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Building a (Big) Data Pipeline the Right Way – ReadWrite

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Building a (Big) Data Pipeline


Gathering and analyzing data has been the craze of business for quite some time now. Yet, too often, the former takes hold of companies at such strength that no care is given to the thought of utilizing data. There’s a reason we had to invent a name for this phenomenon – “dark data.”

Unfortunately, data is often gathered without a good reason. It’s understandable – a lot of internal data is collected by default. The current business climate necessitates using many tools (e.g., CRMs, accounting logs, billing) that automatically create reports and store data.

The collection process is even more expansive for digital businesses and often includes server logs, consumer behavior, and other tangential information.

Building a (Big) Data Pipeline the Right Way

Unless you’re in the data-as-a-service (DaaS) business, simply collecting data doesn’t bring any benefit. With all the hype surrounding data-driven decision-making, I believe many people have lost sight of the forest for the trees. Collecting all forms of data becomes an end in itself.

In fact, such an approach is costing the business money. There’s no free lunch – someone has to set up the collection method, manage the process, and keep tabs on the results. That’s resources and finances wasted. Instead of striving for the quantity of data, we should be looking for ways to lean out the collection process.

Humble Beginnings

Pretty much every business begins its data acquisition journey by collecting marketing, sales, and account data. Certain practices such as Pay-Per-Click (PPC) have proven themselves to be incredibly easy to measure and analyze through the lens of statistics, making data collection a necessity. On the other hand, relevant data is often produced as a byproduct of regular day-to-day activities in sales and account management.

Businesses have already caught on that sharing data between marketing, sales, and account management departments may lead to great things. However, the data pipeline is often clogged, and the relevant information is only accessed abstractly.

Often, the way departments share information lacks immediacy. There is no direct access to data; instead, it’s being shared through in-person meetings or discussions. That’s just not the best way to do it. On the other hand, having consistent access to new data may provide departments with important insights.

Interdepartmental Data

Rather unsurprisingly, interdepartmental data can improve efficiency in numerous ways. For example, data on the Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) leads between departments will steer to better sales and marketing practices (e.g., a more defined content strategy).

Here’s the burning issue for every business that collects a large amount of data: it’s scattered. Potentially useful information is left all over spreadsheets, CRMs, and other management systems. Therefore, the first step should be not to get more data but to optimize the current processes and prepare them for use.

Combining Data Sources

Luckily, with the advent of Big Data, businesses have been thinking through information management processes in great detail. As a result, data management practices have made great strides in the last few years, making optimization processes a lot simpler.

Data Warehouses

A commonly used principle of data management is building a warehouse for data gathered from numerous sources. But, of course, the process isn’t as simple as integrating a few different databases. Unfortunately, data is often stored in incompatible formats, making standardization necessary.

Usually, data integration into a warehouse follows a 3-step process – extraction, transformation, load (ETL). There are different approaches; however, ETL is most likely the most popular option. Extraction, in this case, means taking the data that has already been acquired from either internal or external collection processes.

Data transformation is the most complex process of the three. It involves aggregating data from various formats into a common one, identifying missing or repeating fields. In most businesses, doing all of this manually is out of the question; therefore, traditional programming methods (e.g., SQL) are used.

Loading — Moving to the Warehouse

Loading is basically just moving the prepared data to the warehouse in question. While it’s a basic process of moving data from one source to another, it’s important to note that warehouses do not store real-time information. Therefore, separating operational databases from warehouses allows the former to separate as a backup and avoid unnecessary corruption.

Data warehouses usually have a few critical features:

  • Integrated. Data warehouses are an accumulation of information from heterogeneous sources into one place.
  • Time variant. Data is historical and identified as from within a particular time period.
  • Non-volatile. Previous data is not removed when newer information is added.
  • Subject oriented. Data is a collection of information based on subjects (personnel, support, sales, revenue, etc.) instead of being directly related to ongoing operations.

