Category Big Data, Cloud, BI

Cloud Apps Can Help Streamline Communication Within Your Startup

Cloud Apps Can Help Streamline Communication Within Your Startup

Cloud technology has become very important for many startups all over the world. One survey found that over 90% of all enterprises use the cloud. The proportion of startups using the cloud is smaller, but the smaller companies that use cloud technology tend to be more successful.

There are a lot of benefits of using the cloud to grow your business. We previously mentioned that cloud technology helps businesses improve their online presence. However, there are even more important reasons to invest in cloud technology.

One advantage is that it helps improve communication between your employees. A number of great apps leverage cloud technology to streamline communications.

Choosing the Right Clouds Apps Will Lead to More Effective Communication Within Your Startup

In the words of Theo Gold, an author on marketing and communications, “Communication is your ticket to success, if you pay attention and learn to do it effectively.” Streamlined communication is key for the success of any startup, and in today’s day and age, there are nearly innumerable communication apps on the market.

The best apps are hosted on the cloud. The cloud makes it easier to host large amounts of data, so messages can be stored better.

Kirsten Barta, a writer for InterMedia, pointed out that cloud communications took off during the pandemic. Many companies invested in cloud technology to encourage social distancing, but quickly discovered many of its benefits. Newer companies are exploring the advantages of cloud technology as well.

This begs the question: which ones are the best cloud apps to improve communication in the workplace? You can find the best listed below.

Zoom

Zoom is a great cloud-based app to help communicate with your colleagues within your startup. Zoom has gained more popularity because of its usefulness during the COVID-19 work-at-home era, and for good reason. Zoom is an app in which you can host group video calls that can function as virtual meetings. Not only that, but Zoom also allows you to schedule and record meetings. Recording meetings is a great way to ensure that everyone within your startup is in the loop on what is going on, especially if someone has to miss a meeting. Recording meets on Zoom can even be done when the meeting takes place in person. To do that, start a Zoom video call during your meeting and have the camera face the front of the room or whoever will primarily be speaking during the meeting. Recording the meeting is then as simple as clicking the record button. Using Zoom during in-person meetings is a great way to include colleagues who might be unable to come into the office due to distance or health concerns. Zoom allows everyone to be included in meetings, no matter where they are. 

One of the reasons that Zoom is such a powerful application is that it relies on powerful cloud technology. In 2020, Zoom signed a multi-year contractor with Amazon to handle its cloud hosting needs. This has helped with scalability and made it easier for more people to have a seamless experience on the cloud.

Slack

One of the best tools on the market to help streamline communication is Slack. Slack is not only a professional messaging platform but also can serve as a digital headquarters for your business.

There is a reason that we previously referred to Slack as one of the best cloud-based workplace apps. Within Slack, you can make different channels and designate which people are included in those channels. Channels help to keep conversations focused. If there are multiple different teams or projects going on in your startup, utilizing the channels feature of Slack would help your colleagues remain focused and also save people from being notified about projects that they are not part of.

Ryan Azimi is a Director of International Development at ETIAS. He thinks that Slack is one of the most important cloud tools that has helped his startup to excel. “We use Slack everyday here at ETIAS. It is so useful and helps everyone in the company to always be on the same page. It can be easy for emails to get lost, which is one reason why Slack is so great. All communication happens within the app, so everyone knows where to look if they need to find something. The channels are useful, too, and help my team to remain focused.” If you are in need of better communication within your startup, definitely look into Slack as a solution. 

WhatsApp

WhatsApp is a cloud messaging app that allows you to message and call people from all over the world. Through WhatsApp, you can message others one-on-one, and you can also create WhatsApp groups. In these groups, you can share messages, documents, photos, and videos on the cloud with up to 256 people per group. WhatsApp includes free voice and video calling, so this cloud-based app is often used by startups that have connections in different countries. Long-distance communication is extremely easy for anyone with WhatsApp. Users have the ability to share voice messages, which are a great, simple way to communicate information.

Stephen Skeel works with 7 Wonders Cinema as their Co-founder / Executive Producer. 7 Wonders Cinema uses WhatsApp for all internal communication. “WhatsApp groups are a really efficient way to communicate with your team. I can send out information and delegate tasks through those groups instead of having meetings or sending out emails. It becomes a lot easier this way. I can also directly mention people in those chats. They’ll get a notification when their name is mentioned, so they won’t miss out on important messages.”

WhatsApp goes beyond streamlining internal communication with your startup and makes communication with clients easier as well. Theresia Le Battistini, a CEO & Founder at Fashion League uses WhatsApp for Business, which is a version of WhatsApp specifically tailored to startups. “With WhatsApp for Business, you can register your business with its own number. People can contact your business directly on Whatsapp using that number. For example, Fashion League’s Facebook page has a link through which people can message our business on WhatsApp. We have gotten so much business because of how easy it is for clients to communicate with our business.” 

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft has been a pioneer in digital technology since it went public in 1986. The company continues to leverage cloud technology to create the highest quality products for its users. Microsoft Teams is one of their best cloud-based services.

If you think your startup would benefit from an app that excels in video conferencing, then Microsoft Teams is the app for you. Through Microsoft Teams, you can create different teams for the different groups within your startup. Scheduling weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly video conferences with your teams is a simple task with the help of Microsoft Teams. You can share your screen in video meetings, which can be very useful when you need to show visuals. Microsoft Teams connects with your other Microsoft Outlook accounts, so if you have other accounts with Outlook, Microsoft Teams would be especially useful to your startup.

Amy Keller, a Co-Founder & CEO at FAVES, uses Microsoft Teams to improve communication within her startup. “Microsoft Teams is the backbone of this startup,” says Amy Keller. “My favorite feature in Microsoft Teams is the ability to schedule regular meetings. Everyone who’s invited to the meetings gets a little notification from their Outlook account when the meeting is about to start. During those video calls, it is really useful to be able to share my screen and also allow other members of the meeting to share their screens if needed. This program has really helped us with internal communication.” 

James Humes, an author and presidential speechwriter, once said, “The art of communication is the language of leadership.” This highlights the dire need for seamless communication for the success of any startup. There are so many different apps you can use to help streamline communication within your startup, but here we have a list of the best of the best. Zoom, Slack, WhatsApp, and Microsoft Teams stand out as the most useful and integrative communications apps on the market. We hope this article has introduced you to the app that will improve internal communication in your startup.

Cloud Technology Can Make it Easier for Employees to Communicate

There are a lot of benefits of using cloud technology to improve communications within the workplace. The apps listed above will help you reach your goals.

The post Cloud Apps Can Help Streamline Communication Within Your Startup appeared first on SmartData Collective.

Source : SmartData Collective Read More

AI Accelerates Growth of Bitcoin Mining in the United Kingdom

AI Accelerates Growth of Bitcoin Mining in the United Kingdom

We have talked a lot about the role of the blockchain in the growth of bitcoin. However, there are a number of other technologies that have also transformed the future of bitcoin and other digital currencies. Artificial intelligence is one of the most significant.

AI Technology is Changing the Future of Bitcoin Mining

Bitcoin mining has become a very popular activity in recent years. Artificial intelligence has helped make the activity more efficient.

AI Magazine has talked about some of the reasons that artificial intelligence has changed the industry. They reported back in July 2021 that a new AI algorithm change was enacted, which made bitcoin 28% less difficult to mine.

Bitcoin miners in many countries are benefiting from changes in AI algorithms. The UK is one of them. Since the beginning of Bitcoin mining, the United Kingdom has been a key player in the development and progress of the activity.

The UK was one of the first countries to embrace Bitcoin mining, with some of the earliest large-scale mining operations taking place in the country. The UK is also home to some of the world’s leading mining hardware manufacturers, such as BitFury and Spondoolies-Tech. These companies use sophisticated AI technology to make bitcoin mining more efficient and cost-effective. You need to do some research for gaining Today Profit to get an idea of the new state of bitcoin mining, as it is impacted by AI technology.

