One of the aspects of my professional career I am most passionate about, is applying technology to make the world a better place.
Another little fact about me is that my second child is the same age as the original iPad! It launched whilst I was on maternity leave, which I subsequently purchased and complained about the lack of quality applications available to distract my two-year old during baby nap times. To which my husband promptly responded with: “So stop complaining and go write some apps for kids“. Challenge accepted.
I taught myself the world of xCode and built the world’s first iPad YouTube application for kids – presenting only approved videos and blocking the unwanted and often inappropriate “recommended videos” so kids couldn’t find themselves watching videos of Thomas the Tank Engine being blown up by an artistic teenager with a webcam.
Not long after it launched, institutions from around the world working with children with disabilities started contacting me asking to sponsor their iPad programs. The iPad was having a dramatic impact on the way children were able to learn and communicate with teachers and carers, and I was super excited to be able to help!
I was equally excited when I saw the announcement from my colleagues that we are working with Bancroft, a major provider of specialized services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the US, to put mobile applications securely in the hands of classroom teachers, clinical staff and school administrators to better engage with students and improve the learning experience.
The IBM Information on Demand event kicked off this morning with inspiring stories in to what customers are achieving today and a taste of the technological innovations of tomorrow. We were encouraged to “Think BIG”, inspired by Conoco Philips’ use of satellite analytics to track and predict movement of icebergs, to Premier Inc. using healthcare analytics to better understand the cause of infections contracted in hospital in order to predict, prevent and save lives.
But there were three key notes that stood out from the keynote that I just had to share.
This post is inspired by my beloved Essendon Bombers. Who, after showing significant promise at the start of the season beating the top contenders for the championship, have since suffered injury after injury after injury, with nothing short of humiliating defeats in the lead up to the finals.
Analytics in the world of sport is not a new concept, and yet many teams are still to realise its full potential. Much like the world of business, sporting teams around the world are looking to analytics to make the patterns and trends in human performance and game strategy that may be invisible to the human eye, visible.
Watching the finale of MasterChef last night I was amazed at how in the space of 12 weeks Andy had completely changed the course of his career. From sparky to chef he’s done what many are too afraid to attempt – throwing out years of training and experience and starting from scratch. Of course, he’s had the good fortune of MasterChef to help him get a kick start on his new career.
For others wanting to change careers, it’s not that simple. Gaining qualifications in another area of expertise takes time – and with bills to pay and families to feed, leaving your job to return to University is simply not an option. Fortunately, providers such as Open Universities Australia (OUA) are helping students achieve their education and career goals through online programs where they can study anytime, anywhere, and at a pace that suits them.
In order to deliver flexible, quality courses, OUA needs a comprehensive understanding of its students – what they’re interested in learning and identifying students who require additional academic support or services to complete their education. Enter the role of Business Analytics.