Archive for category Tech Buzz

How Big Data Impacts Retail Sector

Big data has positively impacted numerous industries including retail sector. It provides a competitive edge to businesses to stay ahead of time. As per a report of Statista, decentralized general-merchandise retailers who use big data to create performance group clusters, saw an approximate increase of 3-4% in their sales. Big data analytics help the companies understand customer’s shopping trends, get meaningful data insights, plan marketing strategies, etc. which can help them improve their bottom line figures.

Let us discuss in detail how big data impacts retail sector:

  • Generating Recommendations: Big data analytics enable businesses to predict customer buying behavior based on their purchase history. This helps the retailers in understanding their product preferences and plan accordingly. Also, machine learning models enable retailers to generate accurate recommendations for the customers.
  • Forecasting Market Trends: Customer’s demographic information and other economic indicators can be used to forecast market demands.
  • Strategic Decision Making: Businesses can consolidate data & generate information for making strategic & informed decisions.
  • Personalized Marketing: Big data enables retailers to perform one-to-one marketing and reach out to the target customer at the right place and at the right time.
  • Identifying Valuable Customers: One major benefit of big data analytics is that it helps the retailers to identify and focus on valuable customers. Thus, businesses can offer them additional discounts for better engagement, enhancing customer loyalty, etc. by capitalizing on the data insights.
  • Right Pricing: Earlier, retailers used to reduce the price of their products at the end of a buying season. However, big data analytics help the businesses in determining when the demand starts decreasing to gradually decrease the prices, thus maximizing revenues.
  • Enhancing Customer Experience: Big data analytics helps in anticipating buyer’s preferences which leads to a seamless customer experience.
  • Designing In-Store Marketing Tactics: Big data enables retailers to adjust & design in-store marketing strategies. It considers factors like foot traffic, in-store checkout & wait time, etc. to serve their customers better as well increase business’s revenue.
  • Utilizing Market Basket Analysis: Big data tools like Hadoop are used to conduct market basket analysis. It helps retailers to analyze the purchase history to understand the combination of products that are usually bought together by their customers.

Every individual has a digital footprint and big data is used to gather insights about an individual’s choices to form reasonable patterns out of it. Big data can be used at every step of retail process i.e. from recognizing target customers, studying their preferences to identifying market demand. Thus, big data analytics play a very important role in retail marketing.

For more information on Big Data and its application, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213-4740.

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Benefits & Risks Associated With Digital Currency

In last couple of years, awareness about cryptocurrency (also referred as digital currency) has risen significantly. There are more than 1600 virtual currencies with Bitcoin, Ripple, Ethereum, Tether & Stellar being the most popular ones.

However, to leverage maximum benefit of this growing currency type, it is important to understand the benefits and risks associated with it.

Benefits Of Using Digital Currency

  • Helps In Avoiding Fraud: This is because virtual currencies can neither be counterfeited nor reversed by the sender arbitrarily.
  • Quicker Settlement: Funds on the credit card can remain locked up for some days, if a customer asks for a chargeback. This might lead to unnecessary delays in payment. So, with virtual currency like bitcoin the settlement procedure is much quicker as compared to conventional credit card settlements.
  • Lower Fees: You might have to shed away a few dollars as transaction fee while making payments through credit card, specifically with international transactions. However, a much lower or sometimes no transaction fee is charged for cryptocurrency exchanges. This is because the cryptocurrency miners are compensated by the network.
  • No Inflation: Cryptocurrency is not susceptible to inflation unlike physical currency which is leashed by its effects because virtual currency is governed by controlled quantity limits & algorithms in the system.
  • More Confidentiality: Credit cards work on a ‘pull’ mechanism i.e. once the payment is initiated by the store, it is pulled out from your account. So, if any cash or credit transaction is made, the bank usually goes through the entire transaction history as a reference document. However, cryptocurrency transactions are much more confidential as exchange of information between the two parties is done on a ‘push’ mechanism. Thus, the recipient will receive the limited information that you wish to send. This helps in guarding off your financial history and prevents it from being exposed at various points in the transaction chain.
  • Access To Everyone: Anyone, in the world, who has access to the internet or mobile phone can deal in cryptocurrencies. This has made it easier for businesses to reach out to the customers all across the globe.

Risks Associated With Digital Currency

  • You Can Be Hacked: The data on the devices of people, who deal in cryptocurrency, faces the risk of being hacked. Cybercriminals often inject a virus, malware or Trojan to lay hands on your private key and steal away the virtual currency. Once you lose your private keys, the funds are gone forever.
  • You Are On Your Own: If someone breaches your bank account or payment card, then the associate bank or payment company might help you recover some or all of the funds. However, in case of virtual currencies there is no help available if the money is stolen from your digital wallet.
  • No Government Insurance: Your funds in a bank or credit union are insured by government i.e. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund protects your funds, in case the financial institute fails to pay it. However, there is no such backup available in case of virtual currencies. So, if you lose your digital money, the government won’t cover up for it.

For more information about IT Security, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213-4740.

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What Is Smart Data?

Data that is being collected at an exponential rate is collectively known as big data. In its raw form, data is meaningless. So, to gain maximum benefit, it needs to be processed and turned into actionable information. As per an article by Forbes, keeping the rate of data growth in mind, approximately 1.7 megabytes of new information will be created every second for each human being on the planet by the year 2020.

Smart data is formatted digital information that can be acted upon before being sent for further data consolidation & analytics. It is a result of clear focus on purpose, insights, actions & resulting outcomes. Thus, it refers to the data that is decisive, valuable and actionable in real time. Smart data facilitates analysis and interpretation of data for better decision making and optimized data driven functions. The term smart data is often associated with IoT (Internet of Things).

