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MS ACCESS – An Ultimate Database Management System

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

As time is progressing, the world is modifying to one-touch technology. Today, with this technology you can manage important information easily, keep a track of data, perform data analysis, plus more, all in one place. Businesses are able to manage great pieces of data with the advancements of software.
Access is the database management done by the Microsoft to combine the relational Microsoft jet database engine with a graphical user interface and web development tools named as Microsoft access. Microsoft access is known as the member of Microsoft office family that is the part of it in professional and higher editions or it can be sold separately.
The format of storing data in Microsoft access is based on its format based on the access jet database engine. Moreover, it can import or link directly to the data stored in other databases and applications easily. The best part is MS Access dashboard is user-friendly, and convenient to use.


Basic Four Steps of Using Microsoft Access
Information stored in Microsoft access is called the database, and to access that easily, you need to follow four basic steps mentioned below:

  1. Creation of database: While creating your database in Microsoft Access you can specify the type of data you will store in it.
  2. The input of data: The second step is to input the data of every day into the Access database after the creation of your database.
  3. Query: This step is to retrieve the stored information in a fancy way.
  4. Report: The print form of the database is represented in an attractive way that is called a report.


How Data is Stored in Microsoft Access?
Data in MS Access can be stored in tables. There can be many fields in a table. Each field has its data type and it helps the user to enter the same data type as the field of entering serial number or dates will only allow you to enter numeric data type. Whereas, other fields with different data types can allow you to enter anything like names and IDs, etc.
After you finish your MS Access tables, fields, and relationships, now you can create the data entering forms to keep the information in those fields and tables, which you can retrieve later. Using that information, you can print the reports easily.
With the WYSIWYG form designing tool, it is really fun to design the Microsoft Access forms. Moreover, these Microsoft Access forms are used to make it easy for the users to access data by grouping the related fields and making it encapsulated for the unneeded information. Without knowing visual basic and macros, you can still create simple buttons for your Microsoft Access forms with the button of Microsoft Access command button wizard.

Advantages of Using MS Access
Microsoft Access solutions can be beneficial for you in the following ways:
1. An object can be called by name in the Access. For the Access desktop database, the major objects are named as tables, queries, forms, reports, macros, data macros, and modules.
2. While working with the other database system on your desktop you will experience that the term database is only used to the files that store data in it. In contrast to this, working in the Access allows a database (.accdb) that involves all the basic objects connected to the stored data, keeping in the objects that you define to automate the use of your data.
3. Working in the MS Access allows its developer and user to be organized with the help of the following tools:

  • Tables that helps to store data.
  • Queries that are used to organize data.
  • Forms to display data on screens
  • Reports print out data
  • Macros for automating tasks
  • Modules access the programming’s


If you are not familiar with the last two points in the MS Access, still you can create a wonderful database of your own with the ease to add, delete, and manipulate your everyday business database.
4. Access not only offers forms but it allows creating the quick form through which you can add the large data records easily without the fear of having errors each time. This is a faster and easier approach to enter data entries in databases.
5. Nothing is error-free, and while you are tracking the large records you can have the misspellings, duplicate numbers, and others as well. And for this, you need MS Access to fix all those errors as it points them out for you.
6. MS Access is used for accurate and insightful reporting for large databases. MS Access has the most fascinating reporting tools that can give the best of the onscreen and create the printing while dragging the data from more than one table as required. You can make the reports attractive for the viewers by changing the colors of the pages and formatting the fonts to your likings.
7. MS Access is another name of the comfort zone for the data to get sorted, searched along with personalized tools like queries that are used to find the single record or group of records from data. You don't have to dive into the ocean of a large database to find a single piece of information. Instead of that, you can easily use these tools provided by MS Access.
8. MS Access also allows keeping multiple data sources consistent. It provides you with a tool that can import data and recycle it according to your desire. It saves the individual from re-entering the same information into a huge database.

