Saturday, 28 March 2020

What we mean when we say “Anyone can do math”



We need to unpack the phrase, and attendant phrases, that are so popular today, and that are in some ways so radical and unintuitive that we both believe and disbelieve them at the same time.

  1. Anyone can do math
  2. Everyone is a mathematician
  3. You are good at math (and do not know it)
  4. There is no such thing as a math person. Everyone can do the math!


And so on. These are correctives, and important ones, to another, an earlier set of problematic (and faulty) axioms, that assumed the world is divided up into “math people” and “I’m-not-a-math-person” people. Some multitudes believe they cannot do the math when they suffer only from corrosive classroom experiences. Nevertheless, too unthinking an embrace of these taglines is problematic too.

The current excitement around growth mindset in classrooms around the world is meant, partly, to prevent math class from being a place where you get identified as a person who either has or doesn’t have the “math gene” (another discredited concept) and sorted accordingly into the appropriate track. Then students who are fast and know their facts are fast-tracked into more challenging and exciting mathematics, while folks who are slower or do not have the facts down are placed in lower, slower tracks, and get the message that they do not belong in the subject.

However, we have a way of overcorrecting. A growth mindset is effectively a positive and useful outlook, but right now there is a risk it gets overapplied (and under-understood) and becomes another educational fad that backfires in implementation.

When we say anyone can do the math, what do we actually mean?

If we are saying that everyone is equally talented mathematically, then we are lying. And kids know this. You know it too. There are people who have unusual insights or abilities in mathematics. Some (e.g., Ramanujan, Nash, Turing, Johnson) get their movies. And speaking of movies, that anyone can do math line has a counterpart in the movies, in Pixar’s Ratatouille. There, the line is anyone can cook.

“Not everyone can become a great artist- but a great artist can come from anywhere”

Ego, from Ratatouille

Ego’s parsing of the phrase anyone can cook is not apparent, and it is not the primary meaning of the phrase. The truth is, there are three meanings all wrapped up there: anyone can learn to have the joy and pleasure of cooking in their life, even if they do not become a master chef. Some people will get serious about it. And the visionaries who change the way we think about the art can come from anywhere – lock them out of the field, and we all suffer.

This is what we have to mean when we insist that anyone can do the math. For it to be more than an empty platitude, or a blatant falsehood, we have to be precise.

What does anyone can do math really mean?

1. Everyone is capable of mathematical literacy. In other words, everyone can learn the foundational mathematics that allows them to understand and participate in our (increasingly data-heavy) world. Everyone is capable of doing arithmetic, understanding fractions, percents, basic algebra and graphing, basic probability and statistics, and should be able to read a graph in a newspaper or hear a statistic on the radio without getting flustered. They should know that they can understand the vast majority of the math that surrounds them in the world if they decide to put in the work. This means they should have the numeracy to participate as citizens in our society, and also to pursue the career path of their choice. (It is shocking how many people literally give up on their dreams because it requires them to take too many math courses.)

2. Everyone deserves to see some beautiful ideas of mathematics. Just like we send students on field trips to museums and have them read great poems and novels, part of their human inheritance is exposure to breathtaking mathematical ideas. The fact that people respond with panic rather than wonder is a sign that we are doing something wrong.

3. A great mathematician can come from anywhere. We all have biases about what mathematicians are supposed to look like, and also what students who are “good at math” are supposed to look and act like. We need to teach like anyone and everyone in our classroom could have a gift for math that’s about to manifest because they just might, and we may never know unless they are given the opportunity.

What we should all be shooting for is a world where everyone is mathematically literate, and where fear or anxiety around mathematics does not prevent people from doing the things they dream of doing. Everyone should see some beautiful mathematical ideas and know what it feels like. And if we can do that, we will also see excellent mathematical arising from all corners of our society and classrooms. Because there are kids who have a gift for or love of mathematics which we are not reaching yet.

Not everyone is equally gifted in mathematics. But there are reasons to teach as everyone could be.

Source Credit: mathforlove.com

LEARN MORE with PHI best Maths books on several areas of mathematics like Numerical analysis, graph theory, differential equations, linear algebra, engineering mathematics and many more…

Buy Mathematics books online from www.phindia.com 

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

5 Tips to Building an Earthquake-Resistant Structure


Natural disasters are sudden and dangerously powerful, making them a serious threat to communities nationwide. Professionals have learned to anticipate some like hurricanes, blizzards, and tornadoes, but others can still strike with no warning. Earthquakes of any magnitude can occur at any time of the year with almost no indications. They can affect small remote areas, or destroy large cities. Experts have discovered specific U.S. areas highly prone to earthquakes, but technically they could happen anywhere. In a country brimming with permanent steel, glass, and concrete structures, earthquakes possibly pose the greatest threat of widespread destruction.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) works in cooperation with the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) to research and design structural building practices and regulations to protect against earthquakes. Their goal is to minimize damage and injury through a building’s structural integrity. The FEMA and NEHRP safety professionals work with engineers and architects to identify building characteristics that directly affect a building’s behavior during shakes and vibrations.

