Splunk and the CIS Critical Security Controls

CIS | November 21, 2019

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The CIS Critical Security Controls (CSC) are a proven, prioritized list of 20 controls that can be used to minimize security risks to enterprise systems and the critical data they maintain. Splunk software has a unique approach that allows you to easily ingest data related to all 20 controls and apply the logic you need to searc

Spotlight

RapidOps, Inc

At RapidOps Solutions, we build Digital Products, Experiences and Platforms that provide real world solutions, engage users and scale on-demand. By partnering with purpose-led startups and enterprises, we aim to transform markets with disruptive technology innovations. Our passionate team of designers, developers and creators have fantastic skills and experience in building high performing data analytics tools, API platforms, scalable web solutions and engaging mobile applications using progressive technologies like Grails, MEAN, Cloud and AWS.

OTHER ARTICLES

How big data is empowering better business intelligence

Article | March 24, 2020

Business intelligence (BI) is nothing new to enterprises that have been relying on data processing and analysis to deliver insightful reports that reflect business performance.These tools are a great match for enterprises that value the data their operations generate. BI software and programs work together to turn data into actionable insights that can drive better business decisions and market strategies and, ultimately, drive revenue as a result.Combined with the masses of external data amassing every second whether that’s customers’ feedback and experience, competitor intelligence, seasonal buying habits, or otherwise businesses can have a huge amount of data at their disposal.While BI systems draw specific data from pre-defined sources to turn them into insights, big data technologies capture data from a variety of sources in real-time, regardless of their formats or structure.

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The importance of Big Data in the Food Industry Strategies and best practices

Article | March 5, 2020

Do you know the real importance of Big Data in the Food Industry? Knowing your audience is important, even fundamental for any kind of business. In this article we will analyze the best practices and the best data-driven strategies (marketing, but not only) for the food industry. Food and Beverage is a large and complex sector that embraces a number of very different players, some of whom are interconnected. The ecosystem includes both small producers and large multinational brands, players who cater to everyone and those who target a specific niche; then there are the distributors, clubs, restaurants both small and large, and retail chains.

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5 Predictive Data Analytics Applications