In conclusion, MS Access can give you the easy to use interface to enter records easier and faster. It has large storage to save databases with different data entries all sorted well and has tools to give you the power of manipulating large data easily.
Microsoft Access is the best software to save and operate the business level databases. It is simple and easy to learn. Using MS Access or getting touch with an MS Access contractor can save you from the hustle of storing large data daily in files. Managing information and keeping track of the data was never as easy as it is in MS Access.

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Why MS Excel Is An Essential Tool For Every Organization

Friday, 26 June 2020

When you hear about Microsoft Excel, you might start thinking about an old working office scenario, like the one in the ’90s. Loads of papers piled up, cubicles around, people going through endless lists of data, and scrolling across the screen of a traditional computer. It has been around since 1982, and MS Excel is still going strong. In fact, it has become an integral part of every business.  

No matter if it is a startup, small business, or a well-established business running on a large scale, this amazing tool plays a vital role in managing the important data of organizations large and small. 

Microsoft Excel is surprisingly flexible and extremely useful. 

From managing payroll to project allocations to finances to HR to employee records and so much more, Excel is an excellent solution! And, with over one billion Microsoft Office users worldwide, it has become the professional standard in offices across the globe for pretty much anything that requires management of large amounts of data.

The following are some ways that Microsoft Excel solutions can be used in your business.

MANAGE FINANCES EFFICIENTLY

Whether you run a business on a small scale or have a company with over two hundred employees, expenses are a part of every organization. When it comes to managing the expenditure or the finances, MS Excel is second to none. With the help of various templates, spreadsheets, etc., accountants can easily enter important data. Also, there is a customization option through which you can categorize the different areas as per your convenience and keep track of things accordingly. 

STORE CONTACTS 

One of the most valuable parts of any company is its employees, customers, and clients. Having a solid and easy-to-reach contact list will make your work much easier than you can imagine. Though there are other options for saving contact information such as notepad, MS Word, etc., Excel Spreadsheet is a more efficient way to save contact information. You can also put the required data under different headings like:

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Email ID
  • Phone Number, etc.

It is a widely used program for organizing essential data, and if you want to import the lists into other databases, it can be easily done using MS Excel

ANALYSIS OF THE BUSINESS

Business Analysis is required in every workplace. Gathering data on a daily basis including product sales, website traffic, rankings, insurance claims, etc. needs to be managed effectively to help you make better decisions. For instance, with the help of business analysis, a profitability report can be run at the end of the month, and the areas that lacked performance can be worked upon. This will not only help in keeping the data in place but will also enhance the growth of your organization by making sound decisions. 

SCHEDULING TASKS
Managing and allocating the various tasks to different team members is one of the most important jobs of a manager. Instead of sending personalized emails or messaging to different employees to inform them about their respective schedules, a spreadsheet can be prepared in MS Excel and shared with the entire team. Also, the software has a great scheduling feature in which tasks can be color-coded and designed in such a manner that they get automatically updated if there is a change in the schedule.

TRACK ROI

Microsoft Excel solution providers can help you track the Return on Investment accurately. As a business owner, it will give you a clear indication of how much investments have been made into the business and how much is the profit earned. Plus, with the proper track of sales, you can know how long will it take to get additional profits or reach the break-even level. 

Bottom Line

Microsoft Excel has been proven to be highly beneficial for day-to-day business activities. It has been evolving over time and ensures to offer its users to manage their work seamlessly. If you still haven’t made this outstanding tool a part of your business, get in touch with an MS Exel development company, and enjoy its endless perks.

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5 Fantastic Benefits of SEO for Your Business

Friday, 19 June 2020

We all know about the increasing competition in every field nowadays. To survive in the market, and to make yourself stand out, it is highly important to focus on each and every aspect of your business. One of the most necessary things for every organization is to have an exceptional online presence, and this can be easily done with professional SEO services.

What is SEO?

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the process of improving a website’s overall visibility, and searchability on various search engines such as Google, Yahoo, etc. So, when people search for any term related to your business, you appear on the top of the results. 

