Category Big Data, Cloud, BI

What Skills Will Manufacturing Workers Need in the Age of AI?

What Skills Will Manufacturing Workers Need in the Age of AI?

Artificial intelligence technology is changing the state of the manufacturing sector. Global manufacturers are projected to spend $9.89 Billion on AI technology by 2027.

There are countless benefits of investing in AI as a manufacturer. However, this is also going to lead to some major changes that might be a bane for many workers.

The good news is that there are still ways for workers to thrive in this field. However, they need to know what skills they need to possess as AI technology dominates the industry.

What Skills Will Manufacturers Need as AI Becomes More Prominent

Manufacturing is far from dead. All of the speculation that AI would kill the industry has proven to be untrue. In fact, there are the same number of Americans working in manufacturing in 2019 as there were in the industrial heyday of the late ’40s.

However, the industry is changing faster now than in perhaps any time period since the Industrial Revolution. As manufacturing becomes increasingly affected by advances in AI and other forms of high technology, it’s clear that tomorrow’s manufacturing worker will need to come ready to work with a new toolbox.

When we picture the ideal manufacturing worker of 2030 and beyond, what skills will they need as the industry is shaped by AI? How should our educational institutions prepare tomorrow’s manufacturing labor force to become empowered and productive employees? There’s no telling what the future holds—but these six skill sets will be invaluable no matter what comes down the pipeline.

1.      Critical Thinking

With so many jobs headed for automation as manufacturers invest more in AI, it’s important to focus on acquiring skills that are difficult to automate. Near the top of that list is the ability to use critical thinking to grasp and solve complex problems. AI technology can accomplish many things, but it still can’t think like a real human. That includes skills like seeing the big picture in data, evaluating the pros and cons of an option and identifying and mitigating one’s own weaknesses through collaboration.

The skilled jobs of the new economy require critical thinking on an almost constant basis. It’s such a foundational skill that once a person grasps the basic concepts of critical thinking (such as evaluating an argument, making a judgment based on known facts and coordinating multiple systems to solve a problem), they understand the basis of almost any 21st century business practice. Moreover, it’s an important skill that helps guide an individual’s choices in their career.

2.      Essential Computer Skills

The ability to organize an email inbox or make a basic Excel sheet will be expected of nearly every worker in the new economy, and not just in white-collar office jobs. Computers are now among the most essential tools of doing any kind of business, so basic computer skills will be expected just to get in the door, even if the factory floor is where you’re interested in going.

With manufacturing workplaces increasingly relying on apps, ERP systems and other AI applications to streamline their operations, manufacturing positions will no longer be immune from the requirement of computer skills. The 21st century manufacturing job will be less like the ultra-repetitive assembly line work of the 20th century and more focused on continually learning to use new tools to take command of one’s own productivity. In that environment, tools like Dropbox, Outlook and Excel could be the new hammer, wrenches and screwdrivers.

3.      Programming and Automation

The new manufacturing jobs created in the 21st century are often the ones that involve programming or manipulating automated systems, and that means that the new manufacturing worker is something closer to a manager who supervises processes rather than individuals. To compete, the 21st century worker needs to be able to create and manage shop floor-level implementations of automation and AI.

Different kinds of programming and technology skills are needed for different fields. Machinists, for example, must be highly skilled at using technologies such as custom CNC machining that rely on automation. Supervisors on automated vehicle manufacturing lines, meanwhile, must sometimes learn hardware skills up to and including opening an electronics enclosure to fix a programmable logic controller. It’s clear that learning a wide range of skills related to automation and AI will serve workers well in the increasingly automated manufacturing environment.

4.      Technological Adaptability

Technology and automation have already drastically changed just about every corner of the manufacturing sector, and none will be able to escape forever. That means that a well-rounded 21st century manufacturing employee will be able to roll with the punches and embrace new technologies–even as those technologies create big disruptions. This includes using AI to use augmented reality in manufacturing.

For example, additive manufacturing and 3D printing have recently taken the manufacturing world by storm. Other technologies, such as blockchain, could well revolutionize the supply chains and the record-keeping systems that keep manufacturing operations running. Workers who are able to quickly master and implement these technologies have a distinct advantage over those who are slower to embrace them.

5.      Empathy and Communication Skills

Skills in interpersonal communication and understanding are commonly called “soft skills,” but that phrase doesn’t accurately communicate just how important these skills are. People skills enable employees to work together, overcome differences and create strong working relationships. And despite the increased power and productivity that new technologies offer, smooth collaboration is still the secret that creates great businesses where people want to work.

Empathy is the key to developing workplace communication skills, and it’s particularly important for management. The ability to put yourself in another person’s shoes means understanding their responsibilities, how they interlock with your own and how you can work together more effectively—whether you get along personally or not. Thus, by combining empathy with critical thinking, employees at all levels can better understand the roles that they and their co-workers play and work harder to ensure that all the pieces fit together smoothly.

6.      Leadership and Decision Making

In today’s manufacturing environment, the average worker has more powerful tools to work with than ever. That means that leadership must come from all levels, not just management. Every worker must be more responsible, exercise better judgment and be more able to stand as a leader to their coworkers. The seamless collaboration required to be a competitive 21st century manufacturer means that there’s very little room for “not my job,” and responsible use of powerful new tools makes accountability and transparency at every level mission critical.

Twenty years from now, it’s a safe bet that manufacturing will look very little like it does today. That means recognizing that human capital is still the most valuable kind and that investing in the skills and development of employees will help create the long-term stability that every business wants in a changing economy.

AI Technology is Changing the State of the Manufacturing Sector and Workers Must Adapt

AI technology offers many promising benefits for the manufacturing sector. Manufacturers invest in solutions like robotic polishing to make the most of AI. Workers will need to adapt as AI becomes more of a gamechanger in the years to come.

