Best IT Staffing Agency & Quick Turn Support Services

Every company has specific IT needs. If a support service provider wants to be successful, it must get to know each client. No matter what solution providers offer—from consulting services to IT staffing—they must deliver timely, quick-turn support services.

You have a business to run, and finding the right human resources can be difficult. If you do reach out for help, how can you be sure you’ll receive the right staffing or consulting services when you need them? Engage Tek Leaders and let us take the pressure off.

We match you with people who have the right skills and experience to meet your company’s needs, quickly. Instead of worrying about the details of recruitment and other business challenges, let us create solutions and handle the details. Your time is better spent growing your company and focusing on its goals.

Tek Leaders has strong product experience in all types of technology. We know how to source the talent you need. We recruit talented, passionate, dedicated candidates to help make your organization stronger.

The Best IT Staffing Agency in Texas—and Planetwide

Finding the right people can be hard. But Tek Leaders has qualified, reliable staff ready to work. When your business needs to add new skill sets or another set of hands, we can find them. Our process starts by understanding your specific IT staffing needs.

We take the time to understand your short and long-term goals, and provide staff who have the skills and dedication needed to help you achieve them. We have an established base of IT staff, including programmers and software engineers, ready for projects all across the United States—even on short notice.

When you choose our IT staffing services, we’ll only send you the best of the best—the most qualified candidates who stand out from the crowd. If you’re not sure of your staffing needs, we can help determine which additional skills are required to complement yours, and can find candidates who have them.

We also offer managed services that take the hassle out of ongoing and routine maintenance. Do your developers hate doing application maintenance and want to move onto new projects? Our management and maintenance services can free up their time. By analyzing what your business needs and by understanding your goals, we can help identify skill gaps—and which services will fill them. We offer a variety of IT consulting services, including business intelligence, data analytics or cloud migration.

Our Quick Turn Support Services Can Solve Your Business Challenges, Quickly.

No matter what IT consulting services you choose, you can be sure you’ll receive quick-turn support services, delivered promptly. We know how quickly market conditions change in the IT industry. Part of helping your business is ensuring that once you engage Tek Leaders you receive your solution when you need it.

Tek Leaders is an agile company that responds quickly to pressing business challenges. We’re here to solve problems, with customized solutions for your business strategy, all optimized to help you get the most value from your data and technology.

When Deadlines are Tight and Expectations are High, Contact Tek Leaders.

If you need quality staff and solutions immediately, contact Tek Leaders. We can place IT staff with your organization when you need them most. When you’re facing complex IT business problems, we can provide custom solutions within a quick turnaround time.

When you need help that’s specialized for IT-related challenges, contact Tek Leaders first. We have the resources and knowledge to help solve even the trickiest problems. Contact us, tell us what your business needs, and give our customized solutions a try. We’re confident you’ll see the value of our quality staffing and quick-turn support services within weeks. You can also reach us by email or call us at (214) 504-1600 directly.

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Business Intelligence and Analytics Management | FAQs

Business Intelligence and Analytics Management | FAQs

Every successful leader understands the importance of business intelligence and analytics management. Market conditions change constantly and business sectors grow more competitive with each passing day. But if you’re new to business intelligence and analytics management there can be a steep learning curve. And even the savviest heads of marketing or finance have questions.

Knowing the details of how to implement and use business intelligence and analytics solutions and the insights they yield is the first step in making better-informed decisions. Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions.

Business Intelligence and Analytics Management FAQs

Q: How are business intelligence and business analytics different?

A: “Business intelligence” and “business analytics” are not interchangeable terms. Business intelligence (BI) analyzes existing business data to predict events. Business analytics (BA) extracts insights from business information from the past to create more successful business planning in the future. BI and BA both create insights that help you make smarter decisions. For example, they can help you identify new revenue opportunities, track KPIs, become more efficient, predict customer trends or raise productivity.

Q: How can BI and BA uncover the insights hidden within large numbers of datapoints?

A: When you have a lot of datapoints to wade through it can be hard to create useful insights. You can use a BI or BA solution to locate the data you’ve designated as being most important, even within big data. Then the solution can organize those insights and present them in easy to understand ways, such as through reports, charts, summaries, or dashboards.

Q: What can I do to stop multiple people within my organization from using different data?

A: When you have too many practitioners it can be hard to yield useful planning from their data sets. For example, you may have people working with old spreadsheets or having trouble with version control. Instead, try migrating to a BI or BA solution. You’ll notice right away how much simpler it is when everyone is analyzing the same data—data that can be easily accessed and automatically updated across your organization.

Q: My company currently uses Excel for all its data-interpretation needs. How can I overcome Excel’s limitations?

A: While Excel is a useful program, it’s not a great tool for data analysis. It’s a spreadsheet tool, not a BI or BA tool. Manual data entry in Excel makes it far from error-proof, especially when a document is passed around and edited within your organization. It makes it hard to sift through large volumes of data, and you certainly don’t want to try working in a spreadsheet that goes on longer than 1000 rows.

A dedicated BI and BA solution is more accurate because it self-updates data automatically. I can pull structured and unstructured data from different sources, yielding insights that are useful in all areas of your business—not just within a single department using Excel. And you can use a BI or BA solution to instantly manipulate data, uncovering patterns using interactive data discovery and visualization. Building a single detailed chart can take hours in Excel, and not even the most advanced Excel user can create the same results as a dedicated BI or BA solution can, using far less effort.

Q: When should I deploy a new BI or BA strategy?

A: It’s common to start looking into a BI or BA strategy when a business problem arises that you think has a solution hidden within your data. But you don’t have to wait for such a problem to arise. A BI or BA strategy can be adopted any time. Try using one now and make collecting, cleaning and analyzing data an ongoing process. Once you start, you’ll see how easy it is to use it to make strategic business decisions on a routine basis.

Q: What criteria should I consider when choosing a BI or BA Solution?
A: 
If your company is not using a BI or BA solution you should definitely start. But if you’re not sure what capabilities to look for, here are some to keep in mind.

  • Analytics (such as benchmarking, predictive analytics, social media and web analytics, statistic analytics, data mining)
  • Data blending support
  • Data visualization (such as storyboarding, geospatial integration, barcodes, infographics, widgets)
  • Flexibility to adjust to business changes
  • Maintenance and support
  • Purchase price
  • ROI
  • Scalability, especially regarding user growth
  • The ability to integrate with third-party applications

If You Don’t See Your Question Answered Here, Give Us a Call.

These are just some of the questions people have on their minds, and if we haven’t answered yours, give us a call. We have business intelligence and analytics experts who would be happy to talk to you any time. Our Tek Leaders teammates can walk you through all the details of intelligence or business analytics implementation and optimization. Or if you’re looking for solutions, they can help with that, too.

There’s a lot to learn about business intelligence and analytics management. And there are new solutions that can help you yield more successful insights being innovated every day. With a little know-how, your business could be using business intelligence and analytics management to beat your competitors and master the changing market. Tek Leaders is ready to help you achieve all of those goals and more.

If you’re ready to improve your business intelligence or business analytics management, contact Tek Leaders today. Our experienced IT services team will find custom solutions for your industry’s specific needs, including powerful data analytics tools and detailed business intelligence strategies. Or, if you have more questions about our process, you can reach us by email or call us at (214) 504-1600 directly.

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Cloud Computing vs. Cloud Storage: What Does Your Company Need?

Cloud Computing vs. Cloud Storage: What Does Your Company Need?

If you’re looking for the best cloud computing or storage system for your company’s needs, consider the pros and cons of these systems and your organization’s goals. While both technologies have great benefits, you should think carefully about whether they are the right option(s) for you. Every company has a unique set of needs and requires a customized business strategy to address them. The same is true when you consider a cloud computing vs. cloud storage system. The system that most benefits one company may not necessarily benefit another, so customization is key. This guide will help you decide which technologies are the best to help reach your goals.

Cloud Computing vs. Cloud Storage

It can be difficult to choose between cloud computing vs. cloud storage because these two methods are so closely related. Most companies use a combination of cloud computing and storage systems to get the best possible results. However, you don’t necessarily have to use both of these services; in fact, in some cases, it’s better to use just one.

