Brick by B.R.I.C: How Big Data is Strengthening Emerging Markets

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What does it take to build a new business? The answer is usually a shopping list consisting of money, people, equipment, materials, and knowledge. But what if some of these items are scarce or few? Does this mean that the potential business idea is doomed, especially if the country the business will operate in lacks the required resources? The answer is no, the potential business idea has all the resources it needs with the integration of Big Data

Craig Mundie, Senior Advisor to the CEO at Microsoft, is quoted as saying:

“Data is becoming the new raw material of business”

Mundie is completely right in saying so. Big Data is the ultimate game changer in the world of business for a number of reasons. First, Big Data is relatively inexpensive compared to the cost of machinery or technology. Second, so long as basic math and computer skills are taught, Big Data doesn’t require a PhD to learn (although having a PhD in analytics never hurts.) Lastly, Big Data transcends language barriers. As the language of data is numerical, the findings are simple to express and outcomes easy to convey. The key is asking the right questions of the data

Big Data has brought opportunity to the emerging markets of B.R.I.C (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) in a way that has made them an equal contender in the world’s economy. Here are some of the ways Big Data is being used in these countries:

Although Brazil was a little late to the Big Data game, it was quick to institute college and university courses to its curriculum because it lacked qualified analytic professionals. The second reason for this educational action was to help build its citizens resumes and qualify them for higher paying jobs in fields of statistics, math and technology, both locally and abroad.

For years Russia has been a leader in technology. It should come as no surprise that Russia has some of the world’s most highly reputable programmers in the field of Big Data and analytic technology. From developing telecommunication software to using data to assess weather conditions for travel, Russia is creating data technology that the everyday person will use. At a competitive level, Russia is able to keep it costs down which has made their services desirable to smaller businesses who are looking to outsource their data analytics.

The people of India are known for their upbeat attitudes and kind demeanor, which is why many telecommunication centres set up shop there. The sheer population of India gives it a huge competitive advantage when it comes to labour. Telecommunication service are viewed mainly as a customer service function of any business. However, telecommunication is brimming with Big Data opportunity. At its base, telecommunication is Big Data personified. It is the collection of data on the human experience of any business’s products and services. The data that is collected via telephone exchanges is then collected and converted to the insights that make the decision-making opportunities of Big Data so effective.

Aside from China’s vast population, it was the first to use electronic trading. China’s Big Data advantage comes from its large population. This large population gives China the largest databases in the world from which to draw insights and analytics from. These large databases have given China great predictive power in terms of financial planning and spotting market trends. This ability to foresee financial opportunities and pitfalls has made the world’s economists and stockbrokers turn to China for financial advice.

It would be remiss to omit Mexico from the list of emerging markets. Mexico has been using Big Data to create jobs and control drug-related violence in recent years.

Big Data has cracked the code on business opportunities in many ways. Most importantly, it has created a level playing field for markets to set up shop and advance in the global economy quickly and efficiently. It should be mentioned that most of the advances that these countries have made in Big Data have only been in the last four years or less. B.R.I.C may be referred to as emerging markets but with the results of their efforts today, they will be mature in no time.

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Business Writing Sample #3 – Professionalism

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Professionalism

In an age where the business landscape is being shaped more and more by technology, it is not surprising that less and less of the business practices are done in person and we are losing basic interpersonal skills. The real dilemma comes into play when we need to leave our cubicles, trade a monitor for real-life interactions and truly see what our degrees have taught us about professionalism.

Emails have revolutionized how we communicate in the business environment. With business operations running 24 hours and seven days a week in the global environment, emails are convenient and cost effective. However, if one does not understand the limitations that come with communicating in the written word, all hope is lost on becoming successful in one’s chosen field.

Email communication is limited in context. Face-to-face interactions have the ability to convey irony and sarcasm. Emails do not. Even with the most emphatic use of capital letters and exclamation points, the comedic timing of a joke can be misconstrued as being demanding and rude to the reader of the email. When using email, it is important to keep the reader’s interpretation of the message in mind.

With the importance of emails, texts, and voice-mails in today’s professional world, whether one was a good English/Language Arts students will be painfully evident. One’s ability to communicate effectively and efficiently will ultimately be the true path to success. Having a wide and comprehensive understanding of words and language is more important than having the latest laptop or greatest diploma in economics. No amount of technology or training can make up for poor verbal skills and poor writing habits.

The advantages of technology in the workplace has broaden our scope of capabilities as mere humans. The use of cell phones has made it possible to connect personally, basically, with almost anyone in the world in real time. This advantage can be for better or worse. It is true that cellphone use is universally accepted; however, the amount of time and the timing of the use is becoming problematic.

Inappropriate and inconsiderate cellphone use is rude, unprofessional and sometimes deadly. Cellphones are the new addiction. Before answering a call or text, one needs to be aware of his/her surroundings and whether it is appropriate and a convenient time to answer or if it can wait. Not everyone in a meeting needs to hear one’s blood test results and that unknown call coming in while driving can wait until one can pullover or get home.

With all of today’s distractions, it is not surprising that no one can remain focused and actively listen when actual people are talking. There are emails, texts and phone calls that all need to be answered. In the face of all that is professional, there is nothing more important than the person standing in front of you. One needs to disengage from all the trappings of technology and remember a simpler time when people would actually talk face-to-face. As we move further and further in to the age of globalization and technology, some good old fashion professionalism can be the deciding factor on whether one has a future in those advancements.