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TOP 5 Updates by Facebook That You Need to Know Now (July 2016 Edition )

TL:DR

  • The audience network will move beyond Facebook
  • The 20% image text rule is gone (thank god!)
  • Facebook added maps to its Local Awareness Ads
  • The big News Feed update that will lower brands’ reach
  • Facebook Exchange is shutting down

Source: TOP 5 Updates by Facebook That You Need to Know Now (July 2016 Edition )

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10 Expert Social Media Marketing Tips for 2016 | Social Media Today

TL:DR
1. Create More Video Content
2. Social Media Marketing Is Going Mobile
3. You Don’t Have to Be Everywhere
4. Make Your Marketing Efforts More Focused
5. Influencer Marketing Is All the Rage
6. Find a Way to Benefit from the Changes
7. Analyze the Success of Your Content
8. Social Media Audiences Love Infographics
9. Facebook Advertising Is as Powerful as Ever
10. Content Is Still King

Source: 10 Expert Social Media Marketing Tips for 2016 | Social Media Today

Digital Has Killed the Strategic Plan | INSEAD Knowledge

Source: Digital Has Killed the Strategic Plan | INSEAD Knowledge

 

Four crucial steps to creating a business strategy fit for the digital age.

Today’s newspaper industry reflects the way online and digital strategies are undermining traditional business models. Many newspapers are now being undercut by entirely disintermediated online news channels ensuring world news is now readily available through any number of portals, including those created by traditional newspaper companies.

The Daily Mail Online , for instance, is one of the biggest news websites in the world and read globally. Its newsgathering process is 24/7, undertaken in centres around the world. Its journalists appear never to sleep and its readers are constantly up to date. Mike Darcy, the CEO of The Times of London, characterised the Mail Online as an entirely new product. “The Daily Mail is a U.K. print product, while the Mail Online is a global celebrity news service targeted at a different audience” he notes in my latest book, Digital Stractics: How Strategy Met Tactics and Killed the Strategic Plan.

The Daily Mail is a hybrid, a traditional company which increasingly operates in the digital space. As a digital player, it is influenced by its pure digital counterparts or “pure plays”, which are changing the game by shortening or throwing out their strategic plans and aiming for growth and market share at the expense of short-term profit.

Think rapid

Decisions have to be made faster, becuase strategy and tactics have increasingly become intertwined. This rapidity was recognised by Sidar Sahin of Turkey’s Peak Games who said, “to succeed you have got to read the customer feedback in real time – looking at it monthly is far too slow – that is why small agile teams win.”

Having said that, some traditional aspects of business strategy are as important now as they have ever been:

·         Being bold and visionary

·         Focussing on customer differentiation and competitive advantage

·         Striving for high relative market shares

·         Translating this into profit to be invested back into the business

In the light of these points, there are four factors that are crucial in creating a business strategy fit for the digital age for both hybrids and pure plays.

1: Start with a vision, and a bold one at that

Having an ambitious vision around which the organisation can galvanise is vital in a rapidly, and unpredictably, evolving world. This vision should be a statement of intent that will inspire people and get them excited about being part of the journey.

Amazon and Google have bold visions. Amazon’s “earth’s most customer-centric business” and Google’s “organise the world’s information” achieve the delicate balance of being ambitious, motivational and uplifting while also communicating durability and attainability.

Remember: If you’re changing your vision regularly, it is probably not a good vision or indeed a vision at all.

2: Establish 90-day strategic goals 

Define 90 day priorities for everyone in your organisation. Everything now moves so fast that 90 days is probably the right point at which to assess whether the strategic objectives and goals are appropriate and achievable.

In setting these 90 day objectives, companies need to make sure that they are consistent and all functions in the business are aligned. This is best done by getting all the right people in a room and debating these objectives and whether they need to be adjusted to reflect organisational stress.

Operating in a digital world requires a far greater degree of cross-functional working than in a traditional enterprise: all teams need to be pulling in the same direction.

