Big Data’s Application in the Business Environment

You viewed our last webinar and now you know exactly what Big Data and datafication are. But how would you apply it in your day-to-day business? What important Big Data role could you play tomorrow at the office, even with the soft skills you already bring to the table?

In 18 minutes, learn how intuition is being replaced with data-driven decisions and what skills you should develop to stay relevant. We will cover specific examples of how big data solves real business problems and how deciding upon dependent and independent variables on your way to setting up a hypothesis is your first step before bringing in a data scientist.

Vincent Suppa works with startups and investors and teaches graduate courses at New York University. His email is suppa@suppa.org.

© Vincent Suppa 2016

Is Your HR Department Really an Admin Department?

How much of your "HR" work is really admin?

Your company loses its competitive differentiator when HR functions as admin.

Look at any organizational chart. Administration is still necessary, and yet you’d be hard pressed to find an admin department.

Decades ago, companies had admin departments with many administrative employees. Today, firms have fewer administrators against more regulation and increasing bureaucracy!

In our knowledge economy, people remain the differentiating competitive advantage as companies require fewer operating assets, with even those assets – computers and software – now commoditized. Since regulation tends to center on differentiators, government compliance focuses increasingly on employees.

Admin deserves its own department as does HR.

Admin deserves its own department as does HR.

But does filing more electronic forms and enforcing compliance make it less of an admin function because it involves humans? The answer is in the Shakespearean quip, “A rose by any other name…

If administration is being performed by companies bereft of admin departments, then who performs admin? Admin departments, of course. Only they are now called HR departments.

Administrators are vital and even maintain own professional associations. The American Society of Administrate Professionals and International Association of Administrative Professionals are two excellent examples.

When companies misclassify administrative employees as HR, they do so to the detriment of both professions. We recognize administrators’ unique skillsets distinguishing them from HR. Unfortunately,  HR departments now absorb admin to the dilution of HR.

By confusing the two roles but only giving one its own department, we undervalue the importance administrators provide while denying them their own career path.

We also cloud the career paths of HR professionals. Once their jobs get outsourced to vendors efficiently handling payroll, compliance and other benefit administrative work, they realize all too late they actually worked in admin despite their HR title.

We make this claim because companies only outsource functions on which they don’t compete. For those functions, they accept industry standards vendors provide equally to all clients, including competitors.

True HR cannot be executed by vendors since employees are the great differentiator. And firms never outsource what they compete on. (For more on this, watch the video below and read “Why Your Company is an HR Company.“)

Merely giving administrators HR titles offers little security when algorithms are able to perform the same functions more efficiently against newer technologies.

Sadly, administrators with HR titles realize their admin role only after their companies decide to cut checks to vendors instead of them.

What can both administrators and HR professionals do to protect their own unique careers? We have ideas on that too!

Vincent Suppa works with startups and investors and teaches graduate courses at New York University. His email is suppa@suppa.org.

© Vincent Suppa 2016

Big Data & Datafication: The Least You Need to Know

Twenty five years ago, to ask a company if they were on the internet was a legitimate question. Today, even the most Luddite companies have a web presence.

Ten years ago, to ask a company if they deploy BIG DATA to drive their decisions was also a legitimate question. But today, BIG DATA is as ubiquitous as the internet, and while people today would not ask if a company uses either the internet or BIG DATA – of course they do! – investors and employers alike are asking how well they are using BIG DATA.

But when asked what BIG DATA is, all too often we hear how it must be about lots of data. We have always been surrounded by data, so there must be something more to it, no?

In eighteen minutes, learn the least you need to know about datafication – a word so new that most spell checks still deem it a misspelled word. In a few minutes, understand enough about BIG DATA to explain it to others, including the three most fundamental shifts manifested by BIG DATA:

  • From small to all
  • From clean to messy
  • From causation to correlation.

Learn about how to apply Big Data in business.

Vincent Suppa works with startups and investors and teaches graduate courses at New York University. His email is suppa@suppa.org.

© Vincent Suppa 2016

How to Increase Margins After a Disruption

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Once disrupted, can your product be repositioned for the luxury market?  (Image: Pixabay)

We recently talked about how the best companies combine talent and technology in the most efficient way to innovate in their field.

Most leaders inside the boiler room pave their way in pure technology plays. But some companies build their new competitive advantage upon the premise that most of us have moved so comfortably into the digital world that it has elevated analogue products to where they can now be monetized as luxury goods.

Replaced by digital music files, vinyl recordings now sell for larger margins to audiophiles.

Disrupted by digital files, vinyl recordings now sell for larger margins to audiophiles.  (Image: Pixabay)

Vinyl recordings, excluding their content value, were commodities as a sound medium. Now they are an expensive, high-margin acquisition for audiophiles.

Think of how traditional analogue watches were gradually replaced with digital timepieces in the 1970s. Once the transition was nearly complete, traditional timepieces regained lost market share by repositioning themselves even further into the luxury market.

A hand-written note is treasured when most messaging is digital.

A hand-written note becomes treasured when most messaging is digital.  (Image: Pixabay)

Fountain pens lost their dominant share of the market in the 1950s with the arrival of the ballpoint pen. Today, a fountain pen is a high-end luxury good with higher margins than their 1950s’ counterpart.

Inside the Boiler Room celebrates disruption. As disruption increases the efficiency and productivity of the market, disrupted industries can reposition themselves from high-revenue, low-cost commodities to high-end, high-margin luxury goods.

As communication is now almost exclusively digital, handwritten letters, especially those showcasing beautiful calligraphy, are even more valued by their recipients .

HR Avant-Garde spent time with Kunal Sheth to see what he had to say about our premise on how, with enough disruption, analogue can sometimes trump digital with higher margins than before.

Vincent Suppa works with startups and investors and teaches graduate courses at New York University. His email is suppa@suppa.org.

© Vincent Suppa 2016

Inside the Boiler Room: Disrupting Digital Messaging with an Analogue Solution

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In an age of ubiquitous digital communication, Fountain repositioned the hand-written greeting card for the high-end market.

Kunal Sheth has responded to the digital revolution by moving analogue into the luxury space. With digital communication now the default, Kunal empowers real estate developers and dutiful sons and daughters alike to send beautiful hand written cards to clients and parents, respectively.

The sentiments and words are from Fountain Greetings‘ customers. The outstanding calligraphy is from his trained staff. Don’t worry about backing up these messages in the cloud because his cards are beautiful objects on their own displayed by the people who probably cannot remember the last time they received a greeting card in the mail. (more…)

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