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World of Analysis on the World Cup

Similar to a world champion Olympic sprinter, the Spanish national team seemingly stumbled out of the blocks so badly that their tournament was over almost as quickly as it had started.

The spectacular and quite unexpected surprise of this year’s World Cup was the level of parody between power-house and underdog teams with a special mention to Costa Rica. They were unarguably this year’s overwhelming underdog of the tournament, surprising everyone! (ie. A bet of $1 on Costa Rica reaching the quarter final would have won $180).

We can see that there was a technical superiority of the European teams, as Europe was the continent with the most goals scored. On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean the South American teams were punished with more yellow cards than any other continent. However, an interesting trend was noticed when the lower tear teams were facing a superior team, they would raise their level of aggressiveness on defense in an attempt to offset the superior teams’ offensive prowess. Although the “Fair Play” award was given to Colombia, in general every team behaved accordingly during the tournament with only a few minor exceptions. Most notably, the infamous Suarez bite.

Overall America as a continent was the great winner of this World Cup in terms of teams from that region being able to qualify for the second round.

The highest possible percentage of teams (66.7%), followed by Europe (53.8%) and rounded out by Africa (40%).

There is no doubt that Germany deserved the glory! Throughout the World Cup they lead in attacking statistics. Known for being a sport that is turning into tactical and at times offers fans just plain boring games has a hope, the old way of playing is still very exciting and valuable.

Business intelligence living up to its lofty name

Business intelligence (BI), once thought to be a dying technology, has ballooned in recent months to become a top IT priority once again. 

Decision-makers are leveraging advanced data analytics for its ability to provide real-time insights into a number of categories – consumer trends, cybersecurity, predicting the effectiveness of future tech projects and more. Because of the vast capabilities of these solutions, the BI and data analytics market is set to rise 9 percent over the next three years to surpass $25 billion, according to a recent study from Technology Business Research.

Perhaps more remarkable than the sector's rapid growth is how quickly it's evolved. Not too long ago, BI applications were primarily reserved for IT departments. Now, however, data analytics is starting to reach every level of the business, from salespeople and marketers all the way to the top brass. It's at the point where business intelligence has almost become an enterprise strategy in and of itself, as opposed to being a tool that's used as part of the overall plan.

At least that's the belief of Eric Lundquist, a tech analyst at Ziff Brothers Investments. In a recent column for eWeek, Lundquist suggested that as organizations implement data analytics more directly into their business plans, they are "transforming into intelligent businesses."

BI's impact on the big and the small
Lundquist said this evolution has, in large part, resulted from the immense amount of information that is produced outside of company databases, making note of the necessity of understanding customer trends and sentiment to survive in today's business world. 

"As the rapid expansion of data across the enterprise creates headaches for customers and opportunities for innovative vendors, understanding customer needs and vendor capabilities becomes even more critical," said Elizabeth Henlin, an analyst at Technology Business Research. 

There is still a significant need for traditional BI, especially in areas such as security and fraud prevention. For instance, if IT leaders know that their networks have specific vulnerabilities, they can use business intelligence applications to detect cyberattacks and breaches right when they occur. 

At the same time, the major driving force in the data analytics market is "making better use of … those vast pools of data outside your firm," Lundquist said. This is especially true with regard to understanding consumer sentiment, as customers are increasingly using social media, mobile devices and other web-based platforms to voice their opinions about products and services. 

Business intelligence success requires improving data accuracy, visibility

By now, most decision-makers have probably heard some success stories regarding business intelligence (BI) – how one company used it to cut costs, for instance, while another uses it to project the return on investment for new IT projects. 

But many organizations are struggling to achieve those same results, largely because of impediments like inaccurate reports and a lack of data visibility. 

"One of the biggest pitfalls for a program is disconnect between IT and the business on who controls strategy and initiatives," Eliot Arnold, co-founder of Massive Data Insight, recently told InfoWorld. 

A study from Kovarus revealed some of the struggles IT departments and decision-makers are having include:

– Data centers are too complex, according to  44 percent of respondents. With so many technologies involved at once, including a number of new investments, IT professionals labeled their warehouses a "mish mash" of solutions. 

