Career in Data Analytics

Career in Data Analytics: 4 non-technical aspects people don’t think about

This article has some important tips for you if you want to build a career in data analytics.

Certain universal truths cannot be denied. The sun will always rise in the east and set in the west. The earth will continue to revolve around the sun for the next 5 billion years. Free from any impurities, water is always tasteless, colourless, and odourless. Here’s another fact that has recently made its way into this club of truisms: the world is, and will increasingly be, driven by data.

You probably didn’t see that coming, did you? I’ll posit that the only reason we don’t pay such close attention to data is because of the sheer quantum of it surrounding us today. In 2018, IBM estimated that more than 2.5 quintillion bytes of data were generated across the globe every day.

The reason behind generating a huge amount of data

Because every action we take, every action we don’t take, every bit of content that we consume, share, or reject all of it adds to the massive and growing pile of information that is created every second of every day. Data is like air essential, yet invisible and we can’t seem to stop generating it.

And, with the growing integration of digital technologies and IoT devices in our lives, the speed of data creation is only set to accelerate in the future.

Naturally, with such a data inundation comes transformation. Enterprises are already tapping into the benefits that a data-centric approach can deliver for their business and are eagerly building their data capabilities to capture the opportunity that looms just over the horizon.

Marketing, strategic decision-making, sales, human resources, supply chain management each and every business function is actively being touched and redefined by data.

Data is changing the job landscape

It is also changing the jobs landscape. We now have specialised roles such as data specialists, data architects, and, for large enterprises, even Chief Data Officers (CDOs). For professionals, the field of data analytics and business intelligence is interesting and lucrative; data-related roles such as data scientists have been consistently highlighted amongst the most promising jobs of the future and currently offer the highest median salaries across the globe.

So, what do you need to benefit from the opportunity that this high-growth sector represents? There are a thousand and one informative blogs about the technical skills that you can acquire to become a data professional. This is why I will focus on the softer aspects, learnt from my personal experiences in this domain that will help you craft a career in the field of data analytics:

Tips to build a career in data analytics

One of the biggest learnings that I’ve had in my career is the need to question everything. It is the part and parcel of the job to identify how to take a process that is working perfectly fine and make it better. This is why a data professional can never, ever, ever be satisfied with the status quo nor should they be. Inculcate a habit of evaluating everything that you observe and use data to back up your observations. The analysis at all times starts with you.

The ability to constantly learn and augment one’s knowledge base is a skill that is of the utmost importance to a data professional. The field itself is dynamic, fast-evolving, ever-changing. To succeed, you will need to stay in step with or maybe even ahead of its evolutionary curve. And the only way to do that is to constantly learn, unlearn, and relearn.

As a data professional, you must remember that there is no fixed path to finding solutions to problems. 1+4’ is just as much a 5’ as 2+3’ is, which is just as much a 5’ as 1+1+2+1’. Even if the end-objective achieved is the same, sometimes one solution works better than the other one. This is why you need to have a flexible and agile mindset that can break down a large problem statement into multiple smaller parts and figure out the solution that delivers the best results. It is also essential to be ready to switch from an idea that initially worked but no longer does, or to try newer ideas that might work better. The question isn’t if’; it is how’.

You might be a wizard when it comes to analysing data, but it will amount to little if that analysis cannot be translated into simple, actionable insights that can be used by the end-user be it a client or an internal stakeholder. Look at how you can simplify and personalise your analytics reports as per the needs of your end-user. Do it constantly and it will become second nature. The objective is to help your end-user make the best decisions backed by data-driven insights that they can readily understand and implement.

Let’s end as we began: with another universal truth. Change or, better yet, entropy will always be the only constant. As a data professional, your entire job revolves around how to best navigate that change, make life simpler for everyone who depends on you, and add value to processes and functions.

Cultivating these soft skills can help you achieve these objectives and complement your technical skillsets to create a lucrative career trajectory in this specialised, high-growth field.

Source: Tom Ricks

 


 

Data V Tech is proud to be one of the leading ERP vendors in the Asia Pacific. We have implemented Epicor ERP for many enterprises and organizations in Vietnam and China. For direct consultation, please feel free to contact us.

PLM, ERP, EAM, Digital Twin: What do they mean

PLM, ERP, EAM, Digital Twin: What Do They All Mean? – [PODCAST]

The power industry and technology worlds are filled with acronyms. It’s often hard to know what they all mean. Mark Reisig, director of Product Marketing at Aras, was a guest on The POWER Podcast. He explained how digital technology is being utilized to bring products to market and track assets throughout their lifecycle.

The process often starts in a product lifecycle management (PLM) system. Reisig said when a product is created for the first time, things like the engineering bill of materials (BOM) and computer-aided design (CAD) drawings can be linked to the component in a PLM system. In all, he said there are about 20 key attributes documented in the system. They typically revolve around the form, fit, and function of the product, including its description, revision, unit of measure, part number, and more.

The PLM information feeds into an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. ERP is a transactional system. It coordinates how everything is put together. It tracks what is made and what is bought—including financial data—and allows the product to be manufactured and assembled. ERP systems often include 150 to 175 different attributes. When complete, the ERP provides an as-shipped BOM.

At that point, an enterprise asset management (EAM) system becomes important. It is used to track and manage the physical asset through its lifecycle. This basically covers construction, commissioning, operations, and maintenance, all the way to decommissioning and replacement. As an enterprise tool, it goes beyond a single plant to include all the assets an owner manages. The idea is to track all the changes to all the physical assets, which is what Reisig called an “as-maintained” or “as-running” BOM. The EAM system also facilitates planning and execution of the work required to keep everything running.

