Eric D. Brown

By chasing the big might, you might just ignore the small

Eric D. Brown

It seems like people are always looking for the ‘next big thing.’ ’ They want that ‘big’ thing to get the ‘big’ improvement for themselves or their organizations. They’re looking something that takes them from A to Z without the effort to get to B, C, D, etc. Chasing that big idea can easily push yourself / your organization into a lull.

You Need a Chief Data Officer. Here’s Why.

Eric D. Brown

Big data has moved from buzzword to being a part of everyday life within enterprise organizations. An IDG survey reports that 75% of enterprise organizations have deployed or plan to deploy big data projects.

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Grand Canyon Majesty – Foto Friday

Eric D. Brown

Grand Canyon Majesty — If you’ve never seen a sunset (or sunrise) over the grand canyon, you are missing out. This image is from my most recent trip on a workshop with @don_smith_photography and @garyhartphoto to the canyon to chase storms and lightning.

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Are you eating your brain?

Eric D. Brown

I know — Are you eating your brain? — is a strange title…but stick with me here. I’m listening to an audiobook titled Understanding Complexity by Scott Pag e and heard an interesting bit of trivia about a marine animal called the Sea Squirt.

Facebook Causes Continue to Show Little Promise as Fundraising Tools

Do you need machine learning? Maybe. Maybe Not.

Eric D. Brown

I’ve recently written about the risks of machine learning (ML) , but with this post I wanted to take a step back and talk about ML and general. I want to talk about the ‘why’ of machine learning and whether you and/or your company should be investigating machine learning. Do you need machine learning? Maybe. Maybe not. The first question you have to ask yourself (and then answer) is this: Why do you want to be involved with machine learning?

Data Mining – A Cautionary Tale

Eric D. Brown

For those of you that might be new to data, keep this small (but extremely important) thing in mind – beware data mining. What is data mining? Data mining is the process of discovering information and patterns in data. Data mining is the first step taken in the Data -> Information -> Knowledge -> Wisdom conversion process.

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Opportunity Lost: Data Silos Continue to inhibit your Business

Eric D. Brown

According to some estimates, data scientists spend as much as 80% of their time getting data in a format that can be used. As a practicing data scientist, I’d say that is a fairly accurate estimate in many organizations.

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This one skill will make you a data science rockstar

Eric D. Brown

Want to be a data science rockstar? of course you do! Sorry for the clickbait headline, but I wanted to reach as many people as I can with this important piece of information. Want to know what the ‘one skill’ is? It isn’t python or R or Spark or some other new technology or platform. It isn’t the latest machine learning methods or algorithms. It isn’t being able to write AI algorithms from scratch or analyze terabytes of data in minutes.

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Marketers – You have too many choices

Eric D. Brown

I have a little secret for everyone in the world of marketing: You have too many choices. There are way too many technology platforms in existence today. Too many ‘tools’ and too many products. You have too many choices when it comes to getting your work done.

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Recipes don’t always work

Eric D. Brown

How many times have you followed a recipe while cooking something in the kitchen and had the result turn out not to be quite what you expected? If you’re like me, more times than not. Sure, the result is edible (usually) but isn’t quite what you expected or what was described in the recipe. Recipes don’t always work.

Building Like Amazon

Speaker: Leo Zhadanovsky, Principal Solutions Architect, Amazon Web Services

Amazon's journey to its current modern architecture and processes provides insights for all software development leaders. To get there, Amazon focused on decomposing for agility, making critical cultural and operational changes, and creating tools for software delivery. The result was enabling developers to rapidly release and iterate software while maintaining industry-leading standards on security, reliability, and performance. Whether you're developing for a small startup or a large corporation, learning the tools for CI/CD will make your good DevOps team great. We are excited to be joined by Leo Zhadanovsky, a Principal Solutions Architect at Amazon Web Services.

Big Data Roadmap – A roadmap for success with big data

Eric D. Brown

I’m regularly asked about how to get started with big data. My response is always the same: I give them my big data roadmap for success. Most organizations want to jump in a do something ‘cool’ with big data.

You (probably) don’t need Machine Learning

Eric D. Brown

Statistically speaking, you and/or your company really don’t need machine learning. By ‘statistically speaking’, I mean that most companies today have no absolutely no need for machine learning (ML). The majority of problems that companies want to throw at machine learning are fairly straightforward problems be ‘solved’ with a form of regression.

Customer Engagement: A Data-Driven Team Sport

Eric D. Brown

What would you do if you had so much data about your customers that you know could know (almost) everything about your customer when they contacted you?

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Foto Friday – Sprague Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park

Eric D. Brown

Sunrise over Sprague Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. Made with Sony A7rIII and Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM Lens. Click the photo to be taken to a larger version on 500px. See more photos in my 500px portfolio.