– Information that is either inaccurate or not easily accessible. Two in five respondents said they didn't even know how much their IT budgets were.

– Nearly two-thirds of respondents said they lacked the time, technology or available funding to make improvements to the organizations and accessibility of their data. 

Overcoming these problems
Fewer than 40 percent of IT leaders use reports to make important decisions, according to the Kovarus survey, meaning many investments are probably made with very little chance for success. With technology in a constant state of flux, organizations figure to have plenty of new projects in their near future, making this a problem they will definitely want to resolve. 

So how exactly can companies do this? Of course, the solutions they invest in can help, but more than anything, implementing the right strategies will be key. Wayne Bennett, chief financial officer of Franklin Communication Health Network, suggested a combination of data warehousing and integration is a good first step

"Putting the two together – data warehousing and desktop query – allows us to really understand this," Bennett recently told Healthcare Finance News. "Relationships of data drive the business intelligence, and you can stop working off of anecdotal information and focus on straight facts. Really, data intelligence is an evolution."

Storing and integrating information effectively lays the foundation for those useful queries that Bennett mentioned. Data accuracy is another vital component, according to InfoWorld. 

All of these factors together can equate to better collaboration among different departments, which is essential for companies to achieve all the advantages BI has to offer. 

Big data paving the way for real-time predictive analysis investment

Big data analytics was an unstoppable force in 2012, and that momentum is expected to carry on for the foreseeable future. 

In addition, a recent Lavastorm Analytics study indicated that the early successes of big data could be motivating organizations to invest in other data analysis tools. 

"Overall the survey points to the fact that data management is a tough problem and requires the right tools, processes, and skilled people to access, integrate and analyze data," said Drew Rockwell, CEO of Lavastorm Analytics. "While we see many people still using basic tools like Excel, there is a clear need for more powerful, yet easy to use, tools."

In a recent blog post for SmartData Collective, Mark van Rijmenam, founder of BigData-Startups, discussed the ways advanced analytics can benefit companies and employees across every department. For example, he listed different types of analysis organizations can do, such as:

– Marketing analysis, which will help businesses determine what advertising strategies are most likely to work. With social media and mobile going mainstream, this can help companies figure out the best ways to market to their audiences.

– Sentiment analysis, particularly through social BI tools, provides leaders with real-time insight into how their customer bases feels about certain products and services.

– Pattern analysis enables companies to identify consumer trends. 

Real-time insight needs improvement
What makes pattern analysis so effective is its ability to take structured data, unstructured information or a combination of the two and transform them into useful reports. 

According to the Lavastorm Analytics survey of 600 professionals, spread across a variety of industries, predictive analysis will be a massive area of investment in 2013, with more than half of respondents citing interest in the technology. The only way these tools are effective, though, is if they're easy enough to understand and the information is available in real time.

The study revealed that companies are struggling to integrate data effectively, along with providing real-time access. More than anything, this may be preventing them from "gleaning insights from the data," the top-cited big data barrier right now. 

In a recent column for CIO, Rob Enderle, president and principal analyst of the Enderle Group, said that data access is the No. 1 priority when it comes to advanced analytics. After all, it doesn't matter how good the technology is if employees can't get insights from the reports in a timely manner. 

Fortunately, recent innovations such as Panorama Necto aim to make relevant information available to employees in real time, and those solutions are only expected to improve going forward. 

Healthcare IT professionals believe data analysis can save money, lives

The healthcare IT sector is in the midst of an extremely complex revolution. Departments in the industry have to adopt EHR systems and mobile solutions, while working within the constraints of a limited budget. 

Fortunately, big data analytics have the potential to make these changes easier and more effective, along with many other benefits.

"Access to timely, complete, accurate, contextual, and digestible data is the lynchpin for accountable care success," said Cynthia Burghard, research director of accountable care IT Strategies at IDC Health Insights.

Burghard added  that within the healthcare industry, decision-makers consider data analysis to be No. 1 on their future investment agenda. With growing volumes of internal information to manage and vast amounts of external data, health professionals are expected to lean more on big data

The potential advantages of the technology are very similar to the ways it's helped organizations in other industries – predictive analysis, real-time decision-making and measuring cost-efficiency, just to name a few. 

