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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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When it comes to running a start up, leaders need to make sure that their key players are motivated. This has been seen with many companies. Back in the 1970's it was found with the inspiration and diligence of the late Daniel Nigro when he formed Kleer-Fax. More recently it was seen in David Khasidy, the founder and recently retired president of SunRay Power Management, the most dynamic green energy leader in the US today.

The question is, what is it that great leaders like David Khasidy and Daniel Nigro do that make the difference? How do the most vulnerable companies (start ups) break the mold and become a part of our everyday lives?

It starts with their mission and vision.

Create a Strong Mission and Vision

There are many reasons why start ups fail. For one, they usually lack the capital to last through the lean times. Secondly, they often don't have the tolerance for setbacks that occur. Lastly, they do not have a long-term plan, also called a mission.

When a business has a strong mission, the team knows it and their focus toward their work and service to others within and without the company reflects that. To complement that, the shorter term vision of the company needs to be present as well.

This can even be seen in sole proprietorships with no employees, such as when Brian Pascale started his law practice. His vision was to find justice for his clients while his mission was to build upon a career that had already set precedents in the area of tort law.

As his practice has grown, new staff members can sense the vision and mission he exudes.

Encourage Ownership of Projects and Processes

Start ups need to inspire and motivate their employees because they need to know that they are not only a part of something important, but that their contributions mean something.

What won't happen if they are not there? What contribution do they make, and what are the consequences of them not fulfilling their part of the work?

By encouraging ownership in projects, team members can find that the work they are doing is not only important for the organization, but that they are going to be a big part of what makes it happen. The alternative is that they feel replaceable.

Offer Incentives That Keep the Company Competitive

When team members embrace the mission and vision of the company, and then take ownership for the company's success, they are going to need to be justly rewarded.

This could include flexible schedules (for those who don't need a stringent one), use of an account at a nearby takeout place, or even the potential for ownership as a result of a vesting program.

The incentive everyone is looking for more immediately, though, is cash. When the company takes in more revenue as a result of the efforts of those on the team, rewarding them can go a long way not only in making them feel appreciated, but in encouraging them to bring in more business.

Members of a start up team are usually very talented, and commonly underpaid. However, if they believe they are going somewhere, it will make a big difference.

 

Related:

Good non-programmer jobs for people with software developer experience

 
 
Python is a powerful tool that can be used for many automation tasks in the workplace. It’s notorious for being one of the most simple and versatile options available in the world of programming languages. For this reason, many people choose to automate an enormous amount of their workflow with Python. We’ve compiled a few ideas for automating the boring stuff using Python. Let’s take a look.
 
Managing Emails
 
Most businesses rely on emails being sent out regularly in order to ensure everything runs smoothly. Doing this by hand can be boring and time-consuming. To alleviate this, there are packages written with and for Python that enable you to automate certain aspects of this process. Adding and removing individuals from mailing lists can be automated as well, especially if your business has a policy to automatically add and remove people from certain mailing lists when certain conditions are met. For example, after a customer of yours doesn’t interact with your company after an extended period of time, it may be prudent to remove them from your mailing list, or you can send them a premade email reminding them of your services. This is just one way that you can save your company time and money using automation with Python.
 
Repetitive File System Operations
 
Even for personal tasks, Python excels at performing repetitive file system operations. For example, it can convert files, rename, move, delete, and sort files as much as you need it to. This can be useful in many ways. If you have a folder of mp3 files that you need to compress, this can be sped up using Python. Additionally, you can create a set of criteria that need to be met in order for a given file to be considered useless, and then delete it. As a side note, be extremely careful when automating any sort of file deletion or altering, because a bug in your program can cause severe damage to your data and even to your computer. Still, these tools are extremely powerful and can be life-saving when used properly. 
 
Start-up Tasks
 
Whether you’re running a server or just using your own personal computer, there are always tasks that need to be done when your computer starts up, or you’re beginning a certain process. For example, you can automate the task of backing up your email inbox. This can ensure your files are being kept safe, and it can be triggered whenever your start up your computer. Additionally, if you need to collect or create any sort of logging data in order to document daily operations, you can use Python to alleviate some of these time-consuming processes. 
 
