Why managing database software in the cloud promotes remote collaboration

Storing data in the cloud provides companies with numerous crucial benefits, chief among them being the ability to access information from a remote location. Instead of having to come inside the office to obtain data from an internal server or even a desktop hard drive, workers can view and report on information from a smartphone if they are across town, in another state of even on the other side of the globe.

By receiving access to information stored in the cloud, users can yield a number of benefits. They will be given the flexibility to perform their duties on the go, which can increase overall operational efficiency. They also can work from home, provided that option is available at their organization. If it is, an incident that prevents them from coming to work—an issue with the car, for example—won’t limit their ability to do their job because they’ll be able to access the information they need to be productive.

An article recently featured in the business service directory Manta discusses the best ways to manage a work-from-home policy. While giving workers access to company data via the cloud will provide them with the resources they need to do their jobs, author Rieva Lesonsky suggested keeping the communication lines open is equally as important.

“When you can’t pop your head into someone’s office to see how their work is coming along, you need to be in frequent communication,” Lesonsky wrote.

Doing this is not just a way for managers to check on their employees to make sure they aren’t slacking off just because they aren’t in the office. It gives workers a chance to collaborate and ensure everyone is on the same page when it comes to analyzing data and using it to complete business tasks.

Having the right software running in the cloud can go a long way toward enchaining communication and collaboration, and mitigating the risks associated with remote connectivity. Building a custom database software system will help with this process because it will be able to handle multiple users, will update information in real time, and contain the functionality needed to help each party complete tasks in a timely manner.

Of course, this is only possible if the solution is properly created. FileMaker development will ensure that the system responds correctly and can be adjusted accordingly to meet any changes in operations.

The importance of data quality

An organization is only as strong as the quality of the information is possesses. This has become increasingly clear as data has become digitized and companies have utilized a massive amount of resources to manage big data strategies and protect the integrity of their information.

Businesses decisions based off of poor data likely won't be the right choices. If companies want to succeed, they have to ensure that the information they capture, manage, store and use to generate reports is not only accurate, but is presented in a way that leaves little room for error.

Data cannot be misinterpreted

That's one aspect of data quality that must be understood. Just because all the information is there and it's correct doesn't mean it will be used correctly. A company's financial data could be correct and up-to-date, but if it's stored or presented in a way that's difficult to understand, decision makers, analysts or any other professional tasked with utilizing that information could have the wrong impression of it, thus compromising the integrity of that decision.

Ultimately, user-friendliness is a valuable component of a big data strategy. The easier it is for users to understand, the better the chances are that it will be managed properly. This is different than data security, as information should be impenetrable by outside forces. However, when appropriate parties do access data, they shouldn't have to question its meaning.

Data quality requires collaboration

An article in the online publication Diginomica addresses the issue of data quality and provides a number of tips to help promote the value of business information. One important fact for companies to understand is that data quality requires a collaborative effort from both the IT and business management side.

"Don't label data quality as an IT issue and not a business issue," writes Nigel Turner, the article's author. "It is both. While the technology of data quality is often implemented and maintained by IT staff, it is the business user that benefits most. Just consider the example of clean, well-managed customer records. The business user also understands the meaning and usage of the data in the context of each application."

All of these factors can go a long way toward ensuring the quality of information, but it must be managed with the right technology. Building a custom database software system will allow companies to enhance data quality, which will ultimately help them become more successful and profitable organizations.

Data management helps companies go paperless and go green

Going green is one of the key initiatives at many organizations, even those that aren't in environment-related industries. New regulations are being written each day that mandate environmentally friendly operations, so it's up to companies to find new ways to reduce their carbon footprint. 

Strategies range from installing high-end solar and wind energy solutions to implementing simple changes to office policies, like requiring employees to shut down all computers at the end of the day. Phasing paper out of the daily workflow is one tactic that has received universal adoption, as it offers numerous advantages.

The removal of paper in the office can reduce the risk of lost information in the event of a fire or natural disaster, it can improve operational efficiency and it can help with environmental initiatives. Rather than using large quantities of paper to record information, businesses that go strictly digital will likely see an improvement in these areas of their operations.

The proliferation of mobile devices in the corporate environment has helped increase the usefulness of a paperless office. Instead of carrying around stacks of physical documents, employees can pull them up on their smartphones or tablets, giving them access to the same information. This is both an efficient and environmentally friendly practice, but it requires strong data management.

An article in the online publication Smart Data Collective lists a number of advantages companies can enjoy by implementing a big data strategy. Chief among them is a reduced reliance on paper.

"There is no need to continue the use of shipment forms or other paper documents when filing information," the article says. "Business data management in 2013 should be based around the advanced IT and data management systems that are available. All shipping documents, client portfolios and stock inventory should be kept within a centralized data server, whether it is a mainframe computer system or an outsourced cloud service."

Of course, having the right data solutions in place is imperative. If companies are going to be successful in their efforts to ditch physical documentation for digital information sharing, data must pass through a system that can collect, process and store information quickly and efficiently. Using FileMaker development to build a custom database software system will give businesses this advantage.