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Cloud-Based Data Storage Is Making Manufacturers More Agile

Cloud-Based Data Storage Is Making Manufacturers More Agile

The products around us are growing more complex every year. Mechanical designs are increasingly intricate, software development is ever more powerful, not to mention more and more physical products are being incorporated into the internet of things or contain distinct software. As a result, manufacturers need to be more agile than ever, and most struggle to keep up.

Cloud technology is among the biggest changes. The market for cloud services is worth over $400 billion and growing.

While linear development processes have served manufacturers well for decades, future products require multidimensional planning. Now is the time for companies deploying limited tools to consider switching to cloud-based data storage and powerful product planning tools.

The Limitations of Linear Manufacturing Processes

Data silos have become one of the biggest restraints with using linear manufacturing processes. Even when a manufacturer adopts advanced process solutions, the legacy data collection problem remains in isolated channels. For example, if your company collects data from your new equipment while collecting data from other vendors separately, you may end up with incompatible file formats. How will you analyze your data to get a comprehensive picture of your products if you cannot combine your stats?

Problems with compatibility can also occur across internal departments. Your marketing, product, and design departments may be using the latest tools, but if their data is not compatible or integrated into the same destination, it can cause delays. You may have trouble organizing all your reports, and you may miss crucial information altogether.

Agility Is Important at Every Stage of Manufacturing

Agility is an essential quality at every stage of manufacturing. When your company is better equipped to make efficient, informed decisions, you’ll be better able to deliver competitive products to your markets in shorter time spans.

Agility Begins In the Cloud

When implemented correctly, the cloud enables organizations to eliminate data silos and create one source of truth for the entire organization, regardless of where your teams are located. The cloud also enables you to apply powerful analytics over your data to prevent anyone in your organization from having to interpret raw data. Rather than spending precious hours pouring over the figures, your teams can use the cloud to deliver the best interpretations of the stats automatically.

The Cloud Saves You Time

Using the cloud helps your teams communicate and collaborate more efficiently. Imagine your design team creates a 3D rendering of a prototype, then sends it to the cloud, where your factory in another time zone gets an automatic notice to download the file. They can then create a 3D physical version to analyze, test, and send immediate feedback to the design team while preparing their production line for the new product. Simultaneously, your marketing team can examine the design and build a campaign story around it.

The Cloud Increases Functionality

Product planning teams that use the cloud have much more flexibility in managing their teams than those still using a suite of rigid tools with separate functions. Instead, product planning teams can use the cloud to communicate, collaborate, analyze, and make decisions in one centralized location. Product management becomes agile, flexible, and functional with the right software platform.

Reliable and Trusted Security

The idea that the cloud lacks reliable security is completely outdated. Most cloud service providers deliver superior network security and safe infrastructure to resist cyber attacks and include disaster recovery contingency plans. Most manufacturers do not maintain nearly the same level of security for their on-site servers and systems as cloud service providers do. It’s fairly common knowledge nowadays that moving to the cloud will actually enhance your network and infrastructure security rather than decrease it.

When manufacturers embrace the possibilities using the cloud delivers, their systems and processes become far more efficient and flexible than before. Designs can evolve simultaneously, rather than in a linear, stunted function, making the manufacturing process much better equipped to handle the increasing complexity of products. 

Choosing a Cloud platform

The cloud is not pre-equipped to make your manufacturing process more efficient. You’ll want to find the right cloud software that is designed for manufacturing. More and more cloud platforms offer manufacturers streamlined processes, so how do you find the right one for your company? When researching and testing the platform that is right for your company, there are several factors to consider:

Does the platform allow seamless integration of your existing data?Does the platform eliminate your data silos into one accessible source of truth?Can your teams work efficiently and collaboratively on product design?Do they prioritize security to protect your intellectual property?Do they create features that are useful for manufacturing? Do they offer helpful support and guidance when using their platform?

The SaaS solutions that offer the most agility, security, and powerful features use the cloud to power their apps and manage their data. With the possibilities of the cloud, SaaS companies can scale their service based on what each client needs for capacity. The cloud can be a game-changer for manufacturers who find the right software for their needs.

Gocious is an example of a tech start-up using the cloud to deliver specific application functionality. We’ve created Product Roadmap Management software to help manufacturers become more agile with clear data visualizations and unique competitive analysis features.

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AI-Driven Ransomware is a Terrifying Threat to Businesses

AI-Driven Ransomware is a Terrifying Threat to Businesses

AI technology has led to some massive changes in recent years. Most of these developments have been good. Unfortunately, there are dark sides to the evolution of AI.

One of the drawbacks of AI has come in the realm of cybersecurity. On the one hand, AI has helped improve cybersecurity in some ways. On the other hand, hackers are weaponizing AI to create more horrifying attacks.

There are a number of ways hackers create more devastating attacks with AI. One of the biggest issues is that they are creating new forms of ransomware with machine learning capabilities.

Hackers Use AI to Create Terrifying Forms of Ransomware

In the world of cybercrime, the leading event is a phishing email, which accounts for the vast majority of security breaches in business. However, even though phishing is significantly more common, 85% of organizations are more worried about ransomware and the impacts a ransomware attack could have on their business going forward.

Much like a phishing event, ransomware is fairly easy to trigger. With phishing, a user will accidentally navigate to a false page, where they could give away information like their user login or password. Similarly, ransomware only takes a few clicks – with a user selecting a file and accidentally downloading an email attachment to their computer.

Hackers have used AI to create more effective phishing attacks. They can use machine learning to better understand the types of links users will click on and what time to send emails to get the most downloads. They can also use AI technology to make their ransomware more vicious. AI can train malware to evade antivirus protection software and bypass other elements of the computer security system.

The main purpose of ransomware is to take all computer systems and files hostage from a business, eliminating their ability to get work done and charging a (normally) fixed fee to recover the systems. Unlike phishing, which doesn’t seem to have a simple exit option, ransomware has a payment wall in place that could alleviate the problem.