As artificial intelligence changes the future of bitcoin mining, it is going to be more profitable than it has been over the last several years. Whit Gibbs, the CEO and founder of a bitcoin mining service called Compass, said that the combination of new AI algorithms meant to reduce difficulty of bitcoin mining and less competition has caused profitability to increase 35%.

Today, the UK continues to be an important hub for Bitcoin mining. According to data from Blockchain.com, there are currently over 1,600 active miners in the country – more than any other European nation. This is likely due to a combination of factors, including low electricity costs and a strong technical infrastructure.

Looking to the future, it is likely that the UK will continue to play a leading role in Bitcoin mining. The country is home to many talented developers that can create new AI algorithms that will improve the outlook for bitcoin miners even more. With new AI technology at their fingertips to improve efficiency, people running mining operations are only likely to become more interested in scaling their operations in the country. This will be a boon for the UK economy, as well as for miners themselves who will be able to take advantage of the country’s favorable conditions.

In the United Kingdom, bitcoin mining is progressing rapidly. A number of companies have started to invest in the industry and there are now a number of large-scale operations underway.

The UK government has also been supportive of the industry, with the Treasury recently announcing plans to regulate bitcoin and other digital currencies. This is likely to provide a boost to the sector, as it will bring greater legitimacy and clarity.

There are a number of challenges that still need to be overcome, however. One of the biggest is the high cost of electricity. In order to be profitable, miners need to have access to cheap power sources. This is often not the case in the UK, where energy prices are relatively high.

AI technology could potentially help mitigate some of the electric cost issues as well, but AI algorithms will need to be utilized in the energy sector to accomplish this. Fortunately, there is growing evidence that AI is helping in the energy sector as well. The World Economic Forum discussed the disruptive nature of AI in energy transition last year.

Another challenge is the lack of clarity around regulation. The UK government has so far been reluctant to provide clear guidance on how it plans to regulate the industry. This has created a degree of uncertainty that has deterred some companies from investing in the UK.

Despite these challenges, the future of bitcoin mining in the UK looks bright. Advances in AI technology and the more lenient regulatory framework play an important role in shaping the encouraging outlook. There is a growing number of companies operating in the space and the government appears to be supportive of the industry. If these trends continue, then the UK could become a major player in the global bitcoin mining market.

The United Kingdom’s Bitcoin mining industry is still in its early stages, but there are already a number of companies and individuals operating in the space. The most well-known name in UK Bitcoin mining is probably BTC Guild, which has been running since 2011. However, there are a number of other players in the market, including BitFury, KnC Miner, and HashFast.

According to CoinDesk’s Mining Survey for Q2 2014, the UK currently accounts for around 3% of the global Bitcoin mining hashrate. This puts it in fifth place behind the USA (19%), China (36%), Russia (8%), and Canada (5%). However, it should be noted that this figure includes both corporate and individual miners. It’s not clear how much of the UK’s hashrate is coming from each.

The majority of Bitcoin mining equipment in the UK is imported from abroad, although there are a few British companies that manufacture and sell mining rigs. One such company is London-based Spondoolies Tech, which sells a range of high-performance ASIC miners. Spondoolies Tech has also opened a data center in Wales, which it says is “purpose-built for Bitcoin mining”. It is not disclosing the exact nature of the technology behind its operations, but AI is likely playing a huge role.

As with any new industry, there are both opportunities and risks associated with Bitcoin mining in the UK. On the one hand, there is the potential to make good money if the price of Bitcoin continues to rise. On the other hand, there is the risk that the price of Bitcoin could drop sharply, as it has done in the past. There is also the risk that the UK government could introduce regulations that make it difficult to mine Bitcoin. However, at the moment, the UK seems to be taking a hands-off approach to Bitcoin, and so far there have been no major problems with mining in the country.

AI is Changing the State of Bitcoin Mining in the UK

AI technology has become very important for governing the future of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. More bitcoin miners are going to depend on this technology in the UK and abroad.

The post AI Accelerates Growth of Bitcoin Mining in the United Kingdom appeared first on SmartData Collective.

Source : SmartData Collective Read More

AI-Driven App Development: Welcome to the World of Smart Technologies

AI-Driven App Development: Welcome to the World of Smart Technologies

There are currently 2.87 million apps that are available in Google Play. The number of apps on the market has exploded due to scalability brought on by AI.

Artificial Intelligence offers distinctive advantages in app development, reducing a significant amount of effort on the part of engineers. Robust modern approaches utilize AI and machine learning to tackle various challenges, vastly reducing the total number of hours spent on the most tedious stages of the development process.

There are a lot of things people don’t know about AI. These include the amazing features that help developers create powerful apps.

Many features that end-users take for granted in modern apps are only possible because of strides in Artificial Intelligence, for example, image recognition features made popular by apps like Google Lens. If your business is in the process of bringing a new app to market, it is vital to investigate the advantages of AI in app design. This technology not only streamlines the development process but can also augment your app with new future-forward features that customers would like.

The Most Popular Types of AI-Powered Apps

Market research suggests that over 90% of apps will include at least one AI-based module by 2025. Some of the most popular implementations of Artificial Intelligence include the following:

Chatbots, such as Google’s ground-breaking LaMDA AI, which was so convincingly lifelike that it tricked one of Google’s senior software engineers, Blake Lemoine, into believing that it was sentient.Digital Assistants, like Amazon’s Alexa product, connect Amazon’s customers with a growing library of apps that users seamlessly call upon with voice commands.Search Engines, with the ever-present Google Search, utilize AI to rank web pages and multimedia content, as well as to determine exactly what clients are searching for and deliver the most relevant results.Personal Productivity Tools, like Grammarly, utilize machine learning and natural language processing to analyze and process the structure, syntax, grammar, readability, and overall coherence, engagement, and appropriateness of articles and essays for writers.Navigational Tools, with one example being Uber’s UberEats app, which uses a sophisticated set of AI tools to connect customers to local drivers to deliver meals, drinks, and snacks from local vendors.Social Networks, like Snapchat, use built-in facial recognition AI to map fun effects over its users’ faces in real-time.

These are only a few examples from a vast ocean of AI-enabled apps. You don’t have to look far to see Artificial Intelligence implementations for any project imaginable, from projects like PlantNet which identifies species of plants to ELSA Speak, an app that helps its users learn English words and pronunciation with instant feedback from AI.

How is AI App Development Different from Conventional Apps?

AI-driven app development in many ways is a scientific research project. Depending on the complexity of your AI app and whether you’ll be building on top of existing AI frameworks and APIs or building up everything from scratch, the build can take a lot of extra work in the research and development phase. The estimated research and development window also depends on whether or not the core features of your app require AI or if AI will merely power some of the extensible aspects of your app.

Integrating Artificial Intelligence into your app’s login flow for improved security takes a lot less work than developing Snapchat-like Augmented Reality features, which depend on more sophisticated AI modules like facial recognition, not to mention the packages and modules responsible for rendering 3D graphics.

AI is designed to learn to perform tasks, whereas traditional software cannot take advantage of these machine learning paradigms. In conventional software, the programmer writes code that deals with inputs and outputs and has to deal with organizing and programmatically processing data. In contrast to traditional programming paradigms, where engineers write algorithms for solving a business problem, AI can itself select an algorithm by identifying patterns in data. For example, if image recognition AI sees enough pictures of an apple, even if the lighting conditions and colors and shapes of the apple somewhat vary, it begins to interpret the data, make inferences, and spot patterns; this helps determine whether or not an apple is present in the photo.

