Category Archives: Technology Solutions

Which Programming Language Industry is looking for in 2017 ?

In a room full of programmers if you were to ask which is the best programming language you will find a room full of people pulling at the Gordian knot in all directions.  A difficult question no doubt and also controversial.  Ask a software Guru in private and you would get a sane answer, the choice of the programming language depends on the requirement. Here we give a quick rundown of the essential programming language relevant in the mainstream software industry as of today.

A. Mobile Developer

If you aspire to be a mobile developer, you have two choices, either native applications or hybrid applications.

  1. Native Application for Android- you have only one choice, you have to learn Java and XML.
  2. Native Application for iOS– you have two choices, either go for Objective C or Swift. The recent trend is to move towards Swift because it has lots more features compared to Objective C.
  • Hybrid Applications: If you are going for hybrid applications then you have a few choices of frameworks like Cordova, Phonegap , Ionic etc. For working on these frameworks you have to learn Java script

B. Web Designer

You need to learn the complete suite which comprises of HTML, CSS, Javascript, JQuery . To be more lethal with your skills, push AngularJS into the list. This entire suite has to be mastered for you to be a sought after web designer in the industry today

C. Web Developer

To be a champion web developer there are a number of routes and depending on how you wish to position yourself in the market you will need to master a particular language from the industry prevalent shortlist-  PHP, Java, Python, C#&ASP

  1. Small Websites: Go for PHP given it is easy to learn, simple to configure and hosting charges are cheap. Majority of the websites in the world today run on PHP.
  2. Middle level websites: However if you are also looking for additional features like stability and security then Python or Ruby fit the bill better.
  3. High traffic or data intensive websites: If you aspire to work on building a website of the scale of Twitter then SCALA or JAVA is the answer.  However Ruby enthusiasts still maintain that Ruby is highly scalable, however Twitter had to move over from Ruby to Scala to accommodate its burgeoning traffic.

D. Enterprise Developer

If you wish to be  star in  big companies like Google or Amazon then you have to be good at enterprise level software which translates into working with huge amount of data which in the realm of ‘big data’. You have to master   frameworks like Hadoop or Spark. The supporting skill required is data processing proficiency which comes through mastering R language or Python. You would also need to be familiar with Java or Scala since the frameworks were made in these languages. Advantage with being familiar with Scala over Java is that Scala enables you to work both on Spark and Hadoop.

So remember there is nothing called a perfect programming language or framework, what you need to learn depends on what your career goals are. And coming back to the room full of programmers let them keep arguing what is the best, for it makes for some interesting listening.

My Internship Experience with Zivanta Analytics

One balmy morning, I stood in front of the Zivanta Analytics office. With one year of the MBA course behind me, I was at Zivanta Analytics for my internship interview.  Professors had cautioned that this was the real thing, much removed from the presentations at the business school in familiar surroundings.  I was forewarned that at the internship interview I was to be quizzed by battle-hardened professionals who over the years have honed their skills on separating the wheat from the chaff.  In business school professors help you to add value to yourself, but as an intern I was to position myself on how I was to add value to the company and in the bargain learn something in the real world situation.

For comfort I had this brilliant piece of advice which does rounds at my business school during the internship and placement seasons “do not feel bad when interviewer rejects u, people usually reject expensive things because they cannot afford them”. With these lines in my head,  written by one of the greatest (albeit anonymous) philosopher of all times, it gave me  a momentary sense of false confidence, As I entered the Zivanta Analytics office,  I felt like David, out to slay the Goliath.

At the interview table I was certainly the David, but where were the Goliaths. The two-member team who interviewed me did not appear at all intimidating. They asked the usual questions- about academics, my future plans and about me as a person. What impressed me was that the interviewers at Zivanta Analytics went at length to explain the pick of projects which I could choose from if I were to be selected, and how such experience will help in my career in the long run. The entire process was interviewee centric and was about my benefits and gains.

