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  • How to Improve Employee Engagement: A Guide to Big Ideas Nov 9, 2021

    Is your company treating your workers well? Do your workers have a sense of purpose and space to express themselves? If you're not sure how to correctly value your staff, we've got some strategies for you.

    For a legitimate reason, there's a lot of talk about how to enhance employee engagement. If you want to keep your workforce happy, productive, and safe, you need to employ strategies to enhance employee engagement. Employees that are passionate, enthusiastic, and committed to their work are more likely to succeed. They'll go beyond their scope of work for your company every day and bring their A-game to the job.

    Invariably, employee engagement leads to improved employee retention, productivity, and profitability. Having an engaged staff has several advantages, but it is a challenge for many firms.

    Employees are your company's most valuable resource and need to be treated accordingly.

    Showing gratitude
    Recognizing the hard work of your workers goes a long way towards making them feel appreciated and valued. Employees will be more motivated to perform their best work if they feel that their efforts are being rewarded and appreciated, leading to an overall rise in employee morale.

    Your staff will be more motivated to work if they feel that their hardwork is recognized. You may express your gratitude to your team in a variety of ways. Appreciation can be done through the tiniest of gestures, as well as big ones.

    • You may express your gratitude by organizing events, happy hours, volunteer opportunities, and annual retreats.
    • Props, prizes, recognition programs, gift cards, fitness opportunities, paid time off, and social media plaudits are some more methods to acknowledge your staff.
    • The best way to show your appreciation is to send them a letter or an email.

    Specialized job workshops
    Staff recruitment and retention will be improved if there is a clear route for employee growth. Encourage your employees to stay with your company rather than leave for better opportunities by providing them with specialized job workshops. Providing specialized job workshops to your employees can:

    • Assist employees in developing their knowledge and abilities to keep up with numerous changes in the business.
    • Assist in preparing workers who are going into higher-level positions and taking on greater responsibility within an organization.

    Thus, employees will be more inclined to stay in an organization where they get growth opportunities.

    Providing incentives to employees
    Your company's success depends on the loyalty of its personnel. A company should reward its staff for bringing fresh ideas to the table or delivering a clinical presentation. Entrepreneurs often use contests and other incentives to keep employees motivated and creative. Increased productivity and less attrition can be achieved by expressing gratitude to your staff and rewarding them with incentives.

    For workers to be wholly involved in the company, must sense that their peers, supervisors, and leaders value their contributions. As a result, they would love their job and will put up their best efforts. Employees should be rewarded for their hard work and new ideas.

    • Provide them with enough recognition
    • Celebrate every achievement of your employees.
    • Organize competitions with rewards for the employees.

    Effective communication
    The importance of communication cannot be understated. It is one of the most crucial things to keep in mind when thinking about increasing employee engagement. Effective communication can help your employees do well at work and stay motivated by getting constant feedback.

    Effective communication can have a positive outlook at the workplace. It would make both employers and employees well-informed and would make it easier to collaborate effectively. Encouraging a two-way communication culture enables

    • Employees to voice their concerns in a safe environment.
    • Workers to get well-informed about meaningful choices.
    • Employees to understand that their perspectives and suggestions are valued.

    Ensuring employee physical and mental wellness
    When a business tries to enhance its employees' general well-being, it makes it easier for them to perform well at their job. Creating a company-wide wellness program is a fantastic strategy to boost employee satisfaction. Employees who feel appreciated and catered for by their employer are more likely to reciprocate.

    You can improve the physical and mental well-being of employees by

    • Providing them with medical insurance
    • Health facilities for family members
    • Providing them incentives and yearly bonuses.
    • Considering them a part of your family.
    • Promoting a more hygienic lifestyle.
    • Listening to the employee's concerns.

    Extra-curricular activities
    It's possible to aid your community and strengthen your organization's bonds at the same time by engaging your employees in volunteer events or other team-building exercises. Relationship development is promoted and fostered when employees participate in activities with their coworkers.

    You may create a team-bonding exercise, such as volunteering for a local charity, to show your employees that you care about the causes you support as a company or you may get your team to attend a motivational speaker session that helps teams to collaborate well and rise as an organization. Team lunches and amusement park outings are examples of actions that could be taken.

    Several things you can do here are

    • Volunteering in a cleanliness drive on Earth Day.
    • Contributing to a charity for opening up a school in a remote village.
    • Organizing gratitude and appreciation activities to develop feelings of harmony among employees.

    Flexible workplace timings
    Flexible work hours and the opportunity to work from home are two of the most effective ways to boost employee satisfaction. Flexibility like this helps workers achieve the elusive work-life balance they strive for.

    You may show your team members that you care about them by allowing them to work from home or shift their schedules to fit their requirements. Employees will be more engaged if they are treated with respect.

    Conclusion
    You'll enjoy the benefits of efficient employees for years to come if you take a deliberate strategy to increase employee engagement. In order to keep workers engaged, it's important to remember that this is a long-term process that demands patience and continuous efforts.

    Overall, employees must feel valued and respected in order to remain loyal to their employer. Attrition rates will fall if you find the right personnel, express gratitude, create incentives, and stimulate communication.
  • Steps That Can Help Reduce Our Impact on Climate Change Sep 30, 2021

    Climate change is a literal hot topic right now, with seemingly endless media coverage and discussions about governmental and international policy. It may seem like a somewhat overwhelming subject for the individual concerned citizen of our shared planet.

    Despite an urgent need for corporations and governments to enact significant policy changes, there is still much we can do as individuals through small, simple steps that can positively impact the fight to save our environment.

    Be aware of your carbon footprint

    Your carbon footprint is the sum of all the greenhouse gasses emitted as a result of the products and services you use. This includes carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, fluorinated gases, and more. While the topic is rooted in complex scientific understanding, there are simple tools you can use which will provide an estimate of your carbon footprint, which can make recommendations about what you could cut back on to reduce your carbon footprint.

    Travel responsibly

    During the COVID pandemic, we’ve witnessed a dramatic reduction in transportation use, with road journeys cut by 19% and air travel by 68% throughout 2020 compared with the previous year. In addition, scientists have detected declines in both NO2 and CO2 levels globally, which is a trend we should make efforts to continue.

    Whenever possible, take public transport over driving a car.
    If you’re flying somewhere, see if you can take the train instead.
    Ask yourself if you really need to make that business trip. Can you have an online meeting instead?
    Seek out environmentally-conscious hotels and destinations for your holidays.

    Consume less meat

    Consuming meat isn’t only bad news for those creatures headed to the slaughterhouse; it’s also bad news for the planet. Rearing animals requires deforestation to make way for farmland, and the animals reared produce significant amounts of methane gas. According to the United Nations, this contributes as much greenhouse gas as all the airplanes, trains, ships, and road vehicles combined.

    Lower your waste output and recycle more

    There are many influencers and websites out there which espouse a wonderfully zero-waste lifestyle. Still, this may seem like an ideological step too far for the average person with busy lives, jobs, and children. However, while it may not be possible to eliminate waste entirely, simple lifestyle changes can still make a difference. For example, you could:

    ● Avoid single-use plastics, taking reusable bags with you to buy groceries
    ● Use reusable cups rather than paper or plastic takeaway ones
    ● Switch to energy-efficient lightbulbs
    ● Wash your clothes at a lower temperature and avoid the dryer

    Buy less, by buying better

    The inconvenient truth is that all consumption will come at a cost to the environment. Consumption is, however, unavoidable, so the best we can do is aim to reduce it as much as possible. Of course, we’re not suggesting that everyone live as monks, with only basic robes and the absolute necessities of life, but a few smart choices and aiming for quality over quantity can significantly impact our planet’s future.

    Consider clothing, for example. Fast fashion is responsible for around 10% of global greenhouse pollution. It generates an estimated 92 million tonnes of waste, and uses 79 trillion liters of water annually. By buying cheap, seasonal clothing, we’re inflicting significant damage on the planet. Each item of clothing we buy is worn an average of just seven times before being discarded. It’s far better to buy less clothing, but of higher quality. This doesn’t mean supporting ultra-luxurious brands but rather seeking out smaller, artisanal companies that focus on sustainable, organic materials and offer lifetime repair services.

    You can also support organizations working on the front line to tackle the effects of overconsumption. These organizations, working to fight climate change, need our support. Small donations through platforms such as Milkywire can help to offset some of the effects of our lifestyles and create a better environment for our children and all inhabitants of our planet.

