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Posts Tagged ‘analytics

As The Internet of Things continues to grow, huge amount of data is going to be generated. How huge is the “huge”? Really huge. I do mean that.

Physical devices across the globe are consuming and creating data to drive a continuously connected world. David Booth, CEO at BackOffice Associates believes that currently we are at the tipping point of the Internet of Things. He says, “It was not a big leap for the industry to realize that an IoT global network of continuously connected devices would mean that data would not only be created at geometric rates, but that it would become one of the most valuable commodities in the world.”

Alongside the fact that year 2016 was declared to be the year of the first Zettabyte in internet traffic, Cisco report says the number will reach 2.3 ZB by 2020. Before long we will be transferring this much data annually.

If it does not say anything to you, imagine a byte equals 1 character of text – a zettabyte would cover War And Peace by Leo Tolstoy(which is about 1,250 pages) at least 325 trillion times. Or if 1 gigabyte can store 960 minutes of music – technically a zettabyte would be able to store just over 2 billion years of music. If that still isn’t illustrative enough, let’s measure in cups of coffee. Cisco states that if the 11oz coffee on your desk equals to one gigabyte, a zettabyte would have the same volume as the Great Wall of China. This amount of information is mind-blowing. Zettabyte transformed Big Data into enormously Big Data.
 

The Internet of Things (IoT) is expanding rapidly and relentlessly. And as IoT grows, so do the volumes of data it generates. Ignoring this fact is not an option, and companies will do so at their own peril and risk.

Though there are many new start-up companies storing, analyzing and integrating massive amounts of big data created from the IoT, not many of them have actually considered how the IoT can and will transform organization thinking by implementing data quality and information governance.

With so much data being created, companies must understand what they want to do with it, what are their data requirements and ensure that they have access to the right data. Unless a company can find a way to accumulate, manage and, most important, monetize their data storage, data hoarding can be a real issue for them. Put simply, while the value IoT brings is in the information it creates, innovation gold lies in the filtered data an organization has extracted from the intermediate layer between the devices and the cloud (so called “fog”).

Obviously, data provides powerful potential for boosting analytics efforts. And analyzing the amount of data that is going to be created by the Internet of Things requires new, advanced analytic techniques. The good news is, artificial intelligence and cognitive computing are maturing at a fast pace.

When used properly analytics can help organizations translate IoT’s digital data into knowledge that will contribute to developing new products, offerings, and business models. IoT can provide useful insights into the world outside company walls, and help strategists and decision-makers understand their customers, products, and markets more clearly. It can drive so much more — including opportunities to integrate and automate business processes in ways never imagined before.

Rowan Trollope, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Cisco’s Internet of Things (IoT) and Applications, told participants at the Cisco Live conference, “One of the biggest mistakes you could make now is to underestimate the Internet of Things. This is a life or death issue for most of our customers. They have seen what has happened with Uber and taxi companies and with Netflix and Blockbuster”.

The bottom line is that IoT and Big Data can either disrupt your business or help you become more competitive compared to other businesses that are about to be disrupted.

 

alexandra-presniatsova

Alexandra Presniatsova

Business Development Manager

E-mail: Alex.Presniatsova@altabel.com
Skype: alex.presniatsova
LI Profile: Alexandra Presniatsova

 

altabel

Altabel Group

Professional Software Development

E-mail: contact@altabel.com
www.altabel.com

BI

When a technical term is used more and more frequently the exact definition becomes “blurred” and its true meaning is usually greatly distorted.

This what happened to the term ‘business intelligence’ or BI. Ever since, when the term had only appeared, the development of technologies has substantially expanded our understanding of BI and of what advantage and benefit the company can retrieve from their available data.

So, what does ‘business intelligence’ mean today? How it could be useful for companies and how to apply its underlying ideas correctly to ensure the steady growth of efficiency and profitability of a business?

What is business intelligence? Why is it important?

BI consists of two completely diverse, but at the same time complementing one another aspects.

  1. Value for the business.

    Implies how companies can use the available information in order to multiply profit and efficiency and bring new products and services to the market successfully.

  2. IT strategy.

    Includes the idea of what technological solutions to apply in order to achieve greatest possible utility of BI.
    Presentation of data in a specific format for efficient usage by the company has always been a challenging task. For many organizations, it is quite complex to determine what particular information is required for a specific use.

Such business analysis requires certainty in methodologies and goals.

Earlier BI resources were limited by the lack of available data collection technologies. Nevertheless, modern technologies such as big data, analytics, mobile services and cloud computing in their combination allow obtaining a continuous flow of detailed information quite fast and with no serious investments.

Still, the current bottom line lies in extracting some valuable sense from these data and, in many respects, it is much more complicated than collecting information itself.

Five efficiency criteria of BI-system (and BI-strategy)

1. While selecting a BI-system one should be guided by the real needs of a particular company

The most common and at the same time the most dangerous mistake is when the BI-systems dictate the strategy of their usage. As a result, the company gets plenty of non-synchronized applications, awkward interface and the infrastructure that is already out of date, yet so entrenched in the IT system that could be barely substituted.

