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Benefits of Having AI-Powered Software Solutions for Expense Management

Benefits of Having AI-Powered Software Solutions for Expense Management

All businesses need a system to accurately track their expenses. Without it, they would not be able to keep reliable records and would likely soon find themselves in financial trouble.

To track expenses, most businesses rely on some form of expense management software. However, not all expense management software options are created equal.

Some offer more and better tools, providing some significant advantages to their users. One such example is expense management software that’s powered by AI.

What Is AI-Powered Expense Management Software?

Through the use of AI, the software is able to handle more complicated operations, much more than your typical spreadsheet-based software options.

It also learns more about its users over time, making operations even faster and more efficient as you use it longer. Below, we’ll outline some of the major benefits you can find in AI-powered expense management software.

Faster Expense Tracking

The first major benefit of AI-powered expense management software is that it allows users to more quickly track their expenses. Anyone who has spent time manually entering all their different expenses knows how much time it can waste throughout the day.

With this more powerful software option, you can do things like submit receipts with a single click on your mobile device. You can also sync your mobile and desktop applications, allowing you to complete expense report tasks from anywhere.

Ensures Policy Compliance

In some cases, an employee may submit an expense that your business does not cover. When this happens, it may take some time to discover it. You then need to spend more time undoing the mistake.

With AI-powered expense management software, it will automatically check all submissions against your current expense policy. It ensures compliance, not allowing any expenses that don’t fit your requirements. This saves everyone time and ensures your business isn’t reimbursing for additional expenses.

Track Mileage Automatically

If your business reimburses for travel, having AI-powered expense management software can greatly improve your tracking process. Some software options use GPS to accurately track the miles traveled and record them in your expense report. It can even calculate the cost based on different types of vehicles.

The person in charge of approving the expense reports can also view a map of the travel before approving and ensure that it is accurate. With the help of AI, you and your employees no longer need to spend time adding up miles or trying to calculate just how much you spend on gas.

Automate Reimbursements

Another important part of expense management is sending out reimbursements to your employees. Whenever your employees spend money on business-related expenses, you need to reimburse them as soon as possible. With AI-powered expense management software, you can automate expense claim reimbursements.

This improved software allows you to directly transmit payments to your employees’ bank accounts based on approved expense reports. Your employees will certainly appreciate the improved turn-around time on reimbursements and you’ll appreciate not having to send out each payment manually every time an employee spends money on your business’s behalf.

Quickly Prepare for Audits

Finally, AI-powered expense management software helps you to quickly perform any audits. It’s easy to search through all of your records, finding any expense or receipt stores. You can also generate reports based on your specific requirements and see just the information you need.

If you’ve ever spent time trying to find a mistake somewhere in your records, you know how much a hassle it is. And even though AI-powered software makes these mistakes much less likely, they may still happen. When they do, you’ll want a system in place that makes it as easy as possible to perform an audit and find the mistake. This improved expense management software does just that.

Making Use of the Best Software

If expense management is a major part of your business, you deserve to have the best available tools to help you with it. Take some time to assess your current expense management software and see how quickly you can perform your necessary tasks with it.

If you feel like you are spending too much time on expense submissions, reimbursements, reports, and audits, then you may benefit from AI-powered expense management software.

Then, it’s just a matter of finding the right software option for your organization and spending time switching over to the new software. With the number of benefits you can get from the switch, though, it’s likely worth your time and effort.

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Gmail is Using Big Data to Integrate a new VoIP feature

Gmail is Using Big Data to Integrate a new VoIP feature

Big data has been a pivotal asset in modern businesses. Major tech companies like Google regularly use big data to offer higher quality services to their customers.

Google is one of the companies that has always used big data to its full effectiveness. They have used big data in their Gmail services to offer better features to their customers. In the past, they used new forms of big data technology to offer more robust security. However, there are other major benefits as well.

Google has recently found an application for data technology in their Gmail platform. They are using a new VoIP service that relies heavily on sophisticated big data technology.

Big Data Advances Help Make VoIP a Reality for Gmail Users

Gmail’s goal is to become your go-to center for more than simply communications, according to Google. Even though there are other enterprise VoIP solutions that companies of any size may add to their account for a cheap, easy-to-use business telephone service. Google is releasing a bigger data-centric Workspace upgrade that will bring direct talking to the Gmail mobile app via Google Meet.

Users will be able to call individuals directly through their Gmail mobile or Web applications using Google Meet. The call will be received via the Gmail app rather than the separate Google Meet app, though the latter will be able to originate and make VoIP calls in the future, according to Google. Big data advances will help streamline this considerably.

Together with emails, the new features revealed by Google combine the newest Workspace technologies into the Gmail tool, which now includes three tabs for Chat, Spaces, and Meet. Users will be able to make one-on-one calls directly from Google Meet with complex data-driven technology without needing to first create a meeting link.

