Students help build customer service

We just said goodbye to two excellent summer students, one undergraduate and one post grad masters. They have been working on a customer project using IBM’s cognitive computing system, Watson.

The Cognitive Adventurer – David Ralph

"Students

David Ralph is a Masters student having graduated with a Bachelors degree from the School of Computing, University of Portsmouth. Responsible for the development of the API and the backend services. David enjoyed using Bluemix to rapidly create the customer service and in particular the Watson cognitive capabilities.

 

We have used machine learning to perform intelligent analysis of our information sources to generate content for our users which offers valuable business insights.

Front-End Guru – Jack Mason

"Students

Jack Mason is a second-year undergraduate also from the School of Computing, University of Portsmouth, studying Web Technologies. He is responsible for the front end and the user experience. Jack enjoyed the opportunity to make his own choice of enabling technologies for the project. Continue reading

How to implement consent for your council under GDPR

A new service from KnowNow Information, Consentua, helps organisations build citizen trust as required under General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). It provides data processing transparency and gives citizens the choice and control needed to share data safely and comfortably.

Consentua logo

Consentua – privacy and consent service

Consentua captures users’ consent to the use of their personal data. It provides GDPR compliance to organisations that process data. It also allows individuals to control how their personal data is being used.

You can now sign up to Consentua via CC2i, the collaborative government services co-funding platform at

http://cc2i.org.uk/co-fund/current-pitches/consentua-gdpr-compliance-service-and-cookbook/

What is Consentua?

Consentua is a consent management system from KnowNow Information that helps organisations to achieve GDPR’s data protection compliance. It also gives individuals choice and control over how their personal data is used.

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Access to Finance and Growth 2016

Do you occasionally have a great idea for a new product or service? Would you like to see how you can take those ideas and build upon them until that new product or service is available in the market? On 14th September KnowNow will run a workshop at ACCESS TO FINANCE AND GROWTH 2016 held at Portsmouth Guildhall.

Access to Finance and Growth 2016, Wednesday 14th September, Portsmouth

This is a full day event for 500 entrepreneurs designed to help YOU understand different ways of financing and growing your business and to put you in touch with industry experts. The event will take place at Portsmouth Guildhall and the programme includes Key Note Speakers; Workshops; Breakout Sessions; Networking; Pitching, Panel Q&As, Awards and Networking.

The Workshop

We will be running a workshop on Taking Innovation to Market – helping delegates to create a structure for developing their innovations by Empathising with their potential users, defining the problem that their user experiences and creating ideas for solving that problem.

It is designed as a thought exercise that doesn’t need to rely on technology and is relevant for potential entrepreneurs as well as new or established businesses, small and large.

At KnowNow we have created new services and applications both for our customers and also some award winning products of our own such as the 2014 open data prize winning Flood Event Model. We use our project ideas template to evaluate the potential projects that we could work on so that we can either decide to focus on an idea or to let it fail quickly!

Our workshop will run from Noon until 1pm, immediately before lunch. You can book up for the day using the Eventbrite link below

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/access-to-finance-and-growth-tickets-21045540779?aff=es2

Access to Finance and Growth 2016 Agenda

The rest of the day is as follows

10.00 – 10.30             Registration

10.30 – 10.40             Welcome – Steve Berry, Invest South

10.40 – 11.00             Julian David, CEO, techUK

11.00 – 11.20             Marcus Stuttard, London Stock Exchange

11.20 – 12.00             Panel Q &A

12.00 – 13.00             Breakout Sessions featuring KnowNow Information and Ethos

13.00 – 14.00             Lunch

14.00 – 14.20             Christopher Lowe, Bloomberg

14.20 – 14.40              Tony Fish, Fab Lab London

14.40 – 15.00              Panel Q &A

15.00 – 15.30              Awards

15.30 – 15.50              Final Speaker and Close

16.00 – 18.00              Networking

That link again to book tickets is below. If you are going to attend then let us know in the comments section.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/access-to-finance-and-growth-tickets-21045540779?aff=es2

Future Watch Part 6 with Chris Cooper - Beathouse

Future Watch: Beathouse

Future Watch 6: Beathouse

Welcome to the sixth and final instalment of our ‘Future Watch’ series. Chris tells all about BeatHouse, a futuristic project that is 2-3 years ahead of the market!

 

Beathouse – Home Monitoring

G: Just before we finish, can you tell us a bit more about BeatHouse which connects into home monitoring, being able to just switch something on and go?

C: Yeah, so BeatHouse is 2 to 3 years ahead of the market so it’s a bit futuristic and it was set up by us for our good friend David Pepper. David had 3 requests. Firstly I’ve got this new Passivhaus so it’s a carbon neutral sustainable home with no central heating, it’s got a towel rail and a wood-burner as it’s sources of heat. It’s an incredibly comfortable, beautiful home on the South Downs so it’s in a great rural setting so he wanted information proving his energy consumption was as expected.

