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6 Things to Consider When Upgrading Your Analytics Software

For those conducting online business and marketing, analytics software is recognized as an invaluable tool. This is why the use of analytics software has been a mainstay in online business for years. However, both the type of software available and the analytics needs of businesses have been evolving steadily over the years and what may have been an excellent software choice five or more years ago may be out of date now.

This is why it is important for companies to look at the different options available to them and to consider upgrading their analytics software from time to time. Though the task may seem daunting, business owners that look at the following 6 things will be able to proactively and confidently determine if an analytics software upgrade is the right option for the business and what software is best suited for their unique business needs.

1. Does new analytics software have useful features that older software doesn’t offer?

No two analytics software options are identical and just because a piece of software is older, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s not still useful. If the software is updated frequently, chances are that it may have features comparable to newer software on the market. Business owners should look at what the program offers and then determine if there are features that they need that the software doesn’t support.

2. How is easy is the software to use?

Adopting new analytics software will inevitably require employees and business owners to learn how to use that software. When comparing providers it is important to look at how easy the program is to use and how long it will take to train people to use the software efficiently. The more difficult a piece of software is to adopt, the more it will cost the company in time and training expenses.

3. How much will using the software cost your business?

Business owners should be sure to look at the type of payment model associated with any software they are considering. Different payment models include lump sum payments, annual upgrade or subscription fees and monthly subscription fees. Analyzing the costs associate with using the software will all business owners to do a cost-benefit analysis when they are comparing providers.

4. Will the software be able to accommodate business growth?

Due to the fast pace of the business world, it is unwise to assume that small businesses will always be small. For this reason, any analytics software used for the purposes of the business should be easily scaled or upgraded if the company sees sudden growth in employees or client base. By selecting software that can grow with the company, business owners are able to ensure that they won’t have to go through upgrading again in the event of business growth.

5. How detailed is the visualization that the software offers?

Visualization of analytics is incredibly useful because it makes it much easier to interpret the data derived from analytics software. This is not only useful for people using the software regularly, but also for conveying analytics data to employees that don’t use the software and people outside the company such as potential investors.

6. What kind of pre made models does the software provide?

Though most software offers an option for users to create their own models, doing so takes a lot of time and effort on the part of the business owner. For that reason, business owners comparing providers should look at the types of pre made models that come with the software and give preference to software that offers models that are best suited to current business needs and specifications.

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3 Ways to Stay on Top of Data Collection

Big data is aptly named – the volume, speed, and variety of data that can be mined is astronomical in today’s digital and heavily web-based environment. While analyzing data from areas such as social media, consumer habits, and patterns of behavior can yield potentially advantageous insights for business strategies and decision making, big data can just as potentially bury a company under its avalanche of information. Here are three ways to stay on top of data collection and ensure investments in data analysis produce useful results.

Start Small, Integrate Slowly

Collecting and analyzing data can become a monumental task that may end up quickly eating through resources without producing a matching ROI. If a business is just beginning its use of data analytics, it is important to make a commitment but to start small and to limit the use and exposure of mined data and their analyses. Finding a flexible business intelligence (BI) software that can be integrated into the operational framework of the company is a valuable tool for making big data work for the company and not the other way around.

Identify Specific Goals

When deciding to use data analytics, it is helpful to identify a specific area or aspect in the business that will directly benefit. BI reporting software can help track customer spending and buying habits as well as various external business trends and internal company processes. This can then shed light on a business’s strengths and weaknesses and point out where added insight from big data may be useful. Keeping a clear goal in mind with a measurable outcome is important for not getting lost in a sea of data or even worse, potentially being led astray by irrelevant or overwhelming data analyses.

Choosing an Analytics Platform

Once a clear plan and goal for data collection and analysis are in place, the next step is choosing which BI reporting software or analytical platform will be the best suited to the particular idiosyncrasies of a company. While Hadoop has heavy hitting name recognition and is open source, there is a growing selection of companies that offer data collection and analysis services.

Big Data, when utilized judiciously and when vigorously analyzed, can help companies identify patterns where business strategies may be or need to be improved upon. With the right software or service and a firm roadmap to implementation, a company can begin to harness the vast knowledge base provided by data analytics.

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last update: July 28, 2014

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Is Google Too Big to Care About Bad Press?

Google Doodle Chavez

For the last few years, Google has put much less emphasis on their “do no evil” mantra. The company that started off as the underdog and grew through a combination of simplicity, innovation, and positive buzz has shifted their stances on these foundational concepts and turned towards a more general approach to being a business.

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5 Worst Memes in Internet History

Ah, memes. They can be funny, sometimes ridiculous, informative–but oftentimes downright terrible. There are a lot of bad memes out there. A lot. However, even when something is so bad it’s sometimes good, there has to be a worst of the worst. Sometimes the meme should have never existed. Sometimes it just gets out of control. No matter how they came to be, they’re here and this is the 5 worst memes to ever grace the internet.