“The real value of the three systems that I just mentioned is that you can connect across them in a digital thread,” Reisig said. “The person looking into the enterprise asset management, when they click on a digital twin, if they want to go back and see what the actual requirement was, they can actually do so. So, the real value is when you can cut across all of these pillar systems—EAM, ERP, and PLM.”

What is a digital twin? Reisig said most vendors position digital twins as models. The models are typically created during the engineering phase, which means they are a representation of what was designed. However, they don’t always reflect what was actually made during the manufacturing or construction process.

“Right there, you’ve got a problem, and that’s because many things happen to products when they go through production,” Reisig said. “We believe the digital twin is first available after it’s been manufactured, and even after it’s shipped, during the as-built stage.”

By creating the digital twin in the as-built phase, much more detailed and accurate information can be captured. In this way, physical part BOMs and related simulation data can be linked to the digital twin. Things like CAD drawings, service bulletins, work order history, electronics wiring schematics, and more, can be connected using a digital thread back to where that information is stored.

“Our definition is: the digital twin is the individual configuration of that physical product or a system of assets, and that creates the context you need to create value across the lifecycle,” Reisig said.

Listen to the entire interview with Reisig on The POWER Podcast.

Source: Powermag.com

 


 

Data V Tech is proud to be one of the leading ERP vendors in the Asia Pacific. We have implemented Epicor ERP for many enterprises and organizations in Vietnam and China. For direct consultation, please feel free to contact us.

Pharma Pharmaceuticals deploys Epicor ERP

Pharma Pharmaceuticals deploys Epicor ERP

Epicor Software Corporation, a global provider of industry-specific enterprise software, has announced that Pharma Pharmaceutical Industries (Pharma)—a leader in the kingdom’s pharmaceutical services industry—has implemented Epicor ERP to enhance data capture and archiving capabilities, optimise operational efficiencies, and guarantee on-time delivery to customers.
Pharma brings together business leaders and healthcare veterans to offer services to the Saudi pharmaceutical industry that include branding, marketing and sales, warehousing and logistics, facilities management, and regulatory compliance consultancy.
The company’s international reach demanded a new approach to technology to ensure it remained a leader in the new global digital economy. It embarked upon a bold digital transformation journey, with a robust ERP platform as the planned keystone.
“We didn’t have an ERP platform in place and relied on a paper system to manage each department’s activity,” said Tariq Kayyali, quality unit director and ERP project manager, Pharma Pharmaceuticals Industries, whose team of stakeholders focused on linking and integrating department transactions to reduce the time taken to locate vital archived data.
Errors in starting materials and the resulting mix-ups and delays in order deliveries became significant business risks to the company, pre-digitization. The risk of using incorrect or expired material in the manufacturing process was compounded by the company’s inability to accurately control all its assets and due to its tendency to produce inaccurate reports due to manual compilation.
With the support of trusted Epicor partner, Full Insight Technology Solutions (FITS), Pharma deployed a platform that was easy to install, user-intuitive, and provided tight-fit functionality with its needs. Over a period of 10 months, the system was rolled out to 15 users, who all reported ease of use and unprecedented accuracy.
Switching to Epicor ERP has allowed Pharma to smoothly link and integrate transactions across all departments and enhance accuracy in operations and inventory control. Strict audit trails now allow every critical transaction to be traced—to the user, date, and time of action—allowing Pharma to closely monitor related business impacts. Labelling problems have also been overcome, by enabling greater control over purchased and manufactured parts.
“We ended up saving about 30 percent of unnecessary warehouse-team transactions and managed to reduce the time taken to find or track historical data records or transactions, from hours or days to seconds or minutes,” said Kayyali. “We also reduced the risk of mix-up and eliminated the possibility Pharma Pharmaceuticals deploys Epicor ERP to streamline processes and optimise service delivery of using an invalid or expired part as a starting material—which is critical in the pharma industry.”
Having a validated ERP system helps us meet the expectations and compliance requirements of medicinal product agencies, both in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and around the world.”
“Remaining relevant in the digital economy is no minor feat,” added Amel Gardner, regional vice president, Middle East, Africa and India (MEAI), Epicor.
“Competitors—especially new market entrants—will not be using manual processes for critical functions. It is therefore vital that all firms digitise as much as possible. Epicor ERP will give Pharma a strong platform for growth and enable it to easily comply with granular industry requirements. The platform is designed to fit every business like a glove, delivering automation and operational enhancements that pave the way to true digital transformation.” — Tradearabia News Service

 

Data V Tech is proud to be one of the leading ERP vendors in the Asia Pacific. We have implemented Epicor ERP for many enterprises and organizations in Vietnam and China, particularly in the pharmaceutical industry. For direct consultation, please feel free to contact us.

Learn about Epicor ERP in the wake of COVID-19 and get ready for the future.

Epicor ERP in Covid-19

Epicor launches partner support program in wake of COVID-19

Epicor has launched its ‘Fit for the Future’ program, designed to aid the company’s partners to build business resilience in response to COVID-19 and succeed in the current landscape.

According to Epicor, it is crucial to support partners as these businesses are a ‘vital’ component of Epicor’s go-to-market model. As such, the company is focused on providing competency, capability, and capacity within the market so partners can better serve and deliver value to its customers, Epicor states.

Partners include resellers, system integrators, and service partners, which can implement, design, and develop transformational IT strategies using the Epicor product portfolio and tools.

The program supports ongoing remote working situations and focuses on three core pillars, collaboration, skills and communication.