Web Scraping
 
And finally, we have Web Scraping. This process may be slightly more advanced for a beginner Python user, but it doesn’t take a terribly long time to learn, and it opens up a whole new world of opportunity in terms of data collection and management. Web scraping is extremely important because it not only allows you to automatically search for certain pieces of content on the internet, but it can also alert you to changes and updates to existing websites. If your business relies on certain trends on social media, you can scrape sites while searching for the presence of certain keywords, and if you’re a stock trader or bitcoin guru, you can automate some of your price-checking and set custom alerts for price changes. The field of web scraping is enormous, and there is a practically infinite amount of content written on this particular subject. If you’re interested in learning more, there are vast amounts of free resources on the internet that can help you get started. Web scraping is certainly one of the most important skills to have in almost any line of work.
 
Get Creative!
 
At this point, we’d like to advise you to get more familiar with the libraries and APIs that are available to you. Each individual workflow is different and requires familiarity with different technologies. Because of this, you will know better than anybody else which items are worth automating and which aren’t. Some people try to automate everything, and some people prefer to do certain tasks manually, but sometimes spending a few hours automating a job that takes one minute will end up being a time-saver after only a few months.
 
We’ve gone over quite a few options in this article, but no single human alive is familiar with absolutely everything Python can do. Hopefully, you’re now more familiar with the options available to you, and you should now be better equipped to search for further information that is more relevant to your specific use case. Have fun digging into the many nuances and functionalities that the Python language has to offer!

 
One of the biggest threats facing small businesses right now is cyber security. Hackers have figured out that small business don’t have robust systems; therefore, they are easy for the picking. If you are a small business owner, you know how limited your resources are. As such, every dollar counts. Therefore, you can’t afford to lose customers, deal with lawsuits caused by data breaches or pay IT help staff to try to fix the issue. Below are some of the IT risks faced by your business and potential consequences. Try your best avoid them at all costs. 
 
1. Phishing 
 
This is perhaps one of the easiest ways to detect if a hacker is trying to get into your system. If you happen to receive an email that claims to be from a financial institution and asks you to provide certain data, ignore it. In fact, delete it. This is because once you make the mistake of opening such a mail or clicking the link provided, you provide a gateway for hackers to penetrate your system and steal information. For this reason, it's vital that all employees  are aware of such emails and delete them without clicking on any links.
 
2. Passwords 
 
Another way that hackers can attack a small business is by cracking system passwords. If the hackers manage to crack the password of even a single employee, they can use that person’s account to gain unrestricted access to confidential company records. Therefore, tell your workers that they should never forgo strong password creation procedures. They should take their time to create a password that can’t be easily cracked. 
 
3. Vulnerable Devices 
 
In your small business, you probably use printers, routers, and other electronic hardware to execute office tasks. Most of the time, such pieces of hardware are connected to your firm’s network. If you have not updated the software on these machines, hackers can use them to gain access to your network and steal invaluable information. Therefore, make sure that you install patches in all electronic devices connected to your network. 
 
4. Lack of Data Encryption 
 
In the modern age, you can send information through various electronic devices. Some of those machines can have inbuilt security features to protect the data while others may not have. Data from the vulnerable devices can be easily intercepted by hackers. If the information is your password, your network is no longer safe. To counter such interceptions, always encrypt your data before your send it. 
 
5. Seemingly Misplaced USB Drives 
 
Some hackers will infect a USB drive with malware and then drop it outside your offices. An unknowing worker may pick up the drive and use it on a company computer. Immediately the drive is plugged in, it releases the malware and creates a unique access point for the hacker, allowing them to steal information. To avoid such a scenario, warn your employees against using any USB drives without a proper source. 
 
 
Managing a small business means that you’re a lean, mean business machine. Often, it’s just you and a few trusted staff members. This is the reason, business owners need to have solid knowledge of where and how most important data is held. Whether it’s on site, in traditional desktops and servers, or in cloud services or mobile devices including those "BYOD" devices of your employees, in order to avoid risks, always pay attention to your enviroment. It's important to make sure that you regularly update your system, train your employees, update software and fix bugs. Often, many IT issues are caused by the smallest, almost unapparent mistakes that will affect how a program runs or a web page looks. You might not see IT as your highest priority, but in the right hands, it can become your most powerful tool for growth. 

