Oct 26, 2020

Chairman Lee Kun-hee dies having overseen Samsung’s rise

William Smith
2 min
Samsung’s chairman Lee Kun-hee died on Sunday at the age of 78, with the company now led by son and heir Lee Jae-Yong
Samsung’s chairman Lee Kun-hee died on Sunday at the age of 78, with the company now led by son and heir Lee Jae-Yong...

Samsung’s chairman Lee Kun-hee died on Sunday at the age of 78, with the company now led by son and heir Lee Jae-Yong.

The son of founder Lee Byung-chul, Lee Kun-hee presided over a meteoric rise for the company that has seen it become one of the most recognisable electronic brands in the world, as well as a pillar of the South Korean economy. 

Lee first assumed control in 1987 at the time of his father’s death, having previously joined the firm in 1968. His main ambition was to shake off the company’s reputation as a purveyor of cheap and low-quality products. He died as South Korea’s richest person, being worth nearly $21bn.

One of the cornerstones of Samsung’s rise has undoubtedly been its mobile phones division, with its flagship Galaxy series running on Google’s Android operating system. It was one of the first manufacturers to release a 5G-enabled handset, beating Apple to the punch by around a year and a half.

Lee was not without controversy, whether recalling electronics lacking in quality and setting fire to them (as part of the aforementioned reputation drive), hosting 10-hour-long executive meetings and, most consequentially, being embroiled in scandal regarding his family’s involvement in the business. Lee was sentenced for tax evasion and embezzlement that led him to step down, before a presidential pardon allowed his return.

Samsung is a prime example of the uniquely South Korean phenomenon of the chaebol, or a family run conglomerate. Its interests are vast - active across a broad swath of electronics products from fridges to phones, as well as traditional heavy industries and even theme parks.

The company’s future will no doubt revolve around Lee’s son Jae-yong, who has been groomed for the leadership position as the company’s vice chairman. He himself has fallen afoul of the authorities previously, with South Korea’s President Moon having specifically campaigned on the promise of removing special treatment for family-run chaebol companies.

(Image: Samsung)

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Jun 18, 2021

Microsoft Power BI: Enabling data culture through innovation

3 min
A peek into Microsoft Power BI’s roadmap revealing exciting capabilities like real-time analytics and organisational goals tracking

Businesses using Microsoft’s cloud services may be familiar with Power BI –  a business analytics service that aims to provide interactive visualizations and business intelligence capabilities with a simple experience helping end users create their own reports and dashboards. Power BI is part of the Power Platform which is a set of low-code tools consisting of business intelligence, app development, bot development and process automation applications. In a world where everything is constantly changing, the Power Platform enables subject matter experts to keep up with business needs.

Today, data comes not just from transactional systems of record, but from the real world – whether it is the devices people use, to everyday human interaction. Power BI’s mission is to make access to data paramount to every business operation through its solutions and empowers individuals, teams and organizations to drive a data culture. This sentiment is further established by Arun Ulagarathchagan, Corporate Vice President of the Power BI team, adding “Our vision here in the Power BI team is to help you drive a data culture where everyone can make every decision with data.” So what can organisations expect to see next in the pipeline? Microsoft is bringing performance management to Power BI for the first time. Organisations strive to achieve certain goals, and today, goals are largely data-driven. Power BI helps make those goals more accessible and personalized in existing workflows. This means that since many teams’ data, analytics and business logic is already reported in Power BI, they can now instantly connect it to their personal/department goals. It is also worth noting that Goals is natively integrated into the Microsoft Teams experience. The goals algorithm is also AI powered, so organisations can better understand how they’re doing and where are the opportunities for improvement. Finally, Microsoft is working towards integrating it with Power Automate, so organisations can define business processes that get automatically triggered as the goals change status. Goals will soon be available as a mobile experience too, so teams can stay up to date and take action in real-time. On that note, another major announcement from Microsoft features real-time analytics. Today, data is captured from everywhere and synthesizing it in real-time allows for maximum impact. Power BI has been a pioneer in real time analytics from the start with a simple vision – that the distinctions between batch, real time, and streaming data today will disappear over time. Power BI will launch Streaming Data Flows soon, allowing every business a simple low-code way to work with real-time data.

Amir Netz, CTO Power BI concludes “Our vision is to empower everyone in the world with data, and not just the people sitting in offices, but people who are working in the real world, people who are moving things, creating things, producing things with their hands. And for this, we have to think again about how we deliver data to help them make better decision


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