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Ways To Improve Your Business With The ETL Process

Monday, 21 September 2020

Modern businesses generate a large amount of data every minute. They have to source information from a variety of places, manage it efficiently, and create meaningful conclusions from it.

Over the years, and as the technological evolution took place, data has become a crucial topic and a key factor in every business’s success. Especially, processing them the right way has become an essential solution for many businesses around the world.

If you’re also struggling with managing huge piles of data in your organization, then you should start implementing the Extract, Transform, Load (ETL) process, as there’s no practical alternative to it.

WHAT IS ETL? 

ETL is the abbreviation for Extract, Transform and Load.  The process is responsible for the extraction of data from one or many source systems, the transformation of data, and the loading into your data warehouses. It is needed to make your data understandable, and analyzable as a whole.

Let’s have a look at the three phases of the process.

Extraction

The extraction stage consists of two phases, initial extraction, and changed data extraction. In the initial extraction, it is the first time to get the data from the different operational sources to be loaded into the data warehouse. This process is done only one time after building the data warehouse.

On the other hand, the incremental extraction, also called change data capture (CDC), is where the ETL processes refresh the data warehouse with the modified and added data in the source systems since the last extraction.

Transformation

After the data is captured, it needs to be transformed into the appropriate format because it is likely that the operational systems do not have the same data formatting as the data warehouse. When the data is transformed it is moved to a data staging area. This transformation includes steps such as cleaning, format revision, restructuring, matching,  and summarization.

Loading

The last step in the ETL process involves loading the transformed data into the final destination, the data warehouses, or the database. This can be done in two ways, full load or incremental load.

Full load involves an entire data dump that occurs the first time the source is loaded into the warehouse. The incremental load takes place at regular intervals. It is done in a batch process or a streaming process, depending on what fits your business needs.

How Your Business Can Improve With ETL? 

The following are the benefits of using ETL tools to boost growth and enhance the working of your organization.

Visual Flow

ETL development applications feature a graphical user interface (GUI) that makes it easy for users to design ETL processes with minimal programming expertise. Instead of wrestling with SQL, Python or Bash scripts, and other technologies, all you have to do is specify rules and use a drag-and-drop interface to map the flows of data in a process.

Being able to see each step between source systems and the data warehouse also gives them a greater understanding of the logic behind the data flow. These self-service tools also contain great collaboration tools, making it possible for more people in the organization to participate in developing and maintaining the data warehouse.

Competitive Advantage

A solid ETL process can help your company build a competitive advantage. If you invest in the process of ETL, you can get near real-time data insights, giving you the best information to make accurate business and operational decisions.

All in all, it provides clean and filtered data structures for exploitation by different end-user tools, increases data quality and value, and enables decision optimization. Also, the experts at YittBox can provide you with outstanding solutions related to these tools.

Superb Performance

ETL tools simplify the process of building a high-quality data warehouse. Moreover, several ETL tools come with performance-enhancing technologies. Also, the solutions provide the necessary functionality and standards for catching operational problems in the data warehouse before they create performance bottlenecks. They automate and monitor data flows, alerting the IT team to errors during transformation.

Conclusion

ETL tools can combine very large data sets of both structured and unstructured data from disparate sources in a single mapping. Moreover, there are multiple reasons why an ETL project plan is a must for your business.

Invest in this tool today and see how your business blooms. To avail ETL services, get in touch with the team a Yittbox today!

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7 Tips To Boost Your Company’s Productivity with MS Access

Thursday, 17 September 2020

It’s generally said that organizations that do not realize the importance of data management are less likely to survive in the modern and competitive business industry. Data is the most valuable asset for any company, and it should always be organized and managed in an efficient manner.

When it comes to using the right software for keeping the important information related to a business in one place, Microsoft Access is second to none. It’s dashboard is convenient to use, user-friendly, and allows the user to categorize every detail in a proper way.

If you’ve been using MS Access for your company, and think that it takes a lot of your time, then following are some time-saving tips that will enable you to use this amazing database system more efficiently.

Utilize Templates

While using Microsoft Access, building a database from scratch can be tiresome and long-lasting. This is where you need to work smartly and choose among the variety of templates available. They can be used to create detailed reports and help you perform a better analysis.

