Musings from the World of Consulting

Aug 07

What are some cultural differences between Canadians and Americans?

Cultural differences between Canadian and Americans illustrated via a joke

Answer by Bevan Audstone:

I’ve been waiting for this one

Joke will explain all.
How do you get 100 New Yorkers out of the pool?
Answer: Say “Every one STAY in the pool!
How do you get 100 Californians out of the pool?
Answer: Say “This pool has been CHEMICALLY TREATED for your protection!
How do you get 100 Republicans out of the pool?
Answer: Say “Being in this pool shows your support for the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
How do you get 100 Democrats out of the pool?
Answer: Say “This pool will be FUNDED COMPLETELY by the people in the pool!’

The difference between Canadians and Americans?
HOW DO YOU GET 100 CANADIANS OUT OF THE POOL?
ANSWER: SAY “Please get out of the pool.”
What are some cultural differences between Canadians and Americans?

Jul 27

Just like building construction follows architecture informed blueprints, Enterprise Architecture (EA) drives technology blueprints that help align everyone on what is going to be accomplished when and what outcomes are going to be realized.

EA plays an instrumental role in aligning the technology and related investments to the business objectives. Though there are books on this topic, it basically comes down to:

Business value realization - what are the capabilities needed to realize my business objectives?
Technology management - how do I balance re-use, innovation and cost containment?
(most importantly) Communication - EA bridges the communication between the technology and business. The artifacts help the business stakeholders understand the trade-offs, benefits and risks, while they assist the IT organization understand the delineation of responsibility, integration points and changes in the overall environment.

Just like building construction follows architecture informed blueprints, Enterprise Architecture (EA) drives technology blueprints that help align everyone on what is going to be accomplished when and what outcomes are going to be realized.

EA plays an instrumental role in aligning the technology and related investments to the business objectives. Though there are books on this topic, it basically comes down to:

  1. Business value realization - what are the capabilities needed to realize my business objectives?
  2. Technology management - how do I balance re-use, innovation and cost containment?
  3. (most importantly) Communication - EA bridges the communication between the technology and business. The artifacts help the business stakeholders understand the trade-offs, benefits and risks, while they assist the IT organization understand the delineation of responsibility, integration points and changes in the overall environment.

Jul 26

fastcompany:

Here’s what automakers can do when cars have built-in smartphone capabilities.
It’s no secret that cars are trying to replicate the smartphone experience. Touchscreen interfaces are common in today’s cars, dashboard designers take UI tips from iPhones, and automakers want to build apps for cars. And starting this year, large automakers like General Motors are taking the next obvious step and integrating 4G LTE service into their cars. Drivers pay a monthly service fee for in-car 4G that’s separate from their smartphones, and use it for an array of services from movies for kids in the backseat to sophisticated GPS-on-steroids solutions. It’s a win-win for automakers, the dealers who sell the 4G add-ons, and carriers like AT&T. But is it a win for consumers?
Read More>

There is no mention of the telematics and other data that cars can collect and then send back to the manufacturers and potentially dealers. Everything from driving statistics (all anonymous I am sure), engine metrics and potentially validation of engine parts. The last one can be to monitor use of used or grey market parts (analogous to how HP and others check for third party non-approved cartridges).
If that is the case, one would hope that consumers are not paying for the bandwidth charges associated with the telemetry being broadcasted in the background…

fastcompany:

Here’s what automakers can do when cars have built-in smartphone capabilities.

It’s no secret that cars are trying to replicate the smartphone experience. Touchscreen interfaces are common in today’s cars, dashboard designers take UI tips from iPhones, and automakers want to build apps for cars. And starting this year, large automakers like General Motors are taking the next obvious step and integrating 4G LTE service into their cars. Drivers pay a monthly service fee for in-car 4G that’s separate from their smartphones, and use it for an array of services from movies for kids in the backseat to sophisticated GPS-on-steroids solutions. It’s a win-win for automakers, the dealers who sell the 4G add-ons, and carriers like AT&T. But is it a win for consumers?

Read More>

There is no mention of the telematics and other data that cars can collect and then send back to the manufacturers and potentially dealers. Everything from driving statistics (all anonymous I am sure), engine metrics and potentially validation of engine parts. The last one can be to monitor use of used or grey market parts (analogous to how HP and others check for third party non-approved cartridges).

If that is the case, one would hope that consumers are not paying for the bandwidth charges associated with the telemetry being broadcasted in the background…

Feb 14

Musings from the World of Consulting turned 3 today! Cannot believe how quickly time flies by.

Musings from the World of Consulting turned 3 today! Cannot believe how quickly time flies by.

(Source: assets)

Dec 11

Will Bitcoin Undermine the U.S. Dollar? -


For those lacking a subscription, I have summarized the key messages:

Bitcoin’s perceived value may diminish as more copycat virtual currencies emerge Recent surge in bitcoin is due to Chinese interest. Potential reasons include closed capital account, lack of sound alternatives and desired for diversification

Dec 07

Languages used often in analytical circles

Outside of commercial tools like SAS, there is a lot of innovation that uses open source languages to get the necessary information from the underlying data. 

Some popular languages include:

Python

R

Nov 24

What are the primary traits of a great people manager?

Answer by Edmond Lau:

The Gallup Organization did a 25-year study that included over 1 million employee surveys and 80,000 manager interviews across 400 organizations to identify 12 elements of a great manager.  Mark Buckingham and Curt Coffman reported on these elements in First, Break All the Rules, and Rodd Wagner and James Harter further refined the ideas in 12: The Elements of Great Managing.

The 12 elements listed below correlated with increased productivity, profits, employee retention, and customer satisfaction.

http://businessjournal.gallup.co…

Translated into more actionable behaviors, these 12 elements could be interpreted as:

  1. Make sure employees know what’s expected of them.
  2. Provide employees with what they need to do their jobs.
  3. Match the right person to the job.
  4. Recognize and praise good work often.
  5. Care about your employees as people.
  6. Encourage mentoring.
  7. Listen to employee opinions.
  8. Connect employees’ work to the larger mission.
  9. Hold high standards.
  10. Encourage friendships in the workplace.
  11. Provide regular feedback (at least once every 6 months).
  12. Help your employees learn and grow.
View Answer on Quora

Oct 24

iBeacons and BLE: Coming to an app near you -

Just got back from a Meetup on experimenting with iBeacon and more importantly, developing BLE aware applications. Quite insightful. 

Ironically, BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy), a marketing term coined by the folks at Nokia, is now supported by most of Apple’s product lines, and some of the Android devices (though Android itself has limited supported APIs). 

Apple’s approach to iBeacons is quite interesting and provides a foundation for interesting development of applications (locale driven context) as well as integration with future devices (ala Samsung Galaxy Gear Smartwatch). 

In the next 6 - 8 months, one can expect to see retailers starting to adopt this - thinking of some of the more digitally savvy ones like Burberry - where their iOS application transmits your size information while providing information on new items / trends / backgrounds as one moves around the store. 

Interesting times, indeed. 

Sep 18

What web standard do insurance companies use to share data to 3rd party websites?

Summary of exchange standards in Insurance

How do websites like eHealth Insurance get their detailed quotes? XML?
View Question on Quora

Sep 03

Which is the best and most used Stock Exchange Index for Insurance Companies?

How to track the Insurance sector via an ETF?

View Question on Quora