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  • The number of data science and analytics (DSA) job openings will continue to grow impressively between now and 2020, according to recent research from Burning Glass Technologies, IBM and the Business-Higher Education Forum (BHEF). The accompanying report, "The Quant Crunch: How Demand for Data Science Skills Is Disrupting the Job Market," indicates that DSA jobs are paying many thousands of dollars more than other positions that require a bachelor's degree. And if you command a highly sought DSA skill—such as MapReduce, Apache Pig or machine learning—you'll be able to negotiate an even higher salary. What's more, it's taking employers more than a month to fill these openings. Given the extensive vacancies for these mission-critical roles, organizations are prepared to pay well to build a data-savvy workforce. "The democratization of data is transforming our world," according to the report. "Sensors are everywhere. … Old businesses are being transformed by data. Dynamic new businesses are powered by data. Anyone with a smartphone now carries with them a sensor platform generating data. In response, workforce needs have shifted rapidly. Demand for a new breed of professionals skilled in data, analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence requires a requisite response from both higher education and workforce development. … To close the gap, workforce development and higher education must look beyond the data scientist to develop talent for a variety of roles, such as data engineer, data governance and lifecycle, and data privacy and security specialist, and data product developer." The research is based on an analysis of the Burning Glass Technologies jobs database.

  • A market research firm utilizes giant digital displays to stimulate group discussions and collaboration, leading to deeper engagement and insights.

  • A clear majority of professionals feel they are overweight, even when they exercise on a regular basis, according to a recent survey from CareerBuilder. To a large extent, they can blame the workplace lifestyle, findings reveal. Most employees snack on the job, while sitting at a desk all day. They frequently eat more than they should due to stress. And many dine out several times a week instead of bagging their lunch, even though preparing your own lunch is a great way to control portions with healthy ingredients. It helps that many companies provide gym passes, workout facilities and wellness benefits, but more professionals need to take better advantage of these resources. "Employee health is an incredibly important issue for employers, as suboptimal health can negatively impact workplace productivity, efficiency and morale," said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder. "Providing employees the tools they need to get and stay healthy, then encouraging their workers to use these benefits, is a surefire way to maximize your talent and encourage employee loyalty." A total of 3,420 workers took part in the research, which was conducted by Harris Poll.

  • Employees are feeling increasingly encouraged about the overall economy and their own professional prospects, according to recent research from CEB, now part of Gartner. The resulting "CEB Global Talent Monitor" reveals that perceptions are increasingly positive about the availability and quality of job opportunities. Subsequently, a significant segment of professionals are actively looking for a new employer, seeking more pay, better work-life balance and/or job stability. Don't mistake such sentiments for festering disengagement, however, as the majority of survey respondents said they're excited to go to work each day and are proud to be associated with their employer. To retain and engage these employees, organizations are offering enticing perks, such as "Summer Fridays," to give employees an early start to the weekend. "As the number of employees feeling more confident about their personal job prospects increases, companies must find creative ways to reward and retain their top talent," said Brian Kropp, HR practice leader at CEB, now part of Gartner. "Giving employees the gift of time via Summer Fridays is one low-cost way to improve employee engagement, which in turn can increase employee productivity and drive business results." More than 22,000 global employees took part in the research.

  • Legislation that mandates stronger data protection will take effect in the European Union next May, affecting the way organizations collect, store, manage and protect customer data. Many European and U.S. companies doing business in the EU aren't ready to comply with the tougher rules of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR). That is one key finding of "EU GDPR: Countdown to Compliance," a report based on a recent survey of corporate IT professionals in five countries. Interestingly, many U.S. companies appear to be better prepared than their EU counterparts, "though they still have a long way to go," stresses Richard Stiennon, chief strategy officer of Blancco Technology Group, which conducted the study. One rule pertains to a consumer's "right to be forgotten": basically, to have all personally identifiable information (PII) permanently deleted from an organization's records. The many enterprises that aren't sure where their customer data is stored—or that use unreliable data removal methods—will struggle to comply, the report points out. Survey respondents are also concerned about the 72-hour breach notification and the need to maintain written records of data processing activities. Stiennon urges businesses to address these issues, observing, "American execs should have a complete picture of all the EU citizen and resident data their companies are storing and processing so they can ensure they are adequately protecting that data."

  • Brazil's largest cosmetic company builds an advanced user analytics framework to understand the user experience and improve system performance.