    Conclusion

    We understand that reports of rising sea levels and raging wildfires may seem overwhelming and that our little individual habits can’t possibly help avoid a catastrophic future for our planet, but they really can make a difference. Remember, our habits as individuals have led to human-driven climate change, and so our choices from here on have the power to reverse those effects, too. Beyond our consumption and lifestyle choices, we can also vote with the environment in mind and pressure our politicians to legislate against excessively polluting industries.
  • Why Sustainability is the Most Important Part of the business strategy Sep 30, 2021

    The world is changing fast, making lots of corporations adopt different measures to keep the environment clean. Therefore, sustainability in business has become a crucial issue, with many firms ready to protect the surroundings by all means. This involves the reduction of carbon print to keep the environment safe. It also improves the employees' productivity while they work in different firms.

    Over the years, humans have become more aware of their contribution towards environmental degradation made through pollution from the firms. However, with the ongoing environmental crises, there are minimal chances of different species surviving through the 21st century. For better customer retention, businesses should show their customers that they are taking these issues seriously. Here are more advantages linked to business sustainability.

    Makes A Company Competitive
    The world has become very competitive, especially with the explosion of online retailing. Therefore, companies must find ways to stay relevant and connect with the clients. There is no better way to do so than through the adoption of sustainable living. Your company will attract a lot of experienced workers ready to keep the environment clean. That keeps the company going.

    Through sustainability, businesses can reduce absenteeism and improve the company's corporate image. Moreover, positive environmental practices penetrate to a deeper level in the employees' lives, motivating them to offer the best services to their clients. As a result, that attracts more customers, especially if the firm does what it preaches to reduce the carbon print and keep the team in the game.

    Avoid Penalties
    Every company wants to keep up with the latest changes and regulations in the business world. However, it can be hard at times to comply with the regulations, resulting in penalties, affecting your revenue. Most countries have a list of regulations to reduce pollution and save water resources. Moreover, through sustainability, your company can easily avoid penalties or other hefty fines.

    Your goal is to ensure that the clients feel safe working with your firm since you will not constantly have to fight battles with environmental conservationists. This helps protect your brand image since you will never be seen as the company that contributed to the death of marine life. Again, your firm will ensure people are not dealing with respiratory issues.

    Lead To Change
    Sustainability leads to change because it reduces business costs and helps to find innovative ways of handling pressing life issues. Every day, your firm will find more creative ways to run day-to-day tasks. For example, using sustainable oils to run the machines. What's more, companies can also create new opportunities within the firm and tap into the new and existing markets.

    It is only through sustainability measures that businesses can grow. Your company can easily reduce costs and incorporate change through positive measures that protect the environment. For instance, recycling papers within the firm. It reduces unnecessary waste of materials. Therefore, businesses can save or channel their money to other projects and commit to following suitable and sustainable production and operational methods.

    Need For Sustainability In The Market
    Many people are willing to change their consumption habits to keep up with the new and sustainable ways available. It is not only in the food industry but also in the choice of cars people are buying. Most prefer electric vehicles to fuel-powered ones. It shows that it will be easier to get more clients once you switch to more sustainable ways.

    Show Your Business Purpose
    All companies have a framework of how they want to operate by creating goals and business mission and vision. However, there is nothing better than letting the potential clients know the company's purpose through solid actions. Getting an ideal sustainable plan in the firm helps tone your business agenda. Moreover, it shows the clients how great sustainability looks through your company.

    What Is The Value Of Business Sustainability?
    In most cases, sustainability is part of social purpose and integrity. Contrary to what most people believe, sustainability goes beyond environmental conservation. It involves businesses recognizing their roles in the social and economic aspects and delivering them in their long-term goals. However, businesses should not break their banks trying to achieve this goal. It is a gradual process achievable through proper planning.

    Furthermore, companies can get some profit through the appropriate sustainable measures. That helps them to retain both customers and employees. These days everyone wants to work with companies that seem to be doing the right thing for the environment. Individuals see this goodwill as a valuable asset in the firm. Once your company adopts sustainable programs, it can easily retain customers.

    How Will Business Sustainability Change In The Future?
    Sustainability is the future in business as it is constantly changing how people do business. These days, people no longer have to visit stores physically thanks to online shopping. It helps save some fuel and reduce toxic wastes from the vehicles. Innovative businesses should anticipate more shifts in the future and adjust accordingly by grabbing any sustainable opportunity that comes their way.
  • Effective Tips to Increase Social Media Conversions Sep 24, 2021

    In today's competitive business circuit, businesses should actively build their presence on social media. If they fail to do so, they will eventually be out of business.

    Social media forms a crucial part of digital marketing strategy. When businesses are active on social media, they can get the advantage of interacting with potential customers. And with the grueling competition among businesses to gain consumers' attention, social media today has become a fiercely competitive space.

    Businesses should strive to stay active on social media and run marketing campaigns that focus on conversions.

    The spontaneous question that arises in this context is how to run conversion focussed marketing campaigns? The answer is--the following strategies:

    #1. Focus on Engagement

    You should include social media marketing as a crucial part of your digital marketing strategy. However, when you run social media marketing campaigns, you need to pay attention to the needs of your audience.

    If you ignore their needs, your audience will find it difficult to connect with you. And the likelihood of your audience dumping you becomes rife.

    However, you can effectively connect with your audience on social media. And the way is to create and publish tailored content that can elicit a response from them.

    A good trick is to run vote-based polls and conversation starters. Another way is to publish opinions, engaging topics, and interactive content in tune with your audience's interests. These can draw responses from your target audience.

    One of the critical tasks you need to master is understanding the type of content that best works for your target audience. And refrain from copying what other successful brands publish on social media. The content that works best for them might not work for you.

    Ensure you put the tastes and preferences of your target audience above everything else. You can only get the right inputs to create interactive content to keep your audience engaged with your brand.

    When you publish the best content for your audience, they are likely to come back for more.

    #2. Post Regularly

    Posting social media content is not a one-day affair but a regular practice. As the competition to grab the audience's attention is intense, you need to post as much content as you can.

    You should regularly post on social media so that your brand stays on the top of your audience's mind. Although it is challenging to keep up with all the posts and social media platforms, you should try to post as much as possible.

    One of the impactful ways of posting on social media is by creating a posting schedule that works for your brand. Or else, it will become a tedious affair to keep up with social media. It is also a fact that you cannot deploy your team entirely to post social media content because they have other things to do. Therefore, creating a schedule will help your team adhere to a plan that works the best for your business.

    The frequency of posting is another crucial aspect. You should fix the number of posts per week for each platform. Ensure the number of posts is not huge but manageable.

    Time is another major thing to consider while creating your schedule. You should extract critical information of the time when your audience is active on social media.

    For example, if they are active in the evenings, you should schedule your posts for the evenings. In that way, you can make your posts stay at the top of your follower's feed when they are online.

    Once you figure out the time and frequency, you can use a social media management tool such as AgoraPulse, HootSuite, or Buffer to post social media content according to a schedule.

    #3. Outsource Your Social Media Campaign

    There can be two aspects due to which you need to outsource your social media marketing campaign. One, you do not have competent in-house resources. And, two, your social media campaign becomes too demanding that your in-house team finds it difficult to handle other priorities. In such cases, outsourcing your social media campaign can be an excellent idea to help your business consistently show up for your audience.

    It will help if you begin your social media campaign by deciding how much you want to outsource. There can be a variety of outsourcing options for you to adopt.

    You can choose to outsource managing your social media platforms. It can create more time for your team to attend to other priorities. Among the alternatives, you can outsource social media posts for only one account and handle the rest of the accounts with your in-house resources.

    The frequency of posting is a vital factor in monitoring outsourcing activities. One of the things to look at is how often your brand is showing up on social media. For example, if your brand shows up ten times a day only on one platform, you should alert your outsourcing partner to show your brand on other platforms as well.

    You can operate some social media platforms in-house, depending on your posting schedule.

    The good thing about outsourcing social media management is that it will free up your team's time. As such, they can focus on other essential aspects of your growth strategy.

    You can continue to interact with your audience, hear from your brand, build their trust, and convert them into customers.

    #4. Incorporate Pinterest into Your Social Media Strategy

    It is important to create and post engaging content on social media platforms. And it is also equally important to get your content distributed to a qualified audience searching for your content. It is where the role of Pinterest comes in.

    Pinterest is a social media platform. However, you can also regard it as a visual search engine, with more than 450 million users as of March 2021.