Togetherness: One Team focuses on staying connected to partners providing help in navigating changes and supporting connectivity and agility, the company states.

Epicor is actively encouraging partners to share their experiences and learnings in order to drive business improvements needed to fuel continued growth and shore up business resilience.

Partners will be able to access recordings, PowerPoint presentations, demo scripts, and other supporting documents from a partner hub to boost sales and scalability, Epicor states.

Developing Skills and Value brings an enablement plan to help partners continue develop a range of skills that can help them to remain competitive and agile in coming months.

Training is being delivered through a range of virtual sessions focused on sales skills, where attendees gain understanding in customer pain points and how to articulate increased value to customers; operational efficiencies and how to improve the customer experience; capability in accessing valuable collateral and managing pipeline; and business planning and driving SMART objectives.

To support partner development, Epicor is also publishing a series of weekly webinars and has been offering free-of-charge certifications over the last month.

Communication focuses on Epicor’s commitment to sharing information that ensures partners have useful data to help customers through a variety of new market challenges.

By keeping the lines of communication open, Epicor states it hopes to continue to grow alongside its partners, whilst supporting the wellbeing of each business and its employees.

Epicor Software vice president channel sales Paul Flannery says, “By investing in our partner community and supporting them through challenging times such as these, we are making sure businesses are resilient, by equipping them with the resources, tools, and knowledge needed to emerge stronger than ever before.

“We are dedicated to help our partners by helping them to thrive and adapt to the current environment in a way that’s rapid, streamlined, and scalable.”

For partners who have participated in the ‘Fit for the Future’ program, Epicor will be recognising these efforts through a scheme called the ‘Partner Olympics’.

Points will be awarded for attending webinars, downloading information from the partner hub, and achieving certifications. By putting this scheme in place, Epicor aims to drive continued engagement, whilst helping partners to adapt to a rapidly changing global climate.

Source: Chanellife


Data V Tech is proud to be one of the leading ERP vendors in the Asia Pacific. We have implemented Epicor ERP for many enterprises and organizations in Vietnam and China. For direct consultation, please feel free to contact us.

Learn about Epicor ERP in the wake of COVID-19 and get ready for the future.

Bridging the gap in data analytics by machine learning and AI

Bridging the gap in data analytics

Machine Learning and AI are two exciting application areas that enable programs to automatically learn and improve from experience

Location data has become by default for businesses as well as private consumers. Although, consumers are experiencing exponential digital developments through major technology giants, the digital transformation for governments and industries is slowing down.

A major survey by McKinsey shows that less than 1% of all data collected is analyzed. Data grows quickly, and all data has a location factor. However, only a fraction of this data is analyzed for smart decision making. We translate data from the dynamically changing environment to make data-driven decisions. This is done by converting real-time data into usable information; while self-learning algorithms embedded in our solutions help continually improve predictions.

Machine Learning and AI are two exciting application areas that enable programs to automatically learn and improve from experience. Our customers have greatly benefited from Machine Learning to create sustainable and light solutions.

Towards Sustainability 

In the Netherlands, the government has an initiative called ‘common ground’ that strives to create a future-proof municipal IT infrastructure. IMAGEM contributes to this initiative for all government customers through the VALLEY – a concept of reusing applications and pay per use models. Our model supports the development of society in collaboration with government, industry and citizens.

Source: Wouter Brokx


 

Data V Tech is proud to be one of the leading ERP vendors in the Asia Pacific. We have implemented Epicor ERP for many enterprises and organizations in Vietnam and China. For direct consultation, please feel free to contact us.

Regional internet of things RIoT mitigates COVID-19 crisis

Regional Internet of Things group RIoT plans webinar to fight virus

In this time of fear and confusion, NC RIoT will be sharing a message of hope and progress as leaders in the tech space share how the Internet of Things and Data can mitigate the effects of the current COVID-19 crisis and prepare for others in the future.

This virtual event will explore novel ways that technology and data can be used to combat pandemics & protect public health.

RIoT [the Regional Internet of Things users group] has always expressed its belief in technology’s role of promoting economic growth, but now more than ever, we’d like to highlight its role in defending public health. Although living in a modern, connected world has enabled the quicker spread of the virus, our modernity can also be our white knight if we start putting our advancements to better use in the public health sector. Tune in to the discussion to learn more.

Featured Speakers Include:

+ Tom Snyder (Executive Director – RIoT) – Moderator

+ Veena Misra (Center Director – ASSIST) – Wearable sensors for persistent health monitoring

+ Brian Bender (Chief Science Officer – Intake) – Personal health monitoring

+ Ashlee Valente (Senior Scientist – Torus) & John Harer (CEO – Torus) – Analytics for massively complex systems like global health

+ Steve Bennett (Director of Public Sector Practice – SAS) – AI for faster vaccine development

+ Emil Runge (Director of Programs – BARDA/First Flight Venture Center) – Funding opportunities for COVID research

+ Michael Levy (President – Digital Health Institute for Transformation) – Keeping mental health front of mind

+ Nick Jordan (CEO – Smashing Boxes) – Data use across EHR systems

+ Manal El-Ramly (Director, Board of Directors – Newsco) – Information dissemination via the screens all around us

Can the Internet of Things play a role in the future when we are challenged by the next contagion? WRAL TechWire reached out to Tom Snyder, executive director of NC RIoT, a large and growing users group focusing on research and commercialization surrounding IoT device and application development, for his analysis.


Data V Tech is proud to be one of the leading ERP vendors in the Asia Pacific. We have implemented Epicor ERP for many enterprises and organizations in Vietnam and China. For direct consultation, please feel free to contact us.