  • A construction and mining firm hits pay dirt with a printing infrastructure that provides reliability, secure printing, and ease of deployment and maintenance.

  • The digital world creates security challenges that many (most?) business and IT leaders aren't equipped to handle—challenges that affect industry and society.

  • Two different surveys—one from Glassdoor and the other from Accountemps—reveal that a growing number of U.S. employees can't completely "break away" while on vacation. For starters, they're not using nearly the amount of paid-time-off (PTO) days they've earned. When they do take vacation days, an increasing number of professionals still do work and/or check in with the office. What's more, it's getting more common for co-workers to contact colleagues who are on break. Clearly, the ever-ubiquitous nature of technology and connectivity are contributing to these trends—a reality that leaves many Americans feeling like they need more time to recharge. "We are seeing a push-and-pull situation when it comes to employees taking vacation and paid time off, in which people attempt to step away from the office for a break from work, but technology is keeping them connected with the swipe of a finger," said Carmel Galvin, chief human resources officer for Glassdoor. "[Professionals] should realize that stepping away from work and fully disconnecting carries a ripple effect of benefits. It allows employees to return to work feeling more productive, creative, recharged and re-energized." More than 1,200 U.S. employees took part in the Glassdoor survey, which was conducted by Harris Poll. More than 1,000 U.S. employees took part in the Accountemps survey.

  • By upgrading its servers, WiFi system, firewall, phone system and more, a major supplier to Toyota improves operations, tightens security and saves $1 million.

  • The ability to recognize natural language and learn from user input will help virtual assistants improve human-computer interactions significantly.

  • It doesn't take much research to know that 2016 was a bad year on the security front: A cursory review of the headlines tells the story. The year brought a new level of creativity and brazenness among cyber-criminals, who took things to a new level with expanded ransomware techniques, multi-million-dollar virtual bank heists, and even attempts to disrupt the U.S. presidential election. But a thoroughly detailed report can put things in a starker perspective, and Symantec's "2017 Internet Security Threat Report" makes it clear that the fast-changing threat landscape will challenge even the most diligent security teams well into 2017 and beyond. "New sophistication and innovation are the nature of the threat landscape, but this year, Symantec has identified seismic shifts in motivation and focus," said Kevin Haley, director of Symantec's Security Response unit. "Meanwhile, cyber-criminals caused unprecedented levels of disruption by focusing their exploits on relatively simple IT tools and cloud services." Email continued to be a favored platform, with Symantec finding that more than 400 companies are targeted by so-called business email compromise scams every day—a practice the FBI estimates has led to a loss of more than $3 billion over the past three years.

  • As organizations increasingly expect technology to deliver better bottom-line results, they are empowering more line-of-business departments to make major decisions about the acquisition of tech solutions, according to a recent survey from CompTIA. The resulting report, "Considering the New IT Buyer," indicates that ideas about technology are coming from multiple areas of companies, and more executives are getting involved. A significant number, in fact, indicate that "final calls" on technology purchases are now made by groups outside the IT organization. Meanwhile, the majority of enterprises are using business unit budget funding to pay for tech tools, and many expect this trend to grow during the next 12 months. "CIOs and IT teams remain involved in the process, as their expertise and experience are valued," said Carolyn April, senior director of industry analysis for CompTIA. "But business lines are clearly flexing their muscles. It's another strong signal that technology has shifted from a supporting function for business to a strategic asset." Representatives of 675 businesses took part in the research.

  • It's increasingly clear that the internet of things (IoT) presents new and sometimes remarkable opportunities. However, it also represents risks and potential security problems for organizations. "The Internet of Things (IoT): A New Era of Third-Party Risk," a new report from the Ponemon Institute that's sponsored by Shared Assessments, offers insights into the emerging space—particularly third-party factors. The survey of 533 business and IT executives involved with IoT and risk management processes found that while most organizations are aware that they are vulnerable to IoT attacks and breaches—in fact, most believe they will at some point fall victim to an IoT cyber-attack—few are adequately prepared. According to the research, companies rely on technologies and governance practices "that have not evolved to address emergent IoT threat vectors." These risks include the ability of criminals to harness IoT devices (such as botnets), to attack infrastructure and launch points for malware propagation, distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks and anonymizing malicious activities. Here's a look at some of the key findings.

  • A growing number of influential tech companies signed on to the idea of honoring the Paris climate agreement, regardless of what the federal government does.