Thursday, 29 January 2015

8 Best Open Source Business Intelligence Tools

One of the best ways to determine the success or failure of a particular business is to carefully analysis of the available data. The data may vary from one sector to another, depending on your product, sales and your market. But, The important thing to consider here is to securely analysis of the data available in terms of reports, OLAP, charts, data mining, collaboration and some other factors too. Handling these kind of data of a particular business or company is not an easy job and it requires a lot of time, effort, dedication, man power to get the correct results. So, why not to automate this task, when a lot of business intelligence tools are available in the market for the same purpose.
Open source business intelligence tools are gaining more popularity day by day in the business sector. Business intelligence tools help us to make our daily routine tasks more easy and understandable. It helps users by making it easy to extract and understood information which we require from business data.
The Spagobi is an open source business intelligence tool which has a huge number of analytical functions and advanced data visualization features. It works on two conceptual models – analytical and behavioral.   It can work on various functions like scheduler, import or export, user profile system, menu management, audit and monitoring and graphical interfaces.
Birt is part of an open source eclipse project. It is sponsored by actuate and receives contributions from IBM and innoventsolutions. Its several components make it a great tool. It has report designer and BIRT runtime, but most interesting are its chart engine, chart designer and viewer. You can develop and publish reports as a standalone solution.
Jasper is made of several components such as jasper report library, iReport report designer, jasper report studio and jasper report server. Jasper report is one of the most popular and widely used open sources reporting tool. Jasper report uses a pixel perfect approach in viewing and printing its reports.
Pentaho works as a complete business intelligence tool which covers ganut from reporting to data mining. Pentaho has a rich feature set which organizations can use very easily. It uses reports in various formats like PDF, HTML and more. This project also provides a community with forum, jira bug tracker and some other collaboration options.
This is another open source software with some excellent features like graphic reports, dynamic lists, interactive dashboards, reports variancesteamspaces, hierarchical structures, report management, data sources, user management and many more. It integrates the best reporting engines available on the market, allowing you to choose which engine best fits your current need. With JasperReports and Eclipse Birt ReportServer supports two great open source reporting engines. Additionally, we have included basic support for SAP Crystal Reports which we plan to extend upon in future versions.
Openi is open source business intelligence tool which can execute business projects with small budgets. Basically openi is all about monetizing your data. It can do all your work in quickest and economical way.
It’s a code free analytics platform. It can easily design your data analysis routine visually and also speed up delivery by eliminating the need to write code. It can work with almost all data formats like Hadoop, CSV, Excel, Oracle and MYSQL.
It’s an open source solution to fill your business intelligence tools need which provides OLAP server, free excel client. It can do real time modelling and also a variety of ways to extend the application.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Workplace Do's and Don'ts

Workplace Don’ts

Often, it’s a simple matter of using your common sense and behaving in a manner that shows courtesy and respect for others but there are numerous things that you should obviously not get involved with or encourage. Here’s a list of some of the most commonly cited examples of behavior that is often frowned upon and even not tolerated by most companies, regardless of type. Disregarding these, it can often, at best, make you unpopular or, at worst, might even get you the sack. Things you shouldn’t do at work include:
  • Engage in idle gossip about other colleagues or your boss or ‘bad mouth’ them
  • Don’t get involved in any banter which might have sexual or racial overtones
  • Be modest and don’t harp on about any of your previous achievements or be an attention seeker
  • Don’t try to court favour with your boss or immediate supervisors. Just doing your job in the best way you can is the most productive way of impressing those higher up the ladder than you
  • Don’t assume something is acceptable practice in either conversations you might have or actions you might consider taking. A good example of this is assuming that it’s OK to leave your mobile phone on silent or vibrate, yet still respond to text messages, for example. Establish the position on that and other things you’re not sure about first such as eating at your desk or work station, which is another good example where people often do the wrong thing.
Workplace Dos