The mail next day followed with a telephone call informed me of my selection. It felt good to have cracked the interview. I looked forward to attending office; the interviewers had certainly left a very positive impression on my mind.

First day I was introduced to my mentor for the internship period at Zivanta Analytics.  My mentor,  who has a string of impressive degrees including those from abroad and a formidable work experience, spoke to me as a colleague and not as a supervisor of a boot camp.  My colleagues in the business analytics team at Zivanta Analytics were a cheerful lot, always helpful and very humane.

The sense of humour even during the toughest of delivery schedule was impressive. When tight deadline would come up, the refrain from the supervisor would be “guys let’s get into the pressure cooker and blow the client up”.

My first assignment was to assist the team lead in one of the projects which involved developing an algorithm to rank credit cards. That was my first hands-on experience in data analytics, which I could never have learned from only studying books. I eventually got involved in many subsequent projects for Zivanta Analytics. Even though I was an intern, my opinions and suggestions were always taken. I was always included in crucial business meetings and my supervisors encouraged me to come up with new ideas.

The responsibility and flexibility during my internship days in Zivanta Analytics helped me find my bearings and helped transition from business school to work life seamlessly.

In a nutshell, I was the David who never had to slay a Goliath, for there are no Goliaths at Zivanta Analytics.

Today I work as a full-time staff at Zivanta Analytics and the learning curve for me remains steep as ever.

Digital Marketing as a tool for Brand Building

A brand is all about what people say about you when you are not in the room. The million dollar question here is “Can we in any way influence and shape the conversation that takes place in our absence?”

Michael William Krzyzewski is an American basketball player and coach at Duke University. He is regarded as America’s most successful basketball coach of all times. He interestingly was able to link his stakeholders comprising of recruiters, players, and fans to the brand promise. Michael William was able to deliver on his promise of a path to a career in basketball and even winning championships with the help of his website and adhering to techniques of digital marketing.

In today’s technology driven era, digital channels provide a positive environment to building a brand. One of the very basic activity associated with digital marketing is helping to ‘bring a brand to life’. As dependency on technology is increasing globally, digital marketing tools are gaining immense popularity as a fantastic tool for brand building. A basketball, baseball or rugby coach in order to have a solid brand has to first focus on enhancing customer experience through the help of digital marketing.

The advantages of utilizing digital marketing as a tool for brand building are:

  • Get targeted results:
    Online marketing can help in focusing on the important issues like zeroing on the right market and right consumer. A dedicated approach aimed at the targeted consumer can help make things easy. A regular update on social media, web content, SEO can be profitably used to reach out to specific demographics and particular geographic regions.
  • Increase of digital footprint:
    The use of technology has greatly increased over the past few decades. People are accessing more content digitally using their laptops, mobile phones, tablets etc. A brand can be easily brought to live by using the proper content, user experience and engaging with the audience through social media to name a few.
  • Delivering on promise and purpose:
    For a coach, the target audience should feel connected to the common dream of winning championships, a path to an NBA career and riches to name a few. They should be able to relate that a brand connection is the doorway to their individual’s goals of landing with top colleges, top recruiters, or becoming a great player. Proper digital branding can create an environment that will help bridge the gap.
  • Enhancing Brand Loyalty:
    Digital marketing helps in building brand loyalty. It makes stakeholders aware of the reason behind accepting and sticking to the brand. In order to build brand loyalty reaching out to the hearts, minds and lives of the stakeholders is necessary. Creating more exciting ways to engage with target audience should be a priority.

Digital brand building is a tool that helps garner faith right from the first visit to the website, to email newsletter to the Facebook or LinkedIn page. A brand is far more important than just a logo or an image. It is something which creates an imprint in the mind of customers.

How Digital Marketing can help your business grow

Digital marketing has become an essential part in today’s world. With both competitors and potential customers constantly online, digital marketing is the only way to proceed ahead. When you’re a small business owner the online world can seem intimidating. Here is a list of five simple digital marketing strategies that any business owner can implement to help their business grow.

