Tips on adding value to your business data

Data is incredibly valuable. The more of it your business generates, the easier it is to predict market and customer behaviors. Analytics solutions aren’t always the right fit for small businesses, but that doesn’t mean their data isn’t valuable. Here are some ways to add real value to your business by harnessing the power of data.

Many businesses shy away from data analytics due to the perceived costs and resources required to get anything of value. However, even the most humble mom-and-pop stores and home-based entrepreneurs have access to a broad range of worthwhile information.

It doesn’t make sense to spend half your week mired in spreadsheets and charts if you’re not extracting information that helps increase revenue. Basic data analytics solutions from companies like Microsoft and Google offer solutions to streamline the collection and examination of company information. But with an array of different tools to choose from, what should you consider before investing in one?

How easy is it to use? There’s no point investing in a dashboard solution if you don’t understand the way the insights are presented. Analysis functions must be straightforward and user-friendly.

Are the results actionable? Great insights are worthless if applying them requires another staff member that you can’t afford. Test drive an analytics solution before investing to ensure that its insights are easy to understand and apply.

Does it save you time? If you’re already relying on data analysis for growth, your first priority should be boosting productivity. Look for solutions that will enable you to complete your current analytics tasks in less time.

Is it compatible with other apps? You need a solution that cuts down on manual data entry and doesn’t add steps to any existing processes. Make sure any analytics software you’re considering can integrate with your existing solutions before signing on the dotted line.

Whether your aim is to attract new customers, retain existing clients, expand your services, or decide on a new location, your data is an indispensable asset. It’s there in good times and bad times, just waiting for you to take a closer look.

If you’d like to learn more about adding value to your business with data analysis, or want to explore data analysis software options, get in touch with us today – we’ll be happy to recommend options based on your needs and requirements.

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Improve the value of your business data

Are you making the most of your business’s greatest assets? The data your employees and customers generate is an unsung hero, just waiting to take your business to the next level. Obviously, enough information can help any company make better decisions, but how can a small or medium-sized organization use data analysis to increase revenue?

Many businesses shy away from data analytics due to the perceived costs and resources required to get anything of value. However, even the most humble mom-and-pop stores and home-based entrepreneurs have access to a broad range of worthwhile information.

It doesn’t make sense to spend half your week mired in spreadsheets and charts if you’re not extracting information that helps increase revenue. Basic data analytics solutions from companies like Microsoft and Google offer solutions to streamline the collection and examination of company information. But with an array of different tools to choose from, what should you consider before investing in one?

How easy is it to use? There’s no point investing in a dashboard solution if you don’t understand the way the insights are presented. Analysis functions must be straightforward and user-friendly.

Are the results actionable? Great insights are worthless if applying them requires another staff member that you can’t afford. Test drive an analytics solution before investing to ensure that its insights are easy to understand and apply.

Does it save you time? If you’re already relying on data analysis for growth, your first priority should be boosting productivity. Look for solutions that will enable you to complete your current analytics tasks in less time.

Is it compatible with other apps? You need a solution that cuts down on manual data entry and doesn’t add steps to any existing processes. Make sure any analytics software you’re considering can integrate with your existing solutions before signing on the dotted line.

Whether your aim is to attract new customers, retain existing clients, expand your services, or decide on a new location, your data is an indispensable asset. It’s there in good times and bad times, just waiting for you to take a closer look.

If you’d like to learn more about adding value to your business with data analysis, or want to explore data analysis software options, get in touch with us today – we’ll be happy to recommend options based on your needs and requirements.

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Google Drive’s productivity secrets

Do you know how to get the most out of Google Drive? As with a lot of technology, most people don’t know all the ins and outs. That’s why we’ve come up with this list of five helpful tips that some Drive users may be unaware of. Here’s how you can use them to your maximum benefit.

Use keyboard shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are all the rage these days, and Google Drive is not immune to this phenomenon. Here are a few that are quite helpful:

  • n: rename a selected item
  • d: show or hide the details pane
  • /: search Drive
  • z: move selected item to a folder
  • Shift + s: add a new spreadsheet
  • Shift + p: add a new presentation
  • Shift + t: add a new document

For a complete list of all Google Drive shortcuts, check out the official Google page.

