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Posts from the ‘Analytics’ Category

The Best Machine Learning Startups To Work For In 2020 Based On Glassdoor

The Best Machine Learning Startups To Work For In 2020 Based On Glassdoor

  • Duolingo, HOVER, Ironclad, Orbital Insight, People.ai, Dataiku, DeepMap, Cobalt, Aktana, Chorus.ai, Noodle Analytics, Inc. (Noodle.ai), Signal AI, Augury, SparkCognition, and KONUX are the most likely to be recommended by their employees to friends looking for a machine learning startup to work for in 2020.
  • 96% of the employees of the 15 highest rated machine learning startups would recommend their company to a friend looking for a new job, and 98% approve of their CEOs.
  • Across all machine learning startups with Glassdoor ratings, 74% of employees would recommend the startup they work for to a friend, and 81% approve of their CEO.
  • There are over 230 cities globally who have one or more machine learning startups in operation today with Crunchbase finding 144 in San Francisco, 60 in London, 69 in New York, 82 in Tel Aviv, 22 in Toronto, 20 in Paris, 18 in Seattle and the remainder distributed over 223 global locations.

These and many other insights are from a Crunchbase Pro analysis completed today using Glassdoor data to rank the best machine learning startups to work for in 2020. Demand reminds high for technical professionals with machine learning expertise.  According to Indeed, Machine Learning Engineer job openings grew 344% between 2015 to 2018 and have an average base salary of $146,085 according to their  Best Jobs In The U.S. Study. You can read the study shows that technical professionals with machine learning expertise are in an excellent position to bargain for the average base salary of at least $146,085 or more.

Methodology

In response to readers’ most common requests of which machine learning startups are the best to work for, a Crunchbase Pro query was created to find all machine learning startups who had received Seed, Early Stage Venture, or Late Stage Venture financing. The 2,682 machine learning startups Crunchbase is tracking were indexed by Total Funding Amount by startup to create a baseline.

Next, Glassdoor scores of the (%) of employees who would recommend this company to a friend and (%) of employees who approve of the CEO were used to find the best startups to work for. 79 of the 150 machine learning startups have 15 or more Glassdoor reviews and are included in the analysis. 41 have less than 15 reviews and 30 have no reviews. The table below is a result of the analysis, and you can find the original Microsoft Excel data set here.

The Best Machine Learning Startups To Work For In 2020 Based On Glassdoor

 

 

AI Skills Among The Most In-Demand For 2020

AI Skills Among The Most In-Demand For 2020

Python, React (web), Angular, machine learning, and Docker will be the five most popular tech skills in 2020.

  • TensorFlow is the most popular tech skill of the last three years, exponentially increasing between 2016 and 2019 based on Udemy’s
  • Udemy sees robust demand for AI and data science skills, in addition to web development frameworks, cloud computing, and IT certifications, including AWS, CompTIA & Docker.
  • SAP expertise is projected to be the fastest-growing process-related skill set in 2020.

These and many other fascinating insights are from Udemy for Business’ 2020 Workplace Learning Trends Report: The Skills of the Future (48 pp., PDF, opt-in).  The report provides compelling evidence of how important it is to prepare workforces for the future of work in an AI-enabled world. Udemy predicts 2020 will be the year AI goes mainstream. The report states that “In the world of finance, investment funds managed by AI and computers account for 35% of America’s stock market today,” citing a recent article in The Economist, The rise of the financial machines. The following are the key insights from the report:

  • Python, React (web), Angular, machine learning, and Docker will be the five most popular tech skills in 2020. TensorFlow, OpenCV, and neural networks are the foundational skills many data scientists are pursuing and perfecting today to advance their AI-based career strategies. Mastering those three skills is essential for understanding and developing AI apps and platforms. TensorFlow is a free and open-source software library for dataflow and differentiable programming across a range of tasks. It is a symbolic math library and is also used for machine learning applications such as neural networks. The following is a comparison of the top 10 most popular tech skills in 2020 and the top 10 tech skills that grew in popularity between 2016 and 2019.
AI Skills among the Most In-Demand For 2020

Udemy for Business’ 2020 Workplace Learning Trends Report: The Skills of the Future

  • The top 10 emerging tech skills in 2020 will be web development, quantum computing, and Internet of Things IoT). Udemy analyzed the emerging skills that over 40M people are learning on Udemy today, and found that Gatsby.js, a new web development framework tool, is gaining rapid adoption. Additional web development tools include React Hooks, Next.js, and SwiftUI, a user interface tool for Apple apps. Entirely new skills, including quantum computing and ESP32, used in the IoT development, are also among the top 1 emerging tech skills of 2020.
AI Skills among the Most In-Demand For 2020

Udemy for Business’ 2020 Workplace Learning Trends Report: The Skills of the Future

  • SAP enterprise software expertise, knowledge of the ISO/IEC 27001 standard, information security, and Microsoft Dynamics 365 are projected to be the four of the fastest-growing process and tools skills in 2020. Udemy also found a strong interest in Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Business Process Management (BPM). Robotic Process Automation (RPA) refers to the use of process automation tools to quickly replicate how human beings perform routine daily office work using popular productivity apps, including Microsoft Excel, databases, or web applications.
AI Skills among the Most In-Demand For 2020

Udemy for Business’ 2020 Workplace Learning Trends Report: The Skills of the Future

 

  • Chef Software expertise, network security, penetration testing, Linux security, and AWS Certified Cloud are predicted among the fastest-growing skills for IT professionals in 2020. Chef software is prevalent in IT organizations and is used for streamlining the task of configuring & maintaining a company’s servers. Chef has invested in integrating with many of the most popular cloud-based platforms, including Rackspace, Microsoft Azure, and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, to automatically provision and configure new machines.
AI Skills among the Most In-Demand For 2020

Udemy for Business’ 2020 Workplace Learning Trends Report: The Skills of the Future

 

5 Proven Ways Manufacturers Can Get Started With Analytics

5 Proven Ways Manufacturers Can Get Started With Analytics

Going into 2020, manufacturers are at an inflection point in their adoption of analytics and business intelligence (BI). Analytics applications and tools make it possible for them to gain greater insights from the massive amount of data they produce every day. And with manufacturing leading all industries on the planet when it comes to the amount of data generated from operations daily, the potential to improve shop floor productivity has never been more within reach for those adopting analytics and BI applications.