    It is preferable for businesses looking to access affluent audiences who make purchase decisions on the platform.

    Using Pinterest, you can distribute your content in front of people actively looking for your business offerings through keywords.

    Now comes the relevant question---how to incorporate Pinterest into your content distribution? You can get started by optimizing your existing content for Pinterest. Its search engine works through keywords and a visual lens.

    What you can do is, post a piece of content you created for another platform on Pinterest with keyword-rich descriptions and high-resolution visuals.

    When you include Pinterest in your social media strategy, you can get substantial exposure for your brand with a bit of time and effort. You can also leverage the capabilities of Pinterest to share your blog posts.

    You should not undermine the usage of Pinterest for your social media marketing strategy. It is a powerful content distribution tool for search engine traffic.

    Conclusion

    When you run a social media marketing campaign, your focus should be on increasing conversions. As such, actuate the proper strategic steps to interact with your target audience and attract them to your brand.
  • Tips to Optimize your Presence in the Digital World Aug 26, 2021

    Today, a visible online presence has become a must for all businesses. And failure to make your business visible online means you will be eventually out of business.

    On the internet, you can find more than 1.95 billion websites. And that means there are that many businesses trying to grab the attention of consumers.

    It would be best if you made your website visible to consumers to build your brand awareness. Despite being competitive, it is not impossible.

    So, let us explore some practical ways to build and optimize your online presence:

    Optimize Website User Experience

    Consumers get the first impression of your brand from your website. Although, as the saying goes--the first impression is the last--you should be careful about how you make the first impression about your brand among your target audience.

    Ensure that you create the right impression for the apparent reason. It would help if you made an impression that can create a good experience for visitors.

    So, begin by eliminating the unnecessary elements that create hurdles in the overall user experience. It will help if you keep your website simple. Usually, a simple website can give a better customer experience.

    Try not to have a static website because it can be a turn off for visitors. Instead, add some interactive elements like videos, slides, quizzes, games, etc. But ensure that they do but provide excessive fun. On the other hand, they should also provide some value and should not drive away their focus from the primary goal of your website.

    Implement tools that can help you create personalized experiences for your visitors. As a result, your customers will feel special and valuable.

    The effective ways to optimize your website’s user experience:
    • Provide an easy-to-access customer support
    • Optimize CTAs based on past data
    • Use a responsive web design
    • Keep forms short and simple
    Leverage the Capabilities of Google My Business(GMB)

    With GMB, you can manage your online presence. It is a free tool offered by Google. When you optimize your GMB listing, you can boost your local rankings, improve search engine rankings, and convert more leads.

    You need to add the basic information like your business’ name, address, working hours, website link, phone numbers, email address, etc.

    After you add the basic information, work on the following:
    • Add relevant questions and answers based on past customer questions and feedback.
    • Product and service listings
    • Posts based on your industry, specific category, and target keywords
    • Ask your loyal customers to post a positive review about your brand.
    • Add a brief description of your offerings. Ensure that the description is simple, concise, engaging, friendly, and has the target keywords.
    • Add quality photos of your product or office space to increase customer engagement.
    Data Protection

    It would help if you emphasized data protection as that strengthens the trust of your customers in your brand. You should ensure your website is strongly protected against data leaks, thefts, and hacks.

    You can implement the following to protect your data:
    • Email, endpoint and network protection to filter files containing spam and malware
    • Conduct cybersecurity training sessions
    • Secure your web gateway
    • Encryption on servers to protect sensitive data
    • A data protection policy
    Create Unique, Relevant, and Engaging Content

    Remember that content is the king. And the content is multi-dimensional. It can include blogs, infographics, videos, podcasts, ebooks, whitepapers, case studies, etc.

    With relevant, useful and engaging content, you can build good relationships with your target audience. That is why you should have a content strategy. But make sure that your content is consistent and aligns with your business goals.

    There are ways to create original, engaging, and value-based content. For example, you can tell a valuable story or create engaging content and reuse it into graphics, Twitter threads, or Instagram stories.

    You can also allow your social media followers to create branded content for you by giving them meme templates, reels, and. Giveaways. When you use user-generated content, you will gain the trust of your audience.

    Engage on Social Media

    Engaging with your audience on social media platforms is a great way to build a relationship with them. You can discuss many things with them, from what you do to the latest trends in your industry.

    Apart from talking about the capabilities of your products and services, talk about your knowledge and expertise. For example, if you run a digital marketing agency, talk about the latest SEO trends, responsive web design, etc.

    Your target audience will trust you when you share your expertise with them. If you show some of your expertise through content, such as case studies, testimonials, etc., you can solidify your trust in them.

    The advantage of building a small group of loyal followers is that promoting your brand becomes easy because the followers will speak well about your brand.

    An effective way is to host questions and answer sessions to answer frequently asked questions about your brand.

    Another way is to share content from businesses with similar target audiences. It will help you to connect with your target audience.

    For example, if you are a gym owner, you can repost content from dieticians, nutritionists, personal trainers, bodybuilders, etc.

    When you repost their content, they will mention your brand. As such, their audience will engage with your brand.

    Advertise

    You cannot escape paid advertising. Although you make considerable efforts to improve user experience, social media engagement, and content marketing, you need to run paid advertisements to reach your target audience. With paid ads, you can communicate with your audience with the right message at the right time and with the right call to action. As a result, you will get better conversions.

    But before you run paid advertisements, you need to:
    • Create a checklist for the advertisement
    • Analyze the keywords
    • Test, analyze, optimize
    If you run paid social media campaigns, you should:
    • Experiment with different content, time frames, and audience
    • Set your budget
    • Check social media analytics. It will help you generate new ideas for campaigns. Moreover, you can analyze which kind of content works the best for your business.
    Conclusion

    Given the benefits of optimizing your website, you should not fail to do so, as that will help you to better connect with your target audience. In addition, a solid relationship with your target audience will help you generate more revenues.
  • How RPA Implementation Can Increase Efficiency of Banks Aug 25, 2021

    Banks and other financial institutions need to provide exceptional customer service to remain competitive in an increasingly competitive financial environment.

    Today, financial companies have to optimize costs and boost productivity under tremendous pressure. Compounding to the pressure, scarcity of skilled resources and a sharp increase in wages have hampered the efficiency in operations.

    However, financial companies can effectively deal with the challenges by adopting Robotic Process Automation (RPA).

    Here, we discuss the various aspects of RPA in the banking and financial services sector and evaluate the benefits, opportunities, implementation strategy, and use cases.

    RPA in Banking

    RPA in banking and finance involves the use of a powerful robotic process automation software to
    • Install desktop and other end-user device-level software robots
    • Build virtual assistants. You can regard them as artificial intelligence workforce

    With RPA tools, the banking industry can effectively deal with the pressing demands, reduce costs and maximize their efficiency.

    Banks and financial institutions must adopt a strategic approach to reap the benefits of RPA. According to McKinsey, the second wave of automation and artificial intelligence (AI) will hit the financial industry in the next couple of years. Machines and bots will perform 10 to 25 percent of tasks across several banking functions. As a result, it will increase the overall capacity and allow employees to focus on higher-value tasks and projects instead of repetitive tasks.

    By 2022, the RPA in the financial services industry is likely to reach UD2.9 billion, a remarkable increase from USD 250 million in 2016, according to the forecasts available.

    Power of Automation in Banking

    Banks and financial institutions have spent more than USD 321 billion on compliance operations and fines during the last decade.

    Expenditure on compliance operations accounted for the larger chunk of such expenditures. Banks annually disburse nearly USD 270 billion on compliance operations. In other words, banks spend more than 10 percent of their operating cost on compliance costs.

    Factors like higher operating expenses, regulatory fines, and strict regulatory requirements slow down bank processes. As such, bank customers experience poor services.

    Therefore, banks could not escape finding new and efficient ways to manage compliance. And RPA became the answer.

    With RPA, financial companies can lower their manual work, provide better compliance, mitigate risks, and improve the overall consumer experience.

    Automation suitability for banks and financial institutions is because it calls for no extra infrastructure requirements and bears a low-code approach.

    Fundamentally, the role of RPA in the banking industry is to automate repetitive banking work. Thus, RPA allows banks and financial institutions to increase their productivity. It also allows financial institutions to engage customers in real-time.

    However, implementation of RPA is not a straightforward process; instead, it is a strategic process. The implementation calls for robust employee training, structured inputs, and governance.

