In this era where public and private sectors are going through rapid digital transformation, gathering huge amounts of data is critical to better decision-making. Understanding the connections between data sets and deriving meaning is essential to deriving actionable insights. However, collecting data and analysing it manually is not practical or feasible as the volumes are far too massive for humans to handle.
However, significant insights do not necessarily mean gathering new data; insights can be drawn from existing data by reframing the problem and visualising it differently – such as a graph.
Unlike most other ways of looking at data, graphs are designed to express relatedness. Graph databases can uncover patterns that are difficult to detect using traditional representations such as tables. An increasing number of companies are using graph databases to solve a variety of connected data problems.
Neo4j is a native graph database platform that provides connections and relationships between data to provide relevant context and actionable insights for organisations and communities. Different from traditional databases, which tend to merely collect data by arranging them in rows, columns and tables, Neo4j has a flexible structure defined by stored relationships between data records. By using graph databases, organisations can leverage data relationships to generate competitive advantage and significant business insights for different purposes from fraud detection to identity and access management.
OpenGov Asia had the opportunity to speak exclusively to Nik Vora, Vice President of Asia-Pacific at Neo4j. Nik has over 12 years of experience in the tech industry and started working at Neo4j as the company was looking to expand its business to APAC regions. In his current role, he leads the APAC business to establish solutions for organisations and communities to view the connections and relationships amongst a large amount of data for better decision-making.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly slowed down the pace of most businesses, the crisis also accelerated digital transformation and forced both public and private sectors to adapt to the new normal through tech adoption. As most projects hinge on data, organisations across the spectrum have evolved to capture a massive amount of data from the citizens or customers.
For Nik, capturing data is only the first part of the solution. The next step is making sense of the data to gain insights that can intelligently inform action. Neo4j enables customers to incrementally achieve a variety of outcomes using the context and the relationship of the data available to them.
In the banking sector, traditional methods of fraud detection are inadequate to identify increasingly sophisticated fraudsters. Bad cyber actors have developed a variety of ways to elude discovery, both by working together and by leveraging various other means of constructing false identities.
Neo4j helps better detect fraud as graph databases offer new methods of exposing rings and other sophisticated scams with a high degree of accuracy, and are also capable of stopping advanced fraud scenarios in real-time.
Three of the most damaging types of fraud are first-party bank fraud, insurance fraud and e-commerce fraud. While these are three entirely different types of fraud, they all have one very important thing in common – a deception that relies upon layers of misdirection that can be uncovered through connected analysis. In each of these examples, graph databases offer a significant opportunity to augment existing methods of fraud detection, making evasion substantially more difficult.
At the same time, Neo4j can be used to significantly shorten a bank account opening process from days to less than 30 minutes. Their technology completely changes e-banking as it accelerates the process, provides convenience without compromising security. Neo4j ensures all security checks for the customers before someone has access to the banking system.
In the public sector, Neo4j assists law enforcement and immigration as well as aiding governments in their smart nation strategy. Currently, governments are predominantly using Neo4j for COVID-19 contact tracing – stopping the spread of contagion requires connections of data from a multitude of different sectors.
In contact tracing, providing an easy interface to visualise data can help public health officers understand transmission chains and accelerate the process (contact tracing). Neo4j initially focuses on data modelling, remaining as close as possible to the fundamentals of the disease and its environment.
At the same time, governments can use these connections of data to understand their citizens to promote skill improvement in this digital era. Neo4j provides solutions to a wide variety of problems that deal with connections.
As a real example of how the company gives solutions in the public domain, Nik elaborated their involvement in the Panama Papers. A lot of the findings were orchestrated by a global network of investigative journalists who had access to 11.5 million documents. The key was to uncover connections among those documents to reveal secrets that were possibly not in the public domain.
However, human resources were inadequate to effectively analyse the connections of 11.5 million documents. Neo4j provided the journalists with an interface to connect all documents and make the connections visible – which made the investigation far more productive.
Neo4j can help anti-money laundering programmes as graph technology can be used to deliver a holistic view of the various entities involved in financial crime and the relationships between these entities and expose hidden, fraudulent connections. Sophisticated technologies have been adopted to give the alert for potential money-laundering activities, but the investigation is still done manually.