Application Of Smart Data

  • Retail – Smart data can help in understanding customer requirements as well as help in localized promotions.
  • Telecom – It assists in bandwidth allocation.
  • Manufacturing – Can be used for proactive maintenance.
  • Healthcare – Monitor patient’s health reports to ensure complete safety & care.
  • Transportation– In driverless cars and also in detecting unsafe driving.
  • Financial Services – It can help in detecting & preventing financial frauds.

Difference Between Big Data & Smart Data?

The primary difference between big data & smart data is that the latter is actionable and adds more value to the data. Big data refers to the humungous amount of data that is collected whereas smart data is much more useful and applicable. So even though there is abundance of data in case of big data, it is usually unintelligent and needs to be churned up before it can be used for analysis. Smart data on the other hand is accurate & agile that can give better insights.

Collecting Smart Data

It is common for organizations to collect everything and store it in their data warehouse with an aim to use it for decision making. However, since the data is collected without any specific purpose in mind it often lacks quality. To curb this problem, an organization needs to be smart enough in its way to use the resources to collect data that is relevant to their business. Smart data is gaining popularity due to its relation with the coming algorithm economy. So, collecting only important and useful data does not

For more information about smart data, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213-4740.

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Benefits of Hadoop

Hadoop is an open source distributed processing framework that is commonly used to process and store big data. Not only does it store but also helps in running applications on clusters of commodity hardware.

Software solutions like Hadoop have become a necessity for businesses that store & use big data due to its ability to store & process massive amounts of data. A classic feature of Hadoop is that it can handle both structured & unstructured data thus providing enhanced flexibility to users.

Reasons To Implement Hadoop

  • Massive Storage – With big data increasing rapidly, there was a need for a software solution that could handle large volumes of data. Hadoop has solved that problem with its ability to hold enormous amount of data. The data is often split into blocks and then stored in clusters.
  • Scalability – You wish to have the ability to handle more data? No problem, with Hadoop you can do that easily and that too without any hassle. With little administration Hadoop allows you to add more nodes easily.
  • Flexibility – Hadoop enables you to store as much data as you want whether it is structured or unstructured, formatted or encoded or in any other form. So apart from text you can store images, videos, etc. Also, with Hadoop you are not required to process data before storing it, thus making it relevant as well as simple to use.
  • Computing – Its computing model helps in processing large amounts of data easily. The arithmetic is simple; more the nodes, more the processing power that you have.
  • Fault Tolerance – Hadoop is fault tolerant i.e. it protects the data in case of any hardware failure. When a node gets lost or goes down, Hadoop framework redirects the task/work to another node to avoid any disruption. Also Hadoop keeps a duplicate copy of data which is then stored in different clusters.
  • More Real Time – It allows you to store information into a cluster and analyze it in real time. It provides a standard approach to numerous API’s for big data analytics.
  • Cost Effective – It uses commodity hardware to store data which leads to reduction in cost per terabyte of storage.

When Not To Use Hadoop?

  • When you wish to modify data
  • There are lots of small files
  • There is low latency data access

For more information about IT Security, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213-4740.

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How Healthcare Industry Can Benefit From Cloud Computing

Most industries are progressing towards cloud technology, so why should healthcare industry lag behind. This technology has brought a revolution in the field of healthcare resulting in improved outcomes. As per a recent survey by HIMSS Analytics, over 83 % of healthcare organizations are using cloud technology.

The technology is being used to store and process patient’s information which has thereby resulted in a decreased capital expenditure for healthcare organizations. Here are some ways in which cloud computing benefits healthcare industry.

  • Better Collaboration – It has provided extreme benefit to healthcare industry by allowing experts and doctors to store as well as access patient’s data & apply necessary care without delay. Also, remote conferencing has allowed doctors in saving precious lives.
  • Greater Reach At The Time Of Disaster – Getting doctors and necessary information on board at the time of an unforeseen circumstance or disaster often gets very difficult and many people die due to the lack of medical care on time. Cloud computing on the other hand allow field doctors to access medical information and getting connected with an expert for providing treatment & medical aid as per need of the hour.
  • Lower Storage Costs – It allows hospitals to hold more patient information at a lower cost and that too in a more systematic way.
  • Better Use Of Big Data To Treat Patients – Cloud computing allows healthcare organizations to make better use of big data to treat patients. It allows doctors to collect complete information about the ailments which a patient suffers from along with their medical history to form better inferences about the treatment to be offered.
  • Improved Medical Research – The research process speeds up due to easy storing and sharing of data through cloud technology. Data is collected from multiple fields, data analysts then use cloud to pool the data and summarize it to form conclusions. The results of the research helps professionals in curing diseases and designing better healthcare technologies.
  • Improved Patient Care – Internet of Things (IoT) can help in saving lives too by reaching out to people residing in remote areas. Cloud makes it possible for such people to get access to quality healthcare services. Mobile devices can be used to monitor a patient’s condition and keep the doctors at far of places updated with a patient’s medical condition. Also, this way patients can get access to healthcare services round the clock.

Cloud services ensure complete flexibility. Healthcare providers only pay for what they use. Also cloud provides simple anytime & anywhere access to healthcare applications and resources. As per a report by MarketsandMarkets, healthcare cloud computing market is expected to increase to $9.48 billion by 2020.

It will provide a twin benefit by not only improving the quality levels of healthcare services but also by helping them cut their costs. The sooner healthcare industry embraces cloud technology, the better it will be for them.

For more information, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213-4740.

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