    But, once you implement RPA correctly, automation can take entire control of the banking system. The automated operations include opening and closing applications, sending emails, and copy-pasting work, among others.

    RPA capabilities extend further. The automation can even work on spreadsheets in banking software systems, entailing smooth functioning.

    RPA Use-Cases

    RPA is multidimensional. So, businesses can apply RPA to a large number of automation projects. There are various well-defined use-cases in RPA. Given the objective of this article, we will discuss the use-cases related to the banking industry.

    Automatic Report Generation

    Banks need to generate compliance reports for fraudulent transactions. And these reports are called suspicious activity reports(SARs), which are also regular activities of banks and financial institutions.

    In the traditional method, compliance officers read all the reports. Subsequently, they fill in the necessary details in the SAR form. It is a repetitive task, calling for a lot of time and effort.

    But, implementation of the RPA technology solves the problem. The RPA algorithm can read the lengthy compliance documents and extract the necessary information to fill the SAR with natural language generation capabilities.

    The advantage of the RPA is that compliance officers can train it to read the necessary information of the reports. Thus, it helps to lower the operational costs while saving time to execute the task.

    Customer Onboarding

    Customer onboarding in banks is a time-consuming process. It necessities manual verification of several documents. But, RPA implementation can ease the process. RPA software extracts the necessary data from the KYC documents through the character recognition technique (OCR). And the software can verify the information provided by the customer in the form by matching the information in the KYC documents.

    The software will enter the information in the customer management portal if there is no discrepancy. In that way, RPA software helps onboarding customers with minimal human efforts and saving time while keeping manual errors at bay.

    Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money laundering (AML)

    In financial institutions, KYC and AML are data-driven processes. So, manual execution is time-consuming. But, RPA can ease the process. So, regardless of whether automating the manual processes or determining suspicious banking transactions, RPA implementation can save time while increasing efficiency.

    Account Opening

    In banks, the account opening is a cumbersome process. But, banks can make the process straightforward, quicker and accurate with the implementation of RPA. In addition, it can automatically spot and eliminate the errors that exist between the core banking system and the new account opening requests. As such, there will be an increase in the overall data quality of the comprehensive system.

    For example, many global banks use RPA software in their account opening process, which involves extracting information from input forms and subsequently inserting it into different host applications.

    With the implementation, banks can have an error-free, time-efficient, and automated data entry process. As a result, it saves time, maintains complete operational accuracy and lowers costs.

    Loan Processing

    Loan processing has been traditionally a slow process. It is because so many tasks, from customer details verification to filling up forms, make the processing time-consuming. But, RPA accelerates the process to make it a 10-15 minutes affair. And the processing is error-free.

    Conclusion

    Lengthy and manual processes have negatively affected the banking and financial companies for a long time. As a result, their overall productivity has gone down and affected customer satisfaction. However, such companies can use RPA to automate various processes to derive efficiency and higher productivity.
  • What to Consider Before Investing in a Pharmaceutical Refrigerator Jul 20, 2021

    A pharmaceutical refrigerator is a piece of must-have equipment for any medical facility. Without such equipment, no such facility can store sensitive medicines and vaccines in proper conditions, resulting in damaging the items.

    If you own a medical facility, you must invest in such a refrigerator to store vaccines, blood samples, and sensitive medicines. But make sure that you choose the right kind of medical refrigerator, also called a pharmaceutical refrigerator, that suits your needs.

    If you purchase the wrong cold storage unit for storing medical items by any chance, it will damage the items, entailing losses for you.

    When it comes to buying such a cold storage unit, you need to know certain aspects beforehand to purchase the right one.

    Take into consideration the following factors before you make a purchase:

    Price

    The first aspect to consider before purchasing such cold storage is your affordability. When you zero on a refrigerator, check out the prices, and determine whether it fits your budget. Several factors influence such refrigerators' price, such as adherence to the regulatory guidelines, cooling options, temperature control, size of the equipment, etc.

    The size of the refrigerator also matters. The bigger the size, the more is the price. A pharmaceutical refrigerator with a built-in freezer will cost more than a separate refrigerator or freezer unit.

    Refrigerator Features

    The next consideration is the features that you are looking for in your prospective refrigerator. It will help if you consider the features that suit your needs.

    The following are some of the features you should consider before investing in such a cold storage unit:

    Temperature Control Mechanism

    The temperature control mechanism should be capable enough to provide and maintain the necessary temperature range. For example, vaccines require temperatures between 36 degrees F and 46 degrees F in the refrigerator section and between -58 degrees F and 5 degrees F in the freezer. It will also be a good idea to choose a medical refrigerator with a microprocessor-controlled temperature maintenance system, digital thermostats, and alarms.

    Size

    The size of the cold storage unit is an essential factor to consider before purchasing. The size should be such that it fits the available space. If the size is too small or too big, it will not conform to your needs.

    Shelves

    Check out shelving and storage space inside the refrigerator. Wire shelves are the best for storing vaccines and medicines like insulin.

    Locking Mechanism

    Ensure the refrigerator has a proper locking system to restrict unauthorized personnel from accessing the refrigerator's contents.

    Power Cord Alarm

    Ensure that the refrigerator you wish to buy comes with a power cord alarm. It alerts that the power cord is connected to the power source, so you can be sure of the refrigerator getting electricity. Keep in mind that you should never keep the refrigerator without power to damage the stored items.

    Internal Fans

    Check out whether the refrigerator has internal fans that circulate the cold air uniformly within the unit, ensuring proper storage of sensitive medical items.

    Your Needs

    In addition to the basic features, you might need some specific features that suit your needs. Therefore, it will help if you check out the following elements in your prospective refrigerator:

    • What to store: vaccines, medicines, or samples? As different items have temperature requirements, ensure that the refrigerator can maintain the proper temperature range

    • Built-in front ventilation systems. They save space by curtailing the need for a separate ventilation system on the refrigerator's top or side

    • A continuous air circulation system to prevent building up heat up every time the door is opened

    • Exclusive space for storing vaccines separately
    Conclusion

    Buying a pharmaceutical refrigerator is not at all a straightforward affair. There are many factors to consider beforehand for the apparent reason--landing up on the right refrigerator. Additionally, you should also ensure that the refrigerator you wish to buy conforms to the strict guidelines laid down by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The guidelines comprise the temperature for storing medicines, the cooling mechanism's features, power requirements, etc. If you fail to buy a refrigerator that does not comply with the guidelines, you will see the stored items getting damaged and that you should avoid.
  • How Data Mapping Can Help in Data Transformation and Integration Jun 6, 2021

    Data mapping is a critical component of data processes and a significant determinant of business success. You might not have yet realized that a small error in data mapping can cause a ripple effect in your organization by errors and inaccurate analysis.

    If you fail to understand the significance and implementation of data mapping, you are posing a potential threat to the success of your business.

    So, if you fail to understand the significance of data mapping or how to implement it, you minimize the chances of your business becoming a success.


    What is Data Mapping?

    Let us first understand what data mapping is, as that will help to digest the complicated things better.

    In simple terms, you can regard data mapping as the process of matching data fields from one database to another database. As an essential segment of an ETL process, data mapping facilitates data migration, data integration, and other essential data management tasks.

    You can analyze business data to gain business insights after homogenizing it in a way that allows you to access it conveniently.

    Data comes from various sources, and each source defines data points in similar ways. With the support of ETL data mapping tools, you can move data from one source to another in a precise manner.

    The data mapping process is a highly complex affair with the increasing amount of data and sources. There is an automated ETL data mapping tool you should have in your possession to ease the complexity.


    Smoothens Data Management

    Data Mapping is one of the most important parts of data management. If you do not map data correctly, it can become corrupted when it reaches the destination. You need to ensure that there is quality data mapping in your organization to get the most out of your data migrations, transformations, integrations, etc.

    Let us get acquainted with the following terminologies:


    Data Migration

    It is the process of moving data from one source to another. After the migration process gets over, the destination becomes the new source of data, and the source gets empty of data. You have to use data mapping tools to perform data migration by mapping source data fields to destination fields.


    Data Integration

    It is the process of integrating various types of applications across your organization. You can either schedule an integration or start through an event. Akin to data migration, data maps for integration must match fields in source and destination.


    Data Transformation

    It is the process of transforming data from a source format into a destination format. You can use data transformation software to cleanse data, eliminate nulls or duplicates, collect data, enrich the data, etc.