Analytics and BI Are High Priorities In Manufacturing Today

Increasing the yield rates and quality levels for each shop floor, machine and work center is a high priority for manufacturers today. Add to that the pressure to stay flexible and take on configure-to-order and engineer-to-order special products fulfilled through short-notice production runs and the need for more insight into how each phase of production can be improved. Gartner’s latest survey of heavy manufacturing CIOs in the 2019 CIO Agenda: Heavy Manufacturing, Industry Insights, by Dr. Marc Halpern. October 15, 2018 (Gartner subscription required) reflects the reality all manufacturers are dealing with today. I believe they’re in a tough situation with customers wanting short-notice production time while supply chains often needing to be redesigned to reduce or eliminate tariffs. They’re turning to analytics to gain the insights they need to take on these challenges and more. The graphic below is from Gartner’s latest survey of heavy manufacturing CIOs, it indicates the technology areas where heavy manufacturing CIOs’ organizations will be spending the largest amount of new or additional funding in 2019 as well as the technology areas where their organizations will be reducing funding by the highest amount in 2019 compared with 2018:

Knowing Which Problems To Solve With Analytics

Manufacturers getting the most value from analytics start with a solid business case first, based on a known problem they’ve been trying to solve either in their supply chains, production or fulfillment operations. The manufacturers I’ve worked with focus on how to get more orders produced in less time while gaining greater visibility across production operations. They’re all under pressure to stay in compliance with customers and regulatory reporting; in many cases needing to ship product quality data with each order and host over 60 to 70 audits a year from customers in their plants. Analytics is becoming popular because it automates the drudgery of reporting that would otherwise take IT team’s days or weeks to do manually.

As one CIO put it as we walked his shop floor, “we’re using analytics to do the heavy data crunching when we’re hosting customer audits so we can put our quality engineers to work raising the bar of product excellence instead of having them run reports for a week.” As we walked the shop floor he explained how dashboards are tailored to each role in manufacturing, and the flat-screen monitors provide real-time data on how five key areas of performance are doing. Like many other CIOs facing the challenge of improving production efficiency and quality, he’s relying on the five core metrics below in the initial roll-out of analytics across manufacturing operations, finance, accounting, supply chain management, procurement, and service:

  • Manufacturing Cycle Time – One of the most popular metrics in manufacturing, Cycle Time quantifies the amount of elapsed time from when an order is placed until the product is manufactured and entered into finished goods inventory. Cycle times vary by segment of the manufacturing industry, size of manufacturing operation, global location and relative stability of supply chains supporting operations. Real-time integration, applying Six Sigma to know process bottlenecks, and re-engineering systems to be more customer-focused improve this metrics’ performance. Cycle Time is a predictor of the future of manufacturing as this metric captures improvement made across systems and processes immediately.
  • Supplier Inbound Quality Levels – Measuring the dimensions of how effective a given supplier is at consistently meeting a high level of product quality and on-time delivery is valuable in orchestrating a stable supply chain. Inbound quality levels often vary from one shipment to the next, so it’s helpful to have Statistical Process Control (SPC) charts that quantify and show the trends of quality levels over time. Nearly all manufacturers are relying on Six Sigma programs to troubleshoot specific trouble spots and problem areas of suppliers who may have wide variations in product quality in a given period. This metric is often used for ranking which suppliers are the most valuable to a factory and production network as well.
  • Production Yield Rates By Product, Process, and Plant Location – Yield rates reflect how efficient a machine or entire process is in transforming raw materials into finished products. Manufacturers rely on automated and manually-based approaches to capture this metric, with the latest generation of industrial machinery capable of producing its yield rate levels over time. Process-related manufacturers rely on this metric to manage every production run they do. Microprocessors, semiconductors, and integrated circuit manufacturers are continually monitoring yield rates to determine how they are progressing against plans and goals. Greater real-time integration, improved quality management systems, and greater supply chain quality and compliance all have a positive impact on yield rates. It’s one of the key measures of production yield as it reflects how well-orchestrated entire production processes are.
  • Perfect Order Performance – Perfect order performance measures how effective a manufacturer is at delivering complete, accurate, damage-free orders to customers on time. The equation that defines the perfect order Index (POI) or perfect order performance is the (Percent of orders delivered on time) * (Percent of orders complete) * (Percent of orders damage free) * (Percent of orders with accurate documentation) * 100. The majority of manufacturers are attaining a perfect order performance level of 90% or higher, according to The American Productivity and Quality Center (APQC). The more complex the product lines, configuration options, including build-to-order, configure-to-order, and engineer-to-order, the more challenging it is to attain a high, perfect order level. Greater analytics and insights gained from real-time integration and monitoring help complex manufacturers attained higher perfect order levels over time.
  • Return Material Authorization (RMA) Rate as % Of Manufacturing – The purpose of this metric is to define the percentage of products shipped to customers that are returned due to defective parts or not otherwise meeting their requirements. RMAs are a good leading indicator of potential quality problems. RMAs are also a good measure of how well integrated PLM, ERP and CRM systems, resulting in fewer product errors.

Conclusion

The manufacturers succeeding with analytics start with a compelling business case, one that has an immediate impact on the operations of their organizations. CIOs are prioritizing analytics and BI to gain greater insights and visibility across every phase of manufacturing. They’re also adopting analytics and BI to reduce the reporting drudgery their engineering, IT, and manufacturing teams are faced with as part of regular customer audits. There are also a core set of metrics manufacturers rely on to manage their business, and the five mentioned here are where many begin.