There are a number of things that you should do if you want to be seen as a valuable member of the team and to be considered a valued colleague. These can include:
  • Being respectful and courteous towards others - even if you don’t necessarily like a particular person
  • Keep your voice at an acceptable level. A loud voice which is noticeable in a particular work environment can not only be counterproductive for others who are trying to get on with their work but can be extremely annoying too
  • Offer to help others if there’s anything you might be able to do to assist them and make their job easier if you’ve time to do so
  • Dress appropriately and adopt a similar degree of formality/informality once you’ve established the acceptable ‘code of conduct’
  • Make sure you understand the rules surrounding e-mail etiquette and the use of your mobile phone
  • Remember you’re being paid to work so keep idle chit-chat and other things that may take your attention away from what you’ve been employed to do to a minimum.
  • Stay positive and upbeat!

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Employee motivation questionnaires for surveys

Staff surveys are usually very helpful in establishing whether staff in your company are motivated and therefore performing to best effect. Aside from the information that questionnaires reveal, the process of involving and consulting with staff is hugely beneficial and motivational in its own right. Whilst your survey will be unique to your company, your staff issues, your industry and culture, some useful generic guidelines apply to most situations. Although not exhaustive, the following ten points may help you cover the relevant subject areas and help towards establishing facts rather than making assumptions about motivation when designing your own questionnaires on employee motivation.

1. What is the 'primary aim' of your company? 
Your employees may be more motivated if they understand the primary aim of your business. Ask questions to establish how clear they are about your company's principles, priorities and mission.

2. What obstacles stop employees performing to best effect? 
Questionnaires on employee motivation should include questions about what employees are tolerating in their work and home lives. The company can eliminate practices that zap motivation.

3. What really motivates your staff? 
It is often assumed that all people are motivated by the same things. Actually we are motivated by a whole range of factors. Include questions to elicit what really motivates employees, including learning about their values. Are they motivated by financial rewards, status, praise and acknowledgment, competition, job security, public recognition, fear, perfectionism, results...

4. Do employees feel empowered? 
Do your employees feel they have job descriptions that give them some autonomy and allow them to find their own solutions or are they given a list of tasks to perform and simply told what to do?

5. Are there any recent changes in the company that might have affected motivation? 
If your company has made redundancies, imposed a recruitment freeze or lost a number of key people this will have an effect on motivation. Collect information from employees about their fears, thoughts and concerns relating to these events. Even if they are unfounded, treat them with respect and honesty.

6. What are the patterns of motivation in your company? 
Who is most motivated and why? What lessons can you learn from patches of high and low motivation in your company?

7. Are employee goals and company goals aligned?
First, the company needs to establish how it wants individuals to spend their time based on what is most valuable. Secondly this needs to be compared with how individuals actually spend their time. You may find employees are highly motivated but about the "wrong" priorities.

8. How do employees feel about the company? 
Do they feel safe, loyal, valued and taken care of? Or do they feel taken advantage of, dispensable and invisible? Ask them what would improve their loyalty and commitment.

9. How involved are employees in company development? 
Do they feel listened to and heard? Are they consulted? And, if they are consulted, are their opinions taken seriously? Are there regular opportunities for them to give feedback?

10. Is the company's internal image consistent with its external one? 
Your company may present itself to the world as the 'caring airline', 'the forward thinking technology company' or the 'family hotel chain'. Your employees would have been influenced, and their expectations set, to this image when they joined your company. If you do not mirror this image within your company in the way you treat employees you may notice motivation problems. Find out what the disparity is between the employees image of the company 

Monday, 19 January 2015

Need or Importance of Business Ethics

· Stop business malpractices: Some unscrupulous businessmen do business malpractices by indulging in unfair trade practices like black-marketing, artificial high pricing, adulteration, cheating in weights and measures, selling of duplicate and harmful products, hoarding, etc. These business malpractices are harmful to the consumers. Business ethics help to stop these business malpractices.

· Improve customers' confidence: Business ethics are needed to improve the customers' confidence about the quality, quantity, price, etc. of the products. The customers have more trust and confidence in the businessmen who follow ethical rules. They feel that such businessmen will not cheat them.

