By John P. Desmond, AI Trends Editor
Jobs in data science grew nearly 46% in 2020, with salaries in the range of $100,000 to $130,000 annually, according to a recent account in TechRepublic based on information from LinkedIn and LHH, formerly Lee Hecht Harrison, a global provider of talent and leadership development.
Related job titles include data science specialist and data management analyst. Companies hiring were called out in the TechRepublic account, including:
Novacoast, which helps organizations build a cybersecurity posture through engineering, development, and managed services. Founded in 1996 in Santa Barbara, the company has many remote employees and a presence in the UK, Canada, Mexico, and Guatemala.
The company offers a security operations center (SOC) cloud offering called novaSOC, that analyzes emerging challenges. “We work to have an answer ready before we’ve been asked,” stated CEO Paul Anderson in a press release issued on the company’s inclusion on a list of the top 250 Managed Service Providers from MSSP Alert. novaSOC automatically collects endpoint data and correlates it with threat intelligence sources, adding in analysis and reporting to make a responsive security monitoring service. Novacoast is planning to hire 60 employees to open a new SOC in Wichita, Kansas.
Pendo is an information technology services company that provides step-by-step guides to help workers master new software packages. The software aims to boost employee proficiency through personalized training and automated support. Founded in 2013 in Raleigh, N.C., the company has raised $209.5 million to date, according to Crunchbase. Demand for the company’s services soared in 2020 as schools shifted to online teaching and many companies permitted employees to work from home.
“More people are using digital products. Many had planned to go digital but they could not afford to wait. That created opportunities for us,” stated Todd Olson, cofounder and CEO, in an account in Newsweek. The company now has about 2,000 customers, including Verizon, RE/MAX, Health AB, John Wiley & Sons, LabCorp, Mercury Insurance, OpenTable, Okta, Salesforce and Zendesk. The company plans to hire 400 more employees this year to fuel its growth as it invests in its presence overseas in an effort to win more large customers. The company recently had 169 open positions.
Infosys is a multinational IT services company headquartered in India that is expanding its workforce in North America. The company recently announced it would be hiring 500 people in Calgary, Alberta, Canada over the next three years, which would double its Canadian workforce to 4,000 employees. “Calgary is a natural next step of our Canadian expansion. The city is home to a thriving talent pool. We will tap into this talent and offer skills and opportunities that will build on the city’s economic strengths,” stated Ravi Kumar, President of Infosys, in a press release.
Over the last two years, Infosys has created 2,000 jobs across Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, and Montreal. The Calgary expansion will enable Infosys to scale work with clients in Western Canada, Pacific Northwest, and the Central United States across various industries, including natural resources, energy, media, retail, and communications. The company will hire tech talent from fourteen educational institutions across the country, including the University of Calgary, University of Alberta, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, University of British Columbia, University of Toronto, and Waterloo. Infosys also plans to hire 300 workers in Pennsylvania as part of its US hiring strategy, recruiting for a range of opportunities across technology and digital services, administration and operations.
AI is Where the Money Is
In an analysis of millions of job postings across the US, the labor market information provider Burning Glass wanted to see which professions had the highest percentage of job postings requesting AI skills, according to an account from Dice. Data science was requested by 22.4% of the postings, by far the highest. Next was data engineer at 5.5%, database architect at 4.6% and network engineer/architect at 3.1%.
Burning Glass sees machine learning as a “defining skill” among data scientists, needed for day-to-day work. Overall, jobs requiring AI skills are expected to grow 43.4% over the next decade. The current median salary for jobs heavily using AI skills is $105,000, good compared to many other professions.
Hiring managers will test for knowledge of fundamental concepts and ability to execute. A portfolio of AI-related projects can help a candidate’s prospects.
Burning Glass recently announced an expansion and update of its CyberSeek source of information on America’s cybersecurity workforce. “These updates are timely as the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) Strategic Plan aims to promote the discovery of cybersecurity careers and multiple pathways to build and sustain a diverse and skilled workforce,” stated Rodney Petersen, Director of the NICE, in a Burning Glass press release
NICE is a partnership between government, academia, and the private sector focused on supporting the country’s ability to address current and future cybersecurity education and workforce challenges.