External Data to Maximize Potential

Building a data warehouse is not the only way of getting more from the same amount of information. They help with interdepartmental efficiency. Data enrichment processes might help with intradepartmental efficiency.

Data enrichment from external sources

Data enrichment is the process of combining information from external sources with internal ones. Sometimes, enterprise-level businesses might be able to enrich data from purely internal sources if they have enough different departments.

While warehouses will work nearly identical for almost any business that deals with large volumes of data, each enrichment process will be different. This is because enrichment processes are directly dependent on business goals. Otherwise, we would go back to square one, where data is being collected without a proper end-goal.

Inbound lead enrichment

A simple approach that might be beneficial to many businesses would be inbound lead enrichment. Regardless of the industry, responding quickly to requests for more information has increased the efficiency of sales. Enriching leads with professional data (e.g., public company information) would provide an opportunity to automatically categorize leads and respond to those closer to the Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) faster.

Of course, data enrichment need not be limited to sales departments. All kinds of processes can be empowered by external data – from marketing campaigns to legal compliance. However, as always, specifics have to be kept in mind. All data should serve a business purpose.

Conclusion

Before treading into complex data sources, cleaning up internal processes will bring greater results. With dark data comprising over 90% of all data collected by businesses, it’s better at first to look inwards and optimize the current processes. Including more sources will exile some potentially useful information due to inefficient data management practices.

After creating robust systems for data management, we can move on to gathering complex data. We can then be sure we won’t miss anything important and be able to match more data points for valuable insights.

Image Credit: rfstudio; pexels; thank you!

Julius Cerniauskas

CEO at Oxylabs

Julius Cerniauskas is Lithuania’s technology industry leader & the CEO of Oxylabs, covering topics on web scraping, big data, machine learning & tech trends.

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The Benefits of Standing Desks for Office Workers

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The Benefits of Standing Desks for Office Workers


Standing desks have become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason.

In this article, I’ll discuss the benefits of standing desks for office workers.

The Dangers of Prolonged Sitting

Sitting for extended periods can be harmful to your health.

Prolonged sitting has been linked to various health problems, including obesity, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes.

It can also increase the risk of certain types of cancer, such as colon and endometrial cancer.

The Benefits of Standing Desks

Standing desks offer a range of benefits that can improve the health of office workers.

This is not to say that you have to stand the entire day — but forcing oneself to stand several times during the workday will significantly improve your health.

Improved posture

One of the most significant benefits of standing desks is that they can improve posture. Sitting for long periods can lead to slouching, which can cause neck and back pain.

By standing at a desk, you can maintain a more upright posture, which can reduce the risk of neck and back pain.

Tips for a Good Posture

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Ensure your feet are flat on the floor and your shoulders are relaxed.
  • Keep your head straight, eyes looking forward, and chin parallel to the floor.
  • Keep your arms loosely at your sides, with your elbows bent at 90 degrees.
  • Take regular breaks to move around, stretch, and relax your back, neck, and shoulders.

Increased energy levels

Standing desks can also increase energy levels, helping you to stay alert and focused throughout the day.

It’s because standing desks can improve blood circulation, which helps to deliver more oxygen and nutrients to the brain.

Improves Mood

Standing desks can also improve mood, helping to reduce stress and increase feelings of well-being.

Having a good mood in the office can have a significant impact on the productivity and overall morale of the workplace.

A good mood has been linked to improved performance, higher levels of engagement, and even better physical health for office workers.

Increased Focus and Productivity

Standing desks have also been shown to increase focus and productivity. When we sit for long periods, our bodies tend to become sluggish, and our minds start to wander.

It can lead to a decrease in focus and productivity.

In contrast, standing desks keep us alert and focused, as they require us to maintain an upright position for a while — and maintain a constant state of movement.

Here are some tips to maximize your productivity while at a standing desk:

  • Listen to Music.
  • Take Breaks.
  • Use a Footrest.
  • Keep it Clean.

