Reasons why You need to Start Upgrading your Business Software

If you operate your own business then you will know more than anyone how important it is for you to rely on technology and even software. After all, if you aren’t using software then you are probably doing everything by hand and this can cost you tons of time and it also leaves a lot of room for error as well. If you are not upgrading or updating your software on a regular basis then there is a high chance that this is affecting your business as well, in more ways than you realise.

Multiple Software

If you find that you are using multiple software applications to try and handle your business activity then this is a clear sign that you need to upgrade. Some companies find themselves using one software for their billing, another for their shipping and then a third to manage their inventory. This is the last thing that you need, because believe it or not, you are still managing most of your business by hand. After all, you have to key in and update the data across all three applications and you don’t want this when you have so much going on in the day. When you upgrade your software however, you can easily use a single application to track everything with automatic updates.

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Analysing Data

Spreadsheets are ideal because they give you the chance to track data in a huge variety of ways. If you are keeping track of your sales reports, your inventory and even any other bits of information by using spreadsheets however then there is a chance that you are making your data analysis much harder than it needs to be. After all, new software is brought out every single year and if you don’t take the time to really invest in this then you will constantly be stuck in the past.

Scalability

When you run a business, you have to make sure that the resources you have are both scalable and flexible. If your software is not able to keep up with the needs of your business then it is absolutely not the right solution for you. After all, you may find that you have to continually change platforms and this is not good for you or your team. When you are able to upgrade your software to other versions however, you can then unlock more potential as you see fit. Your software can grow with your company and this is exactly what you need to ensure future success. If you are struggling to find a software that can keep up with the ever-changing needs of your business then check these guys out to see if you can get a custom software created.

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Professionalism

The more outdated your software is, the more mistakes you will make. This is the last thing that you need when you are trying to remain professional to your customers. Sure, you may feel a though the solution that you have now is working and you may feel as though it’s easier to stick with it than it is to change but this is never the case and sooner or later it will be the downfall of your company.

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A Box Of Treasures: What The TV Can Do For Us As A Family

Boy is watching TV

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Surely, it’s unfair nowadays to proclaim the television as the idiot box? While the television has been the backbone of family life for the last 60-plus years, so many people view it as the epitome of idiocy. But, for a lot of families, if it wasn’t for the television, they wouldn’t bond at all. In fact, think about your own experiences growing up. The television was there, and it was, usually on in the background. Now, not to say that television is amazing for us in every sense, but now, with the internet, and the various ways we consume information now, the television could be the one and only way that we can spend time together as a family. So, we need to make the most of this box in the corner of a living room. But if you have concerns that it is making you and your family stupid, what can you do to ensure that the TV helps you cement quality family time, but without destroying brain cells?

Altering Your Own Viewing Habits

It’s a delicate balance to get right when we are TV addicts ourselves. We know that there is a lot of bad quality television out there, and if we are guilty of watching hour after hour of reality TV, we don’t want to pass these habits on to our children. So, when we think about what our kids start to watch at a young age in terms of their own habits, the best indicator of what your children will watch is actually what you watch. As a parent, if you don’t watch anything educational, and you are setting this example of television habits, your children will grow up accepting that this is the norm. So, it’s an age-old expression, but practice what you preach. When our children are young, they are so impressionable, that they will watch what we watch, and these habits will become embedded in their life. So if you are guilty of watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians, talk shows, and similar content, maybe it’s best to keep this firmly under wraps. When you are watching television as a family, go for good quality content. While there are numerous family shows out there, are many of them educational? If your children are young enough, sitting down with them and watching shows they like, but you know has an undercurrent of education, is a great way to get your kids hooked onto good stuff. CommonSenseMedia.org has a list of educational TV shows to get you started. But as our children grow up emulating us in one way or another, if you want to make sure that your children are using the TV for good, then you have to alter your viewing habits drastically. This means having the History Channel on in the background or going for family quiz shows to encourage a bit of friendly competition in the living room.

