Innovating for Dollars: AI / ML / Deep Learning / Cognitive for Financial Institutions

Gallery


When Letterman was still hosting the Late Show, from time to time he’d say: “And if all THAT weren’t enough…and by golly, don’t you think it ought to be,” and would go on to mention something else that was noteworthy about the show or a guest.

Bear with me, I’ll go back to that in a moment, and it will tie into our discussion…which is about AI. AI is forecast to drive GDP gains of $15.7 trillion globally by 2030.* No organization can afford to miss out on its share of those trillions in opportunity. Adoption is low thus far, however. In Stratecast’s 2017 Big Data and Analytics Survey, only 20% of organizations said they are considering, planning, implementing, or using it. We think one part of it is market confusion; another is organizations not seeing the link between AI and revenue—both growth and retention.

Let’s first dispel some confusion surrounding AI. My practice analyzes big data and analytics (BDA), and here is where AI fits at a functional level: the Business Process and Strategic Analytics (BPSA) area of the BDA market. BPSA represents about one-quarter of the overall BDA market, which we assessed at more than $53 billion in 2017, and which we forecast to grow to nearly $68 billion by 2019.

Now let’s talk about other linkages between AI and money. Ever heard of Alexa and Siri? Amazon? Facebook, Google, Netflix, Tesla, and Uber? These and a multitude of others are making money right now by applying AI to their businesses. But wait, you say, what about financial institutions? Well, how about one of the largest online financial trading services in the world? It has used AI to reduce support costs by 80%. Or consider how, with hundreds of forms and more than 350 online apps, associates at a top-10 Wall Street investment firm were spending an average of 20–30 minutes looking for each form or app. The firm is now saving an estimated $32 million annually by applying AI to those and related processes. Even these examples, however, reflect a financial services market that is only beginning to scratch the surface of all the ways AI can benefit financial institutions. Customer-facing applications of AI include learning customer patterns and motivations to help guide them toward better financial decisions. In the back office, AI can, similarly, guide a financial institution’s own investment decisions. AI can automate tasks in many areas including underwriting, reconciliation, the development of risk models, and basic handling of incoming data and queries.

Sounds good, right? But delivering on the promise of AI requires a vision for applying smart analytics to the business. Nowhere is that concept more fitting than when talking about Tableau. Tableau provides the foundation underpinning the adoption of new and emerging technologies with an enterprise platform that covers all the bases in governance and security to help financial service companies guard against security breaches and ensure privacy compliance. Tableau offers rapid performance against massive datasets, an effect now accelerated by Hyper, its fast main-memory database system designed for simultaneous OLTP and OLAP processing (transactions and analysis in a single system) without compromising performance. Powerful, self-service analytics drive innovation, encouraging employees to discover opportunities for new products and services, contributing to customer and revenue growth—and enabling them to quickly run scenarios to assess the impacts of new business models such as blockchain.

Back to Letterman: “And if all THAT weren’t enough…and by golly, don’t you think it ought to be,” Tableau also has a vision for smart analytics that transcends AI-supporting BDA firepower with some pretty impressive AI building blocks. On the NL front, Tableau acquired Cleargraph and is combining Cleargraph’s NLP capabilities with Tableau’s existing Eviza natural language interface; and the company has partnerships with Automated Insights and Narrative Science to add NLG capabilities to the mix. In development are Tableau’s new Recommendations Engine, which will enable discovery, help users reuse the work of others, and leverage knowledge of their communities; Model Automation, which will offer smart defaults, saving time and providing ease of use; and Automated Discovery, to help customers discover hidden insights and answer more complex questions.

Planning on revenue growth? Failure to harness the power of AI could be a showstopper. Tableau has the content and the connections to ensure that the show will go on.