Reduced Risk of Health Problems

Another benefit of standing desks is the reduced risk of health problems. Sitting for long periods has been linked to a range of health problems, including obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

By using a standing desk, office workers can reduce their risk of these problems and maintain a healthy weight.

Additionally, standing desks have been shown to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, including colon cancer and breast cancer.

Promotes Weight Loss

Weight loss is a benefit (from bestdesksgeek dot com) of standing desks that often goes unnoticed. Standing desks offer a great way to burn extra calories while working.

Studies suggest that standing at a desk can burn up to 50-110 extra calories per hour compared to sitting. This can add up over time and contribute to weight loss.

Better Sleep

Finally, standing desks can also help improve the quality of sleep. Sitting for long periods has been linked to poor sleep quality, as it can cause discomfort and stress.

On the other hand, standing desks promote good posture and reduce stress, which can lead to better sleep quality.

Additionally, standing desks have been shown to reduce the risk of sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea.

Cost-Benefit Analysis of Implementing Standing Desks in the Workplace

While the benefits of standing desks are numerous, they do come with a cost.

Below is a cost-benefit analysis of standing desks:

Cost of Implementation

While the benefits of standing desks are numerous, they do come with a cost.

The cost of implementation can vary depending on the type of standing desk you choose and the number of employees you need to accommodate.

It’s important to consider the cost of the desks themselves, as well as the cost of any necessary modifications to the work environment, such as electrical and plumbing upgrades.

Return on Investment (ROI)

Despite the upfront cost of implementing standing desks in the workplace, the return on investment can be substantial. Improved employee health, increased productivity, and reduced absenteeism can all lead to improved bottom-line performance.

How Incorrect Posture Can Lead To Health Issues While Using a Standing Desk?

If you work at a standing desk, it’s important to be aware of the potential health risks associated with incorrect posture.

Poor posture can lead to several health issues, including musculoskeletal problems, headaches, and fatigue.

One of the most common problems associated with incorrect posture is a pain in the neck, shoulders, and back.

This is often caused by slouching or hunching over, which puts unnecessary strain on the spine. Poor posture can also lead to tension headaches and migraines.

Fatigue is another common problem caused by incorrect posture. When you stand for long periods, it’s important to maintain good posture to avoid fatiguing your muscles.

If you slouch or hunch over, you’ll likely start to feel tired more quickly.

Incorrect posture can also cause problems with circulation. When you stand, your blood flow should be directed downwards towards your feet.

However, if you slouch or hunch over, your blood flow can be restricted, leading to dizziness, lightheadedness, and even fainting.

FAQs

Are standing desks more comfortable than traditional seated desks?

Yes, standing desks are more comfortable than traditional seated desks. Standing desks offer several comfort benefits, including reduced risk of pressure injuries and improved focus and motivation.

How often should I use my standing desk?

It’s also important to use your standing desk regularly to get the most benefit from it.

Is a mat necessary when using a standing desk?

No, a mat is not hundred percent necessary, but for standing for long periods — it provides a non-slip surface for added safety.

Conclusion

Standing desks offer a range of benefits for office workers, including improved posture, increased focus and productivity, reduced risk of health problems, increased energy levels, and better sleep quality.

With so many benefits, it is no wonder that standing desks are becoming a popular choice for office workers around the world.

In this article, I’ve discussed the benefits of standing desks for office workers.

What benefits have you seen from your standing desk? Let us know!

Featured Image Credit: Provided by the Author; Unsplash; Thank you!

William Lowery

William is a furniture enthusiast who loves nothing more than spending his free time combing through antique stores and online auction sites in search of the perfect piece.
He is the lead author at Desks Geek, he helps others by writing “how-to guides” and “best recommendations” about desks.

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What is a Divorce from Bed and Board?

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What is a divorce from bed and board?