Using Television As An Example Of What Is Good And Bad In Society

One of the biggest positives of watching TV is the fact that it can increase your emotional intelligence. While most people consider television to be something that rots your brain, if you watch TV in an active sense, rather than a passive one, you will develop this emotional intelligence, where you begin to develop your own self-awareness, as well as awareness of other people. Emotional intelligence is one of the biggest indicators of demonstrating empathy and observation. It’s unfair to say that television is very selfish activity because when you watch good quality shows, you can become actively involved in something that you wouldn’t normally do in real life, because television shows these heightened scenarios that we seldom come across. While there are numerous shows out there that are realistic, by exercising our ability to think laterally, and from other perspectives, we can begin to differentiate between right and wrong. This is important for children at a young age. We are all impressionable when we’re young, and we grow up, for the most part, understanding what is right and what is wrong, but it’s not as simple as this. Of course, there are numerous shows out there that blur the lines and highlight moral dilemmas, and this can help to instigate interesting debates in the family household. Cable TV is one of the biggest purveyors of high-quality drama, that shows complex characters, where they are doing something wrong in a literal sense, but they are wrestling internally with themselves. Classic shows like The Sopranos or Breaking Bad were mainstays of cable TV but dealt with moral implications in an intelligent manner. Cable TV is full of drama of this ilk, and you can go on Optimum.com to learn more about the various cable TV channels and premium packages if you are interested in going down this avenue. But also, it’s important not to underestimate the news as a way to instigate debate with your children. Be sensible, because the news can throw up topics that you don’t want to discuss with your children because they’re too young, but, the point is, as far as instigating debate and looking at things from other perspectives is concerned, television is a very good tool!

Connecting With Your Children

Because we watch TV on many different devices now, that actual quality time with people are sat as a family in front of the TV seems to be non-existent. This is why we can use television to connect with our children, not just in terms of being sat in the same room at the same time, but we can use television as a way to communicate with each other. Your children like a certain show, so it gives you the opportunity to sit down with them to watch it and to talk about it. When your children are toddlers, there are going to be many kids TV shows that they love, and by sitting down with them, and watching these shows, no matter how much they numb your brain, the children are going to be grateful to you. When we are raising our kids, it’s so easy for us to not be present in the moment, because we either sat on our phones while the kids are watching TV, or we just got too many things to do, but if you take that opportunity to sit down on the floor, cross-legged, with your child, watching their favorite show, you will feel much closer to your child. And as they get older, you can use their favorite TV shows as a way to make quality family time together. You can sit down, at the same time every week. But now, because of the fact that we can watch what we want when we want, that means you don’t have to sacrifice other aspects of your life. If you can make a date to sit down at least once a week, to watch their favorite TV show, and to have a discussion about it afterward, this is a very simple way for you to bond. But you have to show willing; it’s not good enough to just be sat there next to them. As parents, we can easily pay lip service to the idea of quality time, just by being sat next to them. But if we get out our phones, there is no sense of engagement, and while you can argue that sitting together in silence watching the TV is just as bad, at least you are both sharing a common activity.

Can The TV Say Something That You Can’t?

We can struggle to verbalize how we feel now and again especially when it comes to matters of the heart. This is where television can do a lot for us. Have you ever sat with a parent or loved one, and saw a tender moment on the TV and it really hit close to home? You might have felt a moment between the two of you at that point, but you didn’t say a word. TV can help us to say what we’re really thinking, not just in terms of emotions, but in terms of what you might want for your children as they get older. For example, if you want your children to have confidence and belief in their abilities, the words that come out of your mouth may seem forced or a bit noncommittal. But by using a TV show as an example to back up your statement of intent, that little box in the corner of the room can fill some of the gaps in your parenting skills.

A lot of people put their kids in front of the TV as a way to distract them and placate them. But, as a family unit, we can use the TV to advantage, whether it’s to educational shows, or by helping our kids to differentiate between good and bad, but also to spend quality time with them bonding over certain shows. It seems that now as we can go and watch movies on our devices, this idea of a solidified family unit is non-existent. This is why the TV should take pride of place in the corner of your living room because it can do so much for every member of your family. The idiot box? Hardly.

 

 

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Laptop and no WiFi to Go? How Your Phone Can Help!

Say you’re travelling and you have your laptop with you. But, alas, there’s no WiFi, or you don’t trust the public WiFi at the hotel or eating place you’re at, or you’re just not in an area where a WiFi connection you trust is available.

Well, if you have a smartphone, you probably have a solution!

Your laptop can use your phone’s  cellular signal to access the internet. This is what is called, “tethering“. To use it, you would need to turn on your WiFi on your laptop if it isn’t already on.

Phone on with home screen visible. 6/26/2018

Next, you would most likely go to your phone’s settings. The tethering option may be located under WiFi or connection settings or under advanced settings. Each phone is different. And, your phone may offer different methods of making the connection, either via USB cable or other means, so it’s a good idea to have a cable with you that can physically connect your phone and computer.

Once you have a connection, you’re ready to go! Now, there are some things to note.

First, please don’t think that you can now ditch your internet service at home and use your phone for free internet service!

