Web Analytics

There’s a vast ocean of raw customer data on the Web. Ever thought of the implications if somehow you could harness all that data and transform it into useful information? Information that perhaps you can use in your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and conversion optimisation?

There are web analytics tools you can employ for these purposes. But using web analytics tools will only win you half the battle. You’ll have to be proficient in configuring these tools to generate insightful and actionable results out of them. A poorly configured tool can produce confusing or even misleading information.

Our web analysts possess the expertise to configure and use web analytics tools, as well as analyse results and leverage information obtained from them.

These are the things we can do to help you take advantage of web analytics.

  • Discuss with your managers to establish your specific goals, to determine what specific data we have to collect/analyse and to plan out how to go about with the entire process.
  • Help you select an appropriate tool, install it and set optimal configurations including page tags, filters, funnels, reports and others.
  • Wield the full force of your analytics tool(s) to make sound business decisions.
  • Monitor the entire web analytics system and implement adjustments when needed.

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Directions Hadoop is Moving In

Hadoop is a data system so big it is like a virtual jumbo where your PC is a flea. One of the developers named it after his kid?s toy elephant so there is no complicated acronym to stumble over. The system is actually conceptually simple. It has loads of storage capacity and an unusual way of processing data. It does not wait for big files to report in to its software. Instead, it takes the processing system to the data.

The next question is what to do with Hadoop. Perhaps the question would be better expressed as, what can we do with a wonderful opportunity that we could not do before. Certainly, Hadoop is not for storing videos when your laptop starts complaining. The interfaces are clumsy and Hadoop belongs in the realm of large organisations that have the money. Here are two examples to illustrate the point.

Hadoop in Healthcare

In the U.S., healthcare generates more than 150 gigabytes of data annually. Within this data there are important clues that online training provider DeZyre believes could lead to these solutions:

  • Personalised cancer treatments that relate to how individual genomes cause the disease to mutate uniquely
  • Intelligent online analysis of life signs (blood pressure, heart beat, breathing) in remote children?s hospitals treating multiple victims of catastrophes
  • Mining of patient information from health records, financial status and payroll data to understand how these variables impact on patient health
  • Understanding trends in healthcare claims to empower hospitals and health insurers to increase their competitive advantages.
  • New ways to prevent health insurance fraud by correlating it with claims histories, attorney costs and call centre notes.

Hadoop in Retail

The retail industry also generates a vast amount of data, due to consumer volumes and multiple touch points in the delivery funnel. Skillspeed business trainers report the following emerging trends:

  • Tracing individual consumers along the marketing trail to determine individual patterns for different demographics and understand consumers better.
  • Obtaining access to aggregated consumer feedback regarding advertising campaigns, product launches, competitor tactics and so on.
  • Staying with individual consumers as they move through retail outlets and personalising their experience by delivering contextual messages.
  • Understanding the routes that virtual shoppers follow, and adding handy popups with useful hints and tips to encourage them on.
  • Detecting trends in consumer preferences in order to forecast next season sales and stock up or down accordingly.

Where to From Here?

Big data mining is akin to deep space research in that we are exploring fresh frontiers and discovering new worlds of information. The future is as broad as our imagination.?

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Excel Spreadsheet Conversion to SQL Reports

Spreadsheets are flexible, inexpensive and easy to use. They are especially handy when it comes to beating report submission deadlines or making impromptu data computations.

Unfortunately, organisations heavy reliance on spreadsheets have made these User Developed Applications (UDA) into high-risk office tools. Simple spreadsheet errors like leaving out a negative sign or a cut-and-paste mistake have already caused million-dollar discrepancies. Also, when a fraudulent employee enters into the picture, the risks become unimaginable.
Think TransAlta’s spreadsheet cut-and-paste glitch (the company later called this a ‘simple clerical error’) which caused the energy firm a whopping $24 million loss or Fidelity’s overstatement of its earnings owing to the omission of the minus sign on the spreadsheet of a $1.3 billion net capital loss.

Denizon can convert your Excel Spreadsheets to a web based SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS). It does not import Excel data, rather it allows the creation and deployment of reports in a more efficient manner by querying the data.

So what is the problem with Spreadsheets?