Why Earthquake-Resistant Structures?

Earthquakes are defined as rapid shaking of the ground caused by the shift of rock and tectonic plates underground. The ground seems solid, but the upper crust of the earth is deep and long periods cause pressure to build up between plates and fissures. When the pressure gives, seismic vibrations and violent shaking reverberate to the surface, immediately affecting miles of land. After the initial quake, aftershocks can occur resulting in further damage.

Earthquakes can virtually happen anywhere. The buildings may have to endure radical movement and foundation shifts in order to minimize damage and protect the people inside and around them. If the fracture or collapse, no emergency plan can protect the people from harm. Earthquake-resistant building designs consider the following characteristics that influence their structural integrity: stiffness and strength, regularity, redundancy, foundations, and load paths.

Stiffness and Strength

When designing earthquake-resistant buildings, safety professionals recommend adequate vertical and lateral stiffness and strength – specifically lateral. Structures tend to handle the vertical movement caused by quakes better than the lateral, or horizontal, movement. Without considering earthquakes, professionals still focus on a building’s vertical stiffness and strength as it has to support itself. However, earthquakes introduce new directional forces that may not be prepared for. Buildings will shift left and right during the event, and, if not built properly, will quickly destabilize.

Regularity

This characteristic refers to the movement of the building when pushed in lateral directions. Safety professionals and building designers want the building to move equally so as to dissipate the energy without placing too much force on one side or another. If a building is irregular, then weaknesses will become apparent when the building sways. The weakness will compromise and the structure will see concentrated damage – which compromises the structure as a whole.

Redundancy

Possibly one of the most important safety characteristics when designing for safety, redundancy ensures there are multiple strategies in place in case one fails. These can potentially add to the building cost, but redundancies prove their worth if/when a natural disaster such as an earthquake occurs. Safety professionals advise equally distributing mass and strength throughout the structure so strength isn’t solely reliant on one factor.

Foundations

A stable foundation is a major characteristic of building a large structure regardless of natural disaster risks. It is critical for a building’s long-term survival, and a stronger foundation is necessary to resist earthquakes' powerful forces. Different areas have unique foundational characteristics that define how a structure’s base needs to be reinforced. Professionals have to closely observe how the ground reacts and moves before building. Buildings designed to withstand violent earthquakes have deep foundations and driven piles. To stabilize these drastic measures, the foundations are connected so they move as a unit.

Continuous Load Path

Tying into the stable foundation characteristic, structural and nonstructural components of a building need to be interconnected so inertial forces dissipate. Multiple points of strength and redundancies share the force instead of the quake splitting the foundation apart. This is the continuous load path characteristic that safety professionals, architects, and engineers must remain wary of during design. If the structure is not comprehensively tied together, components will move independently and collapse will be imminent. The continuous load path is the earthquake’s journey through the building – laterally and vertically. It is vital the path is intact or else it won’t be able to dissipate an earthquake’s powerful shudders.

Earthquakes happen less frequently than other natural disasters, but building earthquake-resistant buildings protect against all-natural disasters. Safety professionals keep people’s safety a priority when researching and developing protective strategies for structural integrity. Due to the amount of synergy needed to develop earthquake-resistant building provisions, safety professionals work closely with other fields. They have to appreciate multiple factors they may not be experts in and communicate with other professionals to find the most effective solutions.

Source Credit: safetymanagement.eku.edu

EXPLORE MORE

Learn the concepts and principles of earthquake-resistant design of structures in an easy-to-read style with PHI Textbook EARTHQUAKE RESISTANT DESIGN OF STRUCTURES by Agarwal and Shrikhande.