The Potential of ERP Amid a Pandemic

The Potential of ERP Amid a Pandemic

Automation on the plant floor can keep production flowing to refill store shelves. But the biggest problem manufacturers face right now is a disruption to the supply chain.

In the middle of a global health crisis, the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic portends a drastic shift in the way the world will work in the future.

Whether it’s the need to ramp up production of hand sanitizer or convert automotive plants to produce more respirators, manufacturers are under pressure now more than ever to do more with less. The production floor is operating with skeleton crews to minimize possible exposure to the virus, and plant managers are in need of a better way to maintain visibility into the process. All of this points to the potential of implementing more automation on the plant floor.

In fact, the making of toilet paper is a highly automated process, as shown in the National Geographic documentary “Chasing Paper,” which highlights Sofidel, a manufacturer of toilet paper and paper towels. So, even if operators aren’t in the plant, more paper is on its way, people, do not panic.

The biggest bottleneck in the great paper chase—or for any product right now—is the supply chain. New research indicates that a weakened supply chain is the biggest business disruption related to COVID-19.

According to ABI Research, the impact of Coronavirus is both global and unpredictable, and the supply chain shock it is causing will most definitely and substantially cut into the worldwide manufacturing revenue of $15 trillion currently forecasted for 2020 by the global tech market advisory firm.

The virus will have both short- and long-term ramifications for manufacturers. “Initially, plant managers and factory owners will be looking to secure supplies and be getting an appreciation of constraints further up the supply chain plus how much influence they have on their suppliers,” explains Michael Larner, principal analyst at ABI Research. In the longer term, manufacturers will need to conduct an extensive due diligence process as they need to understand their risk exposure, including the operations of their supplier’s suppliers. “To mitigate supply chain risks, manufacturers should not only not source components from a single supplier but also, as COVID-19 has highlighted, shouldn’t source from suppliers in a single location.”

As a result, ABI Research forecasts that the supply chain impact of COVID-19 will spur manufacturers’ spend on enterprise resource planning (ERP), to reach $14 billion in 2024. While many ERP platforms include modules for inventory control and supply chain management, in light of the outbreak, many manufacturers will also turn to specialist providers. “Supply chain orchestration requires software to be more than a system of record and provide risk analysis and run simulations, enabling manufacturers to understand and prepare for supply chain shocks,” Larner said.

ERP providers agree that COVID-19—and panic buying which quickly exhausted the supply chain—has exposed a major vulnerability in manufacturing operations.

“Business processes need to be re-evaluated as this situation has turned the supply chain on its head,” said Steve Dombroski, senior manager for the consumer, food, and beverage market at QAD, a provider of adaptive ERP software. “Traditional methods of building safety stocks and buffer inventories have been replaced with Just-In-Time (JIT) item location forecasting to minimize re-deployment of inventories and to minimize inventory costs. Running JIT on inventories down and upstream through the supply chain caused delays.” This points to the need for manufacturers to address adaptability across the supply chain. “Manufacturing companies utilize two supply chains today; the physical supply chain consisting of all products and the digital supply chain that contains all information. Synchronizing both supply chains with all manufacturing, distribution, and procurement processes will enable companies to be flexible and agile.”

So, while all eyes are on automation, like robotics and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) sensors, to flow product through the line, none of that matters if the manufacturer doesn’t have a steady flow of raw materials. “COVID-19 demonstrates that manufacturers need to be as focused on their supplier’s capabilities as they are on their factory floor,” ABI’s Larner concludes.

Source: Stephanie Neil


Data V Tech is proud to be one of the leading ERP vendors in the Asia Pacific. We have implemented Epicor ERP for many businesses in manufacturingdistribution, and retail in Vietnam and China. Particularly, the supply chain management module of Epicor ERP is one of the strongest features of this solution and has been utilized and continously improved for over 40 years, even during this Covid-19. For direct consultation, please feel free to contact us.

facts about Internet of Things (IoT) to prevent future pandemics

These Facts Will Change Your Mind About the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things market expands way beyond smart homes and can even be used to prevent future pandemics.

Thanks to advances in technology and the proliferation of connected devices, the Internet of Things era has arrived.

It’s been years in the making but appears poised to go mainstream. According to the consulting firm McKinsey, the number of IoT-connected devices is forecast to hit 43 billion by 2023, almost three times the number of devices in 2018. Companies and consumers are using IoT to control their heating and cooling systems remotely, doctors use it to monitor patients, and manufacturers track products across the supply chain.

There are a lot of reasons why IoT is growing in popularity. Convenience and on-the-go-access are two big ones. But there are also those jaw-dropping reasons that will surprise even the biggest IoT skeptic. Here’s a look at four of them.

1. It can help prevent the spread of diseases like COVID-19

The novel coronavirus outbreak is having a devastating impact on people around the globe. Spain, Italy, and France are effectively shut down, and schools and businesses across the United States are closed. The stock market has been whipsawing between huge gains and losses, and the global economy is taking a major hit.

While IoT can’t stop COVID-19 (the disease caused by the coronavirus) from spreading, it can be used to prevent future pandemics. In an IoT world outlined by the financial consulting firm Frost & Sullivan, a network of sensors placed throughout the world would be used to monitor individuals for infections, acting as an early detection system. That would reduce uncertainty in the stock market and provide governments with proof to quickly act on and stop the spread.