3: Refresh and recalibrate your financial plans annually

All digital businesses need a three-year financial plan to reassure banks and investors that there is a profitable future, and that their money is being put to good use. However, three year plans in the fast-paced digital business landscape are at best only a broad indication of what might be financially possible – and companies have to be brutally honest about what they plan to deliver together with the financial and operational consequences. After the first year, this honesty must continue – how have things worked out? What has not worked? How should the company’s strategy change to reflect the things we’ve learnt?  And how will this affect our financial performance and financial needs? These questions are imperative to effectively planning the future with greater insight and understanding.

4: Install new measures of success

The data rich nature of digital business has created myriad ways to measure and monitor success. For example, the “customer journey”, monitored correctly, gives businesses unique insight about customer behaviour. This, in turn, presents opportunities to redesign and optimise the customer experience based on its findings…and to measure it accordingly through services like on-time deliveries.

In addition, these metrics need to be sophisticated enough to recognise that experimentation is part and parcel of the digital world, and a degree of failure of such experiments is also a way of life. Only by trying different approaches, evaluating them rapidly and regrouping around the experiments which appear to be working and abandoning those which are not, can you refine and develop strategy in the New World.

Business leaders, no matter the size of their organisation, need to worry about growth and market share rather than short term profitability and cash generation. The investor market understands the importance of being a market leader and that leadership positions give more opportunities for monetisation. CEOs and business leaders therefore need to focus on measures that allow them to understand whether their companies are outgrowing the market and taking share from competitors in both the online and offline spaces. If you are a fast-moving, fast-growing, online-only business and your more conventional offline competitor is at a loss to understand what is happening, then you are in a winner-takes-all situation.

Strategy for the digital age

Strategy in the digital age has become an increasingly interactive process. The fluidity of digital business models impact upon the rapidity in which decisions are made and processed. If you have an offline business and are very quick to adopt and roll out the appropriate digital models to complement, protect and grow this business then you are probably in the best of all worlds. Move slowly and you will probably lose out to more nimble digital competitors.

In the longer term the offline and online will converge in many businesses and “digital” as a word will cease to be a useful way of describing the old or the new world.Winning companies will be those able to integrate old and new world thinking to create sustainable competitive advantage and the value that goes with it.

 

Chris Outram is a founder of OC&C Strategy Consultants. He has an MBA with Distinction from INSEAD (’77) and is the author of Making Your Strategy Work: How to Go From Paper to People and Digital Stractics: How Strategy Met Tactics and Killed the Strategic Plan. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisOutram1

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The Balanced Digital Scorecard: A Simpler Way to Evaluate Prospects – Moz

Source: The Balanced Digital Scorecard: A Simpler Way to Evaluate Prospects – Moz

As anyone who’s contributed to business development at an agency knows, it can be challenging to establish exactly what a given prospect needs. What projects, services, or campaigns would actually move the needle for this organization? While some clients come to an agency with specific requests, others are looking for guidance — help establishing where to focus resources. This can be especially difficult, as answering these questions often requires large amounts of information to be analyzed in a small period of time.

To address the challenge of evaluating prospective clients and prioritizing proposed work, we’ve developed the Balanced Digital Scorecard framework. This post is the first in a two-part series. Today, we’ll look at:

  • Why we developed this framework,
  • Where the concept came from, and
  • Specific areas to review when evaluating prospects

Part two will cover how to use the inputs from the evaluation process to prioritize proposed work — stay tuned!

Evaluating potential clients

Working with new clients, establishing what strategies will be most impactful to their goals… this is what makes working at an agency awesome. But it can also be some of the most challenging work. Contributing to business development and pitching prospects tends to amplify this with time constraints and limited access to internal data. While some clients have a clear idea of the work they want help with, this doesn’t always equal the most impactful work from a consultant’s standpoint. Balancing these needs and wants takes experience and skill, but can be made easier with the right framework.

The use of a framework in this setting helps narrow down the questions you need to answer and the areas to investigate. This is crucial to working smarter, not harder — words which we at Distilled take very seriously. Often when putting together proposals and pitches, consultants must quickly establish the past and present status of a site from many different perspectives.