Buy Earthquake Resistant Design of Structures Book Online at www.phindia.com

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

V. RAJARAMAN – A Pioneer in the Field of Computer Science Education in India



V. RAJARAMAN – A Pioneer in the Field of Computer Science Education in India
Born: 8 September 1933, Madras Presidency, British India 
Occupation: Computer engineer & Academic Author 
Known for: Computer science academics and literature 

Awards


  1. Padma Bhushan 
  2. Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize 
  3. Om Prakash Bhasin Award 
  4. Homi Bhabha Prize 
  5. IISc Rustom Choksi Award 
  6. INAE Lifetime Contribution Award 
  7. IISc Distinguished Alumnus Award 
  8. CSI Lifetime Achievement Award


Vaidyeswaran Rajaraman is an Indian engineer, academic and writer, known for his pioneering efforts in the field of Computer Science education in India. He is credited with the establishment of the first academic program in computer science in India, which he helped initiate at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur in 1965. An elected fellow of all the Indian science academies, he is a recipient of the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize, the highest Indian award in the Science and Technology category for young scientists and several other honors including Om Prakash Bhasin Award and Homi Bhabha Prize. The Government of India awarded him the third highest civilian honour of the Padma Bhushan, in 1998, for his contributions to science.

He passed the Higher secondary examination as a student of the first batch of the Madras Education Association (now known as DTEA) Higher Secondary School, New Delhi, in 1949. V.Rajaraman was awarded a scholarship by the Delhi University after passing the All India Entrance Scholarship Examination and graduated with honors in Physics from St. Stephen's College of the University of Delhi in 1952 and continued his higher studies at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore (IISc) to obtain a Diploma in Electrical Communication Engineering in 1955. He stayed on at IISc and designed and constructed non-linear units for an analog computer and applied it for solving a number of engineering problems for which he was awarded an associateship by IISc in 1957. He was awarded an overseas scholarship by the Government of India and joined the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge from where he obtained his master's degree in electrical engineering in 1959. Thereafter, he enrolled himself at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for his doctoral studies and did research on adaptive control systems and obtained a Ph.D. in 1961. He started his career as an assistant professor of statistics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 1962, he returned to India to work as an assistant professor of electrical engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IITK). He went as a visiting assistant professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley during the period 1965–66. It was during this time, he shifted his focus to the then-nascent discipline of computer science.

Supercomputer Education and Research Centre, IISc Bangalore 

In early 1965, with the encouragement by Prof. H. K. Kesavan, the Head of Electrical Engineering Department at IITK, Rajaraman along with his colleagues, initiated a new MTech program with Computer Science as an option; the first time the subject was being offered as an academic discipline in India. Later, he helped introduce a doctoral program, too, and the group led by him pioneered the use of decision tables in the development, debugging, and optimization of complex computer programs. He initiated the first B.Tech. program at IITK in 1978 with an initial batch of 20 students. He became a senior professor at IITK in 1974 and stayed there till 1982. He moved to the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and developed low-cost parallel computers and a supercomputing facility of which he served as the Chairman from 1982 to 1994. During his tenure at IITK and IISc, he guided 30 students in their doctoral studies. He published over 70 scientific papers in national and international peer-reviewed journals and several textbooks, including the first on computer programming published in India by PHI Learning Private Limited titled Principles of Computer Programming, Computer Programming in FORTRAN 90 and 95, Computer Oriented Numerical Methods (Third Edition), Analog Computation and Simulation, Analysis and Design of Information Systems (Third Edition), Computer Basics and C Programming, Computer Programming in C, Computer Programming in FORTRAN 77 (With an Introduction to FORTRAN 90), 4th ed., Essentials of E-Commerce Technology, Introduction to Information Technology (Third Edition), Fundamentals of Computers (Sixth Edition), Parallel Computers—Architecture and Programming (Second Edition), Computer Organization and Architecture, Digital Logic and Computer Organization, An Introduction to Digital Computer Design (Fifth Edition) among others. His Ph.D. thesis was on the Theory of parameter-perturbation adaptive and optimizing control systems and S.M. thesis was on Effects of Parameter Variations in Linear Amplifiers. He wrote a monograph, History of Computing in India: 1955-2010, on the invitation of the IEEE Computer Society in 2014. It details the history of Information Technology in India. Rajaraman, besides developing parallel computers, contributed in the development of real-time control system for Bhilai Steel Plant, designed the training modules for Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), and designed computer science curriculum for All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), the national council for technical education in India. He was a member of the Electronics Commission during 1979–82. During his tenure in the Electronics Commission, he chaired a committee that recommended the introduction of a new academic program called Master of Computer Applications (MCA) for BSc and BCom students foreseeing the impending human resource shortage for the IT industry. This was a unique program in India. He was a council member of the Indian National Science Academy (INSA) from 1986 to 1988. He served as a consultant to Bharat Electronics (BEL), TCS, Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL), Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) and Kerala Venture Capital. He chaired a committee set up by the Science Advisory Council to the Prime Minister in 1987 that recommended establishing Centre for the Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) to design and develop supercomputers in India using parallel computing technology. He was a member of CDAC's governing council in its formative years. He was a Tata Chem professor at IISc from 1991 to 1994 and the IBM Professor of Information Technology at Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCAR) from 1994 to 2001. He was a member of the board of directors of CMC Ltd., Canbank Computer Services Ltd., Encore Software Ltd., and IIIT, Kerala. He was a member of the Technical Advisory Panel of the Government of Karnataka from 1985 to 2014. During his tenure, he advised the government on computerization of land registration (Bhoomi Project), Kaveri project of the stamps and registration department for computerising registration of urban properties, computerizing the court systems and many important e-governance projects. His hobbies include listening to classical Karnatik and Western music and reading fiction and non-fiction books.

