Fresh Links Sundae – January 11, 2015 Edition

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image28379626Fresh Links Sundae encapsulates information I have come across during the past week. Often they are from the people whose work I admire or resonate with me. I hope you will find these ideas thought-provoking at the minimum. Even better, I hope these ideas will, over time, help my fellow IT pros make better decisions, be awesome, and kick ass!

Data preparation and curation is the task that often consumes the majority portion of the data mining effort. Ben Lorica outlines some of the data preparation lessons discussed in the recent Strata + Hadoop World at New York. Lessons from next-generation data wrangling tools (O’Reilly Radar)

Many organizations have high awareness of the need to build analytics capability but understand very little on the how-to. Lana Klein discusses five approaches for getting through the analytics maze. Analytics: Five Rules to Cut Through the Hype (KDnuggets)

While IT may be a prominent service provider within an organization, there are other functions that also provide services to the enterprise. Darroll Buytenhuys talks about how organizations can leverage IT’s service management experience to benefit other shared services teams. Enterprise Service Management – Enabling Value Delivery Outside IT (The ITSM Review)

According to Dennis Drogseth, ITSM will become a critical, enabling element as the role of IT transforming to become a more front-office and customer focus. He discusses the trends he saw in 2014 that will grow in importance in 2015. The Changing Game of IT Service Management (EMA Blogs)

While data mining receives a great deal of attention today, many businesses still operate with rudimentary decision capability that is very apparent through their interactions with the customers. Michael Maoz suggests that, until IT and lines of business are working together, data mining’s impact will continue to be limited. Why data mining resembles handing a child a scalpel (Gartner Blogs)

Some people believe that, because project requirements are often too fluid, formal project planning may not be as critical as actually doing project work. Glen Alleman reminds us what capabilities-based planning is and what it is intended to do. Capabilities Based Planning (Herding Cats)

Many organizations set goals for process improvement at the beginning of the year. However, many of those resolutions fail to follow through as the months go by. Ryan Ogilvie makes suggestions on how to stay motivated and achieve the results you were hoping for. Goal Setting and New Year’s Resolutions – 6 of one Half Dozen of the other (Service Management Journey)

Today’s organizations face attack in the cyberspace by highly organized groups with deep pockets and high levels of know-how. Eddie Schwartz outlines four steps where organizations must take immediately to defend their information assets in today’s landscape. Lessons from the Sony breach: Four things that need to happen now (ISACA Now)

Fresh Links Sundae – December 7, 2014 Edition

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image28379626Fresh Links Sundae encapsulates information I have come across during the past week. Often they are from the people whose work I admire or resonate with me. I hope you will find these ideas thought-provoking at the minimum. Even better, I hope these ideas will, over time, help my fellow IT pros make better decisions, be awesome, and kick ass!

Having a functional architecture is a key to deriving IT values for any organization, and architecture calls for sound design principles. Bob Lewis recommends at least five areas to consider when putting together the design principles for your architecture. Ben Franklin, turkeys, and design principles (IS Survivor Publishing)

As we jump from one data analytics problem to another, we often need to get up to speed on a new dataset quickly. A classical and under-utilized approach for becoming familiar with the new data problem is Exploratory Data Analysis (EDA). Jason Brownlee explains the EDA techniques and tactics that you can use. Understand Your Problem and Get Better Results Using Exploratory Data Analysis (Machine Learning Mastery)

Verified inventory is one of the several key elements of IT assets management success. Martin Thompson shares techniques he has used in the past to verify hardware inventory. Verifying Asset Accuracy (The ITAM Review)

As business analysts, there will always be value in getting more done well and in less time. Laura Brandenburg talks about some of the most common time wasters she sees in business analysis. 5 Business Analyst Time-Wasters (Bridging the Gap)

For many organizations, an ITSM initiative often represents a major change, and Organizational Change Management (OCM) is the centerpiece to success. Mike DePolis discusses some of the most important aspects and actions to consider for an OCM effort in your organization. Project success with Organizational Change Management (OCR) (The ITSM Review)

