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New Billionaire: Dean Stoecker’s 22-Year Journey & The Software That Makes Almost Anyone A Data Savant

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Sun Tzu meets software in mid-August at downtown Denver’s Crawford Hotel. The floors are terrazzo. The chandeliers are accented with gold. And Dean Stoecker, the CEO of data-science firm Alteryx, has summoned his executives for the annual strategy session he calls Bing Fa, after the Mandarin title of The Art of War. “Sun Tzu was all about how you conserve resources,” says Stoecker, 62. “How do you win a war without going into battle?”alteryx

Stoecker knows something about conserving resources. He cofounded Alteryx in 1997, when the data-science industry scarcely existed, and spent a decade growing the firm to a measly $10 million in annual revenue. “We had to wait for the market to catch up,” he says. As he waited, he kept the business lean, hiring slowly and forgoing outside investment until 2011. Then, as “big data” began eating the world, he raised $163 million before taking Alteryx public in 2017. The stock is up nearly 900% since, and Stoecker is worth an estimated $1.2 billion.

“People ask me, ‘Did you ever think it would get this big?’” he says. “And I say, ‘Yeah, I just never thought it would take this long.’ ”

Alteryx makes data science easy. Its simple, click-and-drop design lets anyone, from recent grads to emeritus chairmen, turn raw numbers into charts and graphics. It goes far beyond Excel. Plug in some numbers, select the desired operation—say data cleansing or linear regression—and presto.

There are applications in every industry. Coca-Cola uses Alteryx to help restaurants predict how much soda to order. Airlines use it to hedge the price of jet fuel. Banks use it to model derivatives. Data analysis “is the one skill that every human being has to have if they’re going to survive in this next generation,” says Stoecker. “More so than balancing a checkbook.”

Alteryx’s numbers support that forecast. The company, based in Irvine, California, generated $28 million in profit on $254 million in revenue in 2018, and Stoecker expects to hit $1 billion in annual sales by 2022.

Stoecker grew up the son of a tinkerer. His father built liquid nitrogen tanks for NASA before quitting his job to sell “pre-cut” vacation homes in Colorado. He made them himself. “It was literally just him nine months of the year, and he would cut wood for 50 buildings,” Stoecker recalls. As a teenager he joined his father, and by the time he arrived at the University of Colorado Boulder to study economics, he was able to pay his own way.

After graduating in 1979, Stoecker earned his M.B.A. from Pepperdine, then took a sales job in 1990 at Donnelley Marketing Information Services, a data company in Connecticut. There he met Libby Duane Adams, who worked in the firm’s Stamford office. Seven years later, the pair founded a data company of their own, which they cumbersomely named Spatial Re-Engineering Consultants. (A third cofounder, Ned Harding, joined around the same time; Stoecker, who came up with the idea, took the lion’s share of the equity.)

SRC’s first customer, a junk mail company in Orange County, paid $125,000 to better target its coupons. “We were building big-data analytic cloud solutions back in 1998,” says Stoecker, when many businesses were barely online and terms like “cloud computing” were years away.

SRC was profitable from the outset. “We didn’t spend ahead of revenue. We didn’t hire ahead of revenue,” says Adams, sitting in a remodeled 1962 Volkswagen bus at Alteryx headquarters, theoretically a symbol of the company’s journey. “We never calculated burn rates. That was a big topic in the whole dot-com era. We were not running the business like a dot-com.”

In 2006, as part of a pivot away from one-off consulting gigs, SRC released software to let customers do the number-crunching themselves. They named the software Alteryx, a nerdy joke for changing two variables simultaneously: “Alter Y, X.” Stoecker made Alteryx the company name, too, in 2010.

The market was still small. To grow revenue, “we just kept raising the price of our platform,” Stoecker says. In the beginning, Alteryx sold its subscription-based software for $7,500 per user; by 2013 it was charging $55,000. The next year, as Stoecker felt demand growing, he slashed prices to $4,000. Volume made up for the lower rate. Today Alteryx has 5,300 customers. “We immediately went from averaging eight, nine or ten [new clients] a quarter to north of 250,” he says.

Although data mining and data analytics is a long-established field, encompassing a slew of startups as well as giants like Oracle and IBM, “we see almost no direct competition,” Stoecker insists.