Ultimately, enhancing data management processes allows companies to move forward and implement innovative new strategies that boost efficiency and reduce environmental impact.

Devcon 2013: Advanced Charting and Reporting Techniques with ExecuteSQL

Highlighting another great session from this year’s FileMaker Developer Conference (DevCon).

Advanced Charting and Reporting Techniques with ExecuteSQL
Presenter:   Greg Lane (Skeleton Key)
Time:          Thurs. August 15, 2013 3:45 pm
Track:         Develop
Skill Level:   Advanced

This session will explore statistical forecasting models that you can implement in FileMaker Pro to help your users analyze data, reduce uncertainty, and plan for the future.

What you will learn:

  • How to make your data more valuable with forecasting and statistical modeling techniques
  • Use the ExecuteSQL function to easily calculate sums, averages, and counts within data sets
  • Implement trend lines, moving averages, weighted averages, seasonal forecasts, and more
  • Ways to improve the performance of complex charts and reports that use ExecuteSQL

Data management helps with regulatory compliance

Proper data management is crucial in business for a myriad of reasons. While efficiency, productivity and smarter insights into customer behavior are some strong examples of the benefits companies can receive by implementing a big data strategy, regulatory compliance is just as crucial, even if it's often overlooked.

Regardless of the industry, regulations are constantly changing and new mandates are always being developed. Compliance requires a company-wide effort, which can be attained through staff training and education of new regulatory measures, but these initiatives can also be assisted by managing business data.

Consider the financial industry. Regulations such as Dodd-Frank require organizations to improve transparency, which means information has to be organized. Businesses must discover a way to share an appropriate amount of information without subjecting themselves to security risks. There is a fine line between the two, and staying on the right side requires information to be organized. 

An article in Computer Weekly recently discussed the role of data management in a company's compliance efforts. Clive Longbottom, the article's author, suggested that businesses with the most control over their information will be more successful complying with new regulations.

"Ensuring data flows are efficient and transparent will keep an organization's costs under control while ensuring they can show compliance to data rules and laws that apply to them," Longbottom wrote.

The primary rule to follow is that organized information will ultimately result in a better-run company. If data is either missing, fragmented or duplicated, not only will businesses struggle to maintain efficient operations, they will have difficulty complying with regulations, particularly those related to transparency. It may have nothing to do with a company's motives either. Even the most noble organization would have a hard time proving it if its information were all over the place.

Therefore, finding a way to control data is crucial. Creating a custom database software system will give businesses an opportunity to correctly capture, process, report on and store pertinent information, alleviating the risks related to disorganization. FileMaker development is an ideal solution for a number of reasons.

First, it allows companies to build the best possible solution for data management. Second, FileMaker's functionality makes it easier to scale and customize database systems, which ultimately will allow businesses to make necessary changes to their solutions should new regulations come into play.

Conference speakers stress importance of custom database software for wine pricing

Of the numerous areas of business affected by the growth of big data, pricing may be the most important.

The prices manufacturers and distributors give to their products can have a seismic impact on the retail sector and consumer spending. For example, 67 percent of revenue in the U.S. wine market is affected by pricing, according to an article from the North Bay Business Journal. Because of this, implementing big data strategies to improve the pricing process is crucial. However, not all organizations have obtained the right tools to manage pricing data.

Last week, roughly 200 industry professionals congregated at the Wine Industry Technology Symposium in Napa. Speakers discussed the use of data to improve operations, particularly pricing, and many expressed concern over the fact that most wineries are still utilizing old and inefficient systems.

“I’m shocked how many distributors are still using Excel for pricing and the system of record,” said Chris Spear, vice president of business solutions for Novato-based depletion data service TradePulse.

Others offered suggestions on how to improve pricing operations.

“Before you do price-sensitivity analysis, you need to create a central database, so all who need to can see the information and there’s less redundancy,” said panelist Steven Cuellar, a chairman in the economics department at Sonoma State University.

Like any other operation that requires data processing, it’s imperative that organizations are able to successfully manage and view their information in real-time. If pertinent information regarding pricing changes quickly, those tasked with processing that data have to be able to view it in real time.

Using FileMaker to build a custom database software system will allow businesses to accurately process data, which ultimately will put them in the best position to properly determine wine pricing.

The risks of processing bad information

"Organizations are increasingly data led. If the data is poor, they will be led in the wrong direction."

That's according to Mike Healy, a senior consultant at Innovative Systems Incorporated. His insightful opinion was shared in a recent conversation with IT Web, and it speaks to many of the problems companies face when trying to implement and manage a big data strategy.

Big data strategies are designed to offer businesses numerous advantages. Information is supposed to give decision makers the answers they look for prior to their actions. For example, marketing executives reorganize entire campaigns based off of customer data. If a group of targeted customers start behaving in a particular way, that knowledge is obtained and processed and outreach tactics are adjusted accordingly.

But what if that information is wrong? What if a company's efforts only put the organization in a worse place than it was in before it implemented a big data strategy? Collecting, reviewing, storing and reporting on data requires a great deal of effort, and if it were all based on inaccuracies, the consequences could be devastating. 