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Machine Learning Is Transforming Data Security

Eric D. Brown

Data is the lifeblood of any organization today so it should be easy to understand that security of that data is just as important (if not more important) that the data itself. It seems that data security (or rather the lack thereof) has been in the news regularly over the last few years.

Why Distributed Tracing is Essential for Performance and Reliability

Speaker: Daniel "spoons" Spoonhower, CTO and Co-Founder at Lightstep

Many engineering organizations have now adopted microservices or other loosely coupled architectures, often alongside DevOps practices. Together these have enabled individual service teams to become more independent and, as a result, have boosted developer velocity. However, this increased velocity often comes at the cost of overall application performance or reliability. Worse, teams often don’t understand what’s affecting performance or reliability – or even who to ask to learn more. Distributed tracing was developed at organizations like Google and Twitter to address these problems and has also come a long way in the decade since then. By the end of this presentation, you’ll understand why distributed tracing is necessary and how it can bring performance and reliability back under control.

Beware the Models

Eric D. Brown

“But… all of our models have accuracies above 90%…our system should be working perfectly!”. Those were the words spoken by the CEO of a mid-sized manufacturing company. These comments were made during a conversation about their various forecasting models and the poor performance of those models. This CEO had spent about a million dollars over the last few years with a consulting company who had been tasked with creating new methods and models for forecasting sales and manufacturing.

Is your data ready to help you make game-changing decisions?

Eric D. Brown

Organizations today are facing disruption on all fronts, which should viewed as a good thing as it allows organizations to redefine their strategies, their markets and re-create their organization to be better prepared for the future.

Turn your data geeks into customer geeks

Eric D. Brown

What would you do if you had so much data about your customers that you know could know (almost) everything about your customer when they contacted you?

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Accuracy and Trust in Machine Learning

Eric D. Brown

A few weeks ago, I wrote about machine learning risks where I described four ‘buckets’ of risk that needed to be understood and mitigated when you have machine learning initiatives.

Nine Developer Enablement Practices to Achieve DevOps at Enterprise Scale

In this eBook, Christian Oestreich, a senior software engineering leader with experience at multiple Fortune 500 companies, shares how a metrics-driven mindset can dramatically improve software quality and enable DevOps at enterprise scale.

What are you avoiding?

Eric D. Brown

I’m sure we’ve all been there. We have 100 things to do and we pick 90 things to get done and avoid those last few items that we just don’t want to do. They are on our ‘to-do’ list for a reason. We put them there…or more likely…someone put them there for us. But, they’re there and they should probably get done. Why do we avoid those tasks? I know there are some things that I just consistently ‘put off’ to another day (e.g.,

Digital Maturity or Digital Transformation?

Eric D. Brown

Everyone’s working on digital transformation projects. Much like ‘big data’ or ‘machine learning’, digital transformation is a phrase that you hear every day across just about every organization.

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What is the cost of bad data?

Eric D. Brown

How much is bad data costing you? It could be very little – or it could be a great deal. In this article I give an example of what the cost of bad data really is. A few days ago, I received a nice, well designed sales/marketing piece in the mail yesterday. In it, a local window company warned me of the dangers of old windows and the costs associated with them (higher energy costs, etc etc). Note: This was the third such piece I’ve received from this company in about 3 months.

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Call for entries: 2018 Building Team Awards

Eric D. Brown

Building Design+Construction's Building Team Awards recognize newly built (opened or occupied January 1, 2017 or later) projects that best exemplify the collaboration between owner, architect, engineer, and contractor to produce buildings that exhibit architectural and construction excellence.

The Best Sales Forecasting Models for Weathering Your Goals

Every sales forecasting model has a different strength and predictability method. It’s recommended to test out which one is best for your team. This way, you’ll be able to further enhance – and optimize – your newly-developed pipeline. Your future sales forecast? Sunny skies (and success) are just ahead!

The Data Mining Trap

Eric D. Brown

In a post titled Data Mining – A Cautionary Tale , I share the idea that data mining can be dangerous by sharing the story of Cornell’s Brian Wansink, who has had multiple papers retracted due to various data mining methods that aren’t quite ethical (or even correct). Recently, Gary Smith over at Wired wrote an article called The Exaggerated Promise of so-called Unbiased Data Mining with another good example of the danger of data mining.

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Your data project is going to fail

Eric D. Brown

I hate to be the bearer of bad news… but your data project is going to fail. Maybe not the one you’re working on today. Maybe not the one you’re starting next month. Heck, maybe not the one you don’t even know about yet…but at some point in the future – if you stay in the data world long enough – y our data project is going to fail. There are may ways your data project could fail.

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Customer Service is made up of the small things

Eric D. Brown

I recently had a customer service interaction with a SaaS service provider that left me wanting. With this provider, we had an issue that was effecting our ability to use their programming API to provide services to our clients at SentimenTrader.