1. The Hamster Dance

Everyone knows the hamster dance, and just the name brings back horrible memories from the late 90′s. By the time 1999 rolled around, this obnoxious and totally useless meme was getting one quarter of a million of hits per day–every single day. The music started leaking into mainstream pop music (at least in Cuba). There was no escaping it and it’s traumatized millions of people.

2. Chuck Norris “Facts”

Who knows how this got started, but an influx of Chuck Norris “fact” memes were everywhere in the early aughts. The facts were obviously ridiculous, and somehow Chuck Norris moved into cult icon status. Supposedly, it all began with an innocent thread in the Something Awful forums and led to hundreds of roundhouse kick memes taking over the internet. Some people are still recovering.

3. I Can Has Cheezburger?

The I Can Has Cheezburger? cat is still around, albeit now it’s more a vintage goodie than anything else. There’s no telling where this monster originated from. It was never funny, it was never smart and yet it took over the internet just like trolls can. Of course, everyone loves animals and cheeseburgers, so putting them together makes sense. It wasn’t until the Hoff became famous for his own cheeseburger indiscretions that attention was shifted from cat to man.

4. Star Wars Kid

Ghyslain Raza, a 14-year-old kid from Canada, became famous in 2002 when he videotaped himself madly using a golf club as a light saber. He was clearly a Big Bang Theory kid in training, and his friends helped him become internet viral fodder. The video was shared on Kazaa and had millions of hits within a couple of weeks. He’s since become famous and references to the “Star Ward kid” can be caught on numerous well-known sitcoms.

5. Rickroll

Back in the day, a duckroll was when someone posted a link in a forum and it led to something completely different. It evolved into the Rickroll, where the link was to a video of “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley. It quickly got out of hand.

Narrowing down the worst memes ever is tough, and there are plenty of honorable mentions out there. Of course, it’s also possible (and unfortunate) that the worst are yet to come.

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5 Things Every Webmaster Must Maintain

Webmasters

Being a webmaster, there are a lot of things that demand your attention. You are responsible for how your website looks, how the site works, and how relevant the site remains in a ferociously competitive online market. And if you have more than one website under your purview, good luck to you. Here are five things every webmaster has to maintain as part of their duties.

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3 Companies That Messed Up Their Email Marketing

Email Marketing

Spam is a marketing monster and there are plenty of companies that have willing engaged its dark side. Of course, not all email marketing nightmares are dreamed-up intentionally, plenty of failed strategies are conceived by companies that think they can be their own email marketing service provider or hire a cheap one offering unbelievable bulk rates.   Some snafus are entirely accidental, a culmination of bad decisions, or lazy marketing. Here are five notorious cautionary tales

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How Companies Make Sure the Internet Always Has More Room

The Internet is a vast place and it is of utmost importance to make sure that it has enough room.  Many jobs depend on the Internet being big enough and if the Internet runs out of room, many jobs would be at risk and so would modern life.  There are some ways companies can make sure the Internet always has more room for their expanding businesses.  One way is by making sure they have enough Internet servers and another way is by making the switch over to the new Internet address system.  Without doing both of these things, existing websites will be unable to expand and the potential for new websites could be halted.

 

Make sure there is enough server space to accommodate one’s site.  Having enough web server space is highly important to a company.  If they don’t have enough servers, then they won’t be able to handle higher volumes of users and visitors, which could create a lag on the website or even disable it temporarily.  There is no lack of web servers available, so any web based company needs to make sure their server space has plenty of room to handle their site.  Some companies use thousands of different servers to ensure that their website has enough space to accommodate all of its users.  According to Wired.com, Google has almost 50,000 servers at its Lenoir, North Carolina data center and will continue to add to that number to make sure it has enough room for its users.

Companies need to make plans to switch over to IPv6.  One of the big Internet scares recently was the Internet running out of IP addresses.  IP address availability is crucial to both consumers who are accessing the Internet from a computer or phone and to Internet service providers and web based companies.  If there aren’t enough IP addresses for all individuals and websites to have one, then the Internet has run out of room.

That issue has been resolved, though.  In June 2012, IPv6 was launched which made sure that there is enough IP address to accommodate everyone.  The available number of IP addresses went from approximately 4 billion to trillions.  According to the World IPv6 Launch website, companies who have switched include Google, AT&T and Facebook.  Not all companies have made the switch to IPv6 technology, though.  Any large company who is continually adding websites to their business needs to make plans to switch over so they can be sure that there will be enough Internet room for their company.  Companies who sell cell phones that have Internet access should also make plans to switch to IPv6—making the change may take time, but it will only ensure the potential for business growth.

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Discover What Your Influence Is On Pinterest with Pinpuff

Pinterest Influence with Pinpuff

A good many of us use Klout and Pinterest, which are two drastically different, but interconnected sites, for very different reasons. Nevertheless, we love sharing images on Pinterest and finding out our online influence via Klout, but what if you could have an influence score that is similar to the one on Klout for Pinterest? Pinpuff does just that. Okay, maybe I should have warned you by asking you to hold on to your hats or to sit down for this news because the mere thought of it is simply awesome.

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