4 Ways to Simplify Data Analysis Through Technology

Time is the great equalizer. You can have all the intelligence, experience, expertise and data in the world, but without time, meaningful analysis is pretty much impossible. The Pareto Principle, or the 80/20 rule, sums up a conundrum the almost every analyst faces: 20% of the effort leads to 80% of the results, and 80% of the effort leads to 20% of the results. Most analysts will tell you they spend at least 80% of their time preparing data and 20% of their time, if that, actually analyzing it.

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5 Ways to Save Time in Your Monthly Reporting Cycle

Monthly reporting can take days, even weeks out of your month. Time is precious, and for many, the most frustrating part of the monthly reporting cycle is how little time you get to spend actually analyzing your reporting to make recommendations that add value to the business.

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5 Ways Catalyst Revolutionizes Your Planning Process

For many businesses, annual planning and budgeting for 2020 is just getting underway. For many, the process can be quite painful. The reality is, many companies still rely on Excel as a planning tool, which it’s not. A dedicated business performance tool like Catalyst offers infinitely more depth and flexibility for financial planning and analysis.

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Solving the Mystery Behind Dark Data

In the known universe, there are 100 billion galaxies that all share the same fundamental problem: they should all be torn apart. Galaxies are rotating with such astonishing speed there is no way the gravity generated by all their stars and planets could possibly hold them together. It was this fundamental conundrum that led scientists to discover that 85% of the matter in the known universe is a mysterious substance called dark matter.

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4 Ways to Bridge the Data Accessibility Gap

Data today is a lot like gunpowder once was. There are haves and have-nots, and when they go head-to-head, the have-nots are in a lot of trouble. But unlike gunpowder, data is not always distributed to the entire army. For many companies, there are critical gaps that inhibit true data-backed decision making throughout the organization. In some cases, people who could benefit from the data don’t have access to it. In others, the data exists, but employees don’t have the means to understand it. Both are common problems that plague companies of all sizes across all industries.

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AI, Deepfakes and Facial Recognition Raise Questions About Security

Last week, social media channels were filled with the aged faces of celebrities, friends and family members alike. FaceApp, which uses AI and facial recognition to create highly realistic facial transformations, was the most downloaded app on the web. Originally launched in 2017, the app surged last week as celebrities began taking the “FaceApp challenge” – creating a geriatric version of themselves – and millions of others followed. But as quickly as they hype rose for FaceApp, panic began to set in. After users discovered a Russian developer was behind the App (with some dubious fine print), people immediately began speculating that the Russians were stealing our faces and pickpocketing the photos off our phones for some nefarious purpose.

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Training for an Automated Workforce

With any form of major technological advancement, jobs are both created and destroyed. The breakneck speed of advancement in automation and artificial intelligence is no exception. We are, perhaps, on the brink of the largest meta-shift in the workforce since the industrial revolution; and transitioning the global workforce to fit the new paradigm will likely be the greatest challenge of our time.

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Catalyst Gets a Makeover

You might have noticed Catalyst has an all-new look and feel. While the software itself still offers the same functions and navigation as before, we’ve updated our logo, font, color scheme and website to more closely align with our vision for the software and what it stands for, going forward. If you were curious about the changes, we thought we’d give you a little inside look at the reasoning behind the changes, going behind the scenes with our marketing team. Let’s dive in!

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5 Ways IoT Technology Will Make Companies More Profitable in the Next 5 Years

It is estimated that there will be an astonishing 75 billion devices connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) by the year 2025. While some of these might seem like luxuries to us now (Amazon Alexa or Nest thermostats for example), many more have very real and very practical implications. In the business world, new IoT technologies are growing like wildfire. Here are five areas where we feel these devices will be making a very tangible positive impact on profitability in the next 5 years.

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Libra: 4 Reasons to Pump the Brakes (and 4 Reasons it Might Succeed)

Facebook’s Libra announcement was met last week with a ton of hype, dominating the news cycle for several days. The proposed cryptocurrency is designed to be a stablecoin – backed by several international securities to avoid volatility – making it easier to use for everyday transactions than currencies like Bitcoin, which experience regular large fluctuations in value. The question on everyone’s mind right now is, “will it work?” Cryptocurrencies have been around for some time, but few people can name one outside of Bitcoin. Even fewer have actually owned or transacted in any type of cryptocurrency. So for all the hype, the fact is Libra, and any other cryptocurrency for that matter, is a long, long way from becoming a major currency. Here are four of the major hurdles Libra is facing on it’s path into the payment world:

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Next-Gen Moneyball: AI and Big Data Help the Raptors Claim Their First NBA Title

Last week, the Toronto Raptors won their first NBA Championship, beating the perennial powerhouse Golden State Warriors. While the Raptors had a slightly better regular season record, many considered them to be heavy underdogs against the star-studded 3-time champion Warriors. But the Raptors knew something many of us didn’t. In fact, they knew a lot of things many of us didn’t. And that’s a big reason why they won.
For those who have read the book or have seen the film “Moneyball”, you’re likely well aware how statistical analysis, scouting and team building have seen a monumental shift in the last 25 years. In basketball, APBRmetrics – like Sabermetrics in baseball – shifted the focus from traditional statistics like points-per-game to more advanced stats like estimated wins added (EWA), plus-minus rating and player efficiency rating (PER).

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Landlords of the Last Mile

Blackstone Group, the world’s largest private equity firm, just completed the single largest private real estate deal in history. So, what did they buy? Lush oceanside property primed for development? Perhaps a commercial district in the heart of the Big Apple, ripe for revitalization? Or maybe a cherry spot in one of the world’s hottest travel destinations?
Actually, it’s none of the above. Blackstone just invested $18.7 billion in boring, boxy, windowless warehouse space. 179 million square feet of it, to be exact.
Why? The answer is simple: e-commerce logistics.

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Payment Technologies Seeing A Flurry of M&A Activity

Payment services like PayPal, Square and Venmo have revolutionized the way we pay for goods and services, allowing retailers to conduct business seamlessly both online and in-person. The payment industry overall has taken a definitive turn away from cash in recent years, with retailers moving to solutions that support an omnichannel model, and investors have responded accordingly.
Venture capitalists have jumped head-long into the $1.9 trillion dollar payments and processing industry, and have been rewarded handsomely with billions of dollars in VC funding. Nearly $18.5 billion was invested in the sector in 2018, a 500% increase from 2017. That trend has, in turn, resulted in a flurry of M&A activity, with little sign of slowing down.

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What will 5G mean for the future of M&A?

Over the past couple of weeks, the airwaves have been flooded with news regarding the ongoing U.S. ban of Chinese telecom giant and 5G pioneer Huawei. While the current ban might have slowed down the implementation of 5G in the U.S. slightly for now, it is only a matter of time before the blazing-fast next-gen networks begin to roll out.
5G is set to be one of the most game-changing technological advancements of the decade. With speeds up to 100x faster than 4G it will make ultra-high-speed internet – measurably faster than most current Wi-Fi networks – available over the airwaves.

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