The fact that Gmail was the first area Google considered putting its calling function demonstrates how significant Gmail has become in the wider Google Workspace improvements. Gmail is now effectively Google’s version of Microsoft’s Outlook. It serves as a focal point for a range of services.

This, according to Google, will make meetings more spontaneous.

Google now creates URLs that consumers may use to join Google Meet video conversations. With this new feature, users will be able to make calls without having to create a meeting and share invite links with other participants thanks to the new Google Meet calling option.

This is a step toward making “meetings more spontaneous” according to Google. They may even incorporate their other Gmail analytics tools into the VoIP features.

“Our intention is to bring Meet calling to all the natural endpoints in Workspace where you’d initiate an ad-hoc call including chats, people cards, and Spaces, but this will come first to one-to-one chats within the Gmail mobile app.” said Google’s Senior Director of Product Management, Sanaz Ahari.

The Spaces tab, which was formerly known as ‘Rooms’, is now rolling out to Gmail users. It’s a specific location for better collaboration, according to Google, and it’s connected with other Google Workspace apps like Calendar, Docs, Sheets, Meet, and Tasks. Users will be able to share documents using the group chat function, and the space will save their whole discussion history. More features will be introduced to spaces in the “coming months,” according to Google’s blog post.

Google is striving to give additional tools for hybrid meetings in addition to incorporating new capabilities into Gmail. In November, Google will launch a Companion mode in Google Meet. Users may use their laptop to host or attend a meeting from inside a meeting room, making use of the in-room audio and video. They will be able to bring presentations, papers, and other materials to the meeting on their computers, as well as see shared content up close.

The Series One kit was built with direct interaction in mind, using cutting-edge technology that enables more seamless, inviting, and inclusive virtual encounters. Other companies-built Series One devices to seem like they belong in Google’s design style, and they only function with Google’s software. Google has teamed up with Cisco WebEx to make video conferencing easier and to guarantee that equipment built for Google Meet can dial into meetings.

Google’s goals for Gmail are quite obvious. It’s becoming a hub for all business communication, not simply email and periodic meetings, similar to Microsoft Outlook. This is unsurprising given Google’s direct competition with Microsoft Office.

Big Data Leads to Major VoIP Breakthroughs with Gmail

Big data technology is leading to some major changes with Gmail technology. The new introduction of VoIP technology is possibly the biggest change yet.

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5 Data Points that Your 2022 Digital Marketing Strategy Must Include

5 Data Points that Your 2022 Digital Marketing Strategy Must Include

You must pay attention the data points that matter!

Long gone are the days when digital marketing was based on gut feel and what looked good. The industry knows data is critical to a successful strategy. The hard thing is knowing which data points to pay attention to – separating the signal from the noise.

With so much of marketing being quantifiable nowadays, it can be easy to get lost analyzing the wrong data and wasting time which could be better spent elsewhere. Preparing a comprehensive marketing plan before you close on your priorities for 2022 can save you some of these troubles.

Consider what your ambitions are and what metrics you’re going to use to judge your effectiveness. Each business will have their own specific goals which change the priority of the data points below, depending on what is needed most by them at that time.

Here are five of the most important data points you must include in your digital marketing strategy to maximize effectiveness.

Cost-per-lead

Good digital marketing takes budget ceilings and ROI into consideration, so it’s critical for marketers to make the most of their limited resources. As a metric, cost-per-lead is particularly useful to keep track of in a segmented fashion, with drill-downs by channel and content type. This allows you to make educated decisions about where the right places are to invest in the future.

Keep in mind the pareto rule of 80/20 rather than trying to have a presence everywhere. If you find that most of your leads are coming from one channel, then invest more time there where you may see cheaper results rather than pumping money into channels which aren’t offering a good return on investment.

Within a platform, you should also watch which types of content are generating the most leads and their relative costs. For instance, native content promotion ads have been shown to be far more effective than banner ads. If you’re finding potential customers consistently telling you that they found you through one post, then it makes sense to create more content similar to it.

Lead conversion rate

Inexpensive leads are great, but generating lots of them that don’t convert is a waste of resources and futile effort. The lead conversion rate of different channels and messaging can show a company where the highest quality leads are coming from.

A low lead conversion rate could mean your marketing is poorly aligned with your actual product. It’s common for companies to use memes to grow their social followings, for example, yet if those memes lead to the wrong type of people clicking through to your site then it becomes a waste of time.

Consumers who are interested but ultimately don’t buy might feel as if they are being misled, and collecting feedback from these people can be a big help to address the underlying issue.

Marketers may be aware that the average lead conversion rate is very low, but this masks considerable variation. The top 10% of converters have a conversion rate of over 11%. This is a realistic goal for people to aim for by cutting down on low quality leads and improving the relevance of your messaging.