AI has certainly made ransomware worse than ever. But that calls into question for a business – should they pay hackers when AI-driven ransomware is detected on their systems? In this article, we’ll explore the ransomware phenomenon, demonstrating why, ultimately, paying is very rarely the right decision to make.

Let’s get right into it.

Why Does Ransomware Powered by AI Frustrate Companies?

Ransomware is designed to completely shut down business operations for as long as possible. Most commonly, hackers will target user accounts that have access to the largest selection of company files. If a hacker gains access to an account that cannot then access any systems, they’ve essentially hit a dead end.

However, if a hacker gains access to an administrator account, they can then cause havoc for the business. From instantly privatizing all files and disabling all systems to downloading private financial data, hackers with administrator accounts can completely stall a business in its tracks.

Especially for businesses that need to actively deal with clients to continue their day-to-day work, disabling these systems and barring access to files means the business can’t make any more money. With high-turnover businesses, even a few hours of system downtime can cause a huge problem, let alone days or weeks at a time.

Without the ability to conduct business, and with costs mounting up without profit, many businesses see paying the ransom as the right thing to do.

Ransomware appears to be even more effective when it uses AI technology. Hackers depend on it to infect their users.

Why You Should Never Pay the Ransom

When your business is dealing with a ransomware event, it can often feel like you’re trapped in a corner. Without your systems and files to fall back on, many businesses don’t know where to go. This feeling of panic usually pushes them into making a rash decision and paying the fees.

In 2021, the average ransom payment for a business was over $800,000 USD, with this being no small sum for the vast majority of businesses. Typically, any business that could easily afford this amount would receive a much higher figure, meaning paying ransomware is always going to eat into profits a considerable amount.

While paying the ransom may seem like the simplest option, there are two main reasons that you should never submit:

No Guarantee – Even after you’ve paid the money, this is not a legal contract that you’re signing. There is no guarantee that once you pay the full figure, the hackers will give your system back. Worse, there is no guarantee that they haven’t hidden further ransomware deep in your systems, which would lead to further complications down the line.Creating a Target – When you pay a ransom to attackers, you’re sending a message to every other cybercriminal in the ecosystem that you’re a company that is willing to pay. Not only does this create a target on your back, but there is nothing to stop the attackers you’re paying from turning around and targeting you again right away.

Quite simply, paying the ransom almost always leads to even more problems, with this being the fastest way of making your business a target for future attacks. While it may seem like the best solution, this is rarely the case.

What Should You Do?

If you’re already in the midst of a ransomware attack, then your first point of contact should be the authorities. Most of the time, authorities are able to navigate the ransomware attack on your behalf and will have tools and structures to help you get through it.

Still, this is far from ideal. The very best way to never have to pay the ransom is to take proper precautions with your business. As frustrating as it may be to realize, this attack was caused by someone in your business clicking on a file that they shouldn’t have. If your business is experiencing a ransomware attack, your first approach should be better prepared for next time.

There are a few things you should actively be encouraging in your business:

Security training – Always provide extensive security training for your employees. As the vast majority of cybersecurity events are triggered by human mistakes, bringing your teams up to speed on the best practices is always a great idea.Email defenses – Make sure your company has effective firewalls and email security software that scans for malware and ransomware.Backups – Backups are the easiest way of beating ransomware attacks for good. All you need to do if faced with ransomware is to revert to a previous backup to solve the problem. Frequent backups will ensure that data loss is as minimal as possible.AI security – AI may be deadly in the hands of hackers. However, it can also be very useful in your hands as a cybersecurity expert. You will want to use AI cybersecurity technology to your advantage.

By focusing on preventative strategies, you’ll be in a much better position if your company ever falls prey to a cybersecurity event. Education, preparation, and foresight are key when it comes to keeping your business safe.

AI Makes Ransomware Worse But You Should Never Pay the Ransom

AI has led to some horrifying developments in the field of cybercrime. Hackers are using AI to create more viciouus forms of ransomware than ever. Instead of paying the ransom, preemptively put some of that money into educating your staff, creating backups of all important files, and investing in preventive measures.

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Top 4 Blockchain Trends Shaping Business in 2022

Top 4 Blockchain Trends Shaping Business in 2022

An increasing number of businesses are interested in investing in blockchain technology. The technology is attracting the attention of global business executives due to its huge real-world applications. In addition, blockchain applications are more scalable and secure compared to traditional apps. Enterprise blockchain will greatly benefit businesses due to the continual expansion of digital ecosystems.

According to statistics, global spending on blockchain is anticipated to reach $19 billion by 2024. Now, most businesses are taking active steps to enter and benefit from the blockchain industry. But since its inception, many changes have taken place, and there’s no sign of things slowing down any time soon. If you’re interested in this technology, you need to stay on top of the trending topics.

In this blog post, you’ll see the top four business blockchain trends for 2022 and their long-term benefits.

What is blockchain technology?

Blockchain technology is a distributed and decentralized ledger that stores cryptographic records of transactions and records of digital assets. It’s the technology behind cryptocurrencies and is considered to be trustless and highly secure. You can’t modify records on a blockchain or interfere with the records as they require the consensus of all participants in the chain.

This makes the technology excellent for many industries that require a greater level of trust, confidentiality, and security, like healthcare and payment industries. Learn more on the trending topics within the blockchain arena in 2022 below.

Metaverse

In case you are wondering, the metaverse is a network of virtual apps that help facilitate social connection and interaction. Big techs like Meta, Microsoft, and Epic Games have had businesses globally moving to develop immersive 3D virtual experiences that allow people to connect with others and live a virtual life.

As far as technology is concerned right now, there is no better place to develop a secure and expansive metaverse than on blockchain technology. Due to its decentralized structure, blockchain development can provide secure and frictionless access to the metaverse, free from cybersecurity and fraud issues and inadequate user authentication.

