How to Check Linux Version?

While researching an old install for an upgrade system requirement compliance, I discovered that I b=need to validate which Linux version was installed.  So, here is a quick note on the command I used to validate which version of Linux was installed.

Command

  • cat /etc/os-release

Example Output of the command “os-release” file

ETL Vs. EAI

Over recent years, business enterprises relying on accurate and consistent data to make informed decisions have been gravitating towards integration technologies. The subject of Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) and Extraction, Transformation & Loading (ETL) lately seems to pop up in most Enterprise Information Management conversations.

From an architectural perspective, both techniques share a striking similarity. However, they essentially serve different purposes when it comes to information management. We’ve decided to do a little bit of research and establish the differences between the two integration technologies.

Enterprise Application Integration

EAI is an integration framework that consists of technologies and services, allowing for seamless coordination of vital systems, processes, as well as databases across an enterprise.

Simply put, this integration technique simplifies and automates your business processes to a whole new level without necessarily having to make major changes to your existing data structures or applications.

With EAI, your business can integrate essential systems like supply chain management, customer relationship management, business intelligence, enterprise resource planning, and payroll. Well, the linking of these apps can be done at the back end via APIs or the front end GUI.

The systems in question might use different databases, computer languages, exist on different operating systems or older systems that might not be supported by the vendor anymore.

The objective of EAI is to develop a single, unified view of enterprise data and information, as well as ensure the information is correctly stored, transmitted, and reflected. It enables existing applications to communicate and share data in real-time.

Extraction, Transformation & Loading

The general purpose of an ETL system is to extract data out of one or more source databases and then transfer it to a target destination system for better user decision making. Data in the target system is usually presented differently from the sources.

The extracted data goes through the transformation phase, which involves checking for data integrity and converting the data into a proper storage format or structure. It is then moved into other systems for analysis or querying function.

With data loading, it typically involves writing data into the target database destination like data warehouse and operational data store.

ETL can integrate data from multiple systems. The systems we’re talking about in this case are often hosted on separate computer hardware or supported by different vendors.

Differences between ETL and EAI

EAI System

  • Retrieves small amounts of data in one operation and is characterized by a high number of transactions
  • EAI system is utilized for process optimization and workflow
  • The system does not require user involvement after it’s implemented
  • Ensures a bi-directional data flow between the source and target applications
  • Ideal for real-time business data needs
  • Limited data validation
  • Integrating operations is pull, push, and event-driven.

ETL System

  • It is a one-way process of creating a historical record from homogeneous or heterogeneous sources
  • Mainly designed to process large batches of data from source systems
  • Requires extensive user involvement
  • Meta-data driven complex transformations
  • Integrating operation is a pull, query-driven
  • Supports proper profiling and data cleaning
  • Limited messaging capabilities

Both integration technologies are an essential part of EIM, as they provide strong capabilities for business intelligence initiatives and reporting. They can be used differently and sometimes in mutual consolidation.

Personas Vs. Roles – What Is The Difference?

Personas and roles are user modeling approaches that are applied in the early stages of system development or redesign. They drive the design decision and allows programmers and designers to place everyday user needs at the forefront of their system development journey in a user-centered design approach.

Personas and user roles help improve the quality of user experience when working with products that require a significant amount of user interaction. But there is a distinct difference between technology personas vs. roles. What then exactly is a persona? What are user roles in system development? And, how does persona differ from user roles?

Let’s see how these two distinct, yet often confused, user models fit in a holistic user-centered design process and how you can leverage them to identify valuable product features.

Technology Personas Vs. Roles – The Most Relevant Way to Describe Users

In software development, a user role describes the relationship between a user type and a software tool. It is generally the user’s responsibility when using a system or the specific behavior of a user who is participating in a business process. Think of roles as the umbrella, homogeneous constructs of the users of a particular system. For instance, in an accounting system, you can have roles such as accountant, cashier, and so forth.

However, by merely using roles, system developers, designers, and testers do not have sufficient information to conclusively make critical UX decisions that would make the software more user-centric, and more appealing to its target users.

This lack of understanding of the user community has led to the need for teams to move beyond role-based requirements and focus more on subsets of the system users. User roles can be refined further by creating “user stand-ins,” known as personas. By using personas, developers and designers can move closer to the needs and preferences of the user in a more profound manner than they would by merely relying on user roles.

In product development, user personas are an archetype of a fictitious user that represents a specific group of your typical everyday users. First introduced by Alan Cooper, personas help the development team to clearly understand the context in which the ideal customer interacts with a software/system and helps guide the design decision process.

Ideally, personas provide team members with a name, a face, and a description for each user role. By using personas, you’re typically personalizing the user roles, and by so doing, you end up creating a lasting impression on the entire team. Through personas, team members can ask questions about the users.