Demographic parameters

The use of buyer personas has become widespread, but a fictional persona is no match for real world customer data. It’s not uncommon to find that actual customers and followers are different to what you might expect.

On social media platforms such as Instagram, you can easily check breakdowns of your audience by going to the insights section. This shows you your followers’ gender, age and location breakdowns, key information which can help drive your strategy to focus on how to convert the people who are gravitating toward your brand. You may find the difference in cost-per-lead and lead conversion rate is huge between different geographies.

For instance, if you have a large percentage of followers in a region you do not prioritize, then you can change this and update your talking points to be more relevant to these people. This could then make them more likely to convert in the future.

Search trends

Trends in search are changing all the time as different topics have their moment in the sun. The words people use to describe the same underlying concept change too over time. It’s particularly important in the most innovative industries, where consumer recognition of certain terms can evolve considerably, even from month to month.

Google Trends allows you to work out whether or not you are targeting the right keywords. You can see the peaks and valleys in the volume of demand for search terms and see whether your results match that of the overall market. Keeping an eye on this is critical if you’re going to minimize wasted SEO efforts.

Seasonality in search trends is also key to ensure the right digital strategy is being used at the right time. If your company sells multiple products, it could be worth emphasizing different products at different times of year, when the demand for them online is at its greatest.

Volume and sentiment of mentions

Most people don’t enjoy being bombarded with adverts, and 84% of millennials don’t like marketing at all. It’s important to be aware of this in your marketing strategy and encourage organic mentions that help the brand grow without feeling too corporate.

The power of an everyday person evangelizing your product can’t be underrated. If you’re generating content that people want to share, then it helps to signal you to create more that type of content.

On the other side, look out for negative mentions. These can give crucial information of where something is falling short so it can be addressed. It’s not uncommon for ads and social posts to unintentionally cause offense, and it can be a disaster for a company to not have a timely response.

A sudden spike in mentions means something major has happened, whether it’s good or bad, and the company must be aware of this to leverage it the best they can.

Final thoughts

These are some of the most important data points to consider into 2022, but be sure to customize what you track depending on your company and what you wish to achieve.

Ensure that you are tracking your statistics regularly to avoid needing to make significant pivots in your strategy at short notice.

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Protecting IP Addresses in an Age Governed by Data

Protecting IP Addresses in an Age Governed by Data

New developments in data technology have led to some major changes in digital technology. One of the biggest changes has been the need for greater data security.

In order to appreciate the importance of implementing a data-driven digital security strategy, you must consider the weak points in your cybersecurity plan. This entails recognizing the need to protect your IP address as much as possible.

Protecting Your IP Address is Critical in an Era of Growing Data Breaches

IP addresses are quickly becoming a hot topic again, although they’re something that’s been in use for over thirty years with the development of ARPANET.  If you’re still new to IPs and the most you’ve done with yours is a quick IP lookup, you’re not alone! However, you can’t afford to relish in ignorance forever, because compromised IP addresses are responsible for many data breaches.

These are the top things you should know about IPS so that you can make the best choices for your digital health and prevent a potential data breach!

What It an IP Address

An IP address is a personal address every device that connects to the internet has to communicate with other devices.  Every IP address is unique, and although they may not be static, some are fluid and change for your protection, that doesn’t mean they aren’t important.  These can help law enforcement track down criminals, find the locations of missing people, and even alert your bank or financial institution to possible financial fraud being committed against you.

Unfortunately, hackers also recognize the importance of IP addresses and try to compromise them to commit a data breach.

What Devices Have It

As was stated in the last portion: any device that communicates on the internet has an IP address.  If you have a smart fridge, this includes that device.  Although you may not use it for these purposes and may never be caught searching an IP lookup for your smart vanity mirror, this information can be important to ensure nobody else is on your WIFI network or is using your data.

Do I Need to Protect It?

Yes!  You need to protect your IP address for your phone, computer, and any other device you use to connect to the internet and access your information.  Although your smart fridge may not need the protection, your tablets, game systems, and laptops do.

Criminals can use your IP address to pin a crime on you or gather your information to steal your identity.  Protecting it is the best way to avoid either of these happening.

How To Protect It

Protecting your IP address to prevent a data breach can be done in multiple ways.  The biggest is by avoiding clicking on any links or websites you don’t trust or already know.  This is important to keep people from gathering your IP information and using it against you to steal your data.

To hide your IP, you have a couple of options, using a proxy, a firewall, or a VPN.  A proxy allows you to cover your IP address temporarily, but it’s usually a drain on your speed and may leave you open to viruses.  A firewall can help to some degree, but most modems and routers already have one built-in, so there’s not much you can do to strengthen it.  A VPN is the best way to protect your IP address and avoid having your data compromised because it completely disguises it and can even have you appear in different cities or countries.