If you are considering filing for a divorce from bed and board, it is important to understand what it entails. Commonly known as a “legal separation,” this type of dissolution of a marriage involves much more than just the two parties not living together anymore; instead, it may include property division and child custody rights, among other things.

In some cases, obtaining a bed and board divorce can even be difficult to obtain in certain states due to the laws related to separations. Regardless of your motive behind wanting or needing one, knowing all that goes into such an arrangement can help you make informed decisions regarding your future.

Overview of divorce from bed and board

A divorce from bed and board is a type of divorce that involves two parties legally separating but never actually getting divorced. It’s not uncommon for couples who want to pursue divorce proceedings to first consider this option, as it allows them to maintain the legal benefits of being married without having to endure the heartache and stress associated with an actual divorce.

What are the benefits of divorce from bed and board?

The main benefit of divorce from bed and board is that it allows couples to divide assets, establish custody rights, and make arrangements pertaining to support payments in a way that’s agreeable to both parties. This means they can move on with their lives while still enjoying many of the benefits of marriage, including being able to file jointly for taxes and having access to health insurance.

Are there downsides to divorce from bed and board?

Though divorce, from bed and board, may seem like the perfect solution for some couples, it is important to understand that it can be difficult or even impossible to obtain in certain states due to the legal definition of divorce. Additionally, some couples may find themselves stuck in a limbo-like situation if they remain legally married but live separately.

Couples should also be aware that divorce from bed and board does not dissolve a marriage — meaning the two parties are still technically married and can’t remarry without getting an actual divorce.

Filing for divorce from bed and board is a serious decision that should not be taken lightly. It’s important to consult a lawyer experienced in family law before deciding if this option is right for you. With the right guidance, you can decide what’s best for your situation and move forward with confidence.

What is a divorce from bed and board?

What are the grounds for a divorce from bed and board?

In order to file for divorce from bed and board, you must have a valid reason, such as:

  1. Adultery – Adultery is one of the most valid grounds for divorce from bed and board. It is voluntary sexual intercourse between two married people, one of whom is not the other’s legal spouse. But in many states — the judges don’t care either way.
  2. Abandonment – Abandonment involves one spouse leaving the marital home without any intention to return or provide support for at least one year.
  3. Cruelty – Cruelty can be defined as any physical or mental abuse suffered by either spouse.
  4. Separation – Separation occurs when spouses have lived apart for at least a year due to disagreements or other factors.
  5. Habitual Intemperance – Habitual intemperance is the excessive use of drugs or alcohol by one spouse.
  6. Excessive Spending – This involves one spouse spending money in a way that is detrimental to the other spouse’s financial interests.

Understanding divorce from bed and board can help you make an informed decision when considering your legal options. Before making any decisions, it’s important to consult a lawyer to ensure this is the right choice for you. With the right guidance, you can move forward with confidence.

What are the consequences of a divorce from bed and board?

The consequences of divorce from bed and board depend on the agreement reached between the two parties. Additionally, they may have difficulty remarrying in the future without obtaining an actual divorce.

Overall, this type of divorce can be a viable option for couples who are looking to divorce but wish to maintain some of the benefits of marriage. It is important to understand all of the legal implications before making any decisions, so it’s always best to consult an experienced family law attorney. With the right guidance, you can make informed decisions that are in your best interests.

How can a divorce attorney help you with this?

A divorce attorney can provide invaluable assistance, especially in cases where you’re going through a divorce from bed and board (garrettandwalker dot com, same title). They will advise you on the best course of action and ensure that all legal requirements are met. They will also work with you to create a divorce agreement and represent your interests in court if needed.

With the right guidance, you can make informed decisions that are in your best interests. If this is the right option for you, a divorce lawyer can help you to understand all the legal aspects. With a divorce attorney by your side, you can move forward with confidence.

Conclusion

Divorce from bed and board is a viable option for couples who wish to divorce but remain married. It can provide some of the benefits of marriage without many disadvantages. Before making any decisions, it’s important to understand all of the legal implications and consult an experienced lawyer. With the right legal guidance, you can make informed decisions that are in your best interests.

