Tag Archives: Guide

A Guide to Making AI Explainable – Yes, It’s Possible!

Screen Shot 2018 06 18 at 4.33.19 PM A Guide to Making AI Explainable – Yes, It’s Possible!

The possibilities of artificial intelligence are endless. AI helps businesses create tremendous efficiencies through automation, while enhancing an organizations ability to make more effective business decisions. However, it’s no surprise that companies are beginning to be held accountable for the outcomes of their AI-based decisions. From the proliferation of fake news to most recently, the deliberate creation of the AI psychopath Norman, we’re beginning to understand and experience the potential negative outcomes of AI.

While AI, machine learning, and deep learning have been deemed to be ‘black box’ technologies, unable to provide any information or explanation of its actions, this inability to explain AI will no longer be acceptable to consumers, regulators, and other stakeholders. For example, with the General Data Protection Regulation in effect, companies will now be required to provide consumers with an explanation for AI-based decisions.

FICO has been pioneering explainable AI (xAI) for more than 25 years and is at the cutting edge of helping people really understand and open up the AI black box. As you move forward with your AI journey, we’ve curated a list of blogs that uncover the importance of and trends leading to xAI.

According to GDPR, customers need to have clear-cut reasons for how they were adversely impacted by a decision. But what happens when your model was built with AI? This blog post uncovers the requirement of making AI explainable.

AI comes with many challenges, including trying to decipher what these models have learned, and thus their decision criteria. This blog lists ways to explain AI when used in a risk or regulatory context based on FICO’s experience.

Ready to make AI explainable? This post illustrates how you can achieve better performance and explainability by combining machine learning and scorecard approaches.

In 1996 we filed a patent for Reason Reporter—indicative of how long, in fact, FICO has been working with Explainable AI. Simply enough, Reason Reporter provide reasons associated with the neural network scores Falcon produces. The not so simple part? This post demonstrates how we utilize the reason reporter algorithm during model training.

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FICO

New eBook! The Ultimate Guide to Mainframe Machine Data

Mainframe logs and data sources can provide a wealth of information about the operational health of your system while shedding light on potential security concerns. Syncsort’s latest eBook, The Ultimate Guide to Mainframe Machine Data, takes a look at the different data sources and how they can be used to best benefit your organization.

The Ultimate Guide to Mainframe Machine Data banner New eBook! The Ultimate Guide to Mainframe Machine Data

Companies are looking to incorporate mainframe logs into their analytics processes to get a bigger and more complete picture of what’s happening in their IT environments. Mainframe machine data can be correlated and analyzed along with data from other systems to obtain Big Data insights that you can trust and confidently act on.

This eBook focuses on:

  • SMF Data
  • Syslog Data
  • UNIX System (USS) Files
  • Log4j Data
  • And more!

Download the eBook now and explore how mainframe data can provide valuable insight.

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Syncsort + Trillium Software Blog

Best Practices To Guide Your Journey To Modern Marketing

For nerds, the weeks right before finals are a Cinderella moment. Suddenly they’re stars. Pocket protectors are fashionable; people find their jokes a whole lot funnier; Dungeons & Dragons sounds cool.

Many CIOs are enjoying this kind of moment now, as companies everywhere face the business equivalent of a final exam for a vital class they have managed to mostly avoid so far: digital transformation.

But as always, there is a limit to nerdy magic. No matter how helpful CIOs try to be, their classmates still won’t pass if they don’t learn the material. With IT increasingly central to every business—from the customer experience to the offering to the business model itself—we all need to start thinking like CIOs.

Pass the digital transformation exam, and you probably have a bright future ahead. A recent SAP-Oxford Economics study of 3,100 organizations in a variety of industries across 17 countries found that the companies that have taken the lead in digital transformation earn higher profits and revenues and have more competitive differentiation than their peers. They also expect 23% more revenue growth from their digital initiatives over the next two years—an estimate 2.5 to 4 times larger than the average company’s.

But the market is grading on a steep curve: this same SAP-Oxford study found that only 3% have completed some degree of digital transformation across their organization. Other surveys also suggest that most companies won’t be graduating anytime soon: in one recent survey of 450 heads of digital transformation for enterprises in the United States, United Kingdom, France, and Germany by technology company Couchbase, 90% agreed that most digital projects fail to meet expectations and deliver only incremental improvements. Worse: over half (54%) believe that organizations that don’t succeed with their transformation project will fail or be absorbed by a savvier competitor within four years.

Companies that are making the grade understand that unlike earlier technical advances, digital transformation doesn’t just support the business, it’s the future of the business. That’s why 60% of digital leading companies have entrusted the leadership of their transformation to their CIO, and that’s why experts say businesspeople must do more than have a vague understanding of the technology. They must also master a way of thinking and looking at business challenges that is unfamiliar to most people outside the IT department.

In other words, if you don’t think like a CIO yet, now is a very good time to learn.

However, given that you probably don’t have a spare 15 years to learn what your CIO knows, we asked the experts what makes CIO thinking distinctive. Here are the top eight mind hacks.

1. Think in Systems

Q118 Feature3 img1 Jump Best Practices To Guide Your Journey To Modern MarketingA lot of businesspeople are used to seeing their organization as a series of loosely joined silos. But in the world of digital business, everything is part of a larger system.

CIOs have known for a long time that smart processes win. Whether they were installing enterprise resource planning systems or working with the business to imagine the customer’s journey, they always had to think in holistic ways that crossed traditional departmental, functional, and operational boundaries.

Unlike other business leaders, CIOs spend their careers looking across systems. Why did our supply chain go down? How can we support this new business initiative beyond a single department or function? Now supported by end-to-end process methodologies such as design thinking, good CIOs have developed a way of looking at the company that can lead to radical simplifications that can reduce cost and improve performance at the same time.

They are also used to thinking beyond temporal boundaries. “This idea that the power of technology doubles every two years means that as you’re planning ahead you can’t think in terms of a linear process, you have to think in terms of huge jumps,” says Jay Ferro, CIO of TransPerfect, a New York–based global translation firm.

No wonder the SAP-Oxford transformation study found that one of the values transformational leaders shared was a tendency to look beyond silos and view the digital transformation as a company-wide initiative.

This will come in handy because in digital transformation, not only do business processes evolve but the company’s entire value proposition changes, says Jeanne Ross, principal research scientist at the Center for Information Systems Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). “It either already has or it’s going to, because digital technologies make things possible that weren’t possible before,” she explains.