To determine which service is right for your company, consider the key differences between cloud computing vs. cloud storage:

  • Cloud storage is the process of storing your data on a virtual server. You may also have data stored onsite as a backup, however, all of this data also exists on the cloud just in case the onsite data is compromised.
  • Cloud computing is the process of analyzing or using this stored data in the cloud. You can access your data through a virtual desktop or internet application. There is no hardware required and any device can access the data using a secure login and internet connection.

If you’re deciding between cloud computing vs. cloud storage, you have three options:

  1. Implementing a storage and computing system at the same time. To use cloud computing, you need to have an effective cloud storage system in place first.
  2. Using a cloud storage system on its own. Cloud storage doesn’t depend on cloud computing–while computing can help you analyze and visualize your data, it isn’t a necessity.
  3. Having both a cloud storage and an onsite storage system. The cloud storage system is the one you’ll use on a daily basis, while the onsite system is merely a failsafe–an extra layer of security.

But which option is right for your needs? By thinking carefully about some of the pros and cons of each system, you’ll make the best decision for your company.

Cloud Storage Benefits

Because cloud storage is a requirement for effective cloud computing, you should start by determining whether this method will benefit your company. Nearly every company can make use of cloud storage, especially now that there are numerous security protocols in place to protect sensitive data.

Here are some of the pros and cons of this system:

The Pros

  • Your data is more accessible
  • You won’t have to store or organize paperwork
  • Data analysis is faster and more accurate
  • Sharing and collaboration is easier
  • Data readings can be automated
  • Employees spend less time managing data by-hand
  • You’ll spend less money on onsite data storage resources
  • Your data storage system is more flexible and scalable

The Cons

  • Cloud storage comes with a few unique security risks
  • There may be a steep learning curve at first
  • You’ll have to pay additional cloud storage fees
  • The cloud storage option must meet your industry’s compliance standards

As you can see, the benefits of cloud storage far outnumber the possible downsides and risks. Moreover, you can usually avoid most, if not all, of the challenges of cloud storage when you work with a trustworthy service provider.

For example, in the past, healthcare providers weren’t able to store any patient information in the cloud because there were too many potential security risks. Now, however, cloud storage has become much more secure. A recent survey found that 84 percent of healthcare providers already use cloud storage in some form, and 69 percent say that they plan on moving even more data to the cloud.

As long as the cloud storage service provider that you use is aware of your industry’s compliance standards, you should be able to safely make the transition to the cloud. Likewise, reliable service providers also handle all of the details of the transition for you, reducing the potential learning curve.

And if your industry still requires onsite data storage, you can make use of both cloud and onsite storage at the same time. This does come with a few additional costs. Still, this option is better than maintaining an onsite storage system alone. You can use the cloud storage system to perform data analysis and maintain the onsite system only for backup purposes.

An effective cloud storage system is one that is secure, intuitive to use and makes the storage process as simple and straightforward as possible. Unless your industry has strict rules banning the use of cloud storage technology, there is no reason why your company shouldn’t make this transition. It has become the new standard in almost every industry.

The question, then, is not whether you need cloud storage, but whether you need both cloud storage and cloud computing. To answer this question, you’ll need to look more carefully into the pros and cons of cloud computing vs. cloud storage.

Cloud Computing Benefits

The power of cloud computing can’t be underestimated. Having a reliable cloud computing system in place allows you to make the most out of your cloud storage system and leverage your data in exciting and innovative ways. It takes your cloud storage process to the next level.

Here are a few pros and cons to think about if you’re wondering whether you need a cloud computing system:

The Pros

  • More detailed insights and accurate analysis results
  • Faster analytics
  • Fewer mistakes due to human error
  • Cost savings on physical servers and hardware
  • Predictive analysis leads to better efficiency and loss prevention
  • The software updates automatically
  • New technologies are easier to implement
  • You’ll receive around the clock technical support
  • There is no training required

The Cons

  • You’ll have to pay additional cloud computing fees
  • Your company may not need this level of detailed analytics

Not every company needs cloud computing. While this service can benefit the vast majority of industries, it may not be essential for running your business. The key to deciding between cloud computing vs. cloud storage is to think very carefully about what cloud computing can do for you.

Most of the time, the added costs of cloud storage are well worth all of the benefits you get from it. Cloud computing may even save you money over time. For example, if you work with a massive amount of data and frequently generate financial reports, quarterly charts, risk analysis studies or demographic surveys, then cloud computing will have a significant impact on your business. Almost every company will save time and money when they hire a cloud computing provider to analyze and visualize data.

However, if your company only needs to keep data on-file for future reference or to meet compliance standards, then cloud computing may not be as useful to you. This is rare, however. Most companies perform some form of data analytics, at least on an annual basis to see how they are performing and where they need to make improvements.

For this reason, it might be a good option to hire a cloud computing firm whenever you need to create a new business strategy, conduct an audit or take a closer look at your data. Some firms offer the option to sign a short-term contract to complete a specific project. So, even if you don’t use data analysis very often, cloud computing can still be useful for running your business.

Do You Need Both?

Because cloud computing and storage are closely connected, most businesses will benefit from using both of them in tandem. Moreover, cloud service providers usually offer both options as a complete package. The firm will upload all of your data into the cloud, create organization systems and applications to help you manage it, and then provide options to analyze this data and generate reports. This is likely the best option for your business, as all of the details are handled for you by the service provider.

However, your company doesn’t necessarily need to use both of these systems. You should at the very least have a cloud storage system in place, but cloud computing isn’t as vital, especially if you don’t perform a lot of data analysis. In this case, it’s wise to hire a cloud storage provider to upload your data into the new system and perform routine maintenance and software updates to keep everything organized. Later, if you need to analyze your data more carefully or you’re dealing with a complex project that requires a higher level of data expertise, you can ask the firm for additional cloud computing help.

How to Transition to Cloud Computing or Cloud Storage

Now that you’ve considered the pros and cons of cloud computing vs. cloud storage, you’ll need to find an IT firm to help you make the transition. No matter which option you choose, it’s important to work with a firm that offers both services. That’s because if your company’s needs suddenly change or you wish to scale up, you can negotiate with the firm and deploy the new system as quickly as possible.

When you make the transition to cloud storage or cloud computing, you’ll discover the power of your data. Implementing these systems now will allow your company to stay competitive and optimize every facet of your data collection and analytics processes.

If you’re ready to transition to a cloud computing or cloud storage system, contact Tek Leaders today. We offer a wide range of cloud computing and storage services to our clients and will create a custom data management solution based on your unique needs. Or, if you need help choosing between cloud computing vs. cloud storage, you can reach us by email or call (214) 504-1600 directly.

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5 Influential Companies that Use Business Intelligence

Some of the most successful companies in the world use business intelligence (BI). It helps them operate more efficiently, report higher average revenue, and make more informed strategic decisions based on accurate data analysis.

There are five companies in particular that have used BI in innovative ways recently:

  1. Amazon
  2. Starbucks
  3. Netflix
  4. YES BANK
  5. American Express

By considering what made these companies so successful and analyzing the specific BI strategies they used, you may be able to replicate their successes. Here’s how each used business intelligence to gain the upper hand in their respective industries.

Companies That Use Business Intelligence

Amazon Uses BI to Optimize the Supply Chain

Amazon is known for using some of the most advanced, innovative technologies in the world. The same is true for its use of business intelligence technology. Amazon’s own business intelligence and analytics software (Amazon Web Services) analyzes all of the data it gathers across the supply chain.

What makes Amazon especially noteworthy is that it had to overcome a set of challenges that very few companies face. Amazon has an incredibly large supply chain that includes more than 3 billion products sold in 11 different marketplaces. The company also handles online subscription services, shipping, manufacturing and storage, among many other systems. It’s a lot of moving parts.

To solve this complex challenge, Amazon relies on thorough data collection and analytics and visualizations to generate insights into every aspect of the supply chain.

The company gathers demographic data about customers interested in certain products. From there, Amazon uses BI and data analytics to determine where to store these products so that they can be shipped to customers quickly. The company also creates custom shipping routes based around these predictive analytics and geo-mapping.