  • What type of business is this and what are their overall goals?
  • What purpose does the site serve and how does it align with these goals?
  • What campaigns have they run and were they successful?
  • What does the internal team look like and how efficiently can they get things done?
  • What is the experience of the user when they arrive on the site?

The list goes on and on, often becoming a vast amount of information that, if not digested and organized, can make putting the right pitch together burdensome.

To help our consultants understand both what questions to ask and how they fit together, we’ve adapted the Balanced Scorecard framework to meet our needs. But before I talk more about our version, I want to briefly touch on the original framework to make sure we’re all on the same page.

airplane-quote-kaplan-norton.png

The Balanced Scorecard

For anyone not familiar with this concept, the Balanced Scorecard was created by Robert Kaplanand David Norton in 1992. First published in the Harvard Business Review, Kaplan and Norton set out to create a management system, as opposed to a measurement system (which was more common at that time).

Kaplan and Norton argued that “the traditional financial performance measures worked well for the industrial era, but they are out of step with the skills and competencies companies are trying to master today.” They felt the information age would require a different approach, one that guided and evaluated the journey companies undertook. This would allow them to better create “future value through investment in customers, suppliers, employees, processes, technology, and innovation.”

The concept suggests that businesses be viewed through four distinct perspectives:

  • Innovation and learning – Can we continue to improve and create value?
  • Internal business – What must we excel at?
  • Customer – How do customers see us?
  • Financial – How do we look to shareholders?

Narrowing the focus to these four perspectives reduces information overload. “Companies rarely suffer from having too few measures,” wrote Kaplan and Norton. “More commonly, they keep adding new measures whenever an employee or a consultant makes a worthwhile suggestion.” By limiting the perspectives and associated measurements, management is forced to focus on only the most critical areas of the business.

This image below shows the relations of each perspective:

balanced scorecard graphic .gif

And now, with it filled out as an example:

92105_B.gif

As you can see, this gives the company clear goals and corresponding measurements.

Kaplan and Norton found that companies solely driven by financial goals and departments were unable to implement the scorecard, because it required all teams and departments to work toward central visions — which often weren’t financial goals.

“The balanced scorecard, on the other hand, is well suited to the kind of organization many companies are trying to become… put[ting] strategy and vision, not control, at the center,” wrote Kaplan and Norton. This would inevitably bring teams together, helping management understand the connectivity within the organization. Ultimately, they felt that “this understanding can help managers transcend traditional notions about functional barriers and ultimately lead to improved decision-making and problem-solving.”

At this point, you’re probably wondering why this framework matters to a digital marketing consultant. While it’s more directly suited for evaluating companies from the inside, so much of this approach is really about breaking down the evaluation process into meaningful metrics with forward-looking goals. And this happens to be very similar to evaluating prospects.

Our digital version

As I mentioned before, evaluating prospective clients can be a very challenging task. It’s crucial to limit the areas of investigation during this process to avoid getting lost in the weeds, instead focusing only on the most critical data points.

Since our framework is built for evaluating clients in the digital world, we have appropriately named it the Balanced Digital Scorecard. Our scorecard also has main perspectives through which to view the client:

  1. Platform – Does their platform support publishing, discovery, and discoverability from a technical standpoint?
  2. Content – Are they publishing content which combines appropriate blends of effective, informative, entertaining, and compelling?
  3. Audience – Are they building visibility through owned, earned, and paid media?
  4. Conversions – Do they have a deep understanding of the needs of the market, and are they creating assets, resources, and journeys that drive profitable customer action?
  5. Measurement – Are they measuring all relevant aspects of their approach and their prospects’ activities to enable testing, improvement, and appropriate investment?

These perspectives make up the five areas of analysis to work through when evaluating most prospective clients.

1. Platform

Most consultants or SEO experts have a good understanding of the technical elements to review in a standard site audit. A great list of these can be found on our Technical Audit Checklist, created by my fellow Distiller, Ben Estes. The goal of reviewing these factors is of course to “ensure site implementation won’t hurt rankings” says Ben. While you should definitely evaluate these elements (at a high level), there is more to look into when using this framework.