Nik explained that Neo4j utilises data from the existing technology, accepts all the alerts and finds deep context of how all the data connected. As a result, the false-positive cases of money laundering have been cut in half and there is far more accuracy in determining genuine cases. This improves efficiency as agents can process the most likely cases instead of wasting time on wild goose chases.
Another example of Neo4j prowess is its application in auto racing cars. Their prerace preparation offers a simulation of likely scenarios – as there are millions of possible combinations of what could happen, car companies use the concept of digital twins to visualise possibilities. Other sectors, including oil and gas companies and major supply-chain organisations, simulate their entire business as a digital twin using applications built primarily on Neo4j. Neo4j has a rich ecosystem of partner tech companies whose purpose is to built visualisation.
Neo4j currently has tremendous global demand, but APAC operations are unprecedented due to the high number of systems, devices and people in the region. Over the last five years, the centre of innovation is heavily moving towards the Asia Pacific. For the next 12 months, Neo4j aims to cater to its customers’ demands and tackle increasingly complex challenges in real-time.
In closing, Nik emphasised the importance of open source to Neo4j as it directly leads to a position of responsibility and benefit of skills and training. The company focuses on skill enablement across APAC. They want to ensure developers have access to the newest and the best in the use cases to be able to generate ideas and prototypes for businesses.
As the world adopts more advanced technologies, Neo4j will focus on empowering developers, universities and schools to ensure more people are aware of the power, versatility and effectiveness of graph database platforms.
The pandemic has radically transformed education across the world. With the unprecedented need for virtual learning, students are taught remotely via a plethora of digital platforms. With this sudden shift away from the classroom in many parts of the globe, many wonder whether the adoption of online learning will continue to persist post-pandemic and how such a movement might affect the global education industry.
OpenGov Asia had the opportunity to speak exclusively to Marc Alexis Rémond, Vice President of Sales, Meeting and Learning Experiences, and regional business leader for Barco Meeting Experience solutions.
Marc Alexis is a seasoned professional and entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience selling and marketing technology products as well as in providing consultancy services. In his extensive career, Marc has written many technology blogs, contributed numerous business articles and spoken at multiple industry conferences on digital transformation and the future of the workplace.
In the exclusive interview, Marc stresses that online learning readiness is still poor in the education sector. Education institutions need to restructure their content so that it can be delivered via online platforms. Marc is convinced that those platforms are not specifically designed or natively built for teaching and learning but are built for meetings.
Efficient and effective learning and teaching platforms must be developed and created expressly for the use of educational institutions. Marc believes that the future of education systems will be hybrid, indicating that there will be a mix of students in the classroom and a portion of students learning from home.
When this takes place, there will almost certainly be significant challenges. Attention allocation, for instance, could be a challenge. A teacher may forget or neglect remote students over those physically present in class. As a result, the level of interactivity or engagement between remote students and teachers could fluctuate with negative outcomes.
In light of this, Marc shared their latest educational platform ‘weConnect’ which allows educational organisations to take the next step towards transformational teaching and training. Barco has collaborated with the world’s leading business schools, universities and corporate learning and development departments, to develop this powerful learning solution.
Its capabilities in an educational environment easily surpass those of video conferencing tools used today. With its innovative and differentiating teaching and learning experience, it allows interaction in real-time with learners, in any set-up to deliver new levels of engagement, learning outcomes and retention. Through this cloud-based platform for education, Barco strives to develop and supply technologies to improve online and learning experiences.
The platform promises to be an essential and reliable cornerstone of a learning institution’s digital strategy as it promotes collaboration and active learning, onsite and online.
With an intuitive user interface, users can launch spot polls or quizzes to encourage active participation and collaboration. The platform can get audience feedback with silent questions and user analytics after class to optimise future classes and learning outcomes.
Educators and learners can share content and participate in class discussions using any device. The platform aims to minimise and standardise classroom infrastructure with a solution that securely integrates into a campus network and Wi-Fi, supporting single sign-on (SSO) and API connectors to legacy systems and can automate dynamic room configuration and plan sessions.
