6 Business Analysis Tools You Should Consider in 2019!

In the recent past, Business Analytics (BA) has gained more and more traction with the business community. This being so, there has also been a proportionate increase in the need for the right business analysis tools.

Unfortunately, at a time when the challenge of mining and analyzing big data calls for complex and technical solutions, most businesses are still in the dark when it comes to its myriad benefits. Besides, only a few are aware of the right tools they should employ in their data collection and analysis.

Now, there are a variety of powerful business analysis tools out there, both open source and commercial. But in this article I want to share with you a list of the top analytical tools that every business analysts should have and use.

But before that it is important that we define what business analysis is – at least for the un-informed!

Using the right Business Analysis Tools

What Is Business Analysis?

The online Business Dictionary defines business analysis as:

“Investigation into the operations of a business to expose the causes behind the results achieved, and the effects of those results on the business.”

Wikipedia.com on the hand defines it as:

“A research discipline of identifying business needs and determining solutions to business problems.”

From these definitions it is clear that business analysis is not a discipline that should be toyed with. This is why every business analyst should have the right business analysis tools that will help him/her effectively investigate the business situations, identify and evaluate options for improving the business systems and of course, ensure that information gathered is effectively utilized in meeting the needs of the business.

Having said that, here are my recommended business analysis tools for you.

Top 6 Business Analysis Tools Every Analyst Should Use

1. Microsoft Excel

Excel is on the top spot by no mistake; it’s perhaps the most famous and secretly most powerful business analytics suite out there.  Almost every business office has access to Excel repacked as MS Office suite.

Regardless of how extensive or complicated your statistical analysis is, it is imminent that you’ll utilize Excel at some point along the process particularly for presentation and reporting of analytic results.

It’s also an excellent dashboarding tool. Excel can be immensely powerful in the hands of an experienced and knowledgeable person.

2. SAS

This is perhaps the poster child for business analytic tools. SAS, its vendor, claims to be the biggest independent in the business analysis industry. SAS design and distributes various software suites that are essential for business analysis.

One of their most valuable software widely utilized in business analysis has broad capabilities ranging from data mining, advanced analytics to data management.

3. SPSS Modeler

SPSS Modeler, premier IBM software, is an essential tool for data mining, a crucial step in business analytics. It is notable for its unique and comprehensive, intuitive GUI and its “point-and-click” modeling attributes.

4. Google Fusion Tables

These tables are much cooler and more powerful cousins to Google Spreadsheets. They are used particularly for dataset visualization, mapping, and extensive data analysis. These tables work seamlessly with other popular software and BA essentials tools like Excel, Google Maps, and SPSS, etc. Though not well known among offline users, it’s a business tool worth having.

5. MATLAB

Leading BA software developed by MathWorks, MATLAB is a powerful statistical computing tool that incorporates matrix manipulations, data analysis, function plotting, and implementation of algorithms and creation of UIs. Numerous add-on toolboxes distend MATLAB to individual faculties like finance, biostatistics, and statistics. Due to its exorbitant cost, there are myriad clones that are meant to suffice; these include Scilab and Octave.

6. Statistica

This analytical and statistical tool is developed and packaged by StatSoft. It’s notable for top-notch runtimes in data analysis, data mining, data management and data visualization procedures. While its GUI is not the most user-friendly, it has a broad spectrum of analytic techniques that suffices its shortcomings.

Conclusion

As mentioned earlier, business analysis is an important aspect of running and growing a business. The above tools, used correctly, will greatly make analysis easier. However, they’re only as worthy as the data presented to it and the analysis that you carry out. Effective business analysis therefore calls for proper training and practice. For this you can check out https://www.excelr.com/.

Over to you: Which business analysis tool is missing from this list? Share with us in your comments below.

Online Business Security Issues: Common Mistakes That Can Leave You Open To Attack

The Internet is a fantastic tool that every business owner on the planet would struggle without. It has taken something as difficult and complex as business and simplified it to make succeeding a whole lot much easier. Though success might not be a guarantee, but it is more likely than before.

However, for all its benefits, there are a lot of weaknesses also. The main one is hacking and cybercrime. Businesses have never been more vulnerable because hackers can access every piece of information. This means you cannot afford to make a mistake which could result in you losing your valuable business information and, possibly, cash.

How to avoid being a victim of online business attacks

So, how do you avoid this happening?

Of course, there are a lot you can do. One of such is learning about the most common mistakes that can expose your business to cyber criminals. Knowing these mistakes and what to do should enhance your security for the future. That being said, in this post you will learn some of these common mistakes and what to do about it.

But first,

What is Internet Business Security?

This can be simply defined as the protection of business data from theft, loss or unauthorized access, use or modification. Over the years, reports of cyber attacks on some big companies like Yahoo! and Ebay have made major headlines at one time or the other. Ironically, many small business owners lose sight of the fact that while attacks on big companies are quick to make the headlines there are many attacks on small businesses that are not being reported.

