Worthy Reads: 5 Must-Read Data Articles

by Steve Pao – May 26, 2017

Summer reads. Two words that pair nicely this time of year, like beach and chair or Caribbean and vacation. A Google search for “summer reads” results in 15.9 million hits.

You’ll find summer book recommendations in numerous magazines and online resources. But most focus on books and ignore all the compelling shorter form content out there. And many limit the recommendations to escapist fiction or general business reads, not data news.  

Whether you’re relaxing on the beach or working in the office, you can always benefit from knowing the latest industry news. I’ve compiled a list of five interesting data-focused articles I’ve read recently. Hope you enjoy them!

 

Interesting Read #1 - Data demands of deep learning

How much data is enough for organizations doing remarkable things with deep learning? Often, the answer is that there is no limit. In the SearchBusinessAnalytics article “Deep learning algorithms demand nearly limitless supplies of data,” writer Ed Burns explores the connection between data volume and deep learning.

AdobeStock_67410711.jpegOne reason this is a compelling article is Ed’s examples from the world of sports. He talks with Patrick Lucey, director of data science at sports consulting company STATS LLC in Chicago, who says there’s almost no limit on the amount of data that can benefit his team’s research.

One of the research projects that Patrick and his team are working on involved video of NBA games going back to 2010. His team developed a model that uses the game data to analyze players’ body positions. That analysis can determine what an open shot looks like. Great stuff!

 

Interesting Read #2 - DNA data storage

Big news out of Microsoft related to data storage. According to “Microsoft will launch DNA data storage by 2020” in The Stack, the technology giant is about three years away from a working DNA data storage system inside a datacenter.

That plan originated with an academic paper published by the University of Washington and Microsoft in the spring that detailed a successful experiment that involved storing data on DNA. Microsoft then purchased 10 million strands of synthetic DNA from Twist Bioscience.

Numbers are powerful and this article referenced a study that found that data storage requirements are expected to grow 40 percent year over year to 50 times the current necessary storage space over the next decade.

Data storage challenges inspire Igneous System’s innovation, and it’s exciting to see corporations like Microsoft tackling data growth in innovative ways. I look forward to reading more about DNA data storage in the years to come.

 

Interesting Read #3 - Datacenter protection tips

The recent WannaCry ransomware attack reminded everyone of the importance of data security. Igneous Systems’ own Andy Pernsteiner explored this topic on the Igneous Blog in “Protect Your Data from Ransomware Attacks.”

In February, The Register offered tips that are now even more pertinent. In “Wanna protect your data center? Take tips from the US Secret Service,” Iain Thomson recalls a presentation from the Enigma 2017 security conference. Nathaniel Gleicher, a former director for cybersecurity policy at the National Security Council, told the audience that he believes the same principles for protecting the president can be applied to protecting an enterprise’s datacenter servers.

“The average time that an attacker spends in a server center before being discovered is 146 days,” Nathaniel said. “It’s unusual for an attacker to last 46 seconds before being collared by the Secret Service, because they control their environment.”

This article offers an interesting take on a timely and pressing data security concern ransomware attacks.




Interesting Read #4 - World-transforming technologies

Who doesn’t love a top 10 list? Yep, there’s a top 10 list included in this top 5 list. Forbes magazine recently published “10 Incredible New Technologies That Have Changed the World”  and it includes a few notable technologies.

Self-driving vehicles made the list. In a GeekWire Geek of the Week profile, Igneous Systems’ Co-founder and Architect Byron Rakitzis predicted that driverless cars would be the most important technology of 2018. Also on the list? 3-D printers and voice recognition technology.

Several of the technologies that made the list relate to data. They include: Infrastructure as-a-Service (IaaS), big data tools, artificial intelligence and machine learning.

“We've sat on enormous stockpiles of data for the past several years. AI will drive how we consume, learn and execute on this data,” said Peter Shankar of Mission Capital.  

Smart list and it’ll be exciting to see where these technologies take enterprises in the years to come.



Interesting Read #5 - Healthcare execs embrace cloud computing

Always interesting to read about the evolution in acceptance of cloud computing. The healthcare industry has been previously tentative about embracing a cloud model because of security concerns. The SearchHealthIT article “CIOs embrace the value of cloud computing in healthcare” explores what one calls “absolutely the most transformative time.”

A hybrid approach is essentially a toe-in-the-water test for healthcare IT professionals to store some data in the cloud, according to the article. The cloud offers opportunities for improved storage, big data analytics, population health, patient engagement and value-based care.

"The cloud allows us to ... lift the data from those many different sources that we have and actually allow access to that data in a way that's not possible when you think about the legacy systems," said Ed McCallister, senior vice president and CIO at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Transformative, indeed. Improving data storage and enabling better data analysis can help enterprises better serve customers. For healthcare organizations, that could mean vastly improving patient outcomes. When we talk about the power of data, you can’t get much better than that.   


Hope you enjoy these articles on data as much as I did. Happy reading!