What You Can Learn from Amazon

Even if your supply chain isn’t as complex as Amazon’s, you can use BI in the same way to supply your customers with what they need in a timely manner. Shipping and storage optimization also saves on transportation costs and prevents you from buying and storing more inventory than you can actually sell. By hiring an experienced BI and data analytics firm to perform these calculations for you, you’ll streamline your entire supply chain from start to finish.

Starbucks Analyzes and Predicts Customer Behavior

While Amazon uses a complex data analytics system to address a wide range of pain points all at once, other companies that use business intelligence focus on more specific services. One example of this is Starbucks. When the popular coffee chain launched its rewards program—a loyalty card that offers customers rewards for every purchase—they used BI and customer relationship management systems (CRMs) to tailor this program to every customer.

When customers used the card to make purchases, Starbucks kept a log of these transactions. Using detailed predictive data analytics, the company was then able to offer additional rewards and recommendations to customers based on their shopping histories.

A customer who usually only buys a tall black coffee every morning will likely appreciate being given free in-store refills, rather than a free seasonal latte. Not only do these rewards increase the likelihood that the customer will visit the store again in the near future, but the company can also use this information to introduce customers to new menu items based on their tastes.

What You Can Learn from Starbucks

Purchase histories are powerful, but only if you have the right BI and CRM tools to analyze this data. This is especially difficult if you’re a small or mid-sized enterprise, because you may not have the resources or staff required to perform the analysis on your own. IT staffing firms that specialize in data visualization and analysis can help you create a portal similar to the one that Starbucks uses to help you track customer behavior.

Netflix Uses Business Intelligence to Improve Recommendations

Companies that use business intelligence often identify new ways to improve their services in response to the data they gather. A great example of a company that used this method to dramatically improve its services is Netflix.

The video streaming company gathers massive amounts of data on their customers’ behavior, including which videos they click on or hover over, how long they spend looking for something to watch, which titles they type into the search bar and whether they make use of experimental services that the company introduces for the first time.

For example, in 2018, Netflix began placing advertisements for other titles at the end of the titles customers just watched. The company carefully tracked how many users actively clicked on these ads or watched these previews to determine whether this was a feature they would keep. Netflix bases about 80 percent of its content on customer behavior and data gathered from its recommendation algorithm.

What You Can Learn from Netflix

The most successful companies that use business intelligence are those who can identify the metrics that matter most and measure them accurately. For Netflix, behavioral patterns like clicks, watch histories, search queries and time spent watching each title are some of the most important data. Your business might need to gather different types of data in order to be successful. An experienced business analytics and business intelligence firm will help you identify what the most important data points are and will help you find a way to track them.

YES BANK Improves Internal Communications

Most companies that use business intelligence do so in order to better understand their customers’ needs. However, you can also use BI to improve your company’s internal operations. One company that made great use of this method is YES BANK, India’s fourth largest private-sector bank.
Before making use of BI, YES BANK employees weren’t able to communicate effectively with one another, which hurt their workflows. Each day, management information systems specialists had to download data from dozens of spreadsheets by hand, create reports, and send these reports to the company’s decision makers. This led to delays in processing, and increased the risk of data leaks at every point of the data transfer process.

By implementing a new BI system, YES BANK was able to store all of its data in a warehouse and automatically generate reports from a user dashboard. Only authorized users had access to certain pieces of data. The BI tools also made it easier to see which actions needed to be taken to address problems as they arose.

What You Can Learn from YES BANK

Using a new BI system, YES BANK made their data more actionable, less vulnerable to leaks and more efficient. Even if you feel that you understand your customer well, you can still use BI to improve your own internal communications and ensure that your employees’ time is valued.

American Express Detects Fraud with BI Software

BI tools are very effective when they’re used for loss prevention and fraud detection. American Express in particular has shown the impact that BI can have on these two areas. After implementing a new BI system, they were not only able to better protect their own finances, but also those of their customers.

Using advanced algorithms and predictive data analysis, American Express is able to identify fraudulent uses of their customers’ cards in real time and automatically prevent future charges on the card until the customer is notified. This helps protect their customers and also reduces financial risk for the company.

What You Can Learn from American Express

BI tools can be used to track more than just customer behavior or internal workflows. By harnessing the power of predictive analytics, you can respond to fraud quickly and in some cases may even be able to prevent it before it happens. This is especially important for the banking and insurance industries.

What Can We Learn from Successful Companies That Use Business Intelligence?

Companies that use business intelligence do so for many different reasons. Some use data to track customer behavior and figure out new ways to make them happy. Others use BI to improve internal communications and streamline the supply chain. Modern banking and insurance companies are even using BI to prevent fraud and strengthen security.

What all of these successful companies have in common is their use of advanced BI tools and resources. In many cases, these companies turned to experienced IT firms that understand how to use BI effectively. When you ask reliable experts for guidance, you’re better-positioned to accomplish your goals.

If you’re ready to make the transition to fixed cost IT support, contact Tek Leaders today. Our highly-skilled team of IT experts offer our clients a full range of IT consulting services, including advanced analytics and 24/7 tech support. Or, if you have more questions about the IT services we offer, you can reach us by email

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Creating an Efficient Cloud Migration Strategy

Creating an Efficient Cloud Migration Strategy

Making the transition to cloud computing and storage is an important step that you can take right now to significantly improve efficiency. However, making this transition can be a complicated and costly) process especially if you use an inefficient cloud migration strategy.

To transition to the cloud smoothly, you need an effective plan based on your organization’s financial situation, existing infrastructure, and staff. Here are the steps you should follow and things to consider before you start the transition.

What is the Best Cloud Migration Strategy?  

A cloud migration strategy is a customizable roadmap for adopting new cloud technologies into your existing business state. This migration process looks different for every industry and enterprise.

For example, some business owners want to use cloud applications or platforms, so they should focus on creating user-friendly systems, moving important data to the cloud, and training staff on how to use the new system. Other business owners might be more interested in using cloud computing to improve data analytics, so they’ll want to focus on choosing the right analytics software.

Regardless of why you want to transition to the cloud, every business owner needs to follow the same three basic steps:

  1. Create a budget and analyze the financial implications;
  2. Build your cloud architecture; and
  3. Train your staff to use and trust the new cloud system.

As you go through these three steps, you’ll also encounter a number of smaller tasks you’ll need to complete as well. These smaller steps vary depending on what you plan on doing with your new cloud system and whether you already have some of the tools required to implement your strategy. Sometimes this process is very simple. Other times it’s incredibly complicated and difficult.

This is why you should look more closely at each of these three steps to determine exactly what you need to do to successfully transition to the cloud. Like any great roadmap, when you know what’s ahead of you, you’ll make wiser decisions.

Step 1: Consider the Financial Implications

Every effective cloud migration strategy should include a sensible budget and a careful accounting of how the cloud will impact your bottom line.

One of the challenges of migrating to the cloud is that it completely changes the way you do business. This can cause an increase or decrease in your total cost of operations.

But how do you know what impact the cloud will have on operational costs? It depends on factors like:

  • Current expenditures (what you typically spend per month on factors like IT staff salaries, equipment maintenance, servers, software licenses, on-premise data storage, etc.);
  • Projected expenditures (the expected cost of operations after you eliminate any of the factors above that are going to be obsolete when you move to the cloud); and
  • Funds set aside for the initial transition (hiring a cloud computing firm, loss of profit due to expected downtime, additional staff training, overtime payments, etc.).

To come up with an accurate budget for your cloud migration strategy, have your company’s CIO and CFO share a thorough accounting of every current operational cost.

Next, you should determine which expenses you will eliminate when you make the transition. For example, most companies eliminate the need for on-premise servers when they switch to offshore cloud computing. This means that they will save money on server maintenance, IT staff, and the rental space used to store the servers.

Finally, you can create your migration budget based on projected cost savings. Any money that you save due to fewer operational expenditures or the sale of outdated hardware and other equipment can be put toward the migration process.

The upfront costs of cloud migration are often quite high, so it’s important to save as much as you can before you make the transition. Long-term, you’ll likely see significant cost savings from efficiency.

Step 2: Prepare Your Infrastructure for the Transition

Even if you plan on moving all of your business operations to the cloud, you’ll still need a plan for your company’s future infrastructure. Cloud infrastructure is just as important as physical infrastructure. It needs to be strong and scalable.