Besides, while many of these large companies are now getting the services of full-time security experts to maintain their business network security, the opposite is the same for small business owners. This is because they can hardly afford that luxury. For the small business owner it is therefore imperative that they know what to do to secure that business online.

Top 5 Cyber Security Mistakes Every Business Should Know/Avoid

1. Not Securing The Wi-Fi Router

The Wi-Fi is connected to your entire server. That might not mean much, but in reality it is a massive deal. It means that hackers can bypass your security protocols by going through your Wi-Fi connection. Ultimately, they go through the back door. Something as seemingly insignificant as your Wi-Fi connection could cripple your entire business.

2. Not Securing Your Email Accounts

Just like your Wi-Fi router, work email accounts are also often connected to the server, so the same rule applies. The problem you have in many respects is that you cannot trust your employees to use secure passwords. Most employees don’t use their usual password because it is only a work account. What difference does it make? They don’t have sensitive information stored on their work account. You, on the other hand, take a lot of interest in their work email account. It is best to create a random password for them, so you know that everything is safe and secure.

3. Using Free Or Poor Quality Antivirus Software

The free version of antivirus software is not up to scratch. For your laptop or tablet at home, it works fine because the threat is lower. But, for your business, you need a comprehensive package that will cover every possible threat. Quality software is a must, and it is worth spending that little bit extra just for a piece of mind. How do you know what is the best antivirus software on the market? Simply do a bit of research. Forums and product reviews are always a good choice because they are impartial.

4. Being Too Trusting

Attacks don’t just come from outside of the business. There are people that will take advantage if you do show any signs of weakness. It might be cynical to say so, but it is naïve to think you can trust everyone in your business. For that reason, only divulge information to a select few people so that you don’t leave yourself exposed.

5. Not Backing Up Offsite

Finally, get hold of an external hard drive and backup all of your files. Then, take the hard drive and put it somewhere secure. It doesn’t matter where you put it, as long as it is secure and not on the business premises. If you are attacked, you will need to rebuild. If, however, you only back everything up on your server, you won’t have any files to help you restore the business.

Conclusion

As you can see from the above, while online security can pose great threat to small businesses, it is not entirely hopeless. Simply knowing what the risks are, how vulnerable your business is, how cyber attacks could potentially affect your business and what you can do to prevent such attacks can all add up to help you prevent such attacks. You don’t have to be a security expert to do this. Empowering yourself with the right information, like the above, is sure to help you protect yourself and your business.

4 Powerful Techniques That Will Effectively Improve Your Office Communications

Communication is essential in any business. You need to effectively keep in touch with a range of people. These range from suppliers and employees to clients and other businesses.

For an office-based company or part of an enterprise based in offices, communication systems need to be up to date. You should be able to make the most of them, from phones to email and online conferencing tools.

The good news is that technological improvements have made things a lot easier for us. There are so many things you can do now. You’re no longer limited to a range of basic tasks such as sending an email or making a simple phone call. But with these new technologies come some challenges. That’s why you need the right techniques in order to get the best from your communication systems.

In this article I will be sharing with you a few techniques that will help you improve the communications systems in your office.

Interested?

Then, let’s roll…

Effective office communication techniques

How to Improve Your Office Communication Systems

1. Use An IP-Based Phone System

Many small businesses can benefit from using VoIP and other IP-based telephone systems. With a phone system hooked up to the internet, you can use a range of functions that you wouldn’t have had access to in the past. It can help to improve communication with employees and with clients and customers. For example, you could automatically call all your staff members one by one to find someone to cover a shift. They only need to input a number to confirm they can come in, so no one needs to waste their time making phone calls. You can make phone calls much cheaper too, and even free in some cases.

2. Go Beyond Email

Email is still a cornerstone of office communication. We use it to contact people both within and outside of the office, and it’s an excellent way of having a record of a conversation. But it’s not the only way to communicate with others online. Sometimes you might want something more instant, such as a messaging service. There are collaborative tools that make working together easier and are superior to emailing documents back and forth. Then there are methods to improve customer service, such as using social media. Many people prefer to tweet a company than to send them an email for a quick question.

3. Don’t Discount Fax

Although office communication has evolved, fax is still essential to many businesses. Faxing is universal and accepted all over the world. There are many benefits to using fax, ranging from security to creating legally binding documents. People have been using faxing to send documents for years, but you no longer need a fax machine to do it. You can use a service such as eFax to send fax online, without any hardware or software. You can receive faxes in the same way too, having them land in your email inbox.

4. Use Online Conference Tools

Meetings often necessitate communicating with people across the country or even the globe. You don’t always want to meet in person, so speaking over the phone or a video link is necessary. You can find lots of useful conferencing tools, both in terms of software and online services and hardware. If you have regular meetings, make sure you have the right equipment to hold them. You don’t want to contend with shaky connections and audio or visual problems.