Trends for AI in 2021 in the beginning of the latter stages of the global pandemic were highlighted in a recent account in VentureBeat as:
- Hyperautomation, the application of AI and machine learning to augment workers and automate processes to a higher degree;
- Ethical AI, because consumers and employees expect companies to adopt AI in a responsible manner; companies will choose to do business with partners that commit to data ethics and data handling practices that reflect appropriate values;
- And Workplace AI, to help with transitions to new models of work, especially with knowledge workers at home; AI will be used to augment customer services agents, to track employee health and for intelligent document extraction.
Read the source articles and information in TechRepublic, in a press release from Novacoast, in Newsweek, in a press release from Infosys, in an account from Dice, in a Burning Glass press release and in an account in VentureBeat.
ECS serves 80% of UK retail
Zeebrugge, June 23th, 2021 – Since January 1st 2021, the transport of goods to and from the United Kingdom has changed considerably due to the impact of Brexit. Both logistically and administratively, the European and British measures create new challenges. Despite difficult circumstances, ECS, the market leader in supply chain logistics and intermodal transport, increased its market coverage in UK retail to 80% over the past six months. Meanwhile, the logistics key figure warns that the real effects of Brexit will only be felt from January 1st 2022.
Since Brexit, Zeebrugge has become the logistics gateway par excellence to Great Britain, with ECS as the main logistics player. No less than 90% of the total volume of the business unit supply chain business travels across the Channel. Moreover, during the full Brexit transition period, ECS managed to grow to a market coverage of 80% of the total British retail sector, thanks to contractual partnerships with the seven main supermarkets: Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Coop, Lidl and, more recently, Aldi.
Pantry of the United Kingdom
“By working with major UK retailers and having such a large market share, we start to become a one-stop shop for many manufacturers,” says Hugo Donche, supply chain & development director at ECS. “Producers find us as a logistics solution for all UK retailers. That is how we became the pantry of the UK.”
“European producers stock their goods with us, after which British retailers can order those products from us. We collect the orders and deliver them to the British distribution centres in a timely manner. This provides enormous flexibility for the retailer, who also needs less warehouse space to keep stocks,” Donche emphasises. “Since January 1st of this year, there has been an additional hurdle with Brexit. ECS takes care of all the burden of customs declarations and certificates, which completely unburdens retailers.”
“195,000 square metres of warehouse space are dedicated to the British retail sector.” – Hugon donche, supply chain & development director at ECS
Currently, ECS has 195,000 square metres of warehouse space dedicated to the British retail sector, accounting for 220,000 pallets in the ECS network and three million pallets transported annually. Hugo Donche does however notice a change in the import and export behaviour of the British. “The figures for both imports and exports are 10% lower than last year and it remains to be seen whether these figures will normalise. Many Brexit rules are currently not yet applicable in Great Britain. There, they are working with a phased exit. At the end of this year, they will enter phases 2 and 3. We will therefore only feel the real impact of Brexit after January 1st 2022.”
In order to compete with other logistics players, ECS puts maximum effort on its intermodal network. Road transport is avoided as much as possible, which benefits both the environment and the punctuality of deliveries. “We avoid the classic bottleneck between Dover and London and instead deliver to port terminals that are as close as possible to the final destination,” explains Donche. “We ship our cargoes unaccompanied, which allows us to use British drivers upon arrival in the UK. Not only does this avoid problems with the language and driving on the left, it also allows drivers to make several deliveries a day as they only have to travel a distance of around ten kilometres between the terminal and the distribution centre.”
“An additional advantage is that by shipping unaccompanied, we avoid covid testing of drivers. That way we did not suffer from the strict corona measures last year, while drivers who travelled from Dover to Calais had to queue up to five days. Moreover, the port of Zeebrugge is hardly bothered by unannounced strikes, which makes us very reliable.”
This reliability makes it possible for ECS to deliver stockless. “This means that the retailer’s own depot does not keep any stock and fully distributes the delivery we make to the shops within 24 hours. It is crucial that we deliver on time, otherwise the shops will not receive their products. What is unique to ECS is that we combine light and heavy loads in the same cargo. We do this by making optimal use of the dimensions and weights of the products in trailers that are higher than normal. This ensures that the average cost price can be up to 12% cheaper, which makes our delivery method very attractive from a commercial point of view.”
By maximising the use of maritime transport and optimising loads, ECS will also tackle the future logistical challenges posed by Brexit in an environmentally friendly, reliable and sustainable manner.
