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Interview with Scott Toborg, Director of Product Management Data Science and Advanced Analytics at Teradata



Interview with Scott Toborg, Director of Product Management Data Science and Advanced Analytics at Teradata

“AI/ML will see greater scaling as enterprises finally figure out how to put the technology into full-scale production across many different application domains.”

Hi, please tell us about your role at Teradata and how you arrived here?

Hi, my name is Scott Toborg. I lead product management for our data science and advanced analytics products. Prior to this role, I was a Teradata Field Data Scientist helping our Fortune 500 customers implement Teradata Analytics to solve critical business problems.

Prior to Teradata I worked at AT&T as a Data Scientist in their Marketing Analytics group using Teradata Analytics to build predictive models for customer churn, cross-sell, and acquisition. I’ve worked in data science for nearly 30 years starting with research in machine learning for computer vision/image processing at HRL Labs, AT&T Labs and the MCC Research Consortium.

It’s been two years since the onset of the COVID pandemic. As a technology leader, how would rate the performance of the countries in fighting the pandemic with positive outcomes? Could we have all done better with suitable utilization of technologies and resources?

Absolutely. During the pandemic, we saw newer applications of even existing technologies.

For example, during COVID, video conferencing was not only primarily leveraged for work meetings, but it was heavily leveraged for virtual doctor visits, as well. Patients with symptoms did not need to visit the doctor physically, thereby decreasing the chances of spreading the virus.

Additionally, AI/ML-powered chat bots were further enhanced to carry out initial assessment of patients based on local and national health guidelines. This reduced the waiting time for COVID patients all while providing a more personal experience with natural language processing (NLP) baked into the bots.

In the last two years, even though technology found newer ways to help reduce the impact of the pandemic as evident above, wider adoption of such use cases by local, state and federal institutions could have reduced impact even further.

Tell us more about the recent integration of Teradata Vantage data with Microsoft Azure. How do you bring together Big Data, Cloud Computing and AI Ops within one roof with this integration?

We are working with Microsoft Azure to leverage the best of both companies. Teradata can play a strong role in data ingestion, integration, and preparation (the most time consuming and costly part of analytics). While Azure ML has strong capabilities for advanced modeling. We are opening our platform to enable straightforward and easy integration of our native analytics together with open-source and cloud-native analytic services.

How would this unique umbrella technology integration improve data analytics workloads across an enterprise? What kind of customer experience and security reporting platform are you promising to your joint-customers?

We see many customers moving their AI/ML workloads to the cloud to take advantage of the flexibility that cloud computing brings by launching data discovery and model experimentation activities, and then scaling the final model to fit varying production needs. By having data management, cloud computing and AI/ML “under one roof,” customers can minimize data movement, decreasing costs and time to value. Teradata provides a low-risk migration path to our joint-customers to modernize data analytics on Teradata Vantage and Azure.

What kind of challenges do organizations suffer due to their ever-growing data analytics workloads? How does Teradata solve these issues?

While moving to the cloud offers tremendous flexibility, it does not necessarily reduce costs. Customers must be vigilant in monitoring and managing cloud costs for consumption-hungry workloads like advanced analytics. Teradata helps by optimizing workloads to minimize costs. In fact, customer benchmarks consistently show Teradata with the lowest cost per query of any other system for large workloads. We advise customers to leverage Teradata’s built-in analytics for data preparation and feature engineering, and then, if desired, use open-source or cloud-native modeling services. We can then import the models back into Teradata Vantage for parallel execution in production.

Do you support evaluating cloud strategies related to modernization to solve data analytics challenges?

Yes. Many companies confuse cost savings as the primary reason they are moving to cloud. However, the primary promise of cloud is the agility it brings to businesses to move at a much rapid pace vs. on-prem. They can prototype a new idea very quickly in cloud, fail fast if the idea is not working out, and move on to the next idea. Modernizing an analytics ecosystem is key, and in most cases, mandatory before the agility benefits of cloud can be realized.

A critical challenge is the adoption of AI across an enterprise, especially in Cloud-based data analytics and visualization. What are your predictions for the AI-based Cloud marketplaces in 2022?

Yes, we agree. We see cloud-based analytics as making this adoption easier. Customers can spin-up a Sandbox for experimentation to prove-out an AI project. If it does not work, then the instance can be shutdown with minimal overall cost.

We predict that cloud adoption will continue to grow at a significant pace fueled by the needs of AI/ML. Cloud migrations and expansions will be justified and initiated for the purpose of implementing AI/ML applications. AI/ML will see greater scaling as enterprises finally figure out how to put the technology into full-scale production across many different application domains.

Which industries and business verticals within the organization are benefiting the most from AI’s adoption in Cloud and data analytics?

