Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Wider Canvas Blog

Check out my new blog at widercanvas.com

I'll be posting there for the foreseeable future...


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Cloud just got even more powerful

Amazon just announced an extension of their VPC (Virtual Private Cloud) service to include virtual networking and Internet access capabilities. So what, you might ask? One of the criticisms previously of cloud computing for some companies was the inability to segregate your servers, data and applications from all of the other shared services on the cloud providers infrastructure.

This new capability from Amazon now allows this segregation. Set up a whole private network on the Amazon Cloud with public facing and private servers, powerful network configuration around IP address ranges and subnets and routing, and even protected access to data on Amazon S3.

It begs the question: "Why would you NOT consider moving services into the Cloud?"

See Amazon announcement.


Monday, August 23, 2010

The incredible power of slow change

Read this if you have any interest in how change happens. Puts things in perspective and makes you think about what really causes major changes.

Article from Seth Godin here.


...Cultural shifts create long terms evolutionary changes. Cultural shifts, changes in habits, technologies that slowly obsolete a product or a system are the ones that change our lives. Watch for shifts in systems and processes and expectations. That's what makes change, not big events.

Don't worry about what happened yesterday (or five minutes ago). Focus on what happened ten years ago and think about what you can do that will make a huge impact in six months. The breaking news mindset isn't just annoying, it may be distracting you from what really matters. As the world gets faster, it turns out that the glacial changes of years and decades are become more important, not less.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Structured Analytic Techniques


I'm reading a great book by Richards Heuer and Randolph Pherson on Structured Analytic Techniques for Intelligence Analysis.

From the Amazon product description:

This book takes the relatively new concept of structured analytic techniques, defines its place in a taxonomy of analytic methods, and moves it a giant leap forward. It describes 50 techniques that are divided into eight categories. There are techniques for:

  • Decomposition and Visualization
  • Idea Generation
  • Scenarios and Indicators
  • Hypothesis Generation and Testing
  • Cause and Effect
  • Challenge Analysis
  • Conflict Management
  • Decision Support

Each structured technique involves a step-by-step process that externalizes an individual analyst's thinking in a manner that makes it readily apparent to others, thereby enabling it to be shared, built on, and easily critiqued by others. This structured and transparent process combined with the intuitive input of subject matter experts is expected to reduce the risk of analytic error.

Although this book is mostly targeted at Intelligence professionals, it provides some fantastic techniques which can be utilised by analysts in all fields. Well worth a read.


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Big Data - new strategic asset


I saw this post a while back in the NY Times. Dealing with Big Data effectively is becomming a huge challenge for many organisations. It's also becomming a huge growth industry for both technology and services.

Comment by Usama Fayyad [emphasis is mine]: "In the past, Mr. Fayyad noted, data was regarded as a byproduct of doing business, often a backward-looking record of little value. But today’s vast oceans of data, combined with tools for instant analysis and prediction, Mr. Fayyad said, are a “new strategic asset” that can be used to build “new revenue streams and new businesses.


Sunday, August 1, 2010



In case you missed it before, check out OpenStack.org for an interesting Cloud Computing initiative.


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Analytics Institute


I haven't posted in a while now but the reason was the time required with the creation of an exciting new organisation I have the pleasure to be involved with. It's called The Analytics Institute (AI) [www.analyticsinstitute.org]. We've been working on it for a while now and this week we officially launched. See some coverage here on SiliconRepublic.com.

So what's it all about? At AI, our focus is to improve the world we live in using Advanced Analytics in resolving real world, critical problems.

A non-profit, AI collaborates with industry sponsors, public sector bodies, professionals and academics to transform the way organisations derive value from Analytics. By uniting these interest groups, the Analytics Institute collaborative network aims to optimise the business value of Analytics and Analytics Practices to enable better decision-making – so whether you want to know the best place to put a hospital, how to reduce risk, or how to help the planet - Advanced Analytics can help you do just that.

Established in 2009, the Analytics Institute has several key objectives
  • Use Predictive Analytics to solve real world problems
  • Secure AI as a global Centre of Excellence in Advanced Analytics
  • Promote Analytics and prove its value to modern business and public sector organisations in improving efficiency and effectiveness
  • Develop professional recognition programmes
  • Optimise innovation and collaboration in education to improve Analytics
Check out our website to see more about what we're up to. www.analyticsinstitute.org