Implementing this on a global scale isn’t likely anytime soon. Some countries, China included, will be able to do it within their borders. Add facial recognition and GPS to the mix, and Frost & Sullivan’s global research director for IoT, Dilip Sarangan, says countries would be able to monitor those who have contracted the virus and track whom they come into contact with. That could prevent virus outbreaks from becoming pandemics. “While this may sound like a police state to many, ultimately, leveraging IoT and [artificial intelligence] AI may be the most logical way to prevent highly infectious diseases from spreading rapidly in a world that is getting smaller every day with air travel,” said Sarangan in a recent report.

There’s a slew of companies that can benefit from these early defense systems, including equipment makers and network operators. In the U.S. the wireless network providers AT&T (NYSE:T), Verizon (NYSE:VZ), T-Mobile USA (NASDAQ:TMUS), and Sprint (NYSE:S) are big beneficiaries as data is transmitted across the world.

2. 5G will proliferate the number of connected devices

With COVID-19 spreading around the world, commerce has come to a screeching halt, and that’s particularly true in the smartphone market. Hit by supply chain issues in China and a lack of demand as the number of people in quarantine grow, several mobile-phone-related companies including Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) have issued guidance warnings for their current quarters.

Despite the business interruptions, the buildout of 5G will eventually pick up, driving what is expected to be a huge smartphone upgrade cycle. It’s also expected to increase the number of devices connected to the internet, thanks to the speed and security 5G brings. With 5G networks, data can be sent back and forth between millions of devices in seconds, something not possible with existing 4G networks. That will result in billions of new devices outside of smartphones and tablets that connect to the internet.

The melding of 5G and IoT will be behind the adoption of smart cities and connected cars. It will also enable doctors to remotely treat patients and help robotic surgery become the norm. Gartner expects there to be 5.8 billion connected devices by the end of this year. That’s up 21% from the 4.8 billion at the end of 2019.

3. More than $1 trillion will be spent on IoT

Love it or hate it, the IoT market is exploding with no end in sight. Trillions of dollars are being spent on IoT start-ups as investors clamor to get in on the leaders of tomorrow. The interest is coming from an array of venture capitalists who are pouring tons of money into the market — for good reason. According to IDC, yearly spending on IoT is projected to surpass $1 trillion by 2022, growing at a double-digit rate. That bodes well for equipment providers like Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO). With global traffic poised to triple thanks to 5G, Cisco and its peers will be able to provide the hardware needed to facilitate the movement of the data.

There are a lot of IoT use cases, but the ones drawing the biggest investments are those focused on the business market. IDC projected IoT spending by the manufacturing industry would hit $100 billion in 2019, while production asset management will attract $4.2 billion, smart home $44.1 billion, and freight monitoring $41.7 billion. The areas that are expected to see the fastest growth and thus the biggest investment dollars through 2022 include automation, electric vehicle charging, agriculture field monitoring, bedside telemetry, and in-store marketing, IDC predicted.

4. Most consumers and businesses want government IoT security regulations

The combination of IoT and 5G will transform society for the better, but that doesn’t mean it’s smooth sailing ahead. There are a lot of security risks to consumers and businesses that can’t be left unchecked.

It’s something that both businesses and consumers are worried about. According to a recent survey of consumers and businesses by digital security company Gemalto, 90% of businesses and consumers believe the IoT industry should be regulated by the government. What’s more, 61% of businesses think IoT regulation should dictate who is responsible for securing the data throughout its journey.

Of the consumers polled, 65% said they are worried a hacker could take over their IoT device. Meanwhile, 60% said they are afraid their data will fall into the wrong hands. Those fears aren’t unfounded. Security from Kaspersky Labs spotted more than 100 million attacks on IoT devices in the first half of 2019 alone.

Without a doubt, risks abound as more devices are connected to the internet. But with such wide-ranging benefits and investor interest, even IoT naysayers can’t deny the market is poised to explode. Those four jaw-dropping facts alone prove it.

Source: Donna Fuscaldo


Data V Tech is proud to be one of the leading ERP vendors in the Asia Pacific. We have implemented Epicor ERP for many enterprises and organizations in Vietnam and China. For direct consultation, please feel free to contact us.

end of enterprise resource planning

The end of enterprise resource planning

end of enterprise resource planninghe Harvard Business Review ran an article in 1990 by management consultant and former Massachusetts Institute of Technology computer science professor Michael Hammer titled “Reengineering Work: Don’t Automate, Obliterate.” Hammer, recognized as the seminal theorist of reengineering, the consultant-driven discipline of streamlining work processes, encouraged businesses to radically restructure rather than rely on information technology to automate work.

This proved impossible. While the 1990s is now viewed as an epoch of business reengineering, the revamp of work processes advanced hand in hand with the rise of centralized corporate IT, enabled by enterprise resource planning (ERP) software.

The 2020s, on the other hand, appear poised for the final takedown of monolithic business IT in response to a new revolution in work processes spurred and enabled by digitization. IT managers in the chemical industry, among the first industries to opt for ERP systems, are preparing for a new wave of change in business management software.

To understand the likely changes ahead, it helps to look back at the provenance and evolution of IT systems currently in operation at most chemical companies.

The computing infrastructures that emerged some 30 years ago supported efficiency gains, the kind also targeted by business reengineering. But ERP software installations also caused years-long headaches for many companies as they converted from hodgepodge mixes of software to monolithic IT systems covering most financial aspects of business and plant operations.

During this period, SAP, a German software firm started by former IBM engineers, rose to prominence in ERP. Starting with its first customer, the UK’s Imperial Chemical Industries, SAP swept the chemical sector. By the early 2000s, many major companies had lashed their operations to the firm’s R/3 software.
By today’s standards, the IT platforms of the early 21st century are museum pieces. Cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and big data have fundamentally changed IT and the workplace.

