The Trouble With Big Data

Big data is all the rage these days, and it’s certainly something that appears as if it will drive the businesses of tomorrow.

However, it’s also an area of business that is very much in its infancy, and as with any other young technology, it can often be a source of frustration and problems. But what are these issues, and how can they impact your business?

Given that the vast majority of companies these days use web technology to reach and engage with customers, it’s vital that you understand the potential pitfalls of collecting – and using – data. Let’s take a closer look at everything you need to know.

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Privacy

First and foremost, it is essential for your business to look after your customer’s personal details and any other business-sensitive information you hold on a database.

Hacking, malware, and data theft is an all-too-common problem, and although you only hear about the big companies suffering from data breaches on the news, the reality is that small businesses suffer most. It is vital that whether you use a cloud-based online database service or invest in creating your own, security is at the forefront of your mind. Don’t forget, even in a small company, the information held by your database could be available to a lot of different people.

Employees, suppliers, and even customers could have some kind of access, and a clever hacker could – in many cases – find an entry point in any part of the chain.

Communication

On the face of things, the data you collect about your customers can inform you of how to speak and communicate with them. However, the reality of big data is that it just isn’t that simple.

Data only tells you a part of the story, and every metric you see is quantitative rather than qualitative. Ultimately, you have no idea why a particular customer liked a particular ad, or clicked on a particular call to action, only that they did. And it is easy to draw false conclusions about any item of data you have.

The simple truth is that the average business owner just doesn’t know how to sift through the sheer volume of data they are presented with, and it is all too easy to become overwhelmed. The result of that could be sending the wrong messages to the wrong people, and even making poor business decisions based on misreading the information.

People

Continuing on from the previous point, one of the biggest issues with big data is down to the people that use it. As we looked at above, it’s easy to misinterpret data sets dues to our own preconceived ideas. And you can pretty much prove any point you like when there is so much data on the table, regardless of whether it is true or not.

Also, the people accessing the data can be an issue, and you have a choice of two different options, both of which can cause their own problems. First of all, you could take on everything in-house, which means hiring more people and putting others through expensive training courses.

Secondly, it involves outsourcing to a third-party, meaning you have to hand over your sensitive information to people you don’t know. If you go down this route, it’s essential that you choose a reputable, experienced, and open company that you trust implicitly.

Are you a big data lover or hater? Let us know in the comments!

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How To Make Your Business More Accessible

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When you own a business, it’s incredibly important that you’re able to keep it available to use for everyone; this involves making sure that people can reach you any time and that it is easy to reach you! But what can you do to achieve this? It’s difficult to know what your options are, so read on to find out what you can do about it!

 

Having Social Media Accounts

 

Websites like Facebook have fast become incredibly popular over the past few years, and it’s a brilliant platform for you to be taking advantage of! A lot of people use social media, there is an estimated 3 billion accounts that are being used at the moment and you should be using this to your advantage. You should be creating accounts on every social media that you can in order to make your company more accessible. People are going to be more likely to message a social media account than make a phone call about an inquiry as it’s easier meaning you can get more business.

 

Customer Answering Service

 

We can’t always pick up the phone, whether it’s in our personal lives or our business ones,  sometimes we just don’t have the time to speak to people. So, we have to do something about this because every missed phone call means that we’re missing out on business. Hiring an off site customer service call center means that the phone is always going to be answered by the people that you are hiring, they can help the customer as best as they can and often leave messages on to you, meaning that you don’t miss out on any business! This also opens up to people who are calling from different time zones; if you’re able to effectively communicate to people that live in different countries then you’ve just opened yourself up to a whole new market meaning you can become much more successful as your audience will be wider!

 

Advertise Your Details

 

This is of paramount importance for anything you own, especially when you’re advertising! Your details are obviously how people are able to get into contact with you, without them people would have to blindly trawl through the internet for your business which they will quite quickly give up on. When you’re advertising, and even on your website, make sure to put your details on the advert somewhere; this means that people can directly get into contact with you instead of having to search around for you so you can get more business in!

 

All of these things are great for keeping your business connected! You’ll have a call answering service for when you just can’t pick up the phone so you don’t miss out on anything, you’ll have social media accounts that are manned and ready to answer any questions that potential customers might have and your details will be advertised on everything you put out to the world to ensure everyone can get in touch with you! Putting yourself out there is essential to getting investors on board, but what else can you do to attract them? Well, read this and you’ll learn how!

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Looking to Advance Your Personal Website? Here’s How

Are you looking for new ways to advance your own personal website? It can be difficult to come up with ideas, so if you’re stuck, this guide will help you out. Everyone who has a personal website, has one for their own reasons. However, they’re usually linked to your personal brand or your career or creative work. So, if you want to advance your website, here’s how to go about making it happen.

