Archive for August, 2012

DataSift Adds Tools to Help Businesses Make Sense of Social Data

Friday, August 31st, 2012

It seems like the vast majority of companies are using some kind of social media in some capacity, whether its promoting new products or services, making connections with other professionals, or simply gathering data to learn more about their customers or network. The limitless amounts of information that can be garnered from these sites can be quite useful, but only if companies can find a way to decipher the huge pool of data and turn it into usable conclusions.

DataSift

DataSift, an online platform that manages social data, has just introduced some new tools that can help companies more easily decipher social data and incorporate it into existing business and development platforms.

The changes include the option to receive small bursts of data instead of a constant stream, the ability for non-technical managers to perform complex searches, and other features that aim to make the service easier to manage.

DataSift is used by companies to wade through the large amounts of social data from sites like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and various blogs and forums, finding relevant demographics data, interactions, online influence, and more. Companies can apply complex filters, allowing DataSift to search through all the data in the company’s social network, find what is relevant to the search, and then turn that unstructured data into digestible information that could be turned into real results for your company.

For example, users can ask DataSift to show a real-time feed of what certain consumers are saying about a brand, what the most influential people in a network are posting about, or data from a specific geographical region.

DataSift

For companies that use social media, the large amount of data that can be garnered from network connections and their posts can seem overwhelming. Finding data is one thing, but figuring out what is relevant and what it actually means for your company or brand may require some help.

There are plenty of companies and online tools that claim to help brands sift through social data, but DataSift is unique because of its natural language processing and complex search abilities.

The service has a number of different monthly plans and pricing to choose from, depending on your company’s needs. There is also a pay-as-you-go option and a free trial version.

From Small Business Trends

DataSift Adds Tools to Help Businesses Make Sense of Social Data

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EDF denied licence for US nuclear plant

Friday, August 31st, 2012

French group is given by the US nuclear regulator 60 days to find an American partner for its new reactor project at Calvert Cliffs in Maryland

Armenia Breaks Off Diplomatic Relations with Hungary

Friday, August 31st, 2012

Armenia has suspended diplomatic relations with Hungary over the extradition to Azerbaijan of a man who murdered an Armenian army officer, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said on Friday.

“Today we are suspending diplomatic relations and all official ties with Hungary,” Sargsyan said at an emergency meeting with representatives of foreign diplomatic missions in Armenia.

Relations between Armenia and Hungary worsened following Budapest’s decision to extradite to Azerbaijan Ramil Safarov, serving a live sentence for the murder of Armenian officer Gurgen Margaryan.

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5 Ways To Prepare For Success With Intelligent Forecasting

Friday, August 31st, 2012

My company, Journyx, has been around for sixteen years now and during that time, we have weathered one of the biggest economic downturns in history, the emergence of the simultaneously exciting and terrifying social media sphere, and major transitions in how software is purchased and delivered. However, we were not always so hardy.

past future

In the beginning we came close to absolute failure a couple of times. It had nothing to do with our product; customers found it delivered on its promised functionality and then some. It also didn’t have to do with our team, or any shoddy internal politics.

The reason I’m telling you this back story is because there’s a lesson to be learned here: we did not have a clear vision of our pipeline and cash flow. We had difficulty predicting how much cash we would have in the bank several weeks in the future. It was a serious problem and, unfortunately, a common one. Perhaps even one you’ve experienced in your company.

It is easy, particularly for small businesses and startups, to focus on the excitement of the here and now. The future is an abstract concept for enterprise-level businesses, until it isn’t. You have to focus on growth from the beginning. Success is not a pipe dream, but paradoxically it can destroy you if you aren’t prepared for it.

We were not the first company to face periods of growth we were not able to handle and we won’t be the last. Fortunately, it is simple to implement a system that allows for intelligent forecasting.

Following are five steps you can take to make sure your business doesn’t face the same problems:

1. Track Projects Individually

Tracking employee time spent on projects is great, but you will reap maximum benefit when you track each project separately. This allows you to view each project as a unique element in company profitability. This insight is incredibly valuable when allocating resources because you will know the parameters for each project relative to the current availability of the company.

2. Monitor Employee Tasks and Changes in Productivity

In any organization, the benefits of knowing what your employees are doing at any given point are obvious: you want them working on tasks that are actually beneficial to the company. But it’s also important to consider which jobs they are most effective at. Implementing a system that allows employees to track time against specific tasks will allow you to see where they are most useful. Odds are that’s what they enjoy doing best. No need to change employee job roles every day, but do consider a change when the evidence suggests that they’ve honed skills in a new area and could be of more use elsewhere.

