Dayton PHP Meetup Tomorrow – Git and Gitflow

GitLogo-FeaturedImageOmniSpear is excited to host Dayton PHP and their upcoming meeting on Git and Gitflow.   The presentation will take place tomorrow at our conference room from 6:00-8:00 p.m. with special guest speaker, Nate Denlinger.  Nate has been a developer for over 9 years and will be giving us an overview of the ins and outs of Git and workflow processes.  We are excited to learn the basics of streamlining with GIT as well as learning about real life experiences during the round-table.  For more information , or to RSVP, check out the Dayton PHP’s event site.

OmniSpear Welcomes Ryan Harris!

Ryan Portfolio ShowWe are happily expanding the team here at OmniSpear and proudly welcome our newest member, Ryan Harris.  Ryan is a recent graduate from the School of Advertising Art and has been interning with us over the Spring.  He will soon be joining the company as our official employee this summer, and we are eager for him to get started.  Ryan will come as an addition to our art-minded (and techie) crew at the office, specializing on the front-end of web presence.  Our team had a chance to attend the SAA Portfolio show this past Friday to cheer on Ryan as he debuted his portfolio and final projects for graduation.  We are so proud of the work he created and know he will bring that same creativity to our clients.  Welcome Ryan!

Chrome’s Creative Take On LEGO

Chrome and LEGO have teamed up to create a unique and fun building tool, guaranteed to bring the kid and hidden architect out of anyone. With its clear 3D graphics and numerous options of brick sizes and colors, you can spend hours building masterpieces without having to ever tear apart and clean up as with the traditional toy.  The platform itself is very seamless and bursting with animation, allowing the user to retain clear views of their creation from whichever angle the bricks are rotated and stacked upon each other.  The possibilities of building are pretty vast and I must say that even without having ever owned a LEGO set, I found myself hooked.  Take a look at this link to start creating for yourself (please don’t blame me for hours of lost time):

http://www.buildwithchrome.com/

The program even features a builder academy to train the LEGO newbies on the tips and techniques to building like a pro.  As you progress through the lessons, you learn the art of the LEGO, including the hidden gems of the program.  You also have the option to explore other people’s creations from around the states with a map that shows you exactly where that person is located.  Meaning, once you create your build, you can share your project with the world.   It was surprising to see so many detailed models out there, each very different from the other.  I must say my starter build failed in comparison to the pros, but nonetheless, I had a great time testing the software.

legoserverI did also learn throughout my research of this program, that Google has had a longtime connection with LEGO.  Their original storage was even housed in a LEGO unit as a cheap cabinet alternative.  This unit can still be found at Standford University today, and now the Chrome can pay homage to the beloved toy with their own online twist.

Marketing And Its Relationship To Information Technology

Marketing Meets ITHow often does the marketing department of a firm need to understand and utilize tools of technology today?  The answer is-a lot.  In this day and age, marketers need to not only understand the customer through research and surveying, but they also need to hone in on information in an organized way.  Interpreting data requires many technical skills that often people do not realize. The ability to create graphs electronically, run data queries and utilize a slew of programs to assemble a perfect slide deck, are vital for marketers.  In turn, the marketing goals of the business inherently shape the overall decision makers.

You won’t find a marketing department in many of the larger firms without a CRM, or customer relationship management, software in place.  These programs are often heavily customized during use to extract the most pertinent data collected through research of populations/customer bases, and analyzed for trending.  A marketing professional must truly understand what information they are looking for and know how to get the information they need – i.e. know the software inside and out.  Successful analysis requires core knowledge of a company’s current situation and department-wide goals, as well as some detailed IT-related skills.

Currently, IT departments are working more closely with their marketing arms to understand the customer, as well as their separate channels and ultimate goals. By appreciating these factors, businesses can focus on how to approach customers and the most important products to invest time and energy creating. Organizing a unified goal among departments is key for businesses to prosper, and sharing this important information requires knowledge of technology and its programs.

For a great article detailing the relationship between marketing and IT, please click on the below link:

http://www.computerweekly.com/feature/IT-and-marketing-working-together-for-business-success

Can Data Mining Be Used For Disease Tracking?

Data mining has become a topic of heavy debate over the years, as many find it intrusive of their personal habits and information.  While many arguments are made on either side of the debate, an interesting new spin on the use of data mining has come to the table.  Epidemiologist Caroline Buckee of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, has uniquely forecasted data mining trends to track the spread of malaria across regions near Lake Victoria in Africa.  From her research of data towers, Caroline has been able to interpret cell phone usage information to track the spread of the life-threatening disease.

How was she able to do this simply by studying these cell data figures?  The first step was tracking the largest data tower in the region to study the travel patterns of people to and from areas near Lake Victoria.  What Caroline discovered, is that those people making calls or sending texts from the main tower were traveling 16 times more than others in the region.  Additionally, this same group of individuals were 3 times as likely to travel to Lake Victoria.   With higher exposure to the area of water and surrounding tea plantation, these travelers were prone to getting bites from nearby mosquitos and inadvertently spreading the disease at an increased rate.

big.data_.cheap_.phone_.2x299In hopes of alleviating future epidemics, Caroline plans to not only map out additional affected zones with this knowledge, but to also help prevent the spread by informing the population of nearby danger zones.  The goal is to be able to use  data extracted from cell towers to send preventive messages to travelers in compromised areas via their devices. These alerts can inform people of areas to avoid and safety measures to help contain diseases, such as areas where mosquito netting is a necessity.   We are curious to see what other ways technology can be used in fields and even countries we didn’t think about before.  In a topic that angers most consumers, this is a new spin that is definitely going to change the field.

http://www.technologyreview.com/featuredstory/513721/big-data-from-cheap-phones/