2. Be flexible

Flexible model of the integration of the appropriate software involves constant repetition of certain operations with the gradual development of the system. This allows companies to evaluate the success of the project at any point of time, to determine at what stage it is and towards what it moves.

As a rule, creating, testing and integration of BI-technologies goes much more smoothly when the company receives real-time feedbacks from all the running processes and is able to make required adjustments on the fly. It is vital for BI-systems!

3. User-friendly interface

BI-solutions focus on collection, visualization and management of the data.
Usually, when it comes to large amounts of numeric information companies face a risk to get exceptionally technical, inconvenient and incomprehensible data for the “illiterate” users of the system. This information is highly functional, but impractical, especially when it is badly integrated with other applications.

Integration is a key point in deploying BI-technologies. In case the interface is non-intuitive, complex and inconvenient for the end users, BI-system will definitely work inefficiently.

There is a tendency to allocate significant resources for the integration of the latest technologies promising unprecedented results. However, such investments potentially may do more harm than good. Intelligent, targeted and smooth integration is the key to avoid serious errors during implementation.

4. BI is a tool available to everyone

BI has been long used by completely different users, not only by experts with appropriate education and experience. BI-system should be simple and easy to understand to everyone.

For this purpose, companies have to attain the convenience of analytics and the reports drawn on its basis; it should be simple and demonstrative. The collected data should be presented in the way so that any user could easily make definite conclusions.

5. Centralize your data

The desire to achieve the result, based on useful information implies proper data handling. Receiving data from multiple sources and storing it in a centralized information DB, capable of filtering, sorting and removing the unnecessary is critical for the deployment of the applications involved into making business decisions. Apart from that, risk management also becomes more effective through transparency and structure.

General excitement over BI is evident

The role that IT plays in the world has significantly changed over the past few years thanks to the information ‘boom’. Still, construction of a technological infrastructure is not enough for successful data management.

That is why, ‘business intelligence’ it is not just a fashionable term it is a concept that demonstrates the need to move beyond the paradigm of a separate, isolated existence of data analysis and business goals.

In fact, BI reminds us that technologies and business must be closely linked, so that the business goals and business guidelines predetermine the choice of software and, the software in return would provide useful information leading business to success.

 

Tatyana Ogneva

Business Development Manager

 

altabel

Altabel Group

Professional Software Development

E-mail: contact@altabel.com
www.altabel.com

The digital age has changed customer behavior forever. They have no patience with 9 to 5 and they’re shredding the concept of after-hours and weekends. They have a voice, and that voice demands to be heard whenever, wherever.

Working hours, what’s that?

Banks—previously such strict observers of “working hours” all over the globe—have risen to the challenge by embracing technology. Net banking and ATMs have virtually done away with the need to visit those hallowed brick-and-mortar portals. Mobile payments are being made directly from person to person, minimizing the need for even small amounts of cash. While this is great news for all of us as individuals, the risk for the bank is that it becomes a marginal player in the life of the valued customer.

Let’s take a look at E-commerce. This is the case with several consumer-facing industries, such as cloth, books, groceries, appliances, furniture and such—all of which can be ordered online and delivered while you are away at work. No interface or face-to-face conversation with the company required.  Especially when you’re working from home, you meet the shipping company rep rather than someone from the company you ordered the goods from.  This is perfectly okay for the average buyer, except when something goes wrong!

Say you ordered blue curtains, but what you saw is not what you got. Colors on the digital screen often look different than when seen off-screen. Simply returning what’s arrived is not the solution. Speaking to someone and explaining what you had in mind so you get the right product is. This means that online dealers need to have someone customers can have a live discussion with. Beyond a live agent, online dealers more than ever are finding customers who expect to engage in live conversations any time of the day. Research by Social Bakers, an agency that measures how well brands perform in terms of social customer care, found that the number of questions asked on brand pages on Facebook has increased by 85 percent over the last year, and that airlines had the best response rate of answering 79 percent of these promptly. “Working hours” is not a phrase that works anymore.

Engage, not enrage
Companies selling anything at all cannot afford to be out of touch with their customers. So while digitization may keep the consumer from physically visiting you, it has also forged a path for newer ways in which to meet up through social media. Businesses are following their clients where they go, meeting them where they hang out, not in their offices but online.

Have you noticed that the online store you bought something from recently keeps popping up not only when you google something but also on all kinds of websites that you visit? That’s because The Web knows and tracks your online preferences. Personally, I find pop-ups asking to indulge in a live chat very intrusive—it’s like a store attendant following you everywhere and asking, “Can I help you?”  While it’s good to know there’s someone who can answer your queries, nobody likes to be stalked.

Smart businesses know how to keep track of the customer without being obviously there.

Keeping them engaged is in fact a bigger challenge than ever before since your customer can close that communication window with just a click.

Fly with the experts

Let us take an example of an airline that’s effectively engaging with customers. Lufthansa has its fingers on the pulse of the customer, and potential ones, through an enviable Facebook presence. Contests, events, quizzes all have earned the airline something every self-respecting Facebooker looks for—likes! Over 300,000 likes (on the India page alone), and if even a small percentage decides to fly with it because of the online excitement generated, that’s a big win.