 

Allow People to Contact You Easily

 

Most people want to be contacted for commissions and work opportunities. If that’s what the purpose of your website is, you need to make it as easy as it possibly can be for people to get in contact with you. So, your contact page needs to be up to scratch. You can find some useful guidance at www.creativebloq.com/design-contact-page-7-pro-tips if you need help with any of this.

 

Put the Most impressive Things Front and Centre

 

If you’re using your website as a vehicle to promote your work, you need to make sure that your best work is at the front. Make it easy for visitors to see what you do and what you’re all about. You want them to be impressed as soon as they visit your website and have a quick look around. Don’t hide your best work behind multiple links. That will bury it and stop it from getting the attention it needs and deserves.

 

Make it Work Well With Search Engines

 

Search engines are vitally important to your website. This is how people will find your website. You can’t just assume that people will be able to find your website because that’s not going to happen by itself. You should with www.ignitedigital.com to help you improve your approach to SEO. Your website needs to work hand in hand with search engines if you want it to find real success.

 

Provide Clear Links to Your Social Media Profiles

 

Your social media profiles are probably just as important to your personal brand as your website is. That’s why you need to provide clear and obvious links to those profiles on your website. There are many ways in which this can be done. You can just add them to the top of the page above the header. Or you could list them on the contact page if you want to. Making them clear on the page at all times is the best option, though.

 

Include Relevant Testimonials

 

If you want people to have trust in you and your personal brand, you should provide reasons for them to do that. One of the best ways to do that is to post some customer or client testimonials on your website. This shows people that other people have taken advantage of what you have to offer and have had a positive reaction. That can really help to persuade people to get in touch and use your services, so it has to be done.

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Your personal brand could be enhanced massively if you improve your personal website. Make the most of these ideas and put them into action as soon as you can.

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A Handy Tool for Rendering Computer Help Remotely

Are you computer savvy? Even just a little bit more than most people you know? Well, if you are, they probably know it. And, when they need help with their computers, chances are, they call you, right? And, unless you live close enough to simply hop over to their place within minutes, you probably have to help them remotely, over the phone. And, when you do, you come to realize why doctors often refuse to make a diagnosis over the phone.

Windows 10 Start Menu. 11/27/2015

 

 

It can be really frustrating to identify a computer problem over the phone and even tougher to correct it, as you have to guide the person who you’re helping and they may not always understand, or be as familiar as you are, with what you’re trying to tell them. And it often doesn’t matter that they may be as computer savvy or literate as yourself. When I worked for a large company in the past, I often had to try to describe technical problems to our IT department, and I often wished I had some kind of camera that would allow them to see what I was talking about, because it was still difficult at times for both sides to “see” the same problem.

Well, there is a free software program that can really help in this regard. It’s called, Team Viewerand it’s really great! If you ever allowed a tech company to remotely control your computer to diagnose a problem for you, Team Viewer is similar. How it works is, you go to the website, download it, and install it on your computer, and also have the other person do the same. You’ll also see more information about Team Viewer, including resources for both business and personal use. The website is quite informational.

The program will install a desktop shortcut like the one pictured once it is installed. Then both you and the other person call each other and then each of you will click on the shortcut on your computers. This will bring up  the team viewer windows.

 

 

 

 

 

The person needing your help will then give you their password, which you enter into a field on your Team Viewer window. You’ll then see the other person’s computer and your mouse will move the cursor on their screen. They can still move the cursor and see their own screen as well. You can then see what they are seeing and can correct the problem for them or guide them while seeing what they are actually doing and what actually happens when the problem shows up if it is not readily apparent. This means you can see the problem as it really is, which makes it much easier to identify and correct!

It’s really helped me since my cousin told me about it. As I often help a few of my relatives with their computers, and with them living quite a distance from me, it has made it much easier to identify and correct problems on their computers.

If you’re worried about having someone else have control of your computer, just remember, they cannot get control until you give them your password, which changes every time you open Team Viewer. Your mischievous nephew cannot take control of your computer on a whim. He would have to have you turn your computer on and give him the current password.

And, there is a Team Viewer app for Chromebooks, which can then be used to diagnose problems on other computers, whether they are Chromebooks or regular Windows pc’s or laptops.

So, if you are the go-to person when your friends or relatives need computer help, Team Viewer is for you!

Happy computing!

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When it Comes To The World Wide Web, How Safe Are You Really?