“It’s a pretty wide-open field,” says Marshall Senk, a senior research analyst at Compass Point Research & Trading. “The choice is you buy a suite from Alteryx or you go buy 15 different products and try to figure out how to get them to work together.”

Inside Alteryx’s offices, Stoecker pauses in front of a time line depicting his first 22 years in business. “The good stuff hasn’t even occurred yet,” he says. “I’m going to need a way bigger wall.”

 

I’ve been a reporter at Forbes since 2016. Before that, I spent a year on the road—driving for Uber in Cleveland, volcano climbing in Guatemala, cattle farming in Uruguay, and lots of stuff in between. I graduated from Tufts University with a dual degree in international relations and Arabic. Feel free to reach out at nkirsch@forbes.com with any story ideas or tips, or follow me on Twitter @Noah_Kirsch.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/

You’ve disrupted the status quo, dissolved data conventions and altered everything we knew about analytics. This year, we invited you to put your groundbreaking insights on the main stage at our annual user conference. Revisit the fun in Nashville as we celebrated the game changing stories that educated leaders and motivated a community of data experts to shatter more barriers than ever before. This year was all about You.Amplified.

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VR is helping teach people how to fire their employees

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Poor Barry Thompson is about to get fired, and you’re the unfortunate one shouldered with lowering the ax. You might not feel sorry for Barry given he’s virtual. But the idea is that firing him in VR will help prepare you if you ever need to terminate someone who isn’t made of pixels.

Barry is the creation of Talespin Studios, a VR company that develops virtual- and augmented-reality training programs for Fortune 500 partners including Farmers Insurance and telecom and finance companies. The company introduced Barry to demonstrate its “Virtual Human Technology.”What it looks like to fire an employee in VR

“The premise behind the software is giving employees a safe space to practice challenging interpersonal situations, while using AI to create emotionally realistic characters to stimulate and challenge them,” says Kyle Jackson, CEO and co-founder of Talespin.

The company, which is based in Southern California and The Netherlands, built Barry using speech recognition, AI, natural language processing, gamified scoring, dynamic feedback and enterprise learning management system, or LMS, integration. He can fluidly converse with the real person wearing the VR headset, display realistic emotion and understand context.

The highly realistic-looking Mr. Thompson has gray hair and bags under his eyes and looks like he’s probably put a whole lot of years into the company. His reaction to the bad news varies depending on how you handle the situation. In some scenarios, he gets angry and yells, in others he cries. If you handle his firing well, he calmly accepts the news..

“Users that elicit the more dramatic or emotional responses from Barry can learn from the experience and try to do better next time,” Jackson says.

Talespin virtual humans give trainees the chance to practice other challenging interpersonal situations with colleagues and co-workers, such as giving managerial feedback, negotiating and making a sale.

In one sales scenario, for example, the CEO of a company you’re trying to sell your firm’s services to has her arms crossed, looks away as you explain why you’re there, and says you won’t get the full time requested for the meeting. You have to rely on your training to overcome her disinterest and unlock different parts of the conversation where you can be successful.

VR is already teaching people to deliver babiesoperate machinery and how to weld. As our sister site TechRepublic suggests, VR could be the future of sexual harassment training in the workplace since it’s more immersive than HR-based classes or slideshow and video presentations and lets users feel what’s it like to be harassed.

“The immersive properties and rich, consistent contextual cues associated with VR improve the quality and speed of initial learning,” according to Training Industry. “One strength of VR is that it can be implemented in such a way as to target [both] the behavioral skills system and the cognitive skills system.”

Talespin isn’t the only company creating VR training content for workers. Thousands of Walmart employees have donned Oculus Go virtual reality headsets for a training program created by Strivr, which also counts Verizon, Fidelity and United Rentals among its customers.

“When you watch a module through the headset, your brain feels like you actually experienced a situation,” Andy Trainor, Walmart’s senior director of Walmart US Academies, said when announcing the program last year.

Or, as Talespin’s Jackson puts it, “Virtual humans can help us become better humans.”

Now, can someone please hook Barry up with a new job?

By:

Source: https://www.cnet.com/

 

 

5 Best Budget Monitors Of 2019

We buy our own products and put them under the same testing methodology so that you can easily compare them. Unlike most websites, we do not get our products directly from the manufacturers, which means our units aren’t handpicked and actually represent what you would buy yourself. We spend a lot of time comparing the products side-by-side to validate our results and we keep them until they are discontinued so we can continually go back and make sure our reviews are always accurate.

