Author: palmira voelkerding (Page 1 of 2)

What is Data Migration, and How You Can Use It

Data migration is a one-time operation that involves preparing, extracting, and, if necessary, changing internal data from one storage device to another.

This may sound similar to data duplication or integration, but the two processes are not the same. Data replication is the process of transferring data from one platform to another on a regular basis, whereas data integration is the process of combining data from several sources in a data storage destination or analysis tool.

Data migration is needed for a variety of projects, from upgrading a server to transferring to a new data center, and from launching a new app to integrating the capabilities of a recently acquired company. Moving information to a new system, location, or design should ideally be done with minimal human manipulation of data or re-creation and no data loss.

You can find a project data migration tool in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Organizations can employ on-premises or cloud-based technologies or develop their own data migration programs. Self-scripted data transfer is a do-it-yourself in-house option that works well for small tasks but not for larger enterprises. Since all of the data is stored in one location, on-premises tools perform well. For enterprises migrating data to a cloud-based destination, cloud-based data migration technologies may be a preferable option.

IT professionals can create software to move data, but it’s a laborious and time-consuming operation. Manual integration chores and re-implementation of algorithms are occasionally the outcomes of hand-coding massive data integrations.

It is preferable to use data migrating software. Although the software takes care of the heavy work, data engineers must still understand what data they are migrating, how much data will be transferred, and the variations between the source and destination platforms and schemas. They must plan the migration, execute the relocation, test the results, and address any difficulties that arise.

How do you choose the best data migrating tool?

The most critical component of any data migration endeavor is proper planning, which should encompass data sources and destination, security, and economic considerations. The choice of a data migration technology is an important part of the planning, and it should be founded on the use case & business objectives of the organization.

Sources and destinations of data

A significant aspect is the number and type of data sources and destinations. Self-scripting could be able to handle any source or destination, but it isn’t scalable. It might work for minor projects, but developing data extraction routines for hundreds of sources is probably not a good idea.

The supported sources and destinations for on-premises tools may vary based on the operating platform on which your tool operates.

Most data migration systems, both on-premises and in the cloud, can handle a wide range of data sources and destinations. Cloud-based SaaS solutions have no OS restrictions, and providers automatically upgrade them to support the new releases of sources and destinations.

Reliability

Because of their highly redundant structures, cloud-based data migration systems have near to 100 percent uptime. On-premises equipment would struggle to reach that level of dependability.

Scalability and performance

Cloud-based migration technologies are extremely effective. Cloud computing and storage can scale to meet the needs of dynamic data movement. Because the equipment on which they run is constrained, on-premises tools cannot autonomously scale up and down as needed.

The 7 Most Important Ecommerce Metrics to Track

Online stores thrive due to conversion rates, average order value, traffic, and cart abandonment rate. Therefore, it is impossible to take your business to the heights of success without tracking your ecommerce metrics. They help you keep track of your business strategies and assist you in making well-informed business decisions.

As ecommerce sales create more than 20% of retail sales, you need to track all the essential ecommerce metrics that contribute to the success of your business.

So, you should check up on these most crucial ecommerce metrics and learn how to track them because changes in any of these metrics can instantly alert you to the state of your business strategies.

Conversion Rate

As a business owner, you must know the importance of conversion rates. Your business can’t survive ecommerce challenges without loyal customers. Therefore, you need to know the ups and downs of your business conversion rate. You can calculate the conversion rate using this formula:

CR = (Total number of customers / Total Unique Visitors) * 100

This value will inform you how many visitors turn into buyers. Unfortunately, many businesses do not have a high conversion rate even after attracting tons of traffic. However, by keeping a regular eye on your conversion rate, you can plan how to compel your website traffic to buy your product.

Average Order Value (AOV)

The average order value of your website determines how much your customers are willing to pay for your products. Having high-priced products may be why you are generating high traffic but not detecting an increase in conversion rates. So, you must check the average order value of your website to keep your prices in the customer price range. To calculate AOV:

AOV = Total Revenue / Total Number of Orders

Ensure that you only calculate the total revenue of the orders placed in one period.

