All posts by Miley Dowling

Insights

How Can Debt Settlement Affect Your Credit Score

Dealing with any kind of past due debts can prove to be difficult. If you cannot afford to pay the amount in full, you can always negotiate for a lower sum payment or debt settlement with the creditor. Debt settlement generally means you will get into an agreement with creditors for paying less than stated balance, to satisfy your debt. But, when you settle the debt that’s on credit report, it might affect the score a bit.

More about debt settlements:

As creditors are unwilling to settle debts, which are serviced with time payments, you are always better trying to work the deal with some past due older debt. It is somewhat, which has been turned over to the collections department. It is counter-intuitive, but score drops less when you want to be delinquent in payments.

  • You can always negotiate debt settlement arrangements directly with a lender or just seek the help of a debt settlement firm. Through either one of the route, you can always make an agreement to repay the only portion of the outstanding debt.
  • In case the lender agrees, your debt is then reported to credit bureaus as paid settled. Even though this is better for the report than charge off, it will not bear the same old meaning as the rating that indicates your debt has been paid as agreed.
  • In the best case practice, you have to negotiate with creditor way ahead of time to have this account of “paid in full.” This is not going to hurt the credit score as much as you want.

How debt settlement affects credit score:

Most of the loan obligations and credits are highly reported to credit bureaus each month. The account status you have will be reported to show the status of either “paid settled” or “settled.” While a settled status is a bit better than the unpaid one, any status other than “paid as agreed” or “in full” will hurt your credit score in the end.

It is mainly because you are not paying full balance as agreed. So, debt settlement seems to have a negative impact on credit score.  The credit is solely based on various different factors. So, the exact impact on credit is subject to vary, depending on other information on a current credit report. However, it is hard to state whether debt settlement will have a significant impact on credit score or not.

Things mentioned by FICO about settlement and credit score:

There are some credit scoring companies, which are not going to give specified details about ways in which credit scores will be calculated or the specified activities, which might affect the credit score of a person. But, there is one point you will know.

  • In the year 2009, FICO released score loss information, which is solely based on two of the hypothetical consumers with various credit scores. In one case, the person with around 680 credit score would lose between 45 and 65 points after a settlement is covered for one credit card.
  • Then you have another person with 780 credit score and without any late payments, which might lose between 140 and 160 points. Your credit score might drop if you have any of the credit profile like the mentioned cases and when you are settling a single debt. If you are settling on multiple accounts, the score will drop a bit more.
  • You can easily predict the impact of late payment on credit score, with the help of the FICO Score Simulator. It is available whenever you purchase the Score Watch from the authentic sources only.

Late payments before the debt settlement procedure:

Debt settlement will easily hurt credit score more if the cards you are settling for already is in good standing and when you are looking for ways to settle multiple card account. There are multiple debt settlement firms, which will advise you to fall purposely behind payments to force the creditors to accept settlement payment on a debt. Lenders, on the other hand, will only settle debts which are at risk of never getting repaid. If you end up following the debt company’s advice, it means you will miss several months of not paying the lenders. This step, in turn, will hurt credit score even before you get to settle a debt.

Debt settlement based information is designed to remain on credit report for 7 years. But, those will have less impact on credit score as the information gets older. It will also change with some positive information adding up to your report.

Some major points to consider:

If you really want to know how debt settlement can affect credit score rating, you might want to catch up with debt settlement reviews for some help. The information provided will help you find some answers, even though the majority of it is covered already. However, there are some important points, which you need to consider.

  • Remember that settling multiple accounts will hurt you even more than settling only one account.
  • As with debts, larger balances will have a proportionately larger impact on credit score. In case, you are settling smaller accounts then the impact will be rather negligible. It is applicable if you are currently dealing with bigger loans.
  • If you are dealing with debt as old as 3 years, then using debt settlement might reactivate debt and will show the service on credit report as a current collection. So, always be sure to get this matter straight with the creditor before even finalizing any agreement.
  • In credit history, the most important part is the payment history where current accounts will hold the highest impact. If you are currently working on other debts, you must keep the present one in proper shape. That will make rectification a lot easier.
  • Debt settlement will be on credit report for 7 years. If it took place over 7 years ago and still showing on the report, you have to contact the lender and credit bureau to change the record and remove settlement status.