2. Work in Diverse Teams

When it comes to large projects, CIOs have always needed input from a diverse collection of businesspeople to be successful. The best have developed ways to convince and cajole reluctant participants to come to the table. They seek out technology enthusiasts in the business and those who are respected by their peers to help build passion and commitment among the halfhearted.

Digital transformation amps up the urgency for building diverse teams even further. “A small, focused group simply won’t have the same breadth of perspective as a team that includes a salesperson and a service person and a development person, as well as an IT person,” says Ross.

At Lenovo, the global technology giant, many of these cross-functional teams become so used to working together that it’s hard to tell where each member originally belonged: “You can’t tell who is business or IT; you can’t tell who is product, IT, or design,” says the company’s CIO, Arthur Hu.

One interesting corollary of this trend toward broader teamwork is that talent is a priority among digital leaders: they spend more on training their employees and partners than ordinary companies, as well as on hiring the people they need, according to the SAP-Oxford Economics survey. They’re also already being rewarded for their faith in their teams: 71% of leaders say that their successful digital transformation has made it easier for them to attract and retain talent, and 64% say that their employees are now more engaged than they were before the transformation.

3. Become a Consultant

Good CIOs have long needed to be internal consultants to the business. Ever since technology moved out of the glasshouse and onto employees’ desks, CIOs have not only needed a deep understanding of the goals of a given project but also to make sure that the project didn’t stray from those goals, even after the businesspeople who had ordered the project went back to their day jobs. “Businesspeople didn’t really need to get into the details of what IT was really doing,” recalls Ferro. “They just had a set of demands and said, ‘Hey, IT, go do that.’”

But that was then. Now software has become so integral to the business that nobody can afford to walk away. Businesspeople must join the ranks of the IT consultants. “If you’re building a house, you don’t just disappear for six months and come back and go, ‘Oh, it looks pretty good,’” says Ferro. “You’re on that work site constantly and all of a sudden you’re looking at something, going, ‘Well, that looked really good on the blueprint, not sure it makes sense in reality. Let’s move that over six feet.’ Or, ‘I don’t know if I like that anymore.’ It’s really not much different in application development or for IT or technical projects, where on paper it looked really good and three weeks in, in that second sprint, you’re going, ‘Oh, now that I look at it, that’s really stupid.’”

4. Learn Horizontal Leadership

CIOs have always needed the ability to educate and influence other leaders that they don’t directly control. For major IT projects to be successful, they need other leaders to contribute budget, time, and resources from multiple areas of the business.

It’s a kind of horizontal leadership that will become critical for businesspeople to acquire in digital transformation. “The leadership role becomes one much more of coaching others across the organization—encouraging people to be creative, making sure everybody knows how to use data well,” Ross says.

In this team-based environment, having all the answers becomes less important. “It used to be that the best business executives and leaders had the best answers. Today that is no longer the case,” observes Gary Cokins, a technology consultant who focuses on analytics-based performance management. “Increasingly, it’s the executives and leaders who ask the best questions. There is too much volatility and uncertainty for them to rely on their intuition or past experiences.”

Many experts expect this trend to continue as the confluence of automation and data keeps chipping away at the organizational pyramid. “Hierarchical, command-and-control leadership will become obsolete,” says Edward Hess, professor of business administration and Batten executive-in-residence at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. “Flatter, distributive leadership via teams will become the dominant structure.”

Q118 Feature3 img3 rock Best Practices To Guide Your Journey To Modern Marketing5. Understand Process Design

When business processes were simpler, IT could analyze the process and improve it without input from the business. But today many processes are triggered on the fly by the customer, making a seamless customer experience more difficult to build without the benefit of a larger, multifunctional team. In a highly digitalized organization like Amazon, which releases thousands of new software programs each year, IT can no longer do it all.

While businesspeople aren’t expected to start coding, their involvement in process design is crucial. One of the techniques that many organizations have adopted to help IT and businesspeople visualize business processes together is design thinking (for more on design thinking techniques, see “A Cult of Creation“).

Customers aren’t the only ones who benefit from better processes. Among the 100 companies the SAP-Oxford Economics researchers have identified as digital leaders, two-thirds say that they are making their employees’ lives easier by eliminating process roadblocks that interfere with their ability to do their jobs. Ninety percent of leaders surveyed expect to see value from these projects in the next two years alone.

6. Learn to Keep Learning

The ability to learn and keep learning has been a part of IT from the start. Since the first mainframes in the 1950s, technologists have understood that they need to keep reinventing themselves and their skills to adapt to the changes around them.

Now that’s starting to become part of other job descriptions too. Many companies are investing in teaching their employees new digital skills. One South American auto products company, for example, has created a custom-education institute that trained 20,000 employees and partner-employees in 2016. In addition to training current staff, many leading digital companies are also hiring new employees and creating new roles, such as a chief robotics officer, to support their digital transformation efforts.

Nicolas van Zeebroeck, professor of information systems and digital business innovation at the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management at the Free University of Brussels, says that he expects the ability to learn quickly will remain crucial. “If I had to think of one critical skill,” he explains, “I would have to say it’s the ability to learn and keep learning—the ability to challenge the status quo and question what you take for granted.”

7. Fail Smarter

Traditionally, CIOs tended to be good at thinking through tests that would allow the company to experiment with new technology without risking the entire network.

This is another unfamiliar skill that smart managers are trying to pick up. “There’s a lot of trial and error in the best companies right now,” notes MIT’s Ross. But there’s a catch, she adds. “Most companies aren’t designed for trial and error—they’re trying to avoid an error,” she says.

Q118 Feature3 img4 fail Best Practices To Guide Your Journey To Modern MarketingTo learn how to do it better, take your lead from IT, where many people have already learned to work in small, innovative teams that use agile development principles, advises Ross.

For example, business managers must learn how to think in terms of a minimum viable product: build a simple version of what you have in mind, test it, and if it works start building. You don’t build the whole thing at once anymore.… It’s really important to build things incrementally,” Ross says.

Flexibility and the ability to capitalize on accidental discoveries during experimentation are more important than having a concrete project plan, says Ross. At Spotify, the music service, and CarMax, the used-car retailer, change is driven not from the center but from small teams that have developed something new. “The thing you have to get comfortable with is not having the formalized plan that we would have traditionally relied on, because as soon as you insist on that, you limit your ability to keep learning,” Ross warns.

