This Is (Was) My Consulting Nightmare…..

This is (was) my consulting nightmare…..

For anyone in consulting (or any line of work requiring business travel), the ability to travel and earn hotel points is the number one perk of being on the road. However when I chose this profession, what I didn’t fully understand is the mayhem (and stress) that can ensue when booking travel and managing expense reports.

Over the past five years, I haven’t managed to control the weather or eliminate flight delays, but I can say (with confidence) that I have learned to minimize the travel mayhem that can be part of the consulting lifestyle.…

Receiving Standards Made to Work Part II: Job Setup

In my last blog, I spoke about inbound processes that will set you up for success on the receiving end. Now let’s talk about the actual receiver’s job setup and how that can further your success.

The operating plan and tools provided to receivers will ultimately determine the success they are able to achieve during the work day. Receivers, who are usually employees with long standing tenure, can sometimes have their own ideas on how to perform a job, creating movements and tasks that are not productive.…

Keeping Retail Banking Relevant – Ever thought of your local bank branch as a Starbucks? Part 1 of 2

Tammy Wu

When was the last time you visited your local bank branch? Physical banking seems to have become something of the past for most millennials, or 25% of the US population. According to the industry data, the majority of customers visit their physical branches once every six months. Moreover, over 80% of customer interactions are performed through self-service channels. The statistics show us that most consumers today prefer to interact through an online or mobile platform, instead of recurring to more traditional face to face alternatives.…

My “Zero-Waste” Wedding

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As we get further into 2015, people with upcoming weddings can likely feel their date of choice closing in rapidly. Keeping sustainability in mind while planning an event with family, friends, and a ceremony can be difficult but on average in the US, each wedding incurs between 400-600 lbs of waste (source) and even if you find you typically recycle at home, bringing those practices into a vendor while planning the rest of your event is exhausting!…

The Advancement of 3D Printing and Its Impact on the Shipping Industry

The delivery industry depends upon shippers’ need to transport products and components from one geographical location to another.  3D-Printing technologies promise to eliminate much of that need.  At highest risk are high-yield, cross-border shipments originating in Asia and other cheap labor markets.

The advance of 3D-Printing technologies presents a threat within the next 20 years to the viability of the delivery industry.  Combined with the internet and Computer-Aided-Design software, 3D-Printing promises a future where most products are produced close to the point of consumption. …

Get Ready for Change: Today’s Analytics Technologies are Evolving

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The world of predictive analytics is one with many points of view, tools, and processes that makes it difficult to define by the day. With the adoption of data science, many organizations have accelerated their investment to convert their vast stores of data into actionable predictions. Enterprise organizations are adapting to integrate predictive analytics to better become a data-driven organization.  This blog is a guide to the current state of analytics and serves as an introduction for more detailed blogs centered on the topics presented.…

Understanding How the Telecommunication Carriers’ Transition to IP Impacts Utilities

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As discussed in the past, the Plain Old Telephone System (POTS), or as some people call it, the Copper Phone Network is going away.  With it will be all of the legacy communications methods the carriers use that are not Ethernet based.   This is due to the proliferation of cellular phones and mobility eliminating the need for a tethered connection.  However, many pieces of critical infrastructure utilize these “Land Lines” to communicate Machine to Machine (MTM) to do things like sound fire alarms in the firehouse, alert security companies of a break in, let a water company know how much water is in their reservoir and allow electric companies to monitor and operate the electric grid remotely.…

Data to Dashboard: Making sense of Big Data

Our Advanced Analytics  team’s obsession with the NFL led us on an ambitious journey to collect NFL Twitter data with the hopes to gather some useful insights. As the weeks went by, millions of tweets were collected. With this data being amassed, we established the arduous objective to understand the type of events that surround large influxes of tweets. Hadoop was great to store this data and perform sentiment analysis on it, but we needed a more optimal solution for reporting.…

Methane Regulations & US EPA’s Clean Power Plan Compliance Strategies

The US EPA’s Clean Power Plan proposed in June 2014 is a key component of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan.  When final, the rule will require a 30% reduction in carbon emissions from the power sector by 2030 from 2005 levels, with an interim goal in 2020. Many have speculated about what this regulation will mean for electricity producers across the nation, but a common prediction is that coal-fired plants will begin to take a backseat to those fueled by natural gas in the immediate-term and by cleaner renewable energy resources longer-term. …

5 Security Keys for Leaders Considering Cloud Software

Business leaders are adopting cloud software at an extraordinary pace.  Enterprise applications, file storage, email, and line of business applications are all moving out of corporate data centers as business managers take an active role in driving application selection, and often an inadvertent role in shaping information security policy.

This is happening at a time when corporate data is under continuous and increasingly sophisticated assault from both organized syndicates and cyber vandals.  The confluence of these two forces must drive a thoughtful approach towards information security and the cloud.…

Microsoft’s Latest Development in On-premise or Online: Windows 365

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Microsoft continues to move in software as a subscription service.  Many of Microsoft products are being developed with parallel streams:  On-premise or Online.  This Windows 365 is the latest development in that strategy.  Many media commentators quickly jump to the negative conations – Microsoft will get everyone to use the software for free then slowly charge a fee then jack the price up.  A few cable TV subscribers may recognize this pattern!

Why would Microsoft develop software subscription model anyway? …

Financial Services for Start-Ups and Entrepreneurs — A Missed Opportunity for Credit Unions

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Earlier this month, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and the US Small Business Administration (SBA) announced an agreement to facilitate connecting small business owners with their local credit unions to obtain better access to capital.  The three year partnership includes a series of educational and training initiatives to better inform credit unions about SBA’s lending programs.

Credit unions face a huge opportunity to serve small businesses, entrepreneurs, and start-ups and this arrangement will continue to encourage credit unions to tap into this market. …

Data & Football: Using Big Data & Analytics to Visualize NFL Twitter Trends

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When I was growing up, my dad used to tell me “Work on something you love and it will never feel like work.” In our Advanced Analytics practice, our team shares a common love of data and complex problems.  We work on exciting challenges, pulling together experiences to determine the right tool for the job and deliver uncommon results.  One recent challenge fits that criteria, incorporating America’s most popular pastime – Football.  The best and brightest on our Advanced Analytics team collaborated to extract, enrich, and visualize NFL Twitter data using cutting edge technologies. …

WAR: What is it Good For?

As it turns out – a lot, actually…

For the entirety of its existence, baseball has been a ‘numbers game’. Compared to the other major professional sports, it operates within the most straightforward and easily relatable statistical universe. Our society takes comfort in the familiarity of baseball’s individual metrics: 3,000 hits; 500 home runs; a .300 batting average. As fans, we’ve romanticized these golden milestones, and Hall of Fame admission for big leaguers is largely dependent upon them.…

The Dollar Signs Behind Ergonomics

Ergonomics is a term that people tend to throw around loosely. They assume that ergonomics is a “silly” concept that only includes guidelines on pre-workout stretching and how high your desk should be. But, ergonomics has a much greater ripple effect on the work place. Ergonomics touches everyone from the order selector to the office worker. It affects employees fatigue, injury cost, efficiency, mental well-being and productivity.

Ergonomics is the design of coordinating devices, systems, and physical working conditions to minimize the physical and mental discomfort of the employee.…

 

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