Data Maturity before Digital Maturity

Eric D. Brown

I recently wrote about Digital Maturity vs Digital Transformation where I proclaimed that its more important to set your goal for digital maturity rather than just push your organization toward digital transformation initiatives.

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The Complete Guide to Distributed Tracing

Distributed tracing is a diagnostic technique that reveals how a set of services coordinate to handle individual user requests. Distributed tracing helps enable loosely coupled work across teams for fast, independent problem-solving.

Deep learning – when should it be used?

Eric D. Brown

“When should I use deep learning?” ” I get asked that question constantly. The answer to this question is both complicated and simplistic at the same time. The answer I usually give us something along the lines of ‘if you a lot of data and an interesting / challenging problem, then you should try out deep learning’ How a much is ‘a lot of data’? That’s the complicated part. Let’s use some examples to try to clarify things.

Foto Friday – On the way to Zion National Park

Eric D. Brown

I call this one “On the way to Zion” Captured with Canon 5D and Canon 17-40 handheld on the way into Zion National Park. See more photos in my 500px portfolio. If you like my photography , feel free to support my addiction habit by purchasing a copy for your wall and/or visiting Amazon (affiliate link) to purchase new or used photographic gear. Purchase a copy for your wall. While in Zion a few years ago, I stopped by the side of the road to grab a quick snapshot.

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What can you DO with Machine Learning?

Eric D. Brown

Everyone’s talking about machine learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) these days. If you are a CxO or work in IT or marketing, I’d bet that you hear these terms more than you probably want to. It feels an awful lot like the early data of Big Data or Business Intelligence or the days when the “Intranet” was first making waves within organizations.

Incrementally Better

Eric D. Brown

Recently, I spent a week at the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. While visiting, I stayed in Tusayan Arizona, just a few miles outside the park’s entrance. When I visit places like this, I don’t have high expectations when it comes to dining. I’m not a food-a-phile (or whatever you call them) but I do like good food and I like to have a selection of choices, especially since I’ve recently been trying to eat cleaner in recent months.

Data Analytics in the Cloud for Developers and Founders

Speaker: Javier Ramírez, Senior AWS Developer Advocate, AWS

You have lots of data, and you are probably thinking of using the cloud to analyze it. But how will you move data into the cloud? In which format? How will you validate and prepare the data? What about streaming data? Can data scientists discover and use the data? Can business people create reports via drag and drop? Can operations monitor what’s going on? Will the data lake scale when you have twice as much data? Is your data secure? In this session, we address common pitfalls of building data lakes and show how AWS can help you manage data and analytics more efficiently.

Foto Friday – The Grand Canyon

Eric D. Brown

In February I had the opportunity to visit the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. When I was younger, I’d been a few times but I’d never been out since I got into photography. The trip was more of a scouting trip than anything, but I can say my scouting turned into a number of fantastic images. A sampling of these images are below. You can see more on my Photography site – imagesbyericbrown.com. See more photos at my dedicated Photography website.

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To have a great analytics culture, you need a great communications culture

Eric D. Brown

When you read about big data and/or data analytics projects and systems, it is rare that you also read bout communicating the outcome of those projects. Without the ability to communicate the results of any analysis to the broader business, most big data / analytics projects are doomed to mediocrity…or even failure. The quantitative mind is a great one. It is one that I’m very familiar with and one that I wholeheartedly support.

Foto Friday – Pika Rocky Mountain National Park

Eric D. Brown

Pika Rocky Mountain National Park. While in Rocky Mountain National Park last year, I stumbled upon an area perfect for Pikas. I sat myself down next to some rocks and waited. After about 15 minutes I started hearing the ‘squeeks’ that you’d hear from these cute little animals. Quickly thereafter, I started seeing the scurrying around and spend about an hour grabbing photos of them. The below is one of those cute Pikas.

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Foto Friday – Rocky Mountain National Park

Eric D. Brown

Late last year I had the opportunity to spend a week in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP). Strangely, I’d never actually been to RMNP although I’ve been just about everywhere else around RMNP. The trip was part of a trip to nearby Denver for a conference so I didn’t get as much time to spend in the park and surrounding areas as I’d wanted to, but I did spend every morning in the park for sunrise – and loved every second that I had there.

B2B Pocket Playbook: End-to-End Guide to Sales Enablement

Sales enablement is the strategic process of providing sales teams with the content, guidance, and mentorship needed to engage targeted buyers. It’s all about equipping sales professionals with the tools they need to put their best-selling foot forward. And if sales teams want to continuously sell better -- and faster -- their sales enablement process must have a game-winning strategy. It's time for you to start selling smarter - and hitting your sales number - with the best B2B database in the market. Get started today.