Utilize revisions

Perhaps you want to see the revisions a coworker made to one of your documents. Or perhaps you hate your latest draft and want to recover an older version of it. With Google Drive, it’s all possible. Simply open the desired document, click File>See revision history, and all your revisions will appear in a sidebar to the right of the document. Then click on the revision you wish to see. If you’d like to revert to an older version, instead of your current draft, click on Restore this revision in the right sidebar.

Benefit from Suggesting mode

If you’re collaborating with another person on a document, Suggesting mode allows you to make suggestions to it without actually changing the text. Your suggestions will be seen by the initial writer, and he or she can then either approve or disapprove of them. To switch to Suggesting mode, click on the pencil shaped icon in the upper right corner of a document. When the drop down menu appears, click on Suggesting (Edits become suggestions).

Share large files

There has likely been an occasion where you wanted to send a very large file to another colleague, friend or family member, and were unable to do so through a free service. Google Drive offers a workaround for this dilemma. To take advantage of it, create a shared folder and upload your file to that folder. Once complete, you can share the file with whomever you wish by right-clicking on it, selecting Share, and then entering the person’s email address of who you wish to share it with. They’ll receive an email with the link to the file, and can access it from there.

Try Google Drive add-ons

Add-ons have become quite popular with Google Drive. To discover the wonderful world of Google Drive add-ons for yourself, click Add-ons in between Table and Help in the upper menu (above the toolbar). There are plenty of helpful add-ons to choose from, including tools such as writing aids, mind mapping, charts, music notation and more. Once you install an add-on, it will appear in your Add-ons drop down menu.

If you follow these five Google Drive tips, you are one step closer to getting the most out the service. If you’d like to learn how else you can leverage Google’s products to better your business, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experts.

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Get more done on Google Drive with these tips

Google Drive provides flexibility and accessibility for organizations across the country. But whether you’re new to the platform or a long-time user, you may not be using the service to its maximum abilities. If you’re unsure whether or not this applies to you, read on to discover some Google Drive tips you may not be aware of.

Use keyboard shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are all the rage these days, and Google Drive is not immune to this phenomenon. Here are a few that are quite helpful:

  • n: rename a selected item
  • d: show or hide the details pane
  • /: search Drive
  • z: move selected item to a folder
  • Shift + s: add a new spreadsheet
  • Shift + p: add a new presentation
  • Shift + t: add a new document

For a complete list of all Google Drive shortcuts, check out the official Google page.

Utilize revisions

Perhaps you want to see the revisions a coworker made to one of your documents. Or perhaps you hate your latest draft and want to recover an older version of it. With Google Drive, it’s all possible. Simply open the desired document, click File>See revision history, and all your revisions will appear in a sidebar to the right of the document. Then click on the revision you wish to see. If you’d like to revert to an older version, instead of your current draft, click on Restore this revision in the right sidebar.

Benefit from Suggesting mode

If you’re collaborating with another person on a document, Suggesting mode allows you to make suggestions to it without actually changing the text. Your suggestions will be seen by the initial writer, and he or she can then either approve or disapprove of them. To switch to Suggesting mode, click on the pencil shaped icon in the upper right corner of a document. When the drop down menu appears, click on Suggesting (Edits become suggestions).

Share large files

There has likely been an occasion where you wanted to send a very large file to another colleague, friend or family member, and were unable to do so through a free service. Google Drive offers a workaround for this dilemma. To take advantage of it, create a shared folder and upload your file to that folder. Once complete, you can share the file with whomever you wish by right-clicking on it, selecting Share, and then entering the person’s email address of who you wish to share it with. They’ll receive an email with the link to the file, and can access it from there.

Try Google Drive add-ons

Add-ons have become quite popular with Google Drive. To discover the wonderful world of Google Drive add-ons for yourself, click Add-ons in between Table and Help in the upper menu (above the toolbar). There are plenty of helpful add-ons to choose from, including tools such as writing aids, mind mapping, charts, music notation and more. Once you install an add-on, it will appear in your Add-ons drop down menu.

