Category Archives: Analytics

How UPS delivers faster using $8 headphones and code that decides when dirty trucks get cleaned

Description:  Inside EDGE: the shipping giant’s ambitious, tech-driven bid to keep Amazon and others at bay.

Source: MIT Technology Review

Date: Feb 16. 2018

UPS workers make dozens of decisions every day, and the wrong ones—from placing a box on the wrong conveyor belt inside a processing facility to loading it onto the incorrect delivery vehicle—could keep you from getting your packages on time.

Avoiding those mistakes, and doing so efficiently, is key to the company’s survival. The boom in e-commerce means UPS now delivers as many as 31 million packages a day. Keeping track of all that is an immensely difficult problem. It’s made worse because fulfilling online orders often requires driving to far-flung residences. That is more expensive for UPS than delivering to businesses, where drivers typically can leave and pick up multiple packages at each stop. read rest of story

Questions:
1.  What are the two biggest threats to UPS going forward?

2. What are the two biggest opportunities for UPS going forward?

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Hoteliers Scan the Ranks of IT Workers to Gain an Edge

Description:The front desk manager or housekeeper may epitomize the hotel employee, but the hospitality industry is increasingly dependent on tech workers, vacuuming data scientists, web designers and other experts into its ranks.

Source: NYTIMES.com

Date: Feb 13, 2017

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While many college students majoring in science, technology, engineering and math are attracted to the household-name tech companies in Seattle and Silicon Valley, Mr. Leidinger says he tells them, “If you’re really into technology, there’s a revolution happening in hospitality,” and as part of a smaller team, “you can drive, innovate and take ownership.”

One project for Hilton tech employees is keyless entry, which allows guests to use their phones instead of plastic key cards to unlock room doors. Of Hilton’s 4,800 hotels, 750 now offer keyless entry, and the company hopes to install the service in 2,500 hotels by the end of this year.

There are also technical job openings at the hotel level, where employees at individual properties manage social media, on-site Wi-Fi and the integration of systems like retail, parking and food sales.

 READ REST OF STORY

 Questions for discussion:

1.While hotel chains say that automating processes like check-in frees their employees to interact in other ways with guests, the use of technology also allows the hotel to hire fewer people.  Do you feel this is a positive thing?  Why or Why not?

An auto’s data may soon be more valuable than the car itself

Description:  People have made fortunes selling cars and trucks. For many of us, a car is the second most expensive thing we’ll ever buy. But experts say the value of vehicles will likely pale in comparison to the riches from our cars’ data.

Source: CNN.com

Date: Feb 7, 2017

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“Data is the currency of the digital age,” said Jim Barbaresso, who leads Intelligent Transportation Systems at HTNB. “Vehicle data could be the beginning of a modern day gold rush.”The gold rush analogy is a common one, made by everyone from Barbaresso to the CEO of Daimler. Here’s why there’s so much potential:

Cars increasingly have sensors and cameras to track their performance and their surroundings. Vehicle sensors, for example, can better tell when an engine part is in need of replacement. A back-up camera doesn’t just help us park, it can tell how many pedestrians or vehicles are on a block.

These sensors generate data, which can be analyzed to make money. (If you doubt the way data can be turned into money, just look at the success of Google (GOOG) and Facebook (FB, Tech30). They offer free services to billions, and make a fortune off the data they collect.)

 READ REST OF STORY

 Questions for discussion:

1. Why will car data be worth as or more than the actual self-driving car?

2.  Who should benefit or accrue the benefits of the data that your car collects?  Explain

Hoteliers Comb the Ranks of IT Workers to Gain an Edge

Description:The front desk manager or housekeeper may epitomize the hotel employee, but the hospitality industry is increasingly dependent on tech workers, vacuuming data scientists, web designers and other experts into its ranks.

Source: NYTIMES.com

Date: Feb 13, 2017

14itineraries2-master675

While many college students majoring in science, technology, engineering and math are attracted to the household-name tech companies in Seattle and Silicon Valley, Mr. Leidinger says he tells them, “If you’re really into technology, there’s a revolution happening in hospitality,” and as part of a smaller team, “you can drive, innovate and take ownership.”