SAP and other major vendors of ERP software, including Oracle and JD Edwards, have introduced successive generations of their products over the years that chip away at the monolithic, comparatively lethargic control of early IT architectures. In the process, a modular approach to IT has emerged in which specialized software for specific work functions can be added to a centralized, often multivendor network of business management software with an ERP system at the core.

Industry watchers agree that the next step is to re-engineer the core.

“Enterprise resource planning has evolved far beyond its original purpose and scope,” the consulting firm Gartner writes in a report issued last year. “It now represents different things to different organizations, but in all cases is no longer focused on ‘resources’ or ‘planning.’ ” The view is echoed by Forrester, another consulting firm, in a recent report: “Today, we see the beginning of a new era of operational systems that are so different that calling them ERP no longer makes sense.”

The abbreviation is still in use, however, despite the alternatives floated, such as Forrester’s DOP, for digital operations platform. Gartner characterizes the current, modular state of business software as postmodern ERP. Mike Guay, a senior analyst with the firm, describes a “hybrid approach” in which specialist companies like Salesforce.com, a provider of customer relationship software, can add modules to an ERP system.

Guay notes that ERP vendors have partnered with and acquired specialized software providers to offer hybrid networks. SAP, for example, acquired SuccessFactors, a cloud-based human resources management services provider, and now offers the service as an adjunct to its core software.

In Guay’s view, today’s generation of postmodern software is starting to give way to something more abstract. This fourth generation of ERP—counting hodgepodge computing and monolithic software as the first and second—will dismantle the familiar image of centralized control.

GENERATIONS

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software’s path is from dispersed to monolithic to dispersed again.

end of enterprise resource planning

1980s to 1990s: Best of breed

 Functionally focused software

 Multiple vendors

 Lack of central control

can businesses stop automating

1990s to 2000s: Monolithic

 One core software product

 Centralized information technology

 Oversight by the corporate IT department

can enterprises stop automating

2010 to the foreseeable future: Postmodern ERP

 Networking of specialized software

 Maintenance of a central ERP backbone

 Access to cloud-based software and services

 Oversight by independent business departments

can we stop automation

Emerging architecture: Beyond ERP

 Supporting digitized business functions

 Greater automation with artificial intelligence

 Functional applications easily added to core IT

 Breakdown of business function silos

 Programming and oversight by power users

▸ Rise of functional applications

Source: Gartner.

“In 3 to 5 years,” he says, “IT focus will shift from doing most of the development in IT departments to architecting an environment in which the end-users — the power users in their departments—will actually be able to build applications. Low-code/no-code development platforms are emerging as a standard in the market right now.”

Liz Herbert, a vice president, and principal analyst at Forrester says business software is now driven by the speed at which data can be processed. “ERP conjures up overly complex, slow-moving technology that may not live up to expectations,” she says. “Technology has changed dramatically. It is much more cloud-based, much more built for intelligence, more for flexibility and easy extensibility by business users. Not everything has to rely on programmers and IT departments.”

Artificial intelligence will play an increasing role in business IT, Herbert says. AI was initially harnessed to improve error detection and automation accuracy, but the technique is ramping up. She points to two examples at SAP: Ariba, software for managing materials procurement that employs IBM’s Watson AI technology, and Concur, a travel and expense system that applies AI to vetting expense reports using data from receipts.

The latest iteration of SAP’s ERP software, S/4Hana, reflects the changes the consultants see. It stores tables in columns rather than in standard row arrangements, vastly increasing the speed of data analysis, the firm says. The database allows transactional and analytical work to be done simultaneously.

Joe Binkley, SAP’s director of cloud platform product marketing, notes that S/4Hana employs in-memory data processing, in which data is stored in random-access memory rather than disk storage or relational databases. “It means we are able to dramatically recast our systems and do things in seconds that used to require waiting days to complete.”

Dave Dunn, head of marketing for chemicals at SAP, says the company remains the dominant supplier of ERP software in the sector, counting 6,500 users it categorizes as chemical companies. A modular approach to adding software, such as Salesforce.com and SAP’s own adjuncts in areas like materials sourcing, has advanced with upgrades to R/3 in recent years. This includes a version called ECC consisting of a suite of business management software modules that put the tool to reach for smaller companies.

“Only the large guys could afford it years ago,” Dunn says. “With S/4 and ECC, a load of smaller, mid-tier companies has implemented SAP because it is simpler and much faster, to implement.”

Melanie Kalmar, chief information officer at Dow, says the company is focused on simplifying work processes and making it easier for customers to do business with Dow. – Credit: Dow

Dow, an early adopter of ERP, has rolled with the changes at SAP for decades. The company gained somewhat of a renegade reputation years ago by skipping an upgrade to R/3 when most of its cohorts converted. Dow eventually undertook a multimillion-dollar conversion to a version of the SAP software to which users add targeted software products, essentially the first step into Gartner’s postmodern ERP world. Since then, Dow has pushed further.

“Over the past few years, we have migrated capabilities to software-as-a-service solutions,” says Melanie Kalmar, chief information officer at Dow, referring to a technique of accessing software from cloud-based providers and paying a service fee rather than purchasing it. “Our current focus is all about simplification in how we do work. This means making it easier for our customers to do business with us while providing capabilities for our employees that make their job easier and them more empowered.”

Dow will continue adding “best-in-class” applications to its ERP system, Kalmar says while eliminating applications that fall short. “There is no plan to move away from our core ERP capabilities or to move away from our strategy of one global ERP instance,” she says.