If you follow these five Google Drive tips, you are one step closer to getting the most out the service. If you’d like to learn how else you can leverage Google’s products to better your business, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experts.

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Productivity secrets of Google Drive

If you’re a regular Google Drive user, you already know how it can make your business more efficient and productive. But are you getting the most out of the service? Not everyone who uses Google Drive is aware of all of its productivity secrets. So we’ve come up with these five tips to help you better utilize it in your business.

Use keyboard shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are all the rage these days, and Google Drive is not immune to this phenomenon. Here are a few that are quite helpful:

  • n: rename a selected item
  • d: show or hide the details pane
  • /: search Drive
  • z: move selected item to a folder
  • Shift + s: add a new spreadsheet
  • Shift + p: add a new presentation
  • Shift + t: add a new document

For a complete list of all Google Drive shortcuts, check out the official Google page.

Utilize revisions

Perhaps you want to see the revisions a coworker made to one of your documents. Or perhaps you hate your latest draft and want to recover an older version of it. With Google Drive, it’s all possible. Simply open the desired document, click File>See revision history, and all your revisions will appear in a sidebar to the right of the document. Then click on the revision you wish to see. If you’d like to revert to an older version, instead of your current draft, click on Restore this revision in the right sidebar.

Benefit from Suggesting mode

If you’re collaborating with another person on a document, Suggesting mode allows you to make suggestions to it without actually changing the text. Your suggestions will be seen by the initial writer, and he or she can then either approve or disapprove of them. To switch to Suggesting mode, click on the pencil shaped icon in the upper right corner of a document. When the drop down menu appears, click on Suggesting (Edits become suggestions).

Share large files

There has likely been an occasion where you wanted to send a very large file to another colleague, friend or family member, and were unable to do so through a free service. Google Drive offers a workaround for this dilemma. To take advantage of it, create a shared folder and upload your file to that folder. Once complete, you can share the file with whomever you wish by right-clicking on it, selecting Share, and then entering the person’s email address of who you wish to share it with. They’ll receive an email with the link to the file, and can access it from there.

Try Google Drive add-ons

Add-ons have become quite popular with Google Drive. To discover the wonderful world of Google Drive add-ons for yourself, click Add-ons in between Table and Help in the upper menu (above the toolbar). There are plenty of helpful add-ons to choose from, including tools such as writing aids, mind mapping, charts, music notation and more. Once you install an add-on, it will appear in your Add-ons drop down menu.

If you follow these five Google Drive tips, you are one step closer to getting the most out the service. If you’d like to learn how else you can leverage Google’s products to better your business, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experts.

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How does virtualization improve business?

Truly understanding the ins and outs of virtualization is not for the faint hearted. It’s a complicated field that is constantly evolving, but one thing mostly remains the same: its benefits. Read on for a simple recap of just a few of virtualization’s greatest advantages.

More technology uptime
Virtualization vendors use fancy names for the features of their technology, but behind all the technobabble are some revolutionary concepts. Take “fault tolerance” for example. When you use virtualization to pool multiple servers in a way that they can be used as a single supercomputer, you can drastically increase uptime. If one of those servers goes down, the others continue working uninterrupted.

Another example of this is “live migrations,” which is just a fancy way of saying that employee computers can be worked on by technicians while users are still using them. Let’s say you’ve built a bare-bones workstation (as a virtual machine on the server), but you need to upgrade its storage capacity. Virtualization solutions of today can do that without disconnecting the user and restarting their computer.

Better disaster recovery
Data backups are much simpler in a virtualized environment. In a traditional system, you could create an “image” backup of your server — complete with operating system, applications and system settings. But it could be restored to a computer only with the exact same hardware specifications.

With virtualization, images of your servers and workstations are much more uniform and can be restored to a wider array of computer hardware setups. This is far more convenient and much faster to restore compared to more traditional backups.