In the coming years, Artificial Intelligence will cut down on development time even with conventional application programming, helping programmers generate valuable insights and even connect interactively to code editors to improve and debug code on the fly. AI-аssisted coding projects promise to help programmers write code faster, avoid mistakes, streamline context switching, and work with unfamiliar modules and APIs.

Key Stages of AI App Development

To understand what you need to build your company’s AI app, you need to determine the scope and goals of the project right away. Aside from figuring out how many technical and non-technical specialists you need on your team, you also should figure out the logistics of the project and estimate how much time the development could take. When all of the basics are sorted, you’ll also need to determine what kind of data you need and how much data you need to create your AI app. During this critical stage, you also have to discuss what kind of AI capabilities need to be a part of your project, such as computer vision, speech recognition, generative AI, and so on.

The next phase of developing an AI app is gathering the data, deciding which data is essential and how it will be stored, choosing the way you’ll annotate the data, highlighting and labeling blocks of data, and choosing file formats. There are also different types of data sources, such as data sourced from open-source or public data sets, data scraped from various sources, data that comes from annotation or unsupervised models, etc.

Once you have the data, the project can enter its actual development phase. AI app development includes PoC (Proof of Concept) and demo. The first thing an AI development company does when a product owner asks it to build an AI-based application is assess whether AI is the core of the product or an add-on. The answer to this question affects how complex the solution will be. The PoC phase of a new AI project should be AI-centric, which means we should start with the riskiest part of the project, the AI ​​feature, and avoid other project features if possible.

Where to Start?

Any AI project, let alone any software project, carries risks for a business and its investors. Some risks are derived from the suitability of the data, but other risks materialize from the algorithms and the implementation of the AI module itself. Mitigating the risks skillfully means starting product development only after the AI module’s accuracy is suitable to meet your business’s expectations and goals.

It is easy for businesses to get on board with the AI hype without having a realistic plan of how to implement this powerful technological paradigm into products. However, AI can be complicated and expensive. That’s why the requirement for significant research and development before implementation is a reality. Starting strong with thorough research and a solid proof-of-concept helps make sure the project is feasible and ready for investment. So, before you launch your AI project, be sure to enlist the help of real AI experts who can identify all the risks and mitigate them, turning artificial intelligence into a real advantage for your business.

The post AI-Driven App Development: Welcome to the World of Smart Technologies appeared first on SmartData Collective.

Source : SmartData Collective Read More

Using Instagram Highlight Covers in Your Data-Driven Marketing Strategy

Using Instagram Highlight Covers in Your Data-Driven Marketing Strategy

Modern marketing strategies rely heavily on big data. One study found that retailers that use big data have 2.7 times greater brand awareness than those that don’t. Big data is even more important for companies that depend on social media marketing.

Geoffrey Moore tweeted about this in 2012 when he said:

“Without big data analytics, companies are blind and deaf, wandering out onto the Web like deer on a freeway.”

His statement about the importance of big data in social media marketing is even more true today. This is especially accurate for Instagram marketers.

Instagram marketing strategies will be far more effective if they utilize data analytics and artificial intelligence. Instagram has a sophisticated data analytics platform that makes it easier for advertisers to optimize their strategies for the highest possible ROI.

If you want to make the most of Instagram stories, then you will want to know how to incorporate big data into your strategy. This will help you boost brand awareness and increase engagement on Instagram.

Instagram has been one of the most popular social media apps for quite some time now. It’s a great way to share photos and videos with your friends and followers. And one of the best features of Instagram is its Stories feature. You can create a highly successful marketing strategy that depends on Instagram Stories and data analytics.

Explaining How Instagram Stories Work

Stories are short, ephemeral posts that disappear after 24 hours. They’re perfect for sharing quick snippets of your day-to-day life or for sharing behind-the-scenes content that you don’t want cluttering up your main feed.

So, stories aren’t just regular posts on Instagram. They’re a whole different way to use the app. And one of the best things about stories is that you can add highlight covers to them.

What Is a Story Highlight on Instagram?

One of the coolest things about Stories is that you can add Highlights to them. Highlights are basically Story collections that you can save and display on your profile permanently. They’re great for showcasing your best content or for organizing your Stories into different themes.

And one of the best parts about Highlights is that you can customize them with beautiful covers. In this article, we’ll show you how to make Instagram highlight covers that will make your Highlights look even more amazing.

Better Structuring with Highlight Covers for Instagram

How are they exactly beneficial for users and especially businesses? Well, for starters, covers help users better structure their content.

If you have a highlight for your product range, another one for tutorials, and so on, it will be easier for viewers to find what they are looking for. This saves them time from scrolling through your complete Story history trying to locate a particular highlight.

Guidelines on Using Data Analytics to Make the Most of Your Instagram Stories

You might be tempted to think that big data isn’t as important when using Instagram Stories, because they disappear after just 24 hours. It might seem difficult or even impossible to collect sufficient data to make informed decisions in that time.

However, data analytics can help you make some very important insights. You can use this information to optimize future Stories for the highest possible ROI. You could even make tweaks to the same Story and run it again for better results.

When you are looking at your Instagram Stories data, you have to know what metrics to pay attention to. This article has a description of some of the most important. They include website visits, profile visits, calls, texts, emails and requests for directions.

You have to pay close attention to these metrics if you’re trying to optimize your Instagram stories with big data.

How to Make Instagram Highlight Covers

Making highlight covers is actually really simple. All you need is a photo or graphic that you want to use as your cover and the free Canva app. Then you have several steps to complete:

Once you have the Canva app installed on your mobile device, simply open it up and sign in or create an account. Then, tap on the “+” button in the bottom-right corner of the screen to create a new design.From there, select “Instagram Story” from the list of template options. This will bring up a blank canvas that’s the perfect size for an Instagram Story cover.Next, upload the photo or graphic that you want to use as your cover by tapping on the “Uploads” icon in the bottom-left corner of the screen. Once your image is uploaded, you can drag and drop it onto your canvas.After that, all you need to do is add any text or branding that you want to include on your cover. When you’re done, simply tap on the “Share” button in the top-right corner of the screen and select “Download.”

And that’s it! You now have a beautiful Instagram highlight cover that you can use to make your Highlights look even more amazing.

Creating Instagram Highlight Covers in 2 Simple Ways

Now that you know what Instagram Highlights are and why they’re so important, let’s talk about how you can create amazing covers for your own Highlights.

There are two ways that you can go about creating Instagram highlight covers. You can either create them yourself using Canva or similar design tools. Or, you can use one of the many Instagram highlight cover templates that are available online. They are much more efficient when it comes to creating covers in a short amount of time, so it is perfect for a busy workaholic or just for a person who works smarter, not harder.

Creating covers with templates is simple. All you need to do is find a template that you like, download it, and add your own images and text. Then, all you need to do is save your cover and upload it to Instagram.

If you want to create your covers from scratch, Canva is a great option. It’s a free online design tool that’s perfect for creating all sorts of visuals, including Instagram highlight covers.

How to Create Instagram Highlight Covers that Are Perfect for Business?

As a business, you want your Instagram highlight covers to be on-brand and visually appealing. They should also be reflective of the type of content that you post in your Stories.

Here are a few tips to help you create perfect Instagram highlight covers for your business:

Use your brand colors: This is an easy way to make sure that your covers are on-brand. Use 2-3 brand colors that represent your business, and use them throughout your covers.Use images that represent your brand: Another great way to make sure that your covers are on-brand is to use images that represent your business. This could be product photos, lifestyle photos, or even just simple graphics.Think about the sizing: When you’re creating your covers, make sure to think about the sizing. The cover should be big enough to see, but not so big that it takes up the entire Stories frame. Also, remember that you can use images and not only text to separate one Instagram highlight cover from another.Consider using a template: If you want to save time on creating your covers, consider using a template. This way, you can simply edit the template to match your brand and then add your own images and text.Keep it simple: When it comes to creating covers, less is more. You want your covers to be visually appealing, but you also don’t want them to be too busy or overwhelming. So, keep it simple and use a minimalistic approach.Use bold fonts: Another great way to make your covers stand out is to use bold fonts. This will help your text pop and will make it easier for people to read.

