learned. They are:

Customer Focus: Yahoo started off as a search engine but quickly lost focus of its core service and wanted to be everything to everyone on the internet. Just take a look at Yahoo’s home page even today (on July 24, 2016) and you can see why. Home page is cluttered with so many competing services trying to catch our attention and lost on the page is core functionality customers want – web search.

Compare it with Google’s home page and focus on the core service of web search – see pictures below:


Yahoo Home Page


Google's Home PageUser or Customer Experience Management is the second important reason for Yahoo’s decline. While trying to be everything to everyone on the internet, Yahoo failed to focus on the user experience – quality and speed of search results. And it quickly lost ground to the “newcomer” Google in early 2000s. Yahoo had some great services like Yahoo messenger etc. and it failed to capitalize on those strengths, especially when social media took off in a major way in 2008 and in 2009. As a result, Facebook and WhatsApp capitalized on the opportunity and have become so dominate in the market.

Lesson to be learned from Yahoo’s downfall is that:

a) Never lose focus of what your customers want and

b) Customer Experience matters more than anything else

And if you don’t focus on the above two critical aspects of your business, you will face decline and downfall.