8. Understand the True Cost—and Speed—of Data

Gut instincts have never had much to do with being a CIO; now they should have less to do with being an ordinary manager as well, as data becomes more important.

As part of that calculation, businesspeople must have the ability to analyze the value of the data that they seek. “You’ll need to apply a pinch of knowledge salt to your data,” advises Solvay’s van Zeebroeck. “What really matters is the ability not just to tap into data but to see what is behind the data. Is it a fair representation? Is it impartial?”

Increasingly, businesspeople will need to do their analysis in real time, just as CIOs have always had to manage live systems and processes. Moving toward real-time reports and away from paper-based decisions increases accuracy and effectiveness—and leaves less time for long meetings and PowerPoint presentations (let us all rejoice).

Not Every CIO Is Ready

Of course, not all CIOs are ready for these changes. Just as high school has a lot of false positives—genius nerds who turn out to be merely nearsighted—so there are many CIOs who aren’t good role models for transformation.

Success as a CIO these days requires more than delivering near-perfect uptime, says Lenovo’s Hu. You need to be able to understand the business as well. Some CIOs simply don’t have all the business skills that are needed to succeed in the transformation. Others lack the internal clout: a 2016 KPMG study found that only 34% of CIOs report directly to the CEO.

This lack of a strategic perspective is holding back digital transformation at many organizations. They approach digital transformation as a cool, one-off project: we’re going to put this new mobile app in place and we’re done. But that’s not a systematic approach; it’s an island of innovation that doesn’t join up with the other islands of innovation. In the longer term, this kind of development creates more problems than it fixes.

Such organizations are not building in the capacity for change; they’re trying to get away with just doing it once rather than thinking about how they’re going to use digitalization as a means to constantly experiment and become a better company over the long term.

Q118 Feature3 img6 CIOready Best Practices To Guide Your Journey To Modern MarketingAs a result, in some companies, the most interesting tech developments are happening despite IT, not because of it. “There’s an alarming digital divide within many companies. Marketers are developing nimble software to give customers an engaging, personalized experience, while IT departments remain focused on the legacy infrastructure. The front and back ends aren’t working together, resulting in appealing web sites and apps that don’t quite deliver,” writes George Colony, founder, chairman, and CEO of Forrester Research, in the MIT Sloan Management Review.

Thanks to cloud computing and easier development tools, many departments are developing on their own, without IT’s support. These days, anybody with a credit card can do it.

Traditionally, IT departments looked askance at these kinds of do-it-yourself shadow IT programs, but that’s changing. Ferro, for one, says that it’s better to look at those teams not as rogue groups but as people who are trying to help. “It’s less about ‘Hey, something’s escaped,’ and more about ‘No, we just actually grew our capacity and grew our ability to innovate,’” he explains.

“I don’t like the term ‘shadow IT,’” agrees Lenovo’s Hu. “I think it’s an artifact of a very traditional CIO team. If you think of it as shadow IT, you’re out of step with reality,” he says.

The reality today is that a company needs both a strong IT department and strong digital capacities outside its IT department. If the relationship is good, the CIO and IT become valuable allies in helping businesspeople add digital capabilities without disrupting or duplicating existing IT infrastructure.

If a company already has strong digital capacities, it should be able to move forward quickly, according to Ross. But many companies are still playing catch-up and aren’t even ready to begin transforming, as the SAP-Oxford Economics survey shows.

For enterprises where business and IT are unable to get their collective act together, Ross predicts that the next few years will be rough. “I think these companies ought to panic,” she says. D!


About the Authors

Thomas Saueressig is Chief Information Officer at SAP.

Timo Elliott is an Innovation Evangelist at SAP.

Sam Yen is Chief Design Officer at SAP and Managing Director of SAP Labs.

Bennett Voyles is a Berlin-based business writer.

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Digitalist Magazine

Beginner’s Guide: How to Perform Simple Data Validations on Records

Beginners Guide 300x225 Beginner’s Guide: How to Perform Simple Data Validations on Records

Today, we’ll walk users who are relatively new to Microsoft Dynamics 365 through some relatively simple data validation checks.

The Issue

You may come across a scenario where you want to perform a simple verification on a field before you create a record. For example, you may wish to perform a validation to check if the registered Due Date on a record is older than the record’s creation date. Often, validations are implemented with custom code. However, in situations where custom technical work may not be feasible, the solution outlined below can be implemented with ease.

The Solution

Business rules are a potential answer here since a validation can be applied here by comparing the Due Date against the value within the standard ‘Created On’ field. However, this field will not be populated during creation of a record which means Dynamics 365 doesn’t have a value to check against, rendering the sole use of business process flow alone futile.

121517 1951 BeginnersGu1 Beginner’s Guide: How to Perform Simple Data Validations on Records

A synchronous workflow on the other hand can be triggered to perform this validation before the record is created. The workflow can be stopped with the status of Cancelled if the required criteria is not met. Although this will solve the problem of validating the Due Date field before creating record, the business process error shown by the workflow is less user friendly than the error shown by the business rule.

Also, running synchronous workflows whenever the Due Date field is updated may result in significant processing load which is especially undesirable during peak periods. Therefore, limiting this workflow to only run prior to record creation is ideal while the business rule can be used for validation after record creation.

121517 1951 BeginnersGu3 Beginner’s Guide: How to Perform Simple Data Validations on Records

121517 1951 BeginnersGu2 Beginner’s Guide: How to Perform Simple Data Validations on Records

To conclude, the synchronous workflow and the business rule can be used in combination to overcome this issue. While the workflow will perform this validation effectively during record creation, the business rule will take over with a much more user-friendly error message once the record is created.

For more Dynamics 365 tips and tricks, be sure to keep checking our blog!

Happy Dynamics 365’ing!

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PowerObjects- Bringing Focus to Dynamics CRM

How to build a location aware #PowerApp – ‘Guide book Copenhagen’ – #opendatadk and #powerquery

October 25, 2017 / Erik Svensen

How to build a location aware #PowerApp – ‘Guide book Copenhagen’ – #opendatadk and #powerquery

In one of my latest projects we have used PowerApps to create a location aware selection of stores – and I wanted to share my experience about how to do this.

So, I found an open data set about attractions, restaurants, hotels and much more in Copenhagen.

https://portal.opendata.dk/dataset/guidedanmark-oplevelser-overnantning-aktiviteter-i-hele-danmark

In order to get the data into PowerApps – I created an Excel workbook and used PowerQuery to import the data in a Table.

