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Big data is now in an incredibly important part of how many major businesses function. Data analysis, or the finding of facts from large volumes of data, helps businesses make many of their important decisions. Companies that conduct business on a national or international scale rely on big data in order to plot the general direction of their business. The concept of big data can be very confusing due to the sheer scale of information involved.  By following a few simple guidelines, even the layman can understand big data and its impacts on everyday life.

What Exactly is Big Data?

Just about everyone can understand the concept of data. Data is information, and information is everywhere in the modern world. Anytime you use any piece of technology you are making use of data. Anytime you read a book, skim the newspaper or listen to music you are also making use of data. Your brain interprets and organizes data constantly from your senses and your thoughts.

Big data, much like its name infers, simply describes this same data on a large sale. The internet allowed the streaming, sharing and collecting of data on a scale never before imaginable and storage technology has allowed ever increasing hoards of data to be accumulated. In order for something to be considered “big data” it must be at least 10 terabytes or more of information. To put that in perspective, consider that 10 terabytes represents the entire printed collection of material in the Library of Congress. What’s even more remarkable is that many businesses work with far more than the minimum 10 terabytes of data. UPS stores over 16 petabytes of data about its packages and customers. That’s 16,000 terabytes or the equivalent to 1,600 printed libraries of congress. The sheer amount of that data is nearly impossible for a human to comprehend, and analysis of this data is only possible with computers.

How do Big Data Companies Emerge?

All of this information comes from everywhere on the internet. The majority of the useful data includes customer information, search engine logs, and entries on social media networks to name a few. This data is constantly generated by the internet at insane rates. Specified computers and software programs are created and operated by big data companies that collect and sort this information. These programs and hardware are so sophisticated and so specialized that entire companies can be dedicated to analyzing this data and then selling it to other companies. The raw data is distilled down into manageable reports that company executives can make use of when handling business decisions.

The Top Five:

These are the five biggest companies, according to Forbes, in the business of selling either raw data reports or analytics programs that help companies to compile their own reports.

1. Splunk
Splunk is currently valued at $186 million.  It is essentially a program service that allows companies to turn their own raw data collections into usable information.

2. Opera Solutions
Opera Solutions is valued at $118 million. It serves as a data science service that helps other companies to manage the raw data that pertains to them. They can offer either direct consultation or cloud-based service.

3. Mu Sigma
Mu Sigma is valued at $114 million.  It is a slightly smaller version of Opera Solutions, offering essentially the same types of services.

4. Palantir
Palantir is valued at $78 million.  It offers data analysis software to companies so they can manage their own raw data analysis.

5. Cloudera
Cloudera is valued at $61 million.  It offers services, software and training specifically related to the Apahce Hadoop-based programs.

The software and services provided by these companies impact nearly all major businesses, industries and products. They impact what business offer, where they offer them and how they advertise them to consumers. Every advertisement, new store opening or creation of a new product is at least somewhat related to big data analysis. It is the directional force of modern business.

Sources:
http://www.sas.com/en_us/insights/big-data/what-is-big-data.html

http://www.forbes.com/sites/gilpress/2013/02/22/top-ten-big-data-pure-plays/

http://www.whatsabyte.com/

 

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Disruptive technologies such as hand-held devices, cloud computing and social media are rattling the foundations upon which traditional businesses are built. Enterprise customers have grown smarter at ensuring the latest technological trends work in their favor. Everyone is trying to zero in on their core competencies by employing commodity services to run their business.

Likewise, enterprise application vendors need to zero in on their core competencies and enhance more value to the businesses of their clientele by leveraging standards-based commodity services, such as IaaS and PaaS, provided by leaders in those segments (e.g. Amazon EC2, Google Cloud Platform etc.).

What else enterprises need to do is learn to adopt new and emerging technologies such as cloud, utility and social computing to build on them to penetrate new market avenues.

New small and medium-sized entrants into the market are constantly challenging enterprises given their ability to rapidly turnaround and address the requirements of the customers in a cost-effective manner. Additionally, these new advancements also affect how enterprises create, deploy, and manage solutions and applications. If you take the example of Force.com, for instance, you find that it’s a common war zone for enterprise application vendors to furnish SME markets with their applications, with the new entrants mostly having an edge.

Smart Project Management –Best Practices of Good Managers

Project management could be one of the easiest jobs on the planet, and could also be the worst nightmare. The difference between the two extremes depends on smart management of a project. According to the project management institute, there are five phases in project management - Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring & Controlling, and Closing.

Every manager has his own style of project management. But there are a lot of contributing factors that result in a successfully managed project. These factors vary from project to project, but they all contain some common elements.

1. Setting SMART Goals

Programmers often tend to be sedentary people. Sitting in a chair and pressing keys, testing code, and planning out one logical step-wise strategy after another to get the computer to process data the way you want it to is just what life as a programmer is all about. But, is being too sedentary hindering a programmers max potential? In other words, will getting up, moving around, and getting the blood pumping make us better programmers? To answer this question more efficiently, we will need to consider the impact of exercise on various aspects of programming.

Alertness And Focus

It is no surprise that working up a sweat makes the mind wake up and become more alert. As the blood starts pumping, the body physically reacts in ways that helps the mind to better focus. And improving our focus might make us better programmers in the sense that we are more able to wrap our mind around a problem and deal with it more efficiently than if we feel sluggish and not so alert. However, improving one's focus with exercise can be augmented by taking such vitamins as B6, Coleen, and eating more saturated fats rather than so many sugars. Exercise alone may be a good start, but it is important to realize that the impact of exercise on overall focus can be enhanced when combined with other dietary practices. However, it never hurts to begin a day of programming with fifteen minutes of rigorous workout to give the mind a little extra push.