DuPont is similarly working to adapt its core SAP system to a new generation of business IT. “We are constantly working to simplify yet modernize our enterprise-wide systems, including our legacy ERP,” says Steve Larrabee, chief information officer for the company. “Artificial intelligence, particularly in the R&D and manufacturing spaces, has helped significantly advance the roll of IT-based technology as a key business and value driver.”

Larrabee adds that modernizing and evolving from a monolithic ERP system does not lessen the importance of a core IT infrastructure. Centralized data, or “master data,” support old and new technologies, he says, and are necessary to “provide real-time information both to optimize our working processes and guide our decision-making.”

Evonik Industries, another longtime SAP user, is also sticking with its core system. “For Evonik’s core transactional business processes, like ‘order to cash’ or ‘plan to produce,’ a reliable and on-time information flow is key,” says Bettina Uhlich, the firm’s chief information officer. “You just want to have the right data at the right time in the right place. For this, well-integrated IT architecture is a key success factor. We see the monolithic ERP as an advantage.” She points to the company’s success in integrating the ERP system of J.M. Huber’s silica business, which Evonik acquired in 2017.

But Evonik also moves in the postmodern ERP world described by Gartner. “Business IT architecture can now draw from a far bigger solution portfolio than just SAP,” Uhlich says. “This might make it more challenging for the IT department, but it is clearly an advantage for the business.”

And challenges lie ahead. A move underway at Evonik to convert to SAP’s S/4Hana by next year will be more thorough than a mere software upgrade, Uhlich says. It will be a conversion of Evonik’s core ERP to a wholly new architecture.

Not all SAP users are Goliaths like Dow and Evonik. Borchers, a paint additives company, has been a customer since 2008, shortly after Lanxess sold the business to OM Group. When OMG sold Borchers to investors in 2017, Borchers upgraded to an SAP product called Suite on Hana—essentially ECC software running on the same database as S/4Hana.

Borchers plans to fully upgrade to S/4 by 2022, says Jonathan Mortlock, the firm’s chief information officer. He wants to act before SAP terminates maintenance coverage for Suite on Hana, at which time he foresees a rush of upgrades by companies that are all competing for support from SAP.

And there are plenty of other ERP software options for small to midsize chemical companies. Datacom, a supplier of distribution and process management ERP software, is one example. It began serving the chemical industry with its Chempax software in 1981.

Sage Group, a UK-based supplier of ERP software, is another. The company’s software is often sold by firms that adapt its software for specific markets. Net at Work, for example, enhances Sage software with functionality geared to chemical companies in a product called Chem at Work.

MFG Chemical, a midsize specialty chemical company based in Dalton, Georgia, installed its first ERP system, Datacor’s Chempax, 9 years ago. “It basically houses all our supplier information,” says Andrew Hopkins, MFG’s quality assurance manager. Formulas and raw material lists and prices are stored and managed on the system, which accesses data from a network drive or central data server.

MFG also uses software called OESuite supplied by a company called Operational Sustainability. It coordinates information on changes to production procedures and functions independently from Chempax.

MFG is considering implementing a materials resource planning (MRP) module that already resides in its Chempax system, Hopkins says. While the company would likely benefit from MRP, which keeps track of orders and inventory, he says it would be a complex installation given the number of customers and products the company deals with.

Bettina Uhlich, chief information officer at Evonik Industries, says the firm will move to SAP’s latest ERP software, S/4Hana, by next year. – Credit: Evonik Industries

Reducing complexity remains a key target in business software development. Vestiges of monolithic ERP remain in place at most companies, as do vendor service agreements and a need for support in upgrading or adding to systems. Software developers aim to simplify upgrades by allowing businesses to configure IT in a distributed fashion that includes gateways to customers and suppliers.

As new software options emerge, users are expected to have more discretion in adding applications using low- or no-code techniques that have moved into IT architectures since they were introduced about 20 years ago.

No-code approaches are especially likely to surge in next-generation business computing. Software developers such as Itesign, a German start-up targeting a midyear product launch, envision a future in which IT departments equip corporate networks with menus of options from which users choose applications to add to their work processes, according to CEO Jan Philippe Wimmer.

Those IT departments of the future, Forrester’s Herbert notes, will be headed by business analysts as opposed to computer technicians. In fact, she envisions a complete dissolution of the core ERP system, a shift that will challenge IT departments to keep add-on applications from reverting to the kind of IT hodgepodge that led to monolithic ERP software in the first place.

But industry watchers agree that the ERP model born in the age of reengineering has already been obliterated. “It is no longer about systems solely within an enterprise,” Guay and colleagues write in Gartner’s recent report. ERP “has simply become a three-letter acronym for something that most people cannot describe other than to name a vendor or a list of modules. Whether or not we continue to use the acronym remains uncertain.”

Source: Rick Mullin


Epicor ERP is one of the few software that has already applied the low or no-code approach. Indeed, many Epicor users of Data V Tech in China and Vietnam, rarely have to face any of code-related hassles thanks to the experience of the consultants and the flexibility as well as customizability of the system per se. More importantly, Epicor has sucessfully built up reputation in the chemical industry in the world. For further information, please feel free to contact us. We will get back to you the soonest.

COVID-19 Pandemic as a Big Data Analytics Issue

Understanding the COVID-19 Pandemic as a Big Data Analytics Issue

Big data analytics techniques are well-suited for tracking and controlling the spread of COVID-19 around the world.

The rapid, global spread of COVID-19 has brought advanced big data analytics tools front and center, with entities from all sectors of the healthcare industry seeking to monitor and reduce the impact of this virus.

