What do you use? Email? SMS? IM? Phone?F2F?

Today  multiple modes of communication are leveraged in our professional and personal lives. E-mail, SMS , IMs or Chats, Phone call and In-person F2F meeting. Are you leveraging the right communication channel? Are your leveraging right communication channel best suited  for real life scenario? Here is my attempt to answer.

Email  are used to communicate for non-urgent matters and  scales fairly well, being asynchronous. As emails document facts, emails  qualify to be considered formal and are suitable to be prioritized, free of pressure to respond immediately. The sender is aware that he would obtain response based on receiver priority. Receiver is aware that he can schedule time to check and respond emails. Easier for both parties to develop a disciplined approach for communication over emails

Emails are ill-suited when people use emails to resolve conflicts. Emails can become nuisance when emails are used to assign tasks to individuals. In these scenarios, it is better to talk or meet person in F2F mode or Phone mode

SMS are for short messages and for asynchronous communication. Used communicate quick status or interest to other person. Examples are like reached place and do not see other person at scheduled time, keep informed of delay to arrive to F2F meeting and so on.

IMs are suited for quick short informal messages prior to F2F or phone discussion(using voice) when both parties show attention to IM,  IM becomes more efficient than a candid back-and-forth email thread.

During conference call, IM are used to share quick facts on a topic  and IM can be treated as confirmation of facts across conference call.  IMs allow teams to collaborate internally better with exchange of private messages within the team, even during a joint call with multiple teams. Any IM interaction for more than a minute or two may become tricky and for IM interaction more than two or three minutes, explore options to move to voice based IM or phone call. Let us accept that  voice is quicker/cleaner than typing!

IM Pop-ups can be distraction( Remember to set ” do-not-disturb” when necessary). They are not good to document formal responses and are to be limited to internal team discussions. IMs are efficient with customers with IM federation enabled IM of customer.

Phone calls are useful when both parties cannot wait for F2F meeting to occur, or critical issues cannot wait to be scheduled F2F. Please schedules phone calls, being aware of time loss due to unscheduled Phone calls. Either answer  unscheduled calls for less than a minute to schedule or call back unscheduled calls in planned hour. While one needs to be aware of distraction on one’s focus due to unscheduled calls, there are times where one needs to  pick up phone and  talk, instead of long  back-and-forth e-mail threads.

F2F meetings are most suited to resolve conflicts or brainstorming sessions. Too many F2F meetings can be a time-killer. Schedule F2F meetings that are truly necessary with a clear agenda communicated in advance so everyone has time to prepare. Take meeting notes and documents action items. Send notes and action items to all invitees/participants for F2F meeting. if  the magnitude of conflict increase, it is very important to have F2F meeting as soon as possible, as it has potential not to let any problems linger around!

To end, please remind yourself of the cost of the meeting to the company. Remind yourself mentally with everyone’s salary  engaged in conversation. Ensure to finish meeting early when agenda of the meeting is completed. When key person required for a meeting is not able to attend, please postpone or reschedule meeting.

No email.jpg

Big data is not the master

Extract tangible business value & insights from quality and integrated data is more important than volume, velocity or variety of Big Data. Business users who consume Big data don’t know or care about its bigness. They want the right data applicable to their particular business problem, and also want to trust that data and analysis derived from it.

Data and models lie in the context of a larger decision support system. The quality of the data, and quality of the model are two independent limiting factors of such a system and one always begin the decision support process with questions like.
• What problems must the business address?
• What questions does the business need answered?
• What insights does the business need for innovation?
• What business decisions and actions need quantitative support?

First, Develop models to support above business needs and then  decide to pursue for  the required data. Big data is the servant, not the master. The real value in decision making is highly influenced by organizational decision support process in  2 ways.

Start with assumption, instead of a hypothesis (Similar to being in a mission to “Prove” something). Team perceive an outcome and try to align data, analysis and do everything necessary to achieve outcome that syncs with assumption. Starting with assumptions make people cherry-pick data, models, algorithms, visualizations, and even share information with objective to “prove”.