The most important thing to remember about your IP address is that it’s different between devices and can be used against you if you’re not careful.  Avoid clicking unfamiliar links or websites, and be careful to keep an eye on your digital health and wellbeing.

Protecting Your IP Address is Essential to Stop a Data Breach

You need to make sure that you do everything possible to stop potential data breaches. One of the most important steps to take is securing your IP address. The tips listed above should help!

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What Skills Are Needed for a Career in Data-Driven Cybersecurity?

What Skills Are Needed for a Career in Data-Driven Cybersecurity?

Big data has become more important than ever in the realm of cybersecurity. You are going to have to know more about AI, data analytics and other big data tools if you want to be a cybersecurity professional.

Big Data Skills Must Be Utilized in a Cybersecurity Role

As far as computer and information technology occupations go, security awareness training is a key starting point for anyone interested in the bright future that this sector offers. The need for cybersecurity personnel, technicians, officers, developers, and trainers have never been greater. As the need for these professions grows, it also becomes more important for them to have a background in big data and other forms of technology.

There has never been a more relevant time to change careers and aim towards cybersecurity, especially as the sector has risen to new heights in the past few years. This of course is the fact that the cybercrime environment has become more intense and heightened the need for a background in data analytics and AI skills. That is to say, malicious actors have become more sophisticated and have spread their tentacles everywhere. Secondly, the more tech we make as a society, the more a data-driven, hands-on approach will ensure a good level of safety.

Brilliant Growth and Wages

The projections for the growth of the cybersecurity sector are very progressive, the number is around a 15% growth factor between now and 2030. In North America alone, the cybersecurity market size is projected to grow from $150 billion in 2020 to over $350 billion by 2028. The emphasis for the sector is on information and data security, big data storage and collection as well as cloud computing and cloud computing security. Not only is the sector booking thousands of applicants every day, but wages are on a steep rise as well. Cybersecurity is currently the highest-paid sector in IT. As far as median wages are concerned, the highest-paid personnel are data scientists and computer researchers (security managers) making well over $100,000 even up to $220,000, followed by network architects, programmers, and analysts. As far as the CAGR or Compound Annual Growth Rate is concerned, the largest growth is taking place forecasted vertically most notably for the cybersecurity service sector (management, consulting, and maintenance) especially relating to SMBs (Small-to-Medium Businesses.)

The Reason For So Much Demand

According to IBM, a singular data breach can cost organizations over $3 million, which is a significant increase compared to the mid-2010s. Furthermore, the fact that cyberattacks have been getting more sophisticated and much nastier over the years, with heavy breaches affecting big corporations like Facebook, T-Mobile, Equifax as well as several crypto exchanges (and many more), the need for cybersecurity personnel is higher and more in-demand than ever. Cybersecurity is a form of security, so paying top dollar for peace of mind when it comes to sensitive and valuable business and personal assets makes a lot of sense. This especially rings true in a time where nation-state APT (Advanced Persistent Threat) groups, as well as cyber-physical attacks, are becoming a threat to humanity.

Cybersecurity Market Drivers

Let’s look at what is driving the growth and changes in the cybersecurity industry. The amount of e-commerce platforms, especially as the trend is vertical, is one of the drivers. Furthermore, cloud storage, blockchain, artificial intelligence, and IoT are big drivers as well. Network security itself is advancing and growing and is again one of the drivers. Nations like Brazil, Israel, Germany, India, the United Kingdom, and of course North America are investing billions into cybersecurity.

Market Share

As far as market share goes, the global cybersecurity market share pie can be divided into multiple categories such as; retail, healthcare, government, manufacturing, transportation, financial services, and more. Financial services by far are going to take most of the cybersecurity market share pie, followed closely by IT and healthcare. Some of the market leaders in cybersecurity are; Cisco Systems, Inc., FireEye, IBM, Palo Alto Networks, Inc., Zscaler, Inc., and Fortinet, Inc. (to name a few.)

What Skills Are Required for a Career in Cybersecurity?

The cybersecurity industry needs personnel, as there is currently a shortage of specialists in this sector. Now that we’ve looked at how bright the future is for cybersecurity, it is time to understand what kind of skills are going to be required for a career in this sector. Here are some of those in-demand skills at the moment;

Risk assessmentLinux expertiseSplunkKerberosPenetration testingDigital Forensics

These are the most in-demand skill sets that are required for a highly paid cybersecurity career. On top of this, it is also good to have a developed set of soft skills such as;

Communication and empathyTeam collaborationGood problem-solving skills

Where Do You Start?