What’s New In Gartner’s Hype Cycle For AI, 2019

What's New In Gartner's Hype Cycle For AI, 2019

  • Between 2018 and 2019, organizations that have deployed artificial intelligence (AI) grew from 4% to 14%, according to Gartner’s 2019 CIO Agenda survey.
  • Conversational AI remains at the top of corporate agendas spurred by the worldwide success of Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and others.
  • Enterprises are making progress with AI as it grows more widespread, and they’re also making more mistakes that contribute to their accelerating learning curve.

These and many other new insights are from Gartner Hype Cycle For AI, 2019 published earlier this year and summarized in the recent Gartner blog post, Top Trends on the Gartner Hype Cycle for Artificial Intelligence, 2019.  Gartner’s definition of Hype Cycles includes five phases of a technology’s lifecycle and is explained here. Gartner’s latest Hype Cycle for AI reflects the growing popularity of AutoML, intelligent applications, AI platform as a service or AI cloud services as enterprises ramp up their adoption of AI. The Gartner Hype Cycle for AI, 2019, is shown below:

Details Of What’s New In Gartner’s Hype Cycle For AI, 2019

  • Speech Recognition is less than two years to mainstream adoption and is predicted to deliver the most significant transformational benefits of all technologies on the Hype Cycle. Gartner advises its clients to consider including speech recognition on their short-term AI technology roadmaps. Gartner observes, unlike other technologies within the natural-language processing area, speech to text (and text to speech) is a stand-alone commodity where its modules can be plugged into a variety of natural-language workflows. Leading vendors in this technology area Amazon, Baidu, Cedat 85, Google, IBM, Intelligent Voice, Microsoft, NICE, Nuance, and Speechmatics.
  • Eight new AI-based technologies are included in this year’s Hype Cycle, reflecting Gartner enterprise clients’ plans to scale AI across DevOps and IT while supporting new business models. The latest technologies to be included in the Hype Cycle for AI reflect how enterprises are trying to demystify AI to improve adoption while at the same time, fuel new business models. The new technologies include the following:
  1. AI Cloud Services – AI cloud services are hosted services that allow development teams to incorporate the advantages inherent in AI and machine learning.
  2. AutoML – Automated machine learning (AutoML) is the capability of automating the process of building, deploying, and managing machine learning models.
  3. Augmented Intelligence – Augmented intelligence is a human-centered partnership model of people and artificial intelligence (AI) working together to enhance cognitive performance, including learning, decision making, and new experiences.
  4. Explainable AI – AI researchers define “explainable AI” as an ensemble of methods that make black-box AI algorithms’ outputs sufficiently understandable.
  5. Edge AI – Edge AI refers to the use of AI techniques embedded in IoT endpoints, gateways, and edge devices, in applications ranging from autonomous vehicles to streaming analytics.
  6. Reinforcement Learning – Reinforcement learning has the primary potential for gaming and automation industries and has the potential to lead to significant breakthroughs in robotics, vehicle routing, logistics, and other industrial control scenarios.
  7. Quantum Computing – Quantum computing has the potential to make significant contributions to the areas of systems optimization, machine learning, cryptography, drug discovery, and organic chemistry. Although outside the planning horizon of most enterprises, quantum computing could have strategic impacts in key businesses or operations.
  8. AI Marketplaces – Gartner defines an AI Marketplace as an easily accessible place supported by a technical infrastructure that facilitates the publication, consumption, and billing of reusable algorithms. Some marketplaces are used within an organization to support the internal sharing of prebuilt algorithms among data scientists.
  • Gartner considers the following AI technologies to be on the rise and part of the Innovation Trigger phase of the AI Hype Cycle. AI Marketplaces, Reinforcement Learning, Decision Intelligence, AI Cloud Services, Data Labeling, and Annotation Services, and Knowledge Graphs are now showing signs of potential technology breakthroughs as evidence by early proof-of-concept stories. Technologies in the Innovation Trigger phase of the Hype Cycle often lack usable, scalable products with commercial viability not yet proven.
  • Smart Robots and AutoML are at the peak of the Hype Cycle in 2019. In contrast to the rapid growth of industrial robotics systems that adopted by manufacturers due to the lack of workers, Smart Robots are defined by Gartner as having electromechanical form factors that work autonomously in the physical world, learning in short-term intervals from human-supervised training and demonstrations or by their supervised experiences including taking direction form human voices in a shop floor environment. Whiz robot from SoftBank Robotics is an example of a SmartRobot that will be sold under robot-as-a service (RaaS) model and originally be available only in Japan. AutoML is one of the most hyped technology in AI this year. Gartner defines automated machine learning (AutoML) as the capability of automating the process of building, deploying, or managing machine learning models. Leading vendors providing AutoML platforms and applications include Amazon SageMaker, Big Squid, dotData, DataRobot, Google Cloud Platform, H2O.ai, KNIME, RapidMiner, and Sky Tree.
  • Nine technologies were removed or reassigned from this years’ Hype Cycle of AI compared to 2018. Gartner has removed nine technologies, often reassigning them into broader categories. Augmented reality and Virtual Reality are now part of augmented intelligence, a more general category, and remains on many other Hype Cycles. Commercial UAVs (drones) is now part of edge AI, a more general category. Ensemble learning had already reached the Plateau in 2018 and has now graduated from the Hype Cycle. Human-in-the-loop crowdsourcing has been replaced by data labeling and annotation services, a broader category. Natural language generation is now included as part of NLP. Knowledge management tools have been replaced by insight engines, which are more relevant to AI. Predictive analytics and prescriptive analytics are now part of decision intelligence, a more general category.

Sources:

Hype Cycle for Artificial Intelligence, 2019, Published 25 July 2019, (Client access reqd.)

