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Five ways to improve spreadsheets for business workflows.

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These platform approaches are more efficient and reliable than spreadsheets when data and workflows become complicated.

Recently, I wrote five ways spreadsheets can kill your business. Spreadsheets can quickly analyze data, create presentation materials, build small knowledge bases and collaborate with small teams. Spreadsheets can become costly and difficult to use in routine business processes.

Spreadsheets are becoming an integral part of an ongoing business process. It’s time for all users – business leaders, data scientists, and software developers – to review migration options to more robust platforms.

Modernization options for spreadsheets can be found on many platforms, as they are the Swiss Army knife of office tools. Some spreadsheets can be replaced with configurable software-as-a-service tools, while others require a customizable solution. Developers can create and support enhancements more quickly with low-code options, while users can create their solutions.

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Developers might look into custom-developed apps, BPM platforms, and other enterprise application development frameworks for larger-scale, more complex workflows. If a workflow is used by multiple departments and fulfills a specific industry or domain need, it might be worth looking at more appropriate platforms for the task.

Different platforms may be worth looking at depending on what data types are required and how they will be used. Media can address multiple use cases in many cases. Many of the media I have listed can be divided into various categories.

Here are five ways to replace spreadsheets that use different platforms. Many organizations will require multiple options to address their wide range of spreadsheet needs.

Create a dashboard or data visualization

A self-service BI platform can rebuild data visualizations if a spreadsheet is used primarily as a way to display graphs and charts. It is better to uncover the accurate requirements and create dashboards that meet business needs rather than porting existing charts to a new platform.

Developers and citizen scientists need to consider identifying user personas, documenting questions dashboards will answer, and complying with data visualization standards. While some platforms can be used as standalone data visualization tools, others allow developers to embed visualizations in other applications.

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You should consider Domo, KNIME, and Looker as platforms to consider.

Migration to a SaaS/no-code database

A database is required to manage and migrate data from a spreadsheet that contains original data. If this is structured data (sheets with rows and columns), you can import it into AWS Relational Database Service, Azure SQL, or another managed cloud database. However, you will need to do additional development work using workflow tools and data ops.

You can also look into SaaS or low-code databases. These databases allow you to build the database structures, load data, and develop role-based workflows. Quickbase, Kintone, and Caspio are some platforms to consider.

Apart from cloud databases, SaaS, and low-code databases, IT leaders and architects should also look into domain-specific data lakes or data warehouses to support complete, end-to-end workflows. Customer data platforms are an excellent example of such solutions and AIops solutions for IT operations and marketing automation platforms. Enterprise search platforms are another. These platforms make it easier to connect to familiar data sources across domains. They also offer a combination of workflow, machine-learning, and reporting capabilities.

Facilitate departmental collaborations.

Let’s look at a scenario where a team or department uses spreadsheets to manage its workflow. This workflow could include a marketing team’s editorial calendar or a Kanban for production to manage work intakes and fulfillment. Or a field service team is tracking their job assignments. These spreadsheets usually store only enough data to manage the workflow but do not have the structure to follow and govern it.

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SaaS and no-code tools are focused on enabling workflow and collaboration capabilities. You should consider platforms such as Airtable, Asana Jira Work Management Monday, Smartsheet, and TrackVia.

You should review domain-specific platforms with data models, workflow configurations, and embedded best practices for more extensive scale and complex workflows. These platforms include enterprise resource planning, customer relations management, content management, and IT service management. They also allow for agile collaboration, talent management, and financial planning.

Data flows and hyperautomated integrations

Spreadsheets can facilitate data flow, integration, and low-level automation. An IT ops engineer may have one to document the steps required to restart an application server. A marketer might use it to merge email lists. There are many spreadsheet-in-the-middle use cases where someone connects two ends of a flow and performs some manual work in the middle.

Several different types of platforms can replace the spreadsheet-in-the-middle use case:

Extract, transform, and load (ETL), data preparation, and other data ops platforms like Alteryx and Talend support data flows.

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Automation Anywhere, Blue Prism and UiPath are robotic process automation tools that automate the extraction of information from websites, SaaS, and other sources.

Citizen integration technology supports if-this is-then-that connections between SaaS, cloud, and other tools, including Zapier, IFTTT, and Tray.io.

Integration platforms allow data, API, and workflow integrations. They include platforms like Boomi, Celigo, and MuleSoft.