Understandably, retailers and consumer-facing companies have a big Facebook presence. Coca-cola, Starbucks, McDonald’s, Walmart, Levi’s, Target, Nike, Kohl’s are among those that have the highest number of likes. Twitter accounts of many of these companies also have a very, very large number of followers. Clearly, they have managed to reach out effectively to their potential customers using social media.

What to outsource!?

These are still early days for outsourcing social media marketing and engagement, but it makes sense to outsource at least some of your efforts to begin with. Look holistically at your social media marketing plans and start by assessing what skills you have in-house and skills you are lacking. You may decide to start with getting the design and development built by an outsourcer to get your framework up front.

Other areas to consider include:

Savvy social media writers may be a skill your current writing team lacks, so content writing could be a place with clear payback. If you’re content doesn’t attract and maintain customers, you could be doing more harm than good to your brand.

Analytics can easily be done by a third-party and is probably the least vulnerable to subjectivity. That will save precious resources that you can deploy towards strategizing and hiring in-house of local experts to manage the customer community.

Customer experience management or customer care is another area to consider, especially if your customers are global and resident in different time zones. Be cautious to consider outsourcers who understand your business and your customer engagement model.  Since the outsourcer will be “you” during customer interactions, you need to feel confident they can successfully represent your brand.

Needless to say, do monitor what’s going on closely enough so you can step in when necessary. The important thing now is to be open for business all the time. Not just 24/7 but 24/7/365 and even up to 366 in a leap year!  Business process outsourcing companies are gearing up to meet the demand when it arises. That will finally help harried executives to get their well-earned weekend off to do their own personal networking, online or otherwise.

Testing could be outsourced. Minimizing risks and cost either manual testing or automotive one can easily be performed by third party.

Recently we could see the most prospective and fast growing social spheres that potentially need and could outsource a big part of them. There are:

–   Banking /finance

–   Mobile development sectorE-commerce

–   E-commerce

–   Medical/health care

–   Tourism

Has your organization outsourced marketing and customer engagement yet?

Polina Mikhan

Polina Mikhan
Polina.Mikhan@altabel.com 
Skype ID: poly1020
Business Development Manager (LI page)
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development

WHAT

In today’s business and technology world you can’t have a conversation without touching upon the issue of big data. Some would say big data is a buzzword and the topic is not new at all. Still from my point of view recently, for the last two-three years, the reality around the data has been changing considerably and so it makes sense to discuss big data so hotly. And the figures prove it.

IBM reports we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day. In 2011 our global output of data was estimated at 1.8 billion terabytes. What impresses it that 90 percent of the data in the world today was created in the past two years according to Big Blue. In the information century those who own the data and can analyze it properly and then use it for decision-making purpose will definitely rule the world. But if you don’t have the tools to manage and perform analytics on that never-ending flood of data, it’s essentially garbage.

Big data is not really a new technology, but a term used for a handful of technologies: analytics, in-memory databases, NoSQL databases, Hadoop. They are sometimes used together, sometimes not. While some of these technologies have been around for a decade or more, a lot of pieces are coming together to make big data the hot thing.

Big data is so hot and is changing things for the following reasons:
– It can handle massive amounts of all sorts of information, from structured, machine-friendly information in rows and columns toward the more human-friendly, unstructured data from sensors, transaction records, images, audios and videos, social media posts, logs, wikis, e-mails and documents,
– It works fast, almost instantly,
– It is affordable because it uses ordinary low-cost hardware.

WHY NOW

Big data is possible now because other technologies are fueling it:
-Cloud provides affordable access to a massive amount of computing power and to loads of storage: you don’t have to buy a mainframe and a data center, and pay just for what you use.
-Social media allows everyone to create and consume a lot of interesting data.
-Smartphones with GPS offer lots of new insights into what people are doing and where.
-Broadband wireless networks mean people can stay connected almost everywhere and all the time.

HOW

The majority of organizations today are making the transition to a data-driven culture that leverages data and analytics to increase revenue and improve efficiency. For this a complex approach should be taken, so called MORE approach as Avanade recommends:
-Merge: to squeeze the value out of your data, you need to merge data from multiple sources, like structured data from your CRM and unstructured data from social news feeds to gain a more holistic view on the point. The challenge here is in understanding which data to bring together to provide the actionable intelligence.
-Optimize: not all data is good data, and if you start with bad data, with data-driven approach you’ll just be making bad decisions faster. You should identify, select and capture the optimal data set to make the decisions. This involves framing the right questions and utilizing the right tools and processes.
-Respond: just having data does mean acting on it. You need to have the proper reporting tools in place to surface the right information to the people who need it, and those people then need the processes and tools to take action on their insights.
-Empower: data can’t be locked in silos, and you need to train your staff to recognize and act on big data insights.

And what is big data for your company? Why do you use it? And how do you approach a data-driven decision-making model in your organization?

Would be interesting to hear your point.

Helen Boyarchuk

Helen Boyarchuk
Helen.Boyarchuk@altabel.com
Skype ID: helen_boyarchuk
Business Development Manager (LI page)
Altabel Group – Professional Software Development


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