    Data Warehousing

    When you transfer all data into a single source, it is called the data warehouse. When you run a query or analysis, it fetches data from the warehouse, in which data underwent migration, integration, and transformation. With data mapping tools, you can ensure that data from the warehouse gets to the destination as per the plan.


    Steps Involved in Data Mapping

    In a typical data mapping process, there are the following steps:


    Step 1
    You need to define the data you will move here. When you do data integrations, you need to determine the transfer frequency in this step.

    Step 2
    This step involves mapping the data and matching the source and destination data fields.

    Step 3
    Carry out the transformation after doing the conversion.

    Step 4
    In this step, you have to sample data from the source using a testing system and run the transfer to check its working.

    Step 5
    Schedule data migration or integration after the data transformation is done.

    Step 6
    It is the last step. Here, maintenance is the priority. You need to update the data maps with new data addition or the source data or requirements at the destination change.


    The Final Words

    With data mapping, you can analyze large volumes of data with ease and accuracy. Data mapping allows companies to maintain quality and use real-time data for making better, accurate business decisions. It eases the data transformation process and reduces the possibility of human error apart from saving time. The bottom line is that data mapping not only improves data quality but also helps in decision-making.
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  • 6 Ways to Manage Your Remote Team May 16, 2021

    Since the Covid-19 pandemic started in March of 2020, the US workforce has undergone a drastic shift. Working from home is here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future, so businesses must be prepared to tailor their management style for the new way of doing things. Even as things start to improve and the world slowly moves back towards a place of normalcy, many employees will continue to work remotely, which means dealing with a whole new set of challenges for both workers and managers. Here are a few tips you can use to update your management style and keep your workers productive and motivated while working from home.


    Keep the Lines of Communication Open

    Communicating successfully with your workers is always going to be one of the most important parts of being a manager, but it's only become more vital as people are starting to work from home. It's a lot more difficult to keep in touch with people when they're not in the same building every day, so keeping the lines of communication open at all times is more important than ever. Make sure to plan out a consistent schedule for meetings, both group and one-on-one, and always stick to it. You should also try to keep the communication going outside of meetings, by using email or messaging apps like Slack to keep in touch with your team throughout the day. Make a point to ensure that your workers know you're available for questions or concerns all day. Open lines of communication can be a great help for morale as well. Don't be stingy with positive feedback, and make a point of celebrating successes with everyone in your team. One of the hardest parts of working from home for most workers is social isolation, so keeping in touch is always a good idea.


    Help Establish Routines

    Another major issue that many works from home employees struggle with is keeping to a routine. It's pretty easy to stick to a routine in the office, where things are pretty much the same every day. Working from home, however, forces each member of your team to handle their own routine, as well as dealing with any number of distractions throughout the day. That's where an effective manager can come in handy. Encourage your team to stick to a consistent schedule every day, so it's easier to stay in a work mindset. You can also help by scheduling meetings at the same time every day. On the flip side, make sure your workers have the flexibility they need to set their own schedules as well. The dynamics of a home environment are entirely different from the office, so your team members will need to work around distractions and other factors.


    Don't Neglect Training

    Training and skill development is an important part of making sure your workers are effective and motivated, and that shouldn't stop just because your team is working from home. Online training is easy and pretty straightforward, so don't be afraid to send your employees some short seminars or courses throughout the week. You can also set up larger online sessions for your whole team. Training helps to break up the monotony of the workweek, as well as giving your employees a way to progress and potentially advance their careers. It can be easy to feel a little trapped when working from home every day, so a feeling of momentum can be huge for morale. You should also send tips for self-care and ways to reduce stress, which can help improve morale as well.


    Find Outside Resources

    Managing work from a home team is a new experience for most leaders, so don't be afraid to go looking for help from external sources. Articles like this one can be a huge help or books on management techniques. You can also bring in professionals from outside the company or hire a conference speaker to talk to your team and improve motivation or morale. These guys are pros at motivation and have a ton of experience in whatever their fields are, so don't be afraid to take advantage of their knowledge. Conference speakers are also a huge help for skill development and training as well.


    Throw a Party

    This one might sound a little frivolous, but hosting social events for your team is a great way to improve morale in the office, and that can apply to work from home situations too. Birthday parties, celebrations, and other events make your workers feel appreciated as well as giving everyone a chance to relax and engage in a little social interaction. Try hosting virtual parties through Zoom or whatever meeting application you're using, or set up a virtual trivia event. Birthdays are a great opportunity for a little social event - have a cake sent to whoever's birthday it is, and get everyone on a group call to wish them a happy birthday and chat for a bit.


    Create a Space for Feedback

    Using outside resources is always a great way to get ideas, but the people you should be listening to the most are your workers. Having a direct line for employee feedback is invaluable for a good manager, so you should be setting up a safe space for communication as soon as possible. Some team members might be unwilling to give feedback directly to you, so try setting up something anonymous so they can make their feelings heard without having their names attached. Accepting feedback always requires checking our egos and accepting a little humility, but it's the best way to improve your techniques and become a better leader.

    Working from home provides new challenges for both workers and managers, and it can be tempting to just think of it as a negative or frustrating change to the landscape. However, by taking a more positive view of things and taking the challenges head-on, this new environment can be an opportunity for you to become a better and more effective leader. Remember, employees are your company's most valuable resource, now more than ever, so their morale and motivation are key to your success.
  • The Untapped Potential of Business Coaching Mar 25, 2021

    Did you know that business coaching is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world? Yep, it’s pretty incredible to find out that the US business coaching market is currently valued at $11.6 billion, which is why it’s no surprise to learn that over 42% of all coaches are currently residing across the Atlantic.

    And while the results of successful coaching programs are clear to see, the UK has been relatively slow to adopt the latest US import for one reason or another. With that said, over the past few years, business coaching, or what many refer to as “executive coaching”, has quickly become a hot topic for organizations as they search for new waves to gain a competitive advantage over their rivals and improve their business processes.

    What is business coaching?
    A business coach will assist the owner on several specific tasks to help improve the company’s performance and growth. It’s an interactive process that is designed to help individuals develop rapidly within a business context and improve the skills needed to run a successful company.

    In most cases, the coach’s primary role is to aid in the transformation of a company from point A to point B by identifying specific targets that can be accomplished with a predetermined process and an actionable business plan. In most settings, the coach serves as a mentor to the owner, providing guidance and wisdom on a variety of problems, adding value wherever they can.

    Interestingly, it’s a common fallacy that coaches are only hired when an organization is in trouble or on the verge of failure. Although this can often be the case, it’s becoming increasingly popular to hire an executive coach to help find new ways to scale company operations and identify opportunities both internally and externally. With that said, let’s take a look at some of the key benefits of hiring a business coach.

    Identify new (sometimes counterintuitive) opportunities
    When running a business, it can be very easy to fall into the trap of never changing your business processes and carrying on with the same tasks each day without exploring new opportunities. And who could blame you if you do? If you find a recipe that works, why change it?

    Well, if you want to keep your business moving forward, or even if you just want to keep pace with your competitors, you need to always be on the lookout for new ideas and ways to innovate - and this is exactly where a business coach comes in. Aside from the standard opportunities that even the untrained eye could pick out, the best business coaches will help you to identify new strategies, some of which may even seem counterintuitive at first glance.

    Let’s take a look at an example of this from one of the world’s leading business coaches, Russ Ruffino:

    Working with fewer clients at a higher price
    A habitual mistake that many entrepreneurs make is attempting to find as many paying customers as possible; however, as Russ Ruffino, CEO of renowned coaching program Clients on Demand, points out, this usually isn’t the best way to go about your business:

    “Here’s the thing, if you charge too little, you have to work with more clients, you have a busier schedule, and as a result, the quality of your service diminishes. Not only that, but you will likely find you’re continually looking for new clients, spending unnecessary time and money searching for paying customers. The answer is simple. Raise your prices, improve your service, laser in on attaining results for your clients, and focus on attracting the cream of the crop. Nine times out of ten, you find you end up generating much higher revenue with less time invested,” explains Ruffino.

    There’s no doubt that many business owners would initially dismiss this wisdom, as it seems like financial suicide to turn away paying customers, however, it’s an absolute necessity for sustainable, long-term growth. It’s reasons like this why Ruffino’s coaching and consultation system is heralded as one of the most interesting wealth-building systems around because let’s face it - the ability to make ruthless business decisions is often what separates the best from the rest. If you’re interested in Russ’s program and taking up some high-level coaching, check out what their clients say about the course to see if it’s a good fit for your business model.