Website Traffic

Every sale metric of your business is connected with website traffic. You need high website traffic to up your conversion rates. So, it is no rocket science that you should know how many people your business attracts daily. Calculate the website traffic with this formula:

WT = (Previous Users / New Users) * 100

You can change your business strategy if you are not maintaining your previous website traffic.

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

Customer Lifetime Value offers you a broader image of your sales. You can’t determine the success of your business based on one month’s sale only. You must know how much revenue a customer will provide your company over the years. That is why you must calculate CLV to check the relationship between your customers and your company. CLV is calculated as:

CLV = (Average Order Value * Average Purchase Frequency Rate) * Average Customer          Lifespan

Customer Retention Rate (CRR)

One of the essential metrics that shows the success of your business is customer stability. If you are only attracting new customers but unable to keep them for long periods, it shows an issue. You can learn how many customers you are losing by calculating the customer retention rate (CRR). The formula for calculating CRR is:

CRR = [(New Customers in Month – Existing Customers at The End of The Month) / Total     Customers at The Start of The Month] * 100

If you are rapidly losing customers, check what is compelling your happy customers to leave your platform.

Average Profit Margin

The average profit margin is the value you earn after deducting supply costs. Your average profit margin should exceed the amount of money you are using to provide your service. Otherwise, your business is going through a significant loss which can eventually shut down your business for good. So, calculate your average profit margin to check if you are any profits on the sale with this formula:

Profit margin = [(Selling price – Cost of goods) / Selling price] * 100

Remember, selling a high number of products doesn’t ensure that you are creating high profits.

Cart Abandonment Rate

More than half of your customers will abandon their carts without completing the order process. For any business, this is a pretty scary scenario. Therefore, to learn if your customers are abandoning their potential purchases or not, you need to find out the cart abandonment rate. Calculate your cart abandonment rate with this formula:

CAR = [(Completed Purchases / Created Shopping Carts) – 1] * 100

Find out whether your customers are leaving without making a purchase and why, so you can aid your customers in completing their orders.

To Conclude

Regularly checking your ecommerce metrics can ensure the success of your business. You can also use an ecommerce metric regulating service to stay on top of your stats to make highly effective strategies.

What Are the Advantages of Custom-Written Software?

Every business is unique. Your company’s needs are going to be different from the business next door. In some cases, it doesn’t make much sense for everyone to be using a one-size-fits-all software solution.

When choosing software for your business, you’re faced with two choices. You can either pick an off-the-shelf package or have someone build and customize new software for you.

So what are the advantages of custom-written software? In this article, we’ll talk about the benefits of custom CRM software and how your business can get a competitive edge with it.

What Is Custom Software?

Basically, custom software is built from the ground up to fit your company’s needs. As the business owner or manager, you define what you need the software to do. Then, the software developer makes it from scratch for you.

The end result is a piece of software that’s entirely bespoke to your business. This means that it does exactly what you want it to do—no annoying workarounds or paying for features you don’t even need—and in turn, makes your business more efficient and profitable.

The Advantages of Custom-Written Software

At first, it might seem like a massive endeavor to build and pay for your own software solutions. But you can’t ignore the rewards that custom-made software can bring you. Here are some reasons your business should get a customized software solution.

It Keeps You Up to Date

Let’s be real here. Some businesses still use software built over a decade ago. Yours could be one of them.

You can’t just settle on something that “does the job just fine” or “works well enough.” What worked five or ten years ago, or even just one year ago, might not be the most efficient way to do things anymore. Out-of-date software can also be difficult to maintain.

By getting new software that’s fully customized, you’re marching your business into the modern age.

It Simplifies Your Business

Some businesses are forced to “duct-tape” different pieces of software and hardware together to accomplish various tasks. While individually, they may be great tools, it’s easy to see how inefficient this method is.

Custom-made software can solve these issues in one of two ways:

  • Creates an all-in-one solution that eliminates the need to run multiple applications
  • Acts as the connective tissue between the different programs you use 

With customized software in place, you can create more efficient ways of completing tasks. You increase productivity while reducing the number of user errors from juggling different programs.

It Offers a Cost-Effective Solution that Scales

As with any investment, custom CRM software can require some hefty upfront costs. But after that initial investment, well-designed software can save you money in the long run.