Now that you know how to create the perfect Instagram highlight cover for your business, it’s time to put these tips and tricks into practice and start creating some amazing covers of your own. Just remember to have fun with it and be creative!

Big Data is Essential for Optimizing Instagram Stories Strategies

You can’t ignore the importance of data analytics when running a social media strategy. Data analytics technology makes it easier to optimize your strategy. However, you have to pay attention to the right metrics.

The post Using Instagram Highlight Covers in Your Data-Driven Marketing Strategy appeared first on SmartData Collective.

Source : SmartData Collective Read More

7 Essential Data Privacy Tips for New VPN Users

7 Essential Data Privacy Tips for New VPN Users

Data privacy is becoming more of a priority than ever for consumers in the United States and other parts of the world. Even before Edward Snowden released his report on the massive NSA data accumulation scandal, people were starting to become concerned about their online privacy.

More recent polls have shown that interest in data privacy is growing faster than ever. One poll from Morning Consult showed that 56% of registered voters support a national data privacy law.

Unfortunately, data privacy legislation is not advancing as quickly as people would like. Even if such laws are passed, it will still be legal for companies to collect certain types of data. There will also always be some companies that neglect to follow data privacy laws.

This has led some people to debate whether data privacy is a right or a luxury. The good news is that there are ways to protect your data. One of them is to use a VPN. However, you have to know how to use a VPN properly.

Guidelines on Using a VPN to Keep Your Data Secure

A VPN establishes a safe passage between you and the internet. It will provide you with an additional layer of anonymity and better protect the privacy of your data. So, with a VPN, you can hide your location and internet activity, torrent anonymously and safely, overcome censorship, and unblock streaming platforms.

No, you don’t have to be tech-savvy to use a VPN to keep your data secure. But when you start looking for it, you might notice that there is a plethora of VPN providers in the market. Many services are capitalizing on the general masses’ rising concern about cybercrime and surveillance. This means you have to be careful. So, how do you know which is the best one? Well, it is simple, you just have to keep a few factors in mind.

For your convenience, we have listed the top tips to follow for a beginner to get the best VPN to improve data privacy.

1.      Consider Why You Need a VPN in the First Place

Surely, you are not going to buy the first VPN that you come across, especially if you are truly serious about data privacy. If you want a VPN for your house, a router-based VPN or a VPN that allows multiple connections at the same time can be a good choice. These different connections make it a lot harder to trace your true IP and keep your data from being decrypted if it falls into the wrong hands.

But if you travel regularly and have to depend on a Wi-Fi network, choose a VPN that provides complete security and has servers across the world.

When you decide to use a VPN, consider the features you think are important. After you complete the process, it will be easier for you to decide the VPN you want.

2.      Use the Free Trial Period

It is a great way to choose a VPN service. Most of the VPNs come with a trial period, and you should take advantage of that. The longer the trial period, the better it is for you as you have more time to assess the features. You can experiment with the different VPN features and learn if you like the interface. If you don’t, you can easily ask for a refund.

Make sure that you check the refund policy. In some cases, you might have to wrangle a little with the support and sales team to cancel the subscription. But the best thing about the trial period is you will have a VPN that is perfectly suited for all your requirements, and you won’t have to worry about a refund.

3.      Weigh the Cost Against the Features

Selecting a VPN isn’t easy, especially for a beginner. Even experts, who are aware of the security market, find it difficult since the technology keeps on evolving. Also, new VPN providers are cropping up every now and then. So, the pricing might vary from one VPN service to the other.

You have to figure out how much it will cost you to get the features that you are looking for. A few VPN providers offer a monthly or yearly subscription plan. For a longer commitment, you can enjoy a discounted rate. But you have to decide if the savings will be worth your commitment to the VPN service.

You will also find some free VPNs on the market. However, they are notoriously unreliable for data privacy. They have weaker encryption and are usually not based in countries that are shielded from government subpoenas.

Many VPN providers offer advanced features and addons for an extra cost, which can go beyond typical data privacy. Being a beginner, it is like choosing something that you don’t know much about. Thus, it is better to stick to the basic features and then move on to an improved one when you get to know more about it.

4.      Check Device Compatibility

Even though a majority of the VPN services support the main platforms, such as Windows, Linux, macOS, Android, and iOS, there are a few that don’t work on all platforms. In case you have a Windows computer but use an iOS smartphone or tablet, you have to ensure that your VPN works on both.

Don’t forget to check how many devices you can connect to the VPN at once. A few VPNs allow you to connect unlimited devices, simultaneously. But there are others that will allow you to connect up to 3-5 devices only.

5.      Check Out the Country Servers

The VPN’s server locations can be an important factor to take into account if you want to keep your data safe. In case you are a less developed or less populous country or plan to travel for some time, you have to get a server that has servers in close by location.

Countries, like China and North Korea, are known to provide restricted internet service. Using a VPN in such situations will help in handling their restrictions and censorship if you plan to work there.

6.      Look for Supportive and Reliable Customer Service

Often users tend to neglect the importance of good customer service. It is always better to choose a VPN provider that offers 24/7 customer service so that you can reach out to them even in the middle of the night while you face any issues.

There should be someone that you can easily contact when you need help with the VPN. The VPN service should offer its customer service through different channels. One of the most effective forms of communication is live chat. But the phone and email support are equally important. The customer service team should not take more than 24 hours to reply to your queries.

7.      Privacy Policy

It is important that you choose a provider that follows a no-log policy. If they don’t, they might store your data and share it with third parties, such as the government. The provider is based outside the 5/9/14 Eyes alliances, too. In case you aren’t sure where the VPN provider stands, you have to read the privacy policy.

Take the Right Steps to Keep Your Data Safe with a VPN

VPNs can be great for data privacy. However, you have to choose the right one if you want to try to fully protect your data.

You shouldn’t assume that all VPNs offer the same service. Understanding the features that you need is important. In case you don’t have enough time to look through different VPN providers, we recommend TheFastVPN.com. It is one of the best VPNs to protect your privacy and security.

The VPN allows you to browse anonymously. It offers unlimited bandwidth to make sure you can access any content you want. The VPN has 50 servers across the world and offers dazzling speed. So, all in all, it is one of the top VPNs in the market.

The post 7 Essential Data Privacy Tips for New VPN Users appeared first on SmartData Collective.

Source : SmartData Collective Read More

AI Technology Helps Consumers Improve Access to Financial Capital During Current Recession

AI Technology Helps Consumers Improve Access to Financial Capital During Current Recession

In April, a new report showed North American banks could use AI technology to save over $70 billion within the next three years. This is just one of the many reasons that financial institutions are investing more heavily in artificial intelligence.

It is easy to see why. Artificial intelligence is shaping the future of the global economy in significant ways. Moreover, the changes it is creating are more crucial than ever since the world is currently in the midst of one of the worst recessions in decades.

One of the problems with the recent economic setback is that many people struggle to access financial capital. Fortunately, new advances in artificial intelligence are helping improve this problem. This is one of the best ways AI is improving the financial sector.

AI helps consumers and businesses access financial capital more easily during the current recession

New advances in AI are going to be essential for people looking for personal loans. This is going to be especially important as the economy continues to experience stagflation.

Financial exclusion has been one of the consequences of the recent economic downturn. Many financial institutions have been forced to limit financing opportunities due to the ensuing credit crunch.

Unfortunately, many potentially creditworthy customers have been unnecessarily affected. In their attempt to be more cautious with lending decisions, financial institutions have implemented actuarial standards that deny funding to people that might be able to repay it.