Almost every service is getting digitalized these days, and to boost your business’s growth, being active on the Internet has become a requisite. From ranking on the top of search engines to helping the visitors to engage in your services through your website etc. are all a part of making the most use of SEO. 

If you’re still wondering why you should invest in expert SEO services for your business, the following are some of its key benefits.

IMPROVED USER EXPERIENCE

Gone are the days, when SEO was only for optimizing for search results. Now, it’s also about making the user experience better too. Well organized, decluttered, and an easy to access website makes a visitor stay on it for a long time. Hence, resulting in increased page views and decreased bounce rates. 

Moreover, if the content on your website is engaging, useful, and optimized with SEO-friendly keywords, it not only makes the users happy but ultimately increases the potential of your website to be on search engines.

SEO helps to SKYROCKET YOUR SALES

When you invest in marketing SEO services, the professionals will help you make amazing changes to your website, which will ultimately lead to more traffic. And, when the potential audience is able to know about your services and is able to find what they’ve been searching for, on your page, they would like to avail your services.

SEO BRINGS NEW OPPORTUNITIES

If you want to make your business a huge success with the help of a robust web presence, SEO can help you get better opportunities. When you rank better on the search engine, you will earn and grow in a better manner. Your website will get high quality targeted traffic, there will be an increase in brand awareness and more.

SEO is COST-EFFECTIVE

Why spend a large amount of money to bee seen on limited platforms, when you can simply work your way up in the organic search results with an effective SEO strategy? 

SEO is considered to be cheaper than paid advertising. Once your business starts ranking in top search results, you wouldn’t have to worry about pay for clicks. Focus on being #1 in SEO rankings, and drive more amazing results.

SEO HELPS IN INCREASED CONVERSIONS and HIGH ROI

The more your website is SEO-friendly, the more chunks of traffic it will get, which ultimately means more conversions. From making visitors use your services to share your content on other social media platforms to subscribe to your newsletter, plus more, SEO enhances the way for it all. 

For maximizing the conversions an in-depth understanding of human behavior is required. It needs a balance of where to add CTA or popups, etc. on your website. And, this balance can be achieved by using analytical tools for your site to get SEO ROI. 

Hopefully, now you understand the importance of an effective SEO strategy for the growth of your business. It will help you take your organization to a great level of success, profitability, and awareness. So, contact a professional for the best SEO services, and get ready to make your business touch new heights. 

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Three of the Most Important Digital Marketing Trends in 2020 That Can Help Your Small or Local Business Thrive

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Three of the Most Important Digital Marketing Trends in 2020 That Can Help Your Small or Local Business

Is 2020 the year your small business will have the most growth it has ever had? Planning a cohesive and effective marketing strategy can play an imperative role in making that happen, if you let it. While the idea of digital marketing can be overwhelming to a small business owner, you’d be surprised at just how accessible these tools are for you!

In the next year, we will see the rise of a few crucial digital marketing trends that can directly affect the growth of small businesses across the board when used correctly.

Don’t worry, there is no need to completely scrap what you’re already doing to market your business--these new trends will simply build on what you most likely already have in place.


1. High-quality content matters

Content marketing has been around for a while, but its main goal used to be to push out as much content as possible in order to increase SEO rank. In 2020, high-quality content will be more important than ever because of a substantial update to Google’s search algorithm. The update can influence your SEO rank because of Google’s goals to provide a more interactive and trustworthy search experience for the user.

This year, aim to publish more content that is engaging to read, in-depth, detailed, and interesting; something that can captivate an actual person reading the content. Since you’re probably already using content marketing, focusing more on high quality content should only enhance the strategy you have in place, and further capitalize on the sales opportunities it can bring you.

Not exactly Hemingway? That’s okay, content writers can be hired to provide more colorful and in-depth content that draw in potential clients.

 

2. Influencers will have even more of an influence

Love it or hate it, social media is here to stay. It has become one of the most influential marketing tools to date, and the best part is its availability to businesses of all sizes. The most notable new trend in relation to social media is the use of influencers to promote services and products. In recent years, influencers have used their following on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat to promote various goods and services that they (hopefully) use and love themselves.