    Mindset development
    In business, your mindset plays a critical role in dealing with challenges and facing the inevitable adversity that will come your way. Unfortunately, many of us disregard the importance of pro-actively seeking out mindset training and developing the mental skill set required to run a business effectively.

    Things such as drive, determination, perseverance, and self-discipline all play a key role in approaching problems and opportunities, yet most of us go through life without putting too much effort into improving these skills. However, mastery of your mindset, as well as a deeper understanding of critical thinking, will ultimately go a long way towards helping you achieve your long-term goals and business aspirations.

    Fortunately, an experienced business coach will help you develop a “growth mindset” where you become familiar with dealing with things such as failure and rejection more constructively, sacrificing short term rewards for long term success, the ability to plan and foresee potential problems, and not letting self-destructive tendencies get in the way of your business growth.
  • Why Business Intelligence Solutions Are Going from Strength to Strength Jan 31, 2021

    Modern business is extremely tech-centric. It doesn’t matter what industry you are in, technology is at the heart of pretty much every sector. From food production lines to server hosting firms, tech is the lifeblood that flows through most of our workplaces in the modern age.

    Since computers first started infiltrating the workplace many decades ago, a key value proposition that the big tech firms kept repeating was that work would become easier. Whether it was to increase efficiency or simply take over menial tasks, computers, and tech in general, was there to grab the reigns.

    In recent times, tech has made strides in more than just automation though. Two areas, in particular, have aided decision making within firms with the use of large data sets, those areas being AI and BI.

    Artificial intelligence has been a buzzword for quite some time, so much so, that you would be hard-pressed to find anyone in your day to day life who wasn’t aware of what AI actually is. Business intelligence, on the other hand, has entered the zeitgeist in a far more subtle way. This doesn’t, however, mean that it is any less useful.

    Quite the contrary in fact.

    Simplified, usable data

    At its core, business intelligence software collates and appropriates data into far more useful products. Streams of numbers rarely lend themselves well to the process of humans gleaning useful information, and the bigger the data set, the worse the problem gets.

    People are, for the most part, not designed to make sense of large data pools, and as such, data alone actually provides us with very little insight when it comes to what is working well – and what is working not so well – in the world of business.

    However, data are shown in ways that are easy to decipher is a different beast entirely. Provide data in graphics, be that charts, graphs, or tables, and a quick glance is sometimes all you need to see exactly why a certain trend is taking place, or why a project has not met the expectation in a certain area.

    Not only do BI software solutions use vast amounts of data to provide insight, they also have the ability to cross-reference data pools, giving users the ability to see trends that are virtually impossible to decipher when looking at each pool independently. For example, seeing how production speed seems to have entered a downward trajectory on a project may not tell the whole story, until cross-referenced against the data from another area, showing that the reason for this lull could be that it coincides with a rise in production machine faults.

    The power of this data can not only give the user easy to decipher information that can lead to a more educated decision making in the future, but can also help address extremely specific problems that would easily be missed when scrolling through data independently.

    Bespoke dashboards

    Of course, each business is different, and as such, BI software needs to be customizable enough to suit many different business models and industries. Because of this, most BI solutions have a variety of integrations available, and highly mouldable dashboards that can allow users to manifest the exact look and feel that any particular business the type could desire.

    What’s more, the best BI dashboards are automatically updated in real-time, meaning that at any given moment, a simple glance at the screen can show the end-user an extremely accurate overview of how a given aspect of the business is running, minute by minute.

    Granular customization capabilities can be found on many different levels within the BI world. Some integrations leverage existing analytics apps, others have the ability for an IT department to build any required bridges with the use of open APIs. But regardless of how bespoke a business may need their BI solution to be, the best options out there provide more than enough functionality to provide a service that is invaluable in the modern era.

    The use of data is fast becoming the new “gold rush” in an era where technology has given users the ability to collate and organize information at such staggering speed.

    With adoption increasing exponentially, businesses that ignore the leaps made in the tech sector do so at their peril, and when it comes to business intelligence software, in particular, those businesses are putting themselves at an extreme disadvantage, when more and more of their rivals will be grabbing what BI has to offer with both hands.
  • How Data Lineage will Boost Data-Driven Initiatives of Organization Dec 14, 2020

    In almost every data strategy, you will find data lineage at the core. We must understand data’s lineage as that enables us to find the root causes of the problem at hand and answer the corresponding question by explaining the data’s origins.


    How Does Data Lineage Help?

    Data lineage tracks data at each system, extraction, ingestion points, and up to the consumption points. Moreover, it also shows the changes all along the data path.

    The lineage can ensure stakeholders of reliable data by providing necessary and insightful details about the data. They can get valuable insights for decision making.

    It is challenging to follow data across different platforms, manipulations, extractions, processes, and uses. If there is no transparency and oversight in the data, users will not be able to spot any changes in the data’s format, function, and quality levels. And that will restrict them from getting insights from the data to make the right decisions.

    It will help organizations if they can extract a three-dimensional view of data lineage in the form of a visual graph that will help them understand the data with trust. It will enable them to extract the maximum value from their data.

    In essence, data visualization helps users to understand the mechanism behind data creating value by connecting data to business processes, operations, and objectives.

    Without a comprehensive understanding of data flow and the ways data are used, users cannot leverage the value of their information.


    How 3-D Data Lineage Maximizes Data Value?

    3-D data lineage enables enterprises to leverage data to make critical business decisions. The lineage bears nine elements, also known as the building blocks, which are the following:

    1. Technical assets include those that physically store, manipulate, transform, and present data. Businesses use the assets in the context of information on data combinations, data storage procedures, transformation processes.

    2. Business assets comprise business-facing data reports, the context around data, business processes, and metrics. These help users understand data’s impact on the business. The assets also enable users to understand the meaning embedded in data apart from discovering how data fits and impacts the business. Moreover, these assets consist of policies to ensure appropriate data usage, keep the security policies intact, and comply with global data privacy regulations.

    3. Data governance provides the framework comprising technology, processes, and people. It helps businesses convert their data into an asset. The framework offers visibility for companies that also helps in reducing their risk factors. It also creates a link from technical lineage to business assets, creating business lineage.

    4. Metadata provides the context to business and technical assets. It helps classify, sort, label, and clarify data catalog information, enabling users to search for data quickly. With Metadata, users can know how and when data was created, its meaning, where it resides, how and who changed it, who has access to it, and who owns that data.

    5. Data quality rules ensure users relying on enterprise data to generate insightful analytics is dependable. By formulating rules to analyze data for inaccuracies, businesses can build trust among users and simultaneously improve overall efficiency by eliminating any deficits to leverage data.

    6. Relationships between data, systems, business processes, people, goals, objectives, and metrics are crucial for all businesses. But businesses need to make some effort to identify and document data assets, processes, and operations to build trust, actuate holistic process execution, and provide insight on improving business performance with data.

    7. Profiling data is critical as that helps businesses explore and visualize enterprise data distribution. It helps to identify missing and incorrect data values and sorting as well as filtering relevant data. Also, it speeds up the discovery, validation, transformation, and blending of data to help users discover accurate and relevant information.

    8. Semantics help to normalize assets. It helps to streamline communication between data systems and data users in programming languages. Businesses must source, organize, and document different data and commands as per the semantics.

    9. Reference data also classifies and organizes data, but the notable aspect is that these data changes frequently due to usages for different purposes. As such, businesses need to put in place a mechanism to refresh reference data often to achieve operational efficiency and drive innovation.

    The bottom line is that the nine data lineage blocks work in unison to maintain data integrity, provide an audit trail throughout the data’s lifecycle, and establish 3-D data lineage.


    Data Catalog

    A data catalog provides a unified technical view of data to support internal business processes. But the downside is that the catalog does not give business and technical assets a single view. It will help if you keep in mind that you should avoid a data catalog with limited visibility. Such a catalog will not allow you to develop innovative products and services, uncover key cost-saving opportunities, or identify unhappy customers.

    So, businesses should not fall behind in building a substantial data catalog with 3-D lineage to improve productivity and meet goals.


    Conclusion

    Businesses can document the nine building blocks of data lineage in a data catalog to develop a business-ready data catalog with a single 360-degree view of all assets and the dependencies. It will combine knowledge about data, business processes and goals, objectives, and metrics in a centralized location. 3-D lineage helps users verify data sources and trust their information. Also, it brings efficiencies, actionable insights, and offers new business opportunities.
  • Tips to Market your Business During the Pandemic Jul 17, 2020

    The Coronavirus pandemic has brought in difficult times for businesses. While sales have plummeted, bringing down the revenues, many sectors have lost all business activities.