IT automation, quality assurance testing automation, CI/CD, and configuring infrastructure code (IaC) are examples of IT platforms that consolidate scripts, manual labor, and spreadsheets into repeatable, automated processes.

Create a low-code, or no-code, application

You may need to create an application to replace a spreadsheet that performs multiple functions. You can also code an app and deploy it to a serverless structure. Then you can maintain it using agile development. These workflows were created using spreadsheets because IT cannot keep up with business demands for new apps or improvements.

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Many of today’s apps are developed on low-code or no-code platforms. You can review my posts on seven keys to choosing a low-code platform and 7 low-code platforms that developers need to know. Appian, Betty Blocks, and Claris are some of the media that assist developers and citizen developers create spreadsheets for their apps.

Be sure to save the spreadsheet before you lose it

There are many ways to replace spreadsheets. However, apps cannot replace their openness and flexibility. Spreadsheets are loved for their flexibility and ability to create and modify data. This is something you can control when migrating data to other platforms. People must adapt to new tools and interfaces.

It is essential to work with your primary users before you start. Rethink how they currently do things and create requirements for what they want to achieve with an eye towards the business goals, quality, scale, and cost. Only then can you develop new solutions, prototype methods, and explore platforms.

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Apple Plans To Double Its Digital Advertising Business Workforce.

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The move raises industry concerns following the launch of privacy guidelines which make it impossible to create ads that are tailored to iPhone users

Apple plans to more than double its workforce within its rapidly growing digital advertising business in less than 18 months after it enacted radical privacy rules that crippled its larger competitors in the lucrative business.

The iPhone maker has about 250 employees per LinkedIn advertising platforms team. On the Apple careers website, it’s looking to fill additional 216 positions, which is quadruple the 56 positions that it had hired in the latter half of 2020. Apple denied the claims. However, it declined to provide any further details.

The digital advertising industry has been apprehensive over Apple’s plans for advertising since the company introduced privacy regulations this year, which have shaken up the market for digital ads worth $400 billion and made it more challenging to customize ads for Apple’s one billion+ iusers Phone .

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Since the new policy was implemented, Facebook parent Meta, Snap and Twitter have lost billions of dollars in revenue and a significant amount in market valuations, even though other contributory factors exist.

“It was almost like a global panic,” Jade Arenstein, global service director at Incubate, a South African-based marketing performance firm, was quoted as saying about the impact of Apple’s recent changes.

The once-flourishing advertising business is “incredibly fast-growing”, according to an ad for jobs. The business has grown from a mere few hundred million dollars in revenue in the last quarter of 2010 to an estimated $5bn in the current year, according to research firm Evercore ISI, which expects Apple to be able to grow its $30 billion advertising revenue within four years.

Compared with Google and Facebook and their 2021 revenue from advertising was $115bn and $209bn. For instance, Apple’s business in advertising is small. The digital advertising industry is worried that it will increase due to establishing rules that critics and rivals believe provide it with an advantage.

“Building new ad systems to effectively compete with incumbents with tens of thousands of employees and 10 to 20 years of maturity would normally be an impossible task,” said Alex Austin, chief executive of the ad tech group Branch. “Unless,” he added, “you were somehow able to disadvantage those competitors on your platform.”

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Apple has been for a long time the most prominent Big Tech outlier for not taking part in “surveillance capitalism” — the practice of offering customers free services but making money on their data through targeting ads on them.

“We could make a tonne of money if we monetized our customers — if our customers were our product,” chief executive Tim Cook said in 2018. “We’ve elected not to do that.”

However, with Apple having twice the number of developers who can purchase ads on the App Store over the last two years and preparing plans to expand, the critics are seeing Cook taking a significant turn.

David Steinberg, chief executive of Zeta Global, a marketing technology firm, said Apple had been “Machiavellian” and “brilliant” in implementing privacy regulations that required rivals to revamp their advertising infrastructure while creating an opening to fill the gap.

“They could build out (their advertising business) dramatically (and) the ‘air cover’ is they are protecting the consumer’s privacy,” said the researcher. Added.

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Apple did not comment on its long-term plans. The job advertisements tell prospective employees that the company’s goals are nothing more than “redefining advertising” for a “privacy-centric” world.

The 216 positions Apple wants to fill are managers and designers of products, in addition to data engineers and sales experts.

