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Dean of Big Data

William Schmarzo

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Latest Blogs from William Schmarzo
The research firm Technology Business Research (TBR) recently came out with a report titled, “Winning The Business Of Digital Transformation Services Requires A Process-Led Approach” authored by Sebastian Lagana and Jennifer Hamel. The report is full of good nuggets, but I especially l...
In an attempt to put the patient first in healthcare, Congress and President Obama in 2015 approved a bipartisan bill for United States healthcare reform. The bill is known as “Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015,” or MACRA. Among the major provisions of MACRA is the Q...
I recently had another client conversation about optimizing their data warehouse and Business Intelligence (BI) environment. The client had lots of pride in their existing data warehouse and business intelligence accomplishments, and rightfully so. The heart of the conversation was abo...
I love it when I get feedback from a blog that I’ve written. I appreciate the different perspectives and insights that others bring to a topic of interest. And no blog that I’ve written has drawn more comments than my blog, “Isaac Asimov: The 4th Law of Robotics.” The section of the bl...
A strong declaration from a historically antagonist foe should put chills in the hearts of Americans preparing themselves for the world ahead: Russian President Vladimir Putin says the nation that leads in AI will be the ruler of the world [1]” … The ruler of the world! From the articl...
Since releasing the University of San Francisco research paper on “How to Determine the Economic Value of Your Data” (EvD), I have had numerous conversations with senior executives about the business and technology ramifications of EvD. Now with the release of Doug Laney’s “Infonomics”...
Quick quiz! What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the following phrases? Artificial grass Artificial sweeteners Artificial flavors Artificial plants Artificial flowers Artificial diamonds and jewelry Artificial (fake) news These phrases probably evoke thoughts such as...
This blog was written with the thoughtful assistance of David Leibowitz, Dell EMC Director of Business Intelligence, Analytics & Big Data So data warehousing may not be cool anymore, you say? It’s yesterday’s technology (or 1990’s technology if you’re as old as me) that served yest...
It takes years – sometimes a lifetime – to perfect certain skills in life: hitting a jump shot off the dribble, nailing that double high C on the trumpet, parallel parking a Ford Expedition. Malcolm Gladwell wrote a book, “Outliers,” discussing the amount of work – 10,000 hours – requi...
This blog is written in collaboration with the witting and insightful Matt Maccaux and his leading edge work around our elastic data platform and data lake. “Our organization is abuzz with the concept of data lakes!” a customer recently told me. And rightfully so, as the data lake hold...
Will I ever understand the nuances of the advanced analytics landscape? Well, maybe the better question is will the advanced analytics landscape ever stop changing? The advanced analytics landscape, into which I include Deep Learning (DL), Machine Learning (ML), Reinforcement Learning ...
You can’t get to the “What” and the “Why” by focusing on the “How” In the gold rush to “monetize” IOT, organizations are frantically installing sensors on everything that moves (and some things that should not move), hoping that someone in the business will figure out a way to get fina...
Okay, so my vacations don’t necessary seem like other folks’ vacations. Yes, we relax. Yes, we spend too much money. Yes, we eat too much food. But for some reason, unusual learning opportunities pop up during our vacations, and this year’s vacation was no different. This year’s vacati...
Nobody does it better, Makes me feel sad for the rest. Nobody does it half as good as you, Baby, you’re the best. –Sung by Carly Simon in the James Bond movie, “The Spy Who Loved Me” Actually, that’s a movie (“The Spy that Loved Me”) that Netflix recommends for me sin...
“The problem is that, in many cases, big data is not used well. Companies are better at collecting data – about their customers, about their products, about competitors – than analyzing that data and designing strategy around it.”  – “Companies Love Big Data but Lack ...
I’ve gotten several requests to share all of my work and research behind the Economic Value of Data research work that I did with the University of San Francisco. Given my lazy nature, I thought it would just be easier to create a blog, where I can place all my current and future resea...
My discussions with organizations looking to “digitally transform” themselves is yielding some interesting observations. I expect that when these discussions move into the execution phase, we will start to create some “Laws of Digital Transformation” that will guide organizations digit...
I recently visited my dentist and found the experience, well, less than satisfactory. I was subjected to 45 minutes of lecturing while strapped into the dentist chair: “You don’t brush enough times a day. You don’t brush long enough. You don’t brush correctly. You aren’t using the r...
Like me, I’m sure that many of you nerds have read the book “I, Robot.” “I, Robot” is the seminal book written by Isaac Asimov (actually it was a series of books, but I only read the one) that explores the moral and ethical challenges posed by a world dominated by robots. But I read t...
In today’s uncertain political and economic climate, the ability to maintain business-as-usual should not be taken for granted. After all, an organization’s ‘status-quo’ business model is typically the source of more than 90 percent of its revenues and 100 percent of its profits. It’s ...