*PwC, AI to drive GDP gains of $15.7 trillion with productivity, personalization improvements, available here

How iPhone Got Her Outlook Back

Gallery

After working fine for years, suddenly iPhone and Outlook stopped syncing contacts and calendars. Outlook started throwing off messages a la, “Outlook had a serious problem with the iCloud Add-In, do you want to disable it?,” and the iCloud tab and Refresh button disappeared from Outlook. None of what I’ll politely call the ‘easy fixes based on standard instructions’ you so often see about things like this all over the Web did a thing to change the situation. Here’s how I solved it:

[1] In Outlook 2010: File > Options > Add-ins. That brought me here:

This is actually the ‘after’ view–after I fixed this. The view when I attacked this problem was identical except that iCloud Outlook Addin was appearing under Disabled Application Add-ins. No, I am not disabling it and going through the process all over again for the sake of this piece. There is journalistic integrity–and there is “Why in God’s name did you touch it again after you rescued it the first time?!” But I digress…

Anyway, noticing the file location paths, I typed in a separate note the file location for the iCloud Add-in shown above: C: > Program Files (x86) > Common Files > Apple > Internet Services > APLZOD32.dll. You’ll see why in a minute.

The page is preset to Manage COM Add-ins, and I pressed [Go].

[2] That brought me here:

In this view I selected the Cloud Outlook Addin* to highlight it, as shown above, and pressed [Remove].

[3] Next, in this same view I next pressed [Add…], and navigated to the file location I had found above, which brought me here:

I selected the file, saw it was now listed in Active Application Add-ins, and noticed that, miracle of miracles, the [iCloud] tab at the top of the Outlook window, and the [Refresh] button, had returned. Yes, syncing iPhone to Outlook could actually be a refreshing experience again.
So far so good, but any dev and probably many readers know what comes next: TESTING.

I held my breath as I tested it: added and deleted Calendar and Contact items, and modified existing items, on iPhone and in Outlook, and they are now updating both ways—iPhone-to-Outlook and Outlook-to-iPhone—either immediately in front of my eyes, or when I hit Refresh.

“Victory is mine”…and, if you’ve been seeking a solution to this problem: YOURS. We’re all in this together.

*Whoever was in charge of placing dashes in filenames missed on the iCloud and VBA (Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications) “addins,” or as they’re widely known: Add-ins.

My take on the Ransomware of Things

Standard

After the WannaCry ransomware virus attacked computers around the world recently, the world did as it thankfully usually does and found a way to make light of a bad situation. The Joy of Tech published this cartoon and it soon went viral. We wanted to feature it in a report we’re doing right now at Stratecast, but upon contacting the Joy of Tech people directly, it became clear that it would be a long and winding road to figure out how to get the rights to use that cartoon. So I created my own version of the cartoon. Since the report in question was about privacy, however, and WannaCry and other ransomware attacks are most properly seen as attacks on security, we decided our fun graphic really didn’t have a place in the report.

The good news: there is a home for my graphic after all, right here on my own portfolio site! So ENJOY! And feel free to share, repost, tweet, and otherwise promote it around the world. Hey, this also gives our tech world something it “so desperately” needs: another acronym! The Internet of Ransomware Things (IoRT)…

Btw, the report in which I wanted to feature one of these cartoons was packed with so much privacy analysis fun that we’re turning it into two reports and a market insight:

  • We Have Seen the Future of IT, and it is Big Data, Part 1 – Will IoT Privacy Issues Steal the Future?
  • We Have Seen the Future of IT, and it is Big Data, Part 2: A Blueprint for Privacy, in the IoT and Everywhere
  • Big Data is in Big Trouble, Starting in the EU: How the EU’s GDPR Threatens to Destroy Big Data Initiatives and Business Opportunities, in the EU and Elsewhere

You can learn more about these three reports, and everything else we’re doing in Stratecast Big Data and Analytics, here.

Oh, one last thing before I go: there appears to be a fix to protect your computer against the latest ransomware attack the cyberjerks have unleashed on the world, Petya/NonPetya, and it is described here. I just implemented the simple fix on my own computer. Hope it works…

Kaley and me: breathless anticipation

Gallery

Kaley-Cuoco-Undergoes-Sinus-Surgery-665x385Hello again, sports fans. It’s been forever (since November 2014) that I posted anything here, and for those of you who may still be following this blog, I appreciate your patience.

You’re probably wondering about the gratuitous use of a photo of the gorgeous and personable Kaley Cuoco at the top of this post. Well, first of all, the picture (and tag) may just get some of you to read my ramblings. Well, that and the “breathless anticipation” headline. More importantly, though, my chance viewing of Kaley in a brief snippet of a TV program I rarely get to watch, the Ellen DeGeneres Show, ultimately led to me making a beneficial change in my health and life.

