News, Views and Opinions

Blog of a Sentimental Data Digger

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Team Blogs
    Team Blogs Find your favorite team blogs here.
  • Archives
    Archives Contains a list of blog posts that were created previously.
  • Login
Recent blog posts

Posted by on in Big Data

Infocomm Media Masterplan


The last week of October in Singapore was rich with inaugural events organized by iDA, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore: Smart Nation: Data Works on the 28th and 29th October at Hotel Fort Canning and Cloud Expo Asia 2014, co-located with Data Centre World Asia 2014, taking place at the Suntec Exhibition Centre, on the 29th and 30th. Both places are 10 minutes taxi ride away, but choosing between events on the overlapping day was tough.

Main event of the week - Smart Nation: Data Works connected the business and tech communities, debated the latest data trends, bridging the gap between business use and technology. More than 1000 participating business users, industry influencers and tech start-ups, the event included keynote addresses by data visionaries and tech leaders; panel discussions and in-person meet ups with industry experts, innovation showcases, and personal sharing of experiences.


Second day of the event overlapped with the first day of Cloud Expo Asia, the largest dedicated cloud computing conference and exhibition in the APAC region hold alongside with Data Centre World Asia, Asia Pacific’s leading event for data centre professionals.

The Cloud Providers’ Register brochure available from the iDA Smart Nation booth at the Cloud Expo however was a giveaway, revealing the link between the events and their part in Infocomm Media Masterplan aiming to tap on infocomm and media (ICM) to enrich the lives of Singaporeans and create economic competitiveness for Singapore in the next 10 years. Chosen approach is the Private Sector-Led Masterplanning Effort

InfoComm’s Development Authority of Singapore (iDA) Masterplan, called Infocomm Media in 2025 or iN2025 has a goal to establish Singapore as a Smart Nation leading the world in tapping the potential of ICM, nurtures innovative talent and enterprises, making ICM sectors conducive for economic growth and social cohesion, improving quality of life for Singaporeans. With the vison of a Smart Nation, iDA promotes innovative ICM solutions hoping to achieve Sustainable and Quality Growth using the ICM sectors to optimise national resources, drive productivity for critical industries, and build globally competitive Singapore-based ICM companies.

The word Media in the plan is the acknowledgement of the fact that rapid digitisation ofinformation and media content, ubiquity of mobile devices, and easy access to high-speed Internet have blurred the lines between infocomm and media sectors, affecting other sectors.

On 31 Mar 2014, the Steering Committee released a consultation document that will guide the development of the Infocomm and Media (ICM) sectors until 2025, as well as highlight available opportunities. The document features preliminary ideas being considered for the Masterplan expected to be completed in mid-2015. A summary (not meant to be comprehensive at this stage) is available in the consultation booklet. The ideas are preliminary and members of the public are encouraged to provide feedback and join consultation sessions.

The 10-year Masterplan will focus on five main strategies:

1.Establishing an agile, pervasive, and trusted ICM infrastructure

The committee proposed a Heterogeneous Network to provide seamless transitions to the best available network in range. They also plan to position Singapore as a regional Digital Harbour to drive economic growth, and deploy sensors using Above the Ground boxes to provide high-speed backend connectivity. A plan to build a Data Marketplace will be put in place to help generate new applications, products, and services.

2.Building vibrant, strategic and enabled ICM sectors

This strategy aims to help companies in Singapore flourish in the globalised business landscape. To achieve this, the committee proposed to create a Self-Sustaining Start-up Ecosystem for ICM start-ups from Singapore to have access to and tap on the expertise, international connections and capital of a wide network of private investors.

The committee also aims to provide a Media Service for Next Generation Seniors to enhance social interaction. This can come in the forms of learning and sharing, shopping and e-services, video chatting, games and television.

3.Growing and retaining passionate ICM human capital with required skills

Here, the aim is to develop Singapore as an ICM hub where Singaporeans, supplemented with skilled international talent, form the core of the workforce. To achieve this, the committee plans to focus on Computational Thinking as a National Capability, and this entails introducing ICM and innovation to young people and piquing their interests. Proposed programmes include enrichment classes at the pre-tertiary level, motivating young people to help charitable organisations and also creating online communities to spark interest in the infocomm industry.

Facilitating open and Accelerated Professional Development is also in the plan. This will provide learning opportunities for ICM professionals and job opportunities for individuals hoping to venture into the ICM industry.