Evaluating a prospect’s platform does include standard technical SEO factors but also more internal questions, like:

  • How effective and/or differentiated is their CMS?
  • How easy is it for them to publish content?
  • How differentiated are their template levels?
  • What elements are under the control of each team?

Additionally, you should look into areas like social sharing, overall mobile-friendliness, and site speed.

If you’re thinking this seems like quite the undertaking because technical audits take time and some prospects won’t be open with platform constraints, you’re right (to an extent). Take a high-level approach and look for massive weaknesses instead of every single limitation. This will give you enough information to understand where to prioritize this perspective in the pitch.

2. Content

Similar to the technical section, evaluating content looks similar to a lightweight version of a full content audit. What content do they have, which pieces are awesome and what is missing? Also look to competitors to understand who is creating content in the space and what level the bar is set at.

Beyond looking at these elements through a search lens, aim to understand what content is being shared and why. Is this taking place largely on social channels, or are publications picking these pieces up? Evaluating content on multiple levels helps to understand what they’ve created in the past and their audience’s response to it.

3. Audience

Looking into a prospect’s audience can be challenging depending on how much access they grant you during the pitch process. If you’re able to get access to analytics this task is much easier but without it, there are many tools you can leverage to get some of the same insights.

In this section, you’re looking at the traffic the site is receiving and from where. Are they building visibility through owned, earned, and paid media outlets? How effective are those efforts? Look at metrics like Search Visibility from SearchMetrics, social reach, and email stats.

A large amount of this research will depend on what information is available or accessible to you. As with previous perspectives, you’re just aiming to spot large weaknesses.

4. Conversion

Increased conversions are often a main goal stated by prospects, but without transparency from them, this can be very difficult to evaluate during a pitch. This means that often you’re left to speculate or use basic approaches. How difficult or simple is it to buy something, contact them, or complete a conversion in general? Are there good calls to action to micro-conversions such as joining an email list? How much different is the mobile experience of this process?

Look at the path to these conversions. Was there a clear funnel and did it make sense from a user’s perspective? Understanding the journey a user takes (which you can generally experience first-hand) can tell you a lot about expected conversion metrics.

Lastly, many companies’ financials are available to the public and offer a general idea of how the company is doing. If you can establish how much of their business takes place online, you can start to speculate about the success of their web presence.

5. Measurement

Evaluating a prospect’s measurement capabilities is (not surprisingly) vastly more accurate with analytics access. If you’re granted access, evaluate each platform not just for validity but also accessibility. Are there useful dashboards, management data, or other data sources that teams can use to monitor and make decisions?

Without access, you’re left to simply check and see the presence of analytics and if there is a data layer. While this doesn’t tell you much, you can often deduce from conversations how much data is a part of the internal team’s thought process. If people are monitoring, engaging, and interested in analytics data, changes and prioritization might be an easier undertaking.

what-you-measure-quote.png

Final thoughts

Working with prospective clients is something all agency consultants will have to do at some point in their career. This process is incredibly interesting — it challenges you to leverage a variety of skills and a range of knowledge to evaluate new clients and industries. It’s also a daunting task. Often your position outside the organization or unfamiliarity with a given industry can make it difficult to know where to start.

Frameworks like the original Balanced Scorecard created by Kaplan and Norton were designed to help a business evaluate itself from a more modern and holistic perspective. This approach turns the focus to future goals and action, not just evaluation of the past.

This notion is crucial at an agency needing to establish the best path forward for prospective clients. We developed our own framework, the Balanced Digital Scorecard, to help our consultants do just that. By limiting the questions you’re looking to answer, you can work smarter and focus your attention on five perspectives to evaluate a given client. Once you’ve reviewed these, you’re able to identify which ones are lagging behind and prioritize proposed work accordingly.

Next time, we’ll cover the second part: how to use the Balanced Digital Scorecard to prioritize your work.

If you use a framework to evaluate prospects or have thoughts on the Balanced Digital Scorecard, I’d love to hear from you. I welcome any feedback and/or questions!

The ultimate list of Custom Dashboards and BI tools to Track your Metrics and Gather Insights

Source: The ultimate list of Custom Dashboards and BI tools to Track your Metrics and Gather Insights

These are some of my personal favorites and tools that people use for various cases.