 How to build a location aware #PowerApp – ‘Guide book Copenhagen’ – #opendatadk and #powerquery

The Query to create the table is quite simple and contains a little renaming and removal of unwanted columns, and I only imported the rows that has an Latitude and Longitude.

let

Source = Json.Document(Web.Contents(“https://portal.opendata.dk/dataset/44ecd686-5cb5-40f2-8e3f-b5e3607a55ef/resource/23425a7f-cc94-4e7e-8c73-acae88bf1333/download/guidedenmarkcphenjson.json”)),

#”Converted to Table” = Table.FromList(Source, Splitter.SplitByNothing(), null, null, ExtraValues.Error),

#”Expanded Column1″ = Table.ExpandRecordColumn(#”Converted to Table”, “Column1”, {“Id”, “Created”, “CreatedBy”, “Modified”, “ModifiedBy”, “Serialized”, “Online”, “Language”, “Name”, “CanonicalUrl”, “Owner”, “Category”, “MainCategory”, “Address”, “ContactInformation”, “Descriptions”, “Files”, “SocialMediaLinks”, “BookingLinks”, “ExternalLinks”, “MetaTags”, “RelatedProducts”, “Places”, “MediaChannels”, “Distances”, “Priority”, “Periods”, “PeriodsLink”, “PriceGroups”, “PriceGroupsLink”, “Routes”, “Rooms”, “Capacity”}, {“Id”, “Created”, “CreatedBy”, “Modified”, “ModifiedBy”, “Serialized”, “Online”, “Language”, “Name”, “CanonicalUrl”, “Owner”, “Category”, “MainCategory”, “Address”, “ContactInformation”, “Descriptions”, “Files”, “SocialMediaLinks”, “BookingLinks”, “ExternalLinks”, “MetaTags”, “RelatedProducts”, “Places”, “MediaChannels”, “Distances”, “Priority”, “Periods”, “PeriodsLink”, “PriceGroups”, “PriceGroupsLink”, “Routes”, “Rooms”, “Capacity”}),

#”Expanded Address” = Table.ExpandRecordColumn(#”Expanded Column1″, “Address”, {“AddressLine1”, “AddressLine2”, “PostalCode”, “City”, “Municipality”, “Region”, “GeoCoordinate”}, {“AddressLine1”, “AddressLine2”, “PostalCode”, “City”, “Municipality”, “Region”, “GeoCoordinate”}),

#”Expanded GeoCoordinate” = Table.ExpandRecordColumn(#”Expanded Address”, “GeoCoordinate”, {“Latitude”, “Longitude”}, {“Latitude”, “Longitude”}),

#”Filtered Rows” = Table.SelectRows(#”Expanded GeoCoordinate”, each ([Latitude] null and [Latitude] 0)),

#”Removed Columns” = Table.RemoveColumns(#”Filtered Rows”,{“Municipality”, “Region”, “ContactInformation”, “Descriptions”, “Files”, “SocialMediaLinks”, “BookingLinks”, “ExternalLinks”, “MetaTags”, “RelatedProducts”, “Places”, “MediaChannels”, “Distances”, “Priority”, “Periods”, “PeriodsLink”, “PriceGroups”, “PriceGroupsLink”, “Routes”, “Rooms”, “Capacity”}),

#”Expanded Category” = Table.ExpandRecordColumn(#”Removed Columns”, “Category”, {“Name”}, {“Name.1”}),

#”Removed Columns1″ = Table.RemoveColumns(#”Expanded Category”,{“Owner”}),

#”Expanded MainCategory” = Table.ExpandRecordColumn(#”Removed Columns1″, “MainCategory”, {“Name”}, {“Name.2”}),

#”Renamed Columns” = Table.RenameColumns(#”Expanded MainCategory”,{{“Name.2”, “MainCategory”}}),

#”Removed Columns2″ = Table.RemoveColumns(#”Renamed Columns”,{“AddressLine2”}),

#”Renamed Columns1″ = Table.RenameColumns(#”Removed Columns2″,{{“Name.1”, “Category”}}),

#”Removed Columns3″ = Table.RemoveColumns(#”Renamed Columns1″,{“Created”, “CreatedBy”, “Modified”, “ModifiedBy”, “Serialized”, “Online”, “Language”})

in

#”Removed Columns3″

The Excel file is then saved in Onedrive for business.

 

Lets build the app

 

I use the Web studio.

 How to build a location aware #PowerApp – ‘Guide book Copenhagen’ – #opendatadk and #powerquery

 

And select the Blank app with a Phone layout

On the canvas I click the Connect to data and create a new connection that connects to Onedrive for Business and pick the Excel file

 How to build a location aware #PowerApp – ‘Guide book Copenhagen’ – #opendatadk and #powerquery

 

So now we have a connection to data in our App

 How to build a location aware #PowerApp – ‘Guide book Copenhagen’ – #opendatadk and #powerquery

 

And I insert the following controls

 How to build a location aware #PowerApp – ‘Guide book Copenhagen’ – #opendatadk and #powerquery

 

The first two labels show the my location as latitude and longitude, and the I inserted a slider with a min and max of 0 to 2000 as the radius in meters around my location. The label above my slider is just to show the selected radius.

Now we can insert a drop down and set the Items to the data connection and the column Name in that data connection and see it works.

 How to build a location aware #PowerApp – ‘Guide book Copenhagen’ – #opendatadk and #powerquery

 

Now we must filter the items based on our current location. In order to do this, we must filter our items. This can be done using the FILTER function.

The formula the uses the slider to modify the radius around our location

Filter(CopenhagenGuide, Value(Latitude, “en-US”) >= Location.Latitude – Degrees(Slider1/1000/6371) && Value(Latitude, “en-US”) = Value(Location.Longitude, “en-US”) – Degrees(Slider1/1000/6371/Cos(Radians(Location.Latitude))) && Value(Longitude,”en-US”) <= Location.Longitude + Degrees(Slider1/1000/6371/Cos(Radians(Location.Latitude))) )

And if I now limit the radius to 173 meters you can see I have 4 places nearby

 How to build a location aware #PowerApp – ‘Guide book Copenhagen’ – #opendatadk and #powerquery

If you want to add a map as well highlighting the selected Attraction you can do that as well

 How to build a location aware #PowerApp – ‘Guide book Copenhagen’ – #opendatadk and #powerquery

 

You can find the information to do that here – https://powerapps.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/image-control-static-maps-api/

 

If you want a copy of the PowerApp file you are welcome to add a comment or ping me on twitter @donsvensen and I will send it to you.