Small Database Fields

MS Access is known for adding information in the form of tables and fields. By default, the text fields allow up to 255 characters and there’s so much space left that you won’t use. Avoid the extra storage space, and make the text fields of appropriate size.

Import and Export Data

Rather than entering data all over again in different systems, you can easily import the critical information from Excel to Access and save yourself a lot of time. If you’re not sure if you should switch from Excel to Access, contact us today for the best Microsoft Access services. Moreover, data can also be exported from Access to Excel.

Know the Shortcuts

Shortcuts are a huge time-saver while using MS Access. They make you perform your tasks quickly, enhance your working, and are very helpful. Make some time and know the various shortcuts that can be used in this tool. For example, in a multi-line field, you can move to the beginning by using “CTRL + HOME” and move to the end by using “CTRL + END.”

Advances Queries with SQL

Structured Query Language or SQL allows the users to choose the exact results they’ve been searching for. It is the foundation of relational databases and you can rely on it, if you’re having trouble with designing a query.

Don’t Forget to Backup

It is extremely important to back up your database, and you can maintain backup copies at another location in case something wrong happens at your workplace. Also, you can store the backups to the cloud so they can be retrieved later. The best way is to backup data on a weekly basis or as often you feel is necessary.

Ask For Help

MS Access can help you transform the working of your business in ways you cannot even think of. It is a popular database system and you can easily get the help you’re seeking for. Moreover, the professionals at YittBox are always here to help you manage your data, and can offer you outstanding MS Access solutions. Instead of trying to figure out the problem within piles of data, let experts handle the situation before it gets worse.

Conclusion

Microsoft Access will always be a reliable database program for businesses of all sizes and types. To make the most of this tool, and generate better analysis and outcomes for your organization, follow the above tips.

Also, you can feel free to get in touch with us for the best data access solutions!

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GOOGLE DATA STUDIO: How it can Benefit Small and Medium Scale Business

Friday, 11 September 2020

Data is the integral part of every business. It’s the driving force for the ‘tech-sphere’ in which we are inevitably getting entangled in with each passing day. From organizations making critical decisions regarding their future to consumers making everyday choices, data has become a clear differentiator governing the majority of choices. 

Business owners come across huge piles of data on a daily basis and are facing trouble to make sense out of it all. These days they need powerful solutions to do proper analysis, generate reports, and gain actionable insights to make wiser decisions. And Google Data Studio is an ultimate tool for the same.

Whether you’ve just started running a new business or have been in the industry for  a very long time, this tool can be of immense help in managing data efficiently. 

What is Google Data Studio? 

Also known as Data Studio, Google Data Studio is a reporting tool that helps to process raw data into shareable media. It enables a deeper analysis of important information to identify the crucial areas of improvement.

With this tool you can get everything you need to turn your client's analytics data into informational, easy-to-understand reports through data visualization. Plus, the reports are easy to read, easy to share and even customizable to each of your clients.

Business Benefits of Google Data Studio

Data Studio can be highly beneficial for your business, and it has a myriad of benefits including the following.

Efficient and Easily Customizable

Gone are the days when you had to go to several sources to compile data in one place, and then analyze it to make effective reports. Now, the process has simplified and is no more time consuming with Data Studio. 

Data Studio Google allows you to connect your data from 17 Google applications and 128 third-party partners who offer direct connectors. By merging all this data in one dashboard, you’ll be able to gain valuable insights into your finances, operations, and marketing campaigns seamlessly. 

Create Dynamic Reports

Though you can make edits with your team in real-time, you can also allow Google Data Studio Connectors to pull real-time data into your reports as well. The reports can be set to update and fill your widgets with in-the-moment data automatically too.

Moreover, if you want a few widgets to display current information, that can be done too, but you can also keep some data set to last month as well. The dynamic report gives you unlimited data options to make your business better. 

Use Great Templates

If you’re not a pro in Google Analytics or reporting, and think Google Data Studio can be complex, then do not worry at all. 