Pedagogy technology in this space needs to be brought together to be part of that digital transformation strategy. Marc is convinced it is vital to integrate pedagogical aspects to anything related to students and the practice of teaching and learning.
Marc touched on the topic of digital enrolment and orientation which can now be done through leveraging online learning platforms. Students around the world can apply to their preferred university from another country, across all borders because of online enrolment. He suggests that all learning institutions should consider adopting online platform enrolment to give students across the globe better access to high-quality education. This would benefit not only the educational sector but also the economy.
Overall, the internet has transformed how we work, play, communicate, administrate and, most importantly, learn today. Almost all barriers to education have dissolved in the digital age. Marc believes that innovative, efficient and online learning platforms would be a key differentiator. The educational sector must start developing and highlighting online platforms for the betterment of the education system globally.
In the end, Marc is positive that online education platforms and digital initiatives will redefine – for the better – the course of learning and education. They are a safe solution to traditional learning and teaching methods in critical times and to those with limited access to a physical classroom. They are the future.
Jan van Houtte is the Vice President for Barco’s Learning Experience business unit. He works towards helping enterprises, business schools, and universities with the digitalisation and transformation of their training and education programmes. Jan believes in the power of technology to help faculty and trainers to increase engagement in their courses and training and to enable new and transformational use cases. Before leading the Learning Experience business unit, Jan held multiple product management positions in Barco and Philips.
As lifelong learning becomes more and more important for working adults who want to succeed in today´s ever-changing, competitive world, business schools must adapt their way of teaching to fulfil learners’ needs. Jan listed below some key considerations to reflect on, on the journey to designing optimal lifelong learning environments for adult learners.
“Lifelong learning, as stated in one of our previous articles, complements traditional formal education. It refers to the self-development of an individual and the accumulation of new knowledge and skills on a continuous basis. It can be an initiative for personal development, such as exploring a new hobby or for professional development – a key component of accelerating or changing one´s career trajectory.”
“When talking about lifelong learning in a formal context, we talk about adult learning which differs from the classic child-teacher interaction in learning. Andragogy, or adult learning theory, is the term we use to refer to the methods and principles used in adult education and is based on the premise that adults learn differently than children. Hence, adult learners have their own specific needs, which should be considered when developing programmes,” said Jan.
Jan also advocates using technology as a tool powering pedagogy, driven by learning objectives and desired outcomes. It is about being open, innovative and thinking of new, better ways of learning. The modern times we are living and working in require methods to adapt and be more flexible, more varied, easily accessible and interactive.
Learn by doing
Rather than listening to lectures and memorising theoretical content, adult learners require a different kind of learning environment. They need to be involved in direct experiences through active participation and engagement. According to the adult learning theory, adults learn best by doing. They benefit most from experiential learning strategies, like case studies and simulations. These offer them the opportunity to step away from abstract concepts and gain the problem-solving knowledge and skills to deal with real-life cases.
Time and resources
Adults often have neither the time nor the need to engage in extended formal learning experiences. They have jobs, families and a long list of responsibilities and obligations. For them, education is preferably an activity that they can easily fit into their hectic schedules. That’s why flexible, virtual, hybrid or blended learning are modes that work best for this category of learners. Additionally, a user-friendly uncomplicated learning environment is preferable.
No tabula rasa
For adults, it is important to be recognised for who they are: individual human beings with a lifetime of experiences and a vast array of acquired skills and talents to draw on. No tabula rasa. It means that instruction should consider this wide range of backgrounds and multiple learning styles. Effective learning for adults recognises and capitalises on the knowledge they bring to the table. How? Via interactivity, active participation and autonomy. Therefore, teaching methods must be adapted.
The future of lifelong learning is increasingly flexible and digital
Added to the complexities of adult learning is the digital acceleration because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which had a subsequent impact on the delivery and format of learning. Participants have now seen that learning can take place just as well outside the traditional classroom, standard hours or usual content formats.