Influencers now have the upper hand on the content that they choose to share; once upon a time, large companies could simply send a sample of their product in hopes that the influencer would review it for their followers. However, it has progressed into more of a business, with many of the larger-scale influencers naming their price for sponsored posts.

The increased expense has shifted small and mid-size business owners’ focus to “micro-influencers.” These are the influencers who have a smaller but still substantial following; they tend to have around 30,000 followers.

Seeking out a niche micro-influencer to help market your product and keeping up with the latest social media marketing strategies on your own feed can have a gigantic positive effect on your business.

 

3. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a real thing

We officially live in the future. Computers can predict what any given consumer will decide, based on what it has “learned” from the consumer’s actions online. Its effectiveness only increases with each new piece of information it is given.

With key capabilities like conversational AI and AI with Analysis Domination, Artificial Intelligence can predict many of our decisions as consumers. It is continuously collecting data that helps it make predictions. These predictions are based on factors like simple conversations we have, emotion, culture, trust, etc.

Integrating AI into your digital marketing strategy can be very beneficial to the growth of your company, even if you don’t have a large corporate presence. Your small or local business can benefit from this tool in various ways, like using chatbots for customer service, improving your email effectiveness, and enhancing your online ads. Since AI is still somewhat of a foreign idea to most business owners and non-experts, you can always hire a tech company who offers expert experience in AI services to help implement these strategies into your marketing and business strategies.

 

Make 2020 Your Year

Whether you decide to implement these trends into your digital marketing strategy or simply fine-tune the strategies that are already producing results for you, put digital marketing to work and watch your business soar.

 

 

 

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What are the global trends in IT and Software Outsourcing in 2020?

Wednesday, 08 January 2020

Outsourcing is more or lessabout going risk-free and in response getting a helping hand for the tasks your current teamdoesn’t haveexpertise in.If there were any gaps, theyare filled for the betterment of both the company and the third party or individual catering to those outsourcing needs. As Statista’s report suggests, outsourcing revenues increased in 2018 to $85.6 billionfrom a mere $45.6 billion back in 2000.

Undoubtedly, there was a time when the in-house workforce was considered the status quo. However, as IT and Software are making waves across the globe,more and more companies are pushing for outsourcing. To reiterate just how prominent outsourcing is becoming,the world’s largest mobile phone manufacturer, Samsung, is gearing up to outsource one-fifth of its production in 2020 to rival Chinese counterparts. This shows how the promising the year 2020, as well as the coming years, will be in terms of IT and software outsourcing.

What has skyrocketed the demand for outsourcing is companies having streamlined functionalities.This way, companies are still able to keep things confidentialwhile getting their work done. To highlight what’s in demand, we will share the details of trending IT outsourcing services.

2020 IT Outsourcing Services Trends - At a Glance

More People Driven – Less Money Driven

The common perception is outsourcing is meant to be a seamless semi-automated process which is cost-effective. But 2020 isn’t going to be about saving a few bucks;companies will be more focused onsearching for high-quality IT outsourcing services and paying them accordingly. Therefore, in response, these companies will rope in third parties that will equally suffer the risk in case substandard services are offered. To ensure the best outcome for the company, the outsourcing process will be more human-driven and the utmost responsibility will lie in the hands of the Talent Acquisition (TA) Manager. It will be up to the TA Managers to find the best talent.

More Specialized Third Parties for IT Outsourcing Services

The affiliation with only onethird party for outsourcing will no longer be the norm. The bigwig companies will look to work with the best options in aparticular niche. The previous model for outsourcing was a single third party company offering both technical and non-technical services. It was largely done to make the outsourcing process hassle-free andmeant relying on only one third party service to meet all needs.