4.Enabling people and businesses to harness the power of ICM

To enable people and businesses to tap on the full potential of ICM, the committee proposed accessibility to healthcare with strategies that will help Singaporeans live independently in a connected and cohesive society.

One of the proposed ideas is the Smart Health-Assist. This involves convenient access to healthcare from home where health conditions can be monitored through sensors, and transmitting accurate information to healthcare providers. Another is the Urban Logistics that will actively contribute to enhancing productivity in the logistics sector by developing new technologies to facilitate more efficient delivery processes. For example, through ICM, companies can explore the possibility of sharing resources and also coordinate delivery routes effectively.

The committee also hopes to enhance social interactions through social projects like the Community Time Exchange. The Community Time Exchange is an ICM-enabled platform that allows people to trade services, and will play a crucial role in the Masterplan’s vision of having ICM result in Singapore’s economic growth.

5.Building a R&D ecosystem that supports ICM innovation and commercialisation

By building a resilient R&D system, the committee hopes to Enhance Market Demand for ICM Technologies and also establish a Fast and Affordable Intellectual Property (IP) Licensing Framework. The IP licensing framework will encourage a smoother flow of IPs into the ecosystem for government-funded R&D. These plans will take effect in areas such as media production, digital advertising, cyber security, advanced robotics, cloud computing and more.

Infocomm Media Master plan is a follow up on the Singapore's 10-year plan to grow the infocomm sector, the iN2015 Masterplan[1], launched in 2006, an ascendant of the first 1981’s National Computerisation plan.

In a typical Singapore’s project style, iN2015 was crafted as a living blueprint, jointly developed by the public and private sectors, aiming “to navigate Singapore's transition into An Intelligent Nation, to fuel creativity and enable innovation among businesses and individuals by providing an infocomm platform to connect businesses, individuals and communities, to enable access to the world's resources and for Singapore to export her ideas, products and services to the global marketplace”.

Goals of the Singapore's iN2015 strategy were to

  • To establish an ultra-high speed, pervasive, intelligent and trusted infocomm infrastructure
  • To develop a globally competitive infocomm industry
  • To develop an infocomm-savvy workforce and globally competitive infocomm manpower
  • To spearhead the transformation of key economic sectors, government and society through more sophisticated and innovative use of infocomm

The building blocks of iN2015 were to establish an ultra-high speed, pervasive, intelligent and trusted infocomm infrastructure, develop a globally competitive infocomm industry, develop an infocomm-savvy workforce and globally competitive infocomm manpower, and spearhead the transformation of key economic sectors, government and society through infocomm.

Those building blocks included

An integrated government, furnishing citizens with more proactive, user-friendly, responsive and integrated Government services even on the move. Giving ability to provide feedback and exchange views with the Government on public policies and initiatives from anywhere, at anytime.

Empowering learners, empower individuals to learn at one's own pace, place, and time. Beyond textbooks, giving students and teachers access to a wealth of interactive digital learning resources. Outside the school, teachers can monitor the progress of learners through new assessment modes and form virtual communities to learn from and collaborate with others within and outside Singapore.

Enhancing experience and services, allowing visitors to have personal Digital Concierge deliver intelligent personalised information and services on demand, raise customer service standards, drive efficiencies in supply chains, and generate new revenue sources; enhance the growth and competitiveness of the tourism hospitality and retail sectors.

Creation of a digital marketplace, providing the framework to establish Singapore as a digital marketplace for creation and commercialisation of new interactive and digital media technologies, content and services; establishing Singapore as the global centre for the processing, management and trading of digital assets.

Improving healthcare and biomedical sciences, linking hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and laboratories with patients' homes, enabling healthcare professionals to access comprehensive patient information instantly; develop the infrastructure that will transform biomedical research into healthcare delivery and empower individuals, giving them more control of their health through access to personal healthcare records and relevant healthcare information.

Financial services, making Singapore a premier wealth management centre, with intelligent data management and analysis and efficient back- office processes and the assurance of authentication, privacy, information systems, and security, with automated reporting, corporate transparency and greater analytical coverage.

Enabling high-value manufacturing, augmenting high value-added activities such as research and product development, develop new manufacturing services business models, reduce time to markets and support one platform for national trade information and transactions.