Start with a hypothesis to be proved or disproved. Testing happens. Verification happens. Multiple models are generally used instead of one. Here more focus is spend on “whys” in addition to the “whats.” Teams that are open for critical thinking have the risk of slipping in to bias here, while the genuine focus still continues on the accuracy of result.

Big Data Cycle

Big Data brings focus to three “V’s” (volume, velocity, and variety); More  value from Big Data comes from variety. With little or no domain expertise, techies  focus system design to handle larger data volume . Hence business folks need to focus/emphasis on  data variety and needs to be educated to forget more of big volume and focus on big variety.

  • Get value out of your variety is data integration task. Ensure that no Big Silos gets created and first integrate existing data silos.
  • Integrate far flung disparate systems to generate insights with a holistic view of customer and product attributes along with sales data by channel, region and brand.

When Variety takes precedence over volume, exponential data still gets collected, we need to address data error correction on an exception basis. We cannot scale manual data correction to keep up with our increased data volumes. We must automate data quality processes to catch and fix those errors up front with tools at least as robust as our data collection and storage resources. For unstructured data too, we need to apply  the same data quality standards that is applied to more traditional transaction data.  To achieve data quality, it is important to understand how  business users interact with the data.

Traditionally, applications were designed and developed and  consumed by users until it becomes apparent that applications need to be modified or replaced. Computing played role to tells us what happened in the past and allow humans to speculate what happens in future. Today predictive analytics make machine to speculate about the future and allows humans to take decision/action.

Predictive analytics needs continuous process evolution towards “It is not requirement followed by solution.  It is a process and a journey and not a project. It is not plugging in some technology” When predictive analytics helps to get better understanding of customers, focus is needed to “get inside their souls.” and to continually tune adaption to changes in the business and customer activity.

  • How to  prioritize, data present in the report or person consuming the report?
  • Does applying analytics change things for you in role of a professional and in role of a citizen? Are you agreeable with  new change in both roles?
  • What you did with data 5 years ago compared to what you are doing with it today?
  • As effective data usage is a moving target,  Does “more data”  become a more realistic desire than “all data.”
  • Does velocity matter more than having data in a format that’s actionable and in a format that maps to business objectives?

Are social networks addictive?

Do I become more happy on seeing more readers read my blog or there are new comments on the blog. I have seen this practice in last few months, where I check whether more visitors are coming compared to previous month. This had made me question of my own priority “Do I blog to express my own idea and thoughts with indirectly influence on others?” or “Do I blog to influence others? Is expressing myself in all topics really important?”. The first thing I did was to stop sharing my new blog posts to LinkedIn.

social

Known to lot of you, I have kept myself away from WhatsApp. Answering to others on my absence in WhatsApp, I questions myself whether I need to join whatsApp to be in touch with my friends. I observe work related discussions happen on WhatsApp and there are no emails on the same topic. May be I am losing some work related interaction, being absent in WhatsApp. My mind asks me this question “Am I being missed out?” and answers “I have made choice and should learn to live with it.” Occassionaly I check WhatsApp for NGO in my wife’s phone and she is part of NGO group too.

With all social networks, I observe that “When one login to social networks and browse to a different page and return to social network page, you are already logged-in.”. Having seen this as benefit  earlier, now-a-days, I see this feature as disadvantage. Is there setting to expire session of social network login after a configured interval?

With LinkedIn, I observed more articles arriving directly on first position by email. The email has list of articles from friends to read. On click of article link, you are directed to login to LinkedIn. Is it not enough for LinkedIn that I receive emails from LinkedIn and read articles in LinkedIn? Why do they force me login to LinkedIn. Can LinkedIn notification emails not have access to public URLs to allow me view message without login? I do not like getting forced login to read article of a friend.