    It is needless to say that businesses have no way other than implementing innovative tactics to survive.

    Here, we outline some of the marketing tips for your business during the pandemic phase:

    Adopt an Optimistic Approach

    You need to maintain optimism and cautiously act as times are difficult now. Your business might have seen dwindling sales or complete stoppages of trading for reasons beyond your control. But, you should not panic. It will help if you put all your worries to rest and adopt an optimistic outlook in the belief that things will eventually get better.

    However, it will not make sense for you to underestimate the threats of the virus. And you are constrained to lower or discontinue your business activities for a while. But, you should not panic but remain optimistic that you will survive the chaos.

    In the worst-case scenario, your revenue might dry up, and you need to approach the government for assistance. But, do not fall back from keeping some digital marketing activities going on. It will keep your business visible to the consumers.

    Leverage the Power of Social Media

    You should smartly leverage the social media usage of people during the pandemic. Social media has become the strongest mode of communication during this tough time. So, utilize the opportunity by sharing engaging content on social media. Consumers are likely to keep your business in mind as a result.

    Create Goodwill

    Creating goodwill is the best form of marketing, as people always tend to remember the good things that businesses do. If you can help people during the pandemic, like distributing sanitizers, masks, etc. free of cost, do not fall behind. People will remember you and buy your products and services when you go back to business.

    Strengthen Your Online Presence

    During the pandemic phase, people are more online now. In most of the cases, they are utilizing their free time in making Google searches to research potential items to buy.

    So, you should proactively respond to them. It will help if you alter your website to reflect the current demand and emphasize on digital marketing. As digital marketing is a measurable type of marketing and does not require any face-to-face interaction, it makes it easy to set clear RoI goals.

    Implement SEO Tactics

    Your digital marketing initiatives will bear no fruit if people cannot find your website. So, you should implement the right SEO tactics to restrict your website from getting lost in the competition.

    Google frequently changes its search engine algorithms, so you should ensure that your SEO tactics are up-to-date.

    The focus of SEO is to bring your website within the top rankings of search engine results when people do online searches with specific keywords.

    Since most businesses are now focussing on how to survive rather than thinking about concentrating on digital marketing, it is giving you an excellent opportunity to embark upon powerful SEO techniques to make people keep your business offerings in mind.

    PPC Ads

    You might have not yet sensed it, but it is now the perfect time for you to embark upon pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. As more people are on the internet during the pandemic phase, your ads have a fair amount of chance to appear in front of relevant eyes. You will get a significant competitive advantage as a result.

    Focus on Relevant Marketing

    It is also the time to focus on relevant marketing. So, do not waste your time engaging in irrelevant marketing. You can get a lesson from the irrelevant ads on the television these days, such as suggesting you go on a trip, etc.

    You need to refrain from irrelevant marketing campaigns and instead run the campaigns adhering to the circumstances. Make sure that you market only those products that the consumers are willing to buy.

    Nimble Activities

    It will help if you are nimble and work in sync with customer needs. If you are a small business, then you should modify your operations for the situation.

    For example, if you run a fast-food restaurant in an area that is not yet under lockdown, you can close down your in-store dining facilities and emphasize on the takeaways. Likewise, if you run a gym that is in a lockdown area, you can share videos of exercise routines with your clients for them to perform at home.

    Keep a Tab on Marketing Metrics

    If you tend to overlook your marketing data as businesses have slowed down, then it will be a mistake. It has now become more important to monitor your marketing data closely. You should figure out what works and what does not. Keep an eye on the products that do not work now. And stop marketing those products now because that will be a wastage of time and money.

    You should keep a tab on your marketing data almost every day. Make sincere efforts to examine the data, see the trends, and make the changes where required.

    It will help if you keep in mind that it is not difficult to determine the RoI of digital marketing campaigns. The determination involves identifying a specific marketing goal for each campaign and subsequently deciding the relevant metric to measure.

    Plan Your Future Marketing

    As business activities have slumped and you have more free time than ever, do not take for granted that you should keep all your business plans to rest. You now have more time than ever, so you can utilize the time to plan for things once the Coronavirus crisis comes to an end.

    You should now plan your future marketing and plan how you will get yourself in full-fledged operations after things become normal.

    Conclusion

    It is sensible to adhere to your business building activities even during the pandemic phase. It will be prudent on your part if you prepare your business to run the show once things return to normalcy.
  • Trends Shaping Data Governance in 2020 Jul 9, 2020

    For professionals across industries, the importance of data is constantly evolving. They are actively looking for innovative ways to use data to boost process optimization and enable quicker & smarter decision making.

    While such exponential use of data means more insights and business value, it also translates to greater challenges with regards to effective data governance.

    Organizations that deal with massive amounts of information require a systematic plan for data governance. Data governance here refers to the people, processes, and technology used by an organization to ensure the availability of secure, high-quality, and consistent data.

    Data Governance Trends In 2020

    By putting robust data governance practices in place, organizations can be sure of responding better to new opportunities and challenges as and when they arise.

    In this post, we are going to discuss the top 8 current and predicted data governance trends that you need to be aware of in 2020.


    1. Quality Of Data Will Be Improved

    With an increasing number of organizations prioritizing data, the importance of relevant and accurate data is on an all-time high. Poor data quality can hamper the efforts to extract valuable insights, comply with evolving standards, and capture new efficiencies of data.

    Increased data quality is, in fact, one of the most expected outputs for data governance as it can help minimize enterprise risk, which is one of the main objectives of effective data governance.

    This makes it critical to have certain quality assessment mechanisms in place within any data governance strategy. Having a comprehensive data cleaning process, which identifies and improves the overall quality of inaccurate or incomplete data, helps organizations to prevent issues during analysis and later use of data.


    2. Regulatory Compliance Will Be Stricter

    The issuance of new GDPR guidelines, with the aim of data protection and compliance for the organizations across industries will see strict adherence by the regulators.

    Organizations that lack in complying with the new regulations will suffer heavy fines, and penalties post the recent amendment in the GDPR law.

    The move has been taken by the authorities in light of the sensitivities associated with Big Data and concerns to stop instances of data attacks and breaches. To ensure that organizations remain compliant, the due share of the penalties will be levied on the defaulters.


    3. Data Privacy At The Forefront

    With massive amounts of data distributed across geographies and third parties, protecting the privacy of confidential information is becoming a challenge.

    For companies, it is critical to consistently monitor the privacy gaps as non-compliance can lead to significant fines and reputational harm, owing to stricter laws.

    One of the ways to deal with this, as suggested by Gartner, is to look at the most important or critically exposed data, and use the same to build a trust model supporting current and future business needs. Later, organizations can take the necessary steps to determine whether the trust level for the data is acceptable or not.


    4. Classifying Master Data With Metadata

    Metadata management operates at the center of many data governance processes. Although the specifics of metadata are influenced by source code comprehension and other visual techniques, metadata management will still remain an integral part of facilitating data provenance.

    Metadata management is, in fact, the most important governance element that connects all the vital trends for data governance from regulatory adherence to governing machine learning models and automation.

    Effective metadata management offers an enterprise a clear blueprint for lineage, and it is also used to identify datasets that they are more interested in.


    5. Clearly Defined Roles For CDOs

    Unlike the CEOs, CFOs or CEOs, the role of Chief Data Officers or CDOs in any organization is not clearly defined in terms of both responsibility and functioning. Also, the organizations usually lack consensus on the exact duties and functions of a CDO.

    This scenario is changing and will further evolve in the years to come. With data becoming a very important commodity for organizations, CDOs will have clearly defined roles and will be strategically placed in a company's hierarchy.



    6. Data Governance Tools To Help


    The last couple of years have seen decent growth in data catalogs, which provide critical information about data sets.

    With the emergence of an open data economy, organizations will be moving towards systemic data governance to be able to capitalize on the various benefits - innovation and new insights - offered by this trend.

    More and more organizations today are investing in a data governance platform that can help them run governed data sharing projects with external partners. This is not just to minimize risk but also to harness the data's true potential.


    7. Devising A Data Governance Framework

    Having an effective data governance framework is becoming more and more important. This is simply because it can help in multiple aspects such as data quality, metadata management, data modeling, and data security and compliance to help ensure that data serves the required purpose.

