Tom Petrocelli Clarifies How Cloud Foundry and Kubernetes Provide Different Paths to Microservices

DevOps Research Fellow Tom Petrocelli has just published a new report describing the roles that Cloud Foundry Application Runtime and Kubernetes play in supporting microservices. This report explores when each solution is appropriate and provides a set of vendors that provide resources and solutions to support the development of these open source projects.

Organizations and Vendors mentioned include: Cloud Foundry Foundation, Cloud Native Computing Foundation, Pivotal, IBM, Suse, Atos, Red Hat, Canonical, Rancher, Mesosphere, Heptio, Google, Amazon, Oracle, and Microsoft

To download this report, which has been made available at no cost until the end of February, go to https://amalgaminsights.com/product/analyst-insight-cloud-foundry-and-kubernetes-different-paths-to-microservices

Todd Maddox Publishes Brain Science Analysis of Augmented Reality for Product Lifecycle Management

Today, Todd Maddox published the report “Why Augmented Reality is Effective in Product Lifecycle Management: A Brain Science Analysis.” This report provides best practices for implementing augmented reality across product development, supply chain management, equipment operation, troubleshooting, and field service.

Recommendations are based on Maddox’ research, which has been cited over 10,000 by his academic peers.

This report is available at no cost through the end of February based on the generosity of our clients. To download this report at no cost for the rest of February, please go to https://amalgaminsights.com/product/analyst-insight-why-augmented-reality-is-effective-in-product-lifecycle-management.

Four Key Announcements from H2O World San Francisco

Last week at H2O World San Francisco, H2O.ai announced a number of improvements to Driverless AI, H2O, Sparkling Water, and AutoML, as well as several new partnerships for Driverless AI. The improvements provide incremental improvements across the platform, while the partnerships reflect H2O.ai expanding their audience and capabilities. This piece is intended to provide guidance to data analysts, data scientists, and analytic professionals working on including machine learning in their workflows.

Announcements

H2O.ai has integrated H2O Driverless AI with Alteryx Designer; the connector is available for download in the Alteryx Analytics Gallery. This will permit Alteryx users to implement more advanced and automatic machine learning algorithms into analytic workflows in Designer, as well as doing automatic feature engineering for their machine learning models. In addition, Driverless AI models can be deployed to Alteryx Promote for model management and monitoring, reducing time to deployment. Both of these new capabilities provide Alteryx-using business analysts and citizen data scientists more direct and expanded access to machine learning via H2O.ai.

H2O.ai is integrating Kx’s time-series database, kdb+, into Driverless AI. This will extend Driverless AI’s ability to process large datasets, resulting in faster identification of more performant predictive capabilities and machine learning models. Kx users will be able to perform feature engineering for machine learning models on their time series datasets within Driverless AI, and create time-series specific queries.

H2O.ai also announced a collaboration with Intel that will focus on accelerating H2O.ai technology on Intel platforms, including the Intel Xeon Scalable processor and H2O.ai’s implementation of XGBoost. Driverless AI on Intel, globally.  Accelerating H2O on Intel will help establish Intel’s credibility in machine learning and artificial intelligence for heavy compute loads. Other aspects of this collaboration will include expanding the reach of data science and machine learning by supporting efforts to integrate AI into analytics workflows and using Intel’s AI Academy to teach relevant skills. The details of the technical projects will remain under wraps until spring.

Finally, H2O.ai announced numerous improvements to both Driverless AI and their open-source H2O, Sparkling Water, and AutoML, mostly focused on expanding support for more algorithms and heavier workloads among their product suite. Among the improvements that caught my eye was the new ability to inspect trees thoroughly for all of the tree-based algorithms that the open-source H2O platform supports. With concern about “black-box” models and lack of insight around how a given model performs its analysis and why it yields the results it does for any given experiment, providing an API for tree inspection is a practical step towards making the logic behind model performance and output more transparent for at least some machine learning models.

Recommendations

Alteryx users seeking to implement machine learning models into analytic workflows should take advantage of increased access to H2O Driverless AI. Providing more machine learning capabilities to business analysts and citizen data scientists enhances the capabilities available to their data analytics workflows; Driverless AI’s existing AutoDoc capability will be particularly useful for ensuring Alteryx users understand the results of the more advanced techniques they now have access to.