It has a variety of templates that can be used to create detailed reports and explain everything clearly. The tool comes preloaded with templates for Google Analytics, YouTube, Google Ads, plus many more. It even comes with templates for specific industries, like ecommerce. 

And, if you’re still stressing about converting raw data into brandable reports, the experts at YittBox are always there for you. 

Share and Collaborate With Ease

Managing your team efficiently on Google Data Studio is as straightforward as using Google Docs. For sharing reports with colleagues, all you have to do is send your coworkers a link and give them permission to comment and edit the information. 

Also, there’s no need to install local software on your systems. Data Studio is completely cloud-based, that means authorized users can access your reports from any approved browser.

Summing Up

Overall, Data Studio will enhance the working of your organization because you’ll be able to make the most out of the great volumes of data, manage it properly, and make improvements where required. 

If you want to enjoy the endless perks of Google Data Studio and want your business to grow, then get in touch with us today. 


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MS EXCEL - AN EXCELLENT REPORTING TEMPLATE TOOL

Tuesday, 08 September 2020

Microsoft Excel is one of the most commonly used MS Office software. From renowned MNCs to businesses to offices, and more, Excel offers a great set of solutions for almost every type of organization.

We all know Microsoft Excel is a wonderful spreadsheet software in which you can add and organize data in an efficient manner, create graphs, perform advanced calculations, and take advantage of other fantastic Microsoft excel solutions that are easy to use.

But did you know that Excel can be utilized for more than just spreadsheets?

Microsoft Excel is feature-packed and can work as an amazing reporting tool too. It is an ultimate program that allows you to create useful and informational reports that include basic charts and tables, pivot tables, printing the report, etc.

What is MS Excel Reporting Tool

Designed to create reports easily, MS Excel Reporting Tools are advanced spreadsheet programs, and the interface is like Excel. Its operation is similar where you can explore, display, sort, and share datasheets.

Also, the way to name the cell, setting cell attributes, editing the cell is the same as the Excel. You can effortlessly make reports and edit them with the basic knowledge of this superb software.

Steps to Create Reports From the Excel Reporting Tools

Reports with the Excel-based reporting tools can be created by following these simple steps.

Step #1 - Combine data from various databases

Mainstream databases are supported by the Excel reporting tools, and just by a few clicks, you can import the required information in one place. Now, the data collected from different databases can be combined and a detailed report can be created.

Step #2 - Customize the reports

The Microsoft Excel reporting tools provide an extensive range of built-in templates. All you have to do is bind the data column to the cell. Also, you have an alternative to customize your reports by dragging the widgets.

Step #3 - Publish and share

Now, that your reports have been created, and designed in a perfect way, you can preview them in the web browser. Plus, to share the reports, you can export them to Excel, PNG, PDF, etc.

Reasons To Use Excel Reporting Tool

Here are the top 4 reasons why Microsoft Excel is an ideal reporting tool.

Easy and Quick

MS Excel reporting program has an easy-to-use interface. A group of commands and features are clearly displayed on the ribbon which makes it simple to perform any task quickly and seamlessly. ‍The comprehensive set of tools and the drop-down galleries provides its users with easy access.

Present Infinite Data

Small or large, Excel can handle every type of report. It supports up to 1 million rows and 16 thousand columns per worksheet. Moreover, you can make use of an unlimited number of formatting and customizing options in the same workbook, and the number of cell references per cell is limited only by available memory.

Several Features and Tools

Microsoft Excel solutions offer a great range of functions such as sum, average, arranging in order, and so on. You can take full advantage of the features and tools in your report and create impressive designs. For instance, intelligent reference expansion allows the report to expand for as many rows as required, based on the data being imported from your data source, without you needing to know in advance how many rows to include.

Outstanding Report Output Flexibility

Microsoft Excel is a brilliant report design tool and has a flexible report output format. From customized charts to removing sensitive information while sharing with other teams to distributing the report as you like, and more, it provides a lot of options. Also, you have the freedom to share the report as Excel doc., HTML, PDF format, etc.

Conclusion

With this wonderful tool, you won't have to struggle with creating valuable reports anymore. If your business requires the Excel Reporting Tool, feel free to get in touch with our experts at YittBox today! We offer a wide range of Microsoft Excel solutions and can help you boost your organization’s growth.