On analysis, I observe that I follow large number of public persons in LinkedIn Pulse and found option to unfollow public persons. Some of them I chose to explicitly follow and some had no clue why I am following. Pruned the same. Asked myself question “Should I leave leave LinkedIn?” and found answer “Reduce noise interactions on LinkedIn. Follow few people and maintain LinkedIn profile for professional purpose. Get glimpse in to other people’s backgrounds, prior to meeting and plan my conversation better”. I like when people with a past relationship respond to your private messages. I hate when experience people send invitation and when you respond sending message after accepting, they do not respond.

Earlier I used Facebook effectively for my charity campaigns. Realized spending more time on Facebook reading other updates, I started first to stop adding comments on others posts in Facebook. In last 60 days, I have disabled my Facebook account thrice, with a promise not to enable the same. Twice, I got pushed to login to Facebook and became aware of what I have done only after login. This awareness had helped me to be away from Facebook for last month and resist to log-in.

Once I disable Facebook, I am sure that my blog updates are not published as part of my Facebook feed and are not visible to my friends.

I continue to use twitter. Twitter also notifies to email address to pull you come online and login. Is there option, where i can stop twitter not to send messages? Why am I sharing updates on twitter of what I read? Is it not possible to leave all social network?

I find my book reading, listening to songs have come down and time spend on social networks has increased. I need to become more aware and make changes that are important to me.

Can we fill & take our own water bottle ?

Have we moved away from the question “why there are no clean drinking water facility?” to  “Why we purchase bottled water?” to “Which brand of bottled water to buy?” No one knows whether bottled water is safe for drinking or clear of source of the bottled  water and conditions under which water packed.

There are very few times we have bought water and mostly, we  avoid purchase of bottled drinking water. At times my daughters do not want to carry their own water, I or my wife carry water. My second daughter asks me “while others purchase water, why we carry water from home?”

I want to remind that school children have habit to take water bottle to school every day. The children have cultivated a habit to carry their own water. Do chilren cultivate a conflicting habit when they consume purchased bottled water?

We started to carry water for our children from home when we leave home. Today, my daughter is 13 years old and the practice still continues. When we go on long time vacation, we check with hotels for aqua-guard water and carry water for the whole day.

You see that hotel bearer does not ask me whether I need water, instead asks whether I need bottled water. We respond that ” We drink the same normal water that he drinks. The children drink from their own water bottles.”

Today travel takes time with long transit hours,on the way from home to work or work to home, either in car or in bus. When I travel by bus,  I carry water. On bus, I carry bag with pouch for water bottle and at times carry a separate bag for water.  I would think it is easier for people who leave their homes or work to fill bottle with water.

Today, when I go to office and ask for water, I am provided with sealed bottled water. Very rarely water is provided in a glass or tumbler. When I refuse to take bottled water and ask for glass of water, others express a surprised look. Some times, people provide me a glass to pour bottled water, assuming that I am looking to pour and drink. What is difficulty for business offices to have water glasses?

May be people sip water from glass keeping their mouth, may lead to diseases. I find some office follow a practice where fresh bottle of water filled by office boy is kept at every employee’s desk before start of work day. Companies project reason to keep bottled water is to ensure that employees, less sensitive to  hygiene and health care are taken care

When I go to mall and not have my water bottle, I have to purchase water or go to restroom that is far away from food court or shops to get water. It looks that mall setup has been developed to induce or make sure that people purchase water. I can observe urge in me to purchase water or another drink and avoid trip to go and get water.

When you go to Tamil Nadu, we need Amma neer. Why is government not thinking of having a good number of drinking water outlets and maintain them clean? Seems they are more busy to decide brand of water bottle and the business around the same.

When I go to Railway station, there is Rail Neer. Facilities to get drinking water are less in number compared to shops that sell Rail Neer. Some people point out that the water is unhygienic and they purchase water. What stops from bringing water from their home?