3. Build a Database of Prior Projects 

Having a backlog of your projects will be incredibly valuable, though it takes some time to build. With this information, you can determine how many people it normally takes to finish a project; improve accuracy of your budgets based on scope; and perfect timelines based on overall project parameters. Even the least efficient projects become valuable because you can glean just as much information from them. You will know what did not work, what factors caused you to go over budget, and learn from the mistakes.

4. Always Know Your Available Resources

A critical piece of any project plan is creating your team. This task is easier when you know exactly who is available (with the skills you need), and what their schedule will be for the duration of the project. If you have an automated project management system, employee schedules are readily apparent and any requests for leave will be noted. You will also know the tasks that other employees are working on so you can avoid stretching resources too thin or allocating an individual to tasks for which they aren’t well suited.

5.  Constantly Monitor Resource Use Relative to Budget and Schedule 

If you compare time and resources spent on a project versus percentage complete, you can see which projects are absorbing too many resources to remain profitable. This allows you to redistribute assets to projects as necessary or even kill projects that are too far gone to benefit your company. It is always better to determine issues early on, and a dynamic tracking system provides that insight. Sometimes it’s best to cut your losses and move on; costs can quickly spiral out of control, causing your situation to worsen.

While it is possible to keep track of these systems using basic business programs (we used Excel and QuickBooks early on), automated, programmable systems will greatly reduce cataloguing time and errors.  Whatever method you choose to use, start ASAP if you haven’t already. Growth should be a cause of excitement, not concern.

From Small Business Trends

5 Ways To Prepare For Success With Intelligent Forecasting

Source

Czech Police Bust ID Forgers’ Gang, Bulgarians Involved

Friday, August 31st, 2012

The police in the Czech Republic have announced they have broken up an international gang suspected of producing forged passports, identity cards and driving licenses.

The forgers have been supplying the forged IDs to illegal immigrants and criminals, the Czech police say, as cited by international media.

The 19 detainees are from Albania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Egypt, and Ukraine, police spokesman Pavel Hantak announced.

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Bulgarian among 20 New US Citizens to Be Sworn on Mt. Washington

Friday, August 31st, 2012

Twenty applicants for US citizenship, including one Bulgarian, will be taken to new heights for their swearing in ceremony – the summit of Mount Washington.

US Citizens and Immigration Services is touting it as a first-of-its-kind naturalization ceremony on the highest peak in the Northeast of the USA, The Boston Globe reported.

The 20 will board the Cog Railway in Bretton Woods on Sept….

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Bulgaria Sees Budget Surplus in July, Expects Deficit in August

Friday, August 31st, 2012

Bulgaria’s budget balance under the so called Consolidated Fiscal Program registered a surplus of BGN 138.4 M in July 2012, the Finance Ministry announced Friday.

“A major factor for revenues to surpass spending is the greater income from EU Operational Programs….

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Russia Reacts Harshly to Romney’s Tough Approach Promise

Friday, August 31st, 2012

The Kremlin has reacted harshly to the promise that Republican Party presidential candidate Mitt Romney made to toughen up on Russia, should he get elected President of the USA.

“It is inadmissible for US-Russian relations to fall hostage to US election debates,” Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, said on Friday, as cited by RIA Novosti.

Peskov was commenting on Mitt Romney’s presidential nomination acceptance speech.

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Bulgarian FinMin Waives VAT on SMS Text Donations

Friday, August 31st, 2012

Bulgarian Finance Minister Simeon Djankov has issued an ordinance waiving the value-added tax on donation campaigns via SMS Text Messages.

“Whenever campaigns for charity, donations, and philanthropy are organized, in which the subscribers send SMS Text Messages or make phone calls, the mobile operator does not need to calculate VAT into the donation sum,” states Djankov’s ordinance published Friday.

The ordinance is an appendix to the VAT Act.

Source

Sofia University Ranked 749th in Global Webometrics Ranking

Friday, August 31st, 2012

Sofia University St Kliment Ohridski has been ranked 749th in the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities, an initiative of the Cybermetrics Lab.

The Sofia University is the highest-ranked Bulgarian higher education institution, followed by Sofia-based New Bulgarian University (1769th) and Sofia’s Technical University (1898th).

The ranking is based on the global performance and visibility of the universities….

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