Article | May 31, 2021

According to Google trends, predictive data analytics has gained a significant amount of popularity over the last few years. Many businesses have implemented predictive analytics applications to increase their business reach, gain new customers, forecast sales, and more. Predictive Analytics is a type of data analytics technology that makes predictions with the help of data sets, statistical modeling, and machine learning. Predictive analytics uses historical data. This historical data is fed into a mathematical model that recognizes patterns and trends that are then applied to current data to forecast trends, practices, and behaviors from milliseconds to days and even years. Based on the parameters supplied to them, organizations find patterns within that data to detect risks, opportunities, forecast conditions, and events that would occur at a particular time. At its heart, the use of predictive analytics answers a simple question, “What would happen based on my current data and what can be done to change the outcome.” In the current times, businesses have multiple products offerings at their disposal to choose from vendors of big data predictive analytics in different industries. They can help these businesses leverage historical data discovering complex data correlation, recognizing patterns, and forecasting. Organizations are turning to predictive analytics to increase their bottom line and gain advantages against their competition. Some of those reasons are listed below: • With the growing amount and types of data, there is more interest in utilizing it to produce valuable insights • Better computers • An abundance of easy to use software • Need of competitive differentiation due to tougher economic conditions As more and more easy-to-use software have been introduced, businesses no longer need statisticians and mathematicians for predictive analytics and forecasting. Benefits of Predictive Analytics Competitive edge over other businesses The most common reason why multiple companies picked up predictive analytics was to gain an advantage over their competitors. Customer trends and buying patterns keep changing from time to time. The ones who can identify it first will go ahead in the game. Embracing predictive analytics is how you will stay ahead of your competition. Predictive analytics will aid in qualified lead generation and give you an insight into the present and potential customers. Business growth Businesses opt for predictive analytics to predict customer behavior, preferences, and responses. Using this information, they attract their target audience and entice them into becoming loyal customers. Predictive analytics gives valuable information about your customers such as which of them are likely to lapse, how to retain them, whether you should market directly at them, etc. The more you know about them, the stronger your marketing will become. Your business will become the leader in predicting your customer’s exact needs. Customer satisfaction Retaining existing customers is almost five times more difficult than acquiring new ones. The most successful company is the one that invests money in retaining those customers as much as acquiring new ones. Predictive analytics helps in directing marketing strategies towards your existing customers and get them to return frequently. The analytics tool will make sure your marketing strategy caters to the diverse requirements of your customers. Personalized services Earlier marketing strategies revolved around the ‘one size fits all’ approach, but gone are those days. If you want to retain and acquire new customers, you have to create personalized marketing campaigns to attract customers. Predictive analytics and data management help you to get new information about customer expectations, previous purchases, buying behaviors, and patterns. Using this data, you can create these personalized marketing strategies that will help keep up the engagement and acquire new customers.   Application of Predictive Analytics Customer targeting Customer targeting divides the customer base into different demographic groups according to age, gender, interests, buying, and spending habits. It helps companies to create tailored marketing communications specifically to the customers who are likely to buy their products. Traditional techniques do not even come close to identifying potential customers as well as predictive analytics does. The major constituents that create these customer groups are: • Socio-demographic factors: age, gender, education, and marital status • Engagement factors: recent interaction, frequency, spending habits, etc. • Past campaign response: contact response, type, day, month, etc. The customer-specific targeting for the company is highly advantageous. They can: • Better communicate with the customers • Save money on marketing • Increase profits Customer churn prevention Customer churn prevention creates major hurdles in a company’s growth. Although it has been proven that retaining customers is cheaper than gaining new ones, it can become a problem. Detecting a client’s dissatisfaction is not an