One of the biggest mistakes that business owners make when they create their cloud migration strategies is to rely on outdated best practices that don’t apply to modern cloud-based systems.

For example, if you’ve always stored sensitive data on magnetic tape in a room protected by keys or access codes, then you might apply a similar security strategy to your cloud-based infrastructure. However, today’s cloud security is more complex—you need more than just an access code or password to keep sensitive data safe. Instead, you’ll have to structure your system around additional cloud security measures like encryption, two-factor authentication, and frequent software patches.

To smoothly transition to the cloud, you need to look into the latest technology architecture best practices. Some of these best practices are:

  • Data backups, especially for critical data
  • Intentional data storage (never storing more data than you absolutely need)
  • Adaptable tools (avoiding cloud supplier lock-in)
  • Agile business intelligence
  • Actionable data
  • User-friendly, intuitive platforms

This is a lot to handle, especially if you have a small IT team or very little experience designing a cloud-based infrastructure from scratch. This is why many business owners hire offshore IT firms to develop this infrastructure for them.

Step 3: Get Your Staff On Board

Once you have a reasonable migration budget and you have designed the ideal infrastructure for your cloud-based system, you’ll need to ready your staff for the final transition. This isn’t as easy as it sounds. Employees are often used to working on tasks in a certain way and may be resistant to sudden change.

To make this transition as smooth as possible, you should use a cloud-based system that doesn’t require any extensive training or technical knowledge. If the system has a steep learning curve, then your staff are more likely to make costly mistakes while using it. It will also take much longer to complete the transition and get back to a normal operating schedule.

Simplifying your cloud system is one way to make the transition easier. The problem is that it isn’t always possible. For example, if you need to perform complex data analysis, you can’t cut corners to make the system simpler. If you do, the quality of your data analysis will suffer.

To overcome this challenge, you can hire an IT expert to build your company a customized, advanced software system from scratch. This is very expensive and time-consuming. Alternatively, you can license an existing analytics tool and train your staff on how to use it properly. This is also time-consuming. It also leads to discontent, since employees might feel like they’re putting in more effort than usual or may ask for a higher salary to compensate for the added workload.

This is why one of the best cloud migration strategies is to hire a third-party IT firm. An offshore IT team can handle the complicated or tedious tasks that your onsite staff doesn’t have the time or expertise to deal with themselves. You’ll get a team of IT experts who already understand how to use the latest data analytics software, no matter how complex it is. Meanwhile, your onsite IT team won’t waste time learning how to install and troubleshoot the new system. You’ll have the best of both worlds: a complex, efficient cloud system and a happy, productive IT staff.

Should You Use Your Own Cloud Migration Strategy?

As you can see, designing a cloud migration strategy is complicated. You have to understand modern cloud best practices and consider how to implement them based on your budget, infrastructure, and staffing limitations.

In most cases, it’s easier, cheaper and less time-consuming to hire a third-party cloud migration specialist to create a plan for you. Experts who have experience helping businesses transition to the cloud already know how to work within a budget, build an efficient cloud architecture, and train staff to use the new system.

Moreover, this option gives you more freedom to monitor the transition carefully and embrace your role as a leader. You’ll spend less time crunching numbers, negotiating workloads with your IT team, and researching software features. Instead, you can have meaningful, high-level discussions with your team to ensure everyone is supported as your company makes this exciting change.

To create the most effective cloud migration strategy for your business, contact Tek Leaders today. Our team of experts will handle every aspect of the cloud migration process for you, ensuring that you make this transition smoothly. Or, if you have more questions about the services we provide, you can reach us by email

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5 Top Benefits of Cloud Storage

5 Top Benefits of Cloud Storage

Cloud storage has become absolutely essential in almost every industry. The benefits of cloud storage can’t be overstated—banks use it to keep private customer information more secure, while manufacturers use it to track orders around the country. Almost every aspect of your business can be improved with a reliable cloud storage system.

There are five major benefits of cloud storage:

  1. Reduced operational costs
  2. Better data security
  3. More convenient data access
  4. Improved data analysis accuracy
  5. Greater scalability    

By looking at these benefits in more detail, you can decide whether you should make the transition to cloud storage this year.

1) The Cost Benefits of Cloud Storage

Transitioning from physical data storage systems, like tape, to cloud storage can save you money over time. There are a few reasons for this:

  • Cloud storage requires less maintenance. You have to keep magnetic tape reels in a dust-free environment. This requires frequent cleaning and maintenance. You also have to hire staff to organize and retrieve data from storage. Storing your data in the cloud eliminates these additional costs.
  • You’ll use fewer resources. Maintaining a physical data storage warehouse means leasing or buying space in a building, which increases costs. You have to supply power to the space to keep it at the ideal temperature, and ensure that it is well-lit. Cloud storage doesn’t require any of these physical resources.
  • You won’t lose data to natural disasters or poor organization. Physical data storage is risky because you can lose your data to fire, floods and earthquakes. Even small environmental problems, such as too much humidity in the warehouse, can destroy your records. It’s also easy to lose tape reels if they’re not put back in the right spot. When disaster strikes, you’ll lose money due to downtime, and may have to pay more to have your data salvaged or restored. None of these environmental factors affect data that’s stored in the cloud.

Some business owners hesitate to make the transition to cloud storage because they believe it costs too much to move their data over to the cloud. This is a myth. While it’s true that you will need to hire an experienced cloud data storage firm to help you make the initial transition, this is a one-time cost that will save you money in the long run. Moreover, it usually costs much less to hire an IT firm to maintain your data in the cloud than it does to maintain your own physical data storage office or warehouse.

2) The Security Benefits of Cloud Storage  

Today’s cloud storage options are more secure than ever. In fact, storing your data in the cloud is often even more secure than maintaining physical copies of the data on magnetic tape. Here’s why:

  • You have control over who can access the data. Individual logins and security keys allow authorized users to access the data they need without giving them access to data they shouldn’t see. You can offer or revoke access at any time. This also prevents data leaks and helps you meet your industry’s compliance standards.
  • Cloud storage automatically creates backups. Most cloud storage systems include backup and disaster recovery plans. One of the greatest benefits of cloud storage is that it takes almost no effort to make copies of important files and keep them in a secure remote location. In an emergency, authorized personnel can request access to the backup files and start the data recovery process immediately.
  • Server redundancy prevents total system failure. If a server goes down, it doesn’t mean you lose access to your data. The best cloud storage systems use multiple servers as a failsafe. This is especially important for the manufacturing industry because you need access to time-sensitive information such as equipment maintenance reports and data collected from the field.

Because of these security benefits, the banking, insurance and healthcare industries are all starting to make the transition to cloud storage. These industries must keep their data secure at all times in order to protect their customers’ privacy and meet strict compliance standards. With modern security advances in cloud storage technology, these industries can better protect this sensitive data.

3) The Convenience of Cloud Storage

One of the main benefits of cloud storage is how easy it is to use. Even if you have very little experience with internet technology, today’s cloud platforms are so simple that anyone can learn how to use them. With just the touch of a button, you can:

  • Upload data to the cloud;
  • Access data from any device and from any location;
  • Share data and collaborate with others directly in the cloud through a secure connection;
  • Automatically backup important data—you can choose when this happens and even select which types of data you want to backup;
  • Ensure that everyone has access to the same data at all times;
  • Generate reports and visualizations; and
  • Search for the data you need without having to sort through tape reels, hard drives, or flash drives.

This level of convenience is especially beneficial if you have a large staff or your employees aren’t very tech-savvy. You won’t have to spend time training your employees on how to use the cloud storage system because modern systems are designed to be intuitive. When your employees login, they can see every option from the homescreen and find exactly what they need.

4) The Analytic Benefits of Cloud Storage

Another benefit of cloud storage is that it makes your data more actionable. For example, if you need to compare sales data from March 2018 to sales from March 2019, you don’t have to dig through the archives to find this information. You can compare these figures within minutes in the cloud. All of the data has already been uploaded, making it easy to crunch numbers on the fly.