So, you have decided to pursue a career in cybersecurity. Now, there are a few things you need to take into consideration;

College degreeCybersecurity boot campSpecialized certifications

Primarily, it is important to research what is required for a specific job position. Each organization will have slightly different requirements for applicants, so it is important to research these criteria well. Of course, a passion for cybersecurity and IT helps a lot with these jobs. The good news is that apart from industry-leading wages, statistically speaking most people that work in cybersecurity are satisfied with their job positions (based on a survey conducted in the United States.) Cybersecurity is only going to grow and expand more each year, so the sooner individuals interested in this line of work enter the workforce, the better it is for both sides.

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Here’s How AI-backed Insurance Plans Make Your Life Easy

Here’s How AI-backed Insurance Plans Make Your Life Easy

You might be surprised to hear that AI is becoming more important in the field of insurance than ever. Insurance companies have been using AI and big data for underwriting and other functions for years.

As Gen Z is now beginning to make radical financial decisions for themselves, we’ve seen a rise in the number of platforms and applications that are now automating the process of insurance policies. With such platforms, powered by AI and data analysis techniques, insurance companies are slowly changing the way they function, bidding farewell to the pre-set traditional insurance schemes for people to choose from.

Most companies talk about the benefits of AI in marketing and management, but it can be essential in other aspects of the insurance industry as well. These new-age AI-backed insurance plans are making the consumers’ lives simpler and better, which has resulted in a stronger competitive advantage for insurance companies using it. Here’s how.

AI Provides Better Accessibility for Insurance Customers

What’s better than having all your essential finance-related documents and details in your hand at all times? These online platforms make it incredibly easy for you to get the required insurance quickly. It eliminates the tedious step of processing paperwork by simply automating getting customer details without you having to fill out numerous forms. 

Since you get your insurance entirely online, you don’t even need to carry around physical proof for the same. The platform gives you e-proofs for everything related to your insurance policies.

Artificial Intelligence Means it Takes Less Paperwork to Get Insured

We’ve all been there – tired from standing in long queues, figuring out complicated terms related to insurances, filling out forms while making sure not to make any mistakes; it’s draining and tiresome. But platforms such as Salty can help you.

These AI-backed insurance platforms allow you to move the process online, giving it access to your information which helps them suggest a personalized plan for you. All the necessary details are also stored online on cloud with maximum customer privacy and security to ensure your details are in the right hands. Once you’re done with the formalities, you’re insured. It’s just that simple.

With no in-hand documents or submission of the same to the company, you can enjoy the security of your insurance without the hassle of paperwork. This is especially beneficial when insuring utilities such as a house or vehicle.

Personalized Insurance Schemes

Gone are the days of traditional insurance schemes when people were bound to sacrifice some of their requirements to attain insurance through these rigid plans. Nowadays, insurance companies have integrated technologically advanced techniques into their architecture. This allows them to understand their customers through efficient data analysis truly. When you give them your basic details such as name, phone number, email address, etc., they read through your smart devices, transaction history, bank history, SMS, etc., to determine what kind of insurance plan would be ideal for your needs. 

This personalization of schemes has been made possible with AI allows customers to be in control of their money and safety.

Room For Customization

With personalization comes room for customization of these schemes! Insurance plans on such platforms allow customers to alter their plans based on recent changes easily. 

For instance, when a customer gets healthcare insurance, it covers their needs and is customized for their requirements. However, a new addition to the family or the demise of an older member calls for a change in the plan. They can alter their policy to cover their family members without a lot of hassle or paperwork by simply completing an online procedure. 

This is also incredibly useful when buying a costly home appliance or automobile as these utilities require insurance.

Flexibility When Choosing Plans

Designed to give the customer complete freedom, these AI-backed policies genuinely deliver what they promise. These plans aren’t solely for healthcare or life insurance; they can also be small-term, event-based, or utility-based. 

For instance, if you don’t get embedded insurance for an appliance as a native feature, you can buy utility-based insurance on a low premium; you can also get short-term insurance for a small business—the possibilities are endless.

Getting insurance can sound daunting. However, the new-age AI-driven platforms which leverage data analysis to provide you with the best customer experience make the process incredibly easy to grasp, fit for anybody seeking insurance.

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4 Ways to Use Data Analytics to Bolster Your Email Marketing Strategy

4 Ways to Use Data Analytics to Bolster Your Email Marketing Strategy

Email marketing ranks among the best ways to stay in touch with an audience and potentially to build one too. However, like so many digital marketing tasks, it’s something that undergoes constant evolution and development. Even with the initial tasks out of the way, such as deciding on a tone and template and testing your email servers, it requires regular work to keep people engaged.

It’s also a discipline that involves massive amounts of data. Anyone with even a passing interest in using email as a marketing tool should have a good idea of typical open rates and bounce rates, so they have something to compare campaigns to. It’s then far easier to understand where a business stands and can guide what comes next.