Pre-made software might have lower upfront costs, but overtime expenses can add up. Consider these hidden costs from using off-the-shelf products:

  • Renewing licenses
  • Training employees
  • Additional software to cover deficiencies
  • Other maintenance costs

When you use bespoke software that’s tailored to your business’ needs, you can keep your budget under control. 

The software can also be designed with expandability in mind that facilitates your company’s growth. This way, you can future-proof your business and scale it in ways that pre-made applications won’t allow you to do.

Still not convinced you need custom software? Here are 9 reasons why your business needs a custom software solution.

Give Your Business a Competitive Edge

Let’s be real. Your organization needs to keep up with modern trends to stay competitive in today’s world. More and more businesses are turning to customized solutions to stand out from their competitors.

Now it’s your turn. Take the next steps and see how a customized software solution can advance your business. Work with a team of experts who know the software business and how to get customers.

The Importance of Balanced Inventory Management

As retail trends shift quickly, a small business may find itself an opportunity to leverage new technology and improve their supply web capabilities. Many new business owners typically focus on making the most sales as well as improving their ROI. With that being said, the task of properly fulfilling the sold products may not have as much an emphasis. In fact, only 18% of small organizations use inventory management systems. While tracking is possible using manual documents, it may not be as accurate. Without an accurate inventory, many problems can ensue with inventory levels that are too little or are carrying too much. Make sure to check out the resource below to understand more about the significance of using a balanced inventory management system.

Infographic created by WSI, a warehousing and distribution company

How To Support Minority-Owned Businesses

Minorities have been disproportionally hurt by the lack of access to capital to get started or expand. In fact, minorities make up 32% of our population, while business ownership only represents 18%. Here a few ideas to help support minority-owned businesses at the local level. Firstly, consider purchasing from minority-owned stores instead of major chain brands. Also, recommend these businesses to your family and friends for further support. You could also use social media to help recommend the business to community groups and other friends. If you are interested in learning more tips check out the infographic below on how to support minority-owned businesses.

Infographic created by Clover Network, a credit card processing service provider

Customer Loyalty Through Online Order Packaging

Customer loyalty is an important part of any business. Loyal customers can help increase repeat customers and create a positive perception. One of the many ways to increase customer loyalty is through packaging. Having packages that stand out will create a stronger brand impression. Consider choosing brand consistent colors and themes because roughly half of the online shoppers say custom packaging would make them more likely to order again. Including promotions such as promo codes and sample products can also add incentives for repurchase. Make sure to consult the infographic below for more information on creating customer loyalty with online order packaging. 

Infographic created by Chicago Tag & Label, a custom label manufacturer

Benefits of Using the Universal Robotic Arm

Most industries today use robotic arms to increase their production. A versatile robotic arm is fitted with unique programs to suit your specific needs. The applications enable the robots to move around the industrial plant performing different tasks with precision. Universal robotic arms are fitted with various programs depending on the tasks they are meant to achieve. 

The robotic arm is pre-programmed; thus, you do not require programming knowledge to operate it. The language used in the robotic arm is easy to follow.

 Which Applications Are Installed In Collaborative Robots?

The universal robots are suited with unique programs to cater to specific needs. A single robotic machine can perform numerous tasks depending on the applications installed. The following are some of the programs that are installed in the robotic arms:

 1. Assembly Application

The universal robotic arm can be fitted with an assembly program for assembly tasks. The assembly application enables the robot to handle the assembly process with precision. Tasks like screw-driving, nut –driving, and insertion can be accomplished with the robotic arm’s accuracy. 

The assembly application reduces injuries that can occur during the assembly process. It also eliminates boredom associated with doing repetitive work. The UR collaborative arm can handle assembly of plastics, woods, metals, or other materials effectively.

2. Dispensing Application

The dispensing program reduces wastage and increases accuracy. A robotic arm fitted with the dispensing application performs the tasks with precision and consistency. The universal robotic arm has a built-in torque-sensing that ensures consistent flow and precise placement. 