If your organization collects time-series data but has not yet pursued analytics of this data with machine learning yet, consider trialing KX’s kdb+ and H2O’s Driverless AI. With this integration, Driverless AI will be able to quickly and automatically process time series data stored in kdb+, allowing swift identification of performant models and predictive capabilities.

If your organization is considering making significant investments in heavy-duty computing assets for heavy machine learning loads in the medium-term future, keep an eye on the work Intel will be doing to design chips for specific types of machine learning workloads. NVIDIA has its GPUs and Google its TPUs; by partnering with H2O, Intel is declaring its intentions to remain relevant in this market.

If your organization is concerned about the effects of “black box” machine learning models, the ability to inspect tree-based models in H2O, along with the AutoDoc functionality in Driverless AI, are starting to make the logic behind machine learning models in H2O more transparent. This new ability to inspect tree-based algorithms is a key step towards more thorough governance surrounding the results of machine learning endeavors.

Leveraging Psychology and Brain Science to Optimize Retention and Behavior Change

Amalgam Insights’ Learning Science Research Fellow Todd Maddox has recently published an Analyst Insight focused on exploring how psychology and brain science can inform learning practitioners and provide tools that optimize information retention and behavior change. The workplace is changing rapidly and the modern employee needs continuous learning of hard skills, people (aka soft) skills and situational awareness. Neuroscience reveals that each of these skill sets is mediated by a distinct learning system in the brain, each of which has its own unique operating characteristics. The modern employee expects learning in the flow of work, available 24/7 on any device, with engaging content and experience.

Maddox’ key finding was that Qstream’s mobile microlearning solution meets these challenges by delivering content in a way that engages the cognitive skills learning system in the brain during hard skills training, the behavioral skills learning in the brain during people skills training, and the emotional skills learning system in the brain during situational awareness training. The user experience engages employees through scenario-based challenges which stimulate critical thinking, gives real-time feedback, explains answers, supports personalized coaching, and delivers learning in minutes per day.

For a complementary copy of the complete report, vist the Qstream website at: https://info.qstream.com/leveraging-learning-science-how-qstreams-mobile-microlearning-solution-changes-behavior.

Data Science and Machine Learning News Roundup, January 2019

On a monthly basis, I will be rounding up key news associated with the Data Science Platforms space for Amalgam Insights. Companies covered will include: Alteryx, Amazon, Anaconda, Cambridge Semantics, Cloudera, Databricks, Dataiku, DataRobot, Datawatch, DominoElastic, Google, H2O.ai, IBM, Immuta, Informatica, KNIME, MathWorks, Microsoft, Oracle, Paxata, RapidMiner, SAP, SAS, Tableau, Talend, Teradata, TIBCO, Trifacta, TROVE.

Cloudera and Hortonworks Complete Planned Merger

In early January, Cloudera and Hortonworks completed their planned merger. With this, Cloudera becomes the default machine learning ecosystem for Hadoop-based data, while providing an easy pathway for expanding into  machine learning and analytics capabilities for Hortonworks customers.

Study: 89 Percent of Finance Teams Yet to Embrace Artificial Intelligence

A study conducted by the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (AICPA) and Oracle revealed that 89% of organizations have not deployed AI to their finance groups. Although a correlation exists between companies with revenue growth and companies that are using AI, the key takeaway is that artificial intelligence is still in the early adopter phase for most organizations.

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Science and Machine Learning Platforms

In late January, Gartner released its Magic Quadrant for Data Science and Machine Learning Platforms. New to the Data Science and Machine Learning MQ this year are both DataRobot and Google – two machine learning offerings with completely different audiences and scope. DataRobot offers an automated machine learning service targeted towards “citizen data scientists,” while Google’s machine learning tools, though part of Google Cloud Platform, are more of a DIY data pipeline targeted towards developers. By contrast, I find it curious that Amazon’s SageMaker machine learning platform – and its own collection of task-specific machine learning tools, despite their similarity to Google’s – failed to make the quadrant, given this quadrant’s large umbrella.

While data science and machine learning are still emerging markets, the contrasting demands of these technologies made by citizen data scientists and by cutting-edge developers warrants splitting the next Data Science and Machine Learning Magic Quadrant into separate reports targeted to the considerations of each of these audiences. In particular, the continued growth of automated machine learning technologies will likely drive such a split, as citizen data scientists pursue a “good enough” solution that provides quick results.