Utilizing this data to drive decisions and others elements of the overall marketing plan is what inevitably takes up the most time – even more so than crafting the emails themselves. However, great campaigns don’t necessarily rely on marketers who understand their data’s comprehensive ins and outs. So instead, we’re going to focus on four critical aspects of that data that can yield the best results.

Performance Monitoring

Starting off with the most basic data, it’s vital to understand how your current efforts perform if you’re to stand a chance of improving them. Most email marketing tools provide this data as standard, spanning core metrics such as click and open rates, together with the number of people that unsubscribe with each email.

Naturally, knowing this information is merely part of the job. The actual skill stems from applying context then making a decision. For example, when it comes to people unsubscribing from your list, the most common reason is almost always too many emails. It’s not difficult to apply context to that one, but someone needs to make a decision and decide whether the current schedule brings in as much value as it could.

With open rates, keep an eye on how different styles and tones in the subject line have an impact. With click rates, monitor whether in-content links perform better than images and buttons or vice versa.

While basic, this insight should be a priority, and marketers should monitor performance with each email they send to build up an overall picture of subscriber behaviors. From there, they can deploy their knowledge from the moment the following email goes out.

Audience Segmentation

Most of your email subscribers will already have something in common – likely at least a passing interest in your brand, products, or services. However, unless you do just one thing, there will be differences.

While an extensive list is always beneficial, most email marketers accept that not every email needs to go to every subscriber. There’ll always be generalized updates, such as the latest news from your brand. However, with a robust handle on how your audience differs, you can start to divide up marketing campaigns based on their interests.

Big data is at the core of audience targeting across all channels, and few are as specific and accessible as information related to your mailing list.

Funnel Overview

Emails form a vital part of the overall sales funnel, and the data behind them can reveal where list prospects reside on the buying journey. Social data is valuable in the funneling process, and it works exceptionally well with email data as someone on your list can already be considered at least a partially warm lead.

Your email strategy will be driven by your information on how people interact with what you send them. For example, some users will make a purchase every time you email them special offers and discounts. Others will open every email that provides a story or industry commentary but demonstrates less interest in your sales messages. This ties back into audience segmentation but differs in that it provides valuable insight into the types of customers that are just browsing and those that are ready to buy.

Shareability

Wrapping up with an oft-overlooked influence of data on email marketing, we consider how likely someone is to pass along something you’ve sent them. There was previously a trend where marketers would directly encourage readers to forward emails to their friends. Although a few holdouts remain, it’s mainly fallen out of fashion, primarily due to brands preferring to nudge people towards social media.

Whether you ask, imply or let nature take its course, it’s always a great idea to keep an eye on which content resonates so much with your readers that they cannot help but tell someone else about it. This might involve a behind-the-scenes look at the business, a special offer that matches what someone they know wants to buy, or anything else. Again, the key is knowing what and who.

This form of word-of-mouth marketing is exceptionally valuable in that it can not only boost sales but also grow your list organically. Both undoubtedly reside near the top of your KPI list, so a renewed focus on passing the message on, with data to make it happen, can make all the difference.

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Data-Driven Strategies for Resolving Cyber Threats as a Business Owner

Data-Driven Strategies for Resolving Cyber Threats as a Business Owner

Big data has become an essential asset in the fight against cybercrime. This has caused the demand for cybersecurity professionals with a background in big data to grow. It is important to use the latest data analytics and AI technology to counter these threats if at all possible.

Business Owners Lean on Big Data to Deal with Cybercrime Threats

It’s no secret that the COVID pandemic caused a lot of industries to get flipped on their head or at least make some major organizational changes in order to stay afloat during the peak of shelter-in-place orders and other legalities aimed to stop the spread of the virus.  The great thing about living in a world governed by advances in big data technology is that it was possible to offer these services remotely.

For many businesses, there was a move to the remote workplace for those employees who could do most of their work on a computer. In a classic “one thing leading to another” scenario, there was a boom in ecommerce and web-based sharing of data for businesses, which also led to a spike in cybersecurity breaches. For business owners looking to keep all or some of their business in the remote office (it’s a big money saver), it’s important to understand the seriousness of cyber threats and the possibility of a data breach, especially in a post-pandemic world with a heavier reliance on web-based interactions. 

Types of Attacks

There is a near-endless list of different types of hackers, but they don’t all take aim at small businesses. Some try to infiltrate home networks to steal data, and others even do what is called “hacktivism,” in a “steal from the rich and give to the poor” type of scenario that includes things like publishing information on corrupt politicians. 

Here is a list of some of the types of hackers use to orchestrate data breaches that you need to be the most wary of at your small business. 