In a 2020 journal article Bodo Schlegelmilch (Marketing Professor at WU Vienna and Chair at AMBA & BGA) states that ´we are witnessing a digital paradigm shift, which has vastly increased knowledge about the requirements of potential students, enabled the development of highly customised content, and widened the options for delivering learning material to students´.
He continues, adding that individuals ´want to learn wherever (e.g., on board a plane), however (e.g., by playing a business game), and whenever (e.g., at 2 a.m.) it best fits their individual needs. They also want to learn to be a stimulating and enjoyable experience. Commuting to a business school located somewhere in a city, struggling to find a parking space, and listening to a traditional lecture hardly fit this picture, said Bodo Schlegelmilch.
Considering the specific needs of adult learners and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on education, business schools must adapt their offering and facilitate lifelong learning in a flexible and digital learning environment.
How can business schools facilitate lifelong learning?
Business schools can successfully facilitate lifelong learning by designing flexible and varied learning paths alongside the traditional MBA and master’s programmes, paths that adults enrolling into programmes beyond their student years can realistically attend.
“At Barco, we consider the best option to be blended learning programmes. Blended learning means combining live-virtual sessions, in-class sessions and self-paced learning tools – multimedia or analog. There are two important aspects coming into view: flexibility and variety. For lifelong learners, the live sessions, whether virtual or onsite, should have a flexible schedule, from lunch-break sessions to evenings or weekends. Overall, learning should be varied in terms of activities and content: live discussions, quizzes and polls, live group work, short videos, slides or e-books – the possibilities are endless,” adds Jan.
Offering varied delivery and content methods in a structured manner can improve attention and retention for the participants. But such paths not only have a positive impact on the learner but also on the schools.
The advantages of integrating virtual solutions in lifelong learning programmes
There are many advantages to initiatives that drive flexible and diverse lifelong learning programmes in business schools, giving way to a wealth of possibilities.
- Diverse pool of students
Thanks to education technology solutions, business schools are able to expand farther than ever, teaching to a global pool of students and giving access to new segments of learners. It will no longer matter where a student is geographically, but academically. It will help bring together into one virtual classroom the best talents worldwide.
As learning keeps transcending more borders, the location of business schools will matter less. Their brand and reputation will have to precede it to stay ahead of the competition. Offering flexible and varied programmes directed at adult learners will present them as innovative institutions and increase their chances of a thriving future.
The ability to collect data from education technology tools will help teachers understand how well a course is being assimilated by participants. Gathering data opens the door to a more personalised learning journey and engagement analytics can improve students’ performance, the teachers’ efficiency, and the overall learning experience.
- Sustainability & social responsibility
Enabling virtual methods for lifelong adult learners supports sustainability and social responsibility – two important values in modern society. Virtual methods will lower the carbon footprint of the schools, decrease costs for schools and learners, and make learning more inclusive due to its improved availability.
Barco weConnect supports business schools in their lifelong learning strategy
Barco supports the initiative of business schools to offer successful lifelong learning programmes in an optimal learning environment. The Barco weConnect virtual classroom solution is suitable for both distance and hybrid teaching and learning, hence perfect for the flexible approach required by today´s adult learners. It offers a front-row experience to every participant, enabling fast and effective information acquirement. Participants can share content, break out into working groups, vote in polls and respond to quizzes. They will enjoy an engaging, interactive experience, across any device.
Jan states that one of the main advantages Barco is particularly proud of is that weConnect enables two-way engagement. The solution enables open-line discussions in a moderated, controlled and meaningful way. The healthcare market is extremely demanding, and the selection of weConnect shows the robustness of the Barco solution. In general, he notices an increased interest in Barco’s weConnect. These changing times are an accelerator for virtual classrooms.
“The data and analytics provided by Barco WeConnect will help adjust pedagogical methods, optimise future classes and overall enhance learning outcomes,” concludes Jan.
Join one of BARCO’s demo sessions or read more about how the Barco weConnect solution can enable successful learning experiences in your business school.
The Nio Fusion 12MP (MDNC-12130) display is designed to combine PACS and breast images on one workstation, so you don’t need to work on a cluttered desk with complex configurations and multiple portrait displays. A Nio Fusion 12MP will represent both 2D and 3D images fluidly, brightly and in detail, further helping you to speed up your reading sessions. A set of unique integrated clinical tools improve reading ergonomics and support efficient workflow for static and dynamic imaging.