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Top 5 Essential Elements of a Good Business Website

Sunday, 16 August 2020

“94% of first impressions relate to your site’s web design.”

 

We are living in a digital world, and having a website is crucial for any type of business. It is the center of your organization’s online presence and can be used to accomplished various marketing strategies to help your business grow.

Most importantly, an impressive website allows you to market your business online, enables you to establish credibility, increases the scope to represent your customer - why they should trust you, and the testimonials and facts to back up those opportunities.

If you have a business and don’t have a website, you are probably losing out on opportunities for your business. But if you already have a website, and it’s misdesigned, you’re missing a lot more than you can even think of! Don’t worry; here, we at YittBox have a team of expert website developers who can offer the best guidance to boost your business with an online presence.

 

To know how to make your website more engaging, have a look at the must-have elements for a successful business site. 


Impressive Layout

The first and foremost thing for a great website is to organize everything systematically. It needs to be easy on the eyes, and the visitors shouldn’t feel like solving a puzzle while searching for something.

Plus, you should make sure that the layout looks perfect on all devices. New research indicates that around half of all web traffic now comes from mobile phones, and 85% of adults think that the mobile version of a website should be as good as, if not better, than the desktop version.

 

For custom website development, you can get in touch with us. 


Clear Descriptions

The purpose of your website is to let people know about your services, or whatever work you do. When an individual stumbles upon your site, they shouldn't have to do investigative work to figure out what, exactly, is your business related to.

There should be a proper description of services provided or products offered, and so on. It should be detailed enough to keep visitors engaged for a longer time. Also, you should not miss mentioning the contact information, and it should be somewhere on the homepage. 


Fresh and Engaging Content

Keeping your website updated with great content has become more and more critical, exponentially so over the last decade. Gone are the days, when you used to build a great company, invest some money into marketing, and the rest would just sort itself out.

With the sheer amount of competition found in the digital world these days, this has become very hard to pull off. You can add a blog tab on your site where you can post informational content related to your organization from time to time. It allows you to reinforce your branding and be influential in convincing potential customers. 


SEO-Friendly

Your website won't do you as much good if no one can find it. Become familiar with the SEO basics to make it more accessible by the search engine. By taking advantage of the various techniques, you can make your website rank on the first pages of search engines like Google.

You can keep your webpages optimized by: 

-       Using the right keywords

-       Correctly naming the page titles and URLs

-       Writing the proper meta tags

-       Putting images, videos, and more.

 

Call To Action

CTAs or calls to actions can be of many types. The simplest ones could be similar to the one displayed at the end of this article, and simply be a page that explains the customers about the next step.

Your website should guide the visitors on how to buy your product or services. Call to actions are important to turn a website visitor into a business lead or conversion.

 

Summing Up

There are a plethora of ways to make an attractive website. Next time when you think of updating your business site, keep in mind the above essential elements to boost visitors. Also, you can always hire a website development company, and let the experts handle your online presence while you focus on other critical areas of your company!

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Reporting Services Reports (SSRS)

Tuesday, 04 August 2020

SQL Reporting Services Reports (SSRS) uses a server reporting software that analyzes data and helps you create formatted and in-depth reports. These reports are then hosted on a server that is made accessible to the user with a set of parameters. Continue reading if you want to know the variety of SSRS reporting tools and features that let you generate reports for your business.

 

Why choose SSRS tools?

SSRS reporting tools allow SQL administrators to format SQL reports in a variety of methods. A few other reasons why organizations depend on SSRS reporting software are:

  • SSRS is much more enhanced than Crystal Reports, which creates files on your PC, whereas the former uploads all your reports on the server, making it easily accessible from any web browser.
  • They have a server reporting software which is quick in processing both relational and multidimensional data.
  • SSRS reporting tools allow efficient decision-making for their users.
  • SSRS has an interface that lets users understand and interact with information without the help of IT professionals.
  • SSRS exports your reports in a wide range of formats. Therefore, making it easy for you to send your SSRS reports via emails.
  • SSRS's server reporting software is secure and lets you have the authority to share access to reports with the people that you want.

