Tag Archives: business
Esri Program Gives Small Businesses a Competitive Edge
For small businesses wanting to expand their footprint in the U.S. federal market, the time to grow is now. In fiscal year 2014, the federal government spent a whopping $91.7 billion on small business contracts, exceeding its goal of awarding 23% of contracting dollars to small businesses. Moreover, some federal agencies have adopted a small-business-first policy, vetting requirements with small businesses before going to the open market. Several Government-Wide Acquisition Contract (GWAC) vehicles are set aside for small businesses, including the upcoming GSA Alliant 2 SB GWAC request for proposal expected later this summer. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) just announced the awardees of a $25 billion ceiling contract called the Strategic Partners Acquisition Readiness Contract (SPARC) Program, which will reserve task orders under $29 million for small businesses.
As the small business movement continues to grow and government looks for new ways to support the community, federal agencies are also working to attract non-traditional contractors, such as startups at the forefront of innovation. In fact, some agencies are going to great lengths to work more closely with startups by opening new offices in Silicon Valley.
Why the foray into more small business and startup territory? Agencies are looking for innovation, agile development, and new ways to quickly procure emerging technology and solutions.
Location analytics helps retailers breathe new life into old strategies.
Online shopping is well understood. We don’t only know how many people visit an online retail site. We also know that changing the size of a picture by a few pixels will generate more sales. We can even see if online shopping carts have been abandoned, what items people have viewed, and how long visitors have stayed on a page to calculate their interest in buying a product.
But when it comes to knowing how many people shop at a physical store, traditionally we scratch our heads. We’ve been trying to figure out those details for more than a hundred years. And don’t get me started on “dark shoppers”—customers that visit a store but don’t purchase. Unlike online shoppers, “dark shoppers” don’t leave an activity trail. There’s been a lot of talk about how in-store beacons will change this, but the jury’s out on how shoppers will respond. Continue reading
Finding a balance between consumers and companies when sharing geolocation information in the age of big data analytics.
Recently we returned from a retail conference where we highlighted to attendees the differences in perception and attitudes they have toward location data, depending on whether they are using it in their personal or professional lives.
This was the type of conference where those big-box and household-name retailers you see every day send their people in charge. They meet and discuss different ways to sort out the massive amounts of data they capture from today’s digital world. Their main purpose? Turn that data into hard results. Continue reading
Technology and the great recession have changed retailing forever. Gone is “Clonetown USA” with its repetitive retail landscape replaced and redesigned to engage the customer on their own terms. Today, it’s all about doing business locally, bringing your store to the customer rather than thinking the customer is inclined to seek you and your products out at your store. AppFire caused a major media buzz when they announced in January 2011 that the average Smartphone user spends just over three quarters of their 84 minutes a day using maps, social networking, and other activities immersed in the Web. The least important thing we now do with our phones is talk!
Smartphones have empowered the tech-savvy consumer and as a result stores are porous. According to the Mobile Movement Study, 95 percent of smartphone users have looked for local information and 70 percent use smartphones while shopping in-store to price compare or find the best place to purchase a product. For the retailer the most important statistic is that about the same number visit the business they search and 53 percent actually purchase.
Business data is growing at such a rate that many organizations can become overwhelmed by the big data problem. A recent McKinsey, IDC, and Department of Labor Statistics analysis [PDF] of data in business found that financial/securities organizations have 3.8 petabytes per firm—that’s more than 400 million gigabytes, or about 12.5 million iPads, per company! Banking comes in a distant second with 1.9 PB. This puts big data found in financial services companies into perspective since this is even greater than most communications and media companies’ average of 1.8 PB. Continue reading
Integrating intelligent maps
As the single largest expense for P&C carriers, the claims management process is a focal point in driving improved customer satisfaction and increased underwriting profits. In fact, a recent study by Deloitte shows that a single percentage point improvement in claims costs could return significant savings for insurers. Continue reading
The perfect home may be a hot spot away
Ocean breezes; able to walk to shops and public transport; stunning mountain views. These aren’t phrases for advertising a holiday getaway—they are descriptions used to sell houses I’ve bought. Continue reading
Our Failed Financial Institutions Need to Meet Their Community Covenant
We dodged a bullet. The global economic meltdown, which saw 140 banking organizations closed in the U.S. in 2009, has affected every industry and sector of life. Governments spent billions trying to correct systemic failures that began with the subprime mortgage crisis and led to a vicious cycle of reduced credit, business bankruptcy, and soaring unemployment. A 1930s-style depression was avoided at great cost to our public and private financial systems, but it could have been much worse. Continue reading
Why do so few insurers use GIS?
Most insurers are grappling with the consequences of a soft market and increased financial volatility. With trust levels at their lowest in over 50 years, insurers who do not fully understand the risks they are writing face a tough future. The property landscape has changed dramatically, and credit markets remain tight. More uncertainty is introduced every day as globalization, climate change, and ever-moving patterns of land use, crime, and arson alter the geography of cities forever. Continue reading