Awards and Honors 

Rajaraman received Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize, the highest Indian science and technology award for young scientists, in 1976, for his contributions in optimizing the use of decision tables and his pioneering work in computer science. This was followed by the Homi Bhabha Prize in 1984 and the Indian Society of Technical Education Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1988. He was awarded the Om Prakash Bhasin Award of the Shri Om Prakash Bhasin Foundation and Rustom Choksi Award of the Indian Institute of Science in 1993. The Government of India included him in the Republic Day Honours list in 1998 for the civilian award of the Padma Bhushan. The Indian National Academy of Engineering honored him with the Lifetime Contribution Award in Engineering in 2005 and he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award of the Indian Institute of Science in 2014. He has also delivered several award orations including the S.H. Zaheer Medal (1998) of the Indian National Science Academy and is a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Computer Society of India, Dataquest, and Systems Society of India. The Indian Academy of Sciences elected Rajaraman as its fellow in 1974 and the Indian National Science Academy and the National Academy of Sciences, India followed suit in 1982 and 1990 respectively. He is also an elected fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering and has held the fellowships of the Computer Society of India (1974) and the Institute of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineers. The Bengal Engineering and Science University and the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur have conferred the degree of Doctor of Science (honoris causa) on Rajaraman.

An interview with Dr. Rajaraman is available at http://voxiitk.com/interview-with-dr-rajaraman/ 

The Series of Books by Rajaraman, published by PHI Learning, is available for purchase from www.phindia.com.

The books are available in print book format as well as e-book format.
   

Monday, 16 March 2020

Importance of Writing Laboratory Reports


For fostering scientific learning, hands-on learning is critical. And this can best be achieved through lab experiments. The lab experiments promote the development of scientific thinking in students. A laboratory is an exciting place where students investigate, analyse, and reflect.  They test and apply theories and make abstract concepts concrete.

Students spend considerable time doing a wide range of practical or laboratory work. Laboratory classes provide students with first-hand experience with course concepts and with the opportunity to explore methods used by scientists in their discipline. Here the learning is very 'hands-on', and classes are designed to allow students to practice and develop a wide range of discipline-based techniques and personal skills.

Depending on the topic, the potential goals for laboratory classes are as follows:
  1. Deepen understanding of concepts
  2. Apply theoretical and conceptual knowledge
  3. Developing a range of experimental techniques and approaches
  4. Develop experimental and data analysis skills
  5. Learn to use scientific apparatus
  6. Develop reporting skills (written and oral)
  7. Practice collaborative problem solving, team working, observing and following protocols
  8. Test important laws and rules

In many courses, lectures and experiments are integrated with the view that theory can be explained in the lecture and then applied and tested in the practical class.

Experiments, observations, and conclusions are crucial in science education. That is why all students should learn how to write a lab report like a pro.
Experiments and observation help students verify conclusions reached by others. College students should see things and validate scientific knowledge. They can support their laboratory observation with what is written in books.
But to share your observations and findings with others, you should know how to complete a lab report the right way. This type of academic writing is based on facts and scientific observation, with little or no focus on narrations. A scientific method should be followed in composing an excellent report.

How To Write a Good College Lab Report

Whether you are studying chemistry, biology, microbiology or physics, writing high-quality lab reports is a crucial part of your academic studies. Aspiring scientists and students need an excellent laboratory report when they’re inventing something, prove facts, or elaborate on findings. That is why every science student should learn how to write a formal lab report that meets adequate academic criteria.

This is not just another piece of academic writing you want to hand in hoping for good grades. It’s a chance to demonstrate an understanding of a particular topic by drawing conclusions. Here is how to write an excellent lab report:

1. Devote time to pre-lab report writing

It’s crucial to explain why you’re writing this report. What’s the goal of your academic assignment, and what are you trying to prove? Moreover, you should elaborate on all procedures followed in running your experiment and the techniques used to prove your conclusion.

2. Use a Flowchart

This is a roadmap that keeps readers focused while reading your assignment. They can always refer back to the flowchart if they’re confused while reading.

