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Experian Ascend Analytics: Big data made easy

Experian Ascend Analytics on Demand is a fully integrated big data and analytics platform, and it comes at a time when emerging data sources, advanced analytics, insight and digital transformation are top-of-mind for many decision-makers.

A recent survey found just 30% of senior decision-makers are currently making use of the full potential of data analytics software, two in five say they still base their performance on subjective opinion and instinct and 78% plan to invest in advanced analytics capabilities within the next 12 months.

Click here to read more about how Ascend Analytics can strengthen businesses.

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The software is designed to meet these needs by offering businesses of all sizes access a wide range of anonymised Experian data in combination with industry-leading analytical tools and expert consultancy support, allowing users to identify the key insights that will best serve their customers and drive growth.

Francesco Nazzarri, MD of Commercial Strategy for Experian EMEA, says: “To effectively compete in today’s economy, businesses must be able to quickly use and understand a vast range of data assets, to move at speed with their market and consistently deliver outcomes that best serve their customers.

“Ascend does exactly that. It quickly converts vast quantities of data into smart, actionable insights by leveraging the latest analytical innovation, machine learning and artificial intelligence tools.  Ascend is an important part of our suite of market-leading products, all of which will accelerate the ability of business to harness big data’s full potential.  Better still, Ascend can seamlessly integrate with PowerCurve, our leading decisioning and workflow software solution.  We’re able to help move our customers from a world where planning and implementing new strategies takes many months, towards a space where the same activities could now take just days.

“We have successfully deployed Ascend with several global clients over the last 24 months, and it has proven an extremely powerful and versatile solution – our customers are effectively using it for new product development, benchmarking and performance tracking, market expansion and to make many more intelligent decisions.”

Customers can use Ascend to build their own predictive models and make decisions by applying machine learning and AI techniques to Experian’s anonymised credit, client and alternative data. This creates a rich ‘whole of market’ view.  Its analytical machine-learning tools mine layers of content to gain deep insights about business and consumers. Results are delivered in seconds, via flexible self-service tools and visualisations suitable for senior decision makers – ie, not too tech-savvy. Ascend’s launch marks the first time that this level of tailored self-service and instant analysis has been available to many in-house analytics teams in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

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IBM unveils new cloud data privacy platform

Designed for hybrid multicloud security, IBM z15 enhances cloud-native app development and includes a new instant recovery feature.

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IBM has announced IBM z15, a new enterprise platform delivering the ability to manage the privacy of customer data across hybrid multicloud environments. With z15, clients can manage who gets access to data via policy-based controls, with an industry-first capability to revoke access to data across the hybrid cloud. 

The movement of data between partners and third parties is often the root cause of data breaches. In fact, 60 percent of businesses reported they suffered a data breach caused by a vendor or third party in 2018. With the growing adoption of hybrid multicloud environments, the challenge of maintaining data security and privacy only grows more acute and challenging.

The IBM z15 system culminates four years of development with over 3,000 IBM Z patents issued or in process and represents a collaboration with input from over 100 companies. Key z15 innovations from these investments across IBM Systems and Research include:

  • Encryption Everywhere – Building upon pervasive encryption, IBM unveiled new Data Privacy Passports technology that clients can use to gain control over how data is stored and shared – enabling the ability to protect and provision data and revoke access to that data at any time, not only within the z15 environment but across an enterprise’s hybrid multicloud environment. z15 also can encrypt data everywhere – across hybrid multicloud environments – to help enterprises secure their data wherever it travels.
  • Cloud-Native Development – Can give clients a competitive advantage by evolving how they modernize apps in place, build new cloud-native apps and securely integrate their most important workloads across clouds. Clients are already using IBM Z for their mission-critical workloads to build, deploy and manage next-gen apps and protect data through advanced security.
  • Instant Recovery – An industry-first approach to limiting the cost and impact of planned and unplanned downtime, enabling users to access full system capacity for a period of time to accelerate shutdown and restart of IBM Z services and provide a temporary capacity boost to rapidly recover from lost time.

Rising Importance of Data Privacy in Doing Business

A new IBM commissioned study conducted by The Harris Poll released today found that 64 percent of all consumers have opted not to work with a business out of concerns of whether they could keep their data secure. However, that same study found 76 percent of respondents would be more willing to share personal information if there was a way to fully take back and retrieve that data at any time. With z15, pervasive encryption is designed to extend across the enterprise enforcing data privacy by policy even when it leaves the IBM Z platform. With this industry-first capability, clients can offer new services and features that give their consumers stronger control over how their personal data is used.

The Next Phase of Digital Transformation – Moving Mission-Critical Work to the Cloud

Businesses today have reportedly already completed the first 20 percent of their cloud journey. z15 is uniquely positioned to help companies take this next step in their digital transformation efforts to move mission critical workloads (the other 80 percent) to the cloud by delivering a hyper-secure, agile and continuously available platform.

As the center of a secured hybrid cloud strategy, today, two-thirds of the Fortune 100 are using IBM Z. With z15, clients can:

  • Process up to 1 trillion web transactions a day, support massive databases, and scale-out to 2.4 million Linux containers in a single z15 system — up to 2.3 times more Linux containers per core on a z15 LPAR versus a compared bare-metal x86 platform, running an identical web server load. 
  • Address mission-critical latency challenges by delivering up to 30x lower latency and up to 28 times less CPU utilization on z15 by compressing secure web transaction data before encryption using the Integrated Accelerator for z Enterprise Data Compression instead of using software compression.
  • Leverage 12 percent more cores than z14, and 25 percent more memory than z14 to help meet the needs of today’s digital businesses.

Data-Centric Privacy Controls 

Data Privacy Passports is a consolidated data privacy solution that is engineered to extend clients’ ability to deliver privacy by not only protecting data on-premises at the infrastructure level, but allows clients to provision data rules to manage individual user access across private, public and hybrid cloud data at the data level.

Bringing Cloud-Native App Development to IBM Z 

Last month, IBM announced intent to deliver Red Hat OpenShift on IBM Z and LinuxONE. This offering will accelerate the transformation to greater portability and agility through integrated tooling and a feature-rich ecosystem for cloud-native development on Linux on IBM Z and LinuxONE offerings. Cloud developers can deploy z/OS applications on OpenShift with no special Z skills required.

Mission-Critical Work Done with No Time Lost 

For both planned and unplanned downtime, Instant Recovery brings clients the ability to unlock the full power of z15, spinning up built-in cores to return to pre-shutdown SLAs, while uniquely catching up on business transactions up to 2.5x faster than previously possible.

For more information on z15, visit www.ibm.com/z15.

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New Fortnite figurines to launch at Comic Con Africa

McFarlane Toys will introduce new Fortnite figurines at Comic Con Africa this week.

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Megarom Interactive has announced a partnership with McFarlane Toys to release a range of Fortnite premium collectible action figures at Comic Con Africa 2019.

The new Fortnite branded collection will feature seven-inch premium figures, inspired by top character skins across the game’s universe and modelled from in-game assets. Each figure has over 22 moving parts for increased pose-ability as well as their own back bling, weapon, and pickaxe.

The McFarlane Toys Fortnite collection will be on display and available for purchase from the Fortnite Merchandise Store in Hall 5, stand H03, at Comic Con Africa 2019.

The collection will be available from these participating retailers across South Africa at the end of September:

  • Toy Kingdom
  • Game4U
  • Takealot
  • Raru
  • Loot
  • PWNED
  • Dark Carnival
  • Juice bubble
  • Local independents

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