In 2014, Singapore has an established infocomm industry and a strong pool of infocomm manpower. Infocomm adoption rates in Singapore have also continued their steady rise as infocomm has become an integral part of life.

Singapore has consistently performed well in international infocomm and e-Government rankings such as the World Economic Forum’s Global Information Technology Report and the Waseda University World e-Government Ranking, which monitors and analyses the development of e-Government worldwide.

The government is mindful that the infocomm landscape will continue to evolve.
The private sector led committee proposed to create a heterogeneous network to provide seamless transitions to the best available network in range. They also plan to boost the start-up scene where Singapore-based ICM start-ups can tap on the expertise, international connections and capital of a wide network of private investors. Additionally, they plan to create data marketplace where private and public sector datasets are available to help generate new applications, products and services.

Hits: 17257

U.S. Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-San Fernando Valley) introduced the 416d65726963612043616e20436f646520 Act of 2013, also known as the America Can Code Act. This legislation would designate computer programming languages as “critical foreign languages” and provide incentives for state and local schools to teach more computer science beginning as early as Kindergarten.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Would this bill have the effect of allowing students to opt for programming instead of a natural language requirement?

Hits: 4379

Posted by on in Security

a good summary of data privacy legislation in Hong Kong and Singapore from LEXOLOGY:

Data protection regulation in the Asia Pacific: trends and recent developments

Statistics published by the Hong Kong government1, indicate that the number of computer crimes perpetrated in Hong Kong doubled between 2009 (1,506 crimes) and 2012 (3,015 crimes). During the same period, the financial losses suffered by Hong Kong companies as a result of computer crimes increased by a factor of 7.5, from HK$45.1m (£3.5m) to HK$148.52m (£26.7m).

Key trends across the region include the following:

  • Countries increasingly are adopting data protection rules.  A number of countries throughout the Asia-Pacific region recently adopted or are planning to adopt new data privacy regulations, including Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore.  Additional countries, such as Hong Kong, Australia, and New Zealand, among others, are seeking to tighten their privacy rules or already have done so.
  • Penalties for noncompliance are increasing.  Recent amendments to data protection rules in Hong Kong and Australia drastically increase penalties for noncompliance and/or data breaches.
  • Cross-border transfers of personal data are unevenly regulated.  Similar to the European Union (EU), some Asia-Pacific jurisdictions, including South Korea and Australia, only permit cross-border transfers of personal data where the destination country has “adequate” data protection laws in place or where prior consent is obtained.  Other countries have adopted cross-border transfer rules that are not yet in force, such as Hong Kong and Singapore.  Finally, cross-border transfer is not explicitly regulated by law in some Asia-Pacific countries, such as Japan.
  • Data privacy rules in the Asia-Pacific region are, for the most part, less stringent than EU standards.  To date, New Zealand is the only jurisdiction that is considered to have “adequate protection” by the EU.

Highlights of recent privacy developments in Singapore and Hong Kong.


Compared to data protection laws in the EU, Singapore law favours commercial flexibility and a business-friendly approach. 

On October 15, 2012, the Singapore Parliament passed the Personal Data Protection Act 2012 (PDPA) with two objectives: 

enhance an individual’s control over his or her personal data, defined as “information about an identified or identifiable individual”;

enhance Singapore’s competitiveness and strengthen its position as a trusted business hub. 

Unlike the EU laws, the PDPA does not reference a fundamental right of privacy. The PDPA takes a high-level approach and leaves more detailed rulemaking to sector-specific efforts by industry regulatory agencies.

  • the collection, use, and disclosure of personal data;
  • the transfer of personal data outside of Singapore;
  • the protection and retention of personal data;
  • the right to access and correct personal data;
  • sanctions and enforcement mechanisms.

Data Protection Commission with the authority to fine an organization an amount not exceeding S$1 million for rule violations. The main data protection provisions becoming enforceable on July 2, 2014.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s Legislative Council amended its main data protection regulation, the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (Cap. 486), in June 2012 after it had remained largely unchanged since its adoption in 1997. 

The ordinance sets forth principles related to: 

  • the purpose and manner of collection of personal data;
  • the accuracy and retention of personal data;
  • the use of personal data;
  •  the security of personal data;
  • information that should be made generally available
  • access to personal data. 

The ordinance prohibits the transfer of personal data outside of Hong Kong except in specified circumstances, however, these cross-border transfer rules are not yet in force.

