Dell has announced a series of new big data and analytics solutions and services designed to help companies quickly and securely turn data into insights for better, faster decision-making.
The solutions include a new release of Dell’s advanced analytics software platform and new Analytics-as-a -Service offerings for multiple industry verticals such as banking, healthcare and insurance. Together, these new offerings and capabilities enable companies to embed analytics across their core processes and disseminate analytics expertise across the organisation to drive better business outcomes.
Data-driven decision-making is the pathway to competitive advantage in the modern data economy. The Dell Global Technology Adoption Index 2015 (GTAI 2015) revealed that those organisations robustly using big data show 50 percent higher growth rates than organisations that aren’t. However, the study also found that 44 percent of organisations still don’t understand how to extract value from their data.
With the latest enhancements to its big data and analytics portfolio, Dell says, it is helping customers overcome that uncertainty and invest wisely in data technologies by delivering flexible, end-to-end solutions that help organisations foster IT and business alignment, drive operational efficiency, and leverage the power of predictive analytics.
Dell provided the following information on its new products and services:
Launch of Statistica 13 Further Simplifies Deployment of Advanced Analytics Across the Enterprise
The launch of Statistica 13, the latest release of the company’s popular advanced analytics software platform, helps simplify and improve the process by which organisations deploy predictive models directly to data sources inside the firewall, in the cloud, and in partner ecosystems. An easy-to-use solution that requires no coding and integrates seamlessly with open source R, Dell Statistica delivers a full range of data blending, data discovery, and advanced and predictive analytics tools that help organisations tap into all data to predict future trends, identify new customers and sales opportunities, explore “what-if” scenarios, and reduce the occurrence of fraud and other business risks. Enhancements and new capabilities in Statistica 13 include:
· A completely revamped and modernised GUI for greater ease-of-use and visual appeal
· Deeper integration with the recently added Statistica Interactive Visualisation and Dashboard engine for more effective communication to data consumers
· Tighter integration with open source R for easier sharing and control of R scripts
· A new stepwise model tool that progressively recommends optimum models for users
· New Native Distributed Analytics (NDA) capabilities that allow users to run analytics directly in the database where data lives and work more efficiently with large and growing data sets
NDA functionality pushes predictive algorithm model-building and scoring functionality directly into the data source. This eliminates the time-consuming and data-limiting process of pulling data to an intermediate server or desktop, allowing all analytic processing to occur directly in the database and enabling organisations to leverage the power of Hadoop clusters, database appliances and other high-performance platforms. Statistica 13 will initially feature NDA capability for Microsoft SQL Server databases, with additional databases to be added in subsequent releases.
Dell Services Continues to Strengthen IP-led Service Offerings in Advanced Analytics and Data Science
Dell Services is expanding its Analytics-as-a-Service offerings with industry-specific services that help customers unearth insights, predict business outcomes, and improve the accuracy and efficiency of critical business processes. For example, new BPO services help embed analytics across an organisation’s core processes and disseminate analytics expertise to give scalability to data-based decision making. The new services include:
· Fraud, Waste and Abuse Management: Helps organisations identify cases of medical identity theft, unnecessary diagnostic services or medically unnecessary services and incorrect billing
· Denial Likelihood Scoring and Predictive Analytics: Helps organisations proactively identify which claims are most likely to be denied, and provide at-a-glance activity data on each account, detailed monitoring and follow-up, in the process helping eliminate up to 40 percent of low- or no-value follow-up work
· Churn Management/Customer Retention Services: Helps organisations leverage predictive churn modelling – the processing and correlation of new social data sources with traditional data sources – to identify customers they are at risk of losing, and proactively take preventative measures
In addition, emphasising Dell’s continued focus on enabling Analytics-as-a-Service solutions, the Dell Services team has introduced Dell Service Desk Analytics and Dell ModelHealth (DMH) Tracker.
· Dell Service Desk Analytics transforms IT service desk management by enabling predictive error management and automation. It creates early warning alerts and text analytics to improve the end-user experience and reduce business disruption.
· Dell ModelHealth Tracker helps customers track and monitor the effectiveness of their various scorecard or predictive analytics models. Particularly in industries with compliance requirements, including banking and insurance, companies use scorecards or other predictive models to predict critical outcomes, such as a customer’s creditworthiness or the likelihood of an insurance claim being fraudulent. DMH plugs into multiple data sources to track, archive and manage these models, and more importantly, monitor them for effectiveness and compliance.
These new offerings join the more than 50 solutions from Dell Services in the area of advanced analytics, including healthcare analytics offerings focused on critical issues like population health, patient readmission, and health risk stratification; financial analytics offerings focused on online transactions and fraud detection; and insurance-focused offerings centered on reducing customer churn via analytics embedded within Lifesys, Dell’s platform for insurance claims processing.
End-to-End Portfolio Simplifies Deployment and Allows Customers to Achieve Insights Faster
In addition to software and services, Dell has a history of offering engineered solutions and reference architectures that speed deployment times and time to value. These solutions are tested and validated to relieve customer pain points associated with deployment of effective data management techniques. Most recently, Dell announced its 15th reference architecture in collaboration with Cloudera, this time also including Syncsort DMX-h software. The Dell | Cloudera | Syncsort Data Warehouse Optimisation – ETL Offload Reference Architecture streamlines the planning, design, construction and deployment process of transforming data into a ready state for analysis, also known as the extract, transform and load (ETL) process, using the Hadoop data platform. The reference architecture offers customers cost savings, faster time-to-value and quicker access to insights than an open-source, do-it-yourself solution.
In addition, Dell’s ProDeploy Enterprise Suite offers customers a complete suite of deployment services and professional certifications designed to simplify deployments and help customers rapidly adopt new technology with confidence.
