Beyond the Bubble

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The Internet of Things: Are we truly ready to be connected?

connected world

A Connected World

The Internet of Things (IoT) has been building up in varying forms around us. From the connected home to tracking our health via little devices to having a traffic management system where vehicles talk to each other, the world is changing rapidly and connecting in ways never imagined before.

According to a recent Goldman Sachs report (The Internet of Things: Making sense of the next mega-trend ) the enablers for this (which were also obstacles in the past) are the cost of sensors, bandwidth and processing, along with the proliferation of smartphones, and the improvements in technology such as IPv6 and Big Data. All good stuff, but still very technical…

Having all these wonderful technology is great, but how much are we ready to share in order for this to be truly useful? Are we ready to connect with total strangers, or share our data or information with governments and corporate entities in order for better lives and an improved society?

Are you willing to share your car’s GPS & computer data with your garage or dealership so that they can alert you to any issues? Will you also be willing to share the same with authorities so that they can monitor road traffic and congestion as well as use it to plan for better infrastructure, or will you be concerned about being tracked 24×7? read more…

12 key messages from being Off The Grid at TedxMelbourne 2014

TedxMelbourne

TedxMelbourne 2014 Off The Grid

Out of all the incredible speakers who had so much to share at the TedxMelbourne 2014, the following 12 messages resonated with me enough to want to share it with you.

  1. If you have a dream or an idea, PURSUE it!
  2. If you’re not sure about something, EXPERIMENT!
  3. We all have character angels, ACKNOWLEDGE them!
  4. LOVE what you do!
  5. CREATE the conditions where you can be at your most creative!
  6. BE the change you want to see happen!
  7. Think of 10 NICE things to say about a person before you meet them!
  8. People deserve a SECOND CHANCE in life!
  9. Bravery begins with BELIEF!
  10. Life never goes to plan. ENJOY the journey anyway!
  11. Share your stories, it could SAVE a life!
  12. Everyone’s unique, VALUE who you are!

Data doesn’t just give you all the answers

The following HBR article is a good read for those like myself, who enjoy pouring over (or analysing, for a better word) masses of data to uncover issues, trends, improvements, and so on, The beauty of what we do is not just the finding solutions part but also being able to ask questions and propose and test theories – the same as one would do when you take an educated guess. The difference is in this instance, it’s an educated guess based on data.

http://blogs.hbr.org/2014/10/let-data-ask-questions-not-just-answer-them/

Countdown: 180 Days for the Cricket World Cup

ICC Cricket World Cup

ICC Cricket World Cup

We’re just under 6 months away from the start of the Cricket World Cup and I am super excited about it. Not only have I blocked out a significant portion of my calendar during this period to enjoy this wonderful event being played at my doorstep, I also have made plans to be at some of the more interesting matches. I even get to see some of my closest friends after many years as they make their way to Australia for the big event.

For the next 180 day plus the 40-odd days during the World Cup, there is going to be an absolute glut of one-dayers. Unfortunately test matches take a back seat for a while, but given the recent trend of tightly-contested, heart-stopping, nail-biting, and soul-searching inducing test matches it probably isn’t a bad thing.

In terms of predictions, it is very hard to pick a stand-out team that are favourites to win the World Cup at the moment. Australia, playing (mainly) at home are likely to be the team to beat. My prediction for the final 4 teams are:

  • Australia
  • Sri Lanka
  • South Africa
  • New Zealand

Who do you think will make it to the last 4?

A must watch for cricket fans: The Rise of the Afghan Cricket Team

Out of the Ashes: The Rise of the Afghan Cricket TeamI randomly came across a BBC documentary on the rise of the Afghan cricket team, and enjoyed watching every bit of it.

One message that I can relate  to very well is how sport can unite a country and in this case cricket gave (and still continues to give) the people of Afghanistan something to believe in and unite them in their common cause for peace. This is similar to when I was growing up in Sri Lanka with a civil war destroying the country, the only thing that all Sri Lankans had in common was their passion for cricket and wanting to see the Sri Lankan cricket team do well. The world cup win in 1996 further bonded the people of the country, regardless of which side of the conflict they were from.

The story of the Afghan cricketers is inspiring on many fronts:

  1. The players had to risk their lives to play a game they enjoyed.
  2. The had to overcome religious sensitivities. “If you wear a beard and pray, then you can play cricket” was a line quoted in the documentary.
  3. They had to overcome social biases just to play cricket. Being called a “gangster” for playing a sport is not something any of us would have ever experienced!
  4. Not having the basic resources to support player development, but yet they improvise with what they have.
  5. All the progress to date has been built upon the passion of the players and their leaders, who all want to do well.
  6. The players take what they do seriously, but they also enjoy the small victories as much as any team would do if they win a world cup.

You can see the documentary on ABC iView at Out of the Ashes: The Rise of the Afghan Cricket Team. I don’t know if this video is accessible for anyone outside of Australia though. If you can, enjoy!

5 ways in which poor data quality can cost you

losing money due to data quality issuesWe all know that data quality issues can cause frustrations, delays and hinder decision making. What we don’t always appreciate is that there a cost associated with these data quality issues. In order to elaborate this point, I’ve described 5 ways in which this cost manifests itself along with some examples of what happens in real life:

1. Cost of fixing data

Your team is always in fixing mode, ensuring all data issues reported by users are being resolved ASAP. That’s great news for the users!

Whilst this is a common situation in many organisation that I have come across, what these organisations (or their managers) fail to see is that they’re investing their technical resources to fix data problems instead of focusing on value creating activities within the organisation. In effect, these technical resources are merely expenses to the organisation. The cost to the organisation manifests itself through the hiring of new resources to perform the value creating activities or through delays to these projects due to their reliance on resources with other, more important, priorities. read more…

The Tasmanian Night Sky

The night sky is something I have always been fascinated by as a kid. Growing up in Sri Lanka, I used to sit outside my home every night after dinner and spend hours looking up at the sky. Counting shooting stars and passing satellites was a one-time hobby, as was tracking the movements of Jupiter’s moons.

Even today, when I do have a clear view of the night sky, I just marvel at the stars and galaxies above our heads and wonder what might be out there that is still waiting to be discovered.

During my recent trip to Tasmania, I was treated to some of the most clear night skies I have ever experienced and couldn’t resist attempting some night sky photography. This will hopefully be the first of many such night sky photos…

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ABOUT ROSHAN JOSEPH

I am the Founder and Principal at Adaptive Consulting, an Information Technology consulting firm, specialising in all things data, ensuring organisations have good, clean data work with and empowering these organisations so they can run their businesses better.

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