The industries that naturally generate enormous quantities of data were the first to deploy and reap the benefits of AI/ML. This includes retail, telecom, finance, healthcare and life sciences. We predict IoT technologies will spawn many new use cases for AI/ML in the areas of manufacturing, energy, transportation, and automotive.

Tell us more about your vision for advanced AI applications, especially in the emerging verticals within telecom, healthcare and life sciences.

We already play a significant role in all of these industries. Our vision is to provide a large-scale analytics production platform that will enable customers with the suite of tools and capabilities to drive value for their most important business problems. In telecom, this includes applications like real-time streaming to support 5G network diagnostics, customer alerts, or service optimization. In healthcare we imagine supporting customer/doctor recommendations, analysis and prediction of costs, or assisted diagnosis. As we have recently seen, life sciences has already benefited greatly from AI/ML’s ability to assist in the discovery of new drugs. We also see AI/ML assisting in other critical areas like drug supply-chain optimization.

What advice would you give to every CIO/ CISO looking to invest in Cloud solutions?

I recommend thinking about cloud solutions with the following framework:

  • Be clear in your motivations in moving to a cloud solution. “Everyone is moving to cloud” is not the right motivation. You must know what challenges your company is specifically facing on-prem that can be solved by a cloud solution.
  • Plan your migration with a cloud solution vendor that can support your migration journey without adding risk. For example, because Teradata Vantage supports a hybrid architecture (on-prem and cloud), enterprise-scale customers can migrate at their own pace and continue to operate in a hybrid model per their business needs. We’ve seen large enterprises take multiple years to move all their applications and associated data to cloud, and Teradata closely partners with them in this journey.
  • Security is key everywhere whether on-prem or cloud. With that said, cloud is a shared responsibility model. You will not get as much control over everything in cloud as you did on-prem. That is intentional in most cases. Understand and prepare for the shared responsibility model better as it is both a technical and a cultural shift.
  • The end of a migration is not the end game. Once migrated, evaluate what components of the analytics architecture can be further modernized to realize more benefits of cloud. Prioritize the list in terms of strategic and business impact and continue modernization. Innovation in cloud never stops!

Thank you, Scott ! That was fun and we hope to see you back  soon.

Customer-obsessed, hands-on technology leader with 25+ years experience in leadership roles such as Head of Data Science Products for Teradata, VP Product Management for Control4, CTO for HealthMate Medical, SVP/CIO Strata8 Networks, CTO Coscomm International; Co-Founder and CTO Mosaix Communications; VP and CIO 360networks; Director, Product Development Teledesic Corporation; ML Architect AT&T Labs. Also served in technology leadership positions at MCC Research Consortium, Boeing, and IBM Research.

Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering (Machine Learning) from USC an MS in Computer Science and BS in Physics from BYU along with Project Management Professional and ScrumMaster certifications.

Teradata is the connected multi-cloud data platform for enterprise analytics, solving data challenges from start to scale. Only Teradata gives you the flexibility to handle the massive and mixed data workloads of the future, today — making your data easier to consume everywhere, with no added risk.

Our open approach embraces the modern ecosystem to create a seamless experience for ingestion, exploration, development, and operationalization. We’ve created the fastest path to analytics in the cloud at scale at the lowest risk. Our experience working with thousands of customers and partners around the world, across a wide range of verticals and industries, makes us the most effective platform for delivering business outcomes and unlocking unlimited value by turning data into your greatest asset.


Interview with Jack Carlson, Founder of Rowing Blazers: History, Tradition, and Innovation



Interview with Jack Carlson, Founder of Rowing Blazers

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Jack Carlson is the founder and creative director of Rowing Blazers, a fashion brand that combines classic American style with a contemporary edge. Jack Carlson, a former national team rower, and scholar of history draw inspiration from vintage sportswear and traditional Ivy League fashion. His passion for design and fashion, combined with his unique background. Jack Carlson has resulted in the creation of a brand that stands out in the industry.

Can you tell us about your background and how you became interested in fashion?

I’ve always had a passion for fashion and design, even while pursuing my other interests. I grew up in Connecticut and started rowing at a young age, eventually competing at the national level. While studying history at Harvard, I became interested in the traditional clothing worn by rowers and began to collect vintage rowing blazers. This sparked my interest in fashion and led me to start designing my own clothing. After completing a Ph.D. in archaeology, I decided to pursue fashion full-time and founded Rowing Blazers in 2017.

What inspired you to start Rowing Blazers?

