I just spotted an interesting article in Computer Weekly “High touch is just as important as high tech“.
The article paints an objective picture about how human interactions have been changed by technology.
From a data perspective there is an interesting quote:
“…managing the increase in data was slowing down business processes and the resulting cumbersome and inefficient internal systems were the main barrier to business success in 2011″
I’m not sure I agree, does this match what you are experiencing?
One of the good aspects of social media and social networking is the relationships you are able to form with other professionals, who you may or may not have met physically. One example of this is the relationship Phil Simon and I have developed through various on-line interactions, comments on blog posts and phone calls. Phil is a respected technology author, blogger, consultant and self-confessed Rush fan.
One result of this has been that Phil has included an interview with me as part of his Technology Today series of podcast interviews. In the interview we discuss:
- Are organizations are too eager to jump into new technologies?
- Talk to me about the relationship between data quality and technology.
- Do some organizations have “too much” technology?
- How can an organization ready itself for a massive system endeavor?
See the page on Phil’s site for more details and the interview itself.
Clearly, when computers are required to perform “straight forward” calculations they are accurate. For example, when adding up a series of values they will get the correct answer. A recent Dataspora blog post postulates that we are not far from the point where data flows around the world helping to make everything happen, but without involving humans.
I take a slightly different view based on real world experiences of data, analysis systems and human behavior. In summary, I believe that complex analysis systems are inaccurate, to a certain degree, so outputs need to be treated with caution and reviewed for suitability before being acted upon.
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I went to a lecture by Dr. Mark Baldwin yesterday on the Enigma encryption machine used by Germany during World War 2 and the work of Bletchley Park in breaking the Enigma codes. The successful breaking of the codes has been stated as having shortened the war by around two years.
If you are not familiar with the Enigma encryption machines, they used a combination of rotors which encrypted and decrypted letters, had 26 keys for data entry, illuminated letters to provide the output and used a number of plugs which could further strengthen the encryption.
What fascinated me were a number of common factors which provide lessons that are still very relevant today:
I went to a very informative presentation last night by Professor Mark Ryan of Birmingham University. He is a specialist in computer security and the pitfalls of different approaches to computer architecture. It was a thought provoking presentation, particularly Mark’s views that a lot of current computer security issues stem from a potentially misguided desire by Microsoft to make platforms open and to allow automation of tasks. Read the rest of this entry »