 

Types of SSRS tools

There are essentially three different types of SSRS reporting tools. However, each of these tools has a subcategory of reporting services available in the server reporting software.

 

1.     Development Tools

  • SQL Server Mobile Report Publisher - To create mobile reports that adjust themselves to fit all types of mobile device screens.
  • Power View - A presentation tool to help create reports based on Analysis Services tabular models.       
  • Report Designer - A graphical interface to create reports.  
  • Report Builder - Creates authoring paginated reports for business users in a Microsoft Office-like environment.

 

2.     Administrative Tools

  • Reporting Services Configuration Manager - To configure the Report Server service account and one or more web URLs.
  • SQL Server Management Studio - To manage both local and remote report server instances, modify roles, and manage jobs as well as shared schedules.
  • Rsconfig Utility - To arrange the report server connection and report server database and manage them.            
  • Rskeymgmt Utility - To design, remove, restore the symmetric key that is used to encrypt report server data.
  • Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) Classes - To convert configuration tasks into automatic mode without using any graphical user interface.
  • SharePoint Central Administration - To create and manage shared reporting services.

 

3.     Content Management Tools

  • Report Server Web Service URL - Easily search for content in the report catalog through a user-friendly navigation page.
  • Web Portal - Manage single report servers from an HTTP connection.
  • RS Utility - Run Visual Basic scripts, publish reports, and create items in the database with this tool.

 

Basic features of SSRS

The SSRS features are large in numbers as they address some complex business reporting needs. A few of these features include:

  • It displays data in forms of tables, charts, and free forms. Therefore, making it easy to analyze.
  • It follows a Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) application.
  • You can retrieve data from managed, OLE DB, and ODBC connections.
  • You can also create adhoc reports and add them directly to the server.
  • They allow you to create SSRS custom controls by using the report-processing extension and store and manage the custom reports.

 

To Sum Up

SSRS reporting tools and server reporting software make your business management more efficient by helping you generate reports on multiple topics. In addition, these reports point out issues that you need to tackle for increased productivity and efficient management of databases.

The future of SSRS is safe for now because, even though it runs on older technology, its problem-solving and report generating software is has not yet been matched. Most importantly, it is still being used in the core BI functions of many organizations.

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TABLEAU - A Powerful Data Visualization Tool For Businesses

Thursday, 30 July 2020

Nearly the entire world is suffering from the terrible ongoing pandemic - COVID-19. This crisis has intensified the need for digital transformation, and businesses that were not already utilizing analytics and data as a strategic advantage for their operations are now looking for, and quickly adopting, business intelligence (BI) solutions.

One of the most in-demand in the BI industry is TABLEAU. It is one of the fastest-growing data visualization tools in the BI industry. It helps to simplify raw data into a simplified, easily understood form without requiring any technical coding skills or knowledge. From businesses to researchers to IT experts and more, Tableau MS Access is being used by many professionals across the globe.

 

What is Tableau?  

 “Tableau is the most powerful, secure, and flexible end-to-end analytics platform for your data.”

Data is a critical asset for any type of organization. With Tableau, data analysis can be done very quickly, and the visualizations are created in the form of dashboards and worksheets. Also, the data that is created using this amazing tool can be understood by professionals at any level in an organization. Moreover, it allows even a non-technical user to create a customized dashboard.

 

Features of Tableau

Managing data can be a complex process and requires the proper tools to extract meaningful conclusions. Tableau makes organizing, managing, visualizing, and understanding data extremely easy for its users.

 The following are some features of this wonderful tool:

  • Easy Collaboration:

Tableau provides convenient and easy options to collaborate with other users and instantly share data in the form of visualizations, sheets, dashboards, etc. 

  • Data Source

From on-premise files to spreadsheets to relational databases to non-relational databases and more, all are available on Tableau data source options.

  • Dashboard

One of the best features is the Tableau Dashboards that provide a wholesome view of the data by means of visualizations, visual objects, text, etc. The Tableau desktop share dashboard allows users to share information locally or publicly.