You don’t have to spend a small fortune to get a decent monitor. Whether you’ll be using it for schoolwork, the office, or gaming, there are budget monitors that can fit any need. Cheaper monitors are usually smaller, though, and most of them have 1080p resolutions, which isn’t ideal for everyone.

We’ve reviewed 71 monitors, and below you’ll find our picks for the top 5 budget models that are available for purchase in 2019.

Dell P2417H: The best cheap monitor

Dell P2417H

Dell P2417H – RTINGS.com

RTINGS.com

Type: IPS

Resolution: 1920×1080

The Dell P2417H is the best budget monitor that we’ve tested so far. This 24”, 1080p monitor delivers decent picture quality, and has a great response time and low input lag, perfect for casual gaming. This is also a good monitor for office use, as it has great ergonomics, so it’s easy to place in an ideal viewing position and it looks great when viewed at an angle, thanks to the IPS panel.

This is a pretty bare-bones monitor, with very few additional features. There is a built-in USB hub, with two ports on the back, and two ports on the side, which can be very convenient. It doesn’t have any extra gaming features, like FreeSync, but it has low input lag and a great response time, so it’s still a good choice for casual gamers.

Unfortunately, like most IPS monitors, the Dell P2417H doesn’t look as good in a dark room, and it can’t get very bright, which might be an issue if you’re in a bright room.

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Dell P2217H: The best compact budget monitor

Dell P2217H

Dell P2217H – RTINGS.com

RTINGS.com

Type: IPS

Resolution: 1920×1080

Variable Refresh Rate: No

Size: 22″

If you like the Dell P2417H but want something even smaller and more portable, check out the Dell P2217H. This monitor is a slightly smaller variant of the other Dell, and it offers nearly identical performance.

The small size of this monitor is great for mobile professionals, as it’s relatively compact and easy to carry. There’s no quick release on the stand, though, which isn’t ideal. This monitor has the same inputs as the larger model, including the useful built-in USB hub.

Unfortunately, it has slightly worse black uniformity than the P2417H, which isn’t great for dark room viewing. Otherwise, this is a decent monitor for most uses.

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ViewSonic XG2402: The best cheap gaming monitor

ViewSonic XG2402

ViewSonic XG2402 – RTINGS.com

RTINGS.com

Type: TN

Resolution: 1920×1080

Variable Refresh Rate: FreeSync

Size: 24″

If you want better gaming performance than the Dell P2417H and Dell P2217H offer, the ViewSonic XG2402 is the best cheap gaming monitor that we’ve tested so far. This monitor delivers decent overall picture quality, and it has excellent motion handling and low input lag. This monitor also has a great selection of inputs, and has a built-in USB hub on the back, similar to the two Dells.

This monitor delivers a great gaming experience. It has an excellent 144Hz refresh rate, and it has an impressive response time, so your favorite games have very little blur behind fast-moving objects. This monitor also supports FreeSync variable refresh rate technology, even when connected to a recent NVIDIA graphics card.

Unfortunately, this monitor’s TN panel isn’t great for dark room viewing, and the image degrades when viewed at an angle. Overall, though, this is a great budget gaming monitor that should please most gamers.

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Samsung C27F398: The best budget gaming monitor for a dark room

Samsung C27F398

Samsung C27F398 – RTINGS.com

RTINGS.com

Type: VA

Resolution: 1920×1080

Variable Refresh Rate: FreeSync

Size: 27″

If you want a larger monitor with good dark room performance on a budget, check out the Samsung C27F398. This 27”, 1080p monitor delivers decent overall picture quality, with very good motion handling and great low input lag. The VA panel on this monitor delivers much better dark room viewing than the ViewSonic XG2402, as it produces deep, uniform blacks.

This monitor delivers a good overall gaming experience. It supports AMD’s FreeSync variable refresh rate technology, even when connected via DisplayPort to a recent NVIDIA graphics card. This monitor is limited to a 60Hz refresh rate, though, which might disappoint some gamers.

Unfortunately, like the ViewSonic, the image on this monitor degrades when viewed at an angle, which isn’t ideal for some uses. Overall, though, it’s a good budget gaming monitor.