Phishing – These attacks are most often conducted via email, and focus on pulling on the heart strings of the receiver in order to get them to share information that can be used to infiltrate a network. When the pandemic first hit, phishing attacks increased by a whopping 600%, most via unsecure home networks being relied upon for work activities that would have otherwise been conducted at home. Phishing emails will often disguise themselves as an organization looking for financial help, and last year, a Texas school lost more than $2 million after a hacker forged an email from the World Health Organization to steal data from the public.Software Vendors – Part of the move to remote work was a heavier reliance on software to help with project management and communication, and these vendors became targets of many cyber attacks focused on stealing sensitive data. A silver lining to the pandemic was a heavy increase in capabilities offered by software, but no matter what it offers your company, be sure to look up how well they secure their information and if they have been victim of any attacks. Cloud Storage – Companies needed to rely on cloud storage during the pandemic, as well, and this led to a spike in cloud-based hacking. Technology allows hackers to scan cloud servers to find openings that don’t have passwords, or have very simple-to-break ones. Ultimately, any server is vulnerable, so ensuring you protect your information within the server is important and should be something you train your team on.

Take Adequate Steps to Prevent Data Breaches as a Small Business Owner

Speaking of training, it’s your responsibility to protect your client and customer’s data. Unfortunately, a data breach of any sort can be catastrophic to your bank account and your image. More than half of employees working remotely during the pandemic said they probably did some things that made company information more vulnerable than it would have been if they were in an office, so training, training, and more training should be the first three things on your cybersecurity list. Investments into security software are also generally sound. 

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Administering Data Fabric to Overcome Data Management Challenges.

Administering Data Fabric to Overcome Data Management Challenges.

The world we live in keeps facing unprecedented and rapid phase changes when it comes to business verticals and innovations. In such an era, data provides a competitive edge for businesses to stay at the forefront in their respective fields. Satisfying end-customer needs within the given time limits has also become a main priority. According to Forrester’s reports, the rate of insight-driven businesses is growing at an average of 30% per year.

Recognizing the potential of data, organizations are trying to extract values from their data in various ways to create new revenue streams and reduce the cost and resources required for operations. With the increased adoption of cloud and emerging technologies like the Internet of Things, data is no longer confined to the boundaries of organizations. The increased amounts and types of data, stored in various locations eventually made the management of data more challenging.

Challenges in maintaining data

As organizations keep using several applications, the data collected becomes unmanageable and inaccessible in the long run. The legacy systems and infrastructures can no longer be capable of handling such massive amounts of data. Shifting the data to the cloud from the existing legacy systems had its own challenges. Additionally, data sharing between different public cloud platforms or on-premise platforms can be difficult. 

Companies these days have multiple on-premise as well as cloud platforms to store their data. The data contained can be both structured and unstructured and available in a variety of formats such as files, database applications, SaaS applications, etc. Processing such kinds of data require advanced technologies from ELT processing to real-time streaming. The daunting amounts of data make it very difficult for companies to quickly ingest, integrate, analyze, and share new data resources.

With the amount of increase in data, the complexity of managing data only keeps increasing. It has been found that data professionals end up spending 75% of their time on tasks other than data analysis. The ability of the organizations to manually extract the most out of their data results in being highly time and resource-consuming. 

Advantages of data fabrication for data management

Data fabric is an architecture and set of data services that provide capabilities to seamlessly integrate and access data from multiple data sources like on-premise and cloud-native platforms. The data can also be processed, managed and stored within the data fabric. Using data fabric also provides advanced analytics for market forecasting, product development, sale and marketing. Moreover, it is important to note that data fabric is not a one-time solution to fix data integration and management issues. It is rather a permanent and flexible solution to manage data under a single environment. Other important advantages of data fabric are as follows

Unified environment

Data fabric applications provide a unified environment that caters to all the needs of the organization to transform raw data into valuable and healthy data. It also eliminates the need for the integration of multiple applications and tools for the product, contract and support mechanisms. Data fabric helps from discovery to integration of data that are gathered from various sources. Data Fabric also helps with cleansing the data, analyzing the integrity and enables sharing the trusted data with all the stakeholders. 

Native code generation

A data fabric solution must be capable of optimizing code natively using preferred programming languages in the data pipeline to be easily integrated into cloud platforms such as Amazon Web Services, Azure, Google Cloud, etc. Also, the solution must have multiple built-in connectors and components that can function as intended for many environments and applications. This will enable the users to seamlessly work with code while developing data pipelines.  

On-premise and cloud-native environment

Since a wide range of organizations stores data on both on-premise and cloud environments, a data fabric solution must be developed in such a way that it is natively capable of working in both environments. These solutions must also be able to ingest and integrate data from both on-premise and cloud environments such as Oracle, SAP and AWS, Google, Snowflake, etc. The data fabric solution must also embrace and adapt itself to new emerging technologies such as docker, Kubernetesinserverless computing, etc. 

Data quality and governance 

Data fabric solutions must integrate data quality into each step of the data management process right from the initial stages. Separate roles have to be set out for cleansing data and trace the source of data to maintain data integrity and compliance. 