Secondly, A shedload of money was spent on this home so he also wanted to ensure he wasn’t paying any money to the national grid for electricity other than that he has to use for his TV, his phone, his computer, not for his energy. The final request was that his wife Sarah doesn’t want any of the data to leak out.

The role of the weather

The Beathouse physical representation as a dollhouseHe just wants his house to work. It should know what it needs to do. What we need to do there is we need to learn what he likes. We need to understand how the house behaves, in an action environment. So much of the energy in a place is driven by the weather, there’s a correlation between your weather and your current energy footprint. There’s also a correlation between whether you are happy with the energy footprint and how you’re feeling. Do you need to change the temperature? This is about your comfort level.

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Future Watch: Home monitoring

Future Watch: Home Monitoring

Future Watch 5: Home Monitoring

Chartered Engineer, Enterprise Architect and one-half of KnowNow, Chris Cooper discusses how technology can be used to improve patient care and provide home care monitoring.

 

G: If a city is starting to go down the smart cities route, and they’ve got the right vision for it, who do they need to get on board to help them with this?

C: I thought you were going to say who do they need to call and I was going to say Ghostbusters. Damn. It’s important that you do this for the people that are living and working in the city. You’re doing it for the city. Don’t forget that. It’s for the people that live, work, and play there. They are the reason you do stuff. For that reason, the first people that you need to pull through are your citizens. I would also look at doing things on a small scale because none of this is about technology. Technology is about a third of any project. Two-thirds of it are the human impact. How do you engage people?  How do you get them to use it? How do you get them to continually use it? How do you change what they used to do to what they now do?

People walking in a smart cityIf you start using technology as a key part of doing that thing, it’s going to have its own issues if that thing now fails. An example of this would be if you’re taking a train home. The train gets cancelled. You’ve still got all those people in Waterloo trying to get back down to the South Coast, so where do they go?

If you’re a Smart City and you lose that communication piece, think about the consequences of, “If it’s gone, what do I do?” You have to start thinking about resilience and a belt and braces approach – i.e. robust & resilient. Do I have a non-digital fall back? If we stop doing hands-on care in the home for example, and this is something that we are going to have to do because there simply isn’t enough care professionals to handle the amount of people that need care, with our ageing and growing senile population.

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Future Watch part 4 logo

Future Watch: 5 ingredients of a Smart City

Future Watch 4 – 5 ingredients of a Smart City

Smart Cities advocate Chris Cooper is a co-founder of KnowNow Cities, who provide a design consulting service for those involved in smart cities. In this fourth part of our Future Watch series Chris opens up about the ingredients and leadership required to turn a city into a smart one.

G: We’re going to have to move on to your smart cities article. If you could just quickly explain what Know Now does for smart cities?

C: What we do with smart cities is we provide a design consulting service for people like architects, developers and local authorities with the idea that if you want to start connecting buildings, homes and workplaces to digital networks and having information flowing from one place to another, you need some type of design that makes sure the data goes where it’s supposed to.

The people accessing it are those that can. So it’s secure, it’s safe, it’s sustainable. It continues to do what it does on the tin because you’re starting to interact in between something physical that will have a lifespan of maybe 150, 200 years versus something that could have a lifespan of weeks or months or years depending on what it is.

Batteries, for example, the maximum I’ve seen a battery last was a wireless sensor one and is up to around 10 years.

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Future Watch Part 3 logo

Future Watch: Privacy and Social Media

Future Watch 3 – Privacy and Social Media

Tech legend and one-half of Know Now, Chris Cooper concludes the discussion with Gemma Christie on data security and privacy. They talk openly about how Facebook and Google use your data, along with a great sandwich story. We also take a look at what the future holds for having more control over your own personal digital footprint.

 

G: You wrote your article ‘5 rules of thumb and security of YOUR data’ in 2015 so it’s about a year old now. Do you think there have been any substantial improvements within the last year?

C: No. I think it’s got worse, to tell the truth.

 

G: In what way?

C: We’re seeing more and more stuff being connected without any good agreement on what constitutes good security design. There are a number of standards that are out there, but there isn’t an agreement on the handshake and the trusted exchange of information between devices. There isn’t a mechanism for what I call the ‘lizard principle’ or the ‘lizard tail principle’ for where you could shut something down and confine it and contain where you have maybe a risk or an exposure, and you can sacrifice that particular component.

I think where so many of the solutions that we see coming through are what I call ‘single-threaded decision makers’, so you have one sensor or one trigger that leads to one action, and all it takes is for that one thing to be compromised, and it just sets in chain a whole run of events.

A good holistic design has multiple decision-making points reinforcing a trend. If you’re responding to that trend proactively, it will achieve some type of difference. Where we seem to be, is on things that are going, right, I want to know something about the state of this area, and then once it reaches a certain point then I’m going to go do something else.