The constant flow reduces wastage of scrap. The collaborative dispensing component also enables the arm to move with flexibility, efficiency, and freedom from one task to another. The continuous movement reduces time wastage between the processes. Another advantage of using a robotic arm fitted with a dispensing application is that it reduces waste and increases accuracy.

3. Finishing Application

For a perfect finish, the robotic arm is fitted with polishing and finishing application. This application enables the robotic arm to move on curved or even surfaces with precision. The robotic arm is flexible and can be adjusted to suit your specific needs. It also has a simple language that is easy to follow. 

Advantages of Using the Universal Robotic Arm

 Using the universal robotic arm in your industry has enormous benefits as follows:

1. Increase in Productivity

The collaborative robotic arm frequently works, thus increases production. The robotic arm never gets tired, thus working non-stop. Automated machines never get sick and, therefore, do not require sick offs.

  2. Enhances Safety

The robotic machines are best suited for dangerous tasks. Some tasks like welding are done under high temperatures, which human beings cannot withstand. Painting produces harmful fumes that are harmful to human beings. The robotic arms are never affected by high temperatures or toxic fumes. 

The universal automated arm shares a workspace with human beings without causing any harm. The robots can sense the social presence in their working space. In case a human being intrudes on its working place, it reduces its speed or halts the process altogether.

3. Improves the Quality Of Finished Products

The robotic machines work with a precision that cannot be attained by human beings. The robots produce quality products that will attract customers to your company. Happy customers will come for more products and refer their friends to them.

4. Provides Customized Solutions

 The cobots are designed to provide customized solutions for your company. The collaborative arms address packaging, welding, and sorting issues, which are unique to specific industries.

5. Reduces the Cost Of Production

The collaborative robotic arm reduces the time that is used in production. Reducing the time of production subsequently reduces the cost of production. The only cost associated with robots is the initial installation cost. Robots do not have monthly expenses like humans.

The New Look and Feel of LinkedIn

It has been a few years since the world’s most prominent social network for business professionals was acquired by technology giant Microsoft. In the beginning, there were mixed feelings about this acquisition because Microsoft’s moves in the social media space had been largely tentative. Not many people remember So.Cl, a social network primarily geared towards younger students. The Yammer social network for business professionals and work teams never quite took off as desired, and other side projects such as Garage seemed experimental.

Critics of Microsoft were concerned that LinkedIn would suffer the fate of Nokia Lumia and the Windows Phone mobile operating system, which were abandoned by Microsoft despite having experienced relative success. Thankfully, LinkedIn has not encountered such tragedies; in fact, the network has expanded and improved considerably over the years, and it has also benefited from the parallel growth of Office 365.

The bottom line of LinkedIn in 2020 is that it remains the most important social media platform for business, even more so than Twitter. Microsoft is still interested in the social networking space; this can be safely gleaned from the company’s interest in acquiring a stake in TikTok, the video sharing network for teens that prompted concerns about mass surveillance by Chinese intelligence agencies, and which appears to be headed for American ownership and control through a forced sale to technology companies based in the United States.

Some elements of networks such as TikTok and Facebook have been teased within LinkedIn in recent months. A couple of years ago, Microsoft executives were paying close attention to Snapchat, a mobile social network that became wildly popular with teenagers before TikTok arrived. This interest in Snapchat appears to have inspired the new LinkedIn Stories feature, which essentially allows users to post short video logs that are ephemeral. Facebook and Instagram had already introduced such features, which in the latter network proved to be very well-received.

Here’s something else that LinkedIn directors and analysts have noticed: Users are spending more time on forums, chats, and discussions about topics that may not necessarily be related to looking for work or recruiting job candidates. The tone is still professional, but it has become more diversified. In essence, LinkedIn is forming online communities, and this should not be surprising because it happens in many other social networks.

At offices around the world, the water cooler effect is a tradition that some managers do not particularly care for, but it is something that they cannot consciously stop. This effect has been growing stronger within LinkedIn, and network executives see this as an excellent opportunity to work on what they are calling a rebirth. A massive water cooler effect happening across LinkedIn communities is exactly what directors have in mind, and LinkedIn Stories is a great step in this direction, particularly at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has kept many employees at home and working from personal computing devices. Some users may be rightfully concerned about seeing a shift towards baby photos and videos of their cats chasing each other at home, but this is not going to happen very often.