Banks use AI to be more inclusive

Artificial intelligence technology offered promising opportunities to improve funding inclusion despite the ongoing economic challenges. For example, in April, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce held a seminar on AI applications that can help improve access to capital markets.

The keynote speakers pointed out that financial institutions are more willing to lend money to consumers and businesses after getting a better understanding of their spending and financial management habits. In addition, they are collecting more information on consumers to make better decisions about financing. Big data is unquestionably valuable to the financial sector.

Chris Cartwright, the president and CEO of Transunion, has pointed out that big data and artificial intelligence are helping level the playing field for consumers and organizations that have been denied financing in the past. They can get more meaningful insights by accessing other data points, such as rent history, driving records, and insurance payments.

AI leads to smart banking in cities

We have talked in detail about the sudden popularity of smart cities in recent years. Most of the discussions center around using smart technology to improve transportation and make buildings more efficiently run.

However, there are other important applications of artificial intelligence in smart cities. For example, one of the most important ways companies can use AI is by creating smart banking opportunities.

A recent symposium hosted in Korea talked about the benefits of using AI to make smart banking possible. One of the most significant opportunities is helping people use financial institutions without compromising their privacy. The CEO of one blockchain advisory group pointed out that 70% of the world does not trust their governments or banks, so this new banking approach will make things easier.

As more people take advantage of smart banking as an alternative to their traditional financial institutions, they will have an easier time qualifying for loans. Many of these people previously did not have any credit history due to their reluctance to use thanks. This change will help improve their access to financial capital.

AI creates opportunities with nontraditional lenders

Artificial intelligence is also helping consumers and businesses secure funding through nontraditional financial channels. A growing number of Fintech companies are making it easier for people to find lenders that will give them access to funding.

Many nontraditional lenders are able to provide loans that would otherwise be rejected because they have fewer expenses. However, they obviously couldn’t simply give loans to every person that applied. Therefore, they use sophisticated AI algorithms to assess the financial risks of potential borrowers. As a result, these fintech companies have found that AI has made their lending practices far more efficient and cost-effective.

As a result, many consumers have been able to get loans from them that they would not have received from traditional banks. This is helping improve financial inclusion.

Consumers and businesses should be optimistic about getting funding access during this recession as AI becomes more promising.

The recent economic downturn has put a damper on the economy. As a result, many consumers are frightened about their financial situations and seeking funding. Banks and other traditional financial institutions have been forced to taper back on financing opportunities.

However, they are coming up with new solutions. For example, artificial intelligence has made it easier to ensure consumers can get the financing they need. These changes should help make it easier to get loans or other capital.

The post AI Technology Helps Consumers Improve Access to Financial Capital During Current Recession appeared first on SmartData Collective.

Source : SmartData Collective Read More

5 Important Ways to Use AI in Video Marketing Campaigns

5 Important Ways to Use AI in Video Marketing Campaigns

AI technology has become invaluable to the marketing profession. One survey conducted in 2020 found that 84% of marketers use AI in some capacity.

There are many powerful benefits of AI. One of the biggest is that marketers can use AI to create stellar video marketing campaigns.

But how do you incorporate AI into your video marketing strategy? Keep reading to learn more.

Use AI to Make the Most of Your Video Marketing Strategy

People today are more interested in knowing “how is this brand selling” rather than asking “what is it selling?

This essentially means–that, most current marketing campaigns focus on telling a story and persuading users into buying their services. Emotional marketing has been an age-old method to market a business and it continues to prevail even with digital marketing in place. Brands today are able to reach a wider audience and are constantly looking for better ways to tell their story.

AI technology has made it easier than ever for brands to improve their marketing strategies with storytelling. Of course, machine learning algorithms aren’t able to understand the content of stories the same way that humans can. However, they are able to optimize storytelling campaigns in important ways.

One of the best ways for brands to improve their digital marketing strategies with AI is through video marketing. With the increase in content consumption and decrease in attention span, what better way than market your business through videos? 86% of businesses use video as a marketing tool. This says why creating an efficient video marketing campaign is so crucial.

After all, you want to persuade viewers into eventually purchasing your product, right? Why not use AI to streamline your video marketing campaign and create higher quality content?

Well, if you are an aspiring video marketer or if you still find yourself in a tough spot when it comes to video marketing, then this article is for you. We have listed five essential points to not miss while creating a video marketing campaign. 

5 great ways to use AI in video marketing campaigns

The main purpose of video marketing is to increase engagement through various social media channels through educating your customers and finding new ways to reach a wider audience. You should use AI to improve your video marketing campaigns by following these steps. 

Use AI to create a great video title

People who turn into customers are usually the ones who resonate with your brand story. For that to happen, a viewer should at least be able to grasp what the video will be about from the title. Now, a good video title should have two things:

It should give an idea to the viewer of what the video could be aboutIt should be SEO-friendly

Needless to say, posting quality content is extremely important. However, do not forget to write SEO-friendly titles, descriptions, and subtitles. You can automatically add subtitles to your video through online subtitle generators available. A quality video is one that has good content created by following the best SEO practices.

If your video is SEO friendly, it will win you backlinks, earn traffic and increase conversion rates. 

You can use AI to create higher quality titles for your videos. This post from SciTechDaily explains how AI technology is used to create better titles for research papers. The same algorithms can be repurposed to create great titles for videos as well.

Use AI to create higher quality videos

Strategizing matters but so does the presentation. If you spend hours and hours on creating the strategy to shoot the video and do not spend enough time on creating one, it will reflect poorly on your brand image. A poor-quality video could mean:

It has unclear sound It is shot by an unsteady cameraVideo has dull lighting Poor content

A good video has quality content and good video production. A high-quality production video does not mean it needs to be shot on expensive equipment. However, you need to make sure the video is of acceptable quality so that it doesn’t ruin your brand image in any way.

A poor video doesn’t simply affect the quality of your content, but a viewer may lose interest if the video lacks clarity (in terms of viewing experience). As per a survey conducted by Conviva, only 25% of viewers go beyond four minutes if your video is of poor quality. This is why it is important to create high-quality videos for small businesses and established ones.

It is worthy to note that video quality will set a standard for your brand, especially if you are a small business. Viewers will look forward to your videos if they find them valuable and of high quality. 

The good news is that AI technology can help create significantly better videos. There are a lot of free AI video editing applications that are worth exploring. They help you use AI to get the best quality videos possible.

Do not give everything to the viewer

If a video title shows the whole picture to the viewer, then why would he/she put in the effort to watch it? Not giving everything to the viewer simply means that you should try to leave some aspects of the video to the viewer’s imagination. You can do so by

Launching a teaser video of the product Keeping questions as video titles Asking viewers for their opinion on your service Asking viewers for their feedback Making viewers ask you questions about your brand

For example–if your video is about a product, do not reveal everything about it. Perhaps you could show the features of the product in the video in a creative way and ask the viewers to guess the product in the comments section. This will not only leave a viewer in anticipation but will also increase engagement on the post.

After all, human beings are all for mysteries! 

Use AI to optimize the length of the video

Ever watched a video that made you bored to tears? Perhaps the video was too long to watch, or the content got too boring to consume after a while. Whatever the reason might be, a viewer making a choice to drop your video a few seconds in is the last thing you want. 

There is already too much information overload on the internet today. Whether online or offline, we are constantly bombarded with information day in and out. You don’t want your video to do that. You can avoid doing so by following the below-mentioned points: 

Give only the required information

As mentioned in point number 3 of the article, leaving viewers in anticipation is one of the best ways to make the video interesting and keep it to the point. 