Tech Life in Florida

Software developers in Florida, have reasonably great opportunities for development positions in Fortune 1000 companies scattered throughout the state. In town and in reach, Floridians have access to corporate headquarters for Citrix Systems, Tech Data Corporation, the SFN Group, and the Harris Corporation just to name a few.
Learning without thought is labor lost; and thought without learning is perilous. Confucius
other Learning Options
Software developers near North Port 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 Florida that offer opportunities for Cisco developers
Company Name City Industry Secondary Industry
Lender Processing Services, Inc. (LPS) Jacksonville Software and Internet Data Analytics, Management and Storage
World Fuel Services Corporation Miami Energy and Utilities Gasoline and Oil Refineries
SEACOR Holdings Inc. Fort Lauderdale Transportation and Storage Marine and Inland Shipping
MasTec, Inc. Miami Business Services Security Services
Health Management Associates, Inc. Naples Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Hospitals
B/E Aerospace, Inc. Wellington Manufacturing Aerospace and Defense
Roper Industries, Inc. Sarasota Manufacturing Manufacturing Other
AutoNation Fort Lauderdale Retail Automobile Dealers
Watsco, Inc. Miami Wholesale and Distribution Wholesale and Distribution Other
SFN Group Fort Lauderdale Business Services HR and Recruiting Services
Tupperware Corporation Orlando Manufacturing Plastics and Rubber Manufacturing
AirTran Holdings, Inc. Orlando Travel, Recreation and Leisure Passenger Airlines
WellCare Health Plans, Inc. Tampa Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals, and Biotech Other
Lennar Corporation Miami Real Estate and Construction Real Estate Agents and Appraisers
HSN, Inc. Saint Petersburg Retail Retail Other
Certegy Saint Petersburg Business Services Business Services Other
Raymond James Financial, Inc. Saint Petersburg Financial Services Trust, Fiduciary, and Custody Activities
Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. Jacksonville Retail Grocery and Specialty Food Stores
Jabil Circuit, Inc. Saint Petersburg Computers and Electronics Semiconductor and Microchip Manufacturing
CSX Corporation Jacksonville Transportation and Storage Freight Hauling (Rail and Truck)
Fidelity National Financial, Inc. Jacksonville Financial Services Insurance and Risk Management
Tech Data Corporation Clearwater Consumer Services Automotive Repair & Maintenance
TECO Energy, Inc. Tampa Manufacturing Chemicals and Petrochemicals
Lincare Holdings Inc Clearwater Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Medical Supplies and Equipment
Chico's FAS Inc. Fort Myers Retail Clothing and Shoes Stores
Burger King Corporation LLC Miami Retail Restaurants and Bars
Publix Super Markets, Inc. Lakeland Retail Grocery and Specialty Food Stores
Florida Power and Light Company Juno Beach Energy and Utilities Gas and Electric Utilities
Ryder System, Inc. Miami Transportation and Storage Freight Hauling (Rail and Truck)
Citrix Systems, Inc. Fort Lauderdale Software and Internet Software and Internet Other
Harris Corporation Melbourne Telecommunications Wireless and Mobile
Office Depot, Inc. Boca Raton Computers and Electronics Audio, Video and Photography
Landstar System, Inc. Jacksonville Transportation and Storage Freight Hauling (Rail and Truck)
Darden Restaurants, Inc. Orlando Retail Restaurants and Bars
PSS World Medical, Inc. Jacksonville Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech Medical Supplies and Equipment

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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 Florida 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
  • Get your questions answered by easy to follow, organized Cisco experts
  • Get up to speed with vital Cisco programming tools
  • 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
  • See the big picture and have the instructor fill in the gaps
  • We teach with sophisticated learning tools and provide excellent supporting course material
  • Books and course material are provided in advance
  • Get a book of your choice from the HSG Store as a gift from us when you register for a class
  • Gain a lot of practical skills in a short amount of time
  • We teach what we know…software
  • We care…
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