Conclusion

There’s no gain saying that the right communication systems in your office can improve efficiency and relations with both employees and clients. The above simple techniques can greatly impact your office communications. I invite therefore to take a look at your communication systems today to see how you can improve them using these techniques.

How Ready Is Your Site For The Google Mobile-Friendly Algorithm Update?

With just a few hours before Google implement its planned big update – mobile-friendly algorithm change, it beholds every webmaster to take action now, if they have not done so.

Google had announced earlier that come 21 April it will launch a new mobile-friendly algorithm with the mind of rewarding websites that are fully optimized for mobile with higher rankings in search results. The funny thing is that why Google indicates that the change is to improve the overall user experience (UX), there are however, news that Google is actually planning to launch its own mobile phone network, a move that will see the company move into supplying broadband connections across the planet.

But, instead of waving away the up-coming algorithm change because we know that whenever Google comes up with any update it always has some vested interest, we must understand that this is really beyond Google.

For example, right now more and more people are now accessing the internet with their mobile devices and not making your site mobile friendly will be missing out on this vast number of mobile users.

How Do You Know If Your Site Is Mobile-Friendly?

If you still don’t know if your site is ready or not you can easily found out by doing a check using this tool from Google.

For example, when I checked the webincomejournal.com, here’s what I got:

WebIncomeJournal.com - mobile friendly

Web Income Journal passes mobile-freindly test

Yes, the Web Income Journal blog is mobile friendly!

Mobile Friendly Web Design Tips for Businesses [Infographic]

But beyond checking you can also use Google’s own guidelines to ensure that your site/blog is mobile friendly. If you site is built using the WordPress software, you can get some tips here. If you’re using some other software then you will want to check out this page.

And, here’s an infographic from the team at SumAll with a review of the upcoming changes:

Mobile friendly sites - infographic

Data Security Tips Every Businessperson Should Know

How secure your data from loss

Computers have today become an essential part of our daily lives. Whatever we do, whether it is in our private or professional life, chances are we will always have the need for them.

Are you a blogger, small business entrepreneur, sports man or woman, an educational institute or some multi-million conglomerate? Everyday most of our dealings on done using computers. And of course, most of these work are stored in these wonder boxes.

Now, imagine this scenario:

You’ve been slaving away for hours over the keyboard. You’ve created the ideal business plan. You’ve arranged your client’s accounts. You’ve just written the blog that will define your career.

And then, WHAM – the computer crashes !

Did you back up? Well, we hope so.

But let’s face it; data security and preventing data loss is something that we tend to do as a reactive measure.

If you don’t to hear those cries of agony and annoyance then now is the time to be more proactive about data security. You need to ensure that you are doing all that you can to prevent the onset of data loss. After all, you don’t want to be faced with losing vital pieces of work.

To help you stay on top of the game when it comes to preventing data loss, I have put together these three essential tips that you can use to ensure that you are proactively preventing data losses.

But first,

What Really is Data Security?

According to Techopedia,

“Data security refers to protective digital privacy measures that are applied to prevent unauthorized access to computers, databases and websites. Data security also protects data from corruption.”

That being said, here are the top 3 tips to help you prevent data loss:

1. It’s All About Location

In a bid to prevent data loss for your business, you need to ensure that you are using multiple locations to store your data. Yes, this may seem commonsensical, but think about where your business data is currently stored. If you are simply storing it within your hard drive, you need to think beyond this. USB sticks and external hard drives are cheap, yet savvy, solutions to ensuring that you are preventing data loss. The loss of data can have a detrimental impact on your business. So, ensure that you are implementing multiple locations of storage. That way, you will be able to access your pertinent information, even if you have a computer malfunction.

2. Beware of Malware!

Everyone is aware of malware and the severe impact it can have on a company. But, are you making sure that you are preventing an attack of malware? The key to preventing data loss is to ensure that you are proactively protecting your computer and data systems from viruses. Trojans, worms and malware can all have a severe impact on your data. So, make sure that you are implementing a software solution that protects your data against this threat.  Anti-malware programs are becoming more of a mainstay than a luxury. Ensure that you have firewall installed too. Now, you are in a great place to protect your data. After all, data is not only lost, it can be stolen too. This can have a severe effect on your business. Ensure that you are in the right place to protect yours and your client’s data.

3. Backing Up

Okay, so this may seem commonsensical but are you backing up regularly? Backing up your data is the best way to prevent losing it. You need to ensure that you are backing up regularly and efficiently. Ensure that you have CDs, DVDs and pen drives in your possession. Cloud software is a great way of backing up your pertinent data too. Google provides free cloud solutions for documents and spreadsheets. Of course, there are more robust forms of cloud software like Dropbox and Skydrive too. There is a vast amount of choice when it comes to cloud backup systems. Now, you have no excuse to lose your data again!

If you will put these tips to use all the time, you can be sure that your data are secured and you will have that peace of mind that you so desire.

Over to you: Ever experienced a computer crash? Can you share with us your experience?