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Dell goes bigger on Big Data

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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.

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Nintendo announces Stranger Things 3 game

The Netflix Original show is set to launch a retro-style game on the Nintendo Switch.

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In collaboration with Netflix, developer BonusXP has created Stranger Things 3: The Game. It is the official companion game to Season 3 of the hit original series. The game and latest season are expected to launch on US Independence Day, the 4th of July, a date that will, of course, stick in American gamers’ memories.

This adventure game blends a distinctively retro 16-bit art style, reminiscent of games from the time when the series was set. It is claimed to have modern gameplay mechanics to deliver nostalgic fun with a fresh new twist. Players will be able to experience their favourite show through a mix of exploration, puzzles, and combat.

Just ad in the show, teamwork is at the heart of Stranger Things 3: The Game. Players can team up in a two-player local co-operative, or in single player mode alongside an AI partner. Players can choose to play as one of twelve characters from the show, each with different abilities and attributes. Together, they’ll play through familiar events from the series, while also uncovering never-before-seen Stranger Things secrets, ensuring a fun experience for those new to the world of Stranger Things as well as for those familiar with the series.

Key Features:

  • Experience the show in a new way, exploring the eerie world of Hawkins to uncover new mysteries beyond what’s seen in Season 3.
  • Jump right into the action of this pick-up-and-play adventure: gameplay mechanics that allow players from beginner to advanced skill levels to get in on the fun.
  • Take your game to a higher level by trying out different character combinations and collecting all the secrets the expansive world of Hawkins has to offer.
  • Team up with a friend, leveraging drop-in/drop-out local co-op to take on the mysterious monsters of Hawkins together. While playing solo, use a collection of “buddy commands” to control both characters and still experience all the fun.
  • Choose from 12 playable characters, each with their own unique talents and stats.

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New AirPods and iMac in iStore this weekend

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iStore has announced availability of the new second generation AirPods and iMac, unveiled this week, in store this weekend.

The AirPods are priced from R2 899 and the new iMac from R23 499. Customers can also order these new products from iStore’s website.

“AirPods revolutionised the wireless audio experience with a breakthrough design and the new AirPods build on the magical experience customers love,” said iStore in its announcement. “The new Apple-designed H1 chip, developed specifically for headphones, delivers performance efficiencies, faster connect times, more talk time and the convenience of hands-free ‘Hey Siri’.”

AirPods come with either a standard charging case or a new wireless charging case that works with Qi standard chargers. The wireless charging case can be ordered for R3 699. The case can be used with the first or second generation AirPods.

The iMac line now has up to 8-core Intel 9th-generation processors and powerful Vega graphics options, delivering dramatic increases in both compute and graphics performance. The new iMac is faster for everyday tasks, up to demanding pro workloads. It includes retina display, all-in-one design, quiet operation, fast storage and memory, modern connectivity and macOS Mojave.

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