Top Trends on the Gartner Hype Cycle for Artificial Intelligence, 2019 published September 12, 2019

State Of AI And Machine Learning In 2019

  • Marketing and Sales prioritize AI and machine learning higher than any other department in enterprises today.
  • In-memory analytics and in-database analytics are the most important to Finance, Marketing, and Sales when it comes to scaling their AI and machine learning modeling and development efforts.
  • R&D’s adoption of AI and machine learning is the fastest of all enterprise departments in 2019.

These and many other fascinating insights are from Dresner Advisory Services’6th annual 2019 Data Science and Machine Learning Market Study (client access reqd) published last month. The study found that advanced initiatives related to data science and machine learning, including data mining, advanced algorithms, and predictive analytics are ranked the 8th priority among the 37 technologies and initiatives surveyed in the study. Please see page 12 of the survey for an overview of the methodology.

“The Data Science and Machine Learning Market Study is a progression of our analysis of this market which began in 2014 as an examination of advanced and predictive analytics,” said Howard Dresner, founder, and chief research officer at Dresner Advisory Services. “Since that time, we have expanded our coverage to reflect changes in sentiment and adoption, and have added new criteria, including a section covering neural networks.”

Key insights from the study include the following:

  • Data mining, advanced algorithms, and predictive analytics are among the highest-priority projects for enterprises adopting AI and machine learning in 2019. Reporting, dashboards, data integration, and advanced visualization are the leading technologies and initiatives strategic to Business Intelligence (BI) today. Cognitive BI (artificial-intelligence-based BI) ranks comparatively lower at 27th among priorities. The following graphic prioritizes the 27 technologies and initiatives strategic to business intelligence:

  • 40% of Marketing and Sales teams say data science encompassing AI and machine learning is critical to their success as a department. Marketing and Sales lead all departments in how significant they see AI and machine learning to pursue and accomplish their growth goals. Business Intelligence Competency Centers (BICC), R&D, and executive management audiences are the next most interested, and all top four roles cited carry comparable high combined “critical” and “very important” scores above 60%. The following graphic compares the importance levels by department for data science, including AI and machine learning:

  • R&D, Marketing, and Sales’ high level of shared interest across multiple feature areas reflect combined efforts to define new revenue growth models using AI and machine learning. Marketing, Sales, R&D, and the Business Intelligence Competency Centers (BICC) respondents report the most significant interest in having a range of regression models to work with in AI and machine learning applications. Marketing and Sales are also most interested in the next three top features, including hierarchical clustering, textbook statistical functions, and having a recommendation engine included in the applications and platforms they purchase. Dresner’s research team believes that the high shared interest in multiple features areas by R&D, Marketing and Sales is leading indicator enterprises are preparing to pilot AI and machine learning-based strategies to improve customer experiences and drive revenue. The following graphic compares interest and probable adoption by functional area of the enterprises interviewed:

  • 70% of R&D departments and teams are most likely to adopt data science, AI, and machine learning, leading all functions in an enterprise. Dresner’s research team sees the high level of interest by R&D teams as a leading indicator of broader enterprise adoption in the future. The study found 33% of all enterprises interviewed have adopted AI and machine learning, with the majority of enterprises having up to 25 models. Marketing & Sales lead all departments in their current evaluation of data science and machine learning software.

  • Financial Services & Insurance, Healthcare, and Retail/Wholesale say data science, AI, and machine learning are critical to their succeeding in their respective industries. 27% of Financial Services & Insurance, 25% of Healthcare and 24% of Retail/Wholesale enterprises say data science, AI, and machine learning are critical to their success. Less than 10% of Educational institutions consider AI and machine learning vital to their success. The following graphic compares the importance of data science, AI, and machine learning by industry:

  • The Telecommunications industry leads all others in interest and adoption of recommendation engines and model management governance. The Telecommunications, Financial Services, and Technology industries have the highest level of interest in adopting a range of regression models and hierarchical clustering across all industry respondent groups interviewed. Healthcare respondents have much lower interest in these latter features but high interest in Bayesian methods and text analytics functions. Retail/Wholesale respondents are often least interested in analytical features. The following graphic compares industries by their level of interest and potential adoption of analytical features in data science, AI, and machine learning applications and platforms:

  • Support for a broad range of regression models, hierarchical clustering, and commonly used textbook statistical functions are the top features enterprises need in data science and machine learning platforms. Dresner’s research team found these three features are considered the most important or “must-have” when enterprises are evaluating data science, AI and machine learning applications and platforms. All enterprises surveyed also expect any data science application or platform they are evaluating to have a recommendation engine included and model management and governance. The following graphic prioritizes the most and least essential features enterprises expect to see in data science, AI, and machine learning software and platforms:

  • The top three usability features enterprises are prioritizing today include support for easy iteration of models, access to advanced analytics, and an initiative, simple process for continuous modification of models. Support and guidance in preparing analytical data models and fast cycle time for analysis with data preparation are among the highest- priority usability features enterprises expect to see in AI and machine learning applications and platforms. It’s interesting to see the usability attribute of a specialist not required to create analytical models, test and run them at the lower end of the usability rankings. Many AI and machine learning software vendors rely on not needing a specialist to use their applications as a differentiator when the majority of enterprises value  support for easy iteration of models at a higher level as the graphic below shows:

  • 2019 is a record year for enterprises’ interest in data science, AI, and machine learning features they perceive as the most needed to achieve their business strategies and goals. Enterprises most expect AI and machine learning applications and platforms to support a range of regression models, followed by hierarchical clustering and textbook statistical functions for descriptive statistics. Recommendation engines are growing in popularity as interest grew to at least a tie as the second most important feature to respondents in 2019. Geospatial analysis and Bayesian methods were flat or slightly less important compared to 2018. The following graphic compares six years of interest in data science, AI, and machine learning techniques:

How AI Is Protecting Against Payments Fraud

  • 80% of fraud specialists using AI-based platforms believe the technology helps reduce payments fraud.
  • 63.6% of financial institutions that use AI believe it is capable of preventing fraud before it happens, making it the most commonly cited tool for this purpose.
  • Fraud specialists unanimously agree that AI-based fraud prevention is very effective at reducing chargebacks.
  • The majority of fraud specialists (80%) have seen AI-based platforms reduce false positives, payments fraud, and prevent fraud attempts.

