Join the “BI” Gathering

6 minute read

Managing data and analysis in the increasingly complex financial services landscape is more critical than ever. New legislation, increased compliance requirements and continued risk due to uncertain economic times have necessitated significant additional IT investment. Leaders in the financial services industry are under intense pressure to not only meet compliance and mitigate risk, but also to fully leverage IT investments and drive growth and profitability.

BI is Boss

At the center of managing critical data and its analysis is Business Intelligence (BI).  Often referred to as any tool that can provide query-able access to business data by business users, technically BI is the actual query engine, and its value should not be underestimated.

Consider the many variables used to determine whether to buy or sell an investment: information about each company, financial data impacting the business, current or…

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Put Your Sales Team On Autopilot

6 minute read

There’s no doubt that salespeople are grateful for technology assists. Remember having to memorize every client’s kid’s name and baseball average to make them feel special? Or toting around a bulky Rolodex that included everything you ever wanted to know about your client – including birthdays and favorite restaurants – on a 2” by 4” card? It’s hard to imagine how businesses functioned at all without the convenience and accessibility of technology.

Let’s welcome the newest member of the sales team: automation. Here to make business processes, including the sales cycle, that much more efficient, automated technology solutions have become critical players in the revenue game. Taking on the prospecting and lead nurturing processes, marketing automation engines move buyers down the sales funnel and spoon-feed high quality, ready to buy, prospects right into the open arms…

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Data By The Book

9 minute read

Big data, with all of its vastness and mystery – and confusion – is actually a remarkably straightforward concept: store everything for later analysis. Because once it’s gone, you can’t get it back. The end.

Ok…so there’s more to the big data story. And while the term big data is both overexposed and under-defined, defining it doesn’t really help solve business problems. (And we won’t even get into Big Data vs. big data, because who really cares except for data practitioners.)

But recounting a business success story that substantiates the notion that you should store every last iota of data – because you don’t know every pattern that might be found or explored – should shed some bright light on the awesomeness that is big data.

The Big Challenge

An online bookseller didn’t know its profit margin…

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Technology Change Reaps Rewards

4 minute read

Technology enables change, and change drives success. We measure success in terms of change: increases, decreases, percentages, growth and trends. But how do we define change? Transformation? Innovation? Conversion? Shift? Transition?

Powerful data mining systems transform boring data into hidden treasures.  Innovative data manipulation programs convert stagnant business relationships into rich prospect lists.  And new computing platforms have shifted the technology paradigm from one of monolithic information systems living in giant metal boxes to well-connected business processes that float around in the cloud.

From App to Platform

Salesforce.com was founded as a CRM (customer relationship management) application hosted in the cloud.  Since day one, however, the company recognized that in order to be successful, it couldn’t be just an application.  Salesforce.com needed to create a whole new platform for business processing.

The Salesforce.com history

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SOA Long and Thanks For All The Fiche

9 minute read

What’s the best approach for transitioning from physical records (paper and microfiche) to digital records for your organization? Should you just rip the bandage off and have it done all at once? Or should you build capacity into your systems, in Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) fashion, to transition incrementally, over a longer period of time?

Like the dolphins that left planet Earth – just in time – in the fourth book of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, the time has come for healthcare organizations to move away from physical and enter the digital records galaxy. But switching to computers from physical records is scary, and if not done properly, can be downright miserable.

When considering any legacy system upgrade – in this case the physical records are the legacy system – the criteria to weigh include cost, value,…

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Mashing, Mixing and Maximizing Data

5 minute read

Data is a game changer. 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every day – and the data comes in all shapes and sizes.  Long gone is the notion that data is just for reporting, or collecting. Mix some innovative understanding of data with some good old-fashioned diligence, and voila – you’ve got a game changer.

Data Access

In 1989, physicist Tim Berners-Lee had an idea to create a single information network that would enable his co-workers to share all the computer-stored data at his laboratory. He was frustrated that access to existing data was so difficult, as it was stored only on particular machines that required additional programming knowledge just to login. Berners-Lee envisioned a collaborative environment where people working together could design something in a common, shared space.

The very first website – ever…

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Making the Case for a Strategic Technology Plan

4 minute read

Would a general go into battle without a defined plan? Never. Neither would he consider each operation individually. Rather, he would pursue tactics that link all of the battles together to meet a strategically defined goal of winning the war. It would be a plan against which he could measure success and clearly define return on manpower and capital investments.

Similarly, a CEO would not make an isolated decision to resolve a technology problem without looking at the organization as a whole. Much like an enemy attack, however, IT problems can strike without overt warning, crippling operations or revealing an exposed flank and forcing a quick response.  What should we do when security systems are breached?

Or outdated CRM systems no longer keep up? Or the “battle” shifts to new ground like social media?  Tactically, fixing…

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Mining for Gold in Your Data

5 minute read

Infotech research giant Gartner defines data mining as the process of discovering meaningful correlations, patterns and trends by sifting through large amounts of data stored in repositories. In short: “There’s gold in them hills!”

We are in the middle of a data gold rush these days, because processing and storage enable us to crunch gigabytes of data in minutes, and the cost of doing it all keeps coming down. Thankfully, this isn’t the Old West, and you shouldn’t come across anyone trying to stake the same data claim you’re after.

That’s because your data holds unique value for you.

When you mine data, you use your technical and intellectual skills to get insights out of information you already have. Start with information in whatever form you find it, use software to scrape it, reshape it, and…

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For Safety’s Sake, Store Your Data in the Cloud

4 minute read

Of great concern to most organizations is data protection and security. Yet, according to an Aberdeen Group Benchmark Report, more than 44 percent of companies with 100 to 1,000 employees do not have a disaster recovery strategy in place. Even companies that have a formal plan may not have the degree of readiness that assures business continuity in the face of lost or damaged data.

Cloud technology use is growing at an astounding pace, from organizations storing and retrieving data to accessing virtually every type of business application. According to a report, “Worldwide and Regional Public IT cloud Services 2012-2016 Forecast” recently released by IDC, cloud services will grow by as much as 41% over the next four years. Global spending on IT cloud services will exceed $40 billion this year and is forecast…

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What’s the Big Deal About Big Data?

2 minute read

Big data is big business. Trillions of bytes of information are generated everyday by businesses large and small. And right in the middle of the big data picture are consumers as they browse, shop, share and communicate both online and offline.

Business leaders are now faced with a new challenge of harnessing, analyzing, and gaining insight from this massive amount of data. Huge opportunities await those that rise to this challenge and take action.

At a recent technology talk hosted by Mind Over Machines, we heard success stories from a diverse group of organizations who made their data a priority. Here are the results they achieved:

  • A legal services firm that was so good at mining courtroom data for clients, it spun out its own prospecting business, which was profitable from week 1
  • A healthcare  provider that…

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