Share content in bits and pieces 

Well, let’s say you have a lot of information to share. In such a scenario, choosing to create different videos to convey the information is better than giving everything to the viewer in a single video. Sharing information in bits and pieces will do two things for you:

It will increase the number of videos you post on the channel Viewers will not get overwhelmed with too much information at a time 

You can use the Instagram reels feature or TikTok to achieve this wherein you can post multiple videos of less duration and keep the viewers interested. 

While the fact that the attention span has decreased still stands true, it doesn’t mean you should totally ban creating long-form videos. 

As seen in the graph above, Instagram has opened up to long-form videos since 54% per cent of viewers choose to watch them. There is a different target audience that prefers watching lengthy videos. If your story requires you to create a lengthy video, then surely go for it. However, make sure that the video is engaging enough for the viewer throughout.

Don’t choose the wrong platform

As seen in the image above, while choosing a social media platform for vidoes, you should ask three questions:

Who is your target audience?How can you reach them?What do you want to achieve?

If you are clear on these things, you will likely end up choosing the right platform for your videos.

For instance–you are a fitness brand and your target audience is youngsters. Now, if you create videos and post on LinkedIn, do you think it will give you any engagement? Most likely not since LinkedIn is a platform to build professional networks. This is why you need to know the user base for each social media platform and upload videos accordingly. 

AI technology can help immensely when it comes to optimizing your videos. You can aggregate engagement data from other video marketing campaigns to figure out which will perform the best. This will help you use data to optimize your videos and remove unnecessary content and create higher quality videos.

Take advantage of AI technology to create the best performing video marketing campaigns

AI technology has become very valuable for marketers. Video marketers, in particular, have taken advantage of the benefits of artificial intelligence.

Always remember–if there’s anything worse than not creating a video, is creating a bad video. A bad video could mean different things. If your video doesn’t target the right audience, it is shot poorly or SEO practices are not taken into account while creating it. These things can highly affect your brand’s reputation.

As we know, there is no one-size-fits-all rule applicable when it comes to video marketing. The points mentioned in the article are generic and some may not stand true for a particular business. So it is important to consider your business requirements before creating a video marketing campaign.

However, if used correctly, a solid video marketing campaign can outrank your competitors! AI technology will help you get there!

The post 5 Important Ways to Use AI in Video Marketing Campaigns appeared first on SmartData Collective.

Source : SmartData Collective Read More

Top 7 Data-Driven E-Learning Trends Changing the Face Of Education

Top 7 Data-Driven E-Learning Trends Changing the Face Of Education

Big data has led to some major changes in the field of education. We have covered some of these trends in the past, but new changes are still emerging each year.

You should pay close attention to developments in big data in academia. Keep reading to learn more.

How is Big Data Affecting the State of Education?

The e-Learning industry is currently undergoing a revolution due to recent technological breakthroughs. E-learning began in the early 1990s as a means to enhance face-to-face teaching. Over the years, it has evolved into a new approach toward learning and development that outshines the methods it was supposed to promote.

While numerous businesses were affected by COVID-19, the eLearning industry grew significantly and demonstrated significant promise for technological advancement. Big data has been especially influential in the field of education. Experts anticipate the the market for big data in education will be worth nearly $48 billion by 2027.

The world is in awe of the potential of online learning. Organizations, educational institutions, and non-profit groups are now adopting online learning, usually delivered via a learning management system, or LMS.

With the growing interest in online education among the worldwide economic community, eLearning trends have shifted, resulting in significant technological advancements in the industry. Academic institutions are going to have to rely more on big data than ever.

In this piece, we will look at the top eLearning trends driven by big data that are taking hold in 2022, which will be the most useful in implementing eLearning programs across enterprises without taking a break from your learning and development process.

1. AI (Artificial Intelligence)

Artificial intelligence is one of the hottest e-learning trends. For better or worse, it is changing the state of education forever. The use of AI in online learning is becoming increasingly crucial, as it has demonstrated noteworthy potential in personalizing e-learning.

Learners’ competencies, weaknesses, preferences, and expertise are collected and analyzed using AI from LMS platforms. Learning platforms that use AI to make intelligent recommendations also help students absorb and gain knowledge more effectively.

Corporations and large educational institutions are utilizing artificial intelligence to create voice-enabled bots to make content searching easier. It will help the learners find the courses they want and enhance their learning experience.

2. Immersive Technologies.

Immersive technologies, like Artificial Intelligence (AI), have the potential to transform the e-learning landscape. They include Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Extended Reality (ER).

Augmented reality (AR) is the most widely used immersive technology in e-Learning. This technology uses captivating pictures and graphics to supplement existing training materials.

Virtual reality incorporates 360-degree images, real-time interactions, and other intriguing components. These elements work together to bridge the gap between theory and practical application.

These innovations are still in their infancy, but the results they provide are impressive.

3. The Metaverse

The emergence of the metaverse opens up a whole new realm of possibilities for learning and development. Virtual reality is already one of the most popular eLearning innovations. An article published in ED Tech Magazine last month discussed some of these developments.

Technological breakthroughs in big data allow learners and instructors to communicate as lifelike avatars in a digital realm. Employees can access the learning area via VR headsets, smartphones, or PCs from anywhere in the world and benefit from group learning.

The metaverse also provides the kind of hands-on interaction that helps learners retain what they’ve learned.

4. Microlearning

Microlearning is a way of delivering bite-sized content to learners in order to encourage rapid knowledge consumption and retention. Small learning nuggets (2–7 minutes) generally replace long, text-heavy content in this form of learning.

As the flow of information has significantly increased, the average learner’s attention span is getting shorter. An employee has an average of 24 minutes a week to devote to professional growth. This innovative learning method has proven to be incredibly beneficial in L&D in combating the problem of short attention span and information retention.

5. Video-Based Learning

Static e-learning content is being challenged by video-based learning. Videos have recently become an important feature of online courses and will continue to be a focus of e-Learning.

Demos, tutorials, discussions, and how-tos in video format are preferred by today’s learners above plain text instructions.

There are numerous reasons to assume that video is the way of the future in education. For starters, videos are more aesthetically appealing, dynamic, and entertaining than text. These factors contribute to video content retaining the learner’s attention for longer than other types of learning. Even better, it encourages rapid information dissemination, improves content consumption, and boosts retention rates.

The widespread use of interactive videos, in particular, is causing waves in the e-Learning sector. The most effective thing about such videos is that they break the passiveness of conventional videos.

6. Adaptive Learning

Donald Taylor conducted the L&D Global Sentiment Survey in 2017. Adaptive learning emerged as the most popular L & D trend, knocking out AR & VR, Microlearning, and social learning.

Personalized learning is emphasized in this form of e-learning. In this type of learning, learners can learn at their own speed and leisure.

It uses powerful analytics, confidence-based evaluations, and pre-learning tests to assist businesses in avoiding the pitfalls of generic learning.

Adaptive learning, now being merged with artificial intelligence, is predicted to reach new heights in 2022. Learners are able to pick and select the learning paths they want to take based on their training requirements. It allows the learner to enjoy the process and get the most out of it. Organizations, on the other hand, can actively utilize resources to achieve optimal training ROI.

7. Mobile Learning

Mobile learning is becoming a part of many companies’ learning and development strategies. It allows learners to consume content whenever and wherever they wish.

The advantages of mobile learning, such as flexibility and adaptability, will ensure that this e-learning trend holds for many years.

E-learning will progress from mobile-friendly to mobile-first. The process of creating learning material for desktops and then customizing it for smartphones will be reversed so that a high-quality mobile experience is achieved.

It is especially significant because, as a result of the pandemic, more and more people are resorting to working and learning from home.

Big Data is Changing the Future of Education

With the widespread adoption of Learning Management Systems, education has become inextricably linked to big data technology, both now and in the future. Big data is going to be even more important to the future of education as new technological breakthroughs emerge.