easy task as they can abruptly stop using your services without any warning. Here, churn prevention comes into the picture. Churn prevention aims to predict who will end their relationship with the company, when, and why. The existing data sets can help develop predictive models so companies can be proactive to prevent the fallout. Factors that can influence the churn are as follows: • Customer variables • Service use • Engagement • Technicalities • Competitor variables Using these variables, companies can then take necessary steps to avoid the churn by offering customers personalized services or products. Risk management Risk assessment and management processes in many companies are antiquated. Even though customer information is abundantly available for evaluation, it is still antiquated. With advanced analytics, this data can be quickly and accurately analyzed while maintaining customer privacy and boundaries. Risk assessment thus allows companies to analyze problems with any business. Predictive analytics can approximate with certainty which operations are profitable and which are not. Risk assessment analyzes the following data types: • Socio-demographic factors • Product details • Customer behavior • Risk metrics Forecast sales Evaluating the previous history, seasonality, and market-affecting events make revenue predicting vital for a company’s planning and result in a company’s demand for a product or a service. This can be applied to short-term, medium-term, and long-term forecasting. Predictive models help in anticipating a customer’s reaction to the factors that affect sales. Following factors can be used in sales forecasting: • Calendar data • Weather data • Company data • Social data • Demand data Sales forecasting allows revenue prediction and optimal resource allocation. Healthcare Healthcare organizations have begun to use predictive analytics as this technology is helping them save money. They are using predictive analytics in several different ways. With the help of this technology, based on past trends they can now allocate facility resources, optimize staff schedules, identify patients at risk, adding intelligence to pharmaceutical and supply acquisition management. Using predictive analytics in the health domain has also helped in preventing cases and risks of developing health complications like diabetes, asthma, and other life-threatening problems. The application of predictive analytics in health care can lead to making better clinical decisions for patients. Predictive analytics is being used across different industries and is good way to advance your company’s growth and forecast future events to act accordingly. It has gained support from many different organizations at a global scale and will continue to grow rapidly. Frequently Asked Questions What is predictive analytics? Predictive analytics uses historical data to predict future events. The historical data is used to build mathematical model that captures essential trends. That predictive model is based on current data that predicts what will happen next or suggest steps to take for optimal outcomes. How to do predictive analytics? • Define business objectives • Collect relevant data available from resources • Improve on collected data by data cleaning methods • Choose a model or build your own to test data • Evaluate and validate the predictive model to ensure How does predictive analytics work for business? Predictive analytics helps businesses attract, retain, and grow their profitable customers. It also helps them in improving their operations. What tools are used for predictive analytics? Some tools used for predictive analytics are: • SAS Advanced Analytics • Oracle DataScience • IBM SPSS Statistics • SAP Predictive Analytics • Q Research { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is predictive analytics?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Predictive analytics uses historical data to predict future events. The historical data is used to build a mathematical model that captures essential trends. That predictive model is based on current data that predicts what will happen next or suggest steps to take for optimal outcomes." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How to do predictive analytics?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Define business objectives Collect relevant data available from resources Improve on collected data by data cleaning methods Choose a model or build your own to test data Evaluate and validate the predictive model to ensure " } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How does predictive analytics work for business?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Predictive analytics helps businesses attract, retain, and grow their profitable customers. It also helps them in improving their operations." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What tools are used for predictive analytics?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Some tools used for predictive analytics are: SAS Advanced Analytics Oracle DataScience IBM SPSS Statistics SAP Predictive Analytics Q Research" } }] }

