Why Big Data Matters

first_imgI have been working in technology and in close touch with the field for more than 15 years. Many of the meetings I used to have were with other technologists – Chief Information Officers, Chief Security Officers and, of course, Chief Technology Officers.Big Data has changed this. Now, I meet with more and more people who are non-technical. Business people are trying to understand how to figure out and apply Big Data and Big Data Analytics in the context of their own world to drive business value.For example, I’ve met with Chief Marketing Officers to discuss how to best gather and analyze all the social media and customer service data related to their brands. They are overwhelmed by the volume, the variety of data sources and the challenges imposed by data that comes in natural language format. And they are looking for help on how they can best execute on this new field they call “Online Brand Reputation Management.”I have also met with Chief Financial Officers who are looking to leverage Big Data to find micro optimizations on operational transactions across their businesses. And with Chief Strategy Officers on how to use Customer Service information to refine existing service offerings or create completely new ones.The opportunities Big Data provides to businesses are endless!Why Big Data Matters is the latest edition in our Big Ideas Video Series which aims to bring complex concepts to life through animation. Watch the video to see how Big Data can change business strategy, and transform the way we work and live.last_img read more

Turning Customer Reviews into Product Enhancements

first_imgHave you noticed the customer reviews on Dell.com? Wonder if they’re legit and whether Dell listens to those that might not give us five stars? Well, here’s a little story to answer that.Tom Holland, star of Spider-Man: Homecoming, announcing the Dell Inspiron Gaming laptop at CES 2017.Shortly after the new Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming laptop launched in January at CES, our product development team read customer reviews daily and noted the desire for a display option that fit in between the base Twisted Nematic (TN) Full High Definition (FHD) display and the optional 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) display with In-Plane Switching (IPS). The team called in suppliers to expedite development of a new IPS FHD display panel option for the Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming laptop.The new IPS FHD panel launched this month, providing a middle display option that fits between the base TN FHD panel and the IPS 4K UHD panel both in terms of price and performance.I know that’s a lot of terms and acronyms to throw out there, but basically what the team delivered is a new non-touch display that features an anti-glare finish with rich colors and contrast performance at wider viewing angles (up to 80 degrees to the left or right of the viewing surface’s center) than conventional TN panels that seem to lose color and contrast as you pass 40 degrees off-center.“The TN FHD panel used in the base configurations of the Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming provides a good viewing experience for gamers who would prefer to put their money in the graphics, SSD or peripherals. If they’re gaming on external display most of the time, they may not want to spend the extra money on a built-in display they might only use 20 percent of the time,” Stanford Curry of our Inspiron Gaming team explains further.“This new IPS FHD offering addresses customers who want a built-in display with a better viewing experience at wider angles off-center, but don’t necessarily want to step up to the more expensive IPS UHD display which offers the best viewing experience on this system,” he said.Curry also put together this handy chart to help customers decide which panel makes the most sense to their needs:Customers now can choose from good/better/best display options to get the Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming laptop that fits their needs just right.last_img read more

Accelerating Insight Using 2nd Generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable Processors with Deep Learning Boost