1.Setting a Goal:You’re looking for ways to help your small business grow. You might want more customers, more recognition or maybe you’re looking to get ahead of the competition. Whatever the case may be, starting with a solid goal in mind greatly increases your chances of success. Digital marketing is a great way for small businesses to prosper, but going into the process blindly can leave you with a jumbled mess. A lot of strategy and precision goes into digital marketing and having a goal helps you know what to focus on.

2.Creating a Marketing Funnel:The most successful businesses have an effective marketing funnel in place. A marketing funnel is when you map out a customer’s journey from when a customer is a complete stranger to when they become a lead, and then put certain strategies in place that will encourage them to move through this funnel. Things like lead magnets, calls to action, opt-ins and offers are all effective pieces of a funnel.

Having an effective marketing funnel won’t just get you more leads, it can also help you turn leads into repeat buyers. If the customer has a good experience they might return to purchase from you again or even tell others they know about your business. The elements of a marketing funnel can seem like a lot to put together, but they’re simple concepts when broken down. You’ll see that numbers 3,4 and 5 help to break down and explain the different aspects of having a marketing funnel in place on your site and how to put together some of the most important pieces of it.

3.Developing a call-to-action:We talked about using a call-to-action in the second step as a part of your marketing funnel, but what is a call-to-action exactly? A call-to-action (CTA) is an image or text that prompts visitors to take action, such as subscribe to a newsletter, view a webinar or request a product demo. CTAs should direct people to landing pages, where you can collect visitors’ contact information in exchange for a valuable marketing offer. In that sense, an effective CTA results in more leads and conversions for your website. This path, from a click on a CTA to a landing page, illustrates the much desired process of lead generation. In order to increase visitor-to-lead conversion opportunities, you need to create a lot of calls-to-action, distribute them across your web presence and optimize them. A good CTA should be attention grabbing and help lead a potential customer further into your marketing funnel.

4.Creating an Effective Lead Magnet:A lead magnet can be used alone or along with a CTA. This will also be used either within your marketing funnel or as a way to drive potential customers into your funnel. Supply them with something relevant to your product or service that they want. Use your offers as a way to gather more information about a potential buyer while driving them further into your funnel at the same time. This brings them closer to becoming an actual quality lead who will spend money on your product or service. The idea behind a lead magnet is to trade information. You supply something like a free download of a white paper, but in order to complete the download the individual has to fill out a form that will provide you with more information about them. You’ll use the information you gather to interact with them more as they progress through your funnel.

5.Driving Traffic:In order for there to be people to drive into your marketing funnel, there first has to be traffic on your website. There a variety of ways you can drive traffic to your website. Here are a few of the recommendations:

  • Quality Content: Use content such as blog posts, press releases and articles on authority websites. Insert links to various places on your website within this content to build your brand name through exposure and drive traffic to your website.
  • Keyword Strategy: Inserting related keywords into content will help your content and website show up in more search results, this leads to higher volumes of web traffic.
  • Website Optimization: Ensuring that your website is optimized and functioning at it’s best is essential. People don’t want to visit a website that doesn’t work properly.
  • Social Media: Use engaging social media posts to attract more traffic to your site. Using pictures, video, and other relevant media will help your posts get more engagement.

How Credit Card Can Help When You Are Jobless

A new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research have  examined how credit access affects the way Americans look for new jobs. It turns out that credit can often help job seekers in a marked way especially those with lower income and fewer savings.

The study found that when workers lose their jobs, a higher limit on their existing card allows them to take longer to find a new one. The study linked up an employment database with millions of Trans Union credit reports from 2001 to 2008. It showed that a credit limit increase equal to 10 percent of a person’s prior annual salary can translate into their spending as many as three weeks more looking for a job.This situation is ideal for people who do not have any debt burden on their shoulder. Moreover you have to use your credit card sensibly in such situations.