You see, with tethering, your internet won’t be nearly as fast in many cases, because you’re using your phone’s processor. So, if you have something like a major download you want to do or something that requires a large number of open pages, you may want to skip these until you get to where you can have a safe direct WiFi or cable connection that you trust, like the one you do have at home.

And, it can also count against your phone plan’s data limit as well.

But, if you need WiFi on the fly for simpler web-based tasks, this can really help!

Happy Computing!

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Data Compliance For Businesses The Non-Facebook Way

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Leading corporations should lead the way in the industry. Instead, they set terrible examples for the little people underneath. From Facebook to Uber, dozens of massive corporations have been found guilty of immorally using personal data. By storing it and selling, or leaking it and not telling the public, they have benefited immensely.

SMEs can’t do the same thing because a data audit will happen before you can say Cambridge Analytica. Unfortunately, it’s one rule of them and another for us. The little fish have to make sure they comply, which isn’t easy when the rules are complicated. The good news is this post has a handful of tips for your information.

Outsource With Care

The easiest way to comply is to hire a specialist to take care of your needs. Whether it’s medical or technical, the right company can bear the burden of the responsibility. Take a look at https://www.nahs.co/services/managed-hipaa-compliance/ for more. However, telling a select panel that your outsourcer was to blame isn’t an excuse, which is why you need to keep in constant communication. Ask them what they are doing to combat this and how they secure personal info in the first place. Talk to your peers and get recommendations, and never judge solely based on price.

Understand Your Data

One reason businesses are blasé about data is that they don’t understand its importance. After all, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. When there is a lack of understanding, the info isn’t secured as tightly as it should be and a leak occurs. The easiest way to avoid this scenario is to learn about sensitive info. What constitutes safeguarding and what is widely available? Obviously, credit card info needs encrypting, and addresses and phone numbers may fall into this category too. It depends on the settings a user decides on when they land on the site. Always consider their wishes.

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Purge The Server

Not every piece of data is worth keeping. Some of it is old and of no use to the company. Or, it may have nothing to do with what you are trying to accomplish. Still, businesses store them on their servers just in case. Before the storm, that was fine but now it’s a bad move. The last thing you want to do is get into trouble over stats which are useless, so purge them from the servers. Because you understand your stores, it shouldn’t be tricky to figure out what is pointless.

Stay Updated

Things happen, and they do so in different locations around the world. Take the General Data Protection Regulation policies in Europe. In a bid to tighten up how companies handle personal information, the EU has outlined new regulations. American businesses may think this has nothing to do with them, but they’d be wrong. Anyone from Europe who lands on your website has a right to privacy under the GDPR Act. Https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/25/ has more on the impacts. Keep your finger on the pulse by staying updated and adapting to new laws.

Do you think you can navigate these choppy waters without sinking?

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Don’t Let The Line Go Dead With This Advice

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“Hello, sir. I was just wondering… hello. Is there anyone there?”

All you can hear is the sound of a dead phone line and it’s because of a missed deadline. As soon as the business makes a promise and doesn’t deliver, the clients bounce quicker than you can blink. They aren’t prepared to put their reputation on the line; plus, there are dozens of businesses that will provide a similar service.

They can afford a mistake, but you can’t which is why you should never let your aim err. If you find this a difficult target to hit, then below are a handful of tips which will help.

Create Alerts

It sounds simple, and it is in the grand scheme of things. But, nothing is straightforward when the human ego is involved. Believe it or not, some bosses don’t create alerts or write things down because they trust their memory implicitly. It’s a source of pride, yet it costs them thousands in revenue when it fails. If this sounds familiar, take the ego out of the situation with a Google apps integration system. An experienced hand such as ClearFuze Networks will install the service and keep you up to date. Set them a couple of days in advance to keep your finger on the pulse.

Add Liability

People are productive when they know they will get blamed for a failure. Because no one wants to be the reason the company suffers, they’ll work extra hard. Yes, it’s a little exploitative yet it’s basic psychology anyone can use to their advantage. You can do this by including a tracker in the team’s everyday work, and Teamweek has five of the best. Not only does this tell everyone the time frames, but it shows them their job. So, if there is a break in the chain, you and the whole office can apportion blame. Leaders prefer the carrot but the stick works too.

Have A Contingency Plan

The truth is that things will happen and they will set you back but the clock will keep ticking. In these scenarios, it’s essential to have a plan B, C, D and E all the way through to Z to give yourself some breathing space. Then, you can limit the damage and still produce a quality product or service on time. There are lots of options, but the easiest one is not to promise the world. If you can complete a job in two days, say it takes three. The client will be impressed when you deliver early.