The 2012 amendment drastically increases penalties and introduces new offenses particularly focused on direct marketing and unauthorized disclosure of personal data.  Malicious disclosure of personal data without consent, now carries a maximum penalty of up to HK$1 million and imprisonment for up to five years.




Hits: 4931

Posted by on in Uncategorized

How Virtual Currencies Are Treated In 40 Different Countries -

How the World's Richest Nations Are Regulating Bitcoin

Singapore-based trading platform, Bitcoin Exchange, purchased a Lamassu system and is scouting for a location to place the ATM, which will begin operation in March

Hong Kong - Robocoin Technologies said it could have its first ATM in Hong Kong by end-January -

Taiwanese Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) said it would prevent any installation of the ATM

People's Bank of China last month outlawed Bitcoin transactions among local banks and financial institutions, pointing to the high risks of money laundering and potential association with illegal activities

India could issue warning against against the potential risks associated with transaction using the digital virtual currency Bitcoin, reports The Times of India.

South Korea – a bakery chain, Paris Baguette, has begun accepting Bitcoin as another form of payment at its outlets, becoming the first physical store in the country to do so.

Russia becomes the second country to ban bitcoin The Russian Central Bank (CBR) issued a statement late Monday warning that virtual currencies, or “money surrogates” are illegal under Article 27 of the Federal Law “On the Central Bank of the Russian Federation”.

Hits: 5969

Creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship considered to be of critical importance for Singapore and East Asian economies. In the lecture organised by Singapore Management University, Institute of Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Dr. Vincent Yip shared his vision and experience on the factors that make the innovation-centric environment of California's Silicon Valley to be the “Holy Grail” of technology innovation.

Dr. Vincent Yip and Arcot Desai Narasimhalu, Director of the SMU’s Institute of Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Dr. Vincent Yip was born in Singapore and worked in America since 1991. In the last four decades Dr. Yip has served as consultant for the World Bank, UNDP, Asian Development Bank as well as multinational companies and as advisor for start-ups and incubator companies in the Silicon Valley, taught business/technology courses at Northwestern University, University of Southern California and Stanford University. Dr. Yip received his PhD (Materials Science) from the USC in 1973 and then an MBA (International Business) in 1976. For 13 years Dr. Yip worked with Economic Development Board of Singapore, being Executive Director and Administrator of the Singapore Science Park between 1982 and 1989. He was assigned as Singapore’s Deputy Ambassador to the EU and the Vatican in 1989-1991 and worked as a General Manager of an environmental technology start-up and later as a trainer/consultant in project management in China in 1994-2001.  Since 2001 Dr. Yip lives in the Bay Area, taught MBA courses at University of San Francisco and since 2008 teaches three courses at Stanford Continuing Studies program. He has written three books on China.

Silicon Valley has the highest concentration of entrepreneurial activity of high-tech companies, giving rise to what is now called an Entrepreneurial Cluster.

Stanford is ranked number 4 among top universities, top business schools, research centres not only by name, but by people, passion, environment, mentality. More and more successful and rich people are sending their children to Stanford. In a 2-3 year, (maybe in biased lecturer’s opinion), will become number two - after Harvard.

The Nobel Prize Winners give a good indication of the success of a research school.  Stanford is home for 19 living Nobel Prize laureates.
In 2012 Stanford had 2: visiting professors Alvin Roth and Brian Kobilka received the prize and were offered position at Stanford. Stanford is “stealing” the best and “stole” a lot of best scientists before. Why? Is it just weather and environment? What makes Silicon Valley “tick”:

1. Location

  • Geography (coastal)
  • Climate (pleasant)
  • Near Metropolis
  • International (English-speaking)
  • Diverse Population

2. Infrastructure

  • Convenient by air, land and sea.
  • Wired with high speed internet
  • Good schools.
  • Plenty of recreational activities.
  • Affordable housing and pleasant surroundings

3. Supporting Services

  • Availability of Venture Capital
  • Good banking & accounting services
  • Established stock/financial markets
  • Established military and industrial complex

4. Government Support

  • Ample tax incentives.
  • R &D loans and awards.
  • Low red tape.
  • Accessible & helpful civil servants.
  • Special attention to technology and R&D

5. Research Talent and Manpower

  • Top technical universities & research institutions
  • Large quantity of quality engineers and scientists
  • Availability of technicians & craftsmen
  • Multinational Corporation R&D centres
  • Presence of incubators and accelerators