Jammed home-loan pipeline no match for DAIDEC’s D.Tag
Australian fintech DAIDEC Analytics has good news for the $1.9 trillion home loan market, with its disruptive predictive AI and machine-learning tool poised to unblock the biggest bottleneck in the market, the turnaround times for loan applications to be approved.
Not only does this cost mortgage brokers and lenders – and their borrower customers – time and money, but the glacial pace of loan approvals is also increasingly seen as a contributor to anxiety levels for brokers, who must deal with their clients’ often justifiable frustrations.
After a number of pilot programs, DAIDEC has launched its predictive analytics tool, D.Tag, which improves the home loan application process by giving brokers – who settle 60% of the nation’s home loans – early warning of opportunities to fast-track or improve applications, to give them a better chance of accelerating the approval.
“It takes about 100 tasks to get a home loan approved, and all along the chain, time and cost inefficiencies can occur and be magnified,” says Roger Dench, CEO at DAIDEC. “Each of these pain-points can lead to frustration for the borrower, blow-out the costs for the broker, and delay the approval by the lender. The D.Tag system can help with all of these, by identifying the loans that are contributing most to the bottlenecks and speeding up handling them.”
The home-loan market is hostage to the Pareto principle (or 80:20 rule) says Dench with “our analysis for one client showed 16% of loans taking up 64% of brokers’ time. We are seeing this play out across the board. Brokers are spending most of their time on the wrong loans – but they don’t know which ones are the wrong loans, until it’s too late, and they’re jamming up the system.”
Multiple handling of loan applications – and back-and-forth rebounding between the lender, the broker and the customer, seeking additional information – is the problem. “With D.Tag we’re circumventing all of that by making sure the application is the best it can be before it gets submitted,” Dench says.
The D.Tag is one part of the D.Suite system. It is cloud-based software that plugs into an existing customer relationship management (CRM) system, assesses loan applications and rates each in one of three ways – “accelerate,” which is denoted by green; ‘business-as-usual,’ which is grey; and ‘review and refer,’ which is purple.
“‘Review and refer’ is the true money-earner for our customers, because it very quickly alerts them to the fact that there’s potential problems – which could just indicate that ‘this one is going to take a lot of time, is the right person working on it?’” says Dench. “It doesn’t mean it’s a bad loan and it’s going to be rejected – we do not play in the credit-score space – it’s just a warning to the broker that it’s going to take up a bit more of their time, and probably require specialist experience.
“The D.Tag helps the broker by giving them a forward lens on the quality of application that they have in front of them, and where there might be problems, such that they can, where it’s needed, build a higher-quality application, before the loan is submitted. The system anticipates any approval problems and pre-empts them,” Dench says.
In this way, he says, efficiencies are improved, borrowers are less frustrated, and everyone gets paid quicker, because the job is done efficiently. “At the moment, brokers can’t give their customers any confidence on how long approvals will take to get through, because everyone is being swamped on volume, and brokers can’t possibly know which applications will cause the most problems. We know that D.Tag is vital to helping brokers, for the first time, truly be able to manage customers’ expectations on turnaround time to yes,” says Dench.
The D.Tag analyses all home loan applications. Dench says that in time the system would be exportable into similar jurisdictions that have similar home mortgage products to Australia and is also readily transferable to business loans.
“The pilot programs have clearly demonstrated that D.Tag can add value to a broker’s revenue and profit lines,” he says. “We’re very excited to move out of pilot and into customer implementation phase”.
A Guide to Understanding Industrial Compactors
With trends toward greener and more environmentally friendly practices rapidly on the rise, a broad range of commercial operations is embracing waste compactor equipment to meet their evolving waste management needs.
The need for waste management and disposal now impacts so many different sectors of the business community. Beyond the traditional needs of manufacturing and light industry, hospitals and healthcare services as well as the hospitality industry are finding cause to source and install trash compactors.
Here is a guide to the basic types of compactor available and their general applications.
Selecting a waste compactor
When it comes to the selection and purchase of a compactor unit for the business, it will be of great benefit to have an understanding of the different configurations available. Compactors will typically come in a range of shapes and sizes, and selection will also depend upon the volume of waste that they will be expected to process.
A look at the compactor recycling equipment available on the market will further assist in selecting the most efficient compactor for the specific needs of the business in question.