When we are  more concerned about bottled water brand, we have already moved ourselves far from both the water and the menace of plastic water bottle that we have created.  I think awareness to water and waste created from water bottle needs to happen at home, at community places and at our offices.

 

Privacy Vs Security In A Big Data World

[Copied article contents Privacy Vs Security In A Big Data World for my reference]

What I do know, however — and I thank him for this — is that Snowden helped bring the discussion of big data privacy and security to the public square — and not just the American public square, but the global one as well. This is a good thing, because in this era of big data, not to mention the Internet of Things, we can no longer relegate this discussion to the privacy freaks and security geeks in the back room. It’s a discussion in which we all should participate.

To understand it better, let’s take a brief look at some of the privacy and security issues in the context of the (big) data lifecycle.

In data security circles, the six stages of the data lifecycle are well known: create, store, use, share, archive, and destroy. While these six stages have a strong foundation in security, an interesting thing to note is the fact that the two privacy-related stages — use and share — are situated squarely in the middle. Is it just a coincidence that privacy is at the heart of the matter?

Create
If data is not collected and/or created, there is no need to secure it. This may seem obvious, but it’s astonishing how many websites and apps forget or disregard this point. They collect it all “just in case” –- with little consideration on how the data may be handled downstream.
Why this matters: Data security begins at the point of creation or collection. Organizations need to be deliberate in the data they request or receive, and individuals should be mindful of the data they’re sharing — whether it’s sensitive data on a financial site or a viral video on YouTube. If this data is not secured, it could end up in the wrong hands.

Store
With the volume of big data being generated these days, it’s not just a question of what data to store, but also how to store it all without blowing the budget. Open-source big data technologies are helping to greatly reduce the cost of data storage, both on-premises and in the cloud.
Why this matters: If an organization creates or collects data, it becomes their responsibility -– not the individuals’ -– to secure and protect it from corruption, destruction, interception, loss, or unauthorized access. Some organizations take this responsibility more seriously than others.

Use
When an individual sets up a new account with an organization through its website/app, the individual is asked to read and agree to the terms of service and/or privacy policy. This legal contract typically defines how the individual’s data will be managed and used inside and outside the organization. Granted, few people read this legalese, but our expectation is that the organization will use our data “responsibly,” and when this usage changes, we expect to be notified.
Why this matters: It’s the usage — not the collection or storage — of data that concerns most people. It’s this stage where individuals want to be in control. For example, they want to set the dial on how public or private their data should be, who can access their data, and whether their data (aggregated or not) can be sold or rented to third parties. In this big data era, when organizations don’t provide this level of privacy control, they risk losing the loyalty and trust of their customers and users.

Share
Organizations continue to share data between internal systems and external partners, but with the advent of social networks and “smart” devices, sharing data has become a public pastime — even to the point of “selfie” narcissism.
Why this matters: On one hand, individuals want control on how their personal data is being used. Yet some of these same individuals show little to no constraint on what personal data they’re sharing. Even though it’s the responsibility of the organization behind the website or app to secure users’ data and respect privacy settings (if they exist), it’s up to the individual to determine what and how much information they’re willing to share. If you put it on the Internet, it’s not a question of if, but when, your information may be used in unintended ways.

Archive
Between big data technologies and the cloud, it’s become relatively cost-effective for organizations to store data for longer periods of time, if not indefinitely. In some cases, regulations stipulate how long certain data will live — like in the US financial and health industries — but, in most cases, the budget and space constraints are being alleviated.
Why this matters: Being able to store more data for longer periods of time at a fraction of the cost is an appealing proposition for organizations. The more exciting proposition, however, is the ability to analyze even more data over greater periods of time to discover new questions, patterns, trends, and anomalies. The gotcha here is: The more data an organization stores and archives, the more data it has to secure.