Longer unemployment might sound like a serious situation as people are anxious about their finances and future. But it’s also a mistake to jump at the first job opportunity that comes your way because you’re desperate for money. It is observed that when unemployed people have access to more credit they become choosier regarding jobs. Most often they end up with better jobs a year later, both higher-paying and at larger, more productive companies.

The study found that it’s not really credit-card spending that makes people to be pickier. It’s the fact that they knew that cash was available if they needed it, which gives them confidence to hold out longer for better opportunities.

For the unemployed a credit card with a generous limit can work much as unemployment insurance or emergency savings. These extra resources give them the ability to apply for jobs, network, get retrained, or even move to cities with more promising job markets.

The problem, however, with relying on credit-card debt after a job loss is that banks are notorious for cutting off credit just when customers need it most. In 2009, the average credit-card limit dipped about 40 percent. So when lots of people lose their jobs, that credit-card cushion can vanish.

In other words, job seekers and government policymakers have similar, difficult choices to make during a recovery: If people rush out to find any old job as quickly as possible, they can hurt their finances and productivity in the long run. But if they have the opportunity to wait for the right job to come along their way it can surely help them avail the right job at the right time.

Herfindahl-Hirschman Index : Using the Regulator’s Tool to Marketers’ Advantage In Title Insurance Industry

HHI (Herfindhal – Hirschman Index) is an accepted measure of market concentration. It approaches zero when a market is occupied by a large number of firms of relatively equal size and reaches 10000 (max) when a market is controlled by a single firm. E.g. the search engine market with three players Google (64%), Yahoo(18%) and Microsoft(13.6%) has an HHI index of 4624 indicating a very concentrated market. In a similar vein the Title Insurance Market has an HHI index of around 3000.

Typically, an HHI below 1,000 indicates an un-concentrated index, an HHI between 1,000 and 1,800 indicates moderate concentration and an HHI above 1,800 indicates high concentration. The market is concentrated with four large companies namely Fidelity National, First American, Stewart Title, Old Republic.

Zivanta Analytics prepared a market penetration strategy report for a large Title Insurance subsidiary. As a part of the exercise, Zivanta team used an innovative methodology to build a case wherein market concentration (HHI) in the Title Insurance industry in the various States, presented a unique market penetration opportunity.

The suggested methodology is demonstrated in this paper using the publicly available data ( ALTA) for Fidelity National, by far the largest Title Insurance underwriter in the United States.

The market was segmented into four quadrants wherein HHI index of each of the States in the United States is plotted on x axis and the market share of Fidelity in each of the states in (on y axis). Plotting the States by its aggregate HHI and Fidelity market share brings out four interesting scenarios.

5 major trends in Data Analytics

Companies have been talking big data for years now, but it is only now that they are using big data to drive insights to enable sharper business decisions. Data has become an inherent aspect of every business, now that storing and processing data has become even more economical. Processors of an iPhone today are faster than the supercomputers of the 1980’s. The advent of social media and online customer engagement channels has led to exorbitant quantum of information being exchanged every minute across the globe. This in turn has led to a huge potential in mining meaningful data and making sense of it for organizations who want their brand and marketing efforts to be focused and return out of the marketing investments.

As we ride the wave of this new information age, we are driven my certain trends in data analytics. We have tried identifying some key ones out of the many and have listed them down here.