3. Accurate Data Taking

Taking notes is the most crucial part of learning how to write a college lab report. Take notes of everything going on in the lab. Use all your senses to record everything. Make sure that you write detailed descriptions of all machines used, materials, their concentration, and temperatures.

4. Explain in Details

Now that you’re out of the lab, it’s time for college lab report writing. This means going back to your data and writing everything neatly. Some professors expect tables and graphs because they provide useful information. Mention all calculations and formulas used. This helps readers follow your report and see how you reached your results. Students should also mention units.

5. Write the Conclusion

The conclusion is a crucial part of the lab report format. It’s a summary of what you did, research findings, and results obtained. A conclusion reminds readers of the details of your experiment. Even if something didn’t go as expected, mention it and explain how you plan on improving it in the future.

How To Write The Main Sections For Lab Report?

A formal lab report has several important parts. To complete your assignment in excellent quality, pay attention to each section and work on it correctly.

1. Title Page

Some lab reports don’t require a title page. But if your professor asks for one, mention the title of your experiment, names of students, the instructor’s name, and the date of submission.

2. Abstract

This is a summary of the purpose of your lab report. It should explain the key findings and major conclusions. Mention the methodology or theory in which the experiment is based. By reading the abstract, interested readers will have an idea of what they will read.

It should be brief, and still contain all relevant information, including the numerical values of results. It should also include a summarised description of all procedures.

3. Lab Report Introduction

The introduction of any academic assignment is the writer’s chance to grab the attention of readers. Your lab report introduction is a summary of the major steps in the experiment while mentioning some background information. Mention your hypothesis or what you believe before running an experiment to prove it. Your introduction should tell readers what is the problem or issue and explain how your experiment can expand knowledge to solve this issue.

4. Method

Your method section is an integral part of a formal lab report. Methods should always be written in the past tense and not in a narrative way. Lab report writing is based on facts and should follow a scientific approach. Mention the methodology or theories and variables that will affect results. Methods adapted from other sources should be referenced.

5. Materials For Laboratory Report

Here students list everything used in the experiment. This gives readers the chance to duplicate the experiment if they wish to. Use complete sentences and don’t list materials like a recipe.

6. Procedure Section

Here, don’t confuse readers by writing too many words. Keep it simple and list actions in the order they happened. Use the active voice and bullet points or lists so readers can repeat the experiment later on if they wish. While writing your experiment procedure, you should avoid being too brief; otherwise, you might give up clarity.

7. Discussion Section

Explaining relationships is vital in writing a lab report. How does your experiment relate to other work in the same field? This is what you need to include in your lab report discussion to provide useful information to readers. You have probably received some questions in your lab manual. In the discussion section, integrate these answers into a logical discussion rather than answering them one by one.

8. References

This is a list of all scientific papers that you’ve used to run your experiment. References should be written on a separate page at the end of your assignment. Readers can refer to these references if they need to read more. This is also a good way to avoid being accused of plagiarism.

How To Format A College Lab Report Correctly

When you are writing a lab report, follow the right formatting style. Professors expect you to submit your task before the due date, so there will be a chance to revise and edit.
Lab reports are either written in APA or MLA styles. Both are widely accepted, but they differ in the way to list the cited sources. MLA follows the author-page format while APA follows the author-page format for in-text citations. 
Use 1-inch margins and use a Times New Roman 12 point font to compose your lab report. Page numbers should be on the upper right-hand corner, starting from the first page. Refer to your lab manual and set of instructions before writing your assignment and make sure that you’re following the right lab reports outline.

Source Credit: papersowl.com

To provide information to undergraduate students to practice experiments in electronics laboratories, PHI Learning offers:

Electronics Lab Manual (Volume I) – Fifth Edition by Navas
Electronics Lab Manual (Volume II) – Sixth Edition by Navas

These manuals are evolved from the experience of the author who taught all lab courses in his three decades of teaching in various universities in India.

To know about the experiments covered in the manuals, write to us at phi@phindia.com 

Sunday, 15 March 2020

How Data Analytics is Leading the Path to Smart Cities


As society becomes more technologically advanced, city leaders are leveraging data analytics to improve the quality of life for citizens.

A growing number of cities are investing in smart technology. The innovation is enabling municipalities to finally do something about mitigating the damage that modern living inflicts on the environment and the population.

Big data has the potential to benefit everyone – from captains of industry to housing insecure persons. Indeed, big data systems could lead to a better future.

Data, Data Everywhere

The proliferation of technology is so marked that the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects job openings for skilled professionals with the know-how to use data analytics tools to expand by 27% in 2026. The Internet of Things (IoT) is expanding rapidly across the urban landscape. As it does so, new opportunities are emerging that enable municipal leaders to understand hidden insights about how cities function. Simultaneously, more government agencies are embracing big data systems and sharing information across traditionally segregated organizations.

