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Read some great articles on the latest businesses and tech topics from our leading practitioners. From cloud computing to Artificial Intelligence, this is the place where new ideas come alive.


Data Mining and its significance in Business Analytics

Wed, Feb 03 2021, Maya Angelou

We have always heard people in the business world say how data is valuable and must be secured. But, data generated by a single organization is so much that it would be impossible for a team of humans to filter out the essential data from tons of raw data. Here is how data mining comes into the picture. Data mining is a process that organizations use to turn raw data into useful information. Organizations utilize software to analyze large sets of raw data and look for patterns. These patterns help organizations learn more about their customers or even the general public.

This information pulled out helps to improve the decision-making process. Thus, strategies to increase sales, market, and deploy upcoming features are further apparent. Data mining is an indispensable part of any organization's intelligence. It helps perceive valuable insights by identifying patterns in raw data, thus turning them into useful information. 

Frequently data mining is confused with terms like machine learning and data analysis but, these terms are very different and unique. Data mining and machine learning both use patterns and analytics. Data mining looks for patterns that are already present in data. Patterns bought to light by data mining need human intervention to make decisions. Data mining gets patterns (information) from large datasets, and data analytics is when organizations decide to take this information and dive into it to learn more.

Businesses that make use of data mining have an advantage. They have a better understanding of their customers, oversight of business operations, improved customer acquisition, and new business opportunities. Also, they acquire a perception of potential customers, new ways to market and improve their systems. Data mining helps businesses advance without any obstacles. 

Data mining helps organizations with the detection of fraudulent activity and forestall potential fraud. Instead of relying only on the human experience, patterns generated from data mining can help you make a creative and innovative decision, one which might be beyond human analysis.

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The modern Cloud Ecosystem

Fri, Feb 12 2021, Zora Neale Hurston

The hardware and software infrastructures of various companies have continuously transformed digitally over the years. There has been a massive migration from "on-premise" systems to cloud deployments. Cloud computing has spurred the technologically advancing industries and continues to be the fundamental factor of an organization's infrastructure and product deployment.

To be simply put in a sentence, cloud computing is the process of migrating computing resources such as servers, databases, software, etc., from a local location to a remote cloud location and accessing these resources over the internet.

When we hear of cloud computing, the major cloud providers like AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform pop into our heads. But cloud computing is not limited to just the services provided by these companies; it is much bigger than that. At its core level, cloud computing is simply a notion for any computing done over the internet, from the software you use on a daily basis to the infrastructure your favorite applications run on.

Presently, the interdependent components that work together to facilitate cloud services form a complex system, and this system is called the cloud ecosystem. In nature, an ecosystem includes living and non-living things that are connected to work together. In the same way, a cloud ecosystem consists of hardware and software but also includes cloud customers, cloud engineers, consultants, etc.

A public cloud provider is at the center of a cloud ecosystem. It could be a PaaS or IaaS provider. From the center radiating are the software companies that use the cloud provider's anchor platform. It also includes consultants and companies that have an alliance with the anchor provider. Since the companies overlap to make a complex ecosystem, there is no vendor lock-in.

New business models can be build using a cloud ecosystem. In a cloud ecosystem, it is easy to analyze data on how a new change or update might affect the other parts of the system. Cloud services are on a pay-as-you-go basis which, makes it efficient for customers. With all your resources set up in a cloud-based environment, it is easy to collaborate from anywhere in the world since these resources can be accessed over the internet, thus providing flexibility.

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The future of business with AI

Mon, Feb 08 2021, Maya Angelou

"Intelligence is not a skill itself, it's not what you can do, it's how well and how efficiently you can learn new things."
Artificial intelligence (AI) is advancing out of research labs and into the business world. Its power is being harnessed by leading companies across numerous industries — from banks examining countless data points in seconds to detect fraud, to call centers deploying chatbots to enhance customer interactions.
The recognition of AI in mainstream society might be a new phenomenon, but, it is not a new concept. The field of artificial intelligence came into existence in the year 1956. It took decades of effort to make notable progress in developing an AI system to make it a technological reality. In the business world, artificial intelligence has extensive uses. Most of us daily interact with an artificially intelligent system.
Artificial intelligence is not a replacement for human intelligence, instead, it is a support system. Although AI might not be good at completing simple tasks, it is skilled at processing and analyzing huge sets of data as compared to a human brain. Due to this quick process, business leaders with the help of AI can effectively resolve problems and take prompt decisions.
Artificial intelligence is kind of the second coming of software," said Amir Husain, founder, and CEO of machine learning company SparkCognition. "It's a form of software that makes decisions on its own, that's able to act even in situations not foreseen by the programmers. Artificial intelligence has a wider latitude of decision-making ability as opposed to traditional software."
These traits make artificial intelligence extremely valuable throughout many industries. Artificial intelligence is a vital associate when it comes to looking for loopholes in computer network defenses. With the escalating complexity of cyberattacks, cybersecurity specialists require additional assistance and this where AI is playing a significant role. Perhaps the most superior tool developed might be AI, but just like everything else, it can have useful as well as unfavorable consequences. If AI can be put to use responsibly, transparently, and justly, it would be a boon for businesses advancing towards growth and building a better world.

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Archived Blogs

Headless CMS: The Solution to Top Challenges in Ecommerce

In a rapidly evolving environment with technology and content demands existing in a multi-channel—and devices—world, Marketers in ecommerce face many unique hurdles that are both challenging and exciting—but can be very stressful.

