Analytics & Data Partner Insights

How Tech Is Transforming Customer Experience

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Business is being reshaped by mobile, social, cloud, and big data, and so are customer expectations. Retailing, financial services, communications, travel, and customer service and technical support are feeling the effects most. They are all industries with particularly high customer engagement. Everything from client devices and applications to IT infrastructure and applications have altered how people learn about, evaluate, and buy things.   More

Business Partner Insights

How Discovery Fuels Corporate Growth

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Cultivating a discovery mindset—one that is open to new approaches, encourages curiosity, and promotes a willingness to test and iterate—is the essential basis for all innovation. But embracing discovery is not always natural for an established organization. It can be a big culture shift to really commit to identifying new and bold ideas—and yes, falling has to be accepted as an important part of the journey.   More

Healthcare Partner Insights

Fixing the Growing Problem of Enterprise Healthcare

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There is a disease that touches nearly every American, no matter their age or where they live. It can’t be cured by doctors, and no lab is working on a vaccine. The disease is the healthcare system itself. It strikes U.S. businesses with out-of-control costs and directly affects more than half of all Americans—those who rely on their employers for health coverage. But there’s hope that technology may help us cure our broken, dysfunctional healthcare system and enable businesses to turn this crippling expense into a strategic advantage.   More

Cities Partner Insights Startup Culture

How Three Idealists Became Ed-Tech Entrepreneurs

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We’ll be the first to admit it: we are an unlikely trio of entrepreneurs. Two of us are black men who grew up in Detroit, left for college, and returned to the city. Two of us are young adults who dropped out of college due to a lack of guidance. Two of us are college advisors devoted to pushing opportunities to high school students and pushing students out of the hood. Together, we are all advocates of urban youth who share a vision and a drive.   More

Cities Partner Insights

How Sharing, RoboCars, and 3D Printing Can Reinvent Industrial Detroit

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"The age of the industrial city is over, at least in the West, and it will never return," declared Edward Glaeser in his book “Triumph of the City.” Detroit, whose decline he blamed on the "extravagant success of Ford's big idea" that "brought hundreds of thousands of less-well-educated workers to vast factories," was Glaeser's best evidence. The Harvard economics professor might be right about Detroit’s past. But a Motor City renaissance is determined to prove him wrong about its future. And Detroit’s industrial character will almost certainly be the key to its rebirth.   More

Partner Insights

Your Computer Will Feel Your Pain

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What if your computer could empathize with you? The evolving field known as affective computing is likely to make it happen soon. Scientists and engineers are developing systems and devices that can recognize, interpret, process, and simulate human affects or emotions. It is an interdisciplinary field spanning computer science, psychology, and cognitive science. While its origins can be traced to longstanding philosophical enquiries into emotion, a 1995 paper on affective computing by Rosalind Picard catalyzed modern progress.   More

Bio & Life Sciences Partner Insights

Dassault Systèmes’ 3D “Living Heart” May Transform Diagnosis and Treatment

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The day is coming when “electronic health record” doesn't mean just a digital transcript of doctors’ notes about exams and tests, but a three-dimensional digital model of your entire anatomy. The first version of such a human avatar-for-health now exists—the world’s first realistic 3D simulation of a whole human heart. It doesn't just look like a heart. Its software is designed to make it function like one. The outcome of the Living Heart Project—a stealth interdisciplinary collaboration among more than 50 medical researchers, practitioners, device manufacturers, and industry regulators—the model was introduced today by Dassault Systèmes.   More

Partner Insights

Making Sense of the Mainframe, 50 Years Later

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Computing has changed a lot in the last 50 years, but one 50-year-old technology remains significant. The durability of the mainframe illustrates the maxim that new technologies don't usually replace old ones, but rather coexist alongside them. When the IBM System 360 debuted on April 7, 1964, it was, in effect, the first general-purpose computer of any type. We don't call today's app-laden smartphones mainframes as we use them for everything from texting to watching Netflix movies, but they are the descendants of the 360. Meanwhile, real mainframes that use the basic architecture of the 360 are still essential in business. IBM's current-generation zEnterprise systems have extraordinary capabilities, and can manage 1.1 million transactions per second.   More

Learning Partner Insights

Can Higher Ed Survive the Threat of MOOCs?

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Massively open online courses are bringing creative destruction to the higher education industry, and incumbents must reconfigure their value chains to survive. MOOCs, as they’re known, are free online courses that use pre-recorded, asynchronous lectures, discussion boards, and peer-grading to reach hundreds of thousands of concurrent students. Among the non-profit MOOC platforms is the edX platform, which includes courses from MIT, Harvard, the University of California, Berkeley. It is funded by the Gates Foundation and Google, among others.   More

Analytics & Data Partner Insights

How Do Consumers Want to Be Persuaded?