Seeing Kaley on an edition of the Ellen show featured here, I realized I had left at least one stone unturned in my quest for better breathing. After dialogues with various physicians, and a seemingly endless series of medical visits and tests and questions and questionnaires, I finally, in early June, had the surgery Kaley had talked about on Ellen: a surgical procedure to correct a deviated septum. In recovery, even through the anesthetic haze, I already felt better. Weeks later, although I’m still sniffly and finding out that “allergies don’t take a holiday for deviated septum surgery,” I’m breathing better and snoring is for the most part gone.

Doctor, will I be able to play the piano after surgery? Will I look as gorgeous as Kaley (in a male way, to maintain decorum and also keep my Man Card) after surgery?

Dr. Robert Jacobs, who did the surgery, and our family doctor, Dr. Jeff Newman, did not ask for plugs in this post and do not even know I’m blogging about this, but Dr. Jacobs and ENT Associates did a great job for me, and Dr. Newman and Cardinal Medical Center recommended Dr. Jacobs for this surgery. I enthusiastically endorse them both.

The Fitbit Creed

Gallery

The Fitbit CreedWe are Fitbitters. We are Ultra Flex-ible: we battle weather, injury, fatigue, traffic, loose dogs and loose gravel, and keep going. Some eat Special K; many run 5K’s or 10K’s. We don’t just walk in neighborhoods, we Surge through Zip codes. No One has to Force us to recall why we want to get fit. We get a Charge out of that syncing feeling. And wherever we walk, run, lift, rebound, zumba, spin, plank, swim, TRX or crossfit…or whatever we do for fitness…we’re always in a good Aria!

A life well lived: I finally made it into the New York Times

Gallery
NY Times Biz masthead
1st guy, seeking directions on a New York City street: “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?”

2nd guy: “Practice, practice.”

In my past work in marketing and public relations I’ve gotten a client or two placed in the New York Times, but now my own name appears in “those hallowed halls”–which is a phrase I reserve for those pages where the Times is not trying to tell us how we should all feel about politics. No, these are the informative-and-topical hallowed halls of the Times. A Travel feature in the Business Day section.

And wow, it’s a WHOLE paragraph. At the very end of an article. But it IS the New York Times. When you get your name in the Times, you salute the flag and say, “Thank you, Sir, may I have another [mention in the Times someday]?”

Typical for a major media outlet, the person who interviewed me spoke with me for about a half-hour, yet most readers can polish off my Paragraph of Fame in seconds. Did I tell them who I work for, and provide my title, and spell it all out for the interviewer? Yes. Did I ever once say I was “a business consultant”? No. But again..it’s…the New York Times.

And they spelled “Cotrupe” correctly. MAJOR bonus points for that.

If you did not already click the NYT logo at the top of this blog entry (which itself is far longer than my little paragraph in the Times, not that I am bitter), here’s the link to my moment in the sun. Enjoy.

Trotting to 24:56 in the Oceanside 5k

Gallery

1On October 27 I powerwalked and ran (about half & half) my first 5k, the Surf City 10 in Huntington Beach, CA, in 28:45.

2

3For yesterday’s Oceanside Turkey Trot I had a goal: “25”…and I did it! Ran all the way and finished in 24:56. #576 out of 5,799 (top 10%) – #42 Age group Men – #48 Age group Men + Women.

4

DSCF0451Also learned this: keep your cool! Less than a mile in, two guys dumped right in front of me; I got mad, “flew” past ‘em—and spiked the left hamstring! Told my hurt hammy two things: “25;” and what my CrossFit & Olympic lifting mentor Jimmy Baker says: “C’mon now, I know you got it in you,” and enjoyed the rest of the flight…

6Thanx to older daughter Michelle for the photos, and to my wife Joanne for getting me there, and joining Michelle in cheering me on!

7

8

Battery case user, battery case user, pants on fire

Gallery

…and other adventures from the iPhone 5 energy frontier

When it comes to mobile battery life, I’ve been hurt before. For two years I owned an HTC Droid Incredible, which was a great phone but also had what I’m guessing (hoping, actually) was the worst battery life in the history of smartphones. After getting a supersized battery for it, I was often, but still not always, able to make it through the day without recharging. One of the reasons I was excited about finally getting an iPhone was anecdotal evidence of family and friends who owned iPhones and rarely if ever had to recharge their phones during the day. So I pre-ordered the iPhone 5 and made the transition from Droid rage to Apple of my ear.