Webinar: Leveraging Psychology And Brain Science To Optimize Retention And Behavior Change

Recommended for: Chief Learning Officers, Chief Human Resource Officers, Chief People Officer, Chief Talent Officer, Learning & Development Directors and Managers, Corporate Trainers, Content and Learning Product Managers, Hiring Directors, Hiring Managers, Human Resource Directors, Human Resource Managers.

On Tuesday, February 5, 2019 2:00pm EST, join the most cited  and referenced learning scientist in corporate learning, Todd Maddox, Ph.D.  as he presents on the psychology of corporate training with Dr. B. Price Kerfoot, Co-Founder of Qstream. 

Together, they will show why corporate learning and development professionals need to learn how to leverage the brain science and technology that change behavior.

In this webcast, you will learn:

  • the psychology of continuous learning for hard and soft skills development
  • the proof behind best practices in microlearning
  • the impact of spaced learning on knowledge retention and behavior change
  • the application of microlearning in corporate enterprise.

And by attending this webcast, you will:

  • Be armed with evaluation criteria for identifying best-of-breed microlearning solutions.
  • Become expert in how to affect behavior change at scale in the corporate learning environment.
  • Provoke thinking that applies proven spaced education research your own workplace L&D programs.

To attend this webinar, sign up on the ATD website and learn more about how to influence behavior, knowledge retention, and skills development based on the science of the brain. And Amalgam Insights thanks QStream for underwriting this opportunity for W. Todd Maddox Ph.D. to share his 25+ years of brain science knowledge with the corporate learning community.

Understanding the Brain Science on How the US Government Shutdown Reduces the Effectiveness of Diligent Decision-Making

 

On December 22, 2018, the longest government shutdown in American history began. Approximately 800,000 employees have been affected with roughly 380,000 workers being furloughed and another 420,000 working without pay. Many of the 420,000 employees being required to work without pay make important, and often split-second, life or death decisions.

This includes the Coast Guard, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and air traffic control, to name a few. While these employees are attempting to focus on their job (without pay), they are also pondering how to pay their rent or mortgage and whether to buy food, medicine, or gas.

With each passing day and missed paycheck, the shutdown is causing increased stress and anxiety. It creeps into the workers’ consciousness whether they like it or not.

From a brain science perspective, the likelihood of a major accident increases significantly every day mission-critical government workers are required to perform their jobs without pay, and with no clear indication of when their next paycheck will arrive.

Brain Science for Routine Behavior

From a brain science perspective, the effects of stress on decision making are well understood.  Well-established, routine behaviors such as swabbing luggage for bomb-making material or maintaining buoys and lighthouses is only moderately affected. Behaviors such as these are learned and initiated by the behavioral skills system in the brain that encompasses the basal ganglia, and is best learned and performed without “overthinking it.”

Situational Awareness Is Weakened By Shutdown-Driven Stress

However, cognitive processes and to a higher degree situational awareness are seriously hampered by shutdown-driven stress. Cognitive processing such as routing planes in flight and maintaining defense readiness in ports and on the oceans is strongly affected. Cognitive processing involves the cognitive skills system in the brain that recruits the prefrontal cortex and medial temporal lobes and relies heavily on working memory and attention. Stress and anxiety engage emotion centers in the brain that appropriate cognitive resources (working memory and attention) from the task at hand.

Situational awareness is especially affected by shutdown-driven stress. Situational awareness involves effectively processing and comprehending the situation around you, and projecting the future state. Situational awareness relies on cognitive, emotional and behavioral skills systems in the brain and involves knowing “what to do, when.”  Situational awareness is critical to Coast Guard, TSA and air traffic control operations because these operations require constant diligence to effectively evaluate the current and future situations that often require split-second decisions and projections into the future. It is this ability to “think on one’s feet” and to make the right split-second decision that is at serious risk when these employees are attempting work and simultaneously deal with the stress and anxiety of going unpaid.

Conclusion

With each passing day the likelihood of a major accident increases. Critical decision-making centers in the brain that are central to the mission of the Coast Guard, TSA, and air traffic control are operating at sub-optimal levels because shutdown-driven stress and anxiety are holding important cognitive and situational awareness processes hostage. This is only going to get worse. Putting politics aside, and focusing exclusively on the psychological and brain science of decision-making, the only solution is to end the shutdown and allow these workers to do their job with pay, and with their full brain processing capacity focused on the job.