The Benefits of Persona Development

Persona development has several benefits, including:

  • They help team members have a consistent understanding of the user group.
  • They provide stakeholders with an opportunity to discuss the critical features of a system redesign.
  • Personas help designers to develop user-centric products that have functions and features that the market already demands.
  • A persona helps to create more empathy and a better understanding of the person that will be using the end product. This way, the developers can design the product with the actual user needs in mind.
  • Personas can help predict the needs, behaviors, and possible reactions of the users to the product.

What Makes Up a Well-Defined Persona?

Once you’ve identified user roles that are relevant to your product, you’ll need to create personas for each. A well-defined persona should ideally take into consideration the needs, goals, and observed behaviors of your target audience. This will influence the features and design elements you choose for your system.

The user persona should encompass all the critical details about your ideal user and should be presented in a memorable way that everyone in the team can identify with and understand. It should contain four critical pieces of information.

1. The header

The header aid in improving memorability and creating a connection between the design team and the user. The header should include:

  • A fictional name
  • An image, avatar or a stock photo
  • A vivid description/quote that best describes the persona as it relates to the product.

2. Demographic Profile

Unlike the name and image, which might be fictitious, the demographic profile includes factual details about the ideal user. The demographic profile includes:

  • Personal background: Age, gender, education, ethnicity, persona group, and family status
  • Professional background: Occupation, work experience, and income level.
  • User environment. It represents the social, physical, and technological context of the user. It answers questions like: What devices do the user have? Do they interact with other people? How do they spend their time?
  • Psychographics: Attitudes, motivations, interests, and user pain points.

3. End Goal(s)

End goals help answer the questions: What problems or needs will the product solution to the user? What are the motivating factors that inspire the user’s actions?

4. Scenario

This is a narrative that describes how the ideal user would interact with your product in real-life to achieve their end goals. It should explain the when, the where, and the how.

Conclusion

For a truly successful user-centered design approach, system development teams should use personas to provide simple descriptions of key user roles. While a distinct difference exists in technology personas vs. roles, design teams should use the two user-centered design tools throughout the project to decide and evaluate the functionality of their end product. This way, they can deliver a useful and usable solution to their target market.

denodo SQL Type Mapping

denodo 7.0 saves some manual coding when building the ‘Base Views’ by performing some initial data type conversions from ANSI SQL type to denodo Virtual DataPort data types. So, where is a quick reference mapping to show to what the denodo Virtual DataPort Data Type mappings are:

ANSI SQL types To Virtual DataPort Data types Mapping

ANSI SQL TypeVirtual DataPort Type
BIT (n)blob
BIT VARYING (n)blob
BOOLboolean
BYTEAblob
CHAR (n)text
CHARACTER (n)text
CHARACTER VARYING (n)text
DATElocaldate
DECIMALdouble
DECIMAL (n)double
DECIMAL (n, m)double
DOUBLE PRECISIONdouble
FLOATfloat
FLOAT4float
FLOAT8double
INT2int
INT4int
INT8long
INTEGERint
NCHAR (n)text
NUMERICdouble
NUMERIC (n)double
NUMERIC (n, m)double
NVARCHAR (n)text
REALfloat
SMALLINTint
TEXTtext
TIMESTAMPtimestamp
TIMESTAMP WITH TIME ZONEtimestamptz
TIMESTAMPTZtimestamptz
TIMEtime
TIMETZtime
VARBITblob
VARCHARtext
VARCHAR ( MAX )text
VARCHAR (n)text

ANSI SQL Type Conversion Notes

  • The function CAST truncates the output when converting a value to a text, when these two conditions are met:
  1. You specify a SQL type with a length for the target data type. E.g. VARCHAR(20).
  2. And, this length is lower than the length of the input value.
  • When casting a boolean to an integertrue is mapped to 1 and false to 0.

Related References

denodo 7.0 Type Conversion Functions

Analytics Model Types

Every day, businesses are creating around 2.5 quintillion bytes of data, making it increasingly difficult to make sense and get valuable information from this data. And while this data can reveal a lot about customer bases, users, and market patterns and trends, if not tamed and analyzed, this data is just useless. Therefore, for organizations to realize the full value of this big data, it has to be processed. This way, businesses can pull powerful insights from this stockpile of bits.

And thanks to artificial intelligence and machine learning, we can now do away with mundane spreadsheets as a tool to process data. Through the various AI and ML-enabled data analytics models, we can now transform the vast volumes of data into actionable insights that businesses can use to scale operational goals, increase savings, drive efficiency and comply with industry-specific requirements.

We can broadly classify data analytics into three distinct models:

  • Descriptive
  • Predictive
  • Prescriptive

Let’s examine each of these analytics models and their applications.

Descriptive Analytics. A Look Into What happened?