An advertisement for an engineer, released on August 24, is a reference to “Apple’s most confidential and strategic plans” and explains how the company plans to “build the most secure technology-driven, technologically sophisticated . . . Supply (Marketplace) Platform and Demand Side Platform”.

These are the core aspects of an ad tech company that allows advertisers to purchase and sell ads across multiple exchanges, possibly advertising in mobile applications downloaded through the App Store. Apple may be able to consider apps for mobile “first-party” data because all activities take place on the iPhone, which is in line with its privacy regulations which ban third-party apps’ contentful monitoring of users.

The positions are predominantly located in the US. However, there are at least 27 roles in Europe and 12 in China and 12 in India and four located in Japan, as well as two positions in Singapore.

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“That’s a giant team — that’s bigger than most small companies,” Arenstein said. Arenstein. “Wherever there is smoke, there is fire, and that’s some smoke.”

Apple has never been averse to advertising by itself. Its CEO Steve Jobs even tried to create an in-app advertising business in 2010, so that iPhone apps would remain completely free. Cook is against how personal information is purchased and traded by opaque third parties without iPhone users’ consent.

Yet, Apple set the rules regarding how advertisements should function and later expanding into this very subject is seen by many as unsatisfactory.

At the moment, it’s more secure — in terms of the economy of surveillance using an Apple phone over one that is a Google phone, as Google has designed its products to support surveillance, while Apple isn’t, in its essence, an advertising firm,” said Claire Atkin co-founder at Check My Ads, a surveillance agency. “But if Apple suddenly delves into that realm, they won’t have a that competitive advantage.”

Apple might be putting its image at risk if regulators and consumers oppose its privacy claims which have been a significant part of the recent iPhone campaigns. If the argument prevails, Apple would have an unobstructed runway.

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Margo Kahnrose, Chief Marketing Officer at Skai, an omnichannel advertising platform, has said that she believes it “makes absolute logical sense” for Apple to develop its advertising network, following the lead of Google, Facebook and Amazon.

Adtech’s power has, she explained, for a long time been flowing from the decentralized “open web” to “walled gardens” run by one company that can control how ads are purchased and served, as well as how they are measured and tracked.

“The world has been unnerved by Apple’s ambitions for a long time,” she said. “There are a few companies that have vast quantities of power, and Apple is the one that is sleeping.

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Six Ways To Maintain A Growth Mindset While Running A Business.

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To be successful as an entrepreneur, starting your business with the appropriate mentality is essential. A growth-oriented mindset implies always striving to improve the product or service you offer or the ability to communicate with people in your industry. Many companies start as small, but they expand in time to become massive businesses that impact people’s lives in the millions. However, this kind of growth isn’t a quick process – it requires a lot of time and effort, and it’s all with constant improvement.

Six Ways to Maintain a Growth Mindset While Running a Business.

1.) Change your outlook

If you’re in the business of managing, it’s easy to become caught up in the day-to-day and forget about the bigger perspective. However, if you’d like your business to flourish, keeping an attitude of growth is essential. Being able to open your mind to be fully engaged in the things you believe are the best for you is crucial.

2) Are you in your comfort zone?

One of the difficulties of managing a business is it’s easy to get into a routine. Once you’ve discovered a method that works, it might be tempting to stick to it. However, staying with the same formula with different outcomes isn’t intelligent. If you’re looking for your business to expand, make sure you alter things with slight adjustments to ensure that your business feels fresh and exciting.

3.) Be prepared to take the risk

Nobody said creating and running a company was easy, regardless of whether you’re putting together an exercise calendar or an entirely new line of clothing. It’s one of the most challenging tasks you’ll ever have to do. If you want to succeed, you must have a mindset of improvement. Create a staff around you. Find people who can assist your company in its growth. It’s not necessary to shoulder all the responsibility for your company. After all. Make sure you take sensible risks. There is undoubtedly a danger involved in taking risks, but when you take calculated risks, you reap a calculated reward. The most successful entrepreneurs realize that sometimes it takes a long time to bring an idea to fruition. Therefore, they remain in the game and push forward.

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4.) Connect with others who are adamant about your abilities

One of the most effective methods to keep a positive mental attitude is to surround yourself with people who are confident in your abilities. If you’re always around optimistic people who believe in your ambitions, It’s easier to stay inspired and push ahead.