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Dell U2415: The best budget office monitor

Dell U2415

Dell U2415 – RTINGS.com

RTINGS.com

Type: IPS

Resolution: 1920×1200

Variable Refresh Rate: No

Size: 24″

The Dell U2415 is the best budget office monitor that we’ve tested so far. It delivers decent picture quality, okay motion handling, and low input lag. The 1920×1200 screen is a bit better for multitasking, and the stand has great ergonomics, so it’s easy to place the screen in the ideal viewing position.

Like most IPS monitors, this one has great wide viewing angles. This is great for sharing your screen with someone else, like clients or coworkers. This monitor gets decently bright and has good reflection handling, so there shouldn’t be any issues seeing the screen in a bright room.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look as good when viewed in a dark room, as it has mediocre contrast and bad black uniformity. Overall, though, it’s a good office monitor for most people.

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This guide may have been updated. To see all measurements and the current recommendations for budget monitors, please go here.

Follow me on Twitter. Check out my website.

RTINGS.com RTINGS.com

We purchase our own products and put them under the same test bench so that you can compare the results easily. No cherry-picked units sent by brands. If you buy somethi…

 

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Source: 5 Best Budget Monitors Of 2019

 

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Elementary OS: How I Learned To Stop Tweaking Linux And Love The Workflow

During my first week using elementary OS I felt unusually confined. Shackled by things like no minimize button, no dark mode and no out-of-the-box way to add new themes. I’m always excited to learn new workflows and discover the less popular corners of a new operating system. I love being able to tweak and tweak and tweak. And then I realize I get buried in the customization, distracted by endless choice. My inability to do this immediately is elementary’s biggest drawback to some — and to others its biggest advantage………

Source: Elementary OS: How I Learned To Stop Tweaking Linux And Love The Workflow

How This Former MIT Professor And Google Engineer Used Holograms To Build A $28 Million Startup – Lauren Aratani

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A red laser pointer shining through a raw chicken carcass may not seem like groundbreaking science, but for veteran technologist Mary Lou Jepsen, it’s worth $28 million in funding for her latest startup, Openwater. Jepsen performed the chicken act as part of her August TED Talk to illustrate how her imaging-tech company is building cost-conscious body-scanning technology by using the same components one might find at a science fair. The laser pointer’s light made both skin and bone of the plucked fowl glow, revealing a tumor just under its flesh……..

 

 

 

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Nvidia Shares Slide 17% as Cryptocurrency Demand – Munsif Vengattil & Stephen Nellis, Reuters

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Bengaluru/San Francisco: Chip designer Nvidia Corp on Thursday forecast sales for its fiscal fourth quarter well below Wall Street expectations, pinning the blame on unsold chips piling up with distributors and retailers after the evaporation of the cryptocurrency mining boom. The Santa Clara, California-based company also posted sales that missed expectations for its third quarter. Shares plunged nearly 17% in late trading.

Nvidia chief executive Jensen Huang said Nvidia gaming card prices had risen with cryptocurrency frenzy and the high prices drove some buyers away. As the frenzy receded and card prices came down, Nivida expected sales volumes to grow again as buyers who were priced out came back.

But that process was slower than Nvida expected, Huang said, saying he expects inventories to be at normal levels by the end of the current quarter.

“The crypto hangover lasted longer than we expected,” Huang said on a conference call. “We thought we had done a better job managing the cryptocurrency dynamics,” he later added.

As a result, Nvidia stopped shipping some of its mid-priced chips to retailers, where they are stacking up in warehouses and the backs of stores. The company said its provision for inventories expanded more than five-fold in the fiscal third quarter to $70 million, and that the same provision had more than tripled for the first nine months of its fiscal year to $124 million.

The provisions for inventory lowered Nvidia’s gross margins by 1.8%age points in the quarter to 60.4%, though margins were still up from 59.5% a year earlier. Margins were also held down by $57 million in charges related to its previous generations of chips following the sharp fall-off in cryptocurrency mining demand.

Nvidia also said that its revenue derived from personal computer makers decreased by almost 40% because of lower demand for GPU products targeted for use in cryptocurrency mining.

Nvidia said it expected current-quarter revenue of $2.7 billion, plus or minus 2%, well below analysts’ average estimate of $3.40 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Kinngai Chan, analyst at Summit Insights Group, said the problem was that inventories of Nvidia’s older gaming chips, based on a technology it calls Pascal, were piling up even as demand for new chips released in August was weaker than expected. Chan also said demand was faltering for Nvidia’s chips in data centers, where they are often used for artificial intelligence work such as teaching computers to recognize images.

