Elearning! Feb-Mar

FEB-MAR 2015

Elearning! Magazine: Building Smarter Companies via Learning & Workplace Technologies.

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Elearning! February / March 2015 15 Business of Learning TO SAY IT'S THE 'NEXT BIG THING' IS INCORRECT. FOR THOSE WHO HAVE FOUND OUT HOW TO USE BIG DATA, IT'S ALREADY PAYING DIVIDENDS. BY JERRY ROCHE E merging technologies, Cloud computing and the era of "Big Data" aren't just transforming how we deliver employee learning and development. Tey're changing how we lead, organize teams, motivate employees and marshal resources, enabling us to make smarter decisions that drive targeted results. Tat shif requires chief learning ofcers to adapt and innovate how they deliver learning to the organization at large and how they prepare leaders to succeed. "Big Data is a massive explosion, a growth in data being generated and captured on a daily basis," says Ben Willis, senior director of Product Strategy at Saba. "It's tempting to blame the bird (Twitter) or social media. It's the advent of Cloud computing, mobile computing, and all sorts of fantastic new technology. The numbers are staggering. Twitter is generating 1,000 tweets per minute, but it's not alone. Google records 700,000 searches every hour, Facebook 700,000 status updates every hour — and YouTube reports 600 new videos being uploaded every minute!" Another staggering statistic: 168 million emails are sent every second, according to Willis. Eric Bruner, chief technologist at GP Strategies, says that the most current information on Big Data is two years old. "But data is doubling every 24 months," he notes. "In one business day, you would fill up more than 20 million file cabinets for one company, Walmart." Te problem for businesses is sorting and analyzing Big Data — and doing it before new data comes in. "Being able to do something with it quickly is one of the real challenges," Bruner further notes. NEW TECHNOLOGIES "Along with mountains of data came new roles and new technologies," says Willis. "Older technologies were not able to scale up to accommodate all the new data. New technologies like algorithms have allowed us to get smart about Big Data. Computers can be taught to learn on their own with new algorithms. This sounds scary and futuristic, but the reality is that these systems are in use today. One example is spam filters." Another example might be IBM's "Watson," which is being called a cognitive computer that is forging a new partnership between humans and computers that scales and augments human expertise. "Exciting examples of machine learning can be found in the medicine and On 'Big Data' and Learning

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