How can an organization or an industry understand what happened in the past to make decisions for the future? Well, through descriptive analytics.

Descriptive analytics is the gateway to the past. It helps us gain insights into what has happened. Descriptive analytics allows organizations to look at historical data and gain actionable insights that can be used to make decisions for “the now” and the future, upon further analysis.

For many businesses, descriptive analytics is at the core of their everyday processes. It is the basis for setting goals. For instance, descriptive analytics can be used to set goals for better customer experience. By looking at the number of tickets raised in the past and their resolutions, businesses can use ticketing trends to plan for the future.

Some everyday applications of descriptive analytics include:

  • Reporting of new trends and disruptive market changes
  • Tabulation of social metrics such as the number of tweets, followers gained over some time, or Facebook likes garnered on a post.
  • Summarizing past events such as customer retention, regional sales, or marketing campaigns success.

To enhance their decision-making capabilities businesses have to reduce the data further to allow them to make better future predictions. That’s where predictive analytics comes in.

Predictive Analytics takes Descriptive Data One Step Further

Using both new and historical data sets predictive analytics to help businesses model and forecast what might happen in the future. Using various data mining and statistical algorithms, we can leverage the power of AI and machine learning to analyze currently available data and model it to make predictions about future behaviors, trends, risks, and opportunities. The goal is to go beyond the data surface of “what has happened and why it has happened” and identify what will happen.

Predictive data analytics allows organizations to be prepared and become more proactive, and therefore make decisions based on data and not assumptions. It is a robust model that is being used by businesses to increase their competitiveness and protect their bottom line.

The predictive analytics process is a step-by-step process that requires analysts to:

  • Define project deliverables and business objectives
  • Collect historical and new transactional data
  • Analyze the data to identify useful information. This analysis can be through inspection, data cleaning, data transformation, and data modeling.
  • Use various statistical models to test and validate the assumptions.
  • Create accurate predictive models about the future.
  • Deploy the data to guide your day-to-data actions and decision-making processes.
  • Manage and monitor the model performance to ensure that you’re getting the expected results.

Instances Where Predictive Analytics Can be Used

  • Propel marketing campaigns and reach customer service objectives.
  • Improve operations by forecasting inventory and managing resources optimally.
  • Fraud detection such as false insurance claims or inaccurate credit applications
  • Risk management and assessment
  • Determine the best direct marketing strategies and identify the most appropriate channels.
  • Help in underwriting by predicting the chances of bankruptcy, default, or illness.
  • Health care: Use predictive analytics to determine health-related risk and make informed clinical support decisions.

Prescriptive Analytics: Developing Actionable Insights from Descriptive Data

Prescriptive analytics helps us to find the best course of action for a given situation. By studying interactions between the past, the present, and the possible future scenarios, prescriptive analytics can provide businesses with the decision-making power to take advantage of future opportunities while minimizing risks.

Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), we can use prescriptive analytics to automatically process new data sets as they are available and provide the most viable decision options in a manner beyond any human capabilities.

When effectively used, it can help businesses avoid the immediate uncertainties resulting from changing conditions by providing them with fact-based best and worst-case scenarios. It can help organizations limit their risks, prevent fraud, fast-track business goals, increase operational efficiencies, and create more loyal customers.

Bringing It All Together

As you can see, different big data analytics models can help you add more sense to raw, complex data by leveraging AI and machine learning. When effectively done, descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive analytics can help businesses realize better efficiencies, allocate resources more wisely, and deliver superior customer success most cost-effectively. But ideally, if you wish to gain meaningful insights from predictive or even prescriptive analytics, you must start with descriptive analytics and then build up from there.

Windows – Host File Location

Occasionally, I need to update the windows hosts files, but I seem to have a permanent memory block where the file is located. I have written the location into numerous documents, however, every time I need to verify and or up the host file I need to look up the path. Today, when I went to look it up I discovered that I had not actually posted it to this blog site. So, for future reference, I am adding it now.

Here is the path of the Windows Hosts file, the drive letter may change depending on the drive letter on which the Windows install was performed.

C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc

Are Information Technology Skill Badges Valuable?

Information Technology (IT) Skill badges are becoming more prevalent in the information technology industry, but do they add value?  I will be in the past I have only bothered with certifications where my clients or my employer thought they were valuable.  At some point in your career experience should mean more tests and training.  So, perhaps is time to consider the potential value of IT Skills badges (Mini-certification) and the merits behind them.

What Are Information Technology (IT) Skills Badge?

IT Skills badges are recognized as mini-certification, which are portable. IT Skills badges are achieved when an individual completes a project, completes a course, or make a distinguished contribution towards code repository on either GitHub or elsewhere. When a person earns this kind of certification, the IT Skills badges can be stored in a digital wallet. An individual can use it by either including it to his/her LinkedIn profile or website. The issuer has the authority of editing the badges. This feature is designed to bolster credibility.