Remember to keep these points in mind before working with debt settlement firms. Gaining some knowledge beforehand will work for your credit report.

Insights

Some Common Personal Finance Mistakes You Must Avoid for a Hassle-Free Life

Your future financial health is largely reliant on the kind of financial decisions you are taking today. Remember a personal finance mistake could have its own repercussions and impact your future financial health. Here are a few common personal finance mistakes, you must avoid in 2018 for a financially secure life.

Mistake No.1: Not Keeping Track of Your Credit Score on a Regular Basis

Not monitoring your credit score and not bothering to get your credit report on a regular basis is a major financial error that you could make. Most people do not appreciate the actual importance of examining their credit score from time to time at regular periodic intervals. You must realize that your credit report may show some wrong information as a result of some clerical mistakes by the bureau, or by your lender or because of certain fraudulent accounts or credit applications in your name.

Remember not to take this sort of misinformation lightly. Treat these errors seriously as any kind of wrong information may hamper your loan eligibility in the future. Keeping constant track of your credit score and appraising the credit report periodically could help you detect such mistakes. If you monitor your credit score on a regular basis, you could build it over a period of time effectively through responsible financial behaviour.

Mistake No.2: Waiting for the Best Opportunity to Invest

Many people with lower-rate of savings or low incomes tend to delay all their investments until they obtain a relatively higher salary or are able to build an impressive corpus. However, you must not postpone your investments and grasp all opportunities to invest and gain financially. Remember postponing investments could result in substantial opportunity cost because of the actual power of compounding. In this context, you must understand that with compounding the returns you get from your investments could start to generate returns culminating in a much greater corpus. So start investing at once and try to stay financially disciplined.

Mistake No.3: Maxing Credit Cards

Remember higher utilization of your credit card limit could prove to be detrimental to your overall financial health. This would be adversely impacting your precise credit score and that may, in turn, affect your loan eligibility in future. It is a good idea to restrict all your credit card spending to 30 percent of the credit limit available to you. When you notice that you are breaching this limit quite often, it is best to put in a request for extending your credit limit. You may alternatively apply for an additional one. If you have crossed the limits of your credit cards and are not able to make the repayments, it is best to get rid of your debts by seeking professional assistance.

Mistake No. 4: Excessive Spending

Avoid being frivolous. Remember even great fortunes could be lost little by little. You may not think twice while choosing a pack of cigarettes or a double-mocha cappuccino, or have dinner in an expensive restaurant, but all these insignificant expenses seem to add up. If you are going through a financial crisis, it is best to avoid this gross mistake. If you are heading towards a bankruptcy or foreclosure, it is best to spend every dollar more carefully.

Mistake No. 5: Indulging in Endless Payments

 

You must be cautious while spending. You must deliberate and ask yourself if you are doing the right thing by spending on items that may not be your top priority and end up paying for these, month after month, and year after year. You must understand that certain things such as music services, cable television or expensive gym memberships could compel you to make endless payments. Remember when cash flow is restricted, you must lead a leaner lifestyle to boost your savings and safeguard yourself from financial hardship.

Mistake No. 6: Living Constantly on Borrowed Finances

Using your credit cards for purchasing essentials may seem pretty normal but you must avoid doing that for financial health. Many people are more than willing to high-interest rates on groceries, gasoline, and a number of other things that are all used up before the bill is actually paid in full. Do not forget that credit card rate of interest would be making the price of any charged item a lot more expensive. If you constantly depend on your credit card, you are more likely to spend more.