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Persuasion has been a cornerstone of education and business since ancient Egypt. Through the centuries, those who skillfully brought audiences to their own position were seen as wise scholars and merchants. Usually, they were well rewarded. But global access to the Internet has created a virtual landscape where persuasion is open-sourced and citizens and consumers are overloaded with information.   More

Analytics & Data E-Commerce Partner Insights

How Businesses Get ROI from Social Sharing

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Social-media-savvy businesses are turning their best customers into direct sales forces online. By leveraging the social networks of their biggest brand advocates, retailers can extend the reach of their product promotions. It’s word-of-mouth advertising at a massive scale. Some companies have been using this “social sharing” approach for several years to build brand awareness and drive sales. Until lately, though, such initiatives were hampered by unsophisticated methods for managing and engaging customers as well as tracking return on investment. Now, new tools and apps are available to develop a smart social sharing strategy that enhances customer experience while providing true ROI data based on sales conversions.   More

Business Partner Insights

Collaborating Across a Multigenerational Workforce

Evolving Workforce Think Tank at Dell World

Most managers who work alongside recent college graduates know first hand that communicating and collaborating with this new breed of subordinates can be tricky. Dave Buchholz, director of consumerization for Intel IT, recalled a time a new 20-something employee proposed an idea via instant message. Buchholz said he has no problem with IM—but the employee was only a few feet away. Buchholz said he replied, “I think you should come over here and talk to me about it,” before looking in the employee’s direction and sarcastically waving hello.   More

Government Learning Partner Insights

Will All Schools Have Nanotechnology Labs?

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan gets a lesson in nanotechnology from Wheeling High School student Drakkari Lott. (Photo: Ed.gov)

Setting up high school students with atomic-force microscopes and optical profilers so they can study nanotechnology may seem like a science teacher’s dream, but it’s already happening in at least one school in the United States. And the amount of outside financial support received by Wheeling High School in Illinois to make the lab a reality, coupled with efforts to encourage teachers to emphasize the field, suggests that more labs may soon be cropping up. The focus on nanotech in Wheeling and elsewhere speaks to its potential.   More

Learning Partner Insights

Lawmakers: Colleges Need Free Digital Textbooks

Undergrads on average spend more than $1,200 annually on books and supplies. (Photo credit: Lightpoet)

Lawmakers in Washington are considering a proposal that would help colleges produce and share free digital textbooks, a move proponents say would help make college more affordable. The Affordable College Textbook Act would create a grant program for colleges interested in establishing pilot programs that use “open educational resources” to reduce textbook costs. The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, a supporter of the legislation, has defined these resources as free, online academic materials that everyone can use, adapt, and share.   More

Partner Insights

Your Car Will Take Your Blood Pressure

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Customer research and societal trends suggest that there’s a strong business case for automakers to explore opportunities in health and wellness. Here’s what we at Ford have learned: While chronic illnesses are on the rise, the number of healthcare providers has remained relatively flat, which effectively limits patient access. For this reason and others, people of all ages and from all income groups are taking a more hands-on approach to their own health and wellness. More people now visit online health sites than go to the doctor’s office. Paralleling the increasing interest in health websites is an explosion of interest in mobile health solutions. These trends create a natural role for the automobile in the emerging digital health and wellness field.   More

Media & Marketing Partner Insights

Action! Roll ‘em: Personal Video Poised to Take Off

Video has become as simple for ordinary consumers to create as snapping a photo. But while digital snapshots have become so ubiquitous that they have morphed from a kind of consumer "art" into routine day-to-day communication, that sort of transformation has yet to occur with video. The success on Twitter of Vine, which allows the creation of 6-second repeating videos, suggests such a transition may loom. Now Instagram, too, enables short videos. The raw materials are in place, and the consumer will to change behavior seems to be emerging. This new report from GigaOm research evaluates the factors that may enable the rise of more polished, convenient, everyday videos that could rival stills as a routine tool for consumer communication and expression.   More

E-Commerce Media & Marketing Partner Insights

What Shoppers Want: In-Store Shopping with Online Services

If the electronic commerce predictions of the late 1990s had come true, today's average 18-year-old may never have known what it was like to step in a store or participate in the whirl of shopping as millions of Americans will this holiday season. By today, he or she would have a phone or computer permanently attached to their hand, and anything they would need or want would be ordered online and then delivered directly to them. Who knows? Maybe some products were going to be transported—like Star Trek. But, we all know that has not come true.   More

E-Commerce Partner Insights

M-Shoppers Redefine the Mobile Shopping Experience

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Mobile-assisted shoppers (m-shoppers) used to strike fear into the hearts of retailers. Armed with a handy mobile device, a savvy consumer could easily compare prices on the Internet and find the best deal available. Brick-and-mortar doomsayers called it the end of their world. How could a business compete with that? But hold on. All the Doomsday speak may have been a bit premature. According to new research from the Columbia Business School and Aimia, a global leader in loyalty management, m-shopping may ultimately provide a retailing asset in two distinct areas.   More

Bio & Life Sciences Partner Insights

Bedside Data Is Good for What Ails Us

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Amid the clamor in Washington over the Affordable Care Act, the medical community is trying to stay focused on improving outcomes for today’s patients—and those who will require treatment tomorrow—by finding ways to strengthen the quality of care. Whether it’s the receptionist who confirms patient identities by making sure every file contains a photo, or the surgical team that uses an evidence-based checklist to avoid infections, improving care is an effort that benefits from widespread contributions.   More

Media & Marketing Partner Insights

How Marketers Can Use Data to Stay Employed

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It's getting easier to follow users as they walk through the digital landscape. New data-driven marketing tools can extract increasingly meaningful and nuanced insights from peoples' footprints—including their credit card statements, web browsing history, and social media history. When I say nuanced, I mean nuanced: retail stores are even using customers’ phone GPS to track how long they stand in the yogurt aisle. This makes older techniques like retargeting—a cookie-based technology that keeps brands visible even after traffic has bounced—seem like a shot in the dark.   More