AI is proving to be very effective in battling fraud based on results achieved by financial institutions as reported by senior executives in a recent survey, AI Innovation Playbook published by PYMNTS in collaboration with Brighterion. The study is based on interviews with 200 financial executives from commercial banks, community banks, and credit unions across the United States. For additional details on the methodology, please see page 25 of the study. One of the more noteworthy findings is that financial institutions with over $100B in assets are the most likely to have adopted AI, as the study has found 72.7% of firms in this asset category are currently using AI for payment fraud detection.

Taken together, the findings from the survey reflect how AI thwarts payments fraud and deserves to be a high priority in any digital business today. Companies, including Kount and others, are making strides in providing AI-based platforms, further reducing the risk of the most advanced, complex forms of payments fraud.

Why AI Is Perfect For Fighting Payments Fraud

Of the advanced technologies available for reducing false positives, reducing and preventing fraud attempts, and reducing manual reviews of potential payment fraud events, AI is ideally suited to provide the scale and speed needed to take on these challenges. More specifically, AI’s ability to interpret trend-based insights from supervised machine learning, coupled with entirely new knowledge gained from unsupervised machine learning algorithms are reducing the incidence of payments fraud. By combining both machine learning approaches, AI can discern if a given transaction or series of financial activities are fraudulent or not, alerting fraud analysts immediately if they are and taking action through predefined workflows. The following are the main reasons why AI is perfect for fighting payments fraud:

  • Payments fraud-based attacks are growing in complexity and often have a completely different digital footprint or pattern, sequence, and structure, which make them undetectable using rules-based logic and predictive models alone. For years e-commerce sites, financial institutions, retailers, and every other type of online business relied on rules-based payment fraud prevention systems. In the earlier years of e-commerce, rules and simple predictive models could identify most types of fraud. Not so today, as payment fraud schemes have become more nuanced and sophisticated, which is why AI is needed to confront these challenges.
  • AI brings scale and speed to the fight against payments fraud, providing digital businesses with an immediate advantage in battling the many risks and forms of fraud. What’s fascinating about the AI companies offering payments fraud solutions is how they’re trying to out-innovate each other when it comes to real-time analysis of transaction data. Real-time transactions require real-time security. Fraud solutions providers are doubling down on this area of R&D today, delivering impressive results. The fastest I’ve seen is a 250-millisecond response rate for calculating risk scores using AI on the Kount platform, basing queries on a decades-worth of data in their universal data network. By combining supervised and unsupervised machine learning algorithms, Kount is delivering fraud scores that are twice as predictive as previous methods and faster than competitors.
  • AI’s many predictive analytics and machine learning techniques are ideal for finding anomalies in large-scale data sets in seconds. The more data a machine learning model has to train on, the more accurate its predictive value. The greater the breadth and depth of data, a given machine learning algorithm learns from means more than how advanced or complex a given algorithm is. That’s especially true when it comes to payments fraud detection where machine learning algorithms learn what legitimate versus fraudulent transactions look like from a contextual intelligence perspective. By analyzing historical account data from a universal data network, supervised machine learning algorithms can gain a greater level of accuracy and predictability. Kount’s universal data network is among the largest, including billions of transactions over 12 years, 6,500 customers, 180+ countries and territories, and multiple payment networks. The data network includes different transaction complexities, verticals, and geographies, so machine learning models can be properly trained to predict risk accurately. That analytical richness includes data on physical real-world and digital identities creating an integrated picture of customer behavior.

Bottom Line:  Payments fraud is insidious, difficult to stop, and can inflict financial harm on any business in minutes. Battling payment fraud needs to start with a pre-emptive strategy to thwart fraud attempts by training machine learning models to quickly spot and act on threats then building out the strategy across every selling and service channel a digital business relies on.

Roadmap To Zero Trust For Small Businesses

Bottom Line:  Small businesses don’t need to sacrifice security due to budget constraints or productivity requirements – a Zero Trust roadmap can help them keep growing and stop breaches.

Having worked my way through college in a series of small businesses and having neighbors and friends who operate several today, I see how cloud, databases, and network devices save thousands of dollars, hours of tedious work, and streamline operations. Good friends running an AI startup, whose remarkable ability to turn whiteboard discussions into prototypes in a day, are a case in point. Keeping breach attempts from interrupting their growth needs to start with a roadmap to Zero Trust so these businesses can keep flourishing.

Defining A Zero Trust Roadmap

Most successful small businesses and my friends’ growing startup share the common trait of moving at a quick pace. They’re hiring new employees, contractors and adding new locations in days, not months. The startups and small businesses I work with are adding experts in AI, development, machine learning, sales, and marketing from around the world quickly. Each new employee, contractor, and occasional supplier receives their account login to cloud systems used for running the business, and then they’re given their first assignments.

Small Businesses Don’t Need To Sacrifice Speed For Security

Small businesses and startups run so fast there’s often a perception that achieving greater security will slow them down. In a Zero Trust world, they don’t need to spend a lot of sacrifice speed for security. Following a Zero Trust roadmap can protect their systems, valuable intellectual property, and valuable time by minimizing the risk of falling victim to costly breaches.