  • Wearables Take Center-Stage: With an ever increasing demand and use for data across several industry verticals, it has become imperative for organizations to drive innovation in the most untapped of all verticals, i.e, biomedical. The extent of information that can be put to use from the human body knows no bounds, thus serving right for the launch of a diverse range of wearable devices which use the biological functions of the human body to collect and transmit analytics that can be used to track various functions like movement, energy, vitamin levels, blood sugar levels, etc. This would support and encourage preventive rather than curative measures of human diseases.
  • Omnichannel Brand Experiences: Consider Apple. The day when a customer will consistently complain about an iPad and praise an iPhone is the day when Apple will defy its own philosophy of creating an omnichannel ecosystem. The same goes with data. A marketing manager allocates his / her budget across numerous brand engagement channels. The power of data analytics is harnessed to its utmost potential when a customer is able to associate with the brand across all the channels, at an equivalent level of satisfaction.
  • Data Risks: Analytics is driven by data, and the more it gets accessible, the riskier it gets to keep it secured. With an ever evolving internet penetration and access to information, data fraud has been proven once and again that as the gatekeepers of data grow in number and credibility, the number and skill of gatecrashers are growing by the same rate. Though information security protocols have been around for quite some time, now is the time when the compliance and protocol standards will need to improve and evolve constantly.
  • Widespread: Analytics is not constrained to a specific industry or vertical, but put to use across all industries, where data serves as the backbone for business growth and transformation. Of late, the primary industries that have put big data to use are Financial Services, Retail & FMCG, Biomedical Applications, Real Estate & Mortgage, etc. Data sets are different, analysis different too, but the conclusions help drive business decisions, all of which are data driven. Thus it leaves no space for assumptions or erroneous budget estimates. With a growing base of applications that are using analytics today, the list is sure to go up steep, and that need not follow a trend.
  • Data Scientists & R: With data comes analytics, with analytics comes big data. Big data and analytics go hand in hand while there are powerful analytics software and tools that are helping analysts to churn & tease insights out of data. While SAS and SPSS have been around for a while now, it is the open source analytics programming languages that are taking center-stage, like R. The R programming language is so powerful that it can generate complex charts and graphs that many time tested applications like SAS and Tableau take a hard pill to show up. With the advent of R, these analysts have been nomenclatured in the age of analytics as Data Scientists. While data scientists who code in R are not mere programmers like the earlier days of Java or Fortran, they are also equipped with sufficient domain knowledge along with strong statistical skills. According to Google Trends, Data Scientist as a career and R as a programming language is here to stay, and ahead, for a very long time.

Is Technology Going to Replace Hedge Fund Managers – Zivanta Analytics

According to David Siegel, co-founder of Two Sigma Investments, a data-driven hedge fund based in New York City (NYC), technology will soon take over the humans in hedge the fund market. Five years ago, in a room full of investment professionals, Siegel anticipated that tech-driven hedge fund managers would rule the markets of the future. In a nutshell, the problem is that as computer processing power is accelerating at an alarming rate, the volume of available data is also increasing by the day. Quantitative machine-based strategies that have never been superior to traditional ‘human’ (difficult to replicate with an algorithm) strengths –– are likely to be within reach of computers in the near future.

Artificial intelligence is fast taking the place of humans especially in hedge fund domain. Let us take the case of Hong Kong based AI hedge fund Aidya. Developed by Ben Goertzel and his company, it makes all stock trade decisions using artificial intelligence. No human intervention is need for its decision making. Though a human built system, it identifies and executes trades entirely on its own, depending on multiple forms of AI, including one inspired by genetic evolution and another based on probabilistic logic. Each day, after analyzing everything from market prices and volumes to macroeconomic data and corporate accounting documents, these AI engines make their own market predictions and then “vote” on the best course of action. So even if we die the program can continue with its algorithm driven decision-making.

Similarly at Zivanta Analytics, we have developed a program which can bring in a massive change in mortgage hedge fund industry. The program can seamlessly digitize large packets of mortgage forms, which make the analysis and decision making easy and less time consuming. It includes techniques such as evolutionary OCR, character text recognition and machine learning, cutting edge technologies that are increasingly being used to recognize images, identify spoken words, and perform other tasks.

Coming back to financial markets, artificial intelligent systems can automatically recognize changes in the market and adapt in ways that quantitative models developed by the hedge fund managers often fail to do. Hence the day is not far when hedge fund management will altogether become technology driven.