You can also store more data in the cloud than you can in a physical storage space. In a building or office, you’re limited by the room’s dimensions. You can only store so many hard drives in a cabinet or so many tape reels in a warehouse. In the cloud, there’s practically no limit to the amount of data that you can store. All firms charge more for storing data beyond a certain amount, but this is usually very affordable. You can store massive amounts of data before you hit this limit.

This means that you can perform more thorough data analysis, as you can work from a larger pool of data. The more data you have, the more accurate your predictive analysis and business analysis reports will be.

5) The Scalability of Cloud Storage

Scalability is a frequently-overlooked benefit of cloud storage. It’s difficult to know exactly what your data storage needs will be in five or ten years. By transitioning to cloud storage now, you can account for future changes at your company without having to make significant renovations to your infrastructure.

For example, if your company merges with another and you suddenly need to store twice as much data, cloud storage makes it simple. You can hire a cloud storage and computing firm to upload the other company’s data into your system. Since your data is already stored in the cloud, it may only take a few weeks to integrate the two sets and create a new platform to access the combined data. This process would be much more complicated if you had to store physical data—you’d need to find a new, larger storage warehouse, transport the data, and reorganize it.

Cloud storage also makes it easy to scale down. If sales slow or you want to refocus your business strategy, you can pick a smaller data storage plan with fewer analytics options. The plan is tailored to fit your needs as they change.

How to Make the Transition to the Cloud

If you want to experience the many benefits of cloud storage, then you’ll need to hire a firm that has experience helping organizations make the transition. The best firms will create a custom plan based on your cloud storage needs. These services include uploading physical data to the cloud for the first time, designing systems for uploading future data directly to the cloud, and providing a platform to access this data. Additionally, trustworthy firms will offer maintenance and IT troubleshooting services that you can use whenever you have questions or need assistance. With a team of experts helping you every step of the way, you can successfully make the transition to cloud storage.

If you’re ready to make the transition to cloud storage, contact Tek Leaders today. Our team of experts can help you identify the best way to store your data in the cloud, even more importantly, make this data actionable. If you have more questions about the benefits of cloud storage, you can reach us by email directly.

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How to Get the Most from Your Big Data with Business Intelligence

How to Get the Most from Your Big Data with Business Intelligence

Big data facilitates big ideas. When you use big data and business intelligence (BI) in tandem, you can improve the quality of your data analysis and reach important growth milestones faster and more efficiently.

Statista surveyed 65 Fortune 1,000 companies that had recently implemented new big data and business intelligence strategies. Nearly 80 percent of them reported a dramatic increase in the accuracy of their data analysis. They also made better business decisions overall.

To get the most out of your own big data projects, you need to know how to effectively leverage your business intelligence systems. Here’s how.

The Relationship Between Big Data and Business Intelligence

Before you can use business intelligence to maximize your big data, you should consider how they relate to each other.

Big Data is defined as any large dataset that companies use to find patterns or trends. This type of data is used most often to track customer behavior, determine the profitability of individual products or services, and predict business outcomes.

Business Intelligence (BI) is a system that analyzes big data and makes it actionable. This can be done manually or using specialized software. Every company has its own unique BI strategy.

You can’t make the most out of your big data without using business intelligence. However, not all BI systems are equally effective. For example, if you parse your data manually, you could easily miss several important insights and trends due to the complexity of the information you’re analyzing.

To squeeze as much valuable insight from your big data as possible, you should look into implementing an advanced BI strategy based on the latest analytics software and data storage techniques. Your BI strategy should:

  • Improve your database and ensure that no data is lost;
  • Allow you to perform more thorough data analysis using fewer resources; and
  • Use predictive analysis and machine learning to generate insights.

By focusing on these three BI strategies, you’ll maximize your big data’s value.

Use BI to Improve Your Data Storage and Database Systems

To make the most out of your big data using business intelligence, start by making improvements to your database and cloud storage systems. This is especially important if you work with large data sets, as data can easily get lost if it isn’t organized properly.

There are three main challenges you’ll face when you gather and analyze big data:

  • Volume. The amount of data you need to store dictates which BI systems you should use. For example, if you have to store terabytes of data, then you probably can’t use a storage system like magnetic tape or hard disks because the cost of storing all of this data would be exceptionally high. You’ll need to use cloud storage instead.
  • Format. Many companies gather data from a range of sources and in a number of different formats. Your BI system should be able to process all of them and blend them into a single visualization.
  • Speed. You should be able to upload and analyze data as quickly as possible. Some data, especially numbers used in real-time analytics, have to be processed very quickly in order to be useful.

To address these three challenges, the best modern BI systems use storage and organization tools like:

  • Compression algorithms and formats to make storage more efficient;
  • In-memory processing to reduce latency;
  • Offshore servers that don’t take up space on the company’s campus;
  • Columnar databases to more efficiently read data from hard disks (if they’re still used);
  • Parallel processing to make data analysis faster;
  • Data warehouse virtualization tools like Denodo that are easier to maintain; and
  • Cloud storage and computing services that allow you to store a greater amount of data.

Even if you need to store a massive amount of data in a number of different formats and analyze it very quickly, these tools will help you do it. This is especially important in the insurance industry. Insurance companies work with some of the largest and most complex big data systems in the world, so they need very advanced storage systems to keep everything organized.

Analyze Your Data More Effectively with Business Intelligence

Another way that business intelligence helps you make the most out of your big data is by increasing the reliability of the insights you obtain from your data sets. An effective BI system improves:

  • Consumer analytics. Many companies have an incomplete picture of their customers’ behavior. They either lack the resources to gather this data or they’re not gathering the right information. When you use an effective BI system and analytics software (like Alteryx), you can more clearly see what pieces of information you’re missing. This tool helps you prepare your big data and identify the areas where you can improve. It then offers insights into your customer’s behavior and what you can do to better meet their needs.
  • Fraud prevention. As with customer analytics, many businesses aren’t gathering the right information needed to prevent fraud. Technology firms that specialize in data analysis and BI can help insurance companies and banking institutions identify fraudulent claims and use this information to prevent future cases of fraud. These BI systems can be tailor-made to fit the precise needs of the company.
  • Spatial analysis. Retailers that operate brick-and-mortar stores need to gather big data about how customers behave in time and space. The problem with this data is that it’s complicated and time-consuming to gather. With tools like Alteryx, you can more easily collect this data and determine where you should position everything so that your customers visit more often or purchase more products.

These are just a few types of data analysis that business intelligence improves. Nearly every industry will see immense benefits from using business intelligence to gather and analyze big data.

Take Advantage of Predictive Modeling

Perhaps the most innovative and exciting way that business intelligence is improving big data is through advances in predictive modeling. Predictive analysis and modeling is the process of using big data to make detailed predictions about your business.

Industries have done this for centuries, but it has never been 100 percent reliable. Insufficient data, calculation errors, and other factors will make your predictions less accurate. However, modern BI is making these predictions much more reliable, especially through the use of machine learning.

For example, now that you can store greater amounts of data in the cloud, you have a larger data pool on which to base your predictions. When combined with machine learning—algorithms that learn from existing data sets and adjust their predictions accordingly without being programmed explicitly to do so—these predictions become even more reliable. They are often more reliable than predictions made by humans, because a machine can analyze multiple data sets and will make fewer errors in its calculations.

The only time that machine learning algorithms produce inaccurate predictions is when the big data itself is flawed. This means that as long as you collect accurate data and provide the algorithm with a sufficient amount of it, you will receive the most reliable prediction that’s currently possible.

Today’s predictive analysis and modeling techniques are more complex and sophisticated than ever. They can handle internal and external data sources, making your predictions much more accurate. They also make it easier for you to decide what to do with the new information you have. The algorithm will provide a single score for a given data set, allowing you to see exactly what needs to be done—there’s no guesswork involved.

How to Leverage Big Data and Business Intelligence

Big data and business intelligence go hand in hand. When you use the best versions of both, you set your business up for success. But how do you know whether you’re using the most effective BI strategy to achieve your goals? Creating your own BI strategy from scratch is a time-consuming and complicated process, especially if you have very little experience with data analytics and cloud computing.

This is why you should hire an IT firm that has experience creating custom BI systems. Reliable firms have an arsenal of analytical tools that they use to make the most out of your big data, no matter how complex it is. This also takes a great deal of work off of your shoulders. You and your in-house IT team won’t have to learn how to use and implement new data analytics systems or buy costly software licenses. You can focus on generating insights from your data and making your business the absolute best it can be.