 

Hope you can use this – Power ON!

 

 

 

 

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Erik Svensen

Your Power BI guide to SQL PASS Summit 2017

Are you excited for the SQL PASS Summit 2017? We certainly are! The Power BI team is gearing up for another jam-packed conference at the Seattle Convention Center next week and we look forward to seeing you there.

For those who don’t know already, the SQL PASS Summit brings over 5000 data professionals together annually to connect, share, and learn about the latest technologies and services. There will be many sessions and activities for you to grow your knowledge and make a measured impact at work. It’s still not too late to register – find out more by visiting PASS Summit 2017.

For those attending this year, we’ve put together a quick guide to all the Power BI sessions and focus groups that you can look forward to:

Day One (Wednesday, November 1)

Microsoft BI – An integrated modern solution

Time: 10:45 AM – 12:00 PM
Speaker: Kamal Hathi
Room: 6E

Microsoft has an integrated BI story that spans across cloud and on-premise data. Join this session to get an overview of continued evolution of BI and the approach that’s shaping modern BI today and as we look to the future. Learn about the rapid pace of product innovation in Microsoft BI technologies and new BI capabilities for the enterprise. Learn how IT organizations can enable modern BI for their end users. Compelling technical demonstrations will showcase the potential of data and insights.

Deliver enterprise BI on Big Data

Time: 1:30 PM – 2:45 PM
Speakers: Bret Grinslade, Josh Caplan
Room: Tahoma 4 (TCC Level 3)

Learn how to deliver analytics at the speed of thought with Azure Analysis Services on top of a petabyte-scale SQL Data Warehouse, Azure Data Lake, or HDInsight implementation. This session will cover best practices for managing, processing and query accelerating at scale, implementing change management for data governance, and designing for performance and security. These advanced techniques will be demonstrated thorough an actual implementation including architecture, code, data flows and tips and tricks.

Unlock the power of your data by integrating analytics into your line-of-business apps

Time: 3:15 PM – 4:30 PM
Speakers: Lukasz Pawlowski, Ali Hamud, Matt Mason
Room: 3AB (WSCC)

Business users need data in their applications. Learn how Microsoft Power BI makes it easy to integrate world-class analytics into your packaged applications, line-of-business applications, and internal or external portals. See how quickly and deeply you can integrate Microsoft Power BI into your application workflows and unlock your data by seamlessly building Data Connectors for Power BI using the Power Query SDK.

Day Two (Thursday, November 2)

Keeping your on-premises data up to date with the on-premises data gateway

Time: 1:30 PM – 2:45 PM
Speakers: Miguel Llopis, Robert Bruckner
Room: 615 (WSCC)

The session will cover the on-premises gateways and how you can keep your data fresh by connecting to your on-premises data sources without the need to move the data. Query large data sets and benefit from your existing investments. The gateways provide the flexibility you need to meet individual needs, and the needs of your organization

Power BI Report Server: Self service BI & enterprise reporting on-premises

Time: 3:15 PM – 4:30 PM
Speaker: Chris Finlan
Room: 2AB (WSCC)

Love Power BI but need an on-premises solution today? In this session learn more about Power BI Report Server — self-service analytics and enterprise reporting, all in one on-premises solution. Design beautiful, interactive reports in Power BI Desktop, publish them to Power BI Report Server, and view and interact with them in your web browser or the Power BI app on your phone. And since Power BI Report Server includes the proven enterprise reporting capabilities of SQL Server Reporting Services, it can even run your existing Reporting Services reports too. Join us for an overview of Power BI Report Server and demos of its features in action.

Enterprise BI deployments and governance with the Power BI service

Time: 3:15 PM – 4:30 PM
Speaker: Adam Wilson
Room: 603 (WSCC)

Whether you’re planning an enterprise-wide reporting deployment or providing structure to self-service BI activities within your teams, Power BI has you covered. Learn about tools for developing, publishing, and managing your BI assets. We cover the data gateway, managing report lifecycle, publishing options, administration and governance controls, and end-user capabilities across devices and platforms.

Effective report authoring using Power BI Desktop

Time: 4:45 PM – 6:00 PM
Speakers: Miguel Llopis, Will Thompson
Room: Yakima 1 (TCC Level 1)

Power BI Desktop is a tool that allows Data Analysts, Data Scientists, Business Analysts, and BI Professionals to create interactive reports that can be published to Power BI. Join us during this session for a deep dive into the report authoring, data preparation, and data modeling in Power BI Desktop. Topics covered include R Integration, third party connectors, data mashups and modeling. Learn about various connectors in Power BI to get data from various data sources to get business insights faster.

Day Three (Friday, November 2)

Creating enterprise grade BI models with Azure Analysis Services or SQL Server Analysis Services

Time: 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM
Speaker: Christian Wade, Bret Grinslade
Room: Yakima 1 (TCC Level 1)

Microsoft Azure Analysis Services and SQL Server Analysis Services enable you to build comprehensive, enterprise-scale analytic solutions that deliver actionable insights through familiar data visualization tools such as Microsoft Power BI and Microsoft Excel. Analysis Services enables consistent data across reports and users of Power BI. This session will reveal new features for large, enterprise models in the areas of performance, scalability, model management, and monitoring. Learn how to use these new features to deliver tabular models of unprecedented scale with easy data loading and simplified user consumption.

Power to the masses: BI, Apps and Bots for the rest of us

Time: 4:45 PM – 6:00 PM
Speaker: Marc Reguera, Olivier Matrat
Room: 6C (WSCC)

In this session, the Power BI Customer Advisory Team (CAT) will present their CATBot solution for helping Microsoft Sales representatives with technical questions on Microsoft Power BI. Based on Microsoft’s QnA Maker, itself built on top of the Microsoft Bot SDK, CATBot provides a fresh conversational end-point for engaging with the team, making it easy to disseminate their internal Knowledge Base (KB) at scale. Further, a mobile PowerApps solution was developed that literally puts the KB and bot at the fingertips of this global sales force, wherever they may be; both the bot and mobile application integrate natively with Microsoft Teams, the platform of choice for community engagement and management. Last but not least, telemetry from all these interactions is collected in Common Data Services (CDS) entities and used to trigger Flows and feed Power BI dashboards, providing both insights into the business, and levers to further curate the KB.

Focus Groups

The sessions listed above are promised to be packed with compelling product demos and exciting new feature announcements. At the same time, the Power BI team is also going to run three engaging focus groups. Join us for these and help us make the product that you love even better!