Mistake No. 7: Paycheck to Paycheck Existence

As per fresh statistics, it is believed that in March 2018, the household personal rate of savings was only 3.1 percent in the U.S.A. as per the Federal Reserve Data. Numerous households are today leading a paycheck to paycheck existence. They must be told that any unforeseen issue could surely become a major disaster if you do not buck up well in time. The cumulative effect of excessive spending would be placing individuals in a really precarious state, where they would be requiring every penny they are earning and if in case there is even one paycheck missing, it could prove to be disastrous for them.

Often experienced financial planners advise you to open a separate account where you keep an amount equivalent to three months’ expenses so that you could have access to that emergency fund if you lose your job or certain drastic changes that take place in the economy. If you do not think in advance and keep spending all your salary and lead a paycheck to paycheck existence, all your savings could be drained in no time and you would be experiencing the vicious cycle of debts and repayments.

Mistake No. 8: Not Following Any Plan

Remember your financial security and future relies on your current behaviour and lifestyle. You tend to spend a great deal of your time scrolling through your social media feeds or watching television, but you do not bother to spend just a couple of hours every week for some solid financial planning and evaluation of your financial situation. You must chalk out an effective financial plan that needs to be adhered to. You must constantly examine your financial situation. It pays to know about your current financial scene and exactly where you seem to be heading to.

Conclusion

If you wish to stay away from financial insecurity and the actual dangers of overspending, you must monitor all your insignificant expenses that seem to add up fast. Then consider keeping track of your big expenses as well. Be cautious before thinking of applying for a loan and adding fresh debts to the already extensive list of payments. Savings must be made a monthly priority. Devote enough time and effort in chalking out a sound financial strategy.

InsightsMartech

4 Useful Visual Effects That Can Help Marketing Videos Stand Out

Visual effects can be a powerful tool – when used carefully. With the right approach, you can make use of visual effects to make your marketing videos stand out so that they draw more attention and keep viewers engaged.

However the trick to doing that is to use the right visual effects at the right time – and that starts by knowing some of the more useful visual effects for marketing videos:

– Video filters

Essential filters will process your video and enhance its colours by stylizing it in some way. Different filters can produce vastly different types of looks when you apply them to your marketing videos.

Generally, filters are a popular way to make marketing videos look more polished. That being said you should take care to check how a filter affects your entire video before deciding whether to use it.

By using the same filter across all your marketing videos you can create a consistent look that viewers will start to associate with your brand.

– Split screen

As its name implies, a split screen effect involves dividing the screen into two parts with different videos playing on either side. In marketing videos, this effect is often used as a way to display the similarities or differences between products.

Although learning how to make great split screen videos may sound complicated, most editors are able to produce this effect. For example, in Movavi Video Editor it will only take a few clicks to apply.

It is worth noting that the split screen effect can create other visual illusions such as ‘cloning’ the subject by playing two videos with the same subject and an identical background.

– Chroma key

The ‘Chroma key’ effect is more widely known as the ‘green screen’ effect and involves recording videos against a solid-coloured background that will be replaced later with a different video. It can be useful in marketing videos because it will give you full control over the background.

Sometimes this effect is used in product videos to record the product separately and then place it onto a different background later. In other cases, it is used for webinars to use the entire video background as a projection screen of sorts.

– Slow motion

Slowing down videos can help make any actions that are being performed more visible, and some marketing videos may benefit from that. For example in a how-to guide or product demonstration, it could be used to more clearly display actions that would otherwise be difficult for viewers to notice.

It should be noted that shooting slow motion videos has specific requirements – and if your video frame rate is too low in particular its quality will suffer.

Before you use any of the effects listed above in your marketing videos, think about what it is you’re trying to use them for. As a rule, you should only ever use effects in marketing videos with a goal in mind – so start by defining that goal and then figuring out how to use the effect to best achieve it.

InsightsMartech

Using videos in digital marketing – 9 best ways!

Videos are a must in your digital marketing strategy because videos are versatile, and also one of the most profitable marketing tools of today!