first_imgArtificial Intelligence (AI) techniques are quickly becoming central to businesses’ digital transformation by augmenting, and in many cases supplanting, traditional data analytics techniques. These techniques bring proactive and prescriptive capabilities to a company’s data-driven decision-making process, giving companies that adopt them early a distinct competitive advantage. Those that adopt them late will be left behind.Intel recognizes that AI methods, most notably machine learning and deep learning, are now critical components of company workloads. To address the need to both train and, arguably more importantly, have AI models make decisions faster, Intel has put these workloads front and center with the new 2nd Generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable processor line.2nd Generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable Processors2nd Generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors bring a host of new and improved capabilities, including the ability to deploy Intel® Optane™ DC Persistent Memory, improved DRAM speeds, greater processing capability for traditional instruction sets such as single precision FP32, and new processing capability for deep learning workloads with the new Intel® Deep Learning Boost instruction set.Deep Learning Boost on 2nd Generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable ProcessorsDeep learning is the process of developing models using artificial neural networks, which consist of many independent processing units, or neurons, connected in a dense graph. Neural networks have demonstrated astonishing ability to identify unknown or unforeseen patterns in all sorts of data and have been applied to domains ranging from image and video recognition and analysis, to audio and language transformation, to time-series data and anomaly detection analysis.The process of using neural networks for developing cutting-edge models is broken into two phases: training, where existing data is used to teach the neural network how to identify patterns; and inference, where the trained model is exposed to new data and expected to make appropriate decisions. And while the process of training neural networks has been the focus of hardware and software innovation for several years, it is in the inference where businesses are receiving benefit from their AI efforts.Inference has different hardware requirements than training. Training requires half-precision or single-precision floating point arithmetic and the ability to process many large vectors of similar data simultaneously. Inference has much lower total compute requirements, is focused more heavily on latency (time-to-decision), and can take advantage of lower-precision numerical formats such as 8-bit and 16-bit integers.The 2nd Generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable processor line focuses primarily on this second (inference) phase with an entirely new capability known as Deep Learning Boost. Intel® Deep Learning Boost brings reduced precision arithmetic (8-bit and 16-bin integers) to Xeon’s 512-bit wide vector units (AVX512). This is a huge capability for reduced precision inference because Deep Learning Boost-enabled Intel® Xeon® processors can simultaneously process 64 8-bit integers (or 32 16-bit integers) in a single hardware instruction! Couple this with the ability to perform fused operations, such as Fused Multiply Add (FMA) on these wide low-precision vectors, and the throughput of the system goes up substantially.Dell EMC has been benchmarking the realizable performance improvements that Intel® Deep Learning Boost can bring the neural network inference. The figure above shows how much improvement your organization could realize by deploying 2nd Generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors with Intel® Deep Learning Boost. While 1st Generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors (codenamed “Skylake”) are capable of processing 258 images per second on the ResNet-50 inference benchmark in single-precision (FP32), and 389 image per second in reduced 8-bit integer precision, the new instructions that Deep Learning Boost brings to 2nd Generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors can more than triple the throughput in 8-bit integer precision to 1278 images per second!Why This MattersWhat does this mean for your business? Each inference your AI model makes is an insight you didn’t have before, or a workload you’ve automated that removes a barrier to a decision. Each of those insights, each of those removed barriers can translate to a new sale, an additional upsell, or a faster investment decision. That is money in your company’s pockets.As companies undergo digital transformation, making use of AI – and deep learning specifically – will be critical to keeping your company competitive in a data-driven world. And while training AI models has been the talk of this early stage, the inference is going to be the way in which your business realizes the benefits of AI. Dell EMC PowerEdge servers powered by 2nd Generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors with Intel® Deep Learning Boost can help your business realize the full potential of AI through higher performance model inference. And higher performance translates to better business.last_img read more

Is This the Renaissance of the PC?

