Oct 152013
 

The amount of data available to organizations to analyze and use in decision making is exploding. “Big Data” is all the rage and organizations of every size from every industry are struggling to make valuable use of the information available from their operational systems, business partners, and social networks. Organizations, seeking to respond quickly in an ever-changing marketplace, are hungry for current and useful information about their ecosystems. Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence (DW/BI) teams are working as fast and hard as they can to meet this ever-increasing demand with limited resources and time. Fortunately, DW/BI teams who embrace an “agile” approach are finding they can meet the top priority needs in short time frames Read more

Oct 082013
 

Do you know your coworkers’ hometowns? Their favorite colors? Their current level in Farmville? If you answered “yes” to all three questions, there may be a very serious management concern here. More and more studies show that rather than creating tighter bonds, the intensifying drumbeat of social media is actually driving us further and further apart. A University of Birmingham (UK) researcher has gone so far as to suggest (in an extensive study) that the image-happy individuals among us actually harm personal and professional relationships with each new image they post (see “Tagger’s Delight? Disclosure and Liking in Facebook: The Effects of Sharing Photographs Amongst Multiple Known Social Circles“). And it’s not just that we’re getting to the Read more

Welcome Aboard, Murray!

 Posted by on Oct 4, 2013  No Responses »
Oct 042013
 

In a recent post I reflected on a ‘built-in’ benefit of my job, as follows: One of the pleasures of being practice director is that I get to know and be known to fascinating folks that I might not otherwise have had the opportunity to meet and build a relationship with. If another proof for my reflection was needed, this post welcoming Dr. Murray Cantor is as hard a proof as they come. Here is a researcher and author whose originality and rigor are second to none, and I have the privilege and pleasure of writing about his joining Cutter as a  Contributing Expert! I would hate to steal Murray’s thunder, but would allow myself to hint Read more

Oct 022013
 

Just in time for National Cyber Security Awareness month is the Cutter IT Journal issue — Privacy and Security in the Internet of Things. Guest Edited by Privacy by Design Ambassador and Cutter Senior Consultant Rebecca Herold and her host of expert authors — this issue highlights the many possible data hacking scenarios your organization could be privy to as the IoT gathers speed. With no current restrictions on how data collected by IoT-related devices is analyzed — the market is an open playing field for potential exploit. Explore the implications of the IoT and learn some strategies for mitigating the possibility of data breaches in this exciting new issue! Cutter clients read this issue Read more

A Cheesy Invitation

 Posted by on Oct 1, 2013  2 Responses »
Oct 012013
 
A Cheesy Invitation

Imagine you’re at a party. You’re standing near a cheese platter admiring the selection. That 2-hour cheese tasting class you took last week has made you think differently about the way you look at that plate! A man approaches and you begin chatting about the cheese. Turns out, he’s a Professor of Food Science at a top university, and has written the definitive book on goat’s milk cheese. A woman then joins the conversation; she’s from Wisconsin, home of the Cheese Heads – her perspective on cheese is a little less serious than yours! After sharing information, the 3 of you walk away with knowledge, insight, and a few ideas about wine and cheese pairings Read more

Sep 242013
 
Sociocultural Aspects of Software Projects

The desire to be agile has long impacted human behavior. Consider the elite athlete, the army general, the opera singer, the belly dancer, the professional golfer, the heavyweight boxer, the high seas sailor, the commercial pilot, the top-end banker, and even the federal politician — they all love agility, and so do we. Why? Put simply, agility provides the basis for adaptability and change which, in turn, are integral to our survival and growth. The same agility that enables a springbok to outrun a lion or an ant to carry a load more than 20 times its size allows a small start-up in Southern California to prevail against the might of a large, well-established brick-and-mortar Read more

Welcome Aboard, Lynn!

 Posted by on Sep 14, 2013  No Responses »
Sep 142013
 

How appropriate it is that Lynn Winterboer is joining Cutter just about at the time that we publish the Cutter Benchmark Review on Achieving an Agile Organizational Mind. With Lynn on board, we have another heavy hitter who applies the values, methods and practices of ‘traditional’ Agile to data, data warehousing, and business intelligence. The importance of so doing in the era of big data can’t be overstated. Just about every Cutter client I meet is struggling to extract meaning from the data he/she possesses. Needless to say, extracting meaning in an Agile manner constitutes an important competitive capability. Between the ‘old hands’ in the practice and the recent additions of Professor Giancarlo Succi, Sue Read more

Sep 102013
 

Given the rapid expansion of social and mobile technologies, organizations have increasing opportunities to connect with customers. The IT organization will play a key role not only in capturing and analyzing customer data and increasing the number and value of online customer interactions, but also in terms of creating the means for internal departments to collaborate and better serve the needs of customers. Some organizations mistakenly believe that customers want an online relationship with their company and bombard customers with surveys, questionnaires, and offers, whereas the reality is that what most customers really want is information and discounts. Organizations that examine and continuously improve their customers’ experience in their ease-of-search, ease-of-purchase, and ease-of-tracking delivery progress Read more

Sep 062013
 

  Let me start with full disclosure: A) I am a fellow of the Lean Systems Society; and, B) I will be attending the conference. Obviously, I am a little biased. This very natural bias notwithstanding, if you find my blog posts (click here and here) of interest, I am fairly certain you will have a ball in the conference. Moreover, I believe you will step out of the conference with a few actionable insights that might surprise you. The #1 problem most of my clients are struggling with these days is complexity; #2 is that they are expected to solve the complexity problem through best practices: #3 is that I tell them something like Read more

Sep 062013
 
Charette Stirs Debate Over STEM "Crisis"

Cutter Fellow Bob Charette‘s IEEE Spectrum piece, “The STEM Crisis is a Myth” has gone viral, with good reason. Charette opens by describing the worldwide panic over a shortfall in workers to fill STEM jobs, including governments everywhere “pouring billions of dollars each year into myriad efforts designed to boost the ranks of STEM workers.” He then makes a case for the flip side of the story, supported by by many reports that suggest that there just aren’t enough suitable jobs available for all the STEM graduates we have today. A Matter of Supply vs. Demand: Every year U.S. schools grant more STEM degrees than there are available jobs. When you factor in H-1B visa Read more