Six ways companies can succeed by exploring social media networks using DWBI

Social media platforms are rapidly becoming the new force behind the global 2000 companies, allowing companies to reach out and understand their valuable customers like never before. Social media networks analysis is the study of patterns of social relations. Through network analysis the behavior of social relations structure can be analyzed. Social media networks and peer groups are creating large data sets that are now enabling companies and organizations to gain a competitive advantage and improve performance. These data sets provide vital insights into customer behavior, brand reputation and the overall customer experience. Intelligent early adopter companies are beginning to monitor and collect this data from the proprietary and open social media networks. Continue reading

End user computing: Grabbing the tiger by the tail

Finance organizations find themselves grappling with a dilemma around the use of Excel. On one hand Excel with its simplicity and advanced functionality has allowed even the most unsophisticated end user to build complex and powerful financial models. On the other hand Excel has proliferated so widely that organizations are unable to track where it is used and are often at the mercy of relying on figures for decision making or reporting, which are derived in ungoverned and unaudited Excel models. Some organizations have spent years trying to come up with a solution to address the use of Excel with very little success.

In 1846 Augustus De Morgan, the first Chair of Mathematics at the University College of London, created an array of rows and columns to tabulate mathematical computation. This framework became the foundation upon which modern spreadsheets are based. Continue reading

5 things you may not know about FATCA

Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), a US anti-tax evasion law with global implications has been at the center-stage of the regulatory space for the past two years. It aims to curb cross-border tax evasion by implementing a reporting framework that requires information from worldwide institutions on a US customer’s financials.

The IRS has placed a special focus on Financial Institutions (FI) since they generally handle substantial amounts of global payment transactions and thus are more likely to be exploited. As a consequence, FIs face stringent reporting and due-diligence requirements that cover extensive data-points. This is the opposite of the requirements on Non-Financial Entities (NFE) which have minor coverage, where they need to disclose only the information related to their ownership structure and income. Continue reading

SDN: A Leveler for CSPs

According to data growth statistics, over the coming years we will experience a tremendous jump in data generation and consumption. Cisco forecasts that global cloud traffic is expected to grow 4.5-fold. That amounts to a 35% CAGR — from 1.2 zettabytes of annual traffic in 2012, to 5.3 zettabytes by 2017. Overall, Cisco expects global data center traffic will grow threefold and reach a total of 7.7 zettabytes annually by 2017.

If those numbers seem impressive, consider that IDC estimates that the Internet of Everything will amount to an $8.9 trillion market in 2020. To co-ordinate IDC’s estimated 212-billion things, data centers will need to shoulder the burden. This clearly puts the onus on networks to support the enormous volume of data that is being transmitted across channels. As customers’ demand for bandwidth increases, there is a need for a strong network infrastructure at the back-end and intelligent devices to minimize the service latency and support this data growth. Continue reading

Three reasons why basic requirement mapping document is a must for successful agile delivery

What level of documentation is necessary for the “Agile” delivery model? This remains a persistent question. Agile practices restrict the amount of time spent on preparing reports and documentation manually for all kinds of transactional activities like reviews, test execution reports, audit reports etc., which need to be pulled from the systems and tools as required for the daily scrum calls. Continue reading

Transforming banking experience through a symbiotic brick and click relationship

Banks have come a long way from their early branch-heavy days to the new age of ‘anywhere, anytime’ banking. The onslaught of internet and mobile banking is throwing doubt on the continued relevance and feasibility of the branch. Couple this with the high operational and maintenance costs of the branch, and it raises the question of whether we are going to see branch-banking’s final obituary in the next few years? Or do branches have within them the ability to add more value to consumers’ banking experience? Will internet and mobile banking actually come the rescue of an ailing platform?
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Enabling data discovery: Big data’s ability to solve bigger problems

Industry leaders are debating the co-existence of big data & traditional business intelligence. One group strongly believes traditional business intelligence will be washed away in the big data tsunami, while another group discounts big data as a big hype and vouches for traditional business intelligence as an organization’s bastion.

Big data will continue to be the buzz word at least for a few more decades, as the industry going all out to create interesting solutions. With third party solution providers fighting for their share of pie, Apache incubator will continue grooming tons of new frameworks & tools. New players will emerge and existing niche players will be consolidated – either by acquisitions or by getting lost in a fierce battle. Big data is here to stay for a long time, growing in stature and adding value to customers. Continue reading

Gamification in the airline industry – going beyond traditional customer loyalty programs

The airline industry and gamification, or the use of game mechanics in non-gaming contexts, have historically had a close relationship. The first ever use of any form of gamification started in 1981 when American Airlines introduced the first frequent flyer program named “AAdvantage”. Since then, the use of gamification has become more common and is steadily moving towards a significant 5.5 billion market share by 2018. Although frequent flier programs and other customer loyalty initiatives traditionally originate from the sales and marketing department, today gamification covers a much wider spectrum of areas; including human resource development, engineering and finance. Continue reading

Data, data, who has the data?

In health insurance and health care, information is captured and stored in many places and the majority of information is duplicative of data stored by other entities. Who has this data, and what are they doing with it? I may have found the answer, at least in the Pacific Northwest!

In the State of Washington, there is a little known entity called the Foundation for Health Care Quality (FHCQ). It is the sponsor for, and the home of, a number of programs which deal with variability, outcomes and quality in various medical and surgical services. In addition, they have been a long time participant in the health care technology arena and sponsor a major statewide patient safety coalition. Continue reading

How the new era of managed services will enable intelligent business operations

The evolution of managed services in the last few years has transformed IT infrastructure operations and the service delivery landscape. This transformation is largely due to the leveraging of tailored service contracts actively supported by analysts and advisory groups.

The key attributes of a managed services contract cover the role of a service provider, which includes: owning responsibility for a given portfolio of services and other key responsibilities Continue reading