“But we too are surprised at the below-$3 billion outlook” for the fourth quarter, Chan said.

The trade conflict between the United States and China may also be weighing on Nvidia, analysts said. Tariffs on many Chinese-made goods will rise to 25% starting 1 January.

“Nvidia’s inventory build-up is suggesting that the escalating tariffs have started to pinch producers,” said Haris Anwar, analyst at Investing.com. “The company’s disappointing revenue forecast for the fourth-quarter and plunging retail prices of graphic cards show that the market is adjusting to new realities.”

Last month, rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) blamed dwindling demand for chips from cryptocurrency miners for its lower-than-expected fourth-quarter revenue forecast. AMD’s shares sank 7% after Nvidia posted results after the market closed Thursday. Shares of chipmaker were also down 1% after Nvidia reported.

Revenue from Nvidia’s closely watched data center chips business rose 58% to $792 million, but missed analysts’ estimate of $820.4 million, according to FactSet.

The business powers cloud computing services of customers including Amazon.com Inc.’s Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Corp.’s Azure as well as Alphabet Inc’s Google Cloud.

Nvidia’s net income rose to $1.23 billion, or $1.97 per share, in the third-quarter ended Oct. 28, from $838 million, or $1.33 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, Nvidia earned $1.84 per share,

Total revenue rose 20.7% to $3.18 billion.

Analysts on average had expected revenue of $3.24 billion.

TransferWise Chairman: Distributed Ledger Technology Is Very Hard To Use – Ogwu Osaemezu Emmanuel

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Blockchain technology, which undergirds bitcoin and other digital assets is slowly but steadily making its way into mainstream finance, but some financial institutions remain unconvinced about its potentials. TransferWise, a London-based payments platform has stated it is yet to see anything good in the nascent technology, reported  Fortune on November 19, 2018. TransferWise,  an Estonian developed and UK-based firm that allows clients to send money across 70 countries in a fast and cost-efficient manner, has made it clear it sees nothing good in blockchain technology and as such, will not be joining the distributed ledger technology (DLT) bandwagon anytime soon………….

Read more: https://btcmanager.com/transferwise-chairman-distributed-ledger-technology-is-very-hard-to-use/

 

 

 

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Sprint T-Mobile Merger: A Look At Some Of The Recent Developments – Trefis Team

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T-Mobile recently indicated that its proposed merger with Sprint could close by as early as Q1 2019, although it noted that Q2 remained more likely. Below we take a look at some of the recent developments relating to the $26 billion deal, which was first announced in April. Our interactive dashboard on what’s driving T-Mobile’s valuation details our expectations for the company through the rest of the year and the factors driving our valuation estimate. The merger between the two companies needs to be approved by both the U.S. Department of Justice as well as the Federal Communications Commission…………

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2018/11/20/sprint-t-mobile-merger-a-look-at-some-of-the-recent-developments/#1e441d6d35c5

 

 

 

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China’s Ping An Insurance Firm Partner With Sanya City Authorities to Build DLT-Powered Smart City – Ogwu Osaemezu Emmanuel

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Ping An Insurance Group, a highly reputed China-based insurance corporation has joined forces with the Sanya municipal government to develop a “smart city” that would be powered by blockchain technology, artificial intelligence (AI) and other new technologies,” according to a local news source, People’s Daily on November 14, 2018. Per sources close to the matter, in a bid to contribute its bit to urban development in China, Ping An Group has reportedly inked a strategic agreement with Sanya Municipal People’s Government to construct a “Smart City” run entirely by innovative technologies including the revolutionary blockchain technology, big data, artificial intelligence, and others…………..

Read more: https://btcmanager.com/chinas-insurance-dlt-powered-smart-city/

 

 

 

 

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Xerox Awarded Patent for DLT Based Electronic Document Verification System – Aisshwarya Tiwari

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According to a patent filing published November 13, 2018, by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), American print and digital documents solutions company Xerox has won a patent for a DLT-based auditing system that tracks revisions to electronic documents. Increased Authenticity of Electronic Documents Per the filing, the patent was initially filed on February 16, 2016. The patent explains a blockchain technology-based system for efficient and secure recording of changes made to electronic documents…………..

Read more: https://btcmanager.com/xerox-awarded-patent-dlt-based-electronic-document-verification-system/

 

 

 

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