There have been times when minor LinkedIn scandals have sparked discussion about the type of content and discussions posted on the network. It is safe to say that more than 95% of LinkedIn content is related to business and career development. The remaining 5% is a hodgepodge of trash-talking about professional sports, dating, politics, religion, and celebrity gossip. In other words, LinkedIn is a digital version of the office water cooler, and this suits the network just fine.

We can expect to see some cosmetic changes to the LinkedIn user interface in the near future; the idea is to make it friendlier and more focused on allowing users to connect with each other. The business core of the network is not going to change. You can see this LinkedIn page as an example of how things are going to remain the same, and this means that business owners should continue to put some effort into making their companies stand out in the network.

Users of Microsoft Teams, a messaging and collaboration platform similar to Slack, will find that LinkedIn now has a tab that will initiate meetings and collaborative sessions. The premium version of LinkedIn, which costs about $30 per month, will likely be improved to entice more members to subscribe; one of the improvements being considered include classes and tutorials for business professionals, but there may also be some content that non-subscribers will not be able to access.

How To Prevent eCommerce Fraud

eCommerce Fraud is a major issue for many small businesses. In fact, every $1 of fraud loss can cost your company $3.13 . It is essential to implement protections to safeguard an ecommerce store. One of the first measures you could implement is requiring customers to enter strong up to date passwords. Another way to enhance protections is to install fraud protection tools. For example, an AVS or address verification service is a great way to confirm that the address and zip code match up with the billing information. Make sure to check out the infographic below if you are interested in learning more about how to prevent eCommerce Fraud.

Infographic created by First Data, a credit card processing company

8 Red Flags You’re Owed Unpaid Wages

You got your dream job, or you found a job that you think pays a fair wage. However, you started working and realized that you might not have been paid everything that you are owed. Perhaps you’ve started your career as a social worker and you were soon disappointed after encountering endless problems in your day-to-day activities. Because of this, you need to be on the lookout for the eight red flags listed below that show you might be owed unpaid wages.

1.  You aren’t tracking your time

If you have not been tracking your time, your employee is likely guessing. This is especially important if you are a contractor and work more than what you agreed to. The bookkeeper who reconciles payroll will assign you 20 hours, 40 hours, or whatever they think is correct.

If you are tracking your time, you will realize that sometimes your paychecks are a little bit off.

2.  You’re working overtime

If you have been working overtime, you need to make sure your paychecks reflect your overtime. This goes hand-in-hand with tracking your time. Your paycheck should see a significant boost if you have some overtime hours on it.

3.  You’re Working Before Clock In and After You Clock Out

If you are working before and after you hit the clock because your employer asked you to, you need to start clocking in. You should also calculate how much you worked outside of the clock and request reimbursement.

4.  You Have to Clock Out for Every Break

You are supposed to receive a 30-minute meal break within the first five hours of your shift. If you work up to ten hours, you get another 30-minute break.

You also get rest breaks every four hours. If your employer forces you to clock out for these breaks, you are owed unpaid wages. In a more sinister scenario, your employer might require you to take a break just to go to the bathroom or take a medication that you need to remain healthy.

5.  You’re On-Call During Your Breaks

If you are on-call during your breaks, you are not on break. Period. You should be paid for your on-call time, and you might even be owed overtime if these hours take you over the 40-hour threshold.

6.  You’ve Been Misclassified as Exempt or a Contractor

If you have been misclassified as a contractor or exempt employee, you may be owed overtime. This is why it is important to track your hours appropriately and speak to an employment lawyer if you believe you have been mistreated.

7.  You Aren’t Being Paid Commissions Properly

If you are supposed to make commission on each sale, you should see that money in your paycheck. Track your commissions on your own so that you know if they have been paid properly.

8.  Your Bonuses Are Being Withheld

You may have been promised bonuses in your contract, and they should be included in specific paychecks. Track your paychecks and bonus periods to ensure you have been paid properly.

What Can You Do?

You should reach out to an employment lawyer when you need assistance with your pay because you have not been paid properly, misclassified, or denied wages to which you are entitled.

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