More secure applications
In an effort to increase security, IT technicians usually advocate isolating software and applications from each other. If malware is able to find a way into your system through a software security gap, you want to do everything in your power to keep it from spreading.

Virtualization can put your applications into quarantined spaces that are allowed to use only minimum system resources and storage, reducing the opportunities they have to wreak havoc on other components of the system.

Longer technology lifespans
The same features that quarantine applications can also create customized virtual spaces for old software. If your business needs a piece of software that won’t work on modern operating systems, virtualization allows you to build a small-scale machine with everything the program needs to run. In that virtual space, the application will be more secure, use fewer resources, and remain quarantined from new programs.

In addition to software, virtualization also encourages longer life spans of old hardware components. With virtualization, the hardware an employee uses is little more than a window to the powerful virtual machine on the server. Employee computers need only the hardware required to run the virtualization window, and the majority of the processing takes place on the server. Hardware requirements are much lower for employees and equipment can be used for several years.

Easier cloud migrations
There are several ways virtualization and cloud technology overlap. Both help users separate processing power from local hardware and software, delivering computing power over a local network or the internet. Because of these similarities, migrating to the cloud from a virtualized environment is a much simpler task.

There is no debate about the benefits of this technology. The only thing standing between your business and more affordable, efficient computing is an IT provider that can manage it for you. For unlimited technology support, virtualization or otherwise, on a flat monthly fee — get in touch with us today!

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Quick review: why you need virtualization

With virtualization, you can make software see several distinct computers even if there is only one, or make several computers register as one supercomputer. That may sound simple, but it’s far from it. Of course the benefits are well worth it; here are just a few.

More technology uptime
Virtualization vendors use fancy names for the features of their technology, but behind all the technobabble are some revolutionary concepts. Take “fault tolerance” for example. When you use virtualization to pool multiple servers in a way that they can be used as a single supercomputer, you can drastically increase uptime. If one of those servers goes down, the others continue working uninterrupted.

Another example of this is “live migrations,” which is just a fancy way of saying that employee computers can be worked on by technicians while users are still using them. Let’s say you’ve built a bare-bones workstation (as a virtual machine on the server), but you need to upgrade its storage capacity. Virtualization solutions of today can do that without disconnecting the user and restarting their computer.

Better disaster recovery
Data backups are much simpler in a virtualized environment. In a traditional system, you could create an “image” backup of your server — complete with operating system, applications and system settings. But it could be restored to a computer only with the exact same hardware specifications.

With virtualization, images of your servers and workstations are much more uniform and can be restored to a wider array of computer hardware setups. This is far more convenient and much faster to restore compared to more traditional backups.

More secure applications
In an effort to increase security, IT technicians usually advocate isolating software and applications from each other. If malware is able to find a way into your system through a software security gap, you want to do everything in your power to keep it from spreading.

Virtualization can put your applications into quarantined spaces that are allowed to use only minimum system resources and storage, reducing the opportunities they have to wreak havoc on other components of the system.

Longer technology lifespans
The same features that quarantine applications can also create customized virtual spaces for old software. If your business needs a piece of software that won’t work on modern operating systems, virtualization allows you to build a small-scale machine with everything the program needs to run. In that virtual space, the application will be more secure, use fewer resources, and remain quarantined from new programs.

In addition to software, virtualization also encourages longer life spans of old hardware components. With virtualization, the hardware an employee uses is little more than a window to the powerful virtual machine on the server. Employee computers need only the hardware required to run the virtualization window, and the majority of the processing takes place on the server. Hardware requirements are much lower for employees and equipment can be used for several years.

Easier cloud migrations
There are several ways virtualization and cloud technology overlap. Both help users separate processing power from local hardware and software, delivering computing power over a local network or the internet. Because of these similarities, migrating to the cloud from a virtualized environment is a much simpler task.

There is no debate about the benefits of this technology. The only thing standing between your business and more affordable, efficient computing is an IT provider that can manage it for you. For unlimited technology support, virtualization or otherwise, on a flat monthly fee — get in touch with us today!

Posted in General Articles C, Virtualization | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments closed
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