Trends come and go, but the e-learning trends that we have mentioned above aren’t going away anytime soon. While we can’t predict exactly where e-learning will go in the future, these trends give us a good idea of where the sector will go in the following years. With online learning management systems, learning will be more interactive, mobile, customized, goal-oriented, and flexible in the near future.

The post Top 7 Data-Driven E-Learning Trends Changing the Face Of Education appeared first on SmartData Collective.

Source : SmartData Collective Read More

Ways Businesses Can Boost Logistics Performance with Analytics

Ways Businesses Can Boost Logistics Performance with Analytics

Smart companies realize that analytics technology needs to be at the core of their business models. One of the most important ways that analytics can help companies thrive is by improving their logistics.

Analytics Technology Helps Companies Bolster their Logistics Strategies

If you were cryogenically frozen twenty years ago, upon awakening, you’d probably be more shocked to learn that you can place an order on the internet and get it the same day, than you would about the world’s billionaires attempting to conquer space.

You would also discover the big data is at the heart and soul of modern organizational practices. More companies are using data analytics to optimize their business models in creative ways. This is particularly true with logistics processes. The IoT has helped improve logistics, but big data has been even more impactful.

Indeed, shipping and logistics operations have come a long way in recent times, so much so that Finances Online claims top-tier management of the supply chain “isn’t just believed to be one of the top drivers of customer service improvement. It is also a case of business survival”. This wouldn’t have been possible without more companies investing in data analytics.

Some of the ways that data analytics can help companies improve their logistics include:

Optimizing transportation routesImproving shipment schedulesReducing errors with delivery and pickup

On the journey from the click of your customer’s mouse to them opening the door to their delivery, convenience and efficiency are big factors that determine whether consumers will come back to you. For one, ensuring that delivery is as swift as possible is at the heart of current consumer expectations.

Analytics technology has been invaluable for improving the customer experience. Companies can identify transportation issues that lead to delays, find employees that are prone to make mistakes to retrain them and better track inventory with the use of data analytics.

But what else can firms do to make sure their operations are well-oiled? How can data analytics help with these other processes?

We’ve narrowed down the key strategies modern companies are using to enhance logistical management with data analytics technology.

1.      Vertical integration

Vertical integration is by no means a new concept, but it’s all the rage these days. As Investopedia spells out, this refers to when a company “streamlines its operations by taking direct ownership of various stages of its production process rather than relying on external contractors or suppliers”. In short, involves a business acquiring or creating its own production line and supply chain.

Cutting out the middleman allows companies to reduce their fixed-costs per unit, in what is known as economies of scale or diminishing marginal costs. Vertical integration optimizes operations for efficiency, and as the Balance suggests: “a company that’s vertically integrated can transfer the cost savings they create to the consumer” — although this comes at the price of a sizable initial investment. Alternatively, lower production costs mean that you can lower prices to incentivize more customer purchases.

Analytics tools make it easier to make better vertical integration strategies. You can mine data on potential supply-chain partners to make sure you aren’t acquiring a business that is not efficiently run. You can do this by using web scraper tools to collect data from company review websites and financial information on the company if it is publicly traded.

Enhanced outsourcing

The next best bet for those who cannot immediately establish their own distribution is through stronger collaboration with courier companies. Courier service CitySprint, for instance, has “34 dedicated hubs across the UK”. Using such a service allows companies to emulate the perks of vertical integration by having localized distribution networks, enabling them to offer services like same-day delivery. As a result, a firm that is unable to achieve full vertical integration straight away can still meet the current consumer expectations elevated by e-Commerce giants like Amazon

Again, you will want o use data analytics to make better outsourcing decisions by collecting data on potential contractors.

2.      Rationalizing SKUs

Analytics has also made it much easier to track inventory. This is often accomplished with the use of SKUs.

In the definition given by BigCommerce, “Stock Keeping Units [SKUs] are unique alphanumeric codes used by merchants to identify product types and variations”.

These are used by online companies to manage inventory, warehouse logistics and item specs with the use of inventory management systems with sophisticated analytics features. Your average supermarket will have, for instance, 15,000 of these — compared to the fast delivery services that use micro-warehouses and centers, and only have around 500-2000.

Simplified business processes

In simple terms, rationalizing SKUs means deciding whether the selling of specific products ought to continue. This way, businesses can streamline their offerings and reduce the overall complexity of their operations through the use of analytics.

While it might seem the more sensible choice is to have a diverse range of items for customers to choose from, holding too many SKUs can complicate logistics. If you have an excess of suppliers, data or you need greater amounts of storage space, this can make inventory management increasingly difficult and hamper the efficiency of deliveries.

Optimized inventory management

ShipBob clarifies that large retail companies use analytics tools to “keep track of all inventory in their large fulfilment centers and easily locate each SKU, so they can be accurately picked, packed, and shipped as orders are placed”. A popular analytics solution for this is through warehouse management systems (WMS), that organize data, including photos and other information, for fast retrieval.

By eliminating unnecessary SKUs at the delivery stage, businesses can limit back and forth communications with other parties like suppliers, as well as storage requirements, time and energy needed to create and package products that could be used in other parts of production.

3.      Integrated software and IT

The immediate perks of integrated business software revolve around efficiency, which is crucial for meeting customer expectations through the use of analytics technology. Most firms will rely on at least one or two business-critical platforms (such as digital banking, online shopping carts and/or cloud-based data storage), but any failure often results in a drop in productivity and revenue.

Transparent communications

For instance, the inability to provide proper transaction information (such as receipts and invoices) due to loss of data will damage a company’s reputation. To insure against this and other issues, more and more firms are turning to software and communications integration to reduce business-critical risks.

One of the perks of integrating software solutions is also the reduced risk of these scenarios occurring. Akibia argues that software integration helps track communications with clients, so that “you can efficiently resolve as soon as possible. The quicker you address your clients’ queries and issues, the more favorable view your clients will hold about the organization”.

Automation and efficiency

In logistics, a popular route to achieving better delivery results is through what’s known as carrier integration. While vertical integration consolidates the entire logistics process, carrier integration focuses on managing fulfilment processes and shipping data through a unified software and digital control center.

Once the shipper provides the location of origin and destination, the integrated software can identify what services are needed for each delivery and select the best packaging and carrier. This allows for the best possible response times since these processes are automated, saving time and user effort as well as eliminating the hidden costs of shipping execution.

Analytics Helps Companies Improve their Logistics

There are countless benefits of analytics in business. One of the biggest benefits is that data analytics can improve your logistics strategy. You should follow the guidelines listed above.

The post Ways Businesses Can Boost Logistics Performance with Analytics appeared first on SmartData Collective.

Source : SmartData Collective Read More

8 Reasons Data-Driven Companies Are Utilizing Email Marketing

8 Reasons Data-Driven Companies Are Utilizing Email Marketing

Big data is at the heart of all successful, modern marketing strategies. Companies that engage in email marketing have discovered that big data is particularly effective.

When you are running a data-driven company, you should seriously consider investing in email marketing campaigns. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits.

Data-Driven Companies are Discovering the Benefits of Investing in Email Marketing

Allocating your marketing budget requires you to be careful, especially if you are a small business. A great marketing strategy can help you become a part of the big league society. After all, one of the factors that make a brand’s name big is its marketing.

Email marketing has proven to be a great tactic that helps boost your marketing efforts. This is among the most cost-effective methods, busting all the small business myths with regards to time and money. Many believe that emails are a secret weapon only for the big names in the industry. That’s not true. Even the smallest of businesses can use email marketing because of its accessibility and affordability.

Email marketing is even more effective when you use big data to optimize your strategy. There are a lot of reasons that big data can make your email marketing strategy more effective.

You don’t need several thousand dollars if you are using email marketing for your small business. That’s perhaps the true beauty of this method. You can get an even higher ROI if you know how to use data to personalize your content and refine your customer mailing list.