  • Plagued with risk issues and vulnerable to fraud
  • Lacking in control features especially when copied, edited and emailed between many users
  • A burden to regulation compliance e.g. SOX (Sarbanes-Oxley)
Moreover:
  • Accidental copy-paste/Omission of a negative sign/Erroneous range selection
  • Incorrect data input or unintentional deletion of a character, cell, range, column, or row
  • Possibility of the user working on the wrong version
  • Prone to inconsistent company-wide reporting
  • Often ‘defenceless’ against unauthorised access

See Top 10 Disadvantages of Spreadsheets

What makes SQL Server Reporting Services better than Spreadsheets?

  • Free from spreadsheet risks & equipped with built-in controls that substantially reduce risks to data
  • Less prone to fraud
  • More suitable for regulatory compliance e.g. SOX
  • Designed for an agile business environment

Automatic consolidation eliminates errors and wasted time caused by tedious copy-pasting of data and linking of cells
Better collaboration capabilities allows team members to bring their heads together for planning, budgeting, and reporting even while on the go
Mobility support enables users to input data or retrieve information through their wireless mobile device

Superior sharing features ensures that everyone is exactly on the same page and viewing real-time information
Dashboards provide insightful information at-a-glance through KPIs, graphs, and various metrics
Drill-downs enable users to investigate unusual figures and gain a better understanding of the details that contribute to the big picture
Easy to learn interfaces allow your organisation to cope with fast personnel turnaround or Mergers & Acquisitions

Don’t know how to shift from Spreadsheets to SQL Server Reporting Services?

We’ve got the knowledge and expertise to assist you in:

  • Making a smooth and cost-efficient transition from risky spreadsheets to reliable reports
  • Designing and implementing SOX-compliant report-generating methods and procedures
  • Putting exposure to high-risk reporting methods a thing of the past
Succeed at Transformation

Despite the pomp and fanfare associated with launching corporate transformation programs, in reality very few of them succeed. According to a recent report by McKinsey the success rate is pegged below 40%. In addition, the same research indicates that defensive transformations – those undertaken as part of crisis management – have lower chances of success than progressive ones – those launched to streamline operations and foster growth. However, adopting certain strategies, like setting clear and high goals, and maintaining energy and engagement throughout the implementation phase, can really boost the project’s success rate. A key aspect of business transformation is IT transformation. This can be attributed to the fact that significant business change is either driven or influenced by technological change.

So what is IT Transformation?

IT transformation is basically a holistic reorganisation of the existing technological infrastructure that supports the company’s mission critical functions. In essence, IT transformation is not all about effecting change for the sake of change but involves systematic steps that align IT systems to business functions. To appreciate this approach, it is important to explore current trends in the business world where human resource, finance and IT transformations are being carried out in unison. This is being done to develop strong corporate centres that are leaner, agile and more productive that enhance greater synergies across all business functions.

IT transformation inevitably results in major changes of the information system’s technology, involving both hardware and software components of the system, the architecture of the system, the manner in which data is structured or accessed, IT control and command governance, and the components supporting the system. From this scope of works it is evident that IT transformation is a huge project that requires proper planning and implementation in order to succeed.

Tips to Improve Success in IT transformations Projects

1. Focus on Benefits not Functionality

The project plan should be more focused on benefits that can be accrued if the system is implemented successfully rather than system functionality. The benefits should be in line with business goals, for instance cost reduction and value addition. The emphasis should be on the envisaged benefits which are defined and outlined during the project authorisation. The business benefits outlined should be clear, feasible, compelling and quantifiable. Measures should be put in place to ensure that the benefits are clearly linked to the new system functionality.

2. Adopt a Multiple Release Approach

Typically most IT projects are planned with focus on a big launch date set in years to come. This approach is highly favoured because it simplifies stakeholder expectation management and avoids the complexity associated with multiple incremental releases. However, this approach misses the benefit of getting early critical feedback on functioning of the system. In addition, the long lead times often result in changes in project scope and loss of critical team members and stakeholders. IT transformation projects should be planned to deliver discrete portions of functionality in several releases. The benefit of multiple release approach is that it reduces project risks and most importantly allows earlier lessons learnt to be incorporated in future releases.

3. Capacity of the Organisation to confront Change

As pointed out, IT transformations result in significant changes in business operations and functions. Hence it is important that all business stakeholders should be reading from the same script in regards to changes expected. In addition, key stakeholders should be involved in crucial project stages and their feedback incorporated to ensure that the system is not only functional but business focused.

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