An example of this could be: river flow is going up, let’s open up a sluice gate. A sluice gate only has one centre and if that centre is compromised, the sluice gate doesn’t open. People get flooded. That just seems really poor design, a lack of thought on how you make stuff happen and a lack of desire, in my opinion, to invest appropriately in a fit-for-purpose solution that would stand the test of time. We tend to be buying on price for the short term and not investing in a project for the medium to long term.

So no, I don’t think how our ethos and how we approach projects, how we are trying to deliver stuff and connect stuff up, is following good systems practice. We’re still seeing a number of poorly-designed, poorly-implemented solutions, especially in the internet space.

The 5 reasons to worry about security

G: In the article that was written last year, you said there are five good reasons we need to worry about security?

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Future Watch part 2 with Chris Cooper - Cyber Security

Future Watch: Cyber Security & Individuals

Future Watch 2: Cyber Security & Individuals

Today Chris is talking to Gemma Christie about the world’s biggest data breaches, data security at your bank, your mobile phone company, the government and where Google are going with security.

 

G: In your original article, you linked to a pretty good infographic that was showing the World’s Biggest Data Breaches (http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/worlds-biggest-data-breaches-hacks/). Some of these companies were eBay and JP Morgan. How at risk are large organizations and of course, the individuals that are subscribing to, buying from or working with these organisations? Are they at risk?

You cannot drop the ball on Cyber Security

You cannot drop the ball on Cyber Security

C: I think every organisation is potentially at risk. You cannot drop the ball on cyber security. You’re only as good as your previous day’s clean bill of health. I think one of the things that a security professional taught me when I was first starting out designing systems, is that the answer from security is no. Think like security. They’re not going to let you do this, so what will they allow me to do because I need that data or that transaction to break through what is a secure area.

Security people do not like leakage. They don’t want stuff that’s their organisation’s to be taken and pushed out into the open world. You don’t want rogue users in your environment, and rogue transactions in your environment. You’ve got different types of thing that you’re trying to protect, and you need different techniques and you need different types of vigilance. Be it from someone looking at a camera because you’re stopping physical intrusion, through to someone looking at trends in data performance because what you won’t see is the process that’s caused it being rogue. But what you will see is maybe the evidence of its existence because you’re processing time is getting longer, you’ve got unused threads and you’ve got database that shouldn’t be there.

Understanding your system and actively understanding what’s going on and being able to report with confidence, “Yeah, I know what’s going on. My data, my system, is safe and secure.” Having that process and those robust checks and balances to make sure people are doing their job and the system is working as designed are key.

 

G: What do you say to organisations that still haven’t put in place those secure systems?

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Future Watch: Chris Cooper on Data Security

Future Watch 1: Data Security.

Chartered Engineer, Enterprise Architect and one half of KnowNow, Chris Cooper talks to Gemma Christie and explains the data security issues that people and organisations still can’t seem to master, as well as next-horizon ideas that we’ll start seeing in the next two to ten years.

 

G: Hi Chris thanks for your time today. We’re going to start by discussing your article ‘5 rules of thumb and security of YOUR data’. Before we get started would you mind giving us a quick introduction to Know Now and your role there?

C: Yeah sure, KnowNow was set up by myself and David Patterson back in Nov 2013. We’re both ex IBM and we are both from the Smart City space. The reason we set up KnowNow is we felt that there is a market opportunity on helping places, cities, districts and communities adopt technology in a safe and sustainable way. Our previous employer was focused on some other stuff and we felt they were missing out on that opportunity. We still have a great relationship with IBM and we’re an IBM business partner.

Group photo of the Integrated Transport cohort with Chris, Second from Right, at Cognicity

Chris, Second from Right, at Cognicity

We’re an award winning team. We won a big data award in 2015 for an idea on using open data to help emergency situations and we were cohort 1 finalists on the on the Cognicity challenge in Canary Wharf.

Find out more about the Cognicity challenge here: http://cognicity.london/cognicity-challenge

It’s been a fun 2 and a half years so far and I’m looking forward to more fun with Mr Patterson.

 

Data Security

G: You have written about data security. Why is this an issue that is relevant to Know Now?

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Why Bristol is top of the UK Smart Cities Index

Bristol is a Top UK Smart City

Yesterday I attended the announcement of the first UK Smart Cities Index of top UK smart cities sponsored by Huawei and researched by Navigant.   A very interesting event hosted by The IET at the newly refurbished Savoy Place.  The result I wholeheartedly endorse with Bristol & London in the top quadrant of leaders.   I am pleased as I had positioned Bristol as my top smart city back in February.  Now the facts prove the sentiment.  C’Mon Bris!

Navigant Research - Top 10 UK Smart Cities - Bristol

Navigant Research – Top 10 UK Smart Cities – from Navigant Research

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