Power BI Focus Group: Enterprise BI deployments and governance with the Power BI service

Date: Wednesday, November 1
Time: 3:15 PM – 4:15 PM
Speakers: Kathryn Kitchen, Adam Wilson, Sirui Sun, Nikhil Gaekwad
Room: 205 (WSCC)

In this focus group we will discuss your goals, wishes, and pains around managing and governing large-scale Power BI deployments. Topics include: understanding and auditing usage of Power BI in your Enterprise, managing and deploying solutions (ALM, report lifecycle), controlling content distribution, and more. Please come prepared to participate in an active dialog, and provide us feedback on your experiences so we can improve Power BI for you.

Power BI Focus Group:Authoring reports using Power BI Desktop

Date: Wednesday, November 1
Time: 4:45 PM – 5:45 PM
Speakers: Kathryn Kitchen, Will Thompson, Amanda Cofsky
Room: 205 (WSCC)

This focus group is for those currently using Power BI desktop.  The Power BI team would like to hear from you about the challenges and pain points you encounter when using Power BI desktop to author reports, and what can be done to make it better.  Please come prepared to participate in an active dialog, and provide us feedback on your experiences so we can improve Power BI for you. 

Power BI Focus Group: Power BI Report Server and SQL Server Reporting Services

Date: Thursday, November 2
Time: 4:45 PM – 5:45 PM
Speakers: Riccardo Muti, Chris Finlan
Room: 205 (WSCC)

This focus group is for those currently using Power BI Report Server and/or SQL Server Reporting Services.  The Power BI team would like to hear from you about the challenges and pain points you encounter when using Power BI Report Server and/or SQL Server Reporting Services and what can be done to make it better. This is a discussion that requires audience participation.

SQL Clinic and Booths

Finally, the BI team at Microsoft will have a full presence at the in-demand SQL Clinic. If you have a technical question, a troubleshooting challenge, or want to find out about best practices running your BI workloads, the experts at the Clinic will have the answers for you. In addition, if you are passing by the expo hall and you have a product query or want us to dive into your BI solution, BI experts will be available at the booths in the Expo hall at the following times:

  • Wednesday, November 1 from 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM and 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM (Reception hall)
  • Thursday, November 2 from 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM
  • Friday, November 3 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM

We hope this will help you plan out your schedule and make the most of your Summit experience next week. See you there!


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Guide Dogs Nonprofit Provides Blind with a Path to Independence

Posted by Barney Beal, Content Director

In combining the world of breeding, behavioral training, veterinary care and fundraising, managing the largest guide dog operation in North America is no easy task. But for Guide Dogs for the Blind, the payoff is palpable.

To commemorate the National Guide Dog Month last September, NetSuite took a look at one of its innovative nonprofit customers.

Founded in 1942 as way to help wounded veterans returning from WWII, Guide Dogs for the Blind has since evolved into an operation that trains roughly 300 guide dog teams per year and now counts 2,200 active teams across the U.S. and Canada.

Photo%20Jul%2020,%209%2033%2045%20AM Guide Dogs Nonprofit Provides Blind with a Path to IndependenceGetting to that point, however, requires a wide range of disciplines. First of all, Guide Dogs for the Blind, provides all its services for free, without government funding. Karen Woon, Guide Dogs for the Blind’s vice president of marketing noted “providing those services for free can make a huge difference in the lives of the blind, ”Having a guide dog enhances mobility, independence, and social inclusion. Dogs are quite the ice breakers!”

Jason Mitschele, a graduate of the program, has been a guide dog handler for over 25 years.

JR Griff cropped%20(1) Guide Dogs Nonprofit Provides Blind with a Path to Independence“My guide dogs have provided me with confidence, speed, and perhaps more importantly a world of difference in how I see myself and relate to others,” he said. “Being blind can be isolating at times, but with a beautiful dog on your arm, there’s a social aspect to it. It’s a bit like being a celebrity.”

In fact, Mitschele credits one of his guide dogs for meeting his wife Amy. “We met at a fundraiser and when my beautiful black Lab popped his head up from under the table it was game on,” he said.

The services Guide Dogs for the Blind offers encompass; breeding of the dogs, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and Lab/Golden crosses which are chosen for specific health and temperament characteristics; travel expenses to the training campus in San Rafael, Calif. or Boring, Ore.; the two-week training; the guide dog itself; ongoing client support, and veterinary assistance if required. Not only that, but someone coming to one of Guide Dogs for the Blind’s campuses at age 30 is still going to need assistance at 40, 50 and 60 as well. That’s a lot of time in dog years and means a lengthy relationship between the nonprofit and the people it serves.

Ioana Gandrabur was born prematurely with retrolental fibroplasia (RFP) and has been using a guide dog for the past 10 years, helping her navigate the world of international travel as she journeys to concerts and competitions as a trained classical guitarist.

“One of the highlights in my travels with my current guide, Loyal, was returning to Germany 20150319 IMG 7691 Guide Dogs Nonprofit Provides Blind with a Path to Independencewhere I had spent so much time walking with a cane while dreaming about doing it with a guide dog,” Gandrabur said. “It really felt like a dream come true and sharing my new life style with old time friends was so enriching.”

The training also involves more than just putting any dog and any person together, Woon noted. An international business traveler has very different needs from his or her dog than a college student or a retired person whose days are filled going to the library or shopping.

For example, as a Federal Crown Prosecutor in Toronto prosecuting drug-related crimes and other complex cases, Mitschele takes his guide dog with him on investigations and into the courtroom, often resting near the jury box.

The process of creating a guide dog teams is not an easy one, either. Along with finding the right combination of temperaments and paces, Guide Dogs for the Blind also employs instructors and field representatives who travel to the homes of prospective clients to better understand their lifestyle and needs.

Relying on the Army of Awesome

Like many nonprofits, Guide Dogs for the Blind depends on volunteers, notably its “Army of Awesome’” its 2,000 puppy raising families that take in the dogs for the first eight weeks of their life and over 750 campus volunteers. There are, of course, also fundraising demands, with assistance coming from corporate sponsors, alumni and other donors, star athletes like NBA All Star Klay Thompson and Major League Baseball’s Brandon Crawford, as well as a capital campaign for GDB’s forthcoming puppy center.

But, like many nonprofits, Guide Dogs for the Blind relied on manual processes, Excel spreadsheets and an antiquated accounting system to manage the organization. That left it with little visibility into operations and an inability to correct course as the need arose.