Motor Racing meets Machine Learning
The car of tomorrow, most of us imagine, is being built by the great automobile manufacturers of the world. More and more, however, we are seeing information technology companies joining the race to power the autonomous vehicle future.
Last year, chip-maker Intel paid $15.3-billion to acquire Israeli company Mobileye, a leader in computer vision for autonomous driving technology. Google’s autonomous taxi division, Waymo, has been valued at $45-billion.
Now there’s a new name to add to the roster of technology giants driving the future.
Amazon Web Services, the world’s biggest cloud computing service and a subsidiary of Amazon.com, last month unveiled a scale model autonomous racing car for developers to build new artificial intelligence applications. Almost in the same breath, at its annual re:Invent conference in Las Vegas, it showcased the work being done with machine learning in Formula 1 racing.
AWS DeepRacer is a 1/18th scale fully autonomous race car, designed to incorporate the features and behaviour of a full-sized vehicle. It boasts all-wheel drive, monster truck tires, an HD video camera, and on-board computing power. In short, everything a kid would want of a self-driving toy car.
But then, it also adds everything a developer would need to make the car autonomous in ways that, for now, can only be imagined. It uses a new form of machine learning (ML), the technology that allows computer systems to improve their functions progressively as they receive feedback from their activities. ML is at the heart of artificial intelligence (AI), and will be core to autonomous, self-driving vehicles.
AWS has taken ML a step further, with an approach called reinforcement learning. This allows for quicker development of ML models and applications, and DeepRacer is designed to allow developers to experiment with and hone their skill in this area. It is built on top of another AWS platform, called Amazon SageMaker, which enables developers and data scientists to build, train, and deploy machine learning quickly and easily.
Along with DeepRacer, AWS also announced the DeepRacer League, the world’s first global autonomous racing league, open to anyone who orders the scale model from AWS.
As if to prove that DeepRacer is not just a quirky entry into the world of motor racing, AWS also showcased the work it is doing with the Formula One Group. Ross Brawn, Formula 1’s managing director of Motor Sports, joined AWS CEO Andy Jassy during the keynote address at the re:Invent conference, to demonstrate how motor racing meets machine learning.
“More than a million data points a second are transmitted between car and team during a Formula 1 race,” he said. “From this data, we can make predictions about what we expect to happen in a wheel-to-wheel situation, overtaking advantage, and pit stop advantage. ML can help us apply a proper analysis of a situation, and also bring it to fans.
“Formula 1 is a complete team contest. If you look at a video of tyre-changing in a pit stop – it takes 1.6 seconds to change four wheels and tyres – blink and you will miss it. Imagine the training that goes into it? It’s also a contest of innovative minds.”
Formula 1 racing has more than 500 million global fans and generated $1.8 billion in revenue in 2017. As a result, there are massive demands on performance, analysis and information.
During a race, up to 120 sensors on each car generate up to 3GB of data and 1 500 data points – every second. It is impossible to analyse this data on the fly without an ML platform like Amazon SageMaker. It has a further advantage: the data scientists are able to incorporate 65 years of historical race data to compare performance, make predictions, and provide insights into the teams’ and drivers’ split-second decisions and strategies.
This means Formula 1 can pinpoint how a driver is performing and whether or not drivers have pushed themselves over the limit.
“By leveraging Amazon SageMaker and AWS’s machine-learning services, we are able to deliver these powerful insights and predictions to fans in real time,” said Pete Samara, director of innovation and digital technology at Formula 1.
LG rethinks portable speakers
LG adds three sizes to its XBoom Go portable speaker line in a portable revision, writes BRYAN TURNER.
Portable Bluetooth speakers are fairly commonplace at a pool party because they’re battery-powered. The only issue is that louder speakers usually distort the music or break the bank. The LG XBoom aims to change this.
LG has partnered with Meridian Audio to produce great sounding speakers that can go loud without distorting the audio. Meridian Audio is an expert in high-performance, high-fidelity audio experiences. The company is best known for producing the industry’s first audiophile-quality compact disc player and provide audio equipment to McLaren and Jaguar Land Rover.
The Bluetooth software in the XBoom Go is Qualcomm aptX HD compatible, meaning that 24bit vinyl-quality audio can be played through this speaker over Bluetooth instead of standard-fidelity audio.
The major phone assistants feature on these speakers, with tethered Google Assistant or Apple Siri functionality from one’s smartphone. This makes it very convenient to use the voice assistant button to skip tracks and change music when one’s hands are wet.
Three models of the XBoom Go series – the PK3, PK5 and PK7 – offer different audio functions depending on the audio needs of the user. Best fits for these speakers are:
PK3 – The Pool Friendly Speaker: The PK3 is IPX7 water resistant, up to 1 metre for 30 minutes, making this speaker accident proof at pool parties. Boasting up to 12 hours of playback from its built-in battery, this speaker will last as long as the party.
PK5 – The Party Friendly Speaker: Even if the lunch braai turns into a midnight feast, this speaker will play throughout as its battery lasts up to 18 hours. Clear Vocal technology is added to the PK5, which reduces audio imperfections from the music for a sharper sound. It is also water and splash resistant and has a handle, allowing for it to be easily carried. Built-in LED lights which pulse with the beat of the music on this speaker provide a light show for any song.
PK7 – The Audiophile’s Speaker: With a battery life that lasts for up to 22 hours, the PK7 also contains an LED light to the rhythm of the sound. The speaker integrates a convenient handle grip that allows for it to be transported securely. The powerful PK7 Bluetooth speaker also distributes its high frequencies across two separate tweeters for more precise sonic detail.
Overall, LG’s XBoom PK portable speakers are a phenomenal set of high-quality wireless speakers.