In addition to privacy and security, blockchain also ties the metaverse to the crypto economy, making it an attractive investment for businesses in 2022 and beyond. Some of the benefits of Metaverse include:

Higher engagement: A virtual world closely mimics the real world can help significantly boost customer engagement and experience, spurring content and brand offering consumption.New economic streams: Metaverse offers a chance for your business to create and sell helpful virtual content that’s more engaging than on other social platforms. Besides, technologies like Facebook Meta will have their own economic system.Better communication: Metaverse can allow people to communicate and engage like they are in the same room, even when they’re geographically apart.

Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs)

For the past two years, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have been one of the hottest developments in blockchain technology. These are tokens issued on the blockchain as one-of-a-kind, irreplaceable tokens. This allows them to use the concept of scarcity of assets to build their value. In addition to art and digital valuables, NFTs provide a multitude of additional use cases in the blockchain.

Musicians are tokenizing their songs and selling directly to their fans, sports brands and athletes are also tokenizing merchandise and sporting moments. Artists and brands can get automatic royalty payments, record labels, managers, and other players in the specific niche. Similarly, businesses can create NFTs and marketplaces to trade them.

NFTs have also found a huge following in the fashion and gaming industries. It’s also an invaluable technology for tracking and verifying goods in the supply chain.

Digital Identity

Looking at the above two trends, it’s obvious that establishing a digital identity is now important if you want to maintain anonymity in the decentralized space. The transition to digital identities is imminent, whether or not this will be through creating avatars or any other means. And because of the growing push toward the use of digital identities, all players in the blockchain world will need to step up.

This is mainly for providers in the Decentralized Finance (DeFi) system and other required services that require identity verification. With the entry of NFTs and metaverse into the market, the issue of digital identities will continue transactions.

This also raises the issue of more regulation within the space. Most governments are curious to know how digital identities play in the crypto world and how that can affect the laid money transaction regulations.

An established digital identity system will lead to more regulation in Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti Money Laundering (AML) measures in the DeFi world. In areas like automotive supply chain management, digital identity can be used in blockchain car sharing services through smart contracts. This works by allowing authentication of a transaction through digital identity and proof of payment.

Eco-Friendly blockchain

Among the most criticized aspect of blockchain technology is the high energy consumption rate required by popular protocols. All protocols that rely on Proof of Work (PoW) require validators that perform huge computational tasks. This is, of course, tied to the impact the same has on the environment.

But the newer protocols are more focused on eliminating the energy consumption issue by using Proof of Stake (PoS) and Proof of History (PoH) consensus. For example, Cardano uses PoS while Solana relies on PoH. This has seen protocols like Ethereum moving from PoW to PoS to try and make its algorithm more eco-friendly. The trend is likely to be seen more in 2022 and beyond. This will likely make blockchain even a more attractive solution for many businesses.

Final thoughts

Blockchain technology has evolved quickly from cryptocurrency technology, and most people are accustomed to the enterprise tech disrupting the business landscape. The above are only some trending topics revolving around it and those we’ll see in 2022 and beyond. These include increased adoption of Metaverse, growing use of NFTs, and going for greener blockchain protocols.

Implementing blockchain in your business can create more scalable apps and processes for a more optimized workflow. Your business can gain all the benefits of blockchain technology. All you need is to consult the experts to get started.

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4 of the Biggest Data Breaches in Banking

4 of the Biggest Data Breaches in Banking

Big data is causing a number of data breaches. Sadly, they often affect banks.

Banking is an important sector of the world. People use finances daily, but it doesn’t mean they are completely protected from data breaches. This article discusses four of the most significant data breaches in banking…

We put a considerable amount of trust in our banks. They hold our money and sensitive data. We expect banks to fulfil their duty and provide protection. But unfortunately, there have been historical moments where banks have faced impactful data breaches.

If you are a victim of your bank suffering from a data breach that has impacted you, you could be eligible to claim bank data breach compensation.

To learn more about four of the most significant data breaches in the banking sector and steps banks need to take to keep online data safe, keep reading…

1. Heartland Payment Systems

Heartland Payment Systems is an American-based payment process and technology provider. In 2008 they suffered a cyber incident which impacted more than 130 million debit and credit cards. Some of the compromised data involved credit card numbers, card expiration dates and cardholder names.

One of the threat actors responsible for the breach was Albert Gonzalez, who during the years of his computer hacking, stole more than 170 million debit and credit cards and ATM numbers. During the Heartland Payment System cyber attack, he had two accomplices help commit the crime. As a result of his actions, Gonzalez received a 20-year prison sentence.

The data breach incident against the company resulted in them losing hundreds of thousands of customers and an impacted reputation. Since the 2008 breach, Heartland Payment Systems suffered another data breach in 2015, when their Santa Ana, California office experienced a break-in.

2. Experian 

While we cannot consider Experian a bank, we felt this breach was significant enough to talk about, especially considering the company’s close relationship with the financial services and banking sectors.

Experian is an American-Irish company which is frequently used by corporations to process credit applications of individuals across the world, meaning it holds a considerable amount of personal data.

While a significant company like this would be presumed to have high levels of protection against data breaches, the well-known company has become a victim of many data breaches over the years.

One of their breaches, in particular, had a significant impact on their customers. It happened in 2020 when 24 million customers’ data was stolen after a South African employee fell victim to a threat actor by relinquishing a series of crucial, sensitive information. The data breach also impacted nearly 800,000 businesses.

Some of the personal information that was breached included:

Mobile phone numbersHome phone numbersWork numbersEmail addressesResidential addressesPlaces of workWork addressesJob titlesJob start dates

A year after the breach occurred, it was found that some sensitive data had been posted onto the dark web. This has since been deleted. 

This isn’t the first data breach Experian has suffered, with a recent incident in 2022 exposing 15 million users’ sensitive details such as names, addresses, birth dates, social security numbers, driving licenses and passport numbers.