Another reason why emails are a great way to connect with your audience is their importance. Emails have entwined themselves in our lives so much that most people are known to check their emails even before they have gotten out of bed. You don’t want to miss out on this opportunity.

If you are still not convinced about why you should be using email marketing as a data-driven business, below are a few of the many reasons.

Cost-effective method

When you are a small business, the two biggest constraints that you have are time and money. While looking at your advertisement on a big billboard or on a television or a radio might seem very tempting, it is often quite costly.

If you are considering targeted flyer campaigns where you send flyers to the mailboxes of your prospects, you must also consider the money that you will be paying at the end of the day. The cost of designing, printing, and then mailing these flyers shouldn’t be overlooked; especially when these can cost quite a few dollars.

Such forms of marketing also require your precious time; the time that’s never enough anyway.

That’s where email marketing can do wonders. It’s quite a cost-effective method in terms of both time and money. Crafting an email and sending it to several prospects neither takes long nor does it cost too much.

You also get a chance to directly hit the prospect’s inbox, without spending all that money on the flyers!

You can make sure your email marketing strategy is even more cost-effective by investing in data analytics. You will be able to make sure that you identify the audience that is most likely to convert and provide the highest ROI. This can save you money that would be wasted on advertising to build your mailing list by targeting customers that are not likely to convert.

The best way to do this is by using the conversion reports and audience insights in the analytics dashboards of your email marketing platform. The data here will help you optimize your list-building strategy.

Establish yourself as an authority

In this world of cutthroat competition, you’ll not be able to participate in the race if you are not perceived as an expert. But the good thing is that email marketing helps you position yourself as an expert, especially in your area of business.

There are two ways for you to do this.

Firstly, share the content that is of value to the customers. Your emails don’t always have to be promotional or talk about discounts. You can share content that’s educational. The best way to do this is by sharing a newsletter, a blog, or maybe video content.

When you send value-added emails to your customers, it makes them understand that you are not just here for selling your product or service. This not only helps build your reputation as an expert but also makes business communications easy.

Secondly, you can try quality blogger outreach. To establish yourself as an authority, you can try guest posting, which is nothing but sharing content related to your business in collaboration with other bloggers on their website. You can add links to your website in these guest posts. This will make it easy for readers to visit your business site if they like what you have shared.

Guest posting allows you to target the blogger’s audience and establish yourself as an authority among that group.

A number of data mining tools make it easier to find quality content on the web, which you can use to optimize your own marketing strategy. You can also use data mining tools like SEMRush to identify the best blogs to submit guest posts.

Build strong customer relationships

Who doesn’t like to know that someone else is thinking about them? This can be your business for your customers.

When your customers feel that you care or at least you think about them whenever there’s some progress, it makes them feel special. As a result, it can make it easier for you to build strong relationships with them.

Whenever there’s an update, you must share that with your customers. Whether it’s a new product launch, any event that’s coming up, or big news related to your business, you can share it all with your customers.

Of course, if you sit and start calling them individually, it will take hours. Similar is the case with mailouts; they are costly and also a waste. That’s where sending emails can do wonders. Use emails to share more than the news of discounts or sales.

Moreover, if you have invited prospects to sign up for newsletters, you must leverage that fully.

Building customer relationships is a great practice for your business. It helps keep them around for longer than you might have anticipated.

You can build stronger relationships with data-driven CRM applications. As we pointed out in the past, data-driven CRM tools make it easier to build strong relationships with customers.

Improve brand recognition

Email marketing is a great method to improve your brand’s recall value.

When you strategize well, you will have particular days and time for reaching out to your prospects via emails. When you are continuously sending an email with your name and popping up in their inbox, there will come a day when they will be expecting your emails, or at least they will know from where do they know you.

Secondly, you can always add your logo, brand colors, and graphics in adherence to your brand manual/elements. When you add your brand elements to your emails, it improves your brand’s awareness. Consequently, it boosts brand recognition. This is because if you keep coming across certain elements, again and again, it does create an impact.

Hence, email marketing is not only to let your prospects know about your promotions but also to help them get ready for future interactions.

One of the benefits of email is that it has powerful data-driven AI algorithms that make it easier to automate your engagement with customers. You can specify when emails should be sent out, which makes it easier to remind customers at the right times to keep your brand fresh in their mind without annoying them.

Increase brand credibility

Increasing your brand’s credibility is perhaps of utmost importance, especially when the competition out there is overflowing.

After all, when you are new, selling your services over those that have been standing their ground for years can get a little tricky. One of the major reasons for your prospects to trust the big names is because of their marketing tactics. They have been hearing that name for much longer than yours. They are bound to get customer’s attention.

With the help of email marketing, you can build connections with your customers. Use this form of marketing to stay in contact and to keep them updated with all the exciting news about your business. Help them grow with your brand.

The more they hear about your business and the more they are aware of your progress, the easier they will find to trust your business over others.

An additional source of income

Yes, we know you already have a business that’s earning enough. But let’s be real, we all want more.

Several entrepreneurs out there are always in search of ways to make more money than they can invest back into their primary source of income. And email marketing can help you with that, without actually having to spend a penny.

You can use email newsletters to recommend products, services, or affiliates to your customers.

In return, for every sale that the other business makes with your referral, you can earn commissions. Just make sure that you are being genuine and recommending products that you yourself have tried. You don’t want to spoil your reputation just to sell others’ products.

Once you have enough audience, you can sell ‘ad space’ to businesses and earn commissions. Email marketing believes in a give and take relationship, which can turn out to be beautiful if managed well.

Expand your audience

At the end of the day, we all want to make more sales. And to make more sales, we need more audience.

Sometimes, performing an SEO audit to find practices that will help your website rank better and get in front of more people isn’t enough. You need more than that. That’s where email marketing comes into the picture.

With every visitor that shares an email using your ‘opt-in’ box on the website, you are expanding your database. This database is a true gold mine for you to do everything that we have discussed above. This includes building relationships, sharing knowledge, and improving your brand recall value. You can do this even with those that have only visited your website once and have shared their information.

Just keep in mind that for this to truly become fruitful, you must promote your email newsletter well. This means you must share about your newsletter via social media, on your website, and in your email signature. Basically, wherever and whenever possible. This is because people will only sign up if they know about its existence.

Track your progress

The best thing about email marketing is all the data that you receive and can analyze. In other forms of marketing, you don’t really know who actually looked at your ads or who skipped them.

With email marketing, you get to know everything that you want to. You get data that talks about who has opened your emails and those who haven’t. From those who have opened it, how many of them replied, what time did they open it, and how many times was your email opened.

You can use this data to tweak your follow-up emails, make them more tempting, and make your subscribers want to open your emails. You can also use this data to understand who is not interested at all. This saves you from sending emails to those doors that you know will never be opened, no matter how many times you knock.

This makes it easy for you to track your progress as well. You can easily run tests, see what’s working and what needs to be changed. Honestly, emails are a blessing in disguise.

This is the most important benefit of big data for email marketing. You will be able to use sophisticated data analytics features to test and optimize your email marketing strategy.

Email Marketing is a Great Option for Data-Driven Companies

Big data has become very important for marketing. One of the best ways companies can use big data to reach new customers and build their brand is with email marketing.

To wrap it up, we can say that email marketing can turn out to be quite beneficial, irrespective of the size of the business. You can use big data to get even more bang for your buck with email marketing. It helps you enjoy the best of all the tactics; from building customer relationships to sharing valuable content, small businesses can use emails as much as large-scale businesses. The best thing about this form of marketing is that you don’t have to spend too much time or money on reaching out to your prospects. Who wouldn’t want that?

The post 8 Reasons Data-Driven Companies Are Utilizing Email Marketing appeared first on SmartData Collective.

Source : SmartData Collective Read More