Best Data Fabric Tools for Enterprises – Tried and Tested

Atlan

Atlan’s data fabric solution focuses primarily on 4 major areas such as data cataloging & data discovery, data quality & profiling, data lineage & governance and data exploration & integration. This product offers a search feature that is as sophisticated as Google and automatic data profiling. Altan’s data fabric solution lets the user manage data usage across the ecosystem using governance and access controls.

K2View

K2View’s data fabric solution organizes isolated data sets from various data sources according to the digital entity. Each business entity has its own hyper-performance micro-database. The digital entity unifies all the known data related to the business entity. This data fabric solution ingests, transforms, orchestrates, secures all the data in the micro DB. This solution can also be integrated with the source system and can be scaled up to support millions of micro databases at the same time. This high-performance architecture can also be integrated into on-premise and cloud-native environments. 

Cinchy

Cinchy offers a data collaboration platform that can handle enterprise applications and data integration. The product was originally developed as a secure tool to solve data access challenges and provide real-time governance and effective data delivery. Cinchy’s solution can seamlessly integrate fragmented data sets into its network architecture. The ‘autonomous data’ feature enables the platform to self-describing, self-protecting, self-connecting and self-managing.

Data fabric ultimately enables organizations to extract the most out of the collected data and meet business demands while maintaining a competitive advantage among companies in similar fields. Data fabric also helps in data maintenance and modernize data storage methodologies. Additionally, companies can also leverage the advantages of hybrid cloud environments with the right data fabric tools.

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Telecom Leader TELUS keeps subscribers connected and safe, leveraging data to confront Covid-19.

Telecom Leader TELUS keeps subscribers connected and safe, leveraging data to confront Covid-19.

As one of Canada’s largest telecommunications companies, TELUS has over 9.5 million subscribers, and those subscribers generate a lot of data. It’s up to Joe Bettridge, Consulting Lead of TELUS Insights, to use that data to drive innovation. Google Cloud’s suite of services, including BigQuery and Data Studio, has proven instrumental to the company’s overall data strategy. 

“Our division was founded in 2015 and really focused on trying to commercialize data in a privacy-preserving manner,” Bettridge says, “That means taking data we have as a company and taking it to market in a way that the privacy of the individual or the devices the data comes from isn’t being impacted negatively.”

TELUS manages geolocated data generated by network locations, talk and text signals, and data migrations between towers, representing over 275,000 points on a map. Last year the company analyzed over 1.2 petabytes of data, a number that is very much expected to grow as more subscribers upload more photos and texts, not to mention voice calls. 

In March 2020, when the pandemic changed everything, TELUS found itself in a position to leverage its data for the good of all Canadians. With respect for privacy of paramount concern, TELUS used Google Cloud to launch a new platform in three weeks that empowered the Canadian government to make better strategic decisions in confronting Covid-19 within its borders. 

Government and health care industry leaders needed to better understand how far people were traveling, how different communities interacted with one another, and how efficiently messaging about the pandemic was reaching citizens. 

TELUS devised a solution that drew insights from large, aggregate data samples and employed a de-identification process, which ensured that individual subscribers’ data remained private. The platform was a success and earned the company a HPE-IAPP Privacy Innovation Award. 

The award “really shows that our privacy differentiator is core to our product, and it’s really helped us gain traction with these government agencies,” says Bettridge. 

Before migrating to Google Cloud, TELUS managed an on-prem data environment that was proving too cumbersome to manage the volume of data they were ingesting by the day. 

BigQuery marked the beginning of a different approach to data: Processes that used to take a month are now taking only a day. Ultimately, this allowed Bettridge to accomplish much more with a much smaller team. 

“We engaged Google and they were very good at providing specialists who would help us with architecture, help us give our teams training, get us up to speed and comfortable. A lot of what we built in the past could be ripped out of the system it was in and placed up in the cloud quite quickly and quite successfully,” says Bettridge. 

For more on how Joe Bettridge is leveraging Google Cloud to protect privacy and manage geolocated data, watch the latest episode of Google Cloud’s Data Journeys below.

Data Journey: Episode 1: Telus

Welcome to Data Journeys, the series where we invite customers to share their company’s data journey—along with key lessons learned along the way. This week, Bruno is joined by Joe Bettridge of TELUS, a leading telecommunications company in Canada whose wireless division serves 9.5 million subscribers. Joe discusses TELUS recent innovative work: providing de-identified data to researchers and government agencies to provide insight on public health while protecting each individual’s privacy. Listen to the story of how TELUS stood up their new platform in just three weeks with the help of Google Cloud, and be sure to check back in for a new data journey next week.

Want to be a guest?  Let us know here!Curious for  more stories just like this one?  Subscribe to the playlist on YouTube here and  join the Data Analytics Google Cloud Community here.

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