first_imgAround the year 2000, the term “tablet PC” was coined. Ten years later, in 2010, we saw the first headline – “The PC Officially Died Today” – and a near decade long debate began, with most tech pundits convinced that the PC would be extinct by 2020.Fast forward to today and the narrative has changed. Worldwide PC shipments increased 17.1% Y/Y in 3Q20 while smartphone shipments are projected to decline 1.3% Y/Y in the same quarter.¹ While the PC has always helped us connect, collaborate and communicate, 2020 has proven the value it brings to our lives more than any other time I can remember. This is a popular opinion – nearly everyone will agree – but I’d take it a step further. I believe we’re witnessing the renaissance of the PC. Not a resurgence, as that would imply a period of little activity, but a renaissance. An entirely new way to think about something.We’ve been designing innovative PCs that can help you “work from anywhere” for years, but we’ve been given a rare opportunity to step back, rethink and use this time as a catalyst for positive, innovative change.IT Doesn’t Touch the PCIt’s mind-boggling what IT teams have accomplished this year. Digital transformation initiatives went from multi-year projects to turning on like a light switch in a matter of days.We have always put the needs of people at our core, with support available at every stage of a company’s journey to provide a productive and connected digital workforce. With solutions like Unified Workspace, we provide ready-to-work PC experiences for employees, regardless of location. Our approach protects from security vulnerabilities, lightens and automates workloads, provides management options from DIY to managed-for-you, and provides support for the unexpected.But how does this evolve in our renaissance phase? Think of PCs that self-heal to keep you working instead of looking for help. Think how the combination of AI, analytics, the cloud and improved connectivity will make remote management of PCs a breeze. And how the promise of predictive maintenance means problems fix themselves before they manifest.A future where IT never physically touches a PC again? That’s a revival that could benefit us all.With AI, PC Now Stands for Personal CompanionWith ever-increasing demands, we need PCs that do more than just work. PCs that are more intelligent, self-aware and user aware. We recently introduced Dell Optimizer, our AI-based software that learns and adapts to how you work and provides faster app launches, extended battery life, and easier log-on and secure lock-outs.Future AI capabilities will benefit us in ways we haven’t yet imagined. . AI will make PC usage more seamless, customized and hassle-free. It will hurdle common tech challenges, like connecting to the local network or setting up a printer. Imagine ubiquitous connectivity and a continuous experience that translates across all your preferred devices so you can always pick up where you left off. Think about having a personal AI assistant on your PC to help manage your work and home life. Setting calendars appointments or making recommendations based on contextual data will be simple tasks completed in the background for you. A PC that becomes a trusted and reliable assistant, or personal companion, while you manage work and play from anywhere.Beyond Form Factor: Collaboration and Connectivity take the SpotlightThe industry has long focused on offering the smallest and lightest devices possible. At Dell, we’ve balanced the demand for compact form factors against the convenience of a variety of ports, long battery life and the connectivity options remote workers need. The themes of “work from anywhere” won’t change (think collaboration and connectivity), but the way they manifest will.As your PC gets more intelligent, it understands when you want to be seen and when you don’t. If you’re participating in a video conference but get distracted – it could be a phone call, or your officemate/partner/child/dog needs you – you can trust your PC to turn off the camera until you choose to re-engage.The space that you occupy at any given moment shouldn’t limit your productivity. Mobile PCs may offer expansive, adaptive screens so you can be more productive wherever you are. Think of workplaces that are completely wireless and turn on by detecting your presence, so you stay productive as you transition from on-the-go to at-the-desk.Remote workers need baseline internet connectivity and 5G availability is expanding. The Latitude 9510 is the first PC available on T-Mobile’s 5G network. However, we still need more PCs that can leverage 5G for anywhere, secure connectivity or that can default to 5G when Wi-Fi is slow. Collaboration and connectivity that make you feel like you’re with your colleagues when you aren’t — that’s the next frontier.PC Luxury Within Reach for AllIn the past, executives and salespeople would often get the top-of-the-line devices—the sleekest laptop with high-end components. I know we’ve all had a moment where we’ve gotten a little jealous of a colleague’s new device. When I think about a renaissance of the PC, I imagine us being able to bring these “premium” experiences to more employees. Our promise is that premium is more than the look and feel of a device, the evolving workforce is redefining it.Premium is about offering the features you care about like low blue light technology and privacy shutters for when you log many hours a day on your device. The unboxing experience also becomes important since IT may never touch the device. And once the PC is out of the box, we should all be able to jump straight into work the moment we power on.While Dell has focused on accelerating the circular economy for years and is vocal about our moonshot goals, there’s no slowing down when we look to the future. Better PC designs engineered for disassembly and material recovery will become more important. And look for more options like PC as a Service (PCaaS) that provide flexibility in IT spending, simpler ways to refresh to the latest PCs and peace of mind with secure data removal and recycling of the device at its end of life.Security Conquers AllThis new way of working comes with more opportunities for security vulnerabilities, making it critical to secure workers’ PCs.According to a recent study, more than three-quarters of organizations prioritize supply chain security during vendor selection to address counterfeit components, malware and firmware tampering. Solutions like Dell Technologies SafeSupply Chain help protect against tampering while the PC is in transport and prevent spyware or other malware from getting injected into the device’s hard drive.Securing below the operating system (OS) is also vital to the overall security of the device, as well as your business. We continue to find ways to bolster PC security with solutions like Dell SafeBIOS — because a compromised BIOS can potentially provide an attacker with access to information on your device.We also need to rethink security in a creative way. Not through patches and updates, but by offering PCs that use machine learning and AI to eradicate malware before it even settles. PCs should offer best-in-class security products and practices to lower the risk of having end-users accessing internal networks from home. For me, a renaissance in this area means I never question if my PC — or the information on it — is secure.The Time for a Renaissance Is NowWe have learned the PC is far from dead. It’s the gateway for us all to work, play and learn. Because of this intimacy, people expect more from their PC now than ever before — and we’re listening.We’re working on augmenting PCs with technologies like cloud, 5G and AI to offer smart, personalized and wonderful experiences. While we’ve long been on this journey, this “renaissance” moment gives us the opportunity to pause and rethink how we bring about this future.¹ IDClast_img read more

Thousands flee Hong Kong for UK, fearing China crackdown

first_imgHONG KONG (AP) — Thousands of people from Hong Kong are fleeing their hometown since Beijing imposed a strict national security law on the territory last summer. Many say China’s encroachment on their way of life and civil liberties has become unbearable, and they want to seek a better future for their children abroad. An exodus has begun to Britain, with many taking advantage of a new immigration pathway that will allow up to 5 million eligible Hong Kongers to live, work and eventually settle in the U.K. Applications for the British National Overseas visa officially opened Sunday, and Britain’s government estimates that over 300,000 people will take up the offer of extended residency rights in the next five years. China responded by derecognizing U.K.-issued special travel documents.last_img read more