Because of these developments, big data systems have become an essential component of any smart city strategy. Predictive analytics, for instance, can help officials analyze traffic and public transportation patterns to improve the efficiency of conveyances. Also, agencies are increasingly leveraging up-to-date and real-time data to support public safety and social services.

Meanwhile, agencies that are responsible for energy efficiency are using big data systems to identify and take measures to support vulnerable households – through retrofitting programs, for instance. At the same time, the increasing use of open-source code is encouraging citizen engagement and developer creativity.

How Data Makes Cities Smart

Data analytics can potentially offer insights into nearly every aspect of public service and municipal activities. They already play a vital role in enabling cities, utility agencies and other municipal entities to optimize resources and move closer to zero-carbon objectives.

For example, some municipalities use analytics to manage community energy networks of distributed, renewable microgrids. One such initiative is the European Union’s Sharing Cities Program, which uses a sustainable energy management system (SEMS) to optimize energy production and distribution. The system also serves an additional source of insightful data for municipal leaders.

In transportation, agencies improve mobility by using real-time analytics collected from sensors and other devices to reduce travel time. The information also helps reduce the cost of operations and provide current information for transit users.

For instance, officials in Hangzhou, China use the Alibaba City Brain platform to forecast traffic patterns and detect accidents. Since deploying the technology, the city has dropped from the 5th worst congested city in the world to the 57th. Meanwhile, agencies that are responsible for communication are leveraging data analyses to make similar improvements across the vertical.

No One Left Behind?

A remarkable thing is taking place among municipalities that have embraced smart city technology.  Typically, technological innovation serves the needs of those who have the money to pay for it. However, officials of some municipalities are using smart city technology to address the needs of the homeless population.

It’s hard to imagine high-tech driverless cars and beautiful, sustainable buildings bordering sidewalks filled with homeless people. Nevertheless, that's what's happening in some of the most advanced cities in the United States.

Officials now realize that traditional means of supporting the homeless population have failed. Historically, municipalities have managed the homeless population by operating shelters to keep homeless people off the street. Now, however, they want to get to the root of homelessness and are therefore looking for other alternatives to resolve the issue.

Municipal leaders hope to use big data systems to develop a holistic service-based system approach that offers a solution beyond temporary housing. For instance, the New York City's Women in Need (WIN) shelters – in partnership with the NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) – are working toward providing Wi-Fi access for its temporary housing residents. WIN representatives express that since the organization houses 10% of the city’s homeless population, the service can generate substantial data that can help to provide insight into the housing insecure population.

The ways that officials have come up with to leverage big data systems for addressing homelessness are indeed remarkable. However, only time will tell if municipal leaders finally live up to their promise of finding an effective long-term solution for the problem.

The most significant barrier to making use of big data systems in any field is a lack of talent skilled in working with the technology. This circumstance is especially prevalent in the public sector. Once organizations figure out how to fill the talent gap, data sources that are embedded and much of cities' infrastructure will provide municipal leaders with a wealth of information to help improve the quality of life in communities across America.

Source Credit: Ryan Ayers CEO, Ryan Ayers Communications

Whenever a data analysis technique is required, the simple book on the subject is Data Analysis Using Statistics and Probability with R Language by Bishnu and Bhattacherjee It is a complete introduction to data analysis and provides a sound understanding of the foundations of the data analysis.

For print book or an e-book, you may visit www.phindia.com

Saturday, 7 March 2020

How Big Data Is Reshaping ERP ?



ERP has continued to be a crucial aspect of enterprises to boost business productivity, and the integration of big data with ERP can trigger unprecedented growth in businesses.

ERP systems continue to remain the backbone of businesses. However, present-day ERP systems aren’t being fully utilized for their capabilities. That's because the data available with the companies using ERP is being brought to significant use. According to a study by Information Week, only 12% of the data collected by companies is analyzed, while the rest 88% is left out. This means that businesses are losing out on a huge chunk of data that can be used to gain valuable insights. These insights can help increase the productivity and financial prospects of businesses. Integrating big data with ERP systems can help in the collection, processing, and analysis of structured and unstructured data generated by businesses. With proper utilization of big data, businesses can unlock a treasure trove of benefits over the already beneficial ERP solutions. 