Destroy
If and when data is tagged for destruction, the question is to what extent. For example, if a website user requests that his account be deleted, what does this mean? Is it just the access to his account/data removed (so that he can request access later if he changes his mind) or does a deletion request trigger the destruction of all his data, including archived data? The answer most likely lies somewhere in between for most organizations.
Why this matters: Regulations and governance policies will dictate the extent to which data may be destroyed for many organizations. The data that does not get destroyed must then be secured. So using the example above, if a website user requests that his account be deleted, and he receives an email notification to that effect, what he doesn’t know is what personal data, if any, still exists in the organization’s systems. He may still be vulnerable to a potential data breach, long after he’s been deleted.
It cuts both ways
While a citizen’s right to privacy and freedom from government surveillance has been top of mind for Edward Snowden, national security has been top of mind for the US government.

And therein lies the rub: security cuts both ways. On one hand, it’s the responsibility of an organization to secure and protect any digital information it collects, stores, and transmits. But on the other hand, our governments are knocking on organizations’ doors demanding access to this protected information — all in the name of preserving national security.

Buy Cotton Cloth to Stitch,TailorKraft

If one wants to purchase cotton shirts, please visit TailorKraft and one can purchase your personalized dress. Wish TailorKraft provides cotton trousers and khadi shirts in stitch and buy approach.

From 2016, I decided to purchase khadi clothes and wear khadi clothes. I want to move away from brand clothing and fashion clothing.  When I visit my parents, I purchase khadi dresses and started to wear them to work also.

My inital feeling was  different and had question of how others would perceive me wearing this attire and how apt my dress would be in conference and busines meetings. I decided to ensure that I would wear them after getting them ironed.

Another challenge was fitment of khadi clothes for me. Shirts  purchased from khadi shops fitted me well and there was limited space for air circulation and made me sweat more.  My search for more airy loose shirt  had no luck in Khadi shops. I continue to wear them inspite of constraints.

During my search, I found this young startup TailorKraft. They allow people to select fabric and they take measurment and stitch and deliver shirt home. I shared to them that I would do this with only cotton shirt and they have cotton shirts.

The founder came hoem and took measurement. My kids chose the color of fabric for my shirt and we ended paying online to purchase 2 cotton shirts last week. They arrived through courier after a week to 10 days. Wearing them made me fee very comfortable. They were airy comfortable and also looked rich.

Wearing cotton and khadi shirts took  my mind to wander to my troursers and found all of them are branded jeans and branded trousers.  I have never seen any one wearing khadi trousers. Have you see khadi trousers?

My mind also wandered to Gandhi who in his later years decided to be without shirt. Can I atleast promise to myself to  wear cotton only? Trying to reach a self resolution that I would buy khadi or cotton shirts only and continue to wear branded shirts till  worn out.

Can  technology enabled e-commerce empower khadi shops and cotton mills to reach more people to puchase personalized things straight from manufacturer?

 

 

When did you visit tailor last time?

Till completion of school in 1993, I purchased cloth in shop for pant and shirt. We visited tailor shop . The tailor took measurments of you and stiched clothes. There were uncertain and  challenge times across Diwali to get dress stitched. Schools published school uniform color and parents purchased uniform cloth and got the same stitched at tailor shop.

Today, all dresses are mostly purchased as ready-made.  Schools provide already stitched uniforms for students to purchase. While there is no  wait in tailor shop, people have moved far from the entire process of making dress. We are  5 position of separation from basics of clothes

  1. Make process to make shirts and pants,
  2. Make process to stitch clothes in to dress,
  3. Make process to weave thread in to cloth,
  4. Make process to extract thread from cotton or poly products
  5. Farming process to grow cotton or jute.

While distance from basics of clothes increases, distance from design and brand of clothes decreases. Arrival of e-fashion sites increases distance from going to shop to purchase ready-made wear.

One can also observe that we have moved away from Khadi -handspun and handwoven cloth. While Mahatma Gandhi started his movement to elevate spinning and weaving as an ideology for self-reliance and self government. We have moved far away from Khadi.