Increase In Intellect

Does exercise cause a programmer to become a smarter programmer? This is perhaps a trickier question. In some sense, it might seem as if exercise makes us more intelligent. But, this may be more because our focus is sharper than because of any increase in actual knowledge. For example, if you don't know how to program in Python, it is highly doubtful that exercising harder will all of a sudden transfer such insights directly to your brain. However, exercise might have another indirect impact on a programmer’s intellect that will help them to become a better programmer. The more a person exercises, the more stamina and energy they will tend to have, as compared to programmers who never exercise all that much. That additional energy and stamina might help a programmer to be able to push themselves to learn things more efficiently, simply because they aren't getting tired as much as they study new languages or coding techniques. If you have more energy and stamina throughout the day, you will likely be more productive as a programmer as well. Greater productivity can often make one program better simply because they actually push themselves to finish projects. Other programmers who do not exercise on a regular basis may simply lack the energy, stamina, and motivation to follow through and bring their programming projects to completion.

Memory

The ability to remember things and recall them quickly is key to being an efficient programmer. Getting up and getting real exercise may be central to making sure that one does not lose control of these cognitive abilities. According to the New York Times, article, Getting a Brain Boost Through Exercise, recent research studies on mice and humans have shown that, in both cases, exercise does in fact appear to promote better memory function as well as other cognitive factors like spacial sense. (1) Consequently, if a person intends to be a programmer for a long time and wants their mind to be able to remember things and recall them more easily, then exercise may need to become an essential part of such a programmer's daily routine.

As much as one might want to resist the need for exercise and be sedentary programmers, the simple fact is that exercise very well could improve our ability to program in numerous ways. More importantly, exercise is critical to improving and maintaining good health overall. Even if a person does not have much time to get up and move around during the day, there are exercises that one can do while sitting, which would be better to do than no exercise at all.

 

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Tech Life in Massachusetts

It?s no wonder that Massachusetts is a hub of major activity in information technology with a collection of 121 institutions for higher education. In 2007 Mass. impressively scored the highest of all the states in math on the National Assessments of Educational Progress. Some fun facts about Massachusest: - The first U.S.Postal zip code in Massachusetts is 01001 at Agawam. - The Boston University Bridge on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston is the only place in the world where a boat can sail under a train driving under a car driving under an airplane.
Simplicity before generality, use before reuse. Kevlin Henney
other Learning Options
Software developers near Boston have ample opportunities to meet like minded techie individuals, collaborate and expend their career choices by participating in Meet-Up Groups. The following is a list of Technology Groups in the area.
Fortune 500 and 1000 companies in Massachusetts that offer opportunities for Cisco developers
Company Name City Industry Secondary Industry
Cabot Corporation Boston Telecommunications Telephone Service Providers and Carriers
LPL Financial Boston Financial Services Personal Financial Planning and Private Banking
NSTAR Gas and Electric Company Westwood Energy and Utilities Gas and Electric Utilities
Cabot Corporation Boston Manufacturing Plastics and Rubber Manufacturing
BJ's Wholesale Club, Inc. Westborough Retail Department Stores
American Tower Corporation Boston Telecommunications Telecommunications Equipment and Accessories
Hologic, Inc. Bedford Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Medical Devices
Global Partners LP Waltham Retail Gasoline Stations
Northeast Utilities Boston Energy and Utilities Gas and Electric Utilities
Liberty Mutual Holding Company Boston Financial Services Insurance and Risk Management
Staples Inc. Framingham Computers and Electronics Office Machinery and Equipment
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. Waltham Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Medical Devices
Hanover Insurance Group, Inc. Worcester Financial Services Insurance and Risk Management
The TJX Companies, Inc. Framingham Retail Department Stores
Iron Mountain, Inc. Boston Software and Internet Data Analytics, Management and Storage
Massachusetts Mutual Financial Group Springfield Financial Services Insurance and Risk Management
Beacon Roofing Supply, Inc. Peabody Manufacturing Concrete, Glass, and Building Materials
Raytheon Company Waltham Software and Internet Software
Analog Devices, Inc. Norwood Computers and Electronics Consumer Electronics, Parts and Repair
Biogen Idec Inc. Weston Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Biotechnology
Boston Scientific Corporation Natick Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Medical Supplies and Equipment
PerkinElmer, Inc. Waltham Computers and Electronics Instruments and Controls
State Street Corporation Boston Financial Services Trust, Fiduciary, and Custody Activities
EMC Corporation Hopkinton Computers and Electronics Networking Equipment and Systems

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the hartmann software group advantage
A successful career as a software developer or other IT professional requires a solid understanding of software development processes, design patterns, enterprise application architectures, web services, security, networking and much more. The progression from novice to expert can be a daunting endeavor; this is especially true when traversing the learning curve without expert guidance. A common experience is that too much time and money is wasted on a career plan or application due to misinformation.

The Hartmann Software Group understands these issues and addresses them and others during any training engagement. Although no IT educational institution can guarantee career or application development success, HSG can get you closer to your goals at a far faster rate than self paced learning and, arguably, than the competition. Here are the reasons why we are so successful at teaching:

  • Learn from the experts.
    1. We have provided software development and other IT related training to many major corporations in Massachusetts since 2002.
    2. Our educators have years of consulting and training experience; moreover, we require each trainer to have cross-discipline expertise i.e. be Java and .NET experts so that you get a broad understanding of how industry wide experts work and think.
  • Discover tips and tricks about Cisco programming
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  • Save on travel expenses by learning right from your desk or home office. Enroll in an online instructor led class. Nearly all of our classes are offered in this way.
  • Prepare to hit the ground running for a new job or a new position
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  • We teach with sophisticated learning tools and provide excellent supporting course material
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Interesting Reads Take a class with us and receive a book of your choosing for 50% off MSRP.