If you’re ready to make the most out of big data and business intelligence, contact Tek Leaders today. We provide customized data analytics and storage systems that allow you to visualize your data and make it actionable. If you have more questions about the big data and BI services we offer, you can reach us by email directly.

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Cloud Computing for Small Businesses: An FAQ

Cloud Computing for Small Businesses: An FAQ

There are a massive number of benefits to cloud computing for small businesses. The cloud helps you make the most out of your data and drives your business forward.

But making this transition is often confusing and daunting. You may have dozens of questions. Is cloud computing right for your business? Which type of service should you choose? How do you prepare for this transition?

This FAQ will answer every question you might have about cloud computing for small businesses. With this guide, you can take advantage of cloud computing and feel empowered to make the right choices for your enterprise.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is the process of using off-premise servers to store, organize, and analyze data. You can then access all of this data from the internet.

This process differs from traditional computing in that it doesn’t require you to have any on-premise infrastructure in place. You’ll use third-party hardware to manage your data.

This means that you’ll no longer have to save your data to a hard drive or store it on magnetic tape. As long as you have a device that can connect to the internet and the third-party server, you have access to all of your data.

Does Your Business Need Cloud Computing?

Most small businesses need cloud computing to operate efficiently. That’s because managing servers and data processing systems is costly and time-consuming. Cloud computing eliminates this problem, allowing small businesses to make the most out of their data at a fraction of the cost.

If you’re wondering whether cloud computing is right for your small business or businesses, take a look at some of the primary benefits:

  • No infrastructure. You won’t waste time or money building a server room, maintaining servers, or hiring IT staff to keep the system running smoothly.
  • Customized solutions. If you no longer need a certain feature or set of data, you can get rid of it immediately. You can also add services whenever you introduce a new product.
  • Better communication. Your staff has access to all of the data they need. They don’t have to hunt down a specific hard drive or sort through the archives to find information.
  • Reliable. Software and hardware are constantly updated. You’ll have access to the latest and greatest technology.
  • Secure. Data backups ensure you never lose important data. Everything is encrypted and only authorized users will have access to sensitive or private data.
  • Cost-effective. You only pay for the services you use. You won’t have to invest in any hardware or infrastructure. This means you won’t lose money if equipment breaks down, becomes obsolete or depreciates in value.

If even one of these benefits applies to you, consider making the transition to the cloud.

How Much Does Cloud Computing Cost?

Cloud computing for small businesses usually costs much less than it would for businesses to manage their own data on-site. There are a few reasons for this:

  • You’re not responsible for the cost of the servers and hardware. A cloud computing provider pays for the servers and their maintenance. You only pay a very small fraction of this cost every month to use the hardware. Even if you pay this fee for many years, it still costs less than it would to operate your own servers.
  • You’ll experience less downtime. If equipment fails, you might have to pause daily operations. Every minute your system is down, you lose money. Trustworthy cloud computing providers have backup systems in place to prevent downtime. Most cloud providers guarantee at least 99 percent uptime, which is more than you could reasonably achieve on your own as a small enterprise with limited staff and resources.
  • You pay for what you use. If you use your own hardware or buy software licenses, you’re stuck paying for every feature these include. With cloud computing, you can negotiate a monthly price based on the specific services you need. When your needs change, you can drop or add services immediately.

The exact cost of cloud computing varies depending on the provider you use and which services you need. The best cloud computing providers will offer custom pricing options for each enterprise.

How Safe is Cloud Computing for Small Businesses?

Cloud computing is very safe, especially when you work with a trustworthy provider. However, there are still a few security considerations you should keep in mind as you make this transition.

  • Can your data be restored? Make sure the provider backs up your data in a secure location.
  • How is the data stored? Providers should use encryption, user authentication and physical security features at server warehouses to prevent data leaks and unauthorized access.
  • Are there built-in redundancies? Cloud providers should have backup hardware and power sources in case the main hardware or power source is down.
  • Is the provider aware of compliance standards in your industry? Check that the provider is capable of keeping your customers’ private information safe.  
  • Does the provider use fraud detection software? The best providers use the power of big data and analytics to flag suspicious account activity and prevent would-be intruders from accessing information.

It’s impossible to create a data storage and processing system that is 100 percent safe. Every system has potential security vulnerabilities, including cloud computing for small businesses. The best way to avoid these issues is to talk with prospective cloud providers and learn what they’re doing to protect customers’ data.

Which Is Better, the Public Cloud or the Private Cloud?

For small businesses, a public cloud is a much better choice than a private cloud.

A private cloud is a cloud computing strategy in which a business owns and manages the entire system. They use their own servers, web portals and data warehouses. They do this because they have more control over every aspect of the process. They can identify and close potential security loopholes themselves.

But a private cloud system is costly and time-consuming. It requires a massive amount of resources and infrastructure—resources that many small businesses don’t have. You have to hire a team of IT experts to manage the system full-time. It’s usually more difficult for in-house IT teams to change technical and strategic direction quickly compared with public cloud computing service providers. It also may take your team more time to phase out obsolete equipment or add new services.

A public cloud is a better fit for small businesses. A public cloud is a cloud computing strategy in which the business uses third-party servers and hardware. The cloud provider takes care of all of the details, including infrastructure and management.

This is a great option because it lets you focus on running your business. When you go with a reliable provider, the system is secure. You won’t have to hire an IT department to manage your data in the cloud. You can move from one project to the next without worrying about technology system and staff scaling.

Which Cloud Computing Service Should You Use?  

If you’ve decided to use a cloud computing provider to handle every detail for you, then the next step is to consider what type of service your business will need.

Here are the main options:

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): The provider manages the hardware and software, providing a full range of services to your business. You can access your data through a web portal. The provider can also perform other tasks for you, such as data analysis, data recovery and IT support. This is a good option for small businesses that need to store a lot of data.
  • Software as a Service (SaaS): The provider creates and manages software that makes it easier to run your business. For a monthly or annual fee, you get access to the software features you need. This saves you from having to buy multiple software licenses or create your own software. This is best for businesses that just want to operate more efficiently and don’t require any advanced data analytics or storage.
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS): This service is almost identical to IaaS. The only difference is that a PaaS provider will also provide business intelligence portals, business strategies and custom data management options. This is the best choice for small businesses that need help harnessing the power of BI or are in the process of creating a new product or service and need some extra support.
  • Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS): The provider only makes backups of important data and ensures that these backups are stored securely. This is a good option if you’re satisfied with your current data processing strategy and you just want an extra layer of security.

In general, an IaaS or PaaS system will be most beneficial for your small business. Some providers even offer both types of services to best meet your needs. For example, you may start off using an IaaS system, but if you want to launch a new product or website, then you can switch to a PaaS system until the product is on the market.

How Do You Prepare for Cloud Computing?

A little prep work now can save you time and money in the future when you transition to the cloud. Here are a few things you should do before you hire a cloud computing service provider:

  1. Upgrade your network bandwidth. To use cloud computing, small businesses need to ensure that their internet connection is reliable and fast. With so much data moving across the network every month, you don’t want to face unexpected bandwidth overage fees.
  2. Create a basic cloud strategy. What do you hope to accomplish? Are there any aspects of your business’ operations that you’d like to improve? Even if you’re unsure whether the cloud computing provider can solve all of these issues, you should still bring them up. The provider may offer more services than you expect.
  3. Read case studies. Reliable providers often have case studies or client testimonials on their websites. You may find ideas on how to manage your own business when you look at what other enterprises have done with cloud computing.
  4. Hire supporting staff. You may want to hire a fractional CTO before you begin transitioning to cloud computing. A fractional CTO will handle all of the tasks related specifically to this transition. They can troubleshoot problems and keep your staff on track, making the cloud computing transition seamless.

These steps are merely suggestions. A great cloud computing provider will work with you to ensure that your business successfully makes the transition as smoothly as possible. But when you do these four things in advance, it may make the process easier and faster.

How Do You Transition to the Cloud?