  • Variety of Charts

Tableau has gained popularity because of the wide range of visualizations available through this tool. From the bar chart to pie chart to histogram to motion chart and more, users can present data in any such form from the Show Me Tab.

  • Powerful Security

Tableau has a fool-proof security system based on authentication and permission systems for data connections and user access. The tool ensures data and user security.

Now that we know the outstanding features of Tableau, let’s have a look at various benefits of using it in your business.

 

Benefits of Tableau

Tableau enables organizations to make sound decisions using the data visualization features available to business users of any industry. It empowers businesses to keep up with continuously evolving technology and outperform their competition through an innovative means of visualizing data.

Here are some ways in which Tableau can be beneficial for your business’s growth: 

  • Easy to Use

The data analysis process can be easily performed with this superb tool, and without any unnecessary complications as well. Tableau has a simple drag and drop interface that eliminates the risks of incorrect results.

  • Capable of Analyzing Big Data

Tableau has optimized direct connections for high-performance databases, cloud data sources, etc. It enables users to work with the data directly to create reports, dashboards, and stories. Tableau’s in-memory technology makes use of all the memory on the machine, down to the hard disk, so the analysis is also done quickly at the same time.

  • Add New Data Sets

Integrating Tableau for your organization’s success means easily adding new data sets, without having to use several different software platforms. From Tableau to Microsoft Acess to Excel workbook to any type of database, data can be automatically blended with this tool.

  • Organized in One Place

The best part about using Tableau is all your crucial data remains in one place. You won’t have to gather information from different places or search for reports from various departments. It lets you organize your dashboards into projects while having full control over who is able to see them, share them, adjust them, and interact with them in any way possible.

Conclusion

The greater utilization of Tableau exists in the area of data visualization where there are a large number of tools available in the current era of the digital data world. No matter what Tableau product you decide to use, it is definitely going to improvise and enhance the operations of your business.

To find out more about this tool and enjoy the many advantages of Tableau for your business, get in touch with us today! YittBox is committed to providing excellent IT solutions and will help your organization grow.

 

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How Microsoft Power BI Can Enhance Your Business Intelligence

Friday, 24 July 2020

DATA is one of the most essential parts of every business. Gone are the days when you had to manage piles of paper and loads of files to gather and store all your important business-related information in one place.

Data mining, business analytics, data tools, data visualization, among others, are combined to form business intelligence (BI) and help organizations to make better data-driven decisions. Unlike traditional methods that used capital letters and more, the modern BI solutions give priority to flexible self-service analysis, regulated data on reliable platforms, empowered business users, and speed to insight.

When it comes to using an effective tool for analytics, there’s none better than Microsoft Power BI for business. Regardless of a company’s size and industry, this powerful tool helps analyze data and share insights in a seamless manner.

 

What is Microsoft Power BI?

According to Microsoft, Power BI is a business analytics solution that lets you visualize your data and share insights across your organization, or embed them in your app or website.

As businesses evolve and expand, managing data on a regular basis can be difficult. This leads to the prevention of performing proper analysis, and ultimately poor decisions. But making use of this amazing Microsoft tool can help to overcome any obstacles related to data management, and help companies make informed decisions.

 

Reasons To Implement Power BI

 

Microsoft Power BI can be beneficial for your business goals in a variety of ways. Let’s have a look at some of them.

One Dashboard for Large Datasets

Not everyone has the same level of business intelligence aptitude. A person who is an expert in analysis—such as a proficient data analyst—will be able to track the innerworkings of the business, such as sales performance and numbers, while simultaneously keeping tabs on other metrics. Chances are, other employees within the company won’t be able to keep up with such levels of information as efficiently and accurately.

You don’t have to worry about the above when implementing Power BI for business, as it creates simplified visualizations of critical data that can be understood by anyone at a glance. Since many employees prefer a consolidated view of the business, Power BI enables users to have it by unifying all crucial datasets into one dashboard.

Easy and Accessible Insight

Want visual reports that are detailed and easy to read? Power BI service can do that for you. It’s an easy-to-use tool and doesn’t require much expertise for its operation. You can easily understand the information the way it is presented.

