“Big Data” or “Big Time Security Breach”?

The well-established perception that data security is a combination of people, process and technology holds good for “Big Data”, as well as any other kind of data. In the “Big Data World” data security gets more complex and magnified, but the fundamental issues remain the same. Recent studies reveal that the total average cost of data breach can be as high as $5.4 million for a given financial year, this is a significant number. This alone is reason enough for organisations to evolve from traditional data governance mechanisms to models that can encompass Big Data as well.

This poses some big questions for Big Data advocates to ponder over though – is it moral, or legal, to make use of Big Data in such a way that it reveals information about someone, or something that may not be intended for public consumption? For example, if someone has an illness, or is carrying out activities that they don’t want others to know about? For enterprises, they should consider whether this information can lead to unintended consequences and potential data security breaches? Should a retailer be taken by surprise if they are penalised for using customer data that they have derived, for purposes unknown to the individual about whom they have collected it? Aside from morality, given the financial impact of data breaches, this requires serious thought. Continue reading


Testing Data Warehouse – A four step approach (Part II)

In my previous post  I elaborated on the key factors to be ensured in Data Quality Validation and End User & BI / Report Testing for an effective outcome. Data Quality Validation comprises of test for data completeness, data transformation and data quality. In this post I shall explain about the other two aspects that Data Warehouse Test strategy focuses on. Continue reading


Testing Data Warehouse – A four step approach (Part I)

The success of any Data Warehouse (DWH) solution lies in its ability to not only analyze huge amounts of data over time but also to provide stakeholders and end-users meaningful options that are based on real-time data.

While details are elaborated below, it is essential that a good DWH test strategy should cover validation of loading of all required rows, correct execution of all transformations and successful completion of the cleansing operation. The team also needs to thoroughly test SQL queries, stored procedures or queries that produce aggregate or summary tables. Keeping in tune with emerging trends, it is also important for test teams to design and execute a set of test cases that are focused on customer experience. Continue reading


Impact of new regulations on European financial institutions: Crystal ball gazing for opportunities

The European financial crisis displayed numerous limitations in supervising the regulations of the financial sector, causing a severe disruption of the system. To reduce the intensity of the impact on the economy and to avoid a similar outbreak in future, the Group of Twenty (G20) helped establish the foundation of a new global financial regulatory framework to guarantee improved financial stability. The G20 agenda outlined a new prudential architecture that played a key role in shaping an integrated and global response to the ongoing crisis.

The focus tapered down to the impact of new regulations on the business operations of European banks and the attempts to counter these regulations for their betterment. To address this, three new European supervisory authorities and a European systemic risk board were hired by the European commission to improve cross-border co-operation and consistent enforcement of rules. The idea was to connect the requirements of bank regulations with G20 commitments. So, why is it important to understand the downstream impacts of changing regulations on the financial markets? How are financial industries attempting to overcome these challenges? Continue reading


Customer centricity in the real world

The Millennial generation has grown up with information technology and they expect their interactions with Business to Consumer (B2C) IT systems, whether sales or service focused, to consistently deliver top-quality customer service experiences. More so than previous generations, they are both heavily marketed to by brands and very brand conscious; they tend to group together and follow the latest trends. As such, companies today would be wise to tailor their offerings to address the expectations of Millennials, as they are the next generation of customers. Continue reading


Initiation phase of a large IT program – Key things to keep in mind

Many global companies are using business transformation initiatives to meet changing market needs. Implementing large IT programs is a key component of these change initiatives. Given that the failures of such programs are now commonly discussed; a recent McKinsey/Oxford study highlights that the failure rate of such programs is indeed more often. According to the study, half of IT projects with budgets of over $15 million dollars run 45% over budget, 7% are behind schedule and deliver 56% less functionality than predicted. What should organizations do to mitigate failure of such programs, and successfully implement their program? Continue reading


Wearable technology: Passing fad or next big thing in the consumerization wave?

Most people are still trying to get a handle on how to use their mobile phones and tablets effectively so the idea of adopting and integrating wearable technology into your life may seem as far off as The Jetsons. 

Wearable Technology – Gaining momentum
While wearable technology is still in its infancy, there is no doubt that it will soon enter the mainstream. We are already seeing many consumer electronics companies increasing their focus in this area. Continue reading


How Publishers should deal with digital disruption

The leading world economies have witnessed a decline in consumer disposable income in the past five years resulting in less spending on books in general. The mega trend to move from traditional publishing to digital publishing has also impacted the global book publishing industry significantly. The proliferation of new tablet and smart mobile devices coupled with personalized e-Book readers and competitive pricing of e-Books have impacted revenues. The investments necessary to transition to the new digital publishing world has led to consolidation in the industry, recently Random House and Penguin merged to form the largest publisher, Bertelsmann will own 53% and Pearson will own 47% of the new venture. Continue reading


Mobile Banking Trends in 2014

2013 was a big year for mobile banking driving by trends such as increased smart phone adoption and the popularity of mobile check deposit. Looking into 2014, we see several areas that will drive mobile banking adoption even higher: Continue reading


Looking back at 2013: 4 trends driving mobile banking adoption

Year 2013 was in some ways a year that created the foundation for rapid mobile banking growth in the coming years. An Accenture study found that adoption increased in the US by 50%. This growth shows no sign of slowing, as Forrester Research predicts that U.S. mobile banking users will double in the next five years, reaching 108 million by 2017.

Looking back at 2013, we can see several trends driving mobile banking adoption. Continue reading