Inner Image Credit: Photos by cottonbro studio; Thank you!

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Lucas Vitale

Lucas is the Co-Founder & CEO at SEO Assistance. With a decade of experience in SEO, he has used his skillset to help grow thousands of businesses around the world.

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The Top 7 AI Podcasts You Need To Hear Now

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The Top 7 AI Podcasts You Need To Hear Now


With artificial intelligence now being used to write everything from college homework to Congressional speeches, it’s more important than ever to stay on top of the latest advances in machine learning, natural language processing, and all things AI. 

We’ve brought together a list of seven of the top podcasts that track and explain the newest developments. They look behind the scenes at the technology behind the platforms, and they discuss how artificial intelligence is already upending business, marketing, data analysis, and more.

The TWIML AI Podcast 

The TWIML AI Podcast used to be known as This Week in Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence. The new name is shorter and snappier, but the content is just as deep and complex. Hosted by Sam Charrington, the podcast has produced more than 630 weekly episodes featuring interviews with a host of guests — usually technicians and scientists—working in the field of AI. The subjects of the discussions are often fairly complex. If you want to understand the human thinking behind artificial thinking, the show is essential listening.

 The Bad AI Show 

If interviews with Stanford professors aren’t your thing, try the Bad AI Show. Hosted by Joel Comm and Travis Wright of the Bad Crypto Podcast. The pair take a fun, laidback approach to new technology, explaining clearly — and wittily — the latest developments in artificial intelligence and its practical effects. Think of the TWIML AI podcast as a Stanford lecture and the Bad AI Show as the lounge next door. It’s a fun, relaxed chat with smart people about AI topics that get everyone thinking. The show is released as both an audio and video version.

The AI Podcast

One of the biggest challenges that a discussion of AI generates is how the new technology will be applied in the real world. Noah Kravitz’s The AI Podcast has already generated almost 200 answers. Each episode features an interview with experts using artificial intelligence to further their work. They’ve included a wildlife biologist tracking endangered rhinos, an astrophysicist analyzing starlight, and language learners grappling with Arabic pronunciation and even the delivery of sports highlights. 

Data Skeptic

As you listen to those interviews with people applying AI to such a broad range of fields, it’s worth asking about the effectiveness of AI in solving those problems and whether they couldn’t be solved in an easier way. Claims for the benefits of artificial intelligence will grow, so make sure you’re also listening to Kyle Polich’s Data Skeptic. The podcast has already produced more than 470 episodes with interviews that take down the hype and take a realistic view of what AI can and can’t do.

 

The AI in Business Podcast 

One area where both the hype and the expectation will be highest is in business applications of artificial intelligence. Each week, on the AI in Business Podcast, Daniel Faggella, the CEO of Emerj Artificial Intelligence Research, interviews AI executives from leading firms and startups to explore how business is adapting AI and exploring the opportunities the new technology offers.

 

 

The Marketing AI Show

Business is a broad topic. The Marketing AI Show tries to narrow things down with a focus specifically on the way marketers are using artificial intelligence to improve sales. The podcast is created by the Marketing AI Institute and the Marketing AI Conference (MAICON), and it’s essential listening for anyone wondering how the new technology can help their business identify leads and improve conversions.

 

 

Eye on AI

Finally, Eye on A.I. takes a broader, more journalistic approach to the developments of artificial intelligence. Out every two weeks and hosted by New York Times correspondent Craig S. Smith, each episode features an interview with a leader pushing AI into new ground. Episodes have discussed AI in supply chain optimization and finance but they’ve also delved behind the scenes to look at issues surrounding privacy and the future of AI itself.

 

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Jean Balzan; Pexels; Thank you!

Brad Anderson

Editor In Chief at ReadWrite

Brad is the editor overseeing contributed content at ReadWrite.com. He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at brad at readwrite.com.

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