Here’s what small businesses and startups need to include on their Zero Trust roadmaps to reduce the potential for time-consuming, costly breaches that could steal not just data but market momentum too:

  • Put Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) into place for every contractor, admin user, and partner account immediately. Implementing MFA is highly recommended as it can reduce the risk of privileged access credential abuse. A recent survey by Centrify found that 74% of all breaches involved privileged access abuse. Centrify also found that 58% of organizations do not use Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for privileged administrative access to servers, leaving their IT systems and infrastructure exposed to hacking attempts, including unchallenged privileged access abuse.
  • Get a shared account and password vault to reduce the risk of being breached by privileged access abuse. Password vaults are a must-have for any business that relies on intellectual property (IP), patents, source code under development, and proprietary data that is pivotal to the company’s growth. Vaults make sure only trusted applications can request privileged account credentials by first identifying, then validating system accounts before passwords are retrieved. Another major advantage of vaults is that they minimize attack surfaces for small businesses and startups.
  • Secure Remote Access needs to be in place to ensure employee, contractor, and IT systems contractors are given least privilege access to only the resources they need. Small businesses and startups growing fast often don’t have the expertise on staff to manage their IT systems. It’s cheaper for many to have an IT service manage server maintenance, upgrades, and security. Secure Remote Access is predicated on the “never trust, always verify, enforce least privilege” Zero Trust approach to grant access to specific resources.
  • Implement real-time audit and monitoring to track all privileged sessions and metadata auditing everything across all systems to deliver a comprehensive picture of intentions and outcomes. Creating and adding to an ongoing chronology of login and resource attempts is invaluable for discovering how a security incident first gets started, and for meeting compliance requirements. It’s much easier to identify and thwart privileged credential abuse based on the insights gained from the single system of record a real-time audit and monitoring service creates. As small businesses and startups grow, the data that real-time audits and monitoring generate are invaluable in proving privileged access is controlled and audited to meet the regulatory compliance requirements of SOX, HIPAA, FISMA, NIST, PCI, MAS, and other regulatory standards.
  • Privileged access credentials to network devices need to be part of the Zero Trust Roadmap. Small businesses and startups face a continual time shortage and sometimes forget to change the manufacturer default passwords which are often weak and well known in the hacker community. That’s why it needs to be a priority to include the network device portfolio in A Zero Trust Privilege-based security roadmap and strategy. Security admins need to have these included in the shared account and passwords vault.

Conclusion

The five factors mentioned here are the start of building a scalable, secure Zero Trust roadmap that will help alleviate the leading cause of breaches today, which is privileged access credential abuse. For small businesses who are outsourcing IT and security administration, the core elements of the Zero Trust roadmap provide them the secure login and a “never trust, always verify, enforce least privilege” strategy that can scale with their business. With Zero Trust Privilege, small businesses and startups will be able to grant least privilege access based on verifying who is requesting access, the context of the request, and the risk of the access environment

Top 10 IoT Startups Of 2019 According To IoT Analytics

  • IoT startups have received $3.6B in funding this year alone, according to IoT Analytics’ estimates.
  • Manufacturing is attracting the highest percentage of vertically-focused IoT startups at 30%.
  • 43% of all IoT startups are founded in North America, the leading region globally of startup activity.
  • 7 of the top 10 IoT startups primarily focus on AI, Analytics, and Data Science.
  • 46% of all IoT startups tracked by IoT Analytics primarily focus on AI, Analytics, and Data Science.

These and many other fascinating insights are from IoT Analytics’ recently published IoT Startups Report & Database 2019.  IoT Analytics found that there approximately 1,018 startups creating Internet of Things (IoT) products or services today. They have defined one of the most thorough methodologies in IoT research to identify the top 10 IoT analytics startups worldwide. To qualify, startups have to be older than 6 years and fit the definition of the Internet of Things, and methodology and criterion explained at the end of this post.

“The hot IoT startups today have a strong focus on data analytics and AI and are increasingly targeting industrial and manufacturing clients. It remains to be seen how much of the analytics technology that today’s startups are building will be scalable across IoT use cases and industries. For now, most of the IoT startups are adding value in specific industries or for specific use cases,” said Knud Lasse Lueth, Managing Director of IoT Analytics.

The following are the top 10 IoT Startups Of 2019 from IoT Analytics:

  1. Arundo Analytics (IoT Middleware & Software Infrastructure)

Arundo Analytics is a hot IoT Startup that provides analytics software for industrial and energy companies. The company has formed several strategic alliances, e.g., with Dell Technologies and WorleyParsons. Arundo has also formed a joint venture with DNV GL to provide stream data analytics for maritime companies. The board of directors includes Tore Myrholt, Senior Partner at McKinsey and Thomas Malone, the founding director of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence. Recently, Arundo launched several applications incl. machine monitoring and fuel efficiency.

  1. Bright Machines (IoT Middleware & Software Infrastructure)

Bright Machines is currently the fastest growing IoT Startup, has grown from virtually zero at the beginning of 2018 to almost 200 employees a year later (April 2019). The firm focuses on “micro-factories” made up of its software and robot cells as well as new software tools that make manufacturing more efficient. The leadership team is filled with former executives from Autodesk, Flextronics, and Amazon including Amar Hanspal (CEO), Brian Mathews (CTO), Tzahi Rodrig (COO) and Nick Ciubotariu (SVP, Software Engineering). The company recently entered into a strategic partnership with BMW i Ventures.

  1. Dragos (IoT Middleware & Software Infrastructure)

Dragos is a cybersecurity startup that offers a software-defined security platform for manufacturers. The company has seen a 300%+ growth in headcount the last two years and collaborates with GE, Deloitte, OSIsoft, ThreatConnect, Crowdstrike, and several other companies. The company recently acquired Atlanta-based NexDefense and collaborates with Waterfall Solution for a joint solution.

  1. Element (IoT Middleware & Software Infrastructure)

Element (also known as Element Analytics) is a fascinating IoT Startup that focuses on industrial analytics software such as Digital Twins, particularly in heavy industries. The company counts an impressive list of investors, including Kleiner Perkins, GE, Honeywell, and ABB. Element partners with Microsoft, Uptake, OSIsoft, and Radix (consulting).