Application Development and Maintenance

Having a website presence used to make a business look more legitimate, but now having a mobile or a desktop app is more of a sign to consumers that the business is credible. This has sky-rocketed the demand for an app for all kind of business owners. Being non-technical in this regard, most of them outsource this task and even once it has been created, they hire a third party for continuous support and maintenance.

Reporting and Audits

Companies believe in impartial audits and reports, as they can directly or indirectly help make their businessflourish. Though this process was previously availableto only the bigwig companies, from 2020 onward it will be trending for all the right reasons. A third party that has no stake in the company can conduct unbiased and impartial financial audits,which is why many top-notch companies get this outsourced.

Social Media

Even if you’re a small-time business owner, the more presence that you have across different mediums on the web, including that of social media portals,the more online help you will have to meet certain targets. Primarily, brand awareness is easily increased through social media. Moreover, one can even create a loyal audience and therefore gain customers through social media campaigns. Ad-targeting and engagements bridge the gap between the customer and the brand which is why it stands out as an integral part of the business. Therefore, social media outsourcing is on the rise largely because of the need to hire an expert in order to keep up with the social media presence.

AI taking in for Manual Processes

Bots and virtual agents are making this whole process flawless and cost-effective with the courtesy of Artificial Intelligence Robotic Process Automation (RPA). RPA aims to cut costs for both the company’s bottom line as well as costs for the workforce. Put simply,work which previously required 10 people nowonly requires 1-2 people with AI takingthe charge. This pushes companies to get third party AI tools for an entirely different experience.

 

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Faster Access Databases Performance Tips

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Every developer has their own coding style. Like some devs prefer to use docmd.RunSQL code, while others prefer to use db.Execute code. When I'm researching on best practices and procedures to be added into our VBA library collection, I stumbled upon a great paper explaining about Tips to Speed up Microsoft Access Databases Performance. This paper is honorably featured on Microsoft MSDN, and contained 100+ tips for faster Microsoft Access Databases, including:

  • Table Performance Tips

  • Linked Databases and Linked Tables

  • SQL Server and ODBC Performance Tips

  • Database Performance Tips

  • Query Performance Tips

  • Form Performance Tips

  • Report Performance Tips

  • Macros Tips

  • Access Module/VBA Performance Tips

  • Data Access Objects (DAO) Programming Tips

  • Jet Engine Tuning Tips

  • Access Startup Tips

  • Multiuser Performance Tips

  • Computer Performance Tips

  • Windows Performance Tips

  • Conclusion

  • Additional Resources from Microsoft

You can access the paper on FMS, inc site. Kudos for Luke Chung, President of FMS, and Dan Haught, Executive Vice President.

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Hard to Imagine...

Sunday, 15 September 2019

“From the dawn of civilization to 2003, five exabytes of data were created. The same amount was created in the last two days.”–Google CEO Eric Schmidt

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Data Retrieval Performance

Sunday, 15 September 2019

I recently had a situation where multiple IT associates stated they had "exhausted" all performance enhancement options and the users were just going to have to deal with the report taking 4-6 minutes to return their result. In this situation, just one result. Yes, you heard me right; the report wasn't a Data Warehouse analytical summation of millions of records, across complex filters and joins; but rather an Operation Data Store report where the users entered in 1 parameter in which the result should only return the data for that 1 record. Even worse, the parameter the users were providing was the main utmost parent in the whole model and even was a unique identifier in said table.

Sure, the report needed to pull information about this one parameter from multiple tables, around 20, but they were all PK / FK to the main driving table. I contended that there must be something wrong because even if there were 100 tables, as long as the users were giving us 1 record to search by, the result should return sub-second.

After a nice Friday evening of trouble-shooting the report, it was determined that the developer tried to use multiple sub-reports and chain the results from one to be used in the next. This is a fairly common practice among the big hitter reporting tools, but this was not working for one reason or another. In addition, another developer which had helped with some of the SQL statements had added a where condition that wasn't really needed to a huge table on a column that wasn't indexed. This in turn caused a full table scan and essentially killed the performance of the report.