Research shows that many IT job applicants show badges as an added advantage in his/her skills. IT skills badge are not a sure bet in job hunting that an applicant will land on that particular job because most job recruiters don’t focus on them.

Many IT industries want validated skills before hiring an applicant. IT Skills badges are complementary to certificates, but IT Skills badges can’t in any way replace certifications. Individuals with convectional certifications have high chances of landing on premium pay. As a result, badges don’t ensure the owner a pay boot in his/her job.

How Do IT Skills Badges Differ From A Certification?

Certifications are considered evidence by many of an individual’s skills. Does this mean that any other credential systems aren’t necessary for proving your skills? IBM’s study shows that technology is growing at a faster rate in areas like artificial intelligence, big data, and machine learning and the updating and creation of certifications can lag because of the time required to update or developing certifications is lengthy.

Another difference when it comes to comparison between IT Skill Badges and certification is that certifications are seen to be more expensive to both employers and employees. It is costly to achieve certification, and a lot of study time and books may be required. An in-depth done survey shows that employers are willing to pay a good portion to the right certification. Certificate value is drastically increasing value yearly as compared to badges.

Clients of IT companies consider engaging in a contract with the company after making sure that the company has a specific number of employees with specified certifications. IT Skills badges are at a disadvantage for hiring consideration. Most hiring managers, the likes of Raxter Company, don’t know the benefit of badges or even what IT Skills badges can do with IT Skills badges. IT Skills badges are new in the market; hence, most employers have little information about IT Skills badges. For instance, an applicant who in the past years has worked for IBM Company presents an IBM badge to Raxter interview panel, and the panel will not know what it means.

In the case of Grexo Technology Group’s CEO, Bobby Yates, IT services Company in Texas doesn’t know the apparent value of IT skills badge. He further challenges it by saying that most applicants have presented the badges to him. But he surely doesn’t know the importance of them towards his requirements from the applicants. He further says that he doesn’t consider badges as a valuable hiring tool as compared to certification.

Dupray’s Tremblay, on the other hand, seconds the elimination of badges as an essential tool for hiring by saying that he will not know if the applicant is cheating to him. As a result, he values the certification as a real prove of skills towards IT.

How To Obtain IT Skills Badges

Most Companies’ hiring panels consider IT Skills badges as nothing towards job requirements. But some companies’ managers like O’Farril and others challenge them by finding them worthy when it comes to IT workers investment. CompTIA’s Stanger, on the other hand, backs badges by referring to them as a complement to a basket of certifications, good resumes, and real-world towards job experience. He adds by saying that it is a form of strengthening the education chain. Raxter on his personality considers IT Skills badges as a selling point. As a result, IT Skills badges are essential to present to some recruiters.

The following are the top five tips that will aid an individual towards his carrier advancement in getting the most in IT skills badges.

1. Avoid listing badges which are easily obtained. Anything that can take less than 40 hours to complete it is unworthy of mentioning it in your professional resume.

2. Always consider those courses that directly aline with the type of jobs for which you are applying. IT skills badges that directly complements to your job requirements are worth taking. Irrelevant badges may, to an extent, reduce the chances of being recruited.

3. Make sure to pair the badges attained with your education or real working experience.

4. Don’t insist on the importance behind your badges. Not everybody will like to hear. Real work experience always takes the lead.

5. If you can’t defend your knowledge, experience, and skills or hiring managers will consider unqualified. ITSkill badges and certifications show that you had enough knowledge to pass the qualifications, but employees want people who can and will excel at doing the work as part of a team. requirements

Do IT Skills badges have value in the hiring process?

IT skills complement IT certification and act as an added advantage in hiring panel, mostly when your certification is almost similar to the other candidates. IT Skills badges add some value towards a good resume, real job experience, and certifications. Some recruiters consider IT Skills badges worthy when it comes to the hiring process. Recruiters think them as a selling point.

So it’s essential to take IT Skills badges that relate to your job application to spice your application form. Remember to keep in mind the top five tips when you decide to have one. In other words, IT Skills badges are somehow worthwhile to consider in IT workers investments.

IT skills badge from a social media perspective

Social Media badges are virtual validator of successful completion of a task, skill, or educational objective. IT Skills badges can either be physical or digital depending upon what other people in a particular community value or market. IT Skills badges are more prevalent in a collaborative environment, and social media as well as portals and learning platforms, including team participation, certification, degrees, and project accomplishments.

In conclusion, many IT skills are available for your earnings. To gain more on IT Skills badges, you can visit IBM, Pearson VUE, a global learning company, and others who have partnered in offering IT Skills badges. You will be able to find a range of IT Skills badges from which to choose.