1 Mar

Harvard Chan program seeks to improve worker well-being

first_img Read Full Story Levi Strauss & Co. has recognized the Harvard Chan SHINE program (Sustainability and Health Initiative for Netpositive Enterprise) for its role in advancing the health and well-being of the people who make Levi Strauss clothing around the world.The program, founded and led by Eileen McNeely, Instructor in the Department of Environmental Health, has been conducting worker well-being research in Levi Strauss supplier factories around the globe.  By working with SHINE, Levi Strauss has been able to identify areas for improvement in working conditions.  More than 13,000 apparel workers, mostly women, working in factories across Cambodia, China, Mexico, Poland, and Sri Lanka, have been positively impacted by this research.Through this multi-year study, SHINE’s research has found that by actively cultivating trust, respect and fairness, supplier factories have improved gender equality, well-being and productivity.  Levi Strauss aims to leverage these findings to continue strengthening factory policies and systems — and to continue worker empowerment programs — in order to continue improving the well-being of the workers the company relies on to manufacture its products.last_img read more

27 Feb

In the Digital Economy, Data Has No Expiration Date

first_imgIf your organization puts an expiration date on your business data, you risk extinction.As the digital economy increasingly takes hold, businesses in every industry and region are finding themselves under attack from fast moving digital disruptors. That measure every digital interaction both in real-time and trended over many years and adapt their services accordingly.As I’ve previously discussed, it’s the data that fuels digital transformation. Most often when organizations are talking about this trend, their focus is on Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT), or Business Intelligence. The insights and intelligence provided by each of these technological trends is greatly amplified by the amount of data collected over time. Not surprisingly, organizations are rethinking how data is treated.It Takes Time to Become a Master in AIWith the advent of cloud services, it is now easier than ever for organizations to throw a million CPUs at solving a complex problem like creating a self-driving car. However, without the appropriate amount of data, you may as well not try. To train the algorithms that power self-driving cars, auto manufacturers must log millions of miles and feed telemetry data, images, even video into the service. There are no shortcuts here, and whoever has the most data is in the strongest position to win. I’m reminded of Malcolm Gladwell’s research that indicated that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become a master. It’s no different in AI – the data that companies like Tesla and Google are collecting from their self-driving prototypes will serve as massive competitive moats in the years to come. Even financial analysts are pricing in the data in their models noting, “Machine learning algorithms have become commoditized, even open source. Data, not algorithms, is what confers competitive advantage. The company with the most data wins.” – Seeking AlphaIoT Always Evolving Based on the DataTechnology moves so quickly that a device that cannot be connected and updated is already on its way to being obsolete before a user ever touches it. With the Internet of Things, we not only have a way of extending the usable life of the device but can also improve its performance and usefulness. When you have a series of devices that collect and send data back to the service they are consuming you can create a virtuous cycle. The application generates data, which can be analyzed, and fed back into the service to improve. With historical data sets in hand setting a baseline you are then able to experiment and innovate with these devices. Every organization can wake up tomorrow as a software and analytics company if they prioritize digital transformation just as GE famously did.“You have to make your machines smarter. You need to figure out the best ways for embedding intelligence into machines and devices. Then you need to develop the best techniques for collecting the data generated by those machines and devices, analyzing that data and generating usable insights that will enable you to run your equipment more efficiently and optimize your operations and supply chains.” – Bill Ruh, Chief Digital Officer, GE, and CEO, GE DigitalBusiness Intelligence Only Gets Better With Age“If you can’t get insights until you’ve analyzed your sales for a week or a month, then you’ve lost sales within that time. If you can cut down that time from two or three weeks to 20 or 30 minutes, then that saves a lot of money for Walmart and stopped us losing sales. That’s the real value of what we have built with the data café.” – Walmart Senior Statistical Analyst Naveen PeddamailOne of the interesting aspects of businesses going digital is everything becomes measurable, and with enough data, you don’t just predict the future you create it. We’ve heard of extreme targeting in advertising or suggestions in shopping applications that seem to read our minds and spur decisions. These systems only improve with the more data points they have. Look at the investments of Walmart, your classic brick and mortar organization, is making in their Big Data implementation: a centralized analytics practice that can analyze 40PB of data across 20,000 stores in 28 countries an organization. Walmart realizes that this data makes for the ultimate differentiator a business can enjoy and becomes more pronounced over the years.Turning Potential Into Reality Will Require ChangeThe ability to pull up data and mine it for insights is powering the next phase of innovation in the digital economy. Data has the potential to increasingly enable predictive services, train machines, and make systems intelligent, but only if organizations keep it.This view challenges many long held beliefs and practices within organizations. Many will struggle with these new data requirements as it requires a massive shift in their data platform. The most important questions will become: What do we keep? What do we throw away? How will it be used? Where can we store it? How will we manage and secure our growing data footprint?We are moving to an age where the data will outlast the infrastructure and even the services that are consuming it. Are you ready for what’s next?Related Articles: Dell CTO Bill Schmarzo (the Dean of Big Data) discusses the Economic Value of Datalast_img read more