I wanted to create a brand that celebrated the rich history and tradition of American fashion, particularly the preppy style of the Ivy League. At the same time, I wanted to bring a contemporary edge to classic designs and challenge the boundaries of traditional fashion. I was inspired by the vintage rowing blazers that I collected and wanted to create my own versions that were both authentic and modern.

Can you walk us through the design process of creating a new collection?

The design process always starts with research and inspiration. I spend a lot of time looking at vintage clothing, archival photographs, and historical documents to get a sense of the styles and aesthetics of a particular time period or culture. From there, I sketch out ideas and work with my team to refine the designs and select fabrics. We always strive to balance classic elements with modern twists and unexpected details. It’s a collaborative process that involves a lot of trial and error, but we always end up with something that we’re proud of.

How do you stay true to your brand’s identity while also keeping up with current fashion trends?

For us, it’s not about following trends, but rather creating timeless pieces that will never go out of style. Although we draw inspiration from the past, we don’t limit ourselves to it. We’re always looking for ways to innovate and push boundaries while staying true to our brand’s core identity. We’re not interested in fast fashion or disposable clothing – our pieces are meant to last and be treasured for years to come.

Can you tell us about a particular challenge you faced while growing Rowing Blazers and how you overcame it?

One of the biggest challenges we’ve faced is scaling the business while maintaining the quality and craftsmanship that we’re known for. We’ve had to find the right partners and suppliers who share our values and are able to produce our garments to our high standards. We’ve also had to be very strategic about our growth, taking things one step at a time and not rushing into anything too quickly. It’s been a learning process, but we’ve been able to grow the business in a sustainable way that we’re proud of.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to start their own fashion brand?

My advice would be to stay true to your vision and never compromise on quality. It’s also important to be strategic about your growth and not try to do everything at once. Start small and focus on doing one thing really well before expanding. And always be willing to learn and adapt – the fashion industry is constantly changing, so it’s important to be flexible and open to new ideas.

What’s next for Rowing Blazers?

We’re always working on new designs and collaborations, but we’re also focused on expanding our brand beyond just clothing. We want to create a lifestyle brand that encompasses all aspects of American style, from furniture to home decor to travel accessories. We’re excited to continue growing and evolving while staying true to our brand’s identity and values.

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Jack Carlson’s passion for fashion and history has resulted in the creation of a unique and innovative brand that stands out in the industry. His dedication to quality and craftsmanship, as well as his commitment to sustainability, sets Rowing Blazers apart from other fashion brands. To stay up to date with Jack Carlson and Rowing Blazers, you can follow him on LinkedIn.

Liked this interview? Check out this interview with Gracie Cedres

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Interview with Gracie Cedres: Insights on Entrepreneurship and Work-Life Balance



Interview with Gracie Cedres, Founder of G.R.A.C.E.

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Gracie Cedres is the founder and CEO of G.R.A.C.E., a company that provides virtual assistance and project management services to entrepreneurs and small business owners. With a degree in communications, Gracie has always been interested in helping others succeed in their businesses. Her passion for helping entrepreneurs led her to create G.R.A.C.E., which has been helping entrepreneurs and small business owners increase their productivity and profitability. In this interview, Gracie will share more about her journey as an entrepreneur and the success of G.R.A.C.E.

Can you tell us about yourself and your journey as an entrepreneur?

Sure, my name is Gracie Cedres, and I am the founder and CEO of G.R.A.C.E. I have always been interested in helping others, especially entrepreneurs and small business owners, succeed in their businesses. After completing my degree in communications, I worked as a virtual assistant for various entrepreneurs and realized that there was a need for high-quality virtual assistance and project management services. That’s how the idea for G.R.A.C.E. was born, and since then, I have been working hard to help entrepreneurs and small business owners achieve their goals.

How did you come up with the idea for G.R.A.C.E.?

After working as a virtual assistant for several entrepreneurs, the idea for G.R.A.C.E. came to me. I realized that many entrepreneurs were struggling to manage their time effectively and needed high-quality virtual assistance and project management services to help them become more productive and profitable. I saw an opportunity to help entrepreneurs and small business owners by providing them with top-notch virtual assistance and project management services, and that’s how G.R.A.C.E. was born.

What are some of the challenges you faced in starting and growing your business?

One of the biggest challenges I faced in starting and growing my business was finding the right team members. It’s important to have a team that shares your vision and is passionate about what they do. I also faced challenges in marketing my services and reaching out to potential clients. However, I overcame these challenges by networking, building relationships, and creating high-quality content that showcased the value of my services.

What is your vision for G.R.A.C.E. in the next five years?

My vision for G.R.A.C.E. in the next five years is to become the go-to virtual assistance and project management service provider for entrepreneurs and small business owners worldwide. I want to expand my team and services to be able to help more entrepreneurs and small business owners increase their productivity and profitability. I also want to continue building strong relationships with my clients and providing them with top-notch services.