Let’s explore how integrating big data with ERP can work in tandem to help businesses:

Integrating Big Data with ERP

For three decades now, ERP has been an important part of large enterprises. However, not all data flows through ERP systems. It becomes a difficult task to manage big data and the information collected by ERP systems. It gives rise to a lot of complexities for data manipulation. Hence, big data tools are engineered in such a way that they can distinguish data sources and manipulate them. After the data manipulation is complete, it is then converted into a user-friendly form to be used. ERP, in itself, acts as a data bank for big data. Both big data and ERP can feed each other running parallel. The value of ERP systems can thus be enhanced immensely with big data integration.

Benefits of Integrating Big Data with ERP

Big data can have a positive impact on ERP systems and bring about the transformation of businesses. It has enabled businesses to improve their processes and enhance their revenues significantly. The internal processes are streamlined, resulting in a highly productive working model. Here’s how the combination of big data with ERP systems is impacting businesses.

Understanding Customer Preferences

Social media platforms, sensor networks, and mobility largely affect the functioning of big data and ERP together. Currently, a large number of businesses are benefiting from social networking sites for understanding customer preferences. With the availability of big data, businesses can have a complete overview of the likes and dislikes of their customers. Hence, businesses can provide customized recommendations for a wide variety of options to their customers resulting in increased revenue. Even if the implementation of big data doesn’t necessarily result in improved sales, it can help increase user engagement. The customer will spend more time on the company’s platform. With advanced technologies like AI and ML, big data can be leveraged to understand the customer better and provide tailored suggestions.
Providing business insights

At present, businesses use sensor networks that collect the semi-structured type of data. With big data, the data generated in business processes can be collected in a structured manner. This helps businesses to receive insights regarding inventory, production, and supply chain management processes in an efficient manner. These insights enable businesses to make better and more precise decisions that can be beneficial to the organization. Using big data with ERP can bring about the development of new and innovative strategies for the growth of the business.

Simplifying Scheduling Processes

One of the significant benefits of using big data with ERP systems is simplifying the scheduling of projects. A large amount of information can be processed in a short time, making the management and scheduling of projects a simple task. This can greatly improve the output of the business as operations can be run efficiently. With the integration of big data into ERP, businesses can freely access information in real-time. This helps them better schedule their processes and save significant chunks of time. In addition, human resources can be allocated efficiently, resulting in increased productivity.

Improving Supply Chain Management

It proves to be a big challenge for companies to keep a record of all the processes involved in supply chain management. The flow of products from the supplier to the manufacturer is hard without getting a thorough insight into supply chain management. Supply chain visibility is vastly improved by integrating big data with ERP. Businesses can get an elaborated view of all its assets and processes by using big data for ERP solutions. With real-time monitoring of the data at hand, businesses can optimize all the routes involved in the flow of products and their movement in the supply chain cycle. They can easily supervise the information regarding the products at various stages in the supply chain.

Forecasting Sales

A retail business can hugely benefit from the collaboration of big data and ERP systems regarding forecasting and improving its sales. Having significant data in ERP systems like inventory and supply management, retailers can get deeper insight regarding sales patterns. With accurate predictions of sales, retailers can better manage their supply and demand requirements for various products. This can significantly reduce the instances of under or overstocking of materials and components and maximize revenues.

Standardizing Hiring Practices

Hiring the right candidates is a top priority for businesses. Big data is used by many companies to enhance their hiring process. Effective analysis and use of data can help improve the relationship with candidates. Recruiters can have in-depth information about job-seeking candidates. This can help in the finer assessment of the candidate. Recruiters can find the most suitable candidate for the required vacancy. It can help fill potential talent gaps that arise in many cases. Thus, the integration can prove highly advantageous over traditional hiring procedures. With a workforce that perfectly aligns with the skill requirements and ethics followed at the workplace can result in a highly productive work environment.

Future of big data with ERP applications

The combined use of big data with ERP will see increasing applications in various industries. Businesses are rapidly generating data, with 90% of it being attributed in the last two years. This data holds critical insights that can make or break the prospects of these companies. Health centers, hospitals, social media platforms, retail, and the fashion industry are some areas that can benefit hugely by implementing big data with ERP solutions. These industries rely on ERP systems heavily, and big data can be highly beneficial in improving their efficiency and daily operations.

It won’t be wrong to say that the future of ERP will include big data. The incorporation of big data with ERP should make businesses capable of having a broad perspective over their business operations. However, businesses should ensure that the risks associated with big data are addressed to ensure optimum utilization of the technology. As an additional step, companies need a convergence of multiple advanced technologies with high-speed decision-making capabilities if they want to stay ahead of the competition.

Source Credit: Naveen Joshi, Founder & CEO of Allerin Tech Pvt Ltd

PHI-MIT Press Title Reality Mining: Using Big Data to Engineer A Better World by Eagle and Green cuts through the hype to explore the potential of Big Data. It shows the ways in which the analysis of Big Data can be used to improve human systems as varied as political polling and disease tracking while considering user privacy.