  1. FogHorn (IoT Middleware & Software Infrastructure)

In recent years, US-based startup FogHorn has gained an excellent reputation with leading manufacturers and oil and gas organizations around the world for its real-time edge computing and analytics software. The company has seen an 89% employee growth in the past two years and has secured partnerships with 50+ industrial solution providers, OEMs, gateway providers, and consultants/SIs, including AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft, Cisco, HP, NTT Data, and more. FogHorn is also a member of LF Edge, an umbrella organization to drive an open, interoperable framework for edge computing to accelerate deployment among the growing number of edge devices. Investors in FogHorn include The Hive, Bosch, Dell, GE, Honeywell, Intel, Saudi Aramco, and Yokogawa.

  1. Iguazio (IoT Middleware & Software Infrastructure)

Iguazio is a hot startup that provides a state-of-the-art data science platform for various verticals, including Industrial IoT, Smart Mobility, and Telecommunications. The company recently entered into collaborations with NVIDIA, Microsoft, and Google. Iguazio markets its Nuclio platform product as a “serverless” framework for multi-cloud environments and is thus well-positioned for the next wave of cloud computing.

  1. IoTium (IoT Connectivity)

IoTium is a quickly upcoming IoT startup from the Silicon Valley area that focuses on software-defined network infrastructure in manufacturing and related verticals. The company has seen a 100%+ growth in headcount over the last two years and now counts John Chambers, former Cisco CEO, as an investor along with other well-known corporate investors incl. Juniper, Qualcomm, SafeNet, and Wind River. The company is also very active in the EdgeX Foundry and recently joined the Siemens’ MindSphere partner program as a gold member.

  1. Preferred Networks (IoT Middleware & Software Infrastructure)

Preferred Networks is one of Japan’s IoT hotshots, focused on applying real-time machine-learning technologies to new Internet of Things applications. The company has seen a 100%+ employee growth in the last two years and now collaborates with world-leading organizations incl. Toyota Motor Corporation, Fanuc, and the National Cancer Center. The company is also very active in developing the deep-learning framework Chainer™ together with IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Nvidia.

  1. READY Robotics (IoT Hardware)

READY Robotics is a rare robotics startup that is looking to benefit from the increasing automation and flexibility of manufacturing processes around the world. The company emerged from the cutting-edge robotics research at Johns Hopkins University to develop its industrial robotic software called Forge.  The company has seen a 150%+ growth in headcount in the last two years and is now producing roughly 15 robot systems per month.

  1. SparkCognition (IoT Middleware & Software Infrastructure)

SparkCognition excels in AI-powered analytics, particularly in manufacturing and related verticals. SparkCognition has seen a 100%+ growth in headcount over the last two years. The company has launched Skygrid, a joint venture with Boeing and it has partnered with Siemens as part of its Mindsphere program. The company is also a Google Cloud Technology Partner and works with IBM as a trusted partner.

The full 62-page report (+ 1,018 line-item database) titled “IoT Startups Report & Database 2019” is available for purchase here.

Customer Experiences Define Success In A Digital-First World

Customer Experiences Define Success In A Digital-First World

  • 91% of enterprises have adopted or have plans to adopt a digital-first strategy. Of these enterprises, 48% already have a digital-first approach in place.
  • Creating better customer experiences (67%), improving process efficiency through automation (53%), and driving new revenue (48%) are the top three digital business strategies enterprises are investing in today.
  • 35% of enterprises have experienced revenue growth due to digital business initiatives over the past 12 months.
  • 5G, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning are the top technologies being researched by enterprises who are defining digital business strategies.
  • Enterprises are planning to spend $15.3M on digital initiatives over the next 12 months. 59% will be allocated to technology, and 41% will be dedicated to people and skills.

These and many other fascinating insights are from the second annual IDG Digital Business study, The State of Digital Business Transformation 2019. You can download a summary of the slides here (7 pp., PDF, opt-in). The survey’s methodology is based on 702 interviews across nine industries with technology, financial services, and business services (consulting, legal and real estate) comprising 43% of all respondents. IDG relied on CIO, Computerworld, CSO, InfoWorld, and Network World visitors as their primary respondent base. For additional details regarding the methodology, please see page 2 of the study.

The study’s primary goal was to gain a better understanding of where organizations are in their approaches to becoming digital-first businesses. The study captures the strategies and technologies businesses are adopting to ensure digitally-driven growth with customer experience improvements being proven as a growth catalyst. Key insights from the survey include the following:

  • 52% of enterprises define digital business as meeting customer experience expectations, jumping to 65% for financial services enterprises. Customer expectations rule all other categories of how an enterprise defines a digital business. 49% define digital business as enabling worker productivity with mobile apps, data access, and AI-assisted automation. The following graphic compares how enterprises define their digital business. Please click on the graphic to expand for easier reading.

Customer Experiences Define Success In A Digital-First World

  • Mobile devices and apps are enterprises’ platform of choice for launching digital-first strategies in 2019. Mobile apps and the platforms supporting them provide the needed scale, speed-to-market, and performance gains through application-level improvements that all businesses need to gain initial adoption and growth with their digital-first strategies. IDG found that private cloud and business process management are the second- and third-most used technologies to drive digital-first initiatives. Enterprises also have a considerable lead when it comes to mobile app availability: 74% have mobile apps today compared to 51% of SMBs.

  • Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning are the leading three initiatives enterprises have in pilot today as part of their digital-first initiatives. 21% of all organizations surveyed are in one or more IoT pilots, and 20% of organizations are piloting AI and machine learning projects today. Nearly a third of all organizations (29%) have multi-cloud configurations in production today, and 25% have software-defined Wide Area Networks (WANs).

  • 57% of enterprises (companies with over 1K employees) say improving new product and service offerings by digitally enabling operations is the single greatest source of revenue growth. Digitally enabling or streamlining new product and development processes and the systems supporting them also improve the ability to innovate and size new opportunities (49%). It makes sense that once the new product development process is more digitally enabled, an organization will be able to more efficiently launch new capabilities (47% in enterprises) and improve sales capacity including upsell and cross-sell (41% overall).

