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Analytics without borders

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Analytics is an emerging field in South Africa. Due to differing strategic views, lack of infrastructure, or lack of skilled resources, few companies have fully capitalised on the information available in their local markets, writes YUDHVIR SEETHARAM of FNB Business.

Given both the emergence of the field, the first stab at getting analytics to grow would be to simultaneously ensure infrastructure is in place and hiring/retaining the skilled professional.  Secondly, businesses need to start thinking with numbers in mind – ensuring that reasoning, figures and insights play a significant part in the decision making process. At least this trend is on the rise, with many stakeholders in financial service companies beginning to see the value in utilising data more effectively – moving away from the “traditional” service offerings into more holistic offerings, tailored to the customer.

With many South African companies looking to expand into Africa, data and analytics can be leveraged off the South African best practices to ensure smoother, faster and more efficient implementation in each subsidiary. Analytics, while not near its full potential in South Africa, is arguably at a higher level of development compared to the rest of the African region.  As such, knowledge, skills and strategies derived from analytics in South African based banks can be extended, with some revisions, to African subsidiaries.  This form of collaboration can benefit both parties as knowledge sharing and experience permeate across borders. In particular, one might find data gathering to be “easier”, in the sense that one can start building processes from the ground up, enabling better management of data; and therefore analytics.

From a conceptual viewpoint, if something can be observed, it can be recorded and saved for future use.  With financial institutions expanding into subsidiaries, they are effectively “creating a bank from scratch”. In order to do this, the most basic data has to be recorded and accessed to ensure smooth operations. Once that is in place, analytics can then assist with deriving insights from the data. Analytical ability may be relatively lower in some countries, but by leveraging off SA counterparts, knowledge sharing and training can occur.

This however can be seen as a double edged sword. A one size fits all approach does work for your simpler products – a cheque account is the same regardless of where you are in the world. However, for more “periphery” products and transaction mechanisms, these need to be informed by the needs of the market.  For example, one can say that the SA population can be considered “online” savvy as opposed to “mobile” savvy. However, in many African countries, this is the reverse. As such, SA strategies need to first develop a basic cheque account, similar to the local market, and then decide on new products and transaction mechanisms based on market and country analysis.

In my opinion, SA companies in general are still at the emerging stage of effectively utilising big data and analytics effectively.  While this maturity is different per sector (for example, telecommunication companies would be slightly more advanced than financial services), the increased attention on Big Data and Analytics has seen this buzzword being used in C suite conversations.

* Yudhvir Seetharam, Head of Analytics: FNB Business

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Win a Poster Heater with Gadget and Takealot.com

This winter Gadget and Takealot.com are giving away three Poster Heaters, which look like posters but become heaters when you plug them in.

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Three Gadget readers will each win a unit, valued at R550 each. To enter, follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter and tell us on the @GadgetZA account how many Watts the heater consumes.

What’s the big deal about these heaters? Many of us are struggling to keep the balance between soaring electricity costs and the need to keep warm this winter.

However, the recently launched Poster Heater by EasyHeat and distributed in South Africa by Takealot.com is not only one of the most cost effective electric heaters currently on the market, it is also easy to setup and use.

As the name indicates, it is a poster similar to one you would hang on a wall. But, plug it in and it turns into a 300 Watt heater. The Poster Heater isn’t designed to heat hallways or large rooms, but rather smaller ones like a bedroom or a baby’s nursery or a dressing room.

It uses radiant heating, which means that it heats up in a couple of minutes and the heat is directed at the objects or people around it, quickly taking the chill out of the air and providing a comfortable ambient temperature.

The other advantage of radiant heating is that it doesn’t dry out the air like infrared or gas heaters. Users also don’t have to worry about their children or pets getting too close to it because, even though it gets hot, it can be touched.

To enter the competition follow the steps below:

Competition entry details:

1. Follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter. (We will ONLY be accepting entries via Twitter, so please don’t enter through the comments section of this article.)

2. Tell us on Twitter, via @GadgetZA, mentioning @Takealot in your posting, how many Watts the Poster Heater consumes.

cleardot.gif3. The competition closes on 31 July 2018.

4. Winners will be notified via Twitter on 1 August and Takealot.com will be in touch to organise delivery.

5. The competition is only open to South African residents.

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Happy Emoji Day! Here’s 10 reasons to be cheerful

First created by Shigetaka Kurita in 1999, the emoji has become a huge part of everyday communication. Whether you love them or hate them, flying dollar bills, applauding hands and rolling eyes are here to stay.

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Scientist suggest that the use of emojis will help us gain the same satisfaction from digital interactions as we enjoy from personal contact.

Almost two decades later, and we have over 2600 unique emojis to perfectly express what we feel, thank you Mr Kurita! Join HMD, the home of Nokia phones as we celebrate World Emoji Day on the 17th of July with these interesting emoji facts:

The most popular emoji used is “Person Shrugging”

1.       The Nokia 3310 was chosen as one of the first 3 “National” emojis for Finland… it represents unbreakable!

2.       South Africa’s favourite emoji is the “Kiss and wink”… how sweet SA!

3.       French is the only language where a ‘smiley’ does not top the list for its use

4.       On average, over 60 billion emojis are sent on Facebook every day

5.       For the first time ever, the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year was a pictograph! The “Face with Tears of Joy” was crowned word of the year in 2015

6.       According to Emojipedia, some of the most requested emoji’s include afro, a bagel and hands making a heart

7.       To include all races, a diversity pack was released in 2017

8.       It has become so trendy that the Museum of Modern Art displays the original emoji collection on canvas

9.       In 2009, Herman Melville’s classic Moby Dick was completely translated into emoji’s

 

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