Many organizations still perceive data quality projects to be a technical endeavor, but data quality requires an on-going, consistent change management effort. Such changes can often result in fear and resistance. Dylan Jones discusses ways to combat the fear and resistance to changes. Data quality mastery depends on change management essentials (The Data Roundtable)

Data or information Management within an organization can be at risk when data are in bad shape. Strong governance practices and stewardship can minimize risks and improve productivity. Pearl Zhu outlines the signals we should pay attention to when handling data governance within your organization. How to Capture the Signals of Data Governance Issues (Future of CIO)

Marshall Goldsmith believes how you define yourself will impact how successful you are at your job and even how happy you will be in life. He outlines four sources from which we can define our identity and encourages us to think about the considerations that go into how we define ourselves. Why You Should Get a Handle on Your Identity (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

Fresh Links Sundae – November 23, 2014 Edition

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image17149277Fresh Links Sundae encapsulates information I have come across during the past week. Often they are from the people whose work I admire or resonate with me. I hope you will find these ideas thought-provoking at the minimum. Even better, I hope these ideas will, over time, help my fellow IT pros make better decisions, be awesome, and kick ass!

A baseline is necessary to gauge and to validate the results produced by machine learning algorithms. Jason Brownlee describes why we create a baseline prediction result and how to create a baseline in general and for specific problem types. How To Get Baseline Results And Why They Matter (Machine Learning Mastery)

From KDNuggets, Burtch Works details the top 9 data science skills that potential data scientists must have to be competitive in this growing marketplace from the perspective of a recruiter. 9 Must-Have Skills You Need to Become a Data Scientist (KDNuggets)

Accurate asset tracking and management can be an enormous task for any IT organization. In a four-part series, Marcel Shaw describes a three-tiered approach to assets management. IT Asset Management, a three-tiered approach  IT Asset Management, a Three-Tiered Approach (Part 2 of 4)  IT Asset Management, a Three Tiered Approach (Part 3 of 4)  IT Asset Management, a Three-Tiered Approach (Part 4 of 4) (LANDESK Blog)

Bob Lewis points out many enterprise technical architecture management (ETAM) efforts suffer from the pitfall where it cannot keep up with the changes within the organization. He further suggests that perhaps an agile approach to ETAM will be necessary. Technical architecture’s irreducible core (IS Survivor Publishing)

A well-known problem troubleshooting and root-cause analysis technique has been the Five Why’s. John Allspaw argues that, for maximum learning effectiveness, we also need to ask more questions about the How’s. The infinite hows (O’Reilly Radar)

Every organization needs to assess its information security readiness from time to time and implement improvements or remediation when necessary. Chris Sell walks through the four steps that are critical for every information security gap analysis. How To Conduct An Information Security Gap Analysis (SunGard)

Although analytics projects are often at the top agenda for organizations these days, many of those organizations are still struggling to identify the business problems where analytics could generate measurable ROI. Pearl Zhu suggests the ways organizations can use to improve their analytics ROI. How can Organizations Improve their Analytics ROI (Future of CIO)

For most of us, it is easier to see our behavioral challenges in others than to see them in ourselves. From his own experience, Marshall Goldsmith discusses two important life lessons he had learned about addressing those challenges from within. 2 Life-Changing Lessons No One Ever Taught You (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

Fresh Links Sundae – November 16, 2014 Edition

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image28379626Fresh Links Sundae encapsulates information I have come across during the past week. Often they are from the people whose work I admire or resonate with me. I hope you will find these ideas thought-provoking at the minimum. Even better, I hope these ideas will, over time, help my fellow IT pros make better decisions, be awesome, and kick ass!