5) Discuss your concerns

If you’re in charge of an enterprise, it’s simple to become distracted by the day-to-day and forget about the bigger overall picture. It’s possible to worry about how to make ends meet and meet deadlines or having to deal with demanding customers. Discussing these concerns with the rest of your entrepreneurial friends and colleagues is essential to ensure that things stay on the right track.

6) Be focused on progress, not perfect

When you’re an entrepreneur is effortless to be caught in the pursuit of perfection. You’d like your service or product to look flawless before launching it, but the reality is that it’s impossible to be perfect. It is essential to keep in mind that the pace of progress will always be better than perfect. Start by taking it one day at a. The advantage of keeping a single day in mind at a time is that even should things not go as scheduled. It doesn’t matter since tomorrow is another day to start from scratch. Create workable goals. After creating some feasible goals, please keep track of them and assess how they performed based on outcomes rather than the amount of time and effort poured into them.

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What Is Good Debt and Bad Debt for a Small Business?

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There are two kinds of loans for small companies. Find out which one is best and which one is not.

For many people, the term “debt” has negative connotations. However, when setting up a small-sized company, it is not necessary to stay clear of debt completely. There’s “good debt” that is essential for growth when you start an enterprise, but there’s “bad” debt that could cause long-term harm to your financial situation.

The difference between good and bad debt and how to manage your company’s finances to keep them in check.

Good debt in contrast to. Credit card debt What’s the distinction?

Lyle Solomon, principal attorney for Oak View Law Group, states, “good debt returns money to your pocket, but bad debt takes money from your pocket.”

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“Debt that increases your future net worth is considered good debt, and debt that reduces your future net value is referred to as bad debt,” Solomon added.

Good debt

Kenneth Hearn, fund manager and director of research for Swiss One Capital AG, describes good small-sized business loans as the money borrowed to finance things that contribute to the development and growth of their company.

“This could be for anything from paying for improvements to meet new safety regulations or expanding your human resources team,” the man explained. “A general rule of ‘good debt’ is debt that is low-interest, or will increase the overall net worth of your business.”

Paying off your debts shows you have a good payment history, which your credit rating can show. The more debt types you can manage responsibly and pay off, the more favourable. This means that more lenders will permit you to get in the future.

Bad debt

When a lender takes out money to purchase an item that doesn’t increase in value or produce revenue, it is often regarded as bad credit. Any loan or borrowed funds that could lower the value of your company’s net future must be avoided. The signs of bad debt are the high-interest cost, fees, and strict loan repayment conditions.

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Examples of lousy credit include cash advances and payday loans, usually called “predatory loans.”

“These loans . Target people with bad credit or low income with few options to consider,” Solomon added. Solomon. “[They often] come with exorbitant interest rates and unethical terms.”

Things to think about when making a “good debt an investment

If you are considering getting a loan, entrepreneurs in small businesses should consider the type of debt they’ll be taking on. If the lender takes out a loan for an asset that isn’t going to depreciate, for example, real estate, education, or their own company, on favourable terms, it’s considered to be a good debt.

“Healthy debt entails borrowing money for investing in items that do not depreciate over time,” Solomon explained. Solomon. “Keep the above in mind when you borrow money to run your business. Use the funds to minimize the chance of a catastrophe or loss.”

One approach small business owners may employ when borrowing money is to commit to the lowest rate of interest possible.

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“Your interest payments are tax-deductible,” Hearn said. Hearn. “These tax deductions could help you get over the red line and into the realm of profitability. If you manage your cards correctly, interest rates can benefit you rather than against you.”

Strategies to get out of credit

If a small-sized business owner is trying to escape the burden of bad debt, There are options to overcome the situation. First, examine the company’s budget and financial statements.

“Financial management software has come a long way over the past couple of decades, and having proper procedures for data entry and its use from the start of your business is crucial to managing good or bad debt,” Hearn said. Hearn.

For business owners who are in “bad debt,” Solomon advised consolidating debts to one loan.

“Debt consolidation is an intelligent debt management approach to ensure you’re paying the lowest rates and on the most optimal or flexible terms available,” said the expert to CO–. “Such a move would benefit your business, as you can avoid worries regarding payments.”

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Companies must ensure they have the funds to repay this consolidating loan, or it could negatively affect their business credit and financial situation. However, if used properly in the right way, consolidating or restructuring multiple debts is an innovative method of managing the finances of small businesses.

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