6. Risk-Taking Culture

  • Ready acceptance of failure
  • Highly skilled and motivated professionals
  • Classless and highly mobile society
  • Flat organizational structures and meritocracy
  • Avant-garde and liberal atmosphere

7. Personal Passion & Teamwork

  • Supportive family and communities
  • Tradition of cooperative teamwork
  • Network of ethnic professional societies (TIE, HYSTA, CIE, CINA, Monte Jade etc)
  • Personal sacrifices for dreams and passion
  • Famous successful role models (H/P, Grove, Gates, Yang, Dell, Jobs, Ellison, etc)

Stanford has the energy and does not lose any money or talents; The T-shaped Campus invites creativity and supports the free flow of “Chi”. There is a lot of passion; one can feel it in the tone of the voice of entrepreneurs, see in their eyes. They truly believe in what they are doing, staking their houses, money, reputation.

There are many interdisciplinary centres – good product requires thinking out of the box. IPhone was created by artists first, not by engineers and that was what made it so beautiful in the use. Bio Engineering, Chemistry, Nanotechnology, Viral Engineering require invention and creativity

Very important aspect is the culture of cooperation and the power of associations.  TiE ((The Indus Entrepreneurs) sponsors nearly every venture capital firm in Silicon Valley. Silicon Valley has Taiwanese, Chinese associations and they are really connected to technology, business and universities, conducting seminars and forming joint ventures.

Technology transfer from research to industry is helped by the partnership established between industrial giants and universities

Capital Concentration:
Small Sunny Vale Drive at Route 280 is Venture “Wall Street” of the World, one of the richest, multiple billions of dollars of venture money – Apple, Facebook, etc

Palo Alto, is a small place, only 70,000 people, has the highest percentage of masters and PhDs in the entire Unites States.  Recently taught class on the project management had 8 PhDs among the students

Many nationalities are good at innovations: French, British, and Americans. What makes America special is the ability of innovators to go from a single unit to mass

Actual case study: 8 successful innovative American companies:

•    FEDEX  - innovation was is in hub-and-spoke business organisation - the closest business path appears to be is  not a straight line and the win was based on the  optimal placement of hubs
•    GENENTECH – the company, started in 1896 by Robert Swanson and Dr. Herbert Boyer pioneered genetic engineering, was the first to produce synthetic “human” insulin; supplementary  growth  hormone; treatment for metastatic breast cancer and other products
•    DROPBOX –  based on the “never forget your USB stick again” personal  risk management idea, reached 100M users in 2012
•    AIRBNB – online service providing platform for individuals to rent spare rooms and offer short term lodging in 192 counties; in 2011 the company raised $120 Million in venture funding and more in undisclosed amount
•    TESLA – gained attention by the first fully electric $62,000 sports car Tesla Roadster and a luxury sedan; creation of network of charging stations and became a symbol of Silicon Valley – it is “cool” to drive a Tesla Roadster not a Rolls Royce
•    ZIPCAR – started from  idea is renting cars by the hour; in 2013 became the world’ leading car sharing network
•    3-D PRINTING – revolutionising  the manufacturing process;  current market size of 1.3 million and is set to explode  to 3.1 million in 3 years and
•    BLOOM ENERGY – cheap fuel cell , a solid oxide fuel cell claimed to be made from “beach sand”, can withstand temperature of up to 980C, single cell generates 25 watt

Challenges and Opportunities in China: A few words about Hanhai Investment – largest Multi-Tech US-China Research park in Silicon Valley. Hanhai Investment established its first high-tech Silicon Valley incubator (Hanhai Z-Park) in 2012
Some of Hanhai venture projects under consideration for venture funding
•    AAA: Mobile Solution for small landlords to manage properties anywhere anytime;
•    Zentera: Cloud management platform that virtual network, cloud firewall, and data protection;
•    CCC: Online tutoring for Cambridge O and A level courses in Asia, with sight on the vast China market;
•    Lemoncrate: A Dropbox/Craigslist for exchange or sale of clothes, electronics, auto parts, tools, jewellery, cosmetics etc.
•    DDD: LED light strips to replace florescent lighting in commercial use
•    ReinCloud: Next generation TV Media
•    FFF: Sustainable micro farming
Saucepot: Connect restaurants with customers through cloud base web platform (Marketing, discount, ranking, advertisement

What are the most important factors specific to Singapore?