Data can be organized hassle-free, with just a few clicks as the graphical interface allows users to build dashboards by drag and drop. Also, it can be further customized by downloading free add-ons by third-party apps and Microsoft.

Moreover, even if you’re a beginner, you can use Power BI desktop for faster explanations of increases or decreases in your data charts by right-clicking at a data point and selecting the analyze button. The results are displayed in a window with a simplified visualization in the form of:

 

-       ribbon charts

-       scatter charts

-       stacked column charts

-       waterfall charts


Q & A Feature

Power BI has an in-built Q & A feature that allows users to type a data-specific question using general language, such as, “What were total units purchased last year?” which then generates fast and useful visualizations in response.

Q&A answers your questions by relying on the selected titles of tables, columns, and fields. So, if you have an Excel spreadsheet labeled ‘Sales Last Year’ with common fields denoting profit and numbers sold, this feature can generate relevant results quickly and efficiently.

All you have to do is keep the data well-organized for more specific insights and valid answers for manual searches.

Past, Present and Future Business Scenarios

Whether you want to have a look at the past business trends, record present records, or make predictions for the future, it is all possible with Power BI.

The Power BI desktop has forecasting and analytics tools that enable users to run and compare different situations. From overall financial forecasting to area-specific growth to industry-specific improvements and more, all can be analyzed without requiring complex codings.

 

Bottom Line

Above all, one of the best reasons to make Power BI a part of your business is it is incredibly easy to use. If you need an expert to guide you in the process, our team at YittBox is always there to offer you the best services. Whether you want Power BI service or Power BI Pro, our team will provide the best solutions as per your requirements. Robust strategic analysis is a requisite for the working of every company, and this tool can definitely help you gain better insights. 

 

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Database Load Balancing In A Multi-Cloud Environment

Thursday, 16 July 2020

Multi-cloud environments assist with severe technical problems. They ensure that if your cloud crashes, you can simply switch to another cloud and continue working. Your operations are not hampered in any way using these environments.

Multi-Cloud environments also allow higher productivity in managing tasks. Adopting a multi-cloud set up can also help make a virtual infrastructure successful. Its recovery and back-up features protect sensitive company applications and data.

Load Balancers are the primary tools to sustain a multi-cloud environment. Database developer companies design this software that assists companies in distributing their work over various cloud setups.

 

How are load balancers designed for a multi-cloud environment?

Database developer company design load balancers. These companies design load balancers according to your data clusters. Data clusters can have a single writer as well as multiple writers.

Clusters with a single writer have just one node, called the master. However, clusters with multiple writers have several masters, such as the Galera Cluster. Tools like MySQL, Postgres-BDR, or MySQL Group Replication use this process.

The crucial detail that must be taken care of is the high-availability. Cloud clusters need the support of a secure network. If it faces a loss of network, it may interrupt your operational flow as well as your productivity.

 

Multi-writer load balancing clusters

Multi-writer clusters are easier to design and manage. The database is smartly loaded to handle conflicts by itself. A web database development company ensures that the software is loaded correctly and can send traffic to the available nodes.

Multi-writer clusters are based on quorums. They can partition networks automatically. The main focus should be on the accessibility of the load balancers. You can achieve this by leveraging load balancing options. 

Tools like Cloud Load Balancing as well as Elastic Load Balancing are great platforms for load balancing. These are scalable and highly available. However, these do not support databases. It is ideal for adding scripts to enable its functioning. Scripts locate the right node for data transfer.

 

Single-writer load balancing set up

Single-writer setups are complex, and also challenging to design. The key challenge is to track the writer so that the writes reach an accurate destination. Database developer companies develop these in many ways.

One of the tried and tested ways is using DNS. DNS stores the name of the host that connects to the writer. Load balancers require programming to send their writes to the right address.

Various service discovery tools help in load balancing. These tools store data and recognize the correct node for data sharing. Load balancers then use this to move the writes to the right address. This improves efficiency as well as scalability.

 

Business benefits of multi-cloud load balancing

Multi-cloud load balancing allows agility in operation. A Data analysis software company uses this as an opportunity to capitalize on the rising demand for efficient IT systems.