To remedy the issue quickly, we changed each sub-report to just use the parameter that was entered by the user instead of trying to chain from the results of the previous report. The other where condition as removed and automatically... the report that was taking 4-6 minutes to run with "no way" to improve its performance was now returning in 2 seconds or less.

The real reason that I bring this up is to emphasize what a relational database does. By design, it breaks out the data into normalized structures. In most modes you will have many, many tables. You may have upwards of 100 or so reference tables. You may have many associative tables to break up the so-called many to many relationships. Regardless, if each of those tables are architected appropriately with PK's and enforced FK relationships, getting data out should be no problem.

Be careful to not let anyone in IT get away with saying "It just is what it is and can't be improved" because that is often not the case. There are very few cases in my career where I haven't been able to at least shave some amount of significant time off of performance hog queries.

Now, when we get into the Data Warehouse and more analytical number crunching, the second response times can get more challenging... but I will share my thoughts on that at a later time...

If you have any Reports that do not return you the data you expect in a timely manner, please let me have a look.

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Some of my favorite Data Quotes

Thursday, 31 January 2019

"In God we trust, all others must bring data." - W. Edwards Deming

"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." - Aldous Huxley

"If you torture the data long enough, it will confess." - Ronald Coase

"What gets measured, gets managed" - Peter Drucker

"The price of light is less than the cost of darkness." - Arthur C. Nielsen

"War is ninety percent information." - Napolean Bonaparte

"Without data, you are just another person with an opinion." - Andreas Schleicher

"There are lies, damned lies and statistics." - Mark Twain

"Errors using inadequate data are much less than using no data at all." - Charles Babbage

"Get your facts first then you can distort them as you please." - Mark Twain

"If we have data, let's look at data. If all we have are opinions, let's go with mine." James L. Barksdale

"The goal is to turn data into information, and information into insight." Carly Fiorina

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From the beginning...

Thursday, 31 January 2019

And then there was data... And lots of it. How you collect and
manage data determines your companies success and your competitive advantage.

What gets measured, gets managed

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The Art of Informatica and Data Integration

Thursday, 31 January 2019

Luckily, the designers at Informatica realized the complexity of some projects and the need for performance tuning and built the tool in such a way to allow us to utilize the Informatica built in functionality or to override some or all of the processing back to the database. The challenge arises when the developer has to decide how / where to create the transformations. It is never a simple answer of Strategy A is always the best way to do this task, or Strategy B always has faster performance for this sort of task. Rather it is an Art! In my opinion, an Art that takes many, many, years of honing your skills to know how to build the best mappings possible. Additionally, not just Informatica skills are needed as they are only 1 part of the equation. The other big skill is being distinguished in the source and target databases platforms. The developer that is hired to move data (the integration expert or ETL developer) must be distinguished at Informatica or your ETL tool of choice as well as your database platform. These two skills have to be used to perfectly balance ETL mappings allowing the database to do what it does best as well as the ETL Tool.

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Aggrandizement of MS Access

Thursday, 31 January 2019

A tool is needed to not only tie together data from a few different systems, but to add just that little extra functionality that none of the other apps have. It may have even started off as something that a Business Analyst built solely for her purpose but others caught wind so it was released into the wild. It is so well received by the business that they request a few enhancements as well as a little more functionality that would save them big dollars and automate some of their tasks. Before long, the business now has a mission-critical MS Access application that needs to be supported and production-alized by someone (IT?).
Fortunately, and contrary to what many will tell you, there are ways to make an MS Access application stable, and quite useful. As with anything, there is the right and wrong tool for each need, but used in the right context MS Access can be a win-win for the business as well as IT.