3. 2016 DOS attack on Lloyds, Royal Bank of Scotland and Halifax

In 2017, a number of UK banking groups, Lloyds, Royal Bank of Scotland and Halifax, experienced a cyber attack that lasted for 48 hours.

During the incident, cyber criminals flooded the banking groups with millions of fake requests, which is known as a denial of service (DOS) attack. While no customer’s personal details were stolen in the cyber incident, each banking group was required to bring their systems to a halt to prevent the incident from escalating. 

Similarly, the Royal Bank of Scotland suffered the same type of cyber attack on its online services back in 2015, which lasted for 50 minutes.

4. Tesco Bank

In November 2016, 9,000 Tesco Bank users suffered a financial loss that occurred over a period of 48 hours. The total loss suffered during the cyber incident was £2.5 million but has since been refunded to all impacted customers.

Tesco Bank was fined £16.4 million by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) due to the failure to protect its customers from the cyber incident. This was after the FCA analysis of the matter determined the attack could have been largely avoidable.

Data Breaches Can be Daunting

What we can conclude from this article is that there is no doubt that being involved in a data breach can feel incredibly daunting. It can be worrying to think about what would happen to your personal details and particularly more so with financial details, but there are things you can do to protect yourself. For more information, take a look at Forbes’s guide to protecting your sensitive information.

How do you protect your personal data? Let us know in the comment box below.

Please be advised that this article is for general informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a trained legal professional. Be sure to consult a lawyer/solicitor if you’re seeking advice on data breach compensation. We are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this site.

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Here’s Why a Bootcamp Won’t Make You a Data Scientist

Here’s Why a Bootcamp Won’t Make You a Data Scientist

Bootcamps are en vogue in all sorts of industries, with the idea being that intensive training over a short period can bring newcomers up to speed with complex concepts in a flash.

This sounds good in theory, and in many contexts, it has a lot of clout. But the field of data science isn’t exactly suited to the quick and dirty approach to employee education.

Here’s why.

The competition is fierce

The first issue is that if you want to apply for positions which require a data science background, then even if you’ve undertaken a bootcamp, you’ll be competing against candidates with much more impressive qualifications.

That’s why bootcamps offer benefits in certain career paths, and not in others. For example, if you complete a front-end developer bootcamp at Altcademy.com, you’ll be in a stronger position to succeed when applying for jobs later on.

Data scientists, on the other hand, tend to have Masters-level education in a relevant subject under their belt, even if the role they are aiming for is on the bottom rung of the corporate ladder.

If you’ve already got a Masters, then a bootcamp could be a great way of refreshing your knowledge and skills. But don’t expect to stand out from a stack of resumes if a bootcamp is the only relevant certification you’ve attained.

The mainstream narrative is deceptive

Another issue facing data science at the moment is that there’s a lot of misinformation out there about how accessible the field is.

Read articles, watch videos or check out training course marketing and you’ll get the impression that this is a specialism that almost anyone can attain. Furthermore, it’s implied that you don’t need to work particularly hard to enter the echelons of data science.

What this doesn’t make clear is that only a tiny proportion of data scientists were able to get a job when starting from scratch in 12 months or less.

The majority spent years earning degrees, gaining experience and cutting their teeth in different roles before finally reaching the point where they could go pro. And so again, a bootcamp will only work wonders for those with a solid grounding in the right skills and knowledge already at their disposal.

The breadth of data science is a sticking point

While the term ‘data science’ is bandied around regularly, it’s worth noting that there’s not a single subset of areas that it covers, but rather a multitude of potential paths to take.

Because of this, no bootcamp or short-term training course can possibly encompass every conceivable facet of what goes into making a data scientist, because there simply won’t be the time.

A true data scientist will need to combine the training they receive with their own, self-guided learning. This has been the way of things for a long time and will remain the case indefinitely.

There are other stepping stones to take

A data science bootcamp can be a little like a get rich quick scheme, in that it promises the world but ends up falling short, and it’s only the fault of the participants if they don’t get where they want to be immediately.

The solution is to think carefully about your existing skills, as well as your circumstances, and see if there are different ways to gain data science-like experience without taking a course.

This might mean getting into marketing analytics, for example, in order to understand some of the tools and techniques which can later be applied to data science training. It’s about having realistic goals and knowing when claims are too good to be true.

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How Technology Has Shaped Organizational Change Management

How Technology Has Shaped Organizational Change Management

Many organizations resist change, whether due to a fear of the unknown or a reluctance to leave the comfort of the status quo. Change is often seen as complicated, time-consuming, and expensive. But organizational change management is a necessary evil. The right approach can allow organizations to improve their operations, become more agile, and compete in the market better. 

The first step in successful organizational change management is understanding how change happens. And although many factors contribute to organizational change, it’s safe to say that technology has been the biggest driver of change in recent years. From the rise of social media to the proliferation of mobile devices, technology has also helped adjust how organizations change. Here Are a few key areas where technology has promoted positive change;

Communication

Technology has improved workflow and facilitated and automated workflow by changing how people communicate in modern workplaces. Think of businesses before email, instant messaging, and video conferencing. The time it took to pass along information, receive feedback, and implement change was a slow, treacherous process. 

Communication across various levels in organizations has become instant and collaborative. It has also removed the need for face-to-face communication.

Organization and Automation

Technology helps in keeping the business organized. With modern software, businesses can streamline processes that reduce errors, increase speed, quantity, and quality of work, and minimize costs. Today’s innovative software allows product managers to improve workflow and boost efficiency.

Product management software makes it easier for managers to track progress throughout each stage of achieving objectives and maintaining efficiency.

Better Collaboration

Organizational change management requires collaboration actress teams and departments. Technology has completely changed the way companies collaborate and fosters real-time connection anywhere, any time. This flexible connection encourages teamwork and less friction when implementing complex changes across large organizations.