Can you share with us some of your favorite success stories from working with your clients?

One of my favorite success stories is working with a small business owner who was struggling to manage their time effectively. By providing them with virtual assistance and project management services, we were able to help them increase their productivity, improve their marketing strategies, and ultimately grow their business. It’s always fulfilling to see my clients succeed and achieve their goals.

What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

My advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to educate themselves and never stop learning. It’s important to constantly learn new skills, stay up to date with industry trends, and seek out new opportunities. It’s also essential to have a strong work ethic, be persistent, and not be afraid to take risks. Don’t let failure discourage you, instead use it as a learning opportunity and keep pushing forward.

How do you maintain a work-life balance as a busy entrepreneur?

Maintaining a work-life balance can be challenging as a busy entrepreneur, but it’s essential for your well-being and the success of your business. One of the things I do is prioritize my tasks and delegate when necessary. I also set aside time for self-care activities like exercise, reading, and spending time with family and friends. It’s also important to know when to disconnect from work and focus on other aspects of your life.

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Gracie Cedres is an inspiration to entrepreneurs and small business owners worldwide. Her dedication to helping others and passion for entrepreneurship has led to the success of G.R.A.C.E. With a vision for continued growth and success, Gracie is sure to make an impact in the virtual assistance and project management industry. To learn more about Gracie Cedres and G.R.A.C.E., visit her website and follow her on LinkedIn.

Liked this interview? Check out this interview with Evan Cagner

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Interview with Evan Cagner: Insights into the World of Tech and Entrepreneurship



Interview with Evan Cagner, CEO of TechBlue

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Evan Cagner is the founder and CEO of TechBlue, a company that provides managed IT services to businesses of all sizes. Evan has over 15 years of experience in the tech industry and has helped numerous businesses grow by leveraging technology. He is a thought leader and innovator in the IT industry, with a keen eye for emerging trends and technologies. In this interview, Evan Cagner shares his insights into the world of tech and entrepreneurship.

What inspired you to start TechBlue?

I’ve always been passionate about technology and how it can be used to solve business problems. I started my career working for a large IT consulting firm, and I quickly realized that there was a big gap in the market for managed IT services. Small and medium-sized businesses often struggle to keep up with the latest technology trends, and they don’t have the resources to hire full-time IT staff. That’s why I decided to start TechBlue – to help these businesses leverage technology to grow and succeed.

What sets TechBlue apart from other managed IT services companies?

There are a few things that set TechBlue apart from other managed IT services companies. First and foremost, we are incredibly focused on customer service. We believe that building strong relationships with our clients is the key to our success. Second, we have a team of highly skilled technicians who are constantly learning and staying up to date with the latest technologies. Finally, we are very flexible and can customize our services to meet the unique needs of each of our clients.

How do you stay on top of emerging trends in the tech industry?

I’m always reading and staying up to date with the latest news and trends in the tech industry. I attend conferences and meet with other thought leaders in the industry to discuss new technologies and how they can be used to solve business problems. I also encourage my team to stay up to date and share their knowledge with each other.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected the IT industry?

The pandemic has had a significant impact on the IT industry. With so many people working remotely, there has been a huge demand for cloud-based services and virtual private networks (VPNs). There has also been an increased focus on cybersecurity, as remote workers are more vulnerable to cyberattacks. Overall, the pandemic has accelerated the shift toward digital transformation and has highlighted the importance of having a reliable and secure IT infrastructure.

What advice do you have for entrepreneurs looking to start their own businesses?

My advice would be to focus on building a strong team and never stop learning. Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you and who have different skill sets. Be willing to take risks and make mistakes, but also be willing to learn from those mistakes. And finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice from other entrepreneurs who have been through it before.

What is your vision for the future of TechBlue?

My vision for TechBlue is to continue to grow and expand our services to meet the changing needs of our clients. I want to stay at the forefront of emerging technologies and continue to be a thought leader in the industry. Ultimately, I want to help as many businesses as possible leverage technology to achieve their goals.

What do you like to do in your free time?

In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family and staying active. I’m an avid runner and I also enjoy playing basketball and golf. I’m also a big fan of music and enjoy going to concerts and discovering new artists.

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Evan Cagner is a true leader and innovator in the IT industry. His passion for technology and customer service has helped TechBlue become one of the most respected managed IT services companies in the business. With his keen eye for emerging trends and technologies, Evan is sure to continue to make an impact in the industry for years to come. To learn more about Evan Cagner and TechBlue, you can visit their website or follow them on LinkedIn.

Liked this interview? Check out this interview with Makayla Gordon

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