·Survival of business: Business ethics are mandatory for the survival of business. The businessmen who do not follow it will have short-term success, but they will fail in the long run. This is because they can cheat a consumer only once. After that, the consumer will not buy goods from that businessman. He will also tell others not to buy from that businessman. So this will defame his image and provoke a negative publicity. This will result in failure of the business. Therefore, if the businessmen do not follow ethical rules, he will fail in the market. So, it is always better to follow appropriate code of conduct to survive in the market.

·Safeguarding consumers' rights: The consumer has many rights such as right to health and safety, right to be informed, right to choose, right to be heard, right to redress, etc. But many businessmen do not respect and protect these rights. Business ethics are must to safeguard these rights of the consumers

· Protecting employees and shareholders: Business ethics are required to protect the interest of employees, shareholders, competitors, dealers, suppliers, etc. It protects them from exploitation through unfair trade practices.

·Develops good relations:  Business ethics are important to develop good and friendly relations between business and society. This will result in a regular supply of good quality goods and services at low prices to the society. It will also result in profits for the businesses thereby resulting in growth of economy.

·Creates good image: Business ethics create a good image for the business and businessmen. If the businessmen follow all ethical rules, then they will be fully accepted and not criticized by the society. The society will always support those businessmen who follow this necessary code of conduct.

·Smooth functioning: If the business follows all the business ethics, then the employees, shareholders, consumers, dealers and suppliers will all be happy. So they will give full cooperation to the business. This will result in smooth functioning of the business. So, the business will grow, expand and diversify easily and quickly. It will have more sales and more profits.

·Consumer movement: Business ethics are gaining importance because of the growth of the consumer movement. Today, the consumers are aware of their rights. Now they are more organized and hence cannot be cheated easily. They take actions against those businessmen who indulge in bad business practices. They boycott poor quality, harmful, high-priced and counterfeit (duplicate) goods. Therefore, the only way to survive in business is to be honest and fair.

·Consumer satisfaction : Today, the consumer is the king of the market. Any business simply cannot survive without the consumers. Therefore, the main aim or objective of business is consumer satisfaction. If the consumer is not satisfied, then there will be no sales and thus no profits too. Consumer will be satisfied only if the business follows all the business ethics, and hence are highly needed.

·Importance of labour : Labour, i.e. employees or workers play a very crucial role in the success of a business. Therefore, business must use business ethics while dealing with the employees. The business must give them proper wages and salaries and provide them with better working conditions. There must be good relations between employer and employees. The employees must also be given proper welfare facilities.

· Healthy competition : The business must use business ethics while dealing with the competitors. They must have healthy competition with the competitors. They must not do cut-throat competition. Similarly, they must give equal opportunities to small-scale business. They must avoid monopoly. This is because a monopoly is harmful to the consumers.

Benefits of ERP Automation

Heaps of paperwork can prevent business processes from operating efficiently. Invoices are paid late, errors are caused by manual data entry, documents are lost and who knows what happened to that purchase order?
Paper is wreaking havoc around the office, and here are the facts to prove it:
According to a Prism International study, an average of 2-7% of documents is misfiled, resulting in handling costs of $120 per document. Executives and their staff spend 150 hours per year looking for these misplaced documents. These statistics just prove the point that paper is nothing but a detriment in the office. But there’s a silver lining to these scary stats. Research has shown productivity gains of as much as 82 percent in companies that automate their ERP solution.
Here are some of the benefits of automating your ERP solution:

It’s a paperless option. Many companies reap the benefits of eliminating paper from their accounts payable department, as well as other departments in the office, when they take steps to go paperless.

Productivity is increased. How often do you find yourself saying, “There aren’t enough hours in a week for everything I have to do!”? We all want to find ways to have a more productive workday, and many companies have become more productive when some of their tedious processes are automated.

Accuracy is improved. No one likes to make mistakes. Data entry can lead to mistakes but, by automating your ERP solution, you can start to eliminate those mistakes caused by manual methods, making your data and documents more accurate.