Yet, apparently I’m such a power user that even the iPhone’s improved battery life is not enough to satisfy my mobile appetite. That, and having had the HTC’s battery constantly run dry, led to what I am calling Phone Trek 2012-13: The Search For More Pow’r.*

[UPDATE: see reference to this post on Mashable]

Lenmar Meridian: can’t quite put my finger on it

Our voyage begins with my new iPhone 5 in November 2012. I found multiple companies offering battery cases for it and placed my order with one on Amazon.com…then another…and another. All three had to cancel for what they stated in their cancellation emails were delays in Apple’s Made For iPhone (MFI) certification process. In April 2013 I received an email from Lenmar, which sells its Meridian cases for smartphones, that the Meridian for iPhone 5 was now available, and those of us who had ordered in the Fall had first dibs. That is, the Meridian, Henry Ford/Model T-style, was available as long as you wanted it in black. I had ordered it in white to match my phone, and Lenmar said red and white cases would be coming along soon. Finally, after some dialogue with those who run Lenmar’s Twitter page, in May 2013 an email hit my inbox that the red and white cases were available, and I snapped mine up.

iPhone 5 Meridian_red-white-black

The Meridian is a good case at a good price: the highest additional charging capacity of the battery cases I’ve found in the market, 2,300 milliampere-hour, or millamp hour (mAh),**  $89.99 at press time. Yet after about a week I found it was, literally, a pain to use. The Meridian has cutouts. All of these battery cases have some thickness to them–that’s where the added battery life, well, lives–and with the Meridian and some others, you have to “reach through” the case to use the iPhone’s own power button, sound on/off switch, and volume controls. Casually turning the screen on and off or adjusting the volume became a two-hand operation, which I didn’t like. More to the (pain) point, after jamming my fingers a number of times turning the power button on and off, I decided it was simply time to stop getting jammed up.

The Meridian came with an accessory that appears to come as standard issue with most of these cases: a headphone extension connector. That is required equipment because all of these cases add extra length at the bottom of the iPhone, such that headphones with a right-angle connector, and even some with straight connectors, cannot reach the iPhone’s headphone jack when it is inside the battery case.

Mophie Juicepack: getting a WiFi-syncing feeling

After the Meridian, I ordered the battery case widely regarded as the leader of the pack, the Mophie Juicepack Plus, $119.95 at press time. Mophie, which like Lenmar makes cases for the iPhone and other smartphones, appears to have “heard the market”: Mophie Continue reading

“Dropped 40 pounds in a year, Jeff? How did you do it?”

Gallery

UPDATE: -47 pounds and counting | The world is my treadmill…

Me: November 2011 Me: November 2011

In the months leading up to my Grissom High School Reunion in July 2012, I knew I wanted to do something to get in shape. When our younger daughter Heather returned home from college for the summer, she suggested juicing: blending fruits and vegetables in a specially-made juicing machine, and drinking the juice as a meal replacement. So we did that juicing “cleanse” for a month before the Reunion.

Two dear lifetime friends were, in my eyes anyway, the hit of the Reunion: Karen Cass Gill and Carol Baldwin Butterworth. Karen is in amazing shape, and you know those long distance runners from Kenya who compete in the summer Olympics? Well, Carol was in better shape than anyone I’ve ever seen other than, pretty much, those runners from Kenya.* Carol is Association Director Of Youth Teen and Families for a network of YMCAs in Virginia, and here’s what she said about it: “If I’m telling everyone to get in shape, how can I be anything less?” Everyone at Reunion marveled at her. A few days later, done marveling (at least for the moment), I asked her what she does to stay in such, um, marvel-ous shape. She told me several things, but the most important one was this: “I try to always get my 10,000 steps a day.”

I’ve worked in my home office for years, and at that point I figured I was probably getting, oh, 400 steps some days. I also knew that…

Continue reading

Facebook: “Its Amazing” sometimes…

Image

Probably the shortest blog entry I’ll ever write, but just Walled this on Facebook and had to “share”:

Its Amazing