The best way to transition to cloud computing is to hire an experienced cloud services provider. The provider will:

  • Develop a service level agreement (SLA) based on your needs;
  • Help you decide on an effective business strategy using cloud computing tools;
  • Move workloads to the cloud;
  • Outsource IT services to support the new cloud computing strategy;
  • Backup and secure data;
  • Create user portals to access data; and
  • Provide customized reports, visualizations and data analytics software.

It all happens relatively quickly—some small businesses can transition within just a few weeks, and others within a few months. Once you have a strategy in place and have signed the SLA, the rest of the process is straightforward. You don’t have to do any heavy lifting.

If you choose not to hire a cloud computing services provider and wish to do the work yourself, the process will be much more complicated and time-consuming. It requires a greater understanding of how cloud computing works. You’ll also need to create your own software or find the appropriate software licenses for your business. This is why it’s wiser for small businesses to outsource their cloud computing needs.

Do You Need to Train Your Staff to Use the New System?

You generally don’t have to train your staff on how to use the new system. The cloud computing provider often creates a user-friendly web portal that your staff can access to generate reports and view data. This system is designed to be very simple to use, even if you have little experience with computers or cloud processing. Training takes just a few minutes.

Do You Have More Questions About Cloud Computing for Small Businesses?   

We want to hear from you. If you have a specific question about your business or you have another question that this guide did not cover, you can get in touch with us directly to learn more. We strive to provide our clients with all of the information and tools they need to make the best choices for their businesses. We’ll help you make the transition to the cloud quickly and easily, allowing you to take full advantage of this powerful technology.

If you have more questions about cloud computing for small business, or you’re ready to make the transition now, contact Tek Leaders. We work closely with small businesses to find the best cloud computing solutions for their needs. If you want to learn more about our services, you can reach us by email directly.

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The Best Data Analysis Tools 2019

The Best Data Analysis Tools 2019

Just a few decades ago, only the largest and most powerful enterprises had access to advanced data analysis tools. Software licenses were prohibitively expensive and businesses had to hire experienced data scientists to perform analytics.

This is no longer the case. Today, even the smallest businesses can use top-quality analytics tools at relatively little cost. You can perform detailed calculations directly from a desktop or tablet within minutes. In many cases, you don’t need any special training.

However, while data analysis tools are more accessible, there are more tools on the market than ever before. How do you choose the best ones for your business? This guide will walk you through some of the most important data analysis tools and offer a few essential tips on how to incorporate them into your business strategy.

What Are Some of the Best Data Analysis Tools?

There are many different data analysis tools on the market, but they all are designed to help you accomplish the same end goal: The best tools help you organize your data and identify patterns that would be difficult to spot on your own.

However, every data analysis tool uses slightly different methods. Some tools specialize in very specific types of data analysis such as statistical data or machine learning. Others are more inclusive, offering a broad range of data analysis options on a user-friendly platform.

To help you decide which tool is right for your business, we’ve put together a list of some of the most noteworthy data analysis tools on the market.

Basic Data Analysis Tools

  • Excel: This is a fairly basic tool, but it’s very effective. You can use Excel to format data and generate simple visualizations like pie charts or line graphs. The tool is most effective for filtering data. In other words, most businesses use Excel in combination with another data analysis tool to generate meaningful insights. You can start by filtering and formatting your data in Excel and then run your data through a more advanced tool like Power BI or Tableau. Most other data analysis tools are compatible with Excel, so all businesses should have this software.
  • R Programming: A programming language and free software primarily used for data modeling and statistical data analysis. The tool works by compiling your data and running it through different programming and statistical features. These features are developed in the R language and can include everything from geospatial coordinates to time series analysis. There are thousands of unique analytics features. The downside of using R for data analytics is that it requires some prior programming knowledge. You must also decide which features you want to use and determine how to incorporate them into your existing system. It isn’t intuitive.

Best Data Analysis Platforms

  • Power BI: This tool takes data analysis to the next level. Power BI is a suite of data analytics services that allows you to govern data, generate visualizations; and share reports with colleagues. It’s primarily used for predictive modeling and reporting. The user-friendly dashboard enables you to cluster data and make forecasting calculations quickly. It’s an especially useful tool for businesses that need to generate a lot of reports or want a simple platform to work on large-scale projects.
  • Tableau: This tool is similar to Power BI in that it also provides a user-friendly data analysis dashboard. However, it’s more focused on visualizations than predictive modeling. It offers a massive number of visualization options that make it easy to identify patterns and share insights with everyone in the company. You can also choose either an on-premise or cloud model, enabling greater flexibility. Another benefit is that Tableau offers a quick installation option for small and mid-size enterprises. You can set the system up from scratch in just a few hours. However, one downside is that Tableau is more difficult to learn and more expensive than Power BI.
  • Pentaho: This is another visualization platform that uses data integration and analytical processing to generate insights. It also offers a number of mobile-friendly options that users can perform from their smartphones or tablets. It’s mainly used as a data migration tool, allowing users to easily move sets of data between different databases. While this is an effective tool for creating visualizations and analyzing big data, it can take more time to install compared with Tableau, especially for small and mid-size businesses.
  • Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE): This tool is mainly used for complex, detailed data analysis. OBIEE can take data from multiple sources and integrate it automatically. However, OBIEE usually handles small data sets rather than large reports. It also has limited visualization options and a steep learning curve. The user may need extensive data analytics knowledge before using this tool. If your business needs to generate a lot of reports or you don’t have a team of data analysis experts on staff, then OBIEE may not be the best tool for you.
  • SAS Visual Analytics (VA): The SAS VA platform provides data analytics and visualizations to enterprises. In this sense, Tableau and SAS VA are quite similar, but there are a few key differences between them. SAS VA can handle larger sets of data, which is why larger enterprises often use it. This usually isn’t an important factor for smaller enterprises. SAS VA takes more time to install and often requires help from a third party, whereas Tableau can be quickly and easily installed on a desktop computer. In general, SAS VA is great for exploratory data analysis and enterprises working with large sets of data, but it may be too much work to install for smaller enterprises that have limited staff, time, and resources.

Other Data Analysis Tools

  • RapidMiner: A self-service data analysis tool that lets users create their own algorithms and models. It essentially puts advanced data science in the hands of users who don’t have data science backgrounds. RapidMiner offers a local runtime so that users can test their models, saving time and resources. This is a very specific tool that doesn’t offer as many comprehensive self-service options like visualizations or reporting features.
  • QlikView: This tool uses in-memory data processing to store data and generate reports. QlikView also uses a unique color-coding system to show relationships and other patterns in the data. For example, one group of related data could be displayed in purple, while another group of unrelated data is displayed in green. The tool doesn’t have as many features as more comprehensive software like Tableau, Power BI, OBIEE, Pentaho, or SAS VA, but it can process data very quickly.

You’re not limited to just one of these data analysis tools. For example, you can use Excel to filter data, Tableau to generate daily reports, and RapidMiner to test models. Or, you can hire a data analytics firm that uses a combination of the tools above to provide customers with a full range of services. Read on to learn more about which option is the right choice for your business.

Which Tool is Right for Your Business?

If you want to choose the best tool for your business, start by thinking about your strategy, infrastructure, timeline and budget. For example, if you want to implement a more effective fraud detection system, then you should look for tools that offer descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive analysis features. If, on the other hand, you just want to generate more visually-engaging reports that you can show stakeholders every week, then focus on tools that offer robust visual aids.

Here are some of the top reasons why businesses choose each of the following data analytics tools:

  • Excel for very basic data collection, analysis and filtering.
  • R programming for specific or unusual types of data analysis. You’ll need an R programming expert on staff to help you with this process.
  • Power BI for generating daily and weekly reports or working on projects as a team.
  • Tableau for creating beautiful, detailed visualizations and helping staff engage more with the data.
  • Pentaho for creating reports from mobile devices and migrating data from one database to another.
  • OBIEE for performing a deep, detailed analysis on very small data sets.
  • SAS VA for performing exploratory data analysis and analyzing very large data sets.
  • RapidMiner for data modeling.
  • QlikView for extremely fast data processing.

The problem that many businesses face when they use a new data analysis tool is that the cost and learning curve are often quite high. Not only are advanced data analytics software licenses expensive, but it may also take weeks, months, or even years to fully transition to the new system. The fewer experienced data analytics experts you have on staff, the more complicated, time-consuming, and costly this process will be. The cost increases with every new tool you add to your system.