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Todd Maddox, Ph.D. has more than 200 published articles, 10,000 citings, and $10 million in external research funding in his 25+ years researching the brain basis of behavior.  Maddox is available for comment on this topic and can be contacted via media@amalgaminsights.com

Leveraging Learning Science: Why Skillsoft’s Technology and Developer Learning Content Drives Continuous Adaptability in the Digital Age: A Market Milestone

In a recently published Market Milestone, Todd Maddox, Ph.D., Learning Scientist and Research Fellow for Amalgam Insights, evaluated Skillsoft’s Technology and Developer Learning Content from a learning science perspective—the marriage of psychology and brain science.
This involves evaluating the training content and delivery to determine whether it engages psychological processes and learning systems in the brain effectively.

Amalgam’s overall evaluation is that Skillsoft’s Technology and Developer Learning Content is highly effective. Skillsoft’s Technology and Developer Content portfolio meets the need for continuous adaptability and effective engagement of the task appropriate learning system in the brain with their “watch”, “read”, “listen” and “practice” content and delivery methodology. Delivering the Technology and Developer Content portfolio with Percipio’s ELSA ensures that the portfolio is efficiently organized, is easily accessible on any device, is searchable and is seamlessly integrated into the employee’s flow of work. Finally, Skillsoft’s newly developed “Aspire” offering helps the employee realize their aspirations and desires by building an “Aspirational Persona” and developing a digital learning journey to support career advancement.

For more information, read the full Market Milestone licensed for distribution by Skillsoft at http://learn.skillsoft.com/Website-AR-Amalgam-Leveraging-Learning-Science-Why-Skillsofts-Tech-Dev-Learn_LandingPage.html.

Amalgam Insights: 2019 Shaping Up as “Turbulent” Year for Technology Budgets, With Cost Controls Taking Center Stage

Technology Expense Management, analyst firm says, can help companies adopt a “more careful approach…and a cost-efficient working environment.”

A new report from industry analysts Amalgam Insights warns that this year will represent what it calls a “change for companies that have managed digital transformation & technology investment in bull markets” of the previous several years. But it says several sectors within the technology expense management (TEM) environment remain posted for significant growth, with the telecommunications industry leading the way, with a projected 15-20 percent spending increase.

Amalgam Insights chief analyst Hyoun Park authored the new report, saying the enterprise mobile sector spend will be a key driver. He says spending in this area should increase by as much as 15 percent in 2019, driven by what he calls “the incessant demand for mobile data from apps, video, music, and other persistent and constantly updating workloads.”

He also predicts that Amazon Web Services, Microsoft and Google Cloud Platform will continue to rake in more revenue, with an estimated run rate of $30 billion this year; he projects that amount could easily hit $50 billion in 2020.

Other predictions from the new Amalgam Insights report:

  • Software as a Service (SaaS) will be a $75 billion market by next year;
  • The Internet of Things (IoT) market will continue to be in flux, due to its complexity, with companies challenged to monetize the two billion non-cellular Internet of Things devices to be created for industrial, commercial, and enterprise; and
  • Most importantly, the technology expense market will double to more than two billion dollars over the coming year.

“Over half of enterprises do not have basic technology spend practices in place,” Park says. “The most frequent mistake these companies make is assuming that they’ve assigned a person to processing telecom invoices, so those people know how to manage and optimize telecom bills and contracts, which is usually not true.”

The full Amalgam Insights report is available for download at: https://amalgaminsights.com/product/analyst-insight-7-key-technology-expense-management-predictions-for-2019

Now Available: Market Milestone: Vena Solutions Raises $115 Million to Support Mid-Market FP&A

On January 9th, 2019, Vena Solutions announced a $115 million round of equity financing led by JMI Equity and joined by prior investor Centana Growth Partners. Based on Amalgam Insights’ discussions with Vena’s executive team, this funding will be used to expand Vena’s product, customer support, sales, marketing, and operations teams as well as to expand the customer base in the mid-market, where Vena has been successfully winning business over the past several years.

Amalgam Insights’ Market Milestones highlight and contextualize key announcements in enterprise technology markets. This Market Milestone provides guidance on why this funding round is an important milestone for mid-market FP&A in context of the red-hot FP&A market as well as important trends in Enterprise Performance Management product development and venture capital investment. To access Amalgam Insights’ perspective at no cost until Friday, January 19th, click through to read our perspective on this important milestone.