Features like fast scaling ensure that companies can manage surges in traffic. This helps the smooth functioning of systems without any drop in performance. Multi-cloud applications are also more reliable and steady.

Finally, the main benefit of multi-cloud load balancing is the efficiency of risk management. Load balancing allows a lot of innovation to develop new software as well as helps make the process simpler.

 

Summing up

Multi-cloud environments are efficient and make the functioning of systems easy. However, creating load balancing software is not simple, even for database developer companies. Developers face a lot of challenges while designing the tools for load balancing.

Even though load balancing might not have a concrete design, it is a quick and reliable way of protecting valuable data and also distributing it to different systems for back-up. Multi-cloud load balancing is indeed earning a steady place in IT systems of companies.

 

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Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Microsoft Excel

Friday, 10 July 2020

Microsoft Excel has a reputation for being a very mathematical tool full of equations and calculations. However, it is a lot more than that. Although it is still very useful, you might not be using Excel to its maximum potential. Several features generally go unnoticed because people are unaware of their existence. 

Companies that use Microsoft Excel rarely utilize these additional features. Some of these features include making drawings and playing games. Excel has got to be the last place you would have thought to look for playing games or making art.

Continue reading to find out all that you have been missing out on with Excel!

 6 Surprising Facts About MS Excel

1.     Graphic Arts

Digital art and MS Excel solutions are two things you are unlikely to hear in the same sentence. However, there have been instances where certain people have used this technology to make art on their computers. Japanese artist Horiuchi deemed digital art software too expensive and began using Excel to making drawings instead. Horiuchi came up with a way to make art using the 'auto shape' feature on the program. This soon took off, and he went on to win first prize at an Excel auto shape competition in 2006.

 2.     Stop-Motion Animatronics

Videos all over the world have incorporated a certain degree of animation. Animation requires detailed software and programming. However, who would have thought that you could use this easily accessible program to create animations yourself?! Many musicians have used Microsoft Excel solutions as a way to make unique music videos for their songs. This work is very time consuming and perhaps even a little repetitive. However, the final products are often awe-inspiring.

 3.     Reboot Old Games

Who knew you could work hard on Excel and play even harder! If you are tired of using the same old rows and columns for your work, you can break up the monotony by playing games. Many companies that use MS Excel have started using the program to recreate classic computer games for leisure. These games include Pacman, Tetris, and even Monopoly, to list a few. Recently, an MS Excel development company recreated modern games like Candy Crush and 2048.

 4.     Play With Numbers

Technology has transferred the classic Sudoku to our phones and electric devices. Gone are the days when you sat down with a newspaper every morning trying to solve a Sudoku puzzle. However, if you want a real challenge, you can create your puzzle on Excel too. There are many ways to create endless grids of Sudoku on your computer using this program. You can now solve Sudoku puzzles as much as you want and create more once you run out!

 5.     Functional Flight Simulator 

If you are a fan of video games, this feature might appease you. Companies that use MS Excel can use the flight simulator present in it for gaming! This flight simulator feature is very advanced and helps you explore your surroundings using your mouse. Many people remember this old feature as the Excel 1997 Easter Egg one. However, you can use this simulator on the latest Excel versions too. Once you learn how to control the simulator with your mouse, you will soon learn how to use it to develop video games also!

 6.     Easy to Fix Mistakes

How often is it that you realize you have made a mistake in entering data into the rows and columns? You might have misinterpreted the information, and instead of entering the data into the columns, you entered it into the rows. Now, this might seem like a long and cumbersome mistake to fix. However, if you know your way around MS Excel solutions, you will have no trouble adjusting it. You can easily copy the contents of a row or a column and transpose it to fix this mistake in seconds. All you need to do is select the special paste option, and your work is done!

 To Sum It Up

Excel can seem daunting to learn at first. However, once you master it, it becomes a gift that keeps on giving. You can always hire professional MS Excel solutions experts from renowned firms like YittBox to help you make your work easier. Yittbox provides IT services and technology solutions and can help you with all your Microsoft Excel solutions. The more you explore Excel, the easier and more fun your work becomes!

 

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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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YittBox

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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YittBox

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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