In today’s digital age, staying safe online is of the utmost importance. Every day, businesses are targets of fraud and individuals are subject to identity theft. Hackers can ravage our devices, and even celebrities aren’t immune- with a number of them having photos stolen from their phones. We live so much of our lives online, it’s how we work, socialize with friends, we do our banking online and have all kinds of personal and sensitive information stored on our devices and online accounts. So our safety online is something that we all should be taking very seriously. Here are a few points to consider

 

Safety on Your Smartphone

It’s well documented that Apple iPhones are more safe and secure than any other model. All of the apps you can download are verified, and overall it’s almost impossible to hack your information from them. A new update means you can set up two-step verification for icloud too meaning this is unable to be compromised. If someone has physical access to your phone for any length of time, it’s possible to jailbreak and store malicious software, however, for the average person, this really isn’t a concern. According to http://www.icloudlogin.com/, on any device, you should be exercising caution such as not clicking links in text messages from unknown senders, or using unsecured wifi networks. However, the security on iPhones are far better than the other leading models. So if you’re in the market for a new phone and safety is high on your priority list then investing in an iPhone is a good option. There are a number of apps now which let you log in using your fingerprint, it’s worth setting this up if you have the option to give you that added peace of mind.

Image: Pexels

 

Safety When You Make Purchases

There’s a reason the high street is in decline – rather than trawl through the shops most of us prefer the convenience of shopping from the comfort of our homes. Online shopping has taken off massively in the last few years, but this can also mean it’s something we need to be conscious of from a safety point of view. Websites selling counterfeit goods are common, and others are simply set up to take your money with nothing ever even being posted. Be wary of where you shop online, even if it’s a big brand or well-known store be sure to check the website’s URL. If it’s not the official link, then it’s likely to be a scammer. If you want to shop from a site you’re unfamiliar with, one thing to look at is their social pages. Scam sites that have been set up in a hurry won’t have tons of followers and interaction. Check on their socials for customer reviews, see if there are any complaints and if so, the way they have been responded to. And unless you’re using a very well known site like Amazon, always use PayPal to make purchases. That way, if anything does go wrong during the transaction, you know that you will be able to get your money back – there’s more information on how this works here https://www.paypal.com. You don’t want to be entering card details into anywhere that you’re unsure of, and it goes without saying that you should never send over bank details. Any company asking you to do this is definitely not legitimate.

 

Safety on Social Networks

The problem with social networks is that privacy settings are regularly changed, meaning you might be sharing details that you didn’t intend to. Snapchat for example recently released an update allowing you to share your location. If you share to Snapchat’s story, your location will show regardless of what settings you’ve chosen. These kinds of issues should be taken seriously, so make sure you’re not putting yourself at risk. Things like your phone number, email address and other personal details should be set to private. Do regular privacy checks to make sure everything looks as it should. It can be worth regularly deleting private messages too, we bear all to our friends in messages, and if someone does gain access they’re going to be able to see everything. Be sure to actually delete rather than archive where they can’t be recovered.

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Safety on Email

Safety on all of your accounts is important, but particularly so when it comes to email. If a hacker gains access to your email, then they can reset passwords and gain access to everything that’s linked to it. Be sure to set a strong, complex password (and make sure you’re the only one who knows what this is). A mixture of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and punctuation will make it extremely difficult to crack. Avoid kids, pets, partners and nicknames, important dates and other passwords that someone could guess. Always set up two-step verification too for email. This is often done by texting a code to your phone before you can log in, or you can sometimes use an authenticator. This is an app which you can link to your accounts and generates codes every thirty seconds, there’s more info on the way they work on sites like https://security.stackexchange.com. To log in, you simply enter the code shown. These days most email inboxes will automatically filter junk, but be careful of clicking on anything that looks dodgy from unknown senders and certainly don’t click on any links. If you receive an email from somewhere like Paypal or your bank and you’re unsure if it’s legitimate, always type the address in manually into your browser and log in this way instead of going through a link. Since the link can lead you to a website that looks exactly as it should but is really just there to steal your details and login to your account.

 

Have you put much thought into online safety? What steps do you take to ensure your details are kept safe online?

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Why Everyone Should Have Their Own Website

Have you ever wondered why people have their own website? Most people are more than content just managing their Facebook accounts. They can share funny articles and memes. They can post their favorite photos, and they can give their friends updates about big events in their lives. So why should anyone want to give up their time and energy with a website as well? There may be more reasons that you think!

 

Starting A Business

If you want to start up your own business, a website is essential. It helps you to let customers know where you are, what you do, and what your product or service is. It can also be used to contact you. Perhaps you would like to have an online contact form or a live chat service? Most importantly you can post articles, information and images about all the things you sell.

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Many business websites can also handle online purchases. You need a secure website and an online checkout system. These might require additional costs, but they will help your customers purchase safely. The ordering system will then alert you that you have a sale so you can process the order.

 

Perhaps the best thing about having an online business is that you can trade globally. You might pick a domain name for your website that is the same as your company name. That will probably end in “.com” if you’re in the States. But if you want to sell in the UK or Canada or anywhere else, you might also buy the domain name relevant to that region. UK domain name registration is as easy as any other. You can even register all your preferred domain names with one company if you like.