NTU and SMU are very Strong Universities with the high international ranking. Does Singapore have enough technology transfer from research into business into technology into creativity to industry?
Passion is important.  Is there a passion in Singapore for innovation? Is Ecosystem good enough? – are people listening to entrepreneurs, are they giving money, are they helping you? Are people soliciting?
There is no lack of venture capital in Singapore but the linkage between research and industry is important. Singapore has a number of partnerships, if there a problem with money, there is a way to create incentives for companies like HP or IBM to create partnerships and provide contribution in exchange for connecting research with their headquarters, offer internship. Exchange will be mutually beneficial

•    Singapore is soon to be the country with the highest per capita GDP;
•    NUS and NTU are very high in international ranking of colleges;
•    Singaporean students top scorers in TIMMS contests for years;
•    Singapore one of the most wired nations on earth;
•    Government has ample incentives and heavy promotion of technology/R&D;
•    Relation of GERD to GDP  are that of an Advanced Country;
•    Population conversant in English and international and diverse;
•    Possesses excellent infrastructure and supporting services;

What is needed for Singapore to become a country famous for creativity and innovations?
The summary the comparison of the entrepreneur ecosystems of Science parks in USA, China and Singapore was demonstrated in the lecture and is provided below.

Table suggests that the ability to accept failure is one of the most important factors.

It is becoming a cliché to speak about the problem of Singapore being one mistake society. Let us hope that this changing.  If you make a mistake, will be you getting a second chance? Or you have to emigrate. In US politicians sometimes shamed but they have second or third chance, running for office again. Society should be giving second chance.

Singapore entrepreneurs enjoy one of the best government supports for technology innovations in the world. The acceptance of failure as the experience rather than a disaster and a passion for the achievement that comes from the risk taking appetite may be the answer.

Considering all the factors mentioned in the lecture are important for successful in the entrepreneurship ecosystem of Singapore. While cultural and historical background leading to the risk taking propensity level cannot be changed easily, they should be accounted in the business strategy. We recommend focusing on the benefits provided by the Government support programs, high level of education, developed network of universities, and infrastructure, utilization of industrial horizontal connections, benefits of geographical location and the ease of social networking in Singapore



Hits: 6577

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the central bank in Asia’s biggest foreign-exchange center, said in October that it has been in touch with foreign regulators over the issue of currency manipulation. According to MAS. twenty banks and 133 traders tried to manipulate the Singapore interbank offered rate, swap offered rates and currency benchmarks
MAS censured 20 banks in June for trying to rig benchmark interest and currency rates. It ordered 19 of the companies to set aside as much as S$12 billion ($9.4 billion) at zero interest pending steps to improve internal controls.
A few players  have restricted access to chat rooms and enhanced guidelines to further strengthen governance and controls.
DBS Group Holdings Ltd. (DBS), Southeast Asia’s largest lender, restricted access to chat rooms
United Overseas Bank Ltd. (UOB) and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. increased scrutiny on electronic communications.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, UBS AG, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. are among banks have banned or curtailed employees’ participation in chat rooms involving other banks.

Hits: 4932

Posted by on in Big Data

DataScience SG Meetup - "What is this Data Science thing all about?"at Singapore Management University School of Information Systems

Presenters - Dr. Eugene Dubossarsky (Chief Data Scientist at Contexti, Owner - Presciient Data Science, Principal Founder - Analyst First) and Mr. Koo Ping Shung (Analytics Practicum Manager, Singapore Management University) lead our first Data Science SG meetup.


In his presentation, The Zen of Data Science, (Video), Eugene Dubossarsky made the most sensible statement about data science definition I came across so far:

There a Key Distinction between Science and Engineering, a common source of misconception and confusion among management and HR.