If you are a data analyst that wants to access your data with SQL check Mode Analytics andPeriscope. for open source kind check Re:dash

If you need quick, useful and beautiful dashboards check Geckoboard and Geckoboard.Want to take it a bit further? Check Leftronic and Klipfolio.

Not an SQL-savvy user? Check Chartio

Are you a data analyst that wants to easily explore your data sets? Check Looker

Want to have the best visualizations? Check Tableau.

Source: The ultimate list of Custom Dashboards and BI tools to Track your Metrics and Gather Insights

 

Dashboards

Cyfe

Cyfe is cloud-based dashboard app that helps you monitor all your business data in one place in real time. It allows you to efficiently monitor and control your business by bringing together several disparate monitoring dashboards in one centralized platform.
CyfeCyfe has a freemium pricing plan.

Website:www.cyfe.com

Key Takeaway: Cyfe offers a cloud-based, real-time dashboard service at a freemium plan.

Geckoboard

Geckoboard is a cloud-based tool for aggregating and visualizing data in real time. It is very similar to Cyfe, (or Cyfe is similar to Geckoboard…).
GeckoboardYou may pull together data from a large number of services and bring them together to build your own custom dashboards. They have some nice dashboard examples here. Geckoboard offers an API for developing Geckoboard’s custom widgets and push data. They have a free trial and a paid subscription model.

Website:www.geckoboard.com

API:Geckoboard Developer Documentation

Key Takeaway: Geckoboard offers a cloud-based, real-time dashboard service with a large selection of ready-made integrations making it possible for non-technical users to get started. A great way to display your daily/weekly/monthly KPIs.

Leftronic

Leftronic offer almost the same features like Cyfe and Geckoboard such as real-time dashboards, integrations, custom dashboards, dashboard sharing and more. Leftronic offers an API that allows you to push custom data points into widgets.
LeftronicThey have a nice and easy UI and provide ready-made widgets and also includes quite a few advanced features.

Website:www.leftronic.com

API:Leftronic API Documentation

Key Takeaway: Leftronic offers a cloud-based, real-time dashboard service with a large selection of ready-made integrations making it possible for non-technical users to get started.

+ If you are the open source person you may check Dashing, a Sinatra based dashboard framework made byShopify. Though it is no longer maintained! So if you are brave enough or you want to experiment get it from here.Dashing

Business Intelligence tools

BIME by Zendesk

BIME is an analytics platform for businesses that helps you build beautiful dashboards to have all your data together. BIME Analytics was acquired by Zendesk in 2015.
As a data analyst (or non-analyst) you can bring your data into one place and build your charts and analyses without the need to know SQL. It is a lightweight edition compared with other solutions.

See here a nice showcase with their visualizations.

Website:www.bimeanalytics.com

Key Takeaway: BIME offers a cloud-based, simple & lightweight solution for data analysts and non-analysts.

Chartio

Chartio is a SaaS, self-service business intelligence (BI) tool. It supports a lot of different data sources and they focus on connecting to on-premise databases as well as cloud-based databases. Chartio provides an easy, light-weight tool for basic data pulls, so either you use SQL or their drag-and-drop Interactive Mode.
ChartioChartio has a nice drug & drop interface which allows you to create great visualizations, charts and dashboards that are easy to build and customize and can become pretty sophisticated too.

Website:Chartio

Key Takeaway: Chartio is a cloud-based self-service business intelligence (BI) tool with great SQL abilities to work on your data. If you are SQL heavy then this is a great tool.

Klipfolio

Klipfolio has really advanced features and a fairly steep learning curve because of all of these. However, you can create a wide range of real-time dashboards that monitor and analyze almost any KPI and metric that you may need. Klipfolio is designed for developers, and is easy to add data right from production systems.

Klipfolio

Website:www.klipfolio.com

API:Klipfolio Dashboard API

Key Takeaway: Klipfolio great for more advanced use cases. A lot of flexibility. More developer oriented.