- Medical grade display
- Excellent uniformity correction
- Perfect representation of calibrated colours and greyscales
Diagnostic versatility at your fingertips:
- Multimodality display for PACS and breast imaging
- 12MP screen resolution and Uniform Luminance Technology
- Accurate and consistent colours and greyscales
- Integrated tools to support workflow and improve ergonomics
- Automated QA and compliance tests
Want to know more? Watch this video to learn more!
New technology could help cities around the world improve people’s lives while saving billions of dollars. A suite of free, open-source software model creates maps to help understand the links between nature and human wellbeing. Governments, non-profits, international lending institutions, and corporations all manage natural resources for multiple uses so they must evaluate tradeoffs between development and conservation.
The software enables decision-makers to assess quantified tradeoffs associated with alternative management choices and to identify areas where investment in natural capital can enhance human development and conservation. The toolset includes distinct ecosystem service models designed for terrestrial, freshwater, marine, and coastal ecosystems, as well as several helper tools to assist with locating and processing input data and with understanding and visualising outputs.
The software uses spatially explicit biophysical and socio-economic models so users can quantify and map the way various urban designs can impact multiple urban services, such as water management, heat island mitigation and mental health benefits. By showing the costs and benefits to communities by socioeconomic status and vulnerability, the software helps design cities that are better for both people and nature.
The models are based on production functions that define how changes in an ecosystem’s structure and function are likely to affect the flows and values of ecosystem services across a land- or a seascape. The models account for both service supply and the location and activities of people who benefit from services
By 2050, over 70% of the world’s people are projected to live in cities, in the U.S., more than 80% already do. As the global community becomes increasingly urban, cities are looking for ways to design with sustainability in mind. This software could be a part of the solution as it helps design cities that are better for both people and nature.
Developers and city planners are increasingly interested in green infrastructures, such as tree-lined paths and community gardens, that provide a stream of benefits to people. But if planners don’t have detailed information about where a path might encourage the most people to exercise or how a community garden might buffer a neighbourhood from flood risk while helping people recharge mentally, they cannot strategically invest in nature.
The researchers attempted to answer three crucial questions with this software: where in a city is nature providing what benefits to people, how much of each benefit it is providing and who is receiving those benefits. The software is the first of its kind for cities and allows for the combination of environmental data, like temperature patterns, with social demographics and economic data, like income levels.
Users can input their city’s datasets into the software or access a diversity of open global data sources, from The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) satellites to local weather stations. The new software joins the existing software suite, a set of tools designed for experts to map and model the benefits that nature provides to people.
To test the efficacy of the software, the team applied the software in multiple cities around the world. In many cases, they worked with local partners to understand priority questions. In Paris, candidates in a municipal election were campaigning on the need for urban greenery, while in Minneapolis, planners were deciding how to repurpose underused golf course land.
Cities, more than any other ecosystems, are designed by people so everyone needs to be more thoughtful about how to design the places where most people spend their time. City governments can bring all of nature’s benefits to residents and visitors. They can address inequities and build more resilient cities, resulting in better long-term outcomes for people and nature.
Cybersecurity is front and centre in the current global VUCA environment coupled with the acceleration of digital adoption importance by almost all countries. Society at large is more reliant on technology than ever before and there is no sign that this trend will slow.
With the major transition of work, commerce and life online, opportunities for bad cyber actors have risen dramatically. As people conduct meetings, shop, work, access entertainment and banking online, data leaks and theft is more likely. Governments around the world are paying more attention to cyber resilience and putting into place stronger and more robust security measures.
Singapore, like other countries, too, has been focused on boosting its cyber preparedness and national resiliency. With the regulatory, commercial and reputational risk of cybersecurity issues in the nation increasing, the public and private sectors must implement a strong cybersecurity framework comprised of policies, procedures, and practices to ensure the identification, protection, and detection of cybersecurity threats, as well as the adequate response and recovery from cybersecurity incidents.