Remote Work

Technology completely transformed the modern workplace. Instant and remote access is now possible because of mobile and cloud technology. As a result, there are now diverse, interconnected workplaces. They are joined by seamless connection, mobility, and virtual collaboration.

With the touch of a button, employees may now operate from any location thanks to cloud technologies. Collaborating with teams wherever they may be feasible, courtesy of virtual meetings.

Beyond the Tech

Technology can be an essential component in organizational change management. As illustrated, technology allows businesses to communicate change, track implementation, and receive feedback faster than ever. While technology has greased the wheels of organizational change management, it is not enough

Identifying and redesigning processes, hiring the best consultants, and establishing a new system are just a few steps in guiding a business through organizational change. It’s also vital to ensure end-user adoption of the new technology through fully fleshed communication, stakeholder involvement, continuous improvement, and implementation of the new system.

To help you develop a change management plan, here are some essential things to consider:

Planning

Planning is a crucial step towards any change. No matter how small, crafting an actionable plan is the only way to achieve goals—initiating change without first deciding why and how is a sure way to wear out your employees and stakeholders. Taking the time to envision an end with a clear direction will make the change easier to embrace and implement.

Communication

Beyond the tech, there is much more to communication than the tools. There is no perfect way to communicate, but there are some things to remember. When communicating a change, it is crucial that the people on the other end are receptive and can understand the what and the why. Proper communication means keeping it simple and timely. There is such a thing as too much information. No need to overload employees and frustrate your team. 

Open communication channels also allow for two-way communication and questions that may arise. Communication is the key to frictionless change.

Inclusion

As a business, while crafting, it is vital to carry employees along. It prevents business owners and stakeholders from making decisions in a vacuum. Employees are the people who will work around the changes made, so their input is crucial to success. Open communication channels create avenues for valuable insight and motivate your employees. 

Evaluation:

Change never happens in a straight line. It requires frequent feedback, evaluation, and revision. Before, there should be clear KPIs to measure success and adaptation and establish a simple, pain-free method for collecting and implementing feedback. You’ll likely need to work on and improve the program/system repeatedly until it starts functioning properly.

Continuous engagement and collaboration

Implementing change is like creating a new product. The first version is never perfect. Research, testing, and iteration are necessary in times of change. The organization and not just a select group of personnel produce organizational change. For many business owners, change does not go beyond the key stakeholders. Still, the shift towards integrating change across the board and including everyone involved in the organization is necessary for better adoption and growth.

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5 Sneaky Ways Hackers Try to Steal Information

5 Sneaky Ways Hackers Try to Steal Information

Every year, businesses lose billions of dollars to cyberattacks. Educating employees on the most common techniques used by hackers is an important aspect of cybersecurity.

Endpoint security protection measures can also prevent or mitigate many of the worst types of cyberattacks. 

The following list includes some of the most well-known ways that hackers try to extract sensitive data from personal devices. 

Social Engineering

Cybercriminals know that people are the weakest links in a company’s cybersecurity policies. They exploit the natural tendency to trust or provide assistance to gain access to restricted information.

For example, rather than attempting to enter a business’ encrypted network, hackers will break into an employee’s social media or email account. Once inside, the hacker can masquerade as the individual and send messages that contain viruses or malware. 

Hackers also manipulate employees by assuming the identity of a trusted source, which could be a vendor, financial institution, or even a government agency. They will send messages that imply the individual or the business is in trouble or must verify some information. This can be a very successful way to extract password information and personally identifiable data from individuals.

Fighting against social engineering attacks can be difficult, as hackers are becoming increasingly adept at replicating messaging from official channels. Employees on the receiving end of a social engineering attack should verify messages by contacting the company or agency directly. 

Browser Malware

Hackers use the internet to advance cyber attacks on unsuspecting users. One of the most common types of attacks installs malware that can control a victim’s browser. The hacker can then force the browser to redirect the user to a different webpage.

For example, a user trying to complete a search on Google may be redirected to a different search engine. However, the site has been manipulated by cybercriminals to install spyware or malware onto the user’s device. 

Further, if the user visits any sensitive websites during their session, the hacker may gain access to those passwords and information.

The malware that a browser attack installs onto a computer can significantly slow down the device. One of the most common signs of a browser attack includes lagging, an increase in pop-ups, and unfamiliar tools appearing on the browser or desktop menus. 

Anti-virus software can scan and remove malware from an infected device. Browser developers also frequently update their security features to prevent the most common types of malware. 

Website Spoofing

This form of cyberattack combines tactics from social engineering and browser malware. In this scenario, the hacker takes advantage of the credibility of a legitimate organization or business by copying their web address and web domain. 

For example, a hacker may create a replica of the popular site eBay. The web address and page may look very similar to the official site. Unsuspecting users may not realize the website is spoofed and enter sensitive information.

While hackers can mimic many of the visual aspects of a website, there are some features that are impossible to replicate. Since all domains must be unique, spoofed websites often contain a typo or letter replacement. Additionally, spoofed sites generally do not have an SSL certificate, which secures the site against unauthorized access.

Man-in-the-Middle Attacks

Unlike the previously mentioned techniques, man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks do not rely on the user to install malware or interact with a compromised entity. Instead, a hacker gains access to the information being transmitted between two legitimate parties. 

For example, when a user purchases an item from a legitimate eCommerce site, they send their encrypted payment information to a payment processor to complete the transaction.

The hacker is able to eavesdrop on the interaction and gather personal information. In some cases, the hacker actually intercepts the information and funnels the user’s data onto their network. 

Public wifi connections are some of the most common ways hackers set up MITM attacks. They may spoof legitimate free wifi networks, or simply wait for someone to log into their network. Any information that is sent during the session will be visible to the hacker. More sophisticated MITM attacks interfere with the SSL certificate.

Keylogging

Hackers deploy malware or spyware using one of the above methods. The program then monitors and records the user’s keystrokes. Hackers may also take screenshots to match login information with specific websites.

