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UK regulator cautions insurers on big data

24

Nov
2016
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big data analytics

The head of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has reminded insurance providers of the need to be careful in their use of big data to ensure some customers are not unfairly penalised.

Speaking at the Association of British Insurers' annual conference, chief executive of the regulator Andrew Bailey noted the ability to capture and convert information into insight has led to a "revolution" in how businesses approach data. However, he cautioned that there need to be boundaries on how this is used to ensure that the technology serves everyone effectively.

The use of big data can allow insurers to determine premiums for consumers at a much more individual level, rather than pooling them into wider risk groups. This puts more … Read more

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How Tesco is diving into the data lake

23

Nov
2016
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An effective big data analytics solution is now an essential requirement for any large business that wishes to be successful in today's competitive environment, regardless of what sector they are in.

However, one part of the economy that particularly stands to benefit from this technology is retail. These firms have a longstanding tradition of gathering and utilising customer data, so the ability to gain greater insight from the information they already have will play a key role in their decision-making.

One company that has always been at the forefront of this is UK supermarket Tesco. It was noted by Forbes that the company was one of the first brands to track customer activity through the use of its loyalty cards, … Read more

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Providing good problem reports

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Nov
2016
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Why bother creating a good problem report?

The better the problem report is, the faster your problem is likely to be solved.

In the absence of a good report, whoever is trying to resolve your problem will probably come back to you and ask for more information. The more iterations there are of this nature, the more time will elapse before the problem is understood, and can be resolved.

 

Where to create problem reports

All users of Kognitio software can report problems by posting on the community forums at http://kognitio.com/forums – remember these are visible to everyone, so don’t post confidential information.

Alternatively, customers paying for support can:

  • create a case on the support portal
  • email the appropriate helpdesk
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NIH highlights use of big data in disease research

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Nov
2016
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The US National Institute of Health (NIH) has highlighted the importance of big data in helping track infectious disease outbreaks and formulating response plans.

In a study published as a supplement in the Journal of Infectious Disease, the body observed that data derived from sources ranging from electronic health records to social media has the potential to provide much more detailed and timely information about outbreaks than traditional surveillance techniques.

Existing methods are typically based on laboratory tests and other data gathered by public health institutions, but these have a range of issues. The NIH noted they are expensive, slow to produce results and do not provide adequate data at a local level to set up effective monitoring.

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Big data experts among top priorities for 2017 tech hiring

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Nov
2016
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Individuals with proven skills and expertise in big data analytics will be among the top priorities for IT recruiters in 2017, along with those with knowledge of cyber security, a new survey has found.

Research by Jobsite and recruitment consultancy Robert Walters found nearly half (47 per cent) of hiring managers expect to increase the number of IT workers they employ in the next 12 months, Computer Weekly reports.

More than half of respondents (54 per cent) said individuals with cyber security expertise would be among their top priorities for the year ahead, while 36 per cent said those with skills in business intelligence and big data will be in high demand.

The study noted this reflects a growing awareness … Read more

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Stephen Hawking: Big data vital to scientific advances

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Nov
2016
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Big data analytics will be integral to some of the biggest scientific advances ever seen in the coming years as recognition grows of the potential of this technology.

This is according to Professor Stephen Hawking, who was speaking at the launch of Cambridge University's new Cantab Capital Institute for the Mathematics of Information (CCIMI) last week (November 10th).

He observed that in today's "dazzlingly complex world", it is essential that we are able to make sense of the vast amount of data in order to identify meaning among the noise. However, it is only now that organisations are recognising just how much data there is in any given domain, and what tools will be needed to make the most of … Read more

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Big data and IoT to drive cloud market

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Nov
2016
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Big data analytics and Internet of Things (IoT) deployments will be among the main drivers of cloud computing traffic in the coming years, which is set to rise nearly four-fold by the end of the decade.

This is according to Cisco's latest Global Cloud Index, which forecast that the total amount of traffic using the cloud is set to grow from 3.9 zettabytes in 2015 to 14.1 zettabytes in 2020. By the end of the forecast period, cloud technology is expected to account for 92 per cent of total data centre traffic.

Cisco attributed this rise to an increase in migration to cloud architecture due to its ability to scale quickly and support more workloads than traditional data centres. This … Read more

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SQL ON HADOOP BENCHMARKING – Spark 2.0

04

Nov
2016
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Following on from my previous blog on 12th Oct 2016. We have recently upgraded our CDH from 5.7.1 to 5.8.2 and have been concentrating on getting the TPC-DS benchmarks up and running for Spark.

Spark 1.6 comes with the CDH distribution but we also installed the Spark 2.0 beta available from the Cloudera.

In the previous blog we saw there had been a marked improvement in SQL maturity with Spark 2.0 (compared to 1.6) now supporting the SQL syntax of all 99 TPC-DS queries when functionally tested on a small 1GB data set. Therefore we are going to concentrate on Spark 2.0

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Facebook blocks social media algorithm to calculate quotes

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Nov
2016
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Facebook has blocked plans by a UK car insurer to use big data analytics to calculate quotes for customers based partly on information gathered from their social media postings.

Admiral unveiled the opt-in solution, called firstcarquote, that was intended to analyse the Facebook accounts of first-time drivers in order to identify personality traits that could be an indicator of how safe a driver they are likely to be, the Guardian reported. 

However, the social network has since refused permission for Admiral to proceed, as it was found to be in breach of the site's guidelines on how companies should use such information.

Admiral planned to scrape data from users' status updates and likes, with the company claiming it could lead … Read more

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How can you get Hadoop integrated into your business?

31

Oct
2016
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With more organisations looking to add big data analytics capabilities to their operations in order to take advantage of the huge amounts of information they have available, many firms will be examining which technologies will be the best options for their business.

One of the most popular choices for firms will be Hadoop, which is a tempting option due to its flexibility and ability to effectively manage very large data sets.

In fact, it has been forecast that by 2020, as many as three-quarters of Fortune 2000 companies will be running Hadoop clusters of at least 1,000 nodes.

But getting up and running with the technology will prove challenging for many businesses. Hadoop remains a highly complex solution that … Read more

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