Over the past decade, there has been a radical shift from textual information to digital information. Won’t you agree? As a result of this, every business is developing a digital marketing strategy to clamour their audience’s attention. The mothership of them all are the videos without a doubt.

Videos have embraced the digital age and established themselves to be the present and future of digital marketing. By using videos in your digital marketing strategy, you are choosing the right way to promote your business, build brand awareness, educate your audience while attracting them towards your business. Regardless of the type of business you own, a video is a must in your digital marketing landscape, since there’s nothing better to nail your marketing campaign.

Now that you know why you need a video, and before you overflow with ideas for the same, check out the different ways to use videos and make the right choice for your business’s digital marketing strategy.

1. Commercial Videos

Is gaining the attention of a mass audience one of your objectives? But maybe you have only a little time. That’s okay! Commercial videos are less than 30 seconds, simple videos with the ability to create a huge impact amongst the viewers, in a short timespan. Best to be advertised on television, social media platforms, video hosting platforms or public events, creating a commercial video as a part of your digital marketing will help in better visibility, as well as a mass audience engagement. For that reason, they might cost you a fortune but is worth every money you spend. No matter what your business is, you’ve got the budget? Then, your digital marketing team needs to invest in a commercial video!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=15&v=7sqVXngvWbI

2. Animated Explainer Videos

While saying that there is no limit to what you can animate, as a matter of fact, it is ultimately the truth. Therefore, by including an animated explainer video in your marketing strategy, your business can pop up to great heights. There are no limits to locations, characters or objects in an animated explainer video. No matter how complex your business idea is, animated explainer videos can convey it as simple as possible. Using characters, objects or maybe a combination of these, use these videos in your digital marketing strategy for abstract and conceptual topics such as Cryptocurrency. They can be used literally by anybody from startups, B2B, B2C, mobile apps, software etc.

https://vimeo.com/278272641

3. Tutorial Videos

Seems like you have a great product or service with some amazing features for its users. Do you wish to clarify the proper functioning of your product or service? In that case, including a tutorial video in your digital marketing using real product screens! Tutorial videos are instructional videos guiding your customers through the various steps to use your product or service. Including them in your digital marketing will make it easier for the users to follow, since they are engaging and educational at the same time. They are perfect to inform new customers in a business, to inform existing users about an update, while launching a new feature, in your FAQ page, as email responses, in sales demos, for training purposes of new employees and so on.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=9RJZMSsH7-g

4. Live Action Explainer Videos

Locations, cast, properties, set, wardrobe! Does all that sound exciting? Well, seems like your interest lies in live action explainer videos. Live action explainer videos use real places and people to shoot the video. Using such a video in your digital marketing is helpful since, people can connect with other people, and it helps in humanizing a brand. Also, if you have a hardware product to showcase or require a human body talking to your audience, including them in your marketing idea would be great. They can be uploaded on Youtube, social media platforms, your website’s homepage etc.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=WlDXW94E3Sc

5. Testimonial Videos

Letting your existing clients communicate with other clients through a video is a great digital marketing strategy. Testimonial videos are what you need to make for this. In testimonial videos, you can find real clients speaking about your business, as well as their experience of working with you. There are also case study videos used to outline a business’s effectiveness, thereby elaborating your project. It gives an idea of the challenges faced, the process and the end result of that project. Using them in your digital marketing will create a positive influence on the buying behaviour of your clients. You can incorporate them in your newsletters, blog, about us page, website landing page, social media etc.

https://vimeo.com/247376668

6. Company Story Videos

Have fun at work, create an enthusiastic team and an envious work culture. Also, show this to your prospective customers. But how? Through company story videos! Company story videos are short videos to be used in your marketing, which serves the purpose of taking your clients through a stroll of the founders, employees, executives or any other person working in your organization. They show the ambience of work, with people speaking about your business thereby creating loyalty, personal connection and trust with your business. Therefore, these videos should be used in the consideration