  • Creating better customer experiences (67%), improving process efficiency through automation (53%), and driving new revenue (48%) are the top three digital business strategies enterprises are investing in today. Business Management, including General Managers with P&L responsibility, are placing a high priority on creating a better customer experience, far above all else. They’re the revenue drivers of businesses adopting a digital-first strategy today as well, over 10% higher than IT Management and 12% higher than IT executives.

  • In the most successful digital-first businesses, the CIO the most visible, vocal, and successful in leading change management initiatives. Six of the nine core dimensions of a successful digital enablement strategy are dominated by CIOs. Technology Needs Assessment (48%), IT Skills Assessment (48%) and Change Management (33%) are the three areas CIOs are making the greatest contribution to digital-first strategies on the part of their businesses. It’s important to note that CIOs are far and away, the champion and leader of data management strategies as well.

  • Enterprises are placing a high priority on data security and protection as part of the digital-first initiatives, with 27% having cybersecurity systems in place. It’s encouraging to see business and IT leaders making data and system security their highest priority, getting results quickly in this area. Technology needs assessment, and IT skills assessment (both 24%) are also areas where enterprises are making strong progress. As the CIO owns these areas and is also the person most likely to be owning change management, it’s understandable how advanced digital-first businesses are on these two dimensions. The following graphic compares the progress enterprises are making in becoming a digitally-driven business.

What Matters Most In Business Intelligence, 2019

  • Improving revenues using BI is now the most popular objective enterprises are pursuing in 2019.
  • Reporting, dashboards, data integration, advanced visualization, and end-user self-service are the most strategic BI initiatives underway in enterprises today.
  • Operations, Executive Management, Finance, and Sales are primarily driving Business Intelligence (BI) adoption throughout enterprises today.
  • Tech companies’ Operations & Sales teams are the most effective at driving BI adoption across industries surveyed, with Advertising driving BI adoption across Marketing.

These and many other fascinating insights are from Dresner Advisory Associates’ 10th edition of its popular Wisdom of Crowds® Business Intelligence Market Study. The study is noteworthy in that it provides insights into how enterprises are expanding their adoption of Business Intelligence (BI) from centralized strategies to tactical ones that seek to improve daily operations. The Dresner research teams’ broad assessment of the BI market makes this report unique, including their use visualizations that provide a strategic view of market trends. The study is based on interviews with respondents from the firms’ research community of over 5,000 organizations as well as vendors’ customers and qualified crowdsourced respondents recruited over social media. Please see pages 13 – 16 for the methodology.

Key insights from the study include the following:

  • Operations, Executive Management, Finance, and Sales are primarily driving Business Intelligence (BI) adoption throughout their enterprises today. More than half of the enterprises surveyed see these four departments as the primary initiators or drivers of BI initiatives. Over the last seven years, Operations departments have most increased their influence over BI adoption, more than any other department included in the current and previous survey. Marketing and Strategic Planning are also the most likely to be sponsoring BI pilots and looking for new ways to introduce BI applications and platforms into use daily.

  • Tech companies’ Operations & Sales teams are the most effective at driving BI adoption across industries surveyed, with Advertising driving BI adoption across Marketing. Retail/Wholesale and Tech companies’ sales leadership is primarily driving BI adoption in their respective industries. It’s not surprising to see the leading influencer among Healthcare respondents is resource-intensive HR. The study found that Executive Management is most likely to drive business intelligence in consulting practices most often.

  • Reporting, dashboards, data integration, advanced visualization, and end-user self-service are the most strategic BI initiatives underway in enterprises today. Second-tier initiatives include data discovery, data warehousing, data discovery, data mining/advanced algorithms, and data storytelling. Comparing the last four years of survey data, Dresner’s research team found reporting retains all-time high scores as the top priority, and data storytelling, governance, and data catalog hold momentum. Please click on the graphic to expand for easier reading.

  • BI software providers most commonly rely on executive-level personas to design their applications and add new features. Dresner’s research team found all vertical industries except Business Services target business executives first in their product design and messaging. Given the customer-centric nature of advertising and consulting services business models, it is understandable why the primary focus BI vendors rely on in selling to them are customer personas. The following graphic compares targeted users for BI by industry.

  • Improving revenues using BI is now the most popular objective in 2019, despite BI initially being positioned as a solution for compliance and risk management. Executive Management, Marketing/Sales, and Operations are driving the focus on improving revenues this year. Nearly 50% of enterprises now expect BI to deliver better decision making, making the areas of reporting, and dashboards must-have features. Interestingly, enterprises aren’t looking to BI as much for improving operational efficiencies and cost reductions or competitive advantages. Over the last 12 to 18 months, more tech manufacturing companies have initiated new business models that require their operations teams to support a shift from products to services revenues. An example of this shift is the introduction of smart, connected products that provide real-time data that serves as the foundation for future services strategies. Please click on the graphic to expand for easier reading.

  • In aggregate, BI is achieving its highest levels of adoption in R&D, Executive Management, and Operations departments today. The growing complexity of products and business models in tech companies, increasing reliance on analytics and BI in retail/wholesale to streamline supply chains and improve buying experiences are contributing factors to the increasing levels of BI adoption in these three departments. The following graphic compares BI’s level of adoption by function today.

  • Enterprises with the largest BI budgets this year are investing more heavily into dashboards, reporting, and data integration. Conversely, those with smaller budgets are placing a higher priority on open source-based big data projects, end-user data preparation, collaborative support for group-based decision-making, and enterprise planning. The following graphic provides insights into technologies and initiatives strategic to BI at an enterprise level by budget plans.

  • Marketing/Sales and Operations are using the greatest variety of BI tools today. The survey shows how conversant Operations professionals are with the BI tools in use throughout their departments. Every one of them knows how many and most likely which types of BI tools are deployed in their departments. Across all industries, Research & Development (R&D), Business Intelligence Competency Center (BICC), and IT respondents are most likely to report they have multiple tools in use.

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