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Big Data Proves Beneficial for Small Business Owners, According to Harris Interactive Study

In Business on November 24, 2014 at 4:29 am

In today’s global business world, it’s essential for small companies to be technologically savvy and up-to-date on the newest trends in order to remain relevant and stay competitive. Data analysis has become an increasingly powerful tool that helps CEOs and top executives make key decisions and offer more educated predictions about their company’s future. Data can allow these leaders to adjust marketing strategies, control inventories, establish target markets and boost sales.

Small businesses have a wealth of information in their hands including Google Analytics, Facebook Insights and sales receipts. The term “big data” is popular among businesses, used to describe the availability and exponential growth of data, both unstructured and structured.

According to the results of a new Harris Interactive study, big data was shown to have a wide range of definitions including:

  • The requirements to archive and store data for the purposes of regulatory compliance
  • The emergence of new and improved data sources, including mobile devices, social media and machine-generated devices
  • Challenges associated with big data
  • The significant growth and development of transaction data

The same survey suggests the top competitive advantages gained by using big data include:

  • Increasing sales (54 percent)
  • Retaining and attracting customers (46 percent)
  • Reducing IT costs (50 percent)
  • Improving efficiency of internal business operations (59 percent)
  • Becoming more flexible and agile (48 percent)

Most importantly, 76 percent of small business owners say Big Data is an enormous opportunity for their executives and employees. Over 70 percent believe that a return on investment occurs within 12 months. Data brokers like DataLogix, Kaggle and Acxiom can offer businesses valuable data analysis that shares informative insight into a company’s current activities.

Marla Ahlgrimm on Indoor Gardening

In Health and Beauty on November 14, 2014 at 7:39 pm

Marla AhlgrimmMaintaining a garden throughout the winter months is challenging, acknowledges Marla Ahlgrimm. However, gardening can be a mentally and emotionally stimulating activity that provides joy even in colder weather. Recently, Marla Ahlgrimm spoke with the staff of Presentation Solutions to offer suggestions on the indoor herbs and plants that provide the most health benefits.

Presentation Solutions: Good morning to our green thumb expert!

Marla Ahlgrimm: That’s quite a title!

Presentation Solutions: We invited you here to talk to our readers about indoor gardening…

Marla Ahlgrimm: Yes, and thank you so much for the invitation. As we approach the end of the year I thought I would mention that around the holidays, gardening can be a relaxing and affordable pastime that’s fun for the whole family.

Presentation Solutions: Does indoor gardening yield the same results as the outdoor version?

Marla Ahlgrimm: In many cases, yes. Proper technique is key.

Presentation Solutions: In your experience, what herbs and plants work especially well in indoor conditions?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Basil, for one, springs to mind.

Presentation Solutions: How can basil improve someone’s health?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Basil is a source of dietary fiber, potassium, magnesium, calcium, zinc and vitamin K.

Presentation Solutions: Isn’t growing basil indoors a major challenge?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Although basil generally requires four hours of sunlight per day, fluorescent bulbs can be used as a substitute.

Presentation Solutions: How long must the bulbs be lit?

Marla Ahlgrimm: The recommended time is 12 hours. Remember, too, that plenty of clean water is also necessary to guarantee success.

Presentation Solutions: Which are the best uses for basil?

Marla Ahlgrimm: I love to use basil in soups, salads and other vegetable dishes.

Presentation Solutions: What other herbs might you recommend?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Peppermint features copper, manganese, vitamin C, and a host of other natural oils with anti-microbial properties.

Presentation Solutions: In your opinion, what’s the best way to use peppermint?

Marla Ahlgrimm: One of my favorite uses for peppermint is preparing a cup of tea.

Presentation Solutions: How do you grow peppermint at home?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Mint performs best in indirect light and prefers less water and more shade.

Presentation Solutions: Besides peppermint, what other herbs and plants are suitable for indoor growth?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Thyme is another perfect example.

Presentation Solutions: How would you incorporate thyme into a healthy diet?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Thyme can be used in marinades, dressings and sauces, among other delicious dishes.

Presentation Solutions: What health benefits are associated with thyme?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Thyme has been proven to protect people from cancer-causing toxins while improving mental sharpness and relieving digestive and respiratory problems.

Presentation Solutions: Does thyme feature many vitamins and minerals?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Absolutely! Thyme is an excellent source of fiber, vitamin K, chromium, manganese, iron and calcium.

Presentation Solutions: Hopefully more people get in on the act and start gardening!

Marla Ahlgrimm: I wholeheartedly agree.

Presentation Solutions: Thank you again for sharing your thoughts.

Marla Ahlgrimm: Anytime!

As a premier women’s health leader, Marla Ahlgrimm knows how proper nutrition is an important element in the lives of all women. Marla Ahlgrimm encourages a diet rich with fruits, vegetables and lean protein as a way to ward off potential health complications.

 

 

Study Reveals Employees in Huntsville, Alabama Are the Happiest in the U.S.

In General on October 2, 2014 at 8:32 am

AlabamaHuntsville is perhaps best known for being the home of engineers, military personnel and expensive rockets. A new study shows that the Alabama city is also known for an abundance of satisfied workers.

The Quantum Workplace survey ranks Huntsville first in terms of employee recognition. The organization examined surveys from nearly 400,000 employees at 5,000 organizations throughout the United States in order to determine which locations had the happiest employees.

The forms of recognition include praise from senior leadership, time off for vacations, access to training and learning opportunities, and pay increases.

In Huntsville, 73 percent of employees said they felt comfortable with the level of recognition given by their superiors. Nashville (69 percent) assumed runner-up position, with Austin, Texas; San Antonio, Texas; and Washington, D.C. finishing in a three-way for third with 68 percent.

The top ten rankings were Atlanta, Georgia (67 percent); Charlotte, North Carolina (67 percent); Orlando, Florida (67 percent); Raleigh, North Carolina (67 percent); and Tampa, Florida (67 percent).

Employees said that pay raises are the best possible way to recognize excellent work, followed by promotions, bonuses, time flexibility and training opportunities. On the other hand, managers should bypass company-branded merchandise such as medals and plaques. Only 5 percent of employees said that these items were important to them.

Quantum Workplace collaborates with organizations across the United States to increase financial success and client loyalty by making work more enjoyable and effective. Quantum Workplace offers strategic advice and survey tools to improve organizational culture and employee engagement.

The Best Places to Work survey is completed in partnership with various corporate sponsors, chambers of commerce, associations and other organizations. As the survey’s leading force, Quantum Workplace offers the analytical know-how to power 5,000 surveys each year and deliver results to participating businesses.

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