By implementing NetSuite in June of 2016, the organization can create reports with the push of a button. In fact, with the help of NetSuite’s Pro Bono volunteers, Guide Dogs for the Blind issues its annual report largely out of a NetSuite script. The organization can also conduct what-if analysis for course corrections based on funding and accounting staff have been freed up from manual work and can now offer more strategic advice.

“With NetSuite, we found that our workplace giving revenue had grown significantly over the past few years without much marketing to support this program,” said Tom Horton, VP of Philanthropy, Guide Dogs for the Blind. “We therefore put more money toward marketing this particular program and pulled some marketing funds from less productive fundraising areas. The software has allowed us to use our dollars more productively.”

Learn more about how NetSuite is helping nonprofits manage their organization.

Posted on Mon, October 2, 2017
by NetSuite filed under

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The Insider’s Guide To Improving Payments And Cash Flow: Evaluate And Select A Partner

The title of this post was inspired by the 1996 documentary “When We Were Kings,” about the heavyweight fight of 1974 between two boxing legends, Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. In the not-so-distant future, it will also be a fitting phrase for many in the banking and insurance industries.

Readers may ask why I am talking about banking and insurance in such doomsday terms. My bleak forecast does not stem from the notion behind the common fintech (financial technology) and insurtech (insurance technology) industry pitch that they will change their respective industries with innovation and better customer experiences, although I firmly believe that some of the startups will cause significant pain to the incumbents and will indeed change their respective industries. One day, some of the existing and as-yet-unlaunched fintech and insurtech companies will also become incumbents that other startups aim to disrupt.

The real threat to the financial industry will come from a radical approach to penetrate the financial market—an approach that I believe has not yet been addressed or even conceived by the competition. The emphasis is clearly on “yet.”

What is this new concept? It is simply this: offering financial services at or below cost. I have mooted this idea at many think tank events, and I thought I should write it down to share it more broadly. It is, and should be, a terrifying thought for many, and I strongly believe this approach will be implemented in the near future. It will bring many of the incumbents to their knees, unless they prepare for what is to come by investing in technology and adapting radical business models.

People talk about the limited impact of fintech and insurtech on the incumbent business model. I must agree that at this point many startups have little influence, if you look only at the customers they have taken away from incumbents. What the startups are already doing, however, is forcing many incumbents to lower their fees to better match what the smaller players offer to their clients.

Moreover, startups have also changed customers’ expectations of the user experience. Startups will also use artificial intelligence and machine learning to compete against the established financial players that have more resources—such as money, data and clients—at hand to compete. There is no way around investing in AI and machine learning to compete successfully against tech-savvy competitors. Many startups and large companies already use machine learning algorithms to build better credit risk models, predict bad loans, detect fraud, anticipate financial market behavior, improve customer relationship management, and provide more customized services to their clients. Arguably, the biggest effect of startups is that they continuously put pressure on incumbent profit margins. Startups will continue to try to change the status quo because they smell blood in the incumbent water.

The real and biggest threat to incumbents will likely originate from tech giants, such as Amazon, Apple and Facebook, and other big non-tech companies that have large customer and employee bases. These organizations will use their customers and employees to sell banking and insurance solutions, and the big financial institutions will become at best dumb pipes. The technical approaches to doing business within the fintech and insurtech industries may provide some of the tools tech giants and other large companies need to execute this strategy.

I know some readers will say that regulators will stop any attempt by non-traditional players to provide many banking and insurance services. However, I do not think regulators can or will stop the new competitors, because these companies will either obtain the necessary licenses to operate or have a bank or insurer provide third-party financial services to them. This strategy is not unlike the way some fintech challenger banks use the licenses of an existing bank to operate.

Why should we expect this scenario of financial industry disruption to happen? In our case, we all seem to agree that the tech giants are the ones to fear because of the Big Data platform and technology knowledge they possess. In addition, tech giants have several advantages, such as the trust factor and the constant interaction with satisfied customers. Furthermore, studies have shown that millennials would prefer to bank with tech giants such as Amazon, Facebook, or Google than with the existing banking players. And last but not least are the tech giants and startups that keep setting the bar higher for exceptional customer experience (for instance Apple’s simplicity or Amazon’s instant gratification) and shape the client behavior and expectations, not the incumbents.

All that speaks to tech giants’ favorable circumstances as serious competitors that are not yet ready to come in at full speed and hit the financial industry broadly, but it does not point to the need to fear an extreme disruption as I projected. I do not believe we will see those tech giants providing whole-spectrum financial services anytime soon, but they have the potential to offer services in certain segments, such as providing payment, lending, or insurance options for their customers and employees.

What is terrifying to imagine is a situation in which tech giants or other big companies provide financial service solutions at or below production costs. No, that is not a typo; I mean providing financial services for nothing—for free.

If we take this scenario to its extreme—that is, selling banking or insurance services for nothing (yes, for zero pounds, euros, dollars, or renminbi)—then we have a situation in which financial institutions in their present forms will die or be reduced to shadows of their current selves.

That can and will happen, and here’s why: Large companies could do exactly that—sell at or below cost—to win or keep customers. The new competitors would not need to earn money and could even afford to lose money in offering financial solutions if these features entice customers and new potential clients to use the companies’ core offerings. Remember that Facebook, for instance, earns the biggest portion of their profits through advertising because they have created a great platform through which people love to interact. Financial solutions would be just another great offering (especially if they are offered for free) to entice many people to join the tech giants’ ecosystems.

Alternatively, car companies such as GM could provide their employees and customers with very cheap or no-cost (no cost to customers, at cost for the company) banking or insurance solutions. Don’t forget that banking and insurance solutions can be provided at very little cost as white-label services from third parties that already have all the necessary licenses, technology and infrastructure.

All is not lost for banks and insurers, but it will be very hard for them to compete against savvy tech giants on their technological home turf. The financial industry must think fast to find ways to compete before their business oxygen runs out.

One solution that banks and insurers should pursue aggressively is to embrace the fintech and insurtech industries for their innovative business spirit and fast, direct execution approach to new ideas. That means financial institutions should buy what they can or partner with startups to make up for all the shortcomings that legacy brings. Size and regulation will not be enough to protect incumbent financial institutions against new competitors, as we have seen in many other industries.