21 Sep

Martinez asks for patience

first_img Saturday’s trip to face Norwich at Carrow Road will be the Toffees’ first competitive match for more than 11 years without David Moyes at the helm. Martinez has been hugely complimentary about the job done by now Manchester United boss Moyes and his team, but he is keen to put his stamp on the club. He said: “I love watching football full stop. I thought it was a good game. They are big events, every time that you play for a trophy. “You always follow former clubs with a special feeling and you want them to do well. You can’t be too neutral. And when they do well you feel part of it, the same as a fan.” While success at the DW Stadium was staying in the Premier League, the demands at Goodison Park are much higher, although financially Everton cannot compete with the biggest clubs. Martinez thinks his experiences at Wigan will stand him in good stead, saying: “It doesn’t matter if you’re fighting to get a top position in the table or to avoid relegation, every game matters, so it’s not a real different feeling. “But embracing the challenge of being at a big club like Everton in terms of the expectations, understanding the responsibility and the history that we bring with our name, that is a very exciting part of the position that I’m in.” Martinez signed three players who were with him at Wigan last season, and goalkeeper Joel Robles and striker Arouna Kone should be in the squad but defender Antolin Alcaraz is sidelined with a hamstring problem. Winger Magaye Gueye and full-back Tony Hibbert are also out, although the latter is set to resume training on Monday, while midfielder Darron Gibson is 50/50 after straining a knee ligament against Betis. Martinez is excited to get stuck into the season proper, although he is disappointed his first match will not be at home. He praised the summer recruitment of Norwich boss Chris Hughton, who has added Gary Hooper, former Everton target Leroy Fer, Martin Olsson, Nathan Redmond and Ricky van Wolfswinkel to his squad. Martinez said: “You always hope for a home start. That allows you to settle in and straight away you want to be comfortable playing at home. As it is we’ve got a difficult game at Carrow Road. “I do feel this Norwich side probably is the best that’s it’s been in the Premier League. They’ve kept a very good core of players but they added really well. We do expect a really tough fixture.” The Spaniard knows the luxury of time is something rarely afforded to football managers, but he hopes Everton supporters will see what he is trying to achieve. Martinez said: “Any period where you want to change things, that’s going to take a little bit of time. I’m trying to get to know what the fans want and look through the DNA of Everton, and that’s important for me. “I think we are very good at things but to achieve things you need to be outstanding at something and that takes time. When you’re trying to take that next step, the changes need to be difficult to achieve, otherwise you will never get the benefit. “It’s just having the patience and the togetherness of understanding the period we’re going through, but at the same time being able to enjoy it and making sure we’re still competitive and winning football games while that happens.” Whatever happens at Goodison Park this season, it is unlikely Martinez will experience the same extremes of emotion as during his final campaign at Wigan. Three days after leading the club he used to play for to FA Cup glory, Martinez watched on as they were relegated following defeat to Arsenal. Wigan, now managed by Owen Coyle, were back at Wembley last Sunday for the Community Shield, which they lost 2-0 against Manchester United. Martinez was unable to watch it live because Everton were playing Real Betis, but recorded it and admitted he feels a similar way about the Latics to a fan. Roberto Martinez has asked Everton’s fans for patience as he prepares to lead the team for the first time in the Barclays Premier League. Press Associationlast_img read more