It can be particularly difficult to defend a business’ network from keylogging attacks as recording keystrokes is a common function in legitimate software. For example, many employee monitoring tools have keylogging capabilities. 

To reduce the risk of illegal keylogging, employees should opt for two-factor authentication whenever possible. This means that in order to log into an account, the website will request authorization through a second device, usually a smartphone. 

When two-factor authentication is enabled, hackers will not be able to access an account even if they have obtained the password.

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Key Criteria When Hiring AI Software Development Agency

Key Criteria When Hiring AI Software Development Agency

There are a number of amazing AI companies. You may want to create an equally successful one. However, you won’t be able to do this without the best experts at your side.

There are a lot of factors that you have to take into consideration when hiring a company to help you develop AI applications. There is a huge lack of qualified AI developers, as a recent report from ZDNet recently showed.

Many companies will outsource their AI development projects, since they have trouble finding qualified experts on their own. Fortunately, this process can be a lot easier when you work with the right agency.

However, large companies and enterprises must be especially careful when outsourcing software development services to handle their AI projects. The right IT services & staff augmentation can make all the difference in the product you produce, which affects your bottom line.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at some key criteria when hiring a custom software development agency to help you make your AI startup succeed.

How Do You Find the Right Software Development Agency for Your AI Startup?

AI startups need the most qualified experts to help them create new applications. Unfortunately, choosing the best AI software development agency is easier said than done. The good news is that the process will be a lot easier if you follow these guidelines.

Choose The Right Service Type

There is a huge difference between ‘outstaffing’ and ‘outsourcing’ that many hiring agents do not fully understand until it is too late. Outstaffing means hiring employees housed under another company. Outsourcing is the more commonly used technique, which involves hiring independent contractors. Both are viable methods of IT staffing augmentation; deciding which to use is usually a function of the following metrics:

Decide On The Budget

Your budget will be one of the deciding factors in whether you outstaff or outsource. Outstaffing, because you are hiring employees, is much more expensive than outsourcing. Depending on the budget, outstaffing may be outside of your wheelhouse, and the software development staff augmentation decision could be make for you!

If you have a choice of whether to outstaff or outsource, then you may want to pay more attention to the other metrics below. However, most companies that hire out for IT staff augmentation services do prefer to outstaff for long-term needs. Although employees cost more, the benefits far outweigh the costs of having to re-teach company culture and projects to new people over and over again.

Rates & Business Goals

Developing AI software applications is not cheap. You want to make sure that you aren’t skimping on rates. However, you also want to make sure that you aren’t overpaying for a service either.

What are the reasons that your business is in need of staff augmentation? Does the work require highly skilled or low skilled labor? Does the scope of work involve deep dives into sensitive material that your company needs to keep private? If you are looking for highly skilled labor or the work involves company secrets, then you may want to consider outstaffing over outsourcing.

All told, what is the productivity of work that you are getting for the money you are outputting? When you consider rates, you may want to consider not only the wages you are paying, but the potential cost of insurance and education. Education is a cost that many companies do not consider. The learning curve that every new hire must take on, where (s)he is learning and low on productivity, is a real cost of business. There is an opportunity cost here of dealing with long term employees that also must be deeply considered.

Reputation

You want to make sure that the software development team that you hire understands the best practices. This includes ensuring that they know the relevance of agile development when developing AI applications.

You have to make sure that they actually have a good reputation for doing a good job in these regards. You should really only deal with companies that have been marked as a top rated software development agency. Software is an intense industry that obfuscates a great deal of itself from the outside world. If you are not an insider, you can get taken for a lot of money and time before you find the right fit, because everyone knows the lingo that makes the agency sound good. If you aren’t a tech person by trade, you can easily be fooled into thinking an agency can get you the right people when they are really not of the specialty you need.

The reputation of a software agency is essential to consider. This is the way that you, as a tech outsider, can know how effective an agency is in creating true synergy between the employees who will be helping you and your core staff. This synergy is essential in getting work done in a productive way.

Communication

You may not think that communication is a big deal when you are dealing with employees or contractors that you do not expect to make a part of your core staff. Nothing could be further from the truth. In order to generate successful projects in a productive way, you must have good communication between your new hires and your core staff.

If your core staff does not have a tech background, it is essential that your software agency bring you people who know how to explain what they are doing in a non-technical fashion. After all, the products that you come out with as a group most likely need to be usable to a non-technical audience. Why not start with you?

Even if your software agency is creating software for internal use, the communication aspect of the process is still a huge part of success. Your employees need to know what the new software can do in layman’s terms so that they can make best use of it when the software developers are not on hand. This is especially true if you are making remote hires — these people will not be in the office, and may not even be in the same time zone to ask questions of.

Troubleshooting capabilities

There is no software project that goes perfectly from the very beginning. A few hiccups here and there should not upset you or make you believe that you have hired the wrong team. You should look at how the team responds to the inevitable bugs in the system, however.

Where to Find the Best Software Development Agency for Your AI Startup?

When you are running an AI startup, word of mouth is the best way to find a software development agency that you can trust. You may also take a look at successful products that come from your competitors. If you can find out who built their software, then you may have a great candidate for your own.

Make sure that you take the appropriate time to go through the entire hiring process for a software agency. You may take a bit more time up front, but this due diligence will definitely pay off in the end. It is much better to spend a bit of money and time looking for that perfect fit than it is to hire quickly and face communication issues or a team that cannot handle troubleshooting.

Even worse is if you outsource when you should have outstaffed and vice versa — make sure that you understand the goals of your company inside and out before making this crucial decision. Keep this in mind, and you can help your company immensely with the right staff augmentation!

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Traits AI Startups Seek When Hiring New Employees

Traits AI Startups Seek When Hiring New Employees

Are you launching a new AI startup? You will discover that there are a number of opportunities and challenges of creating a company that develops new AI algorithms to solve problems.