Another idea might be for financial institutions to place advertisements on their websites or apps to compensate for loss of profit margins. I do not think this is the only solution, but financial institutions must innovate beyond their core areas of expertise and standard industry practices. Why do you think Amazon, Uber, and Airbnb have been so successful at disrupting their industries? Because they thought and acted as if they had nothing to lose and everything to gain.

The “at or below cost” approach to financial service solutions is not a far-fetched scenario for tech giants and other companies that are trying to find new ways to attract and keep clients. The banking and insurance industries must at least get very comfortable with the idea that low-cost or free financial services are coming.

A tsunami is often unnoticed in the open sea, but once it approaches the shore, it causes the sea to rise in a massive, devastating wave. The financial industry needs to determine if the threat by tech giants and non-tech companies is a small wave or a tsunami and prepare accordingly. My recommendation to all financial institutions is this: You’d better prepare for a tsunami, even if all you see is a small wave on the horizon.

Read more in my new white paper “Machine Learning in Financial Services: Changing the Rules of the Game.”

SAP Machine Learning Banner 728x90 V2 The Insider’s Guide To Improving Payments And Cash Flow: Evaluate And Select A Partner

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UPDATED: Big Data Warehousing Must See Guide for Oracle OpenWorld 2017

 UPDATED: Big Data Warehousing Must See Guide for Oracle OpenWorld 2017 ** NEW ** Chapter 5

 UPDATED: Big Data Warehousing Must See Guide for Oracle OpenWorld 2017

*** UPDATED *** Must-See Guide now available as PDF and via Apple iBooks Store

This updated version now contains details of all the most important hands-on labs AND a day-by-day calendar. This means that our comprehensive guide now covers absolutely everything you need to know about this year’s Oracle OpenWorld conference. Now, when you arrive at Moscone Conference Center you are ready to get the absolute most out of this amazing conference.

The updated, and still completely free, big data warehousing Must-See guide for OpenWorld 2017 is now available for download from the Apple iBooks Store – click hereand in PDF format – click here.

Just so you know…this guide contains the following information:

Chapter 1

 – Introduction to the must-see guide. 

Chapter 2

 – A guide to the key the highlights from last year’s conference so you can relive the experience or see what you missed. Catch the most important highlights from last year’s OpenWorld conference with our on demand video service which covers all the major keynote sessions. Sit back and enjoy the highlights. The second section explains why you need to attend this year’s conference and how to justify it to your company. 

Chapter 3

- Full list of Oracle Product Management and Development presenters who will be at this year’s OpenWorld. Links to all their social media sites are included alongside each profile. Read on to find out about the key people who can help you and your teams build the FUTURE using Oracle’s Data Warehouse and Big Data technologies. 

Chapter 4

 – List of the “must-see” sessions

and hands-on labs

at this year’s OpenWorld by category. It includes all the sessions and hands-on labs by the Oracle Product Management and Development teams along with key customer sessions. Read on for the list of the best, most innovative sessions at Oracle OpenWorld 2017. 

Chapter 5

 – Day-by-Day “must-see” guide. It includes all the sessions and hands-on labs by the Oracle Product Management and Development teams along with key customer sessions. Read on for the list of the best, most innovative sessions at Oracle OpenWorld 2017. 

Chapter 6

 – Details of all the links you need to keep up to date on Oracle’s strategy and products for Data Warehousing and Big Data. This covers all our websites, blogs and social media pages. 

Chapter 7  

Details of our exclusive web application for smartphones and tablets provides you with a complete guide to everything related to data warehousing and big data at OpenWorld 2017. 

Chapter 8

 – Information to help you find your way around the area surrounding the Moscone Conference Center this section includes some helpful maps. 

Let me know if you have any comments. Enjoy and see you in San Francisco.

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The Powerful Guide to SEO for Startups and Small Businesses

blog title seo laptop splash 351x200 The Powerful Guide to SEO for Startups and Small Businesses

Ensuring your site is optimized for search engines will include a few additional tasks, which involve research and discovery. The center of most SEO revolves around keywords, that is, the specific words your prospects and current customers will use to find a website like yours.

Keyword research is the process SEO professionals use to discover a full list of search terms that people enter into search engines while looking for information on a particular topic. Keywords can be simple or complex, depending on your industry and customer needs. These keywords are then used to achieve better rankings in search engines. How? Through on-page optimization. Read our helpful article, A Keyword Primer: Finding and Using Keyword Effectively, to get started on keyword research.

On-page optimization is the implementation piece of the puzzle, after you’ve effectively researched keywords. It’s not enough to simply discover the terms you want your pages to rank for; next you must use those keywords throughout your pages ‒ in the right places.

On-page refers to both the content and HTML source code of a page, which can be optimized for search engines. Seed keywords throughout the page in the following locations in order to properly optimize a page:

  • Meta title
  • Meta description
  • Throughout copy
  • Image alt tags
  • Internal links & external links
  • H1-H5/heading tags
  • URLs
  • LSI Keywords (synonyms that Google users to determine a pages topical relevancy)

Once your pages are optimized, it’s time to sit back and monitor your results. Pages that are well optimized are more likely to rank for the keywords which were intentionally placed on the page. Tracking your progress will help as an indicator of your success and tell you whether or not more optimization is needed.

Promote

An additional way you can optimize your startup’s website is through offsite factors. This type of promotion is a way to get your website mentioned on other websites and get it in front of your audience ‒ enabling you to make more money online.

Off-page optimization is a set of techniques you can use to increase the search engine rankings of your website; it’s the act of optimizing your brand’s online and offline presence. A huge part of off-page SEO are backlinks, which are incoming hyperlinks from one page to another website.

The number of backlinks a given website has is a pretty accurate indicator of how popular, important, or authoritative it is. External backlinks influence a search engine to understand what a page and website is about and can help improve rankings for specific keywords. While backlinks are an ever-decreasing factor in SEO, they still hold a large importance for search engines to determine where a site should be placed.

The goal of off-page SEO is to accumulate as many positive signals as possible for your brand, in a spam-free way. Off-page link building can be achieved in a number of ways, including the following:

  • getting mentions of your brand linked back to your website;
  • claiming local profiles for your brand and location;
  • using social media and adding your website URL to your active social profiles;
  • achieving press on your local news website or industry blogs, with a link back to your site;
  • partnership and portfolio pages mentioning your website;
  • backlinks pointing to valuable content such as case studies, research reports, white papers and free guides; and
  • so much more!

If you’re interested in reading more about link building, check out our article Part 2: Link Building and SEO Strategies to Resurrect in 2017.

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