One project for Hilton tech employees is keyless entry, which allows guests to use their phones instead of plastic key cards to unlock room doors. Of Hilton’s 4,800 hotels, 750 now offer keyless entry, and the company hopes to install the service in 2,500 hotels by the end of this year.

There are also technical job openings at the hotel level, where employees at individual properties manage social media, on-site Wi-Fi and the integration of systems like retail, parking and food sales.

 READ REST OF STORY

 Questions for discussion:

1.While hotel chains say that automating processes like check-in frees their employees to interact in other ways with guests, the use of technology also allows the hotel to hire fewer people.  Do you feel this is a positive thing?  Why or Why not?

 

Amazon’s Cloud Business Lifts Its Profit to a Record

Description: Helped by its fast-growing Amazon Web Services business, the company jumped to the most profitable quarter in its nearly 22-year history.

Source: NYTIMES:COM

Date: April 28, 2016

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Amazon often flip-flops between showing profits and losses, depending on how aggressively it decides to plow money into big new business bets. Investors have granted the company much wider leeway to do so than other technology companies of its size often receive, because of its history of delivering outsize growth.

For the first quarter, which ended March 31, Amazon reported net income of $513 million, or $1.07 a share, up from a loss of $57 million, or 12 cents a share, in the same period a year ago.

Revenue at the company rose to $29.13 billion from $22.72 billion a year ago.

Amazon’s share price jumped more than 12 percent in after-hours trading after the results were released. Investors were happy to see the company show profits after the disappointing run of reports from Apple, Google, Microsoft and Intel.

“The fact that they’re profitable is a big deal,” said Christian Magoon, chief executive of Amplify Investments, a fund manager that counts Amazon as a top holding. “It’s more of a big deal after some of the disappointing numbers from Apple and others.”  Read Rest of Story

 

Questions:
1.  What is making Amazon more profitable now?

2. ” Amazon is the rare technology company of its size to still deliver double-digit revenue growth.”  Do you feel that AWS can keep them profitable going into the future  Why or Why Not?

Do Smart Cities Pose Data Dangers? When Governments See Value In Data

Description: The Chicago Tribune published a great editorial this week about the rise of so-called “smart cities” and the promise and pitfalls of governments assembling ever-more detailed data spanning every moment of their citizens’ lives.

Source: Forbes.com

Date:May 14. 2016
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As cities increasingly deploy automated license plate scanners and facial recognition systems tied to their police surveillance camera networks, they are amassing unprecedented documentaries of their citizens, mapping each individual person’s entire daily life from the moment they walk out their door in the morning until the moment they return that evening. Such data has breathtaking commercial value and companies across a myriad of industries would be willing to pay very large sums of money for access. Could a cash-strapped smart city decide that selling subscriptions to its surveillance data for marketing purposes would be a good way to generate revenue?   READ REST OF STORY

Questions:
1.  Who should have access to the data that smart cities are collecting?

2.  Should cities be able to sell the data that they collect for a profit? If yes, who should get the money?

The Cloud-Centric Retailer Treats Every Shopper Like A Celebrity

Description:  Imagine walking into a shopping mall on a mission to buy something very specific — the right tie for a job interview, the perfect handbag for a wedding — and knowing immediately where to look. Instead of endless hours wandering from store to store, combing the aisles for the right purchase, you know immediately which shops have exactly what you’re looking for and which has the best price.

Source:  Forbes.com

Date:  Dec 15, 2015

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Products are becoming to become intelligent, too, as more items and packaging start to come with low-energy Bluetooth tags that will guide smartphone-equipped shoppers to the exact location of the item they’re looking for. Combine that with customers logging in to good-old fashioned Wi-Fi networks and the retail environment becomes a rich mine of data for retailers who choose to build the supporting infrastructure to capture, analyse and interact with it.  Read the Rest of the Story

Questions:

1.  What is the promise of Cloud Computing for the Retail Industry?

2.. What do you see as the two biggest benefits of cloud computing in the retail industry ?  Why?