Looker

Looker is a cloud platform that that makes it easy for data analysts or non-technical users to access and explore their data. It is a lightweight “data exploration” tool for SQL databases (and more) that allows you to “look” into your data without writing any code or SQL. Non-technical people can model their data source (LookML) and essentially turn that into an API. So instead of focusing to pretty viz, Looker tries to help your data structures and relationships from the SQL command line.
Looker is BYOD (bring your own database) solution and works great with SQL databases like Amazon Redshift or Vertica etc. So, you have to have some kind of SQL data warehouse that has your single source of truth.

Website:www.looker.com

API:Looker API

Key Takeaway: Looker offers a great self-service solution to understand your data with rich SQL abilities.

Microsoft Power BI

Microsoft Power BI is a self-service business intelligence tool for analyzing business data and sharing insights via rich visualizations. They offer a desktop and a cloud version. If you want to do more advanced stuff and deeper data exploration then you will prefer the desktop version. The cloud-based Power BI Service provides an easy way to create dashboards.
Microsoft Power BISeems that is investing time and resources on Power BI, so it is interesting to see where it will go…

Website:powerbi.microsoft.com

API:Power BI REST API

Key Takeaway: Microsoft Power BI offers a self-service business intelligence tool with a desktop and a cloud version that still imporviesg greatly.

Mode

Mode is a data analysis platform that combines a powerful, web-based SQL editor with charting and sharing tools. Mode was built for SQL proficient users. It is great for querying and exploring data sets.
Mode AnalyticsIf you are a data analyst that is looking for a tool to write SQL, visualize the results, and share ideas you may try Mode.

Website:modeanalytics.com

API:Mode API

Key Takeaway: Mode offers a great SQL environment along with visualization and collaboration tools. It is becoming increasingly popular as it helps you get from SQL to charts really fast. Must check if you are SQL oriented.

Periscope

Periscope is designed for more technical-savvy people, that are SQL oriented. If you have complicated queries and you want to get beautiful charts then this is a tool to consider.

Perisocpe

So if you have technical data analysts and data-driven teams then Periscope, its customization, and performance will be a good bet.

Website:www.periscopedata.com

API:Embed API

Key Takeaway: Persicope offers a really great SQL environment for SQL-savvy users.

SiSense

SiSense offers user-friendly interactive dashboards, with a large number of integrations to get data from and can handle large datasets very efficiently. SiSense has a great set of features to enable users to easily prepare, analyze and visualize complex data.
SiSenseIt’s fast and easy to setup which you can get some simple widgets and dashboards up and running in a few minutes after installation.

Website:www.sisense.com

API:Sisense REST API

Key Takeaway: SiSense can handle huge databases and datasets quite easily, easy to design and customize.

Tableau

When I hear about Tableau my mind goes to beautiful dashboards. Tableau is a desktop data visualization tool for Mid and Large Businesses with some web publishing functionality. It has a large collection of data integration connectors and visualizations. It is one of the most mature players, powerful but it has a great learning curve.
TableauIf you are using public data, you may download a free version of Tableau with Tableau Public (does not connect with enterprise-grade databases). They also offer Tableau Reader, a free desktop app to open, view and interact with dashboards built in Tableau Desktop.

Website:www.tableau.com

API:Tableau Server REST API

Key Takeaway: Every one want to become like Tableau 🙂 Awesome vizulizations, and a free version for the Public Data users.

Wagon

Wagon is a modern SQL editor built for analysts and engineers. They offer a desktop tool if you want to direct connection with your database. It is building a great community around it and they offer collaborative SQL tools for data analytics.
Wagon

Website:www.wagonhq.com

Key Takeaway: Wagon is a great SQL editor with features still added and a community building along with it.

Open Source

Note: For the tools bellow you may not need to buy a license to use them, but many charge for training or support services or they provide a “commercial” version of the software.

Metabase

Metabase is a simple, lightweight, tool that non-technical savvy users can run their own queries. Their UI is pretty abstract but you can run your own SQL in advanced mode. It is free and open source. You may also can send a set of metrics to Slack daily.

Key Takeaway: If you are looking for a simple but powerful enough tool that is focused on reporting then you can check Metabse.