Singapore is, in fact, one of the countries leading the charge in the region and has implemented a slew of initiatives to manage and mitigate the country’s increasing cybersecurity threats.
Cybersecurity and Information Centre of Excellence
With working-from-home becoming the norm for many people in the midst of the CVOID-19 pandemic, it has also been the reason that many Singaporean organisations have fallen victim to cyber-attacks. A report had stated that about eight in 10 public- and private-sector organisations here attributed such a working arrangement to a rise in cyber-attacks across the board.
To combat this, a new Cybersecurity and Information Centre of Excellence will be established to improve exchanges among Asean defence establishments against cyber-attacks, disinformation, and misinformation threats.
Last week, ASEAN officials adopted a declaration that reaffirmed the regional group’s commitment to tackling prevailing and emerging transboundary security threats in the region. The officials recommitted to strengthening regional cooperation for a swift and strong recovery from the COVID-19 situation.
Cyber Security Masterplan
The Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) launched a cyber-security master plan early on for operational technology (OT). The plan aims to improve cross-sector response to cyber threats in the OT environment while also strengthening partnerships with industry and stakeholders. The OT Cybersecurity Masterplan outlines key initiatives addressing people, processes, and technology to improve the cybersecurity postures of the CII owners and organisations that operate OT systems.
Last year the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) issued numerous alerts about surging cyber hostilities such as tech support scams and the emergence of threat actors capitalising on COVID-19 as scammers introduced new schemes almost on a monthly basis. These included e-commerce scams involving forged police reports and others promoting fraudulent job opportunities on e-commerce platforms.
To raise public awareness about scams, a Singapore-based cybersecurity company, organised the summit on digital risk, an online conference featuring keynote speakers from the United Nations International Computing Centre with global market research and other advisory company.
The organising company has investigated over 1,000 cyber incidents worldwide to date and has collaborated with international law enforcement agencies such as INTERPOL and Europol.
Statistics shared at the summit shows the number of scam- and phishing-related violations detected has increased by an all-time high of 88% year-on-year in 2020. This is the highest rate in comparison to other regions, with Europe accounting for 39%, the Commonwealth of Independent States accounting for 35%, and the Middle East accounting for 27.5%.
Cyber Risk Management Project
At the Asia Cyber Risk Summit, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced the Cyber Risk Management Project (CRMP). The CRMP facilitates the systematic collection and modelling of cyber risks data by bringing together government bodies (MAS and CSA), public institutions (including the Nanyang Technological University) and a number of other private organisations. The initiative’s focus is on fostering research and development into cyber threat assessment tools as well as encouraging the use of cyber risk insurance.
These recent cyber security initiatives are part of the government’s ongoing efforts to reach out to individuals, the private sector, and universities to raise security awareness and develop the necessary skills and mindset to become a secure, Smart Nation.
Barco’s SecureStream is a media streaming solution that makes sharing content from the control room to external stakeholders (and vice versa) easy and secure. An addition to Barco’s TransForm N and CMS control room and collaboration products, SecureStream uses a very intuitive user interface that allows control room operators to drag and drop video or data sources into a channel that can be pushed to field staff or external experts.
From the overview of available sources, control room operators can simply drag and drop content into a SecureStream channel and then provide the needed link to the receivers. The content can be video, data, or even a CMS perspective (a group of content that logically belongs together). The remote end-user can use the web browser of his or her personal mobile device to view the shared content.
Securely share content beyond the control room:
- Extremely easy to use, with CMS integration
- Drag and drop sources into a streaming channel
- Streaming channel available on web browser of any mobile device
- Security at the heart, using both on-premise and cloud technology
- Securely stream back into the control room
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What if you could bring even the most irregularly shaped objects to life? Through the artistic play with light, projection mapping creates the optical illusion of movement. It turns common objects into attention-grabbing stages and transforms virtually any surface into unique dynamic displays.
In your city, anything can be your canvas: on the street or inside, a museum, a big building or a small alley, on any surface. Bring your town to life with image and light, and attract more visitors – even from a distance. Discover what Barco projection mapping can mean for your city
It’s technological magic – magical technology.
Want to know more? Watch this video to learn more!