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Forbes online article: “Big Data and the death of passion”

October 20, 2014 Articles, Media / Op-ed
October 19, 2014 Big Data and the death of passion By Shellie Karabell We live in the “information age” – perhaps too much information – and the consultants are having a field day telling us how to handle it all. “It may not be possible to overstate at this point how important Big Data analytics could be to the business world… what may look like a revolution is really an evolution,” writes David Meer, a New York-based retail sector partner at Strategy& (formerly Booz & Co, now part of PwC) in the company’s online magazine, Strategy & Business. He calls it “the next frontier of a trend toward greater data-driven decision-making that began with the adoption of mainframe computers for business use in the 1960s.” Those, you may remember, were the days of manual typewriters, mimeograph machines, and the Post Office. Meer contends that companies which can use this data in their business decisions will “significantly outperform” their competitors and enter into a virtuous cycle of continuous improvement. The missing link between being snowed under by facts and figures and the optimum output is the “high-value business questions that new sources of data and more powerful analytics can help them…

Short End of the Stick

October 8, 2014 Articles, Letters
Letter to the PAW in response to: Undergraduate Yield Up, Grad Yield Down Published on October 8, 2014 Students of Asian descent at Princeton (and elsewhere in the United States) seem to get the short end of the stick on campus, as highlighted by two articles in the June 4 issue. With respect to the racial composition of the school (“Undergraduate Yield Up, Grad Yield Down”), Asians are touted by school administrators as “minorities” in order to add to the diversity count of the class. Yet it is also well known that administrators place a higher bar for Asian students in admission to college, where they have to outperform not only their minority peers on entrance examinations (by large margins) but also whites (as highlighted by the research of sociology professor Thomas Espenshade *72) to have the same chance of admission. And on campus, even though the single largest racial minority group is Asians, discussions about race, discrimination, stereotypes, etc. never seem to include them (“Student Dispatch: Encounters With Racism, Captured on a Whiteboard”); yet there are many negative prejudices that the group has to deal with. Too bad the whiteboard campaign did not include an Asian student holding a sign proclaiming:…

Canadian politics

October 4, 2014 Articles, Letters
Letter to the Economist (Oct 4th 2014) SIR – Stephen Harper and his Conservative party will have a hard time staying in power after the next federal election in 2015. This is not because of scandals and voter fatigue with the current government, or of intrinsic liberal values of Canadians, but because the Conservative movement is not aligned with the socio-demographic realities of Canada. Among the three national political parties, the Conservatives have the lowest shares in Parliament (i.e. MPs and senators) of women (22%); French speakers (12%); and ethnic minorities (10%) in their party, in a country where the French-speaking and ethnic minorities each account for about a quarter of the population. Simply put, the Conservatives do not look (or sound) like the face of Canada. Kai Chan Dubai Letter as it appeared in the Economist (online edition only). Copyright © The Economist Newspaper Limited 2014. All rights reserved.

It starts at home

September 18, 2014 Articles, Letters
Letter to the Globe & Mail (September 18, 2014) It starts at home Twenty-plus years ago I would have been one of Hieu Ngo’s interview subjects (Young Gang Members: Their Numbers Are Increasing, But Why?– Sept. 16). The gangs described in the report are reminiscent of the groups I associated with as a teen. Although each person who has has stumbled in life as a teenager (or an adult) has a complex story, the one overriding factor that is almost universally common is the absence of human capital at home. Many of the social constructs that middle-class families take for granted – e.g. parents reading to children; discussion of life or politics at the dinner table – are largely absent from immigrant families, especially those from less developed countries. If we want to build a better society, it all starts at home. Kai Chan, Dubai Letter as it appeared in the G&M © Copyright 2014 CTVglobemedia Publishing Inc.  All Rights Reserved.

Qatar Today article: “Trading with our neighbours”

September 11, 2014 Articles, Media / Op-ed
SEPTEMBER 10, 2014 Trading with our neighbours by Qatar TodayBy Aparna Shivpuri,"Why has the profile of intra-GCC trade remained almost constant (in proportion to total trade) over the years? We go behind the scenes to find out what’s holding back the bloc."The issue of boosting intra-regional trade within the GCC has been in existence since the Council was established in May 1981. The six GCC countries – Bahrain, UAE, KSA, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait – have implemented numerous measures to push this agenda forward. Even though trade flow within the Council has gone up, it hasn’t achieved the desired results. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in 1980 trade flows among the GCC countries were at approximately $8 billion (QR29 billion), which was about 4% of the region’s total trade with the rest of the world. By 2008, it had reached $67 billion (QR244 billion), which was equal to 6% of the total trade. According to data from the Bahrain Ministry of Industry and Commerce, at the end of 2012 intra-GCC trade was close to $100 billion (QR364 billion).According to a report by Booz & Company, the European Union’s common market generated 2.75 million jobs over a 15-year period…




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