Editorial Pointers

Editorial Pointers

We’ve devoted many pages of this magazine to the most effective ways to handle, store, secure, and explore the mammoth volume of information now available at our fingertips. Over the years, the searching technologies have advanced, user needs have diversified, and the focus of late has been turned to analytical tools to uncover concealed patterns in the data and the best methods for interpreting and using them. Through is all, the whirlwind of info keeps gathering strengths and power, leaving business and scientific opportunity in its wake.

This month’s special section presents an authentic view of the data mining field, with articles detailing major trends and emerging opportunities for applying powerful analytic tools and technologies to turn mountains of data into useful information and valuable business intelligence. The section was steered by two noted figures on the data mining front lines – Usama Fayyad, the president and CEO of digiMine and Ramasamy Uthurusamy, the general director of Emerging Technologies at General Motors – who caution our ability to capture and store data still far exceeds our ability to process and exploit it.

Also in this issue we focus on topics illustrating how technology increasingly influences the way we live, work, and think. Sometimes that influence has roots in the most unlikely places. Swarm intelligence, for example, was inspired by the working ways of insects. Peter Tarasewich and Patrick McMullen explain how insect behavior offers a unique perspective on ways to apply technology to solve problems practically and efficiently.

Why are women more reluctant than men to shop online? Craig Van Slyke, Christie Comunale, and France Belanger contend companies would do well to understand the reasons women often turn from Web-based purchases if they hope to tap into this very lucrative customer base. Cultural differences in Western and Asian business cultures that should prove highly valuable to any company involved in international e-business.

Coltman et al. clear some the misconceptions about e-business, claiming it is more evolutionary than revolutionary. And Clayton Looney and Debabroto Chatterjee tell how the traditional brick-and-mortar brokerage houses are watching – with trepidation – the shinning emergence of click-and-mortat e-brokerships.

Author: Diane Crawford

Source: Communications of the ACM


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