The demand for AI technology has surged in recent years. One analysis indicates that 90% of companies have made investments in AI and 37% actively deploy it. AI startups have a burgeoning market that they can serve.

Unfortunately, they also have challenges, such as choosing the right business model for their AI startup. One of the biggest issues that AI entrepreneurs must deal with is finding the right employees. Unfortunately, they find this is easier said than done.

In May, ZDNet author Owen Hughes talked about the shortage of skilled AI developers. Hughes points out that this has made it more difficult for tech companies to innovate effectively.

Of course, the skill shortage doesn’t just apply to AI developers. There is also a shortage of skilled marketers, financial professionals and other experts that AI startups depend on.

Despite the skill shortage, it is essential for AI companies to find the right employees to operate effectively. They will need to know what skills to look for when building a pool of talented employees to serve their business.

Seek Applicants with the Right Skills for Your AI Startup

As an entrepreneur striving to find employees for your AI startup, you will have to read many applications and find the most suitable candidates for certain positions. You can’t waste time overthinking and overanalyzing CVs and cover letters.

Here are some useful suggestions to understand what to focus on when scanning an applicant’s resume and message. Read more about what personal and technical skills you should be looking for in a candidate in the following guide that New Millennia helped create.

Personal Skills

Many AI entrepreneurs and founders of other tech companies make the mistake of putting all of their emphasis on technical skills. This is a huge mistake, because even technology companies need employees with soft skills as well. In fact, one expert points out that 85% of the success in the technology sector can be attributed to soft skills like good communication. AI companies are no exception.

Personal skills are soft skills that people either possess naturally or develop and improve over time. They refer to personal qualities that are transferable to any type of role. This skillset helps an individual to perform better at work. Read the following examples of such personal skills you should search for in an applicant to understand why they’re necessary. 

Motivation

The AI sector has become very competitive. Entrepreneurs in this sphere need employees that are self-motivated and ambitious to help them succeed.

A motivated employee has an internal drive to perform well at work. These employees help save time and money, as they require less guidance. They have a greater level of independence regarding their duties and projects, which is highly productive and effective for the company. A self motivated employee will inspire their colleagues to do their best when it comes to their roles, as well. 

Communication

Communication is what helps to convey factual and complex information in a clear and concise manner. People that showcase a great level of skill regarding communicating with others can use many channels, like phone, email, and face-to-face talks, to send their message across. A good communicator is someone who understands how to listen actively. 

Flexibility

Flexibility is another key skill that means being able to adapt easily. Be it new duties, positions, or obstacles, a good employee should know how to adapt to various situations quickly. As a recruiter, you should always look for applicants that can respond to complex scenarios in an efficient manner. What’s more, a positive attitude helps showcase the candidate’s ability to adapt, so keep this aspect in mind when you’re interviewing somebody. 

Problem Solving

Problem solving refers to the ability to find solutions to any issues in quite a timely manner. Organizations need employees with problem solving skills to evaluate situations and come up with strategies in order to fix the issue. It’s important to find candidates that can see any situation in a complex way, from more than just one perspective, as well as think of the best tactics to handle the problem. 

Technical Skills Such as AI Programming

Developing AI technology requires decent programming skills. You obviously need to hire developers that understand the programming languages that help create AI applications. Python is one of the best languages for data science and AI, so it is a good idea to find Python programmers for your AI startup.

Technical skills are hard skills that people can only learn from experience. People can develop technical skills through courses, various forms of education, and actual work expertise. This skillset is typically particular to certain jobs and fields. Read examples of some key technical skills candidates should showcase in order for you to consider them for the role and get a better understanding of their importance. 

Industry Specific Skills

Below are a few examples of job specific skills you should look for when you read applicants’ CVs and cover letters, depending on the role you’re hiring for:

Data Analysis

As far as Data Analysis is concerned, potential employees should have an extensive knowledge of quantitative research, quantitative reporting, compiling statistics, statistical analysis, data mining, and big data.

Marketing

The old adage that you can build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door doesn’t hold up. Even when you are developing stellar AI applications that blow your competitors out of the water, you need to have a sound marketing team by your side.

In the marketing industry, some key technical skills you should look for are expert knowledge of different social media platforms, a good understanding of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), copywriting, and the ability to operate Content Management Systems (CMS). 

Graphic Design

Regarding Graphic Design, it’s essential for applicants to be familiar with branding, Adobe Suite software, user modelling, responsive design, print design, and typography. Graphic design skills are essential for many Internet-based AI startups, since they need to make sure that their interface is easy to navigate and aesthetically appealing.

Software Development

In the Software Development field, it’s important for candidates to know coding, algorithms, applications, design, security, testing, debugging, modelling, languages, and documentation. This is essential for AI startups.

Technical Support Skills 

People in charge of technical support are vital in every company, as they ensure the safety of computer systems, by being able to troubleshoot any issues that may arise. These skills are also essential when configuring new hardware, performing regular updates, and assisting other employees in creating accounts, resetting passwords, and dealing with any difficulty regarding the online system. Technical support teams help restock equipment and maintain records of software licenses, as well. This is why anyone with this type of skill is a great asset to any organization. 

Project Management Skills

Being able to manage people, budgets, and resources in an efficient manner is one of the most important technical skills a candidate can have. Applicants with project management skills are always in high demand in different fields, such as construction and digital marketing, for example. A few key project management technical skills you should look for are project planning, task management, budget planning, risk management, and knowledge of project management software.

When working in-house, recruiters often have several other duties, aside from reviewing CVs, which requires a great deal of attention in itself. Such responsibilities cover various aspects, including the finances of the recruitment agency. For smaller recruitment agencies, there are outsourcing options available to save time and resources, so that recruiters can focus on reading applications properly.

Find the Right Skills for Employees When Growing Your AI Startup

AI companies need the right employees to thrive. You will have an easier time growing your startup if you follow these guidelines to hire the best talent.

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