Re:dash

Re:dash is a web-based open source client that can connect to servies like Redshift, Postgres and more, share queries, create dashboards etc. You may use a hosted solution or install it on a server or locally. It allows non-data analyst users to quickly run queries. Great for dashboards and collaboration and sharing of queries. Try this before you commit to something like Periscope, Looker or Mode.
Re:dash

Key Takeaway: Check re:dash if you are looking for a simple but rich in features (and open source) and you are still considering to commit to tools like Periscope or Mode.

BIRT

BIRT is an open source technology platform used to create data visualizations and reports that can be embedded into rich client and web applications. It is a top-level software project within the Eclipse Foundation with a strong developer community.
BIRT offers a great set of BI tools but it requires highly skilled developer expertise to run it and maintain it. It is often viewed as the standard in open source business intelligence (with over 12 million downloads and over 2.5M developers).

Key Takeaway: BIRT is primarily focused on reporting, not analytics. It is very popular among developer community. It requires highly skilled developers to utilize it.

Caravel (by AirBnB)

Caravel was recently made avaliable as open source. Caravel is Airbnb’s data exploration platform. Caravel was originally designed on top of Druid.io, but quickly broadened its scope to support other databases through the use of SQLAlchemy, a Python ORM that is compatible with most common databases.

Caravel allows data exploration through rich visualizations while performing fast and intuitive “slicing and dicing” against just about any dataset.

Key Takeaway: Caravel is similar to most of the recent dash boarding tools, but its dashboards involve creating ‘slices’ of data, based on custom templates, and then combining them.

Data Lasso (by Tumblr)

Data Lasso is not a dashobard service. It is a visualization tool that allows exploration of arbitrary set of data in 3D. It is built to be agnostic to the structure and formatting of data. There is no setup. You don’t need to prepare your data, .csv, .tsv or .json will do.

If you want to get a quick sense of your data, explore it and understand, it is really lightweight and simple enough to get started with it,

Key Takeaway: Data Lasso is not a dashboard service. Use it as an exploration vizualization tool of arbitrary set of data in 3D.

Jaspersoft

Jaspersoft was acquired by TIBCO. Jaspersoft is supported by a big developer community. It provides reporting including web-based reports and dashboards, data integration tools and data visualization.
As an open source project, it requires highly skilled developer expertise to use it and can’t be used by an average business user. Though their newest version (6.2) claims that it is self-service oriented.

Key Takeaway: Jaspersoft has a wide range of tools and dashboards to use. It is an open source tools that requires high skill to utilize it.

Pentaho BI

Pentaho BI is an open source Business Intelligence suite with dashboards, reporting, data mining, workflow, and data integration capabilities. They provide great dashboards and easy to use. They offer a free community edition and an Enterprise Edition.
Pentaho BIThe Pentaho BI Suite Community Edition is an open source business intelligence package that includes ETL, analysis, metadata, and reporting capabilities. For support (other than the community) and enhanced features that are designed to accommodate production environments, then Enterprise Edition is the most appropriate.

Key Takeaway: Pentaho BI has a community edition for free use. It has great integration abilities and nice dashboards.

 

The World’s Coolest Neighborhoods: A Global Street Style Report – Vogue

 

In honor of Vogue September 2014’s street style news, Vogue.com presents the globe’s fifteen coolest neighborhoods for fashion and beyond.
TIONG BAHRU / SINGAPORE
Singapore has made a splash of late in the fashion sphere: Chanel showed its well-received Resort 2014 collection in the city-state, as did Prabal Gurung with his most recent fall lineup. Nary a week goes by without an Instagram of a model-off-duty alongside the Marina Bay Sands’ jaw-dropping rooftop pool. Yet past the glitz, there’s a small nook of town dubbed Tiong Bahru that’s the artisanal, coffee shop–filled foil to Singapore’s endless skyscraper sparkle. Here, low-profile Art Deco-style buildings house eclectic boutiques like Strangelets, which sells quirky design objects, and Fleas & Trees, which offers baubles from emerging designers. Feeling jet-lagged? Tuck into Nimble/Knead, a concept massage parlor providing relaxation in a common Singaporean sight: corrugated shipping containers.

