Weekly News Digest: 14th – 18th March 2022 | Harnham Recruitment post

This is Harnham’s weekly news digest, the place to come for a quick breakdown of the week’s top news stories from the world of Data & Analytics.The Guardian: Mary Coombs – celebrating the first female commercial computer programmerThe world of data is full of exceptional women paving the way for breakthrough innovation. Unfortunately, it is not unusual to discover overlooked women from the world of data.Mary Coombs, who has just passed away at the age of 93, was one of these incredible characters. Her passion for Computer Science shone throughout her varied career. We wanted to take this opportunity to celebrate her achievements and breakthroughs. Mary was the first woman in the world trained to program a computer for business applications. She worked on the computer – Lyons Electronic Office, nicknamed Leo, built in the 1950s for the catering company J Lyons & Co to automate and streamline the back office for its national chain of 250 teashops.When in 2001 the 50th anniversary of the world’s first computerised office job was celebrated, Coombe came to the fore as a public figure. Her extraordinary memory, sharp mind and engaging personality made the history of British computing come –to life, and she became a popular spokesperson in the print press, radio and television.Read more about her amazing work here.FinExtra: AI, the new weapon in the battle against cybercrimeArtificial Intelligence (AI) is helping to reduce the risk of crime and is providing the tools and technology necessary for companies to protect themselves.Predictive modelling is a type of data analysis that helps to forecast potential events that could take place in the future, by taking current and past data into account. It is already commonplace in the banking and marketing industries and now some believe it could be used to decrease cyber-attacks in numerous ways including:Determining Vulnerabilities – using analytics to help companies recognise the risks they are facing and what attacks are more commonly experienced by and associated with certain industries.Identifying User Behaviour – everyone has unique usage habits and AI can identify the different behaviour patterns and practices of individuals and gauge the risk of a stolen password or other potential breaches.Read the other ways it can help here.News Medical Life Sciences: New computational biology methods to help find treatments for IBD The human gut contains a community of microbes, known as the microbiome, which are necessary for good health. If the microbiome is disrupted it can lead to gut-related problems such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), a life-long chronic condition causing gut inflammation and leading to periods of debilitating symptoms. Around 500,000 people in the UK live with IBD but current treatments are ineffective and can seriously impact the quality of life of patients and their families. People with IBD tend to have reduced diversity or a change in the balance in their gut microbiome, but it’s not understood how this translates to triggering IBD. If we can understand how the bacteria interact or ‘chatter’ with the gut lining and immune system, we can better understand what treatments will work.Scientists at the Quadram Institute, the Earlham Institute and University of East Anglia on the Norwich Research Park, have developed a new computational biology method. By examining specific differences in gut cell types, the model, called an interactome, provides a snapshot of the constant communication between gut bacteria and our immune system and helps identify how beneficial bacteria communicate to treat IBD and reduce gut inflammation.Read more here.Verdict: Fintech enjoyed a massive boom and record investment due to Covid-19Covid-19 has caused some unexpected pockets of growth for certain sectors, and Fintech is one of them. Despite uncertainty and fear around what the pandemic could bring to all industries, the financial technology sector has seen record investment and a surge in the adoption of its services.  Initially there was a slump in investment in the Fintech sector in 2020 but the figures jumped in 2021. According to  GlobalData, Fintech companies attracted $88bn across 2,528 deals last year.There were various driving factors behind the growth – businesses worked to find ways for their employees to work remotely but efficiently and securely. Online shopping sales also saw a dramatic growth for obvious reasons, and with it came an increases in buy-now-pay-later trends and remote lending. Read the other ways that Fintech saw growth here.We’ve loved seeing all the news from Data & Analytics in the past week, it’s a market full of exciting and dynamic opportunities. To learn more about our work in this space, get in touch with us at info@harnham.com. 

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