    A data governance framework also allows the organizations to set the processes and procedures to help in execution and determining how enterprise data is acquired, used, managed, and archived.


    8. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to Drive Data Governance

    With ever-increasing volumes of enterprise data, data professionals across the board will continue to struggle with effective ways of aggregating and curating so much information.

    Robotic process automation (RPA) can be a valuable tool here for enhancing and improving the overall data governance strategy. RPA is specifically suited to mundane and repetitive tasks such as data cleansing, metadata creation or updates, and normalization.

    There are multiple potential benefits that RPA technology offers, including greater efficiency in regulatory and risk reporting, improved outcomes due to consistency & greater process quality, and better resource capacity resulting from new efficiencies.

    To unlock the real benefits of RPA, data professionals need to take a critical look at their operations, followed by doing a cost/benefit analysis to determine whether there is a profitable business case for incorporating RPA in their respective organizations.

    The Way Ahead

    The data governance framework is the primary key to delivering compliance and trust, which is why every organization needs to derive real value from its data. Keeping a tab on the above data governance trends can assist you in both the development and implementation of a successful data governance strategy.

    A solid understanding of how to introduce an effective data governance program to your organization is the first step towards optimal data administration and multiple benefits that come along with it.
  • Boosting Employee Motivation From Afar—Remote Working Strategies Jun 22, 2020

    For a workforce to be productive, engaged, and remain innovative, your employees must be happy and motivated. No exceptions, no compromises.

    71% of the world’s most prominent business decision-makers feel that employee engagement is essential to their company’s ongoing success. Plus, 69% of employees across industries say they would be more motivated is they felt appreciated in their role.

    As the COVID-19 storm rages on and many of us are still living in a state of isolation (to some extent, at least), if you’re a team leader or an HR executive, looking after the wellbeing of your remote the workforce is essential.

    Your employees are the beating heart of the business. They may be geographically spread right now, but by keeping your staff engaged and inspired, you will ensure they remain motivated and, in turn, productive.

    To help you on your path to remote working success, here are three essential approaches you should take to improve employee motivation from afar.

    Get social

    Regular social interaction is proven to enhance communication and motivation within the workplace—and remote teams are no exception.

    By hosting regular virtual social events, you will be able to maintain a solid level of transparency concerning company news and updates which will increase engagement and boost morale across the board.

    When it comes to virtual social events, you can be as creative as you wish—the screen’s the limit—but to help guide your efforts, here are some motivation-boosting suggestions:

    1. A twice-monthly themed ‘show and tell’ session where everyone has a chance to give their colleagues an insight into their lives.
    2. A virtual pub for an hour or two at the end of each week where everyone can chat and mull over the week while having a couple of drinks.
    3. Regular one-to-one meetings where individual members of your team can voice their opinions, share their ideas or address their concerns without judgement.
    4. Frequent quizzes or problem-solving sessions.
    5. Reward and recognition meetings held on a regular basis.
    6. Team skill-sharing and learning workshops based on online materials.
    7. Semi-regular team competitions with prizes to incentivize participation. These incentives don’t have to be tangible and can include an hour off work, access to an online platform, service, or even a shopping discount code.

    Create an engagement hub

    As we live in an ever-evolving digital age, the tools and technology exist to drive engagement and encourage collaboration in deep, meaningful ways without relying on geographical proximity.

    By working with the right project management tools or investing in an intranet or internal social media-style platform, you will increase the range of communicative touchpoints your team can use to connect, converse, collaborate, and reward one another. An increasing number of brands are leveraging internal communication platforms to boost employee motivation—and it appears to be working.

    Internal collaborative tools or social-style platforms will make your staff feel more connected to the business, and each other, while offering ample opportunity to get involved with the company’s various virtual events or initiatives.

    Feeling engaged and connected will ultimately make your staff feel more invested in the business and more motivated as a result. Work with the right internal tools and you will yield positive results.

    Streamline your management activities

    If your business’s management processes are watery, internal inefficiencies will emerge from the digital woodwork and you will see friction—the kind that will hinder employee engagement and as a result, motivation levels.

    By harnessing the power of modern technology to your advantage, you will be able to streamline your most essential logistical management processes—activities that include internal comms, fulfilment, customer service and, of course, employee management—for the better.

    By introducing online rota software to the business, you will gain the ability to track employee working hours with pinpoint accuracy from a host of devices while verifying time and attendance with efficiency.

    If you take measures to manage your employees more effectively, your business will become more cohesive, more streamlined, and ultimately, boost staff motivation levels on a sustainable basis.

    "Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful."—Albert Schweitzer

    We hope this advice has given you the ideas you need to motivate and inspire your remote team. For more virtual working insights, read our guide to managing remote and office employees.
  • Why Great Marketing Requires a Sound Data Strategy Jun 10, 2020

    Big data has transformed every area of business, making it possible to develop wise business decisions that are based on research and insight instead of gut instinct and other types of glorified guesswork. Marketing is one among many business areas that have benefited from the big data revolution. To be a great marketer today, you need to add data analytics capabilities to your skillset, because marketing can’t succeed without a smart strategy for ongoing improvement based on data signals.

    Marketing come a long way since the“spray and pray” methods of the 20th century. Today, you can mine data for detailed information about customer behavior, drill down to check preferences for different demographics, target marketing campaigns to geographic location, and discover which segments of your audience respond best to different wording, formats, or messaging.

    Big data has already proved its value in making your marketing more effective. With the help of marketing data, you can produce personalised marketing campaigns, and uncover real answers to marketing questions such as which channels are the most effective and why some keywords boost your visibility more than others. It helps you to understand both your competition and your own organisation more fully and enables you to track trends within your industry.

    But it’s not enough just to dip your toes into marketing data. For successful marketing, you need a comprehensive data strategy that is developed consciously and carefully.

    Data strategy is the bedrock of your marketing strategy

    Data strategy and marketing strategy go hand in hand. With a data strategy, you can make sure that you’re focusing on the right goals and using the right channels, messaging, and content formats to achieve them.

    A recent survey revealed that only 37.7% of businesses use marketing analytics in their decision-making and 65% of marketers still can’t use data to quantitatively prove the impact of marketing spend, which means that most companies are still basing their marketing strategy on “guesstimates.”

    A solid data strategy forms the vital foundation to your marketing strategy, guiding you in your decision-making so that you can be proactive in developing new campaigns and stop being taken by surprise by consumer reactions or market events. It makes you more agile, so that you can respond to new situations, like the sudden entrance of a new competitor or a natural disaster in your area, without losing your way.

    A data strategy brings data together

    One of the many virtues of a data strategy is that it ensures that you’re accessing all the data that you need when you need it.

    Silos can spring up in the best of businesses, creating blind spots that leave you basing important marketing decisions on an incomplete understanding of your market and audience. It’s vital to link up all your disparate data sources, like your CRM, customer service data, social media mentions, etc. into a single data warehouse.

    Equally, a data strategy ensures that your data is timely and relevant. Today’s business world moves at lightning speed, so without access to real-time data, your marketing strategy will be out of date. A data strategy brings data to you swiftly, without getting delayed along the way.

    A data strategy guides you to the data you need

    Marketing success requires you not just to access data, but to access the right data. Without a data strategy, you risk indiscriminately gathering information that isn’t relevant to your goals. Too much of the wrong kind of data can leave you confused, muddying the waters so that you lose track of your goals.

    It’s important to approach data with your marketing KPIs firmly in hand. Work backward from your desired outcomes to determine which data you need to guide your decision-making.

    Think about which questions you need data to answer. In this way, you can create a solid data strategy that sheds light on the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.

    A data strategy helps you stand firm in a flood of data

    Big data is called that for a reason – there’s a lot of it about. Marketing data streams in from every side, and without a data strategy, you’ll be swamped.

    Even experienced marketers can get bogged down analysing data that doesn’t truly provide value, wasting time on creating irrelevant reports that don’t serve any real purpose.

    There is such a thing as “too much data”; it’s data that isn’t useful to your decision-making. A data strategy helps you to consciously select those data sources that guide your marketing strategy effectively so that you don’t miss the wood for the trees.

    Data strategy underpins marketing success

    To succeed as a marketer, you need to draw on all the assets at your disposal. A solid marketing data strategy is one of the most important tools you could wield.

    With your data strategy in place, you’ll be able to tap into the right data at the right time without getting overwhelmed by the flood of information, enabling you to develop effective marketing strategies that work to consistently deliver ROI and boost revenue for your company.