Source: The World’s Coolest Neighborhoods: A Global Street Style Report – Vogue

14 reasons why you’d want to live in Tiong Bahru 

Reposted from Mothership.sg

1. With a-MAH-zing coffee at every corner, be spoiled for your daily caffeine fix.

Keppel Highline Residences Tiong Bahru (7)

Keppel Highline Residences Tiong Bahru (3)

Not to mention the many cool hip cafes you get to hang out at.

2. All the old school bird cage charm with none of the noise.

Keppel Highline Residences Tiong Bahru (17)

3. White-washed walls? Nah. Wall art FTW.

Keppel Highline Residences Tiong Bahru wall art

Keppel Highline Residences Tiong Bahru additional (3)

We’ve goat no reason to kid you.

4. Charming coconut trees for that beach holiday feel.

Keppel Highline Residences Tiong Bahru additional (2)

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5. Delicious and Instagram worthy food which is also light on the wallet.

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Hungry already.

6. Pretty and exotic pastries with 150 years of heritage right at your doorstep.

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Never mind if cannot pronounce kouign – just point.

7. The only place in Singapore where you use planes and ships to describe the homes.

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This pre-dates the HDB!

These pre-war Aeroplane blocks and pre-HDB porthole buildings gives the place so much character.

8. Vinyl – hundreds of this comeback kid of the record world curated just for you.

 

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In case you think this only appeals to baby boomers, vinyl is actually enjoying a revival thanks to growing interest from the millennials.

9. A quaint little bookshop to pick up the best local reads – no 10-year series please – to go with that afternoon cuppa.

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10. No need to jostle with the gym crowd – plenty of space to de-stress here.

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11. Discover interesting nooks and crannies during your walks.

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12. A suburban mall means shopping convenience without having to head downtown.

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13. Move over dragon playground, Tiong Bahru’s locomotive invokes the Wild Wild West.

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14. Take the nearby MRT train, one of the many buses or hop onto your bicycle – it’s easy to go places.

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The story of pre-hipster Tiong Bahru will make your Sunday brunch taste more hip | Mothership.SG

You can take the hipster out of Tiong Bahru, but his moccasin-encased feet will never keep him away for long. Today, the estate, with its promise of heady nostalgia and cool café vibes, lures a steady flow of devotees who trample through the neighbourhood for that perfect, sunlit cupcake shot.

However, Tiong Bahru’s story stretches way beyond specialty foods and indie bookstores. The old apartment blocks may still be around but Tiong Bahru was a pretty different world back before it becameHipster Central.

Source: The story of pre-hipster Tiong Bahru will make your Sunday brunch taste more hip | Mothership.SG

SEO E-commerce Case Study – Seer Interactive

Brilliant case study by Seer Interactive using SEO to attract consumers looking for promo codes (typically bargain hunters) but a landing page that explained how the e-commerce company don’t typically offer discount and coupon codes, as well as the brand’s value proposition and key selling points. This was enough to build the consumers’ trust (so that they would not leave the site to look for deals from competitors) and in fact make a purchase.

What they did

  • Called out right away that it is out of the norm they run discount codes, and explained how manufacturers control most of the promotional opportunities related to sales.
  • Pointed out the fact that they offer a price match policy and that it is prominent on every page of the site.
  • Reminded visitors of the everyday benefits of shopping with them.
    • Already low prices
    • Free shipping on purchases that meet a specific sales criteria
    • Excellent customer service with a nearly 10/10 reputation & rating
    • Rewards programs for cash toward future purchases
    • More HD videos of product reviews than any competitor

RESULTS

In the first year after the discount page’s launch it saw 21,000 visits and earned $1.58M in revenue.

 

At that time it was the 38th most visited page and the 5th most profitable page on an e-commerce website with over 550K pages. The conversion rate was 1,384% higher than site average.

By ranking organically for discount queries, companies can avoid paying affiliate fees to coupon/deals sites that can charge up to 6%. In the above case, that would result in a $96,000 loss.

Source: eCommerce | Seer Interactive

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