A recent survey from IDC revealed that IT professionals are interested in data analysis for:

– Measuring performance management, cited by 64 percent of respondents. This will enable workers to identify which processes are working and which ones need improvement.

– Conducting real-time analysis. For instance, deciding between different courses of treatment can be challenging, so data analysis can help narrow down which one makes the most sense.

– Clinical outcomes, which 64 percent of respondents expressed interest in. Forecasting in general can be extremely beneficial for healthcare professionals, whether that pertains to research, clinical outcomes or which patients are likely to return for additional treatment. 

While big data can do all of those things for healthcare agencies, there is another benefit that could make it invaluable to these organizations: saving lives.

"By combining disparate sources of data and analyzing them in real time, government leaders and citizens can turn 'big data' into 'smart data' and gain a much clearer picture of how to save taxpayer dollars and even save lives," said Jennifer Morgan, president of SAP Public Services.

A separate survey from SAP AG and TechAmerica Foundation revealed that big data is rapidly gaining popularity among government IT workers. According to the report, federal tech professionals believe the technology can trim 10 percent off their expenditures, a significant benefit considering most public IT departments are experiencing declining budgets.

In addition, 87 percent of federal and 75 percent of state-level respondents said big data solutions could save a notable number of lives every year. 

BI analytics can benefit SMBs in many ways

Business intelligence (BI) has become a must-have technology for C-level executives, IT professionals and employees across different departments. As a result, recent Gartner studies have found business analytics to be the top-ranked priority for executives, projecting that the worldwide BI software market will grow 7 percent from 2012 to 2013 total nearly $14 billion.

At the same time, the report revealed that the business intelligence sector is yet to fully mature. 

"Every company has numerous subject areas – such as HR, marketing, social and so on – that have yet to even start with BI and analytics," said Kurt Schlegel, research vice president at Gartner.

Because of this demand, BI capabilities will likely develop rapidly and be able to perform a variety of business functions in the near future. Sales teams, customer service representatives, C-suite executives and IT professionals will all have tools at their disposal to help them perform everyday functions, including applications available via their mobile devices. An earlier survey by IFS and IDC, which polled 450 executives around the globe, found business intelligence software to be the second-most important app for mobile devices.

Consumerized products bringing technology to smaller companies
The BI sector is in the process of creating specialized applications that are affordable and accessible on a variety of devices. This will make the technology universally available, including among small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

In a recent blog post for IT News Africa, Logikal Consulting CEO Gerald Naidoo highlighted the different advantages BI solutions can provide for SMBs, including:

– ROI: BI analytics are extremely useful with regard to decision-making processes, from identifying which marketing strategies are effective to predicting whether a new product line will be successful. As a result, the technology can help SMBs achieve a faster return on investment. 

– Real-time visibility: With its ability to produce ad hoc reports on call, business intelligence provides both useful and uniform information throughout the workplace. 

– Fraud prevention: A recent Digitalolympus.com report found that BI analysis tools represent a quality fraud deterrent.

"In opaque business environments, fraud and identity theft are a regular occurrence. With business intelligence strategies in place, businesses are able to clearly identify partners, authorities, institutions and methods – removing the possibility of being defrauded by local opportunists," said a report collaborator.

These and other benefits, coupled with increased affordability, make business intelligence solutions a priority for SMBs. In his blog post, Naidoo said that because of the consumerization of BI software, the technology has become affordable for IT departments across different industries and company sizes.

Company: Ministry of Sport and Tourism of the Republic of Poland

Needs and Requirements:

One of the tasks of the Ministry is to support activities related to sport and tourism through the provision of financial grants. The grant may cover different areas of the office, such as creation of sports stadiums and sports halls, organizing sporting events, etc. Grantsare provided through various funding programs and are carried out by the relevant departments of the Ministry.

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Company: Janssen-Cilag

Company Overview

Part of Johnson & Johnson group of companies, Janssen-Cilag develops and markets innovative, high quality pharmaceutical products and services aimed at improving quality of life for people with medical needs everywhere .

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