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Will We Be Able to Use AI to Prevent Further Pandemics?

Article | March 9, 2021

For many, 2021 has brought hope that they can cautiously start to prepare for a world after Covid. That includes living with the possibility of future pandemics, and starting to reflect on what has been learned from such a brutal shared experience. One of the areas that has come into its own during Covid has been artificial intelligence (AI), a technology that helped bring the pandemic under control, and allow life to continue through lockdowns and other disruptions. Plenty has been written about how AI has supported many aspects of life at work and home during Covid, from videoconferencing to online food ordering. But the role of AI in preventing Covid causing even more havoc is not necessarily as widely known. Perhaps even more importantly, little has been said about the role AI is likely to play in preparing for, responding to and even preventing future pandemics. From what we saw in 2020, AI will help prevent global outbreaks of new diseases in three ways: prediction, diagnosis and treatment. Prediction Predicting pandemics is all about tracking data that could be possible early signs that a new disease is spreading in a disturbing way. The kind of data we’re talking about includes public health information about symptoms presenting to hospitals and doctors around the world. There is already plenty of this captured in healthcare systems globally, and is consolidated into datasets such as the Johns Hopkins reports that many of us are familiar with from news briefings. Firms like Bluedot and Metabiota are part of a growing number of organisations which use AI to track both publicly available and private data and make relevant predictions about public health threats. Both of these received attention in 2020 by reporting the appearance of Covid before it had been officially acknowledged. Boston Children’s Hospital is an example of a healthcare institution doing something similar with their Healthmap resource. In addition to conventional healthcare data, AI is uniquely able to make use of informal data sources such as social media, news aggregators and discussion forums. This is because of AI techniques such as natural language processing and sentiment analysis. Firms such as Stratifyd use AI to do this in other business settings such as marketing, but also talk publicly about the use of their platform to predict and prevent pandemics. This is an example of so-called augmented intelligence, where AI is used to guide people to noteworthy data patterns, but stops short of deciding what it means, leaving that to human judgement. Another important part of preventing a pandemic is keeping track of the transmission of disease through populations and geographies. A significant issue in 2020 was difficulty tracing people who had come into contact with infection. There was some success using mobile phones for this, and AI was critical in generating useful knowledge from mobile phone data. The emphasis of Covid tracing apps in 2020 was keeping track of how the disease had already spread, but future developments are likely to be about predicting future spread patterns from such data. Prediction is a strength of AI, and the principles used to great effect in weather forecasting are similar to those used to model likely pandemic spread. Diagnosis To prevent future pandemics, it won’t be enough to predict when a disease is spreading rapidly. To make the most of this knowledge, it’s necessary to diagnose and treat cases. One of the greatest early challenges with Covid was the lack of speedy, reliable tests. For future pandemics, AI is likely to be used to create such tests more quickly than was the case in 2020. Creating a useful test involves modelling a disease’s response to different testing reagents, finding right balance between speed, convenience and accuracy. AI modelling simulates in a computer how individual cells respond to different stimuli, and could be used to perform virtual testing of many different types of test to accelerate how quickly the most promising ones reach laboratory and field trials. In 2020 there were also several novel uses of AI to diagnose Covid, but there were few national and global mechanisms to deploy these at scale. One example was the use of AI imaging, diagnosing Covid by analysing chest x-rays for features specific to Covid. This would have been especially valuable in places that didn’t have access to lab testing equipment. Another example was using AI to analyse the sound of coughs to identify unique characteristics of a Covid cough. AI research to systematically investigate innovative diagnosis techniques such as these should result in better planning for alternatives to laboratory testing. Faster and wider rollout of this kind of diagnosis would help control spread of a future disease during the critical period waiting for other tests to be developed or shared. This would be another contribution of AI to preventing a localised outbreak becoming a pandemic. Treatment Historically, vaccination has proven to be an effective tool for dealing with pandemics, and was the long term solution to Covid for most countries. AI was used to accelerate development of Covid vaccines, helping cut the development time from years or decades to months. In principle, the use of AI was similar to that described above for developing diagnostic tests. Different drug development teams used AI in different ways, but they all relied on mathematical modelling of how the Covid virus would respond to many forms of treatment at a microscopic level. Much of the vaccine research and modelling focused on the “spike” proteins that allow Covid to attack human cells and enter the body. These are also found in other viruses, and were already the subject of research before the 2020 pandemic. That research allowed scientists to quickly develop AI models to represent the spikes, and simulate the effects of different possible treatments. This was crucial in trialling thousands of possible treatments in computer models, pinpointing the most likely successes for further investigation. This kind of mathematical simulation using AI continued during drug development, and moved substantial amounts of work from the laboratory to the computer. This modelling also allowed the impact of Covid mutations on vaccines to be assessed quickly. It is why scientists were reasonably confident of developing variants of vaccines for new Covid mutations in days and weeks rather than months. As a result of the global effort to develop Covid vaccines, the body of data and knowledge about virus behaviour has grown substantially. This means it should be possible to understand new pathogens even more rapidly than Covid, potentially in hours or days rather than weeks. AI has also helped create new ways of approaching vaccine development, for example the use of pre-prepared generic vaccines designed to treat viruses from the same family as Covid. Modifying one of these to the specific features of a new virus is much faster than starting from scratch, and AI may even have already simulated exactly such a variation. AI has been involved in many parts of the fight against Covid, and we now have a much better idea than in 2020 of how to predict, diagnose and treat pandemics, especially similar viruses to Covid. So we can be cautiously optimistic that vaccine development for any future Covid-like viruses will be possible before it becomes a pandemic. Perhaps a trickier question is how well we will be able to respond if the next pandemic is from a virus that is nothing like Covid. Was Rahman is an expert in the ethics of artificial intelligence, the CEO of AI Prescience and the author of AI and Machine Learning. See more at www.wasrahman.com

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Spotlight

RapidOps, Inc

At RapidOps Solutions, we build Digital Products, Experiences and Platforms that provide real world solutions, engage users and scale on-demand. By partnering with purpose-led startups and enterprises, we aim to transform markets with disruptive technology innovations. Our passionate team of designers, developers and creators have fantastic skills and experience in building high performing data analytics tools, API platforms, scalable web solutions and engaging mobile applications using progressive technologies like Grails, MEAN, Cloud and AWS.

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