Automating can save you money. By investing in a paperless document management solution to automate your ERP, you’ll actually save your company money because you will accumulate fewer late payment fees on invoices and won’t need to fix as many data entry errors on payment documents.

Payments are made in a more timely manner. No one likes to get payments late. When you automate your ERP, you no longer need all those sticky notes to tell you when your invoices are due and which ones need to be approved-- the solution will do the work for you.

You get real time visibility of processes. Rather than searching through one of a hundred filing cabinets for that one specific document or wondering who has that specific invoice that needs to be approved by the end of the week, a document management solution that automates your ERP helps you keep an eye on what’s going on around your company.

You can take steps to “go green.” We are all looking for ways to eliminate our environmental footprints. By automating your ERP, you’ll start to eliminate paper from your office, which means less waste and less of a negative impact on the environment.

Friday, 16 January 2015

18 Ways to Sink Your Startup

Successfully building a startup can feel like the sort of thing that requires planets aligning. Screwing up a startup, however, is incredibly simple.
Some entrepreneurs try to do it all on their own. Some don’t get along with their co-founders. Both of these mistakes can stop a company before it starts. Other things to avoid: hiring bad computer programmers, raising too little or too much money and, of course, a half-hearted effort.

The Importance of Good Customer Service

"The customer is always right" is a famous business slogan. The underlying truth behind this statement is recognizing that customers are the life blood for any business. Understanding the importance of good customer service is essential for a healthy business in creating new customers, keeping loyal customers, and developing referrals for future customers.

Excellent customer service begins at the initial greeting, whether that's in person, on the phone, or via email. In all of these situations, using good people skills will increase the chances for a positive first impression. For example, saying hello with a smile to a customer who just walked in the door will invite that person in and make them feel welcome. On the other hand, when an employee doesn't acknowledge the client, or makes them feel like an inconvenience, that customer immediately feels slighted. That negative feeling doesn't get the customer in a buying mood, and it will most likely turn them away from ever coming back to that particular store.

If the employee is utilizing good customer service on the phone, the initial greeting will be courteous. Again, this makes the client feel comfortable. In turn, the customer will appreciate the pleasant greeting and usually be more agreeable on the other end of the phone. This is a much better situation for the client instead of leaving messages on answering machines, never getting any returned phone calls, or trying to extract some product information from an uncaring employee.

Of course, good customer service goes beyond the initial contact. When helping customers choose the right product or service or answer their questions, assisting them with their needs is a great example of going the extra mile. This kind of service establishes good will, and it'll eventually lead to loyal customers. Even if that person doesn't purchase anything at that time, the good shopping experience will bring the customer back again.

Think about how you've been treated whenever you're the customer. If you've ever had a bad experience with a company, you know that it's not easy to forget the encounter. Perhaps a clerk was too busy stocking shelves to help you pay for your items. Maybe there wasn't anyone around to answer your questions or help you with some additional information. You might have had to deal with an employee that won't help you because of some company rule. In any of these instances, the managers or the owner of the store usually aren't notified of the poor customer service. Instead, the people that do hear about the negative experience are many of the customer's family and friends. Especially with social networking, word travels very fast when it comes to communicating negative experiences to the world.

When dealing with clients, sometimes there are situations that need to be resolved. If the customer is upset about a product or service they've received from the company, the first thing an employee should do is to listen. By taking the time to hear through the entire complaint, the customer feels that you care. Occasionally, the issue is actually not related to your company at all, but the initial problem is merely a catalyst for that person's frustration about other things. Either way, attentive listening will break down that barrier and begin to build a bridge to fix the situation. Usually, discussing different options will then bring about a positive outcome for both sides.

Good customer service leads to many benefits. Not only will you gain trust with your current clients, they'll also become a wonderful referral system as they spread the word about your business to other prospects. Especially with any internet business transactions, product reviews are quite common. Whether it's positive or negative feedback about a product or service, people are writing freely about their shopping experiences. In the long run, treating people fairly and with respect will bring business to your company today and in the future.