Define Definitions

A specific date isn’t a clear enough definition. You should also set out what you expect from your employees on a daily basis from an output perspective. By doing this, nothing will get lost in translation when there is an important deadline to hit. Put it in writing and post the document on the website so that they can refer back to it. Also, check in with them to make sure they’re not getting behind. Asking them to reply to an email is a simple yet effective to know they have read the T’s & C’s.

Can you use this advice to deal with one deadline at a time?

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Steps You Need to Follow When Designing your Technology Product

If you need to design a new tech product or if you have a plan in mind and you want to develop it then there are a ton of things that you need to think about. After all, you need to think about the purpose of the product and you also need to think about how you are going to market it as well. If you want to make the whole thing easier, then you can find out everything you need to know, right here.

Define your Goals

The very first thing that you should always do when you are designing your product is outline all of the details. This includes your features, the function of the technology and even the size of it as well. Remember that when you are developing a new product, a lot of thought needs to be put into pushing limits but you do need to compromise at times as well. You can’t have everything. When you are designing a new wearable tech product for example, you may need to think about the size of it and this may be the highest priority that you have but you also need to think about the battery life and if this is going to be compromised by having a smaller product.

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Designing

You will also need to have an electrical engineer who can help you to design all of the products you need as well. This includes the microchips, the display sensor and more. This will all depend on the specifications that you have in your initial goals. Don’t be surprised if an engineer is able to build everything in a schematic circuit because this is usually how things are done and your engineer may even need to run a computer-based simulation to make sure that everything is working out as well. Sites like https://www.altium.com/ are great for this and you’d be surprised at how helpful they can be at every stage of the process.

Prototypes

Your engineer is more than able to specify the PCB designs that you need and they will also be able to create a few units for testing as well. When you have all of this sorted out you can then break down the electronic prototyping into two different steps. You can do this by making the PCB and then attaching the components afterwards. You need a lot of experience to do this.

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Evaluating

So when you have absolutely everything sorted out you can then move on to getting the rest of your design finalised. It is more than possible for you to choose your colour scheme at this point and you can also work with the marketing team to try and find a way to make your technology stand out from the rest. Of course, this is also your chance to make a change to the technology that you have at this point and it’s also possible for you to start producing on a mass basis as well if you have everything in place.

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Making Sense Of Your Business’s Big Data

If you’re in the world of business and you’re hoping to better understand your market, then you have undoubtedly heard of how valuable big data can be. The ability to collect data on all aspects of the business, from internal processes to customer desires and behavior, is a reality. Now businesses are figuring out how to make use of it to gain insights and provide real solutions. But with the sheer amount of data we can now gather, how do we make sense of it?

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Know what you want to know

As mentioned, there can be a lot of data to comb through once you’ve found your methods of collecting and storing it. The “haystack problem” has become a challenge for many businesses getting into big data; many business owners don’t know how to find the data relevant to them. First of all, you need to think of what data will help you and what kind of questions you want to answer with it. WaveApp suggests data that can improve market research, for instance. But there’s also data that can help you better understand your sales funnel, internal efficiency, and much more. Find your goal and you can find the relevant data much more easily.

How you find it

Where do you get the little data points that all contribute to your big data strategy? The truth is that most of us are collecting it already. If you’re using online advertisements, most platforms already have data tools built in. Your website can be connecting to online analytics tools. Most social media channels have insights features. Customer management relationship software can help collect even more data. It’s all of these sources that allow you to pull the data points that contribute to the central strategy.

Fitting it all together

Another of the challenges of a big data strategy is fitting it all together in one centralized source. There are teams that can help you specifically find software that does that, however. For instance, you can move data from Mongodb to Redshift, ensuring that your organized document data storage can fit in alongside the table and more traditional SQL databases that other software tends to produce. One central source of data to search through and work with makes it a lot easier to find the relevant data points when you need to.

Don’t forget the context

A problem with big data is that it’s quantitative, not qualitative. If you forget the context of the insights you’re trying to develop and work solely with the numbers, you can miss the bigger picture. We can misinterpret datasets, we can have our bias narrow our sights down to only what we want to see, and without a process of quality assurance, we can use data that is incomplete or irrelevant depending on the circumstances. Make sure you have ways of qualifying your data before you use it for any grand insights.

A business with a big data strategy stands to make huge improvements. However, there’s a growing population of data scientists, if you’re unwilling to put the effort in to learn it all yourself. Consider getting one on your team if you don’t want to miss out.

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