This is why you need to come up with an effective data analysis strategy before you buy any new software licenses. Here’s how to develop the perfect strategy for your company.

How to Develop an Effective Data Analytics Strategy

The problem with many modern data analysis tools is that there’s a great deal of overlap in the services they provide. For instance, Tableau, Power BI, OBIEE, Pentaho, and SAS VA all provide platforms for analyzing data and generating visualizations. However, some tools are better at certain types of analysis than others. You would be hard-pressed to find a better visualization tool than Tableau, but SAS VA is a better tool for analyzing large sets of data. You’ll either have to buy licenses for both (which is prohibitively expensive for many businesses) or choose which option is most important to you.

That said, you don’t have to compromise or spend more money than necessary. When you hire a data analysis firm that uses multiple types of analytics tools, you can have every feature without the added cost or effort. Firms charge a monthly service fee that gives you access to all of the best analytics tools. You’ll also only pay for what you actually use. If you don’t plan on doing any exploratory data analysis, for instance, then the firm can offer you a customized package that doesn’t include this feature.

What’s more, these firms will even create a user-friendly dashboard that incorporates all of these tools in one place. You won’t have to switch between different platforms or manually move data from system to system. Everything you need is right at your fingertips.

Every aspect of the analytics process, from data collection and governance to data processing and visualizations, are all provided by the firm. By hiring a team of experts to handle all of the licensing and installation steps for you, you’ll get to relax and enjoy all of the benefits of advanced data analysis.

To incorporate state of the art data analytics tools into your business strategy, contact Tek Leaders today. Our team of data analytics experts will guide you to the best tools based on your unique needs. We’ll even help you with the data migration process, ensuring that all of your data is integrated seamlessly into the new software system. If you have more questions about this process, you can reach us by email directly.

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Cloud Computing in the Healthcare Industry Pros and Cons: 2019 Edition

Cloud computing in the healthcare industry is a booming market. One recent report projected the market to grow from 2018 to 2022 by more than $16 billion.

The reason why so many healthcare providers are making the switch to the cloud is because it offers enormous benefits, including:

  • Cost savings;
  • Better data organization;
  • Predictive data analytics that improve patient care;
  • Continuity of care;
  • Scalability;
  • Less downtime; and
  • Dependable data security.

However, cloud computing isn’t a perfect solution. There are still a few challenges that healthcare providers have to address, such as:

  • Bolstering data security in the cloud;
  • Creating secure data backups; and
  • Providing access to data during power or network outages.

The good news is that these three challenges are easy to overcome when you work with an experienced cloud computing firm. This guide will help you decide whether cloud computing is right for your healthcare business and offer tips on what you can do to successfully make the transition.

The Pros of Cloud Computing in the Healthcare Industry

Cloud computing is the process of using remote servers to store, organize, process, and analyze data. Unlike traditional data computing, healthcare facilities don’t have to own and operate server rooms. Additionally, there’s no need to store data on magnetic tape, hard drives, or other physical storage systems. Everything is easily accessed via the cloud from any authorized device.

There are a number of advantages of cloud computing in the healthcare industry. This technology can help in every area of healthcare, from daily facility operations to patient care. To determine whether cloud computing is right for your business, take a look at the following benefits:

  • Cost savings. You won’t spend money building server rooms, buying expensive data storage equipment, or maintaining these physical systems. Outsourcing the servers and network helps reduce operational costs.
  • Data organization. When you store everything in the cloud, the data is easier to process. The flow of data is also much smoother. All authorized users have access to the latest data, which improves communications throughout a facility dramatically..
  • Predictive analytics. With all of the data stored securely in the cloud,  the analytics process is more accurate. This is especially important in healthcare because it can help providers offer patients better care. When all patient records are up to date, providers can use advanced analytics algorithms to identify health risks, track treatment results, and analyze patient behavior to improve satisfaction.
  • Continuity of care. Keeping track of your patients’ health histories is vital. If your patient needs to see a specialist or visit another branch location, their health records should follow them. Cloud-stored patient data such as known allergies, treatment plans, and prescribed medications can be transferred to other authorized healthcare facilities easily. You’ll protect patients from negative drug interactions, overprescribing, and other medical problems.
  • Scalability. As your healthcare practice grows, you can quickly add new technologies, open new branches, or move to larger buildings without risking data loss. To move your data or increase storage space, contact your IT department or cloud computing provider and they will handle the details.
  • Less downtime. Cloud computing providers offer service level agreements (SLAs) that guarantee very little downtime. Some guarantee as much as 99.9 percent uptime. The more backup servers and networks the provider uses, the less downtime you’ll experience.
  • Reliable data security. Although there are still some security challenges, for the most part, cloud computing is very safe. Healthcare isn’t the only industry that depends on secure storage and transactions. We have more tools available than ever to protect sensitive data, such as encryption, firewalls, authorized user profiles, two or three-factor security access points and more. In some cases, storing data in the cloud can actually be more secure than physical data storage systems, as there’s no risk of the storage room being left unlocked or unattended. Employees also aren’t as likely to accidentally take private data home on their laptops or tablets. If someone steals the device, they would be unable to access the data because nothing is stored on the device’s hard drive.

Cloud computing in the healthcare industry has evolved significantly over the past few years. It’s becoming the new standard in healthcare, especially as cloud security improves. It’s only a matter of time before every healthcare facility begins using this technology, which is why you should start thinking about making the transition today.

The Cons of Cloud Computing in the Healthcare Industry

While the benefits of cloud computing in the healthcare industry are clear, there are still a few downsides, such as:

  • Data security breaches. Although cloud computing providers take data security seriously, there’s always a risk of data breaches. It’s impossible to make a system that is 100 percent safe. However, you can combat this problem by hiring an experienced team of data security experts. They will not only ensure that your system is well-secured using encryption, authorization checkpoints, and strong firewalls, but can help train your staff on security best practices. With the right security tools and protocols in place, your data will be as safe as possible.
  • Loss of data in the cloud. Another issue with storing data in the cloud is the risk of corruption. This is also an issue when you store data on hard drives or magnetic tape. Corrupted files may be impossible to recover without an effective backup system. As long as you have your data stored in a secure backup location in the cloud, you can recover your lost data immediately. So, while data loss can impact cloud-based systems, it’s also easier to prevent this problem than if you have data stored in a physical location. That’s because maintaining two separate data storage rooms is much more costly and difficult than keeping backup data stored on another remote server.
  • Connectivity disruptions. One problem that is unique to cloud computing in the healthcare industry is the loss of connectivity due to network errors or power outages. If your device can’t connect to the cloud, then you can’t access the data. To prevent this problem, many cloud computing providers have multiple servers and networks at many different locations. If a server is down, the provider can automatically connect you to one of the other working servers. Healthcare facilities like hospitals also have multiple backup generators, so you’re unlikely to completely lose access to data even during power outages.

You can mitigate these problems by choosing the right cloud computing provider. When you speak with a provider for the first time, ask them about these three issues in particular. The best providers will have specific tools that they use to address each problem and thoroughly protect your facility and patient data.

Is Cloud Computing Right for You? Weighing the Pros and Cons

The pros of cloud computing in the healthcare industry far outnumber the cons. The challenges of cloud computing can be addressed using advanced data security measures and reliable backup systems.

This technology is especially helpful for large-scale enterprises that have to manage multiple branches. Smaller enterprises will also find cloud computing useful for organizing data, improving data security, lowering operational costs, and providing the best patient care.

If you want to make the most of cloud computing, use a knowledgeable IT firm that specializes in this technology. The firm will design a custom solution based on your business structure and strategy. Experts can also help you upload data into the new system, create a user-friendly platform for your staff, and train everyone on security best practices. By the end of the process, you’ll have an efficient, secure cloud computing system that helps improve patient care.

Are you ready to make the switch to the cloud? Contact Tek Leaders today to find out more about cloud computing in the healthcare industry. Our team of experienced cloud experts will help you decide which tools your enterprise needs to become as successful and efficient as possible. Or, if you have more questions about the cloud computing services we offer, you can reach us by email directly.

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