A few excerpts (with Eugene’s permission)

Science and Engineering in Big Data are in fact direct opposites, however complementary, not antagonistic. The difference is in skills, work style, personality types, appropriate management frameworks, and place in the business. Most “data scientists” are actually “engineers” by this framework. There is a lot of crossover

 It is good to be skilled in both, many of the tools used are the same.  The distinction is not obvious to most outsiders


  • Plans, Timeframes and Specifications, vs. ongoing (loosely focused) discussion
  • Delivers Products and pre-determined KPIs. The Unexpected is a (usually unwelcome) exception.
  • Works to milestones and a specification
  • Engaged with operational and technical Management

 Engineers and Data

  •  Data is a resource to move and manipulate
  • Focus is on building and maintaining processes that do that
  • Data is a “commodity” that flows through the system. The focus is on the system


 ·         Start with reality - derive new insights

  • Uncertainty IS the job – outputs and their consequences are unknown ahead of time
  • “Projects” and “processes” are anathema, and people who manage them don't help.
  • Explore and Interrogate Data for Insights
  • No two jobs are the same
  • No job can be specified too tightly
  • Findings are inherently uncertain

Scientists and Data

  •  Focused on The Data.
  • Tools help but don't feature.
  • Data is complex, an undiscovered country to explore.
  • Data is not a commodity: it is complex, ever-changing and information rich

Scientists and Leaders

Data is “The Last Frontier”, where dangers lurk and opportunities abound. The scientist is the guide. Objective is to Tell the Story of the Data, to someone who cares and matters (ideally CEO), preferably as part of an ongoing conversation

The distinction is crucial

The Intelligence Function – Where Data Science Should Sit in the Business

The Intelligence Function is absent in most “enterprises”, but informally present in most real businesses. It is a a strategic, secret asset not to be bragged about or shared

  • Not IT
  • Not Operations
  • Right near the CEO
  • Reporting directly, discreetly, interactively
  • Not managed by Prince2, waterfall or any other “project management” or “Business
  • Analysis” methods
  • Lean Startup, real Agile (see Manifesto) and OODA loop much more like it

 Who Needs Data Scientists?

  •  Businesses facing real competition, real threats, real uncertainty, and real change.

 Who Doesn't Really Need Data Scientists?

  •  Everyone Else.



Hits: 5857

Posted by on in Technology

From American Banker, Bank Technology News and IDC Financial Insights partner with the William Mills Agency -

Some noteworthy highlights from this year’s ranking include:

  • Two of the top five have changed since last year’s ranking: NCR Corporation is now #4, up from #5 in 2012; Cognizant Technology Solutions is now #5, up from #8 in 2012;
  • Four of the top 20 companies are headquartered outside the U.S., and include: Tata Consultancy Services of India at #2, Infosys Limited of India at #10, Nomura Research Institute of Japan at #9 and Wincor Nixdorf of Germany at #10;
  • Four companies climbed dramatically from last year: Investment Technology Group rose 26 spots to #66; as did OpenLink Financial to #43; Interactive Data Corporation moved up 19 positions to #49; and SS&C Technologies jumped 11 spots to #26;
  • There are five new entrants to the FinTech 100: CRIF made the highest debut at #46; Aurionpro Solutions at #88; BancVue at #89; Indecomm Corporation at #94; and EFT Source at #95; and
  • Digital Insights (formerly Intuit Financial Services) is back on the list this year at #37.
Hits: 4912

 The Treasury pays attention to our new  augmented reality. While "most threats to the stability of the financial system have "generally abated,"ones that remain include automated, high-speed trading." - Bloomberg, Reuters 


Hits: 3738

Posted by on in Big Data

Graph-based Approaches for Social Media Mining  Meng-Fen CHIANG

Date: 10 December 2013 (Tuesday), Time:  1:00pm - 2:00pm
Venue: Seminar Room 2.4, Level 2  School of Information Systems  Singapore Management University 80 Stamford Road Singapore 178902

Dr. Meng-Fen CHIANG is a senior engineer at Yahoo! Taiwan Search Team. Dr. Chiang graduated with PhD in Computer Science in National Chiao-Tung University in the fall 2012. Her advisor was Prof. Wen-Chih Peng. Her research focus is on 1) Web mining, 2) geographical trajectory mining, 3) network analysis. Meng-Fen's recent research focus is geosocial structured data analysis (Flickr), where she has been working with cloud computing technologies, modeling user behaviors, and conducting intensive experiments on real networks.

Hits: 4164

Posted by on in Security

Singapore's Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) has launched a three-tier cloud security standard to enable businesses to better evaluate offerings from different Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) and to encourage the adoption of cloud computing in the country.

Hits: 3292

Presentation at Def Con: An attacker could potentially run an attack using a distributed Hadoop cluster using either cloud services (such as Amazon's Elastic MapReduce) or commodity hardware. - From the Register



Hits: 13665

Posted by on in Risk Management

Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has released significant revision to previous version of the Internet Banking and Technology Risk Management (IBTRM) guidelines (released on 2 June 2008).