Researchers and developers are increasingly using artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing to track and contain coronavirus, as well as gain a more comprehensive understanding of the disease.

In the months since COVID-19 hit the US, researchers have been hard at work trying to uncover the nature of the virus – why it affects some more than others, what measures can help reduce the spread, and where the disease will likely go next.

At the core of these efforts is something with which the healthcare industry is very familiar: Data.

James Hendler, RPISource: Xtelligent Healthcare Media

“This is, in essence, a big data problem. We’re trying to track the spread of disease around the world,” James Hendler, the Tetherless World Professor of Computer, Web, and Cognitive Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and director of the Rensselaer Institute for Data Exploration and Applications (IDEA), told HealthITAnalytics.

At RPI, researchers are using big data and analytics to better comprehend coronavirus from a number of different angles. The institute recently announced that it would offer government entities, research organizations, and industry access to innovative AI tools, as well as experts in data and public health to help combat COVID-19.

“We’re working with several organizations on modeling and dealing with the virus directly using a supercomputer, and we’ve been creating some websites where we track all the open data and documents we can find to help our researchers find what they’re looking for,” Hendler said.

“We also have some work we’ve been doing in understanding social media responses to the pandemic. One project, in particular, has focused on tracking data from Chinese social media as coronavirus spread there in mid-January, and then comparing it to American data.”

Between recognizing signs and symptoms, tracking the virus, and monitoring the availability of hospital resources, researchers are dealing with enormous amounts of information – too much for humans to comprehend and analyze on their own. It’s a situation that is seemingly tailor-made for advanced analytics technologies, Hendler noted.

“There are several big data components to this pandemic where artificial intelligence can play a big role,” he said.

“One component is biomedical research. A lot of work is going on to try to develop a vaccine to find out whether there is any current drugs work against COVID-19. All of those projects require molecular modeling, and many of them are using AI and machine learning to map things we know about the virus to things in pharmacological databases and genomic databases.”

Several big-name organizations have launched projects like these – Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and others have recently offered researchers free access to open datasets and analytics tools to help them develop COVID-19 solutions faster.

“AI can eliminate many false tracks and allow us to identify potential targets. So instead of trying 100 or 1000 different things, we can narrow it down to a much smaller size much faster. That’s going to accelerate the eventual finding of the vaccine,” Hendler said.

Researchers are also leveraging AI to evaluate the effects of COVID-19 interventions on individuals across the country, Hendler stated.

“A second component has to do with natural language processing and social media. What can we extract from social media that can help our scientists? What can we learn about how people are bearing the burdens and stresses of the pandemic?” he said.

“With SARS and other outbreaks, we never really had to figure out how different social distancing techniques are impacting the spread in different places. You can’t just compare numbers, because there are a lot of other factors to consider. AI is very good at that kind of multi-factor learning and a lot of people are trying to apply those techniques now.”

At UTHealth, a team developed an AI tool that showed the need for stricter, immediate interventions in the Greater Houston area. And at Stanford University, researchers have launched a data-driven model that predicts possible outcomes of various intervention strategies.

Using big data and analytics tools of their own, Hendler and his team is aiming to do something similar.

“We have a lot of time-series data from China, we have information about airline transportation, and we have population models for each country. Now we’re looking at doing this in our own region, and seeing if we can track and predict the spread based on the kind of social measures taken within different regions,” he said.

“We want to prototype that in our region and then scale it up to the US, and then eventually, the world.”

AI can also help organizations draw on research from the past, applying this knowledge to present and future situations.

“A third area where AI can make an impact is in mining scientific literature,” Hendler said.

“In past years, you had hundreds of grad students reading papers and trying to figure out what was going on. At many universities, there’s a lot of effort to say, ‘What can we learn from what’s already been published?’”

While AI and other analytics technologies appear to be the best possible tools for assessing and mitigating a global pandemic, researchers can’t always access what they need to build these models.

“The ideal data is hospital data that would tell us who is experiencing certain impacts from the virus,” Hendler said.

“For example, one project we’d love to do would be to correlate environmental or genomic factors to the people who are getting advanced respiratory problems, which is what’s killing most people with this disease. Is there a genetic component to that? Is it something where environmental factors are some kind of comorbidity? But can we get that kind of data because of HIPAA restrictions.”

Instead, research teams should focus on extracting insights from the information they do have available, Hendler said.

“Information about how people are moving, the effect of travel restrictions or stay at home orders, how many people have what – that’s data we can get. The more details we can get, the better, and a lot of that data are starting to be shared because you don’t have to say who the people are, just where the people are,” he said.

The unprecedented impact of coronavirus around the world has sparked the need for unprecedented partnerships, and these collaborations will contribute significantly to finding viable solutions.

“In healthcare, academia, and industry are mostly set up for people to stay in their own lanes. But people are rapidly beginning to realize that attacking this problem is going to require a collaborative effort,” Hendler concluded.

“To make any real progress in this situation, you need to bring together people who understand the computation and AI, people who understand the biological and biomedical implications, and people who understand population models. It’s a very interdisciplinary problem, and to make any headway, we need the data and we need the team.”

Source: Jessica Kent


With the assistance of ERP software, many manufacturers in Vietnam and China remain active during this pandemic without accelerating the spread of the pandemic. This solution has proved its high value during this crisis as it allows workers to work from home and connection as well as internal/external communication to continue seamlessly.

Data V Tech is proud to be one of the leading ERP vendors in the Asia Pacific. We have implemented Epicor ERP for many businesses in Asia Pacific. For direct consultation, please feel free to contact us.