What does a waste compactor do?
The waste compactor can be considered as the first point of the recycling process. Put simply, it prepares a range of recyclable waste products for removal to a purpose-built recycling process facility.
The compactor does just what its name suggests – via a mechanical pressure process, it compacts separated waste into a reduced size in preparation for collection.
Bear in mind that the compactor will not sort different types of waste like a recycling plant process; rather, it relies on the user to feed a specific type of waste product into it.
‘Ground fed’ compactors
The ground-fed-style compactor is a self-contained unit and is typically located outside. It can occupy a large space horizontally and must be considered as a fixed, non-movable installation. This means that some forethought must be given to its location, ensuring it is accessible for waste disposal and any maintenance actions. Proximity to an external power outlet may also need to be considered.
Similar in operation and location to the ground-fed unit, the vertical style compactor has its compaction unit positioned vertically as opposed to the horizontal layout of the former type.
This configuration may be the preferred choice if space is at a premium, as it will fit a smaller space comparative to the ground-fed unit.
Businesses such as gymnasiums and leisure centers may benefit from an indoor installation. These units are typically smaller in size and processing ability in comparison to their bulkier outdoor counterparts.
With a range of models and configurations available, a broad range of commercial operations can now benefit from a purpose-installed waste recycling compactor unit.
Portable and freestanding units
As the name suggests, the portable unit is designed to be moveable and is typically equipped with trolley wheels to permit relocation. This may be preferential for businesses such as retail and grocery stores or hospitals, where waste is generated in a number of locations or work areas and a portable arrangement adds more value.
It should be borne in mind that portable units may still be reasonably heavy and may require some forethought when being moved.
Other forms of fixed installation freestanding units are also available, which may often be configured for applications such as ‘high rise’ or multi-story buildings.
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Facebook adds Shops to WhatsApp, among other e-commerce updates
Facebook is making it even easier to buy stuff while you scroll past photos of your high school lab partner’s dog. Yes, Instagram Shops and Facebook Marketplace are already displayed prominently on the apps’ bottom navigation tabs. But now, you can shop on WhatsApp too, along with other updates.
Today on a Live Audio Room, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced three e-commerce updates that are coming to Facebook products: Shops on WhatsApp and Marketplace, Shops Ads, and Instagram Visual Search.
“More than 1 billion people use Marketplace each month, so we’re making it easy for businesses to bring their Shops into Marketplace to reach even more people,” Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post. When customers view a shop on WhatsApp, they’ll have the option of chatting with a business before buying something.
At its F8 conference earlier this month, Facebook revealed updates to WhatsApp for Business — previously, it could take weeks to set up a business account, but now, businesses can sign up in just a few minutes. Though WhatsApp has more than 2 billion global users, only about 175 million people message with WhatsApp Business accounts daily for things like customer support. Since Facebook has been pushing e-commerce on platforms like Instagram, it makes sense that this initiative will expand to WhatsApp too.
The rollout for Shops in WhatsApp will start soon, and Shops inventory in Marketplace is available now for Shops in the US with on-site checkout.
The next feature, Shops Ads, aims to provide a more individualized shopping experience based on people’s individual shopping habits. Zuckerberg said, “We’re launching the ability for a business to send shoppers to where you’re going to be most likely to make a purchase based on your shopping behavior.” Starting now, AR Dynamic Ads are available in the United States – companies like Huda Beauty and Laura Mercier are using these ads to let customers test lipstick shades with AR before making a purchase. These AR try-on experiences are made available through API integrations with Modiface and Perfect Corp. Early this year, Pinterest collaborated with ModiFace to launch an AR eyeshadow try-on.
Over on Instagram, an AI-based Visual Search feature will roll out for testing in the coming months.
“A lot of shopping discovery begins with visual discovery, right, so you see something that you think is awesome. And then, you know, maybe you want to see other products that are like that, or you want to figure out how to get that product,” Zuckerberg explained. “And this is the type of problem that AI can really help out with.”
Using this AI, people will be able to upload their own photos — even ones they haven’t posted on Instagram — to find similar items. Facebook isn’t the first company to use this technology — see Cadeera, Donde Search, or Stye.ai, for instance. But bringing this technology to major platforms might change the way we shop, which seems to be Facebook’s current goal.
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