Predictive analytics is a well-understood subject area within the data management field. Recently a new subject of prescriptive analytics is getting a great deal of attention and discussion. William Vorhies examines both approaches to analytics and discusses their similarities and differences. Prescriptive versus Predictive Analytics – A Distinction without a Difference? (Data Science Central)

A number of organizations are pondering the question of whether to commercialize the data they have for those who might find the data useful. Jennifer Belissent suggests ways to take your data to market and avoid some common pitfalls. Exploring The Data Economy Opportunity: Some Do’s and Don’ts (Forrester Blogs)

Most of today’s senior executives built their careers in the pre-digital age, and many of them struggle to meet the demand imposed by the changes created by the digital business. Kate Smaje and Chris Wigley discuss a few practical tips that can help senior executives make the transition to digital. Five habits for executives to become more digital (McKinsey & Company)

With the availability of personal technologies, almost everyone has become a technologist in their daily lives. However, implementing technologies for an enterprise still require a CIO to balance operational requirements, security, and compliance with agility, transparency, and modernization. Dion Hinchcliffe discusses a set of strategies that CIOs can leverage in designing the enterprise of the future. A CIO’s guide to the future of work (Enterprise Irregulars)

As more business users get more involved in working with their IT counterpart, they also demand that enterprise data management technology keeps pace with a new view of their data that is accessible and easy to consume. Donald Farmer outlines the ways we can use to avoid three barriers to providing a multifaceted view of enterprise data. Overcoming Data Obstacles for Integrated BI (The Data Warehousing Institute)

The emphasis of security used to focus on detection and protection. These days, response (especially Incident Response IR) increasingly becomes a key element of an overall security strategy. Bruce Schneier describes the OODA loops and why it is a way of thinking about IR in the real-time adversarial situations. The Future of Incident Response (Schneier on Security)

Some would argue for the position that most systems are safe, and people are a hazard. As a result, all human involvement should be minimized in order to minimize human errors. Steven Shorrock believes that people will still be the key to making the system as a whole work, and he suggests some approaches for blending and balancing the humanistic and systems thinking. If it weren’t for the people… (O’Reilly Radar)

Peter Drucker had pointed out that most of us are too pre-occupied with efforts rather than results. We became ineffectual as we worry over what the decision authorities and powers we do not have but should have. Marshall Goldsmith gives guidelines that can help us do a better job of influencing the decision-makers in our lives. What I Learned About Influence from Peter Drucker (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

Fresh Links Sundae – November 2, 2014 Edition

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image14628852Fresh Links Sundae encapsulates information I have come across during the past week. Often they are from the people whose work I admire or resonate with me. I hope you will find these ideas thought-provoking at the minimum. Even better, I hope these ideas will, over time, help my fellow IT pros make better decisions, be awesome, and kick ass!

Thomas Redman believes that managers should rarely take an important analysis at face value. He explains how data can be interpreted to tell one story but still fail to present the whole picture. When It Comes to Data, Skepticism Matters (Harvard Business Review)

Like all technology implementation efforts, cost benefits analysis should be part of a NoSQL implementation. William Vorhie explains what the two categories of benefit in NoSQL are and how to quantify them. Quantifying the Value of a NoSQL Project (Data Science Central)

Most of us think of taking meeting notes as merely a mundane transcription exercise. Bob Lewis would argue that taking and publishing the meeting notes is one of the most important jobs in a meeting. Notes about notes (IS Survivor Publishing)

Glen Alleman would advocate that, in order to make good decisions, we require good estimates. He explains five decision-making processes and how to incorporate sound estimating effort into those processes. Decision Making Without Estimates? (Herding Cats)

Understand the algorithm is a critical element of leveraging machine learning techniques effectively. Jason Brownlee outlines five ways to study and learn about machine learning algorithms. How to Study Machine Learning Algorithms (Machine Learning Mastery)

Many organizations do not have an organized approach to handling major IT incidents, and, as a result, they compromise their abilities to capture valuable lessons. Ryan Ogilvie discusses the four stages of a major incident handling and what challenges we need to overcome. Not Doing Proper Post Incident Reviews Could Haunt You (Service Management Journey)

Many organizations spend a great deal of effort on IT benchmarking but often get back the results that have little impact. Pearl Zhu discusses how to do benchmarking effectively in order to get the most impactful results from the effort. Is IT Benchmarking valuable or a Waste? (Future of CIO)

With the current and future landscape of tools, technologies, and processes, the IT environment has been changing in a fast and dramatic pace. Chris Riley discusses the challenges IT and Operations will face now and into 2015 and how to address those challenges. 6 Challenges Facing DevOps and Operations Teams in 2015 (logentries)