Explore this book at www.phindia.com 

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

Five Advertising Tactics That Help Influence Consumers



With today's digital technology, marketers face a monumental challenge. Consumers can only absorb so much information, making the modern attention span inescapably limited. Today's marketers must compete against smart devices, geo-targeted advertising and a plethora of brand messages, in effect making consumer attention a limited and invaluable resource. Because of this, successful contemporary business leaders use technology and innovative practices to engage the right consumers at the right time.

As the information universe expands, the value of consumer attention rises. Today's marketers capture the attention of consumers using every available touchpoint, especially consumer mobile devices. This is especially challenging, as consumer attention is even more fragmented when using personal devices. Researchers estimate that the amount of effort required to attract consumer attention has risen nearly tenfold over the last three decades. Also, marketers must attract consumer attention in the most cost-effective way possible.

The following sections highlight five tactics that marketers can deploy to influence consumers in the highly competitive business marketplace.

1. Be Specific in Who You Target

The most difficult part of marketing is targeting consumers who are most likely to buy. The whole point of marketing is to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time, and – of course – do so cost-effectively. This makes it vitally important to first identify a target audience and then determine how to reach them. Once this is accomplished, marketers can create targeted campaigns that speak directly to the audience. These campaigns must create a strong connection between consumer needs and enterprise offerings.

2. Highlight Diversity

To compete in today’s diverse business environment, marketers must create diverse brand messages that represent modern reality. A recent survey conducted by NewsCred, Inc. Internet marketing consultancy revealed that 91-per cent of marketers believe that there is still room for growth in diversity for brand messaging.
Most United States companies overlook diversity opportunities, missing out on many potential prospects. Despite this circumstance, the nation is growing more diverse. Resultantly, marketers must do a better job of understanding their audience. Diversity and inclusion, however, is more than catering to a specific ethnicity. The American population is composed of people of all ages, socio-economic classes, and genders.

3. Use Technology and Media Intelligently

Marketing leaders recommend a scientific approach to capturing consumer attention. For instance, Harvard Business School researchers conducted eye-tracking technology studies which revealed that consumers do not want to be persuaded. During the study, when brands attempted to sway consumers, they instinctively put up a defensive wall. The researchers noticed that the study participants consistently started ignoring advertisements once brand logos appeared prominently on their displays. The more the enterprises displayed their brand logo, the less time that consumers spent viewing advertisements. Using this intel, the researchers helped marketers overcome a consumer phenomenon called brand avoidance.

4. Consider Cultural Beliefs

People have different traditions, celebrations, and rituals that shape the fabric of their being. Cultural backgrounds are built on a foundation of childhood memories, family experiences and every prominent memory extending from these early years. For some, these experiences are gathered in different countries of origin.  
Marketers must know what appeals to audiences as well as what experiences and beliefs shape their current sentiments. Effective marketers are sensitive to cultural and ethnic distinctions and can create marketing messages that resonate with diverse consumers, and in the business arena, these professionals must maintain an ongoing awareness of changing cultural differences.

5. Tap Into Consumer Emotions

Marketers must do more than capture consumer attention – they must make potential buyers care about what they are offering. Competent marketers do their best to make consumers feel as though their brand understands their strongest needs. To do this, marketers directly address what is called consumer pain points. Pain points are strongly emotional and behavioral influences that are often established by local culture and significantly impact peoples’ lives. For example, a pain point can be frustration, stress, anxiety, fear or other strong emotions.

Once a marketer attracts a consumer’s attention, they must convince that individual to take the desired action, such as purchasing a product. Effective advertising that impacts consumers on an emotional level sets the stage for persuasion. If an advertiser can attract and retain a potential buyer’s attention, more than likely, a sale will ensue.

Marketers must understand life from consumers’ points of view. Effective advertisements attract consumers, evoke emotion and – in fact – become a part of peoples’ cultural experiences. By taking a scientific approach to the understanding of human emotion, modern marketers can create successful branding campaigns and propel their organizations toward prosperity.

Source Credit: Ryan Ayers, CEO, Ryan Ayers Communication

PHI-MIT Press Book The Marketplace of Attention: How Audiences takes Shape in a Digital Age by Webster explains how audiences take shape in the digital age and how digital media finds the audiences they need in an era of infinite choice?

He incorporated the factors that create audiences, including the preferences and habits of media users, the role of social networks, the resources and strategies of media providers, and the growing impact of media measures—from ratings to user recommendations — into one comprehensive framework and calls it the marketplace of attention.

For any queries related to the book, please write to us at phi@phindia.com Or Visit: www.phindia.com

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