In conversations in the last few years with prospects, most retail organizations believe they lag behind their competitors when it comes to marketing performance and managing the right CMS technology (web content management system). We often see these three common problems that online retailers face today:

  1. Large number of SKUs. The number of SKUs and configurations retailers manage can easily reach hundreds of thousands or even millions of options.
  2. Breakneck speed promotions. Working at a breakneck speed with weekly sales, promos, and campaigns in between major sales events like Black Friday.
  3. Juggling different content. Handling multiple, unique sales events and projects, all with varying content, different phases and timelines.

Traditional CMS in Retail

In a traditional CMS, you have to set up many individual installations and, they are all siloed on their own database/infrastructure. Migrating content and pages from one instance to another is often a manual process, or you’ve maybe spent the time and money to automate it with scripts and other technologies that have to be constantly maintained.

Headless CMS in Retail

With Headless CMS, all of your company’s content is stored centrally. You set up one installation for content and then different "view" for each project.

Unfortunately, most Headless CMS solutions have only two “views” (APIs) to access content – preview and production.

“Preview” will deliver all content for all projects in the same view whether it’s ready for testing, and regardless of whether the content is relevant to this week’s or next week’s project. “Production” will show all live content, regardless of where you want it to appear. This can make it a nightmare to properly test and stage content each week.

For example, every week you may have sales, ads, and related content to set up and stage. test next week’s promotions if in the same view, you also saw the discounts queued for the week after and some of the marketing content for the upcoming Black Friday sales event.

The Solution – Project Spaces with SampleSite

SampleSite solves this by supporting as many project spaces as needed. You can create a project space for each individual event and deliver only the relevant content.

For example, you may have three discounts to set up: one for next week, one for the week after, and a third that spans both weeks. A CMS solution like SampleSite lets businesses create a project view for each testing before the promotions even begin.

An added advantage to this approach is that you can easily update the discount and roll it out to both weeks when you need to change it.

Traditional vs. Decoupled vs. Headless CMS – Know the Difference

To understand and, more importantly, value the differences between traditional, decoupled and headless CMS platforms, you first have to let go of the idea that content management systems (CMS) are purely a marketing-focused tool. Managing the production, design and distribution of content has become a major function of most marketing departments. The marketing team has grown used to doing it all and being enabled to design and deploy a web page within their team. This is the case for a traditional CMS deployment and within large organizations the lack of governance in this model can prove troublesome.

Traditional or "Coupled" CMS

There are clearly pros to doing it alone, but that ability has come with some rather serious drawbacks. For starters, pages need to conform to the database structure they sit atop. By extension, content needs to conform as well. Before you know it, content is being forced into structures that aren’t friendly, intuitive and may not perform to expectations. For all of the benefits of the WYSIWYG editor of the traditional CMS, it can only take an organization so far.

Keep in mind that the traditional model was established for websites and was able to modify with responsive themes to adequately manage mobile, but there’s a world of change coming that won’t be satisfied with these systems. Also, traditional systems require components beyond the database, creating challenges for management and scale.

Decoupled CMS

Demands for greater flexibility and scale have led to the concept of a decoupled CMS. In this world, marketers focus on creating content, and developers focus on the presentation of the content in the front-end. With this approach, the style and presentation of the content is not stored within the content, giving greater flexibility. Marketers do what they’re good at (content), and developers do what they know and love (coding).

The downside to a decoupled approach is that the moment a front-end is chosen, the limitations of that choice are then baked into the solution. So while you’ve solved some of the limitations of the traditional approach, you haven’t solved all of them. You’re still in a world that’s tightly coupled to the past.

This decoupled model, like the traditional model, hits its limitations when content needs to move quickly to cross-platform use cases.

Headless CMS or API-First CMS

The need to have systems with even greater flexibility both now and into the future has given rise to another option headless CMS. There is some overlap with decoupled CMS in the sense that it allows for healthy separation between marketing and development needs. However, a truly headless model allows for the limits imposed by any coupled front-end to be thrown out . You end up with centralized model for content but a flexible and better-performing model for where content can go.

This is because the Application Program Interface (API) approach of a headless CMS allows content creation to forever remain separate and distinct. Born in tandem with the explosion of API growth and the focus on microservice architecture, anything can call content from a headless CMS. Content becomes just another (but very important) service that can be called by a website, a mobile device, a software platform, an automobile, VR headset, Jumbotron or whatever tomorrow’s technology looks like.

Robotics – Changing Our Lives and Future

Envision a future where robots are so integrated into the foundation of human life that they become as common as smartphones. Robotics is a field that has a great potential to improve our lives at work, home, and in-play. They can be a support for learning physical as well as cognitive activities. Robots for years have helped humans do a task that was considered dangerous. Now, the field of robotics has progressed into the exploration of unreachable environments from the depth of the ocean to deep space. 

Robots being made capable enough to adapt, learn and interact with human beings and other machines on a cognitive level. Technology has progressed so rapidly that over the past few decades computing has been made indispensable. The digitalization of everything has made human life easy and so accessible. These digitizations put together with robotics assures a future that only existed in one's imagination.

Robots are becoming so capable that they can execute complex computations and interact with the world on their own, with richer sensors and better actuators. With a future close, where robots and humans work alongside is creating many new job opportunities and saving time for humans.

Robots have only advanced in industrial fields or only in factories but have also come about to do simple human tasks such a mowing our lawns, milking cows, vacuuming the house, serving in restaurants, and so many other areas. In a few years, they will touch even more parts of our lives.

Today's robots are still quite limited. They cannot figure things out and their communication is often brittle. It also takes a lot of time to build new robots. The progressive adoption of robots will require integrating robots in the human world rather than integrating humans into the machine world.