12 notices on Technology Risk Management released on the same date. The guidelines are not legally binding, but the set of notices on Technology Risk Management are.

The notices and guidelines apply to all financial institutions and covers wider IT systems.  The notices will take into effect on 1 July 2014.  

 Key requirements:

  1. Establish a framework and process to identify critical systems
  2. Ensure High Availability of critical systems
  3. Meet Recovery Time Objective for critical systems
  4. Prompt reporting of incidents
  5. Implement IT controls to protect customer information from unauthorized access or disclosure.

Protection of customer information remains a priority.  Financial Institutions are required to implement robust and effective IT controls to protect customer information.

Financial Institutions are:

1.      Required to have a formal process identifying their critical systems that will be relevant for their operations.

2.      There is a maximum window of 4 hours unscheduled downtime for each of the critical system within 12 months period.  The maximum windows to recover will be 4 hours from point of disruption to restoration.  

3.      Reporting mechanism is to be established to meet the new requirement.  An incident, that has a widespread or material impact to the Financial Institutions and their customer, will have to be reported to Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) within 1 hour.  A detailed analysis on root cause and impact will be required for submission not later than 14 days.

Link to Monetary Authority of Singapore - Technology Risk Management Guideline

Hits: 19863
Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Yuri Anisimov
    Yuri Anisimov says #
    The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) issued the Technology Risk Management (TRM) Notice and Guidelines. The TRM Guidelines a

John P. Mello, Jr.’s article in CSO Magazine summarizes the Agari’ 2013 Email TrustIndex."Consumers may be worried about their privacy settings, but in terms of protecting consumers via email, social media is the clear leader."

Study finds one in seven emails from financial brands poses risks to consumers. Emails from social media brands are the safest on the Internet.

However, social media may contribute to the problem by increasing noise and growing interrupt-alerts that demand attention.

Financial services managed a Trust Score of 39.7. The worst sector in the report: travel, has a score of 17.2.

Ranking companies and industries based on the ThreatScore, and TrustScore benchmarks gives consumers and leading brands visibility into how aggressively a sector is being threatened and which companies are taking action to secure email and protect consumer data and trust

95 percent of data breaches start with a phishing email. It is practically impossible to educate people to be able to identify phishing attacks.  The only practical way to succeed is to utilize technology defences to determine what's a legitimate and what isn't.

Among technologies is DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance, which reduce brand abuse through fraudulent email attacks and drastically reduces the risks of consumer loss, reputation damage and financial liability.

Hits: 7502

Posted by on in Big Data

Accenture announced IT predictions for 2013

Accenture revealed its 2013 IT predictions in Tech Vision 2013 report.

Summary of the key trends:

  • Relationships at Scale - Moving beyond transactions and into digital relationships, changes in customer engagement approach
  • Design for Analytics: data as a supply chain instead of a warehouse.
  • Data Velocity: competitive advantage from “time to insight”: converting insights to action before opportunities are lost. Importance of real-time data
  • Seamless Collaboration: every app will be “social”; necessity to develop tools that change business processes.
  • Software-defined Networking: the “last mile” of virtualisation. Unleash the full power of virtualisation.
  • Active Defense: The security emphasis shifting from monitoring to understanding to acting.
  • Cloud: Enterprise-ready Cloud. Software Driven world, Not “why” but “how” should we use Cloud 
Hits: 12441

Posted by on in Big Data

Data Mining Privacy Considerations

Many of us watched Steven Rambam’s straightforward advice to get over the dead privacy in his famous revelation speech at the Last Hope conference couple of years ago and were shockingly entertained. It is 2013 now, and realities are as such that we need to learn to live in reality.

Anyone who deals in Big Data Analytics must be sensitive to these worries when collecting or using data, or else we risk burdensome and counter-productive regulation. The solution is to be open about why we need to know so much and help the society we live in to understand the dangers and benefits. We are also in the best position to help and analyze the threats that Big Data presents, and propose reasonable safeguards

Companies that are doing marketing research are not malicious.

Hits: 51041
Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Yuri Anisimov
    Yuri Anisimov says #
    Singapore's Do-Not-Call registry to start January 2014; Singapore adds Do-Not-Call 'exemption' for firms with existing customers