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6 "Data" Principles for All Businesses

Wednesday, 30 January 2019
  1. While it may be seam easy to inventory your physical assets, realize that data is also an asset that has significant value to your business. Treat it as such and manage data accordingly.
  2. Data must be accessible to the needed consumers. This includes day-to-day operations associates as well as the management team.
  3. Data must also be swiftly locatable and provide quick responses to questions asked by the users.
  4. Data must be standardized consistently throughout your company to provide a consistent set of answers to your users. A data dictionary should be readily available.
  5. While data must be readily available for the needed consumers, it must also be protected from unauthorized use. Remember from Principle 1 that data is an asset and must be protected appropriately.
  6. Data has to be governed, by a circular process. A strategy should be defined which provide the discipline needed for managing such a valuable company asset.

Please let us know if this resonates with you and you would be interested in a partnership to help define your Data Strategy. We would be glad to assist.

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Tips to stay in the 20% group!

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

It has been noted by Gartner that big IT projects specifically "Data Projects", have as high as an 80% failure rate. I have been involved in many big projects and have accumulated my own list of tips to stay in the 20% group.

  1. Get solid, real, requirements. I mean it. Solid, real, requirements. From the actual users / consumers. Do not make up your own requirements that you think they will want.
  2. Build, Test, and Deliver in small increments. This will keep the users happy and leave them wanting more and more. Don't try to boil the ocean. Under-promise and Over-deliver. Trying to do too much at once is overbearing and will lead to many problems.
  3. Build a detailed project plan for each delivery. A very detailed project plan. Hash out every gruesome detailed task that has to be completed and estimate how long each will take to accomplish. Actively manage and update the project plan that was created. Check off tasks as they are being worked and when completed. This allows you to get a look at the plan at any point and see how you are doing and adjust as necessary. Also, report back to the users and consumers on a frequent basis. Only EVER even mention a "completion date" once this detailed project plan is completed and all involved parties agree on the timelines. Once a completion date is communicated, it is very critical to keep that date.
  4. Be aware of scope creep. This directly is related to number 1. In my experience, in almost every occurrence of new scope being found can be tied back to detailed requirements not being vetted appropriately. Complete number 1 in a very detailed manor and you will not have very much scope creep.
  5. In coordination with the business, clearly define what "success" looks like and how you will measure success when your deliverable is met. (I.e. we should be able to search all customer orders for various attributes and return the data in a friendly formatted fashion.)
  6. Keep the users involved. Make them feel like they “own” the deliverable that you are working on. If they buy into the process and feel like they have a say, they will in turn feel invested and actively try to assist you to ensure the deliverable is met.
  7. Be respectful of the user’s time. Users of IT deliverables have their “day jobs”. This IT deliverable is often something that will help them or make their job easier, but in the mean time, they still have a job that has to be completed. Plan and coordinate their time appropriately in the project plan and don’t expect more.
  8. Test, Test, Test! Define a solid test strategy. Have a brain storming session with the whole team to determine things that should be tested. Write specific test cases for each scenario. Testing data-related projects is even more challenging because often the logic solely relies on the content of the data. This means that you can only test for scenarios in which you have data to satisfy. I could write a whole section on testing… maybe I will in the future. For this purpose, just remember to never underestimate the different testing that needs to be completed.

If you have an IT project starting soon in your small business, be aware of the tips above. If you would like assistance, please let us help!

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Freelancing Sites...

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Recently I have been exploring various Freelancing sites to seek out the very best clients who can benefit from my particular services the most. I have reviewed a few, and then I ran across a site called TopTal.com which seemed different. They feverishly promote that they only accept the top 3% of freelancers who apply.

This quickly caught my attention, mainly because I know I am in the top 3% of my field. This concept seems to outweigh the other sites which allow anyone who signs up to become a freelancer. Since there will be fewer freelancers on the site, I suspect that top companies would feel more at ease with hiring from there, while also paying competitive rates. To that end, I immediately decided that I wanted to join the Toptal Informatica Developers Community.

I'm not arguing that the other freelancing sites aren't a good idea from the average freelancer wishing to make some extra money, but for those who are completely serious and at the top of their field; TopTal seems like the more appropriate path. For any of my Technical readers who are interested, I recommend heading over to TopTal.com and having a look. For any of my client readers, rest assured that you are in good hands.

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