Suppose that same marketing executive was looking at old information, or examined the wrong demographic. The data thought to be up-to-date and accurate could have been from a previous year, which would cause their subsequent marketing strategy to create more harm than good. 

To combat this, the key is to ensure that all information is timely, accurate and that those who process data always have a solid understanding of what it is they are looking at.

"In recent years, we have seen the advent of big data, with the accompanying processing power, disk availability and tools to do very clever analysis to chart current and future customer behavior," Healy said. "Everything can be analyzed now. The challenge is that, the more sophisticated your data use, and the more data you're using, the more important it is to get the data quality right."

The best way to ensure data quality is to obtain the best possible management solutions. Building a custom database software system in FileMaker can help alleviate some of the risks pertaining to inaccurate information. 

When it comes to big data, businesses cannot afford to get things wrong. That's why investing in the right management software is the best possible decision.

Cloud computing could be major asset for businesses

The internet is becoming a more centralized resource for businesses of all sizes. Two major issues, though, are storage and security. How can a company keep large amounts of data safe, and ensure access to that information whenever necessary?

The Federal Times explained in a recent piece how cloud technology gives businesses the opportunity to store large amounts of data, but only use a few data centers. The news source used the CIA's recent $600 million agreement with Amazon Web Services as an example. With large government agencies willing to invest in such innovations, smaller companies could be more willing to follow suit.

An organization like the CIA relies on secure data storage, and will need large amounts of information to be kept safe.

Accelera Solutions president Joe Brown explained to the news source that cloud technology is a great way for companies to handle big data.

"Customers have a much more dynamic way to store, retrieve and operate in cloud environments," Brown told the Federal Times. "They don't have to call someone and say, 'Retrieve data, bring it to my office and let me reconstitute it on my server,' or format the data to be analyzed."

Brown added how cloud computing could eliminate the need for businesses to rely on local hardware constraints.

As more organizations work toward implementing cloud technology into daily operations, it is important that they have the necessary tools to make the process as smooth as possible. Having a custom database software system in place will help businesses better incorporate the cloud and big data into daily operations. When companies are able to develop in FileMaker, it guarantees that they have flexible solutions for numerous situations.

Kyo Logic issues database user survey

At Kyo Logic, we believe gaining a better understanding of our customers and how they manage data will ultimately lead to improved services and make us better at what we do. That's why we recently issued a survey that asked people their views about using shared databases at work.

As proponents of FileMaker development and its benefits, we were curious as to who uses FileMaker in their everyday work and how it compares to other systems that they use.

The overall purpose of this survey is to launch an on-going effort to understand what is most important when using databases in the work place. This research will tell us about FileMaker as well as many other systems found in offices today. As creators of custom database software systems, we want to make sure that we are focusing on the features and benefits that users find most valuable.

Many of our questions centered around our users, because it gives us a better sense of how FileMaker-based platforms are used. We want to know the industries our customers reside in and the size of their respective companies. We want to know which types of jobs our recipients have and how FileMaker helps them with their various daily tasks. Additionally, we want to know how their needs change as the size of their business changes.

We are also curious about the user experience. We want to know how easy their systems are to operate, which issues they encounter, how they collaborate and share information, and how they feel about the look of their interface. Understanding different types of people's preferences allow us to get a better sense of the interfaces they use and prefer.

One of the things that Kyo Logic prides itself on is the fact that we are constantly trying to learn more about our business and customers. For us, creating a survey wasn't just about finding out about a few users' preferences, but also opening a dialogue with people so that we can learn and innovate. This information will ultimately help Kyo Logic not only promote the advantages of custom software development, but also formulate strategies geared towards making our systems better overall for users.

Kyo Logic to open Boston office

Kyo Logic is always expanding and this summer we are opening an office right in the heart of Boston's financial district. This office will allow us to work closely with clients in the area and improve our relationship with all Boston-based customers.

President John Mathewson recently gave a statement regarding the move, expressing his optimism pertaining to its potential.

"We are thrilled to open our new Boston office to support our clients in the Boston metro area," he said. "We see Boston as a bright future for us and look forward to becoming more active in the Massachusetts software development community."

Boston's involvement in major industries such as healthcare, finance and business technology means that numerous local organizations have extensive data needs. Boston is home to some of the world's best medical facilities, financial firms and technology providers, but without proper resources to effectively manage pertinent information, many of these companies would not be able to live up to their potential.

That's why Kyo Logic has taken such a keen interest in the Bay State's capital. There are a number of prestigious colleges and universities in the area, so we know there are extremely smart people working throughout the city with a willingness to learn. This is why we have taken the opportunity to work with a number of local industry professionals and developers to improve the way they manage information. As FileMaker development continues to emerge as an ideal solution for creating custom database software solutions, we have spent a considerable amount of time working with Bostonians to enhance their FileMaker skills.

Now it will be even easier to do so. 

Our office will be at:

60 State Street
Suite 700
Boston, Massachusetts 02109