I recently had the opportunity to give a 10-minute keynote at DataWorks Summit 2017. I know what most of you are thinking: Schmarzo can barely introduce himself in 10 minutes! What sort of keynote could he give in just 10 minutes? And to be honest, I too struggled with what to say. ...
When talking to clients about their business goals, most business executives are pretty clear as to what they want to accomplish, such as reducing customer churn or reducing inventory costs or improving quality of care or improving product line profitability. But these “one dimensional...
In the blog “From Autonomous to Smart: Importance of Artificial Intelligence,” we discussed the two critical artificial intelligence (AI) challenges in creating “smart” edge devices: Artificial Intelligence Challenge #1: How do the Artificial Intelligence algorithms handle the unexpec...
We all probably remember the movie (“Jurassic Park”), even if we don’t remember this exact scene: Dr. Malcolm, played by Jeff Goldblum is explaining Chaos Theory to Dr. Ellie Sattler, played by Laura Dern. Dr. Malcolm is explaining how random, seemingly negligible events can disrupt e...
It’s hard to get into the world of the Internet of Things (IOT) without eventually talking about Digital Twins. I was first exposed to the concept of Digital Twins when working with GE. Great concept. But are Digital Twins only relevant to physical machines such as wind turbines, jet e...
Sometimes I write a blog just to formulate and organize a point of view, and I think it’s time that I pull together the bounty of excellent information about Machine Learning. This is a topic with which business leaders must become comfortable, especially tomorrow’s business leaders (t...
In the blog “From Autonomous to Smart: Importance of Artificial Intelligence,” we laid out the artificial intelligence (AI) challenges in creating “smart” edge devices: Artificial Intelligence Challenge #1: How do the Artificial Intelligence algorithms handle the unexpected, such as fl...
The problem with living in a rapidly changing world is that things are always changing. But as Yogi Berra (famous Hall of Fame baseball catcher for the New York Yankees and occasional American philosopher) said: “You can observe a lot by just watching.” Well, more than watching, we are...
A recent BusinessWeek article titled “America’s Retailers Are Closing Stores Faster Than Ever” summarizes the epidemic that retailers are facing today (see Figure 1). Retailers are closing stores at a record path and the driving force behind the acceleration in store closings is Amazo...
On Saturday February 11, 2017, my daughter and her friend were driving from a basketball game in Chico back to our home in Palo Alto. Unfortunately, due to several days of heavier than normal rains, the Oroville Dam spillway broke and flooded many of the roads between Chico and Palo Al...
Given all the brilliant things that are happening today with machine learning and artificial intelligence, I just don’t understand why “fake news” is still an issue. I think the solution is right in front of us; that is, if social media networks are really serious about addressing this...
Many organizations are associating data monetization with selling their data. But selling data is not a trivial task, especially for organizations whose primary business relies on its data. Organizations new to selling data need to be concerned with privacy and Personally Identifiable ...
My job has the great advantage of bringing me in touch with some outstanding and truly brilliant people.  As an example, last year I spoke at the PrecisionAg Vision Conference in Phoenix (and I’ll be speaking there again this fall on October 12), and ran into a number of companies that...
During the recent Dell EMC World in Viva Las Vegas, Dell EMC TV interviewed me about my just-completed research project with the University of San Francisco, where I am an Executive Fellow and teach the School of Management course titled the “Big Data MBA.” Check out the video at the b...
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to change everything by enabling “smart” environments (homes, cities, hospitals, schools, stores, etc.) and smart products (cars, trucks, airplanes, trains, wind turbines, lawnmowers, etc.). I recently wrote about the importance of moving beyond “c...
In calculus, the second derivative is the measure of instantaneous acceleration or velocity of a function of a function f. For example, the second derivative of the position of a vehicle with respect to time is the instantaneous acceleration of the vehicle, or the rate at which the vel...
For a recent University of San Francisco MBA class, I wanted to put my students in a challenging situation where they would be forced to make difficult data science trade-offs between gathering data, preparing the data and performing the actual analysis. The purpose of the exercise wa...
Mark Twain famously said “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Maybe if Mark Twain were alive today, he’d add “alternative facts” to that list. BusinessWeek in the article “Lies, Damn Lies, and Financial Statistics” reminds us of the management...
Industry after industry is under siege as companies embrace digital transformation (DX) to disrupt existing business models and disintermediate their competitor’s customer relationships. But what do we mean by “Digital Transformation”? Digital Transformation The coupling of granular, r...
I am so blessed with smart friends, and I am fortunate to count John Morley among that group. John recently introduced me to Stanford’s Design School (d.school). To say I was blown away would be an understatement. I was so jazzed by the one-hour tour that I have signed up for a 3-hour ...