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7 Ways Data Will Transform the Way We Do Business





There is no doubt that we live in an information-driven era. There have been more technological advancements that have taken place over the past three decades than at any time in history. The collection and analysis of massive data sets using groups of specialized algorithms have completely changed how we look at data collection and analysis. Big data has undoubtedly transformed the way we look at what data can do, and now data is changing the way we do business.

  1. Customer Relations

Customer Relations Management (CRM) platforms make the task of maintaining engagement with customers after the initial interaction easier. CRM platforms take the necessary information that is available about your customers and uses it in a variety of ways. It is used to keep them informed about promotions, remind customers about important events, and even wish them a happy birthday. The automated functions that are available with CRM platforms are precisely what the modern company needs.  

  1. Trend Exploration

Finding trends related to your business is a way to make sure to stay ahead of the competition. Google collects massive data sets relating to almost any topic you can imagine. Google Trends is a tool that allows companies to search for trending topics. A search of a keyword associated with your business will generate an exhaustive list of trends relating to your subject.

  1. Targeting Customers

When companies collect transactional data, there is valuable information contained within. Just as Target has an algorithm that was able to predict the pregnancy of a teenage girl before her parents even knew. The family found out because of a targeting effort that Target made for baby-related items for the teenage girl. This is because Target took the time to evaluate the spending trends of pregnant women, and found out how to make use of that data.

  1. Cloud Collaboration

In case you thought that cloud collaboration was a trend, let me notify you now that it is here to stay. Companies have become more efficient by using this amazingly user-friendly approach to collaborative working. With cloud collaboration, whole teams are able to collaborate on one document with seamless functionality.

  1. Artificial Intelligence

The talk of artificial intelligence (AI) is enough to make some people’s hair turn white with fear, but we are not talking about Sci-Fi thrillers here. AI holds many wonders for modern companies. AI is able to utilize data gathered to program applications to offer sentient-seeming responses using algorithm intended to make the application’s response life-like.

  1. Energy Management and Consumption

In an era that is serious about energy conservation and use, it is no wonder that data has found its way into the field of energy management. There is actually energy tracking software developed to track utility data and identify the opportunities for potential savings.


Data holds the key to so many possibilities for your company. Take the time to see how your company can best utilize data to grow your business and make your day-to-day operations much better.

Image: DepositPhotos




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Ontario’s new automated speed enforcement explained





(NC) To wage the war against speeding, many municipalities across Ontario have turned to automated speed enforcement. Most recently introduced in Toronto, speed cameras are a high-tech solution to reduce speeding and are considered one of the most effective ways to create safer roads and save lives.  

Recognizing police officers cannot catch all speeders, these cameras fill the gap, providing monitoring in specific locations around the clock. When a car’s speed is even one kilometre over the posted amount, it will take a picture of the offending vehicle’s license plate, using the captured photo as indisputable evidence. A ticket is then served to the vehicle’s owner, regardless of who was driving. 

With a focus on high-risk areas, Ontario’s automated speed enforcement cameras are located in two specific municipal areas: school and community safety zones. School zones are designated streets close to a school, featuring reduced speed limits as dictated by local bylaws. Community safety zones are high-risk corridors and intersections, subject to increased fines and penalties.  

While the Ontario Highway Traffic Act outlines the use of automated speed enforcement, municipalities can decide when and where to use cameras to curb speeding. The act does dictate financial penalties for speed violations captured with cameras, which vary depending on the number of kilometres caught over the speed limit.  

Speed enforcement is not new, but part of a broader, integrated road safety strategy that includes infrastructure improvements, awareness campaigns and new uses of technology. City officials hope for a halo effect, inspiring better driving behaviour across entire communities, not only in areas with cameras. A controversial topic, some critics take exception to speed cameras, labelling them as sneaky cash grabs for municipalities. Governments think the opposite. 

Safety advocate and auto insurance provider Onlia is hopeful that the cameras will provide drivers with a reminder to slow down, especially in high-risk areas like school and community safety zones.  

For those who obey the speed limit, automated speed enforcement shouldn’t change anything about your driving style, says Alex Kelly, Safety Ambassador at OnliaDrivers have fair warning as they approach areas with speed cameras, as mandatory signs provide reasonable notice of upcoming automated speed enforcement. Regardless of warnings, the best speed is the posted speed. 

You can start to understand your speeding style by downloading the insurance provider’s new safe driving app that coaches and rewards for you for safe driving habits.

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Online banking: How to protect yourself from fraud





(NC) Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, a growing number of consumers are regularly using mobile and online banking to paybill payments, transfer money and make purchases.

Although these tools can give you easy access to your personal finances on demand, there are also some risks involved. For instance, your banking information—such as your debit or credit card number, user name, or personal identification number (PIN)—could be stolen. If criminals have access to your online banking information, they can steal your money, which is why it’s so important to be  vigilant when you bank online.

Follow these tips to help protect your personal and banking information:

  • For your online bank accounts, use a strong password that can’t be easily guessed, and never share your user name or password with anyone.
  • Check your accounts regularly to make sure there are no transactions you didn’t make or authorize.
  • When making online purchases, never authorize a website to save your credit card information, password or other personal information. Giving websites this permission will save you some time the next time you access the site, but it poses a real threat if a hacker manages to access your information.

Most financial institutions have policies to protect you from transactions that you didn’t make.

However, you are responsible for protecting your online and mobile banking information. If you give your details to anyone—including your spouse or partner, a family member or a friend—your financial institution may hold you responsible for any unauthorized transactions in your account, and even strip you of protection from unauthorized transactions in the future.

If you suspect your information may have been compromised, change your passwords immediately, and check your account and credit card statements for anomalies and report any suspicious transactions to your financial institution.

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada has created resources to help you protect your online banking information.

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Payday loans: Not the best way to borrow money





(NC) Payday loans are a very expensive way to borrow money. Even if you’re struggling financially, think twice—and crunch the numbers—before getting this type of loan.

Depending on the rules in your province, payday lenders can charge fees of $15 to $25 per $100 that you borrow.

As an example, let’s say you borrow $300 for home repairs. The payday lender charges you $51 in fees, or $17 for every $100 borrowed. Your loan balance is therefore $351, which amounts to an interest rate of 442 per cent.

There can be serious consequences if you don’t repay your loan by the due date. These may include the following:

  • The payday lender may charge you a fee if there isn’t enough money in your account.
  • Your financial institution may also charge you a fee if there isn’t enough money in your account.
  • The total amount that you owe, including the fees, continues to increase.

There are better options out there

Payday loans should be your last resort to borrow money. Consider cheaper ways of borrowing money, such as:

  • Cashing in vacation days or asking for a pay advance from your employer.
  • Getting a line of credit, a cash advance on a credit card or a personal loan from your financial institution.
  • Getting a loan from family or friends.

Before getting a payday loan and to avoid getting stuck in a debt trap, consider other, less expensive ways to borrow money.

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