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Big Data analysis pays off

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According to Deloitte Analytics, data-driven decision-making and performance is the next wave of the digital revolution that companies need to prepare for to enjoy the opportunities on offer.|According to Deloitte Analytics, data-driven decision-making and performance is the next wave of the digital revolution that companies need to prepare for to enjoy the opportunities on offer.

“Companies need to get smarter with how they harness the immense benefits of these changes, or be left behind by those that do. And with the jobs crisis causing such profound problems in our society today, businesses can harness the efficiencies data analytics provides to generate new jobs by innovating to grow faster,” says Wesley Govender, Director, Risk Advisory from Deloitte.

In its recently issued report, Magic Quadrant for Business Analytics Services, Worldwide, Gartner defines Business Analytics (BA) as services that “encompass decision management capabilities, analytics capabilities, and information management (IM) capabilities.

“This field continues to grow, moving squarely into the mainstream of business decision-making worldwide. Data is everywhere around us and analytics should be everywhere too—in every corner of the business, every day. It should not be a special initiative, or a ‘department’, but an ongoing part of how decisions large and small are made every day,” says Mr Govender.

However, the missing link in the chain is education and insight that matters and is at the cutting edge.

To help plug these gaps, and to provide the corporate world with the tools to bring about true data-driven change, Deloitte School of Analytics begins hosting a series of in-depth training seminars with international partners in South Africa in February next year.

“We want to see companies innovate and grow faster – but we are also the first to know that this cannot happen without regular and constant training and insights into current best practice. Our programmes are therefore designed so that the best international expertise in this field can be brought in to boardrooms in SA and on the continent, as it were, and the process of learning and implementation can truly begin,” says Mr Govender.

Deloitte was recently named a global leader in Business Analytics Services by Gartner and it aims to ramp up even further the assistance it provides to clients in solving a wide variety of data related problems and define strategies for them to better manage, interpret and monetise their data assets.

Analytics innovators continue to push the edge, looking for new ways to gain advantage over slower-moving competitors.

“ In some cases, that advantage comes through sweeping discoveries that can upend entire business models. In other cases, more modest insights may emerge that unleash cascading value,” says Mr Govender.

“The disruptive effects of these changes on business models are significant. However, this change creates opportunities quickly – one of which is an ability to expand and create jobs for people with the right skills sets. To us, this is extremely exciting when you consider youth unemployment in SA is at 51% according to recent world development indicators,” he says.

Exponential growth in the areas of mobile data generation, real-time connectivity and digital business has made the job of protecting these assets and securing the gates in a “big data” world an altogether different–and more challenging undertaking.

“Due to the increase in regulator involvement from a privacy perspective, it is best to have more efficient use of data, rather than more data,” says Mr Govender.

According to Deloitte, companies need to constantly ensure they are a step ahead of the changes, which continue to come at a very fast pace. Questions that need to be answered, and which the Deloitte seminar series hopes to answer, include the most efficient way to make long-term technology investments and the best ways to protect sensitive data on networks.

“Unexpected ways to understand a business or client’s needs can emerge by using rich data analysis, often to information that has been sitting idle for more than two decades. Near real-time insights can be highly beneficial – it is not about simply counting customer numbers or transactions anymore. Simply put, big data analysis pays off,” concludes Mr Govender.

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CES: So long, and thanks for all the beer!

Last week, the Las Vegas expo showed off its fun side with state-of-the-art technologies for enjoying beer, writes BRYAN TURNER

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From craft beer-making machines to robots that pour beer, CES had more beer than usual in Las Vegas last week. And even free beer if you found the right stand. Stampede’s saloon-style booth offered beer to visitors who tried out its latest drones, virtual reality, and other gaming products. No beer tech, though.

Here are some of the beer technologies that stood out:

LG HomeBrew – Craft beer made at home

LG’s HomeBrew craft beer-making machine,  debuted at CES 2019, brings the brewing process home thanks to single-use capsules,  a self-cleaning feature, and an algorithm optimised for fermentation. 

Like a Nespresso coffee machine, the beer maker uses capsules, which contain malt, yeast, hop oil and flavouring. At the press of a button, LG HomeBrew automates the whole procedure from fermentation and carbonation to ageing. A companion app lets users check HomeBrew’s status at any time during the process, from their handsets.

The beer machine not only offers a simple way to make craft beer, but also enhances the quality of beer it makes. The fermentation algorithm intelligently controls the fermenting process with precise temperature and pressure control. It automatically sanitises itself, using nothing more than hot water, ensuring everything is hygienically clean for the next batch.

Designed with discerning beer lovers in mind, HomeBrew allows for in-home production of batches of more than 4 litres of beer in a variety of styles. The following five distinctive, flavoured beers are available now: 

  • Hoppy American IPA
  • Golden American Pale Ale
  • Full-bodied English Stout
  • Zesty Belgian-style Witbier
  • Dry Czech Pilsner

The only catch? It takes about two weeks to make, depending on the beer type.

“LG HomeBrew is the culmination of years of home appliance and water purification technologies that we’ve developed over the decades,” said Dan Song, president of LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solutions Company. “Homebrewing has grown at an explosive pace, but there are still many beer lovers who haven’t taken the jump because of the barriers to entry, like complexity, and these are the consumers we think will be attracted to LG HomeBrew.”

Click here to read about the party speaker that holds beer and robots that pour beer.

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CES: Alienware gets Legend-ary

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At CES in Las Vegas last week, Dell’s Alienware released a family of high-end, thin, light, and affordable machines for both amateur and professional gamers – and a new identity.

Alienware marked CES 2019 as a brand milestone with the debut of a new design identity, Alienware Legend. It aims to set a new bar of excellence for what gamers want most – performance and function. Alienware says it evaluated multiple concepts and chose one that was the biggest and boldest departure from its current look.

Alienware Legend, says the company, stays true to the brand’s core design tenets, taking cues from its deep roots in sci-fi culture and its early industrial designs, to distinguish the brand from the rest of the industry. The new Legend design is optimised with cutting-edge thermal cooling technology to achieve and sustain overclocking power, improved AlienFX lighting, and ultra-thin screen borders. It also unveiled a new “three-knuckle hinge” design that reduces the overall dimension while creating a stronger assembly, all combining to yield a better gaming experience.

“We’re excited to come to this year’s CES with some truly groundbreaking products, next-gen software and strategic partnerships that will bring more people to experience PC gaming and advance the industry,” said Frank Azor, vice president and general manager of Alienware. “The legend design answers the call for more and better from our gaming community, and the new G Series laptops will make PC gaming even more accessible to those looking for high-performance gaming at a cost they can appreciate.”

Click here to read about Alienware Legend in action with the Area-51m and m-series laptops

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