 

Say It With A Blog

If you find you’re posting to Facebook and other social media accounts a lot, you might love the idea of having your own blog. As with a business website, you can choose to register your own domain name, making it uniquely yours. And just like every other kind of website, you will need to pay a company to host it for you. There are plenty to choose from, and contracts often last for a year. Consider how much storage you need. Lots of photos and videos will take up more room.

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WordPress is a firm favorite for bloggers because it is often already installed on your domain when you buy it. You can then pick a theme, add a couple of photos or a logo and you’re good to go. The platform is really easy to use. Simply type and post. You can add plugins to help you share your articles across all your social media accounts, so you don’t have to double up the work.

 

Getting A Job

If you’re not keen to run your own business, but you are serious about pushing your career forward, then use your website to promote yourself. You shouldn’t publically list lots of personal information from your resume, but you can upload your portfolio and samples of your work. If you’re applying for jobs, you should include your website URL and your LinkedIn profile on your application. Potential employers can then see if you’re a fit for their company. You can visually demonstrate your skills and experience – this is perfect if you’re not a wordy type of person!

 

Organizing An Event

A big event like a wedding or birthday party can be tough to organize. You can use your website to detail the different companies you’re using and to post records of the event. This might include photos and videos. You can add quotes from happy guests and post a big thank you to everyone who helped. It’s a great place to collate everything from the event in one place.

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While you’re planning the event, you can use online survey forms to garner opinions. “Which color do you like?” “Do you like roses or tulips best?” “Should I order this chocolate cake or this fruit sponge?” Visitors to your website can answer the surveys so you can make a decision based on their responses. Again, these posts can all be shared to your social media accounts with a single click.

 

Entertaining

Of course, websites should be entertaining. Websites can be designed to show off your talents as an entertainer. If you love singing, dancing, or performing, why not set up a website to showcase your skills? YouTube has been a popular video platform, but your own website can be used to promote upcoming gigs and even to sell tickets direct. What will you use your website for?

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The 2 Best And Cheapest Methods Of Entertaining Yourself Online

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Entertainment has now become so commonplace that finding a digitized form of it is easier than ever, and what’s more, it won’t cost you much to experience. Finding some of the best content online doesn’t even take a diligent eye anymore either. For the price of an internet connection and a laptop, you have access to a world of entertainment that will leave you laughing, crying, inspired and horrified.

 

For the frugal person, this is a beautiful boon of the modern digital age. Life online has facilitated many entertainment sources in becoming more competitive, and as a result the cost of admission to these services has plummeted. It’s not difficult to imagine these days just how easy it might be to find the next great piece of content you adore for the minimal cost of a cheap subscription service.

 

But where are the best places to look to entertain yourself cheaply?

 

Look no further than these online hubs:

 

YouTube

 

YouTube is becoming more and more of an internet sensation as the years go by. In its early, humble stages, YouTube used to be a place for viral videos and funny cat picture compilations, but now a full culture of YouTube personalities who make their living providing free video entertainment mean that you can easily waste hours watching funny videos without having to pay a single penny.

 

Not only do amateur ‘video loggers’ make entertaining content, but now many shows place their ‘highlight reels,’ or promotional videos designed to get you watching their shows on YouTube for free. With video game ‘let’s plays,’ music videos and even some rudimentary television shows all being hosted on YouTube these days, YouTube is your one-stop shop if you have no money to place towards entertainment past your internet connection.

 

Netflix

 

If you’re looking for something much more professional, consider getting a cheap $9.99 Netflix subscription. With it, a world of content is at your fingertips. The favorite shows you had as a child, as well as some absolutely stunning original content,  makes Netflix the absolute best de-facto streaming service on the internet.

 

Shows like The Crown, Stranger Things, and Orange Is The New Black have all won awards for their amazing talent and tight storylines. What’s more is that they release these shows on a staggered schedule, so there is always something intrinsically entertaining to watch and keep you satisfied. What’s more, the new season of Orange Is The New Black is about to air on Netflix; you can find more information about that here https://netflixupdate.com/spoiler-alert-season-5-orange-new-black-trailer-finally/ – OITNB is heralded as one of Netflix’s most popular shows, and offers hours of hours of already hosted content.

 

Another benefit of a Netflix subscription is that the service places entire seasons of television shows on at the same time, lending itself to the ‘binge-watching’ format that many people claim is superior to waiting for a show to air week-by-week.

 

These two methods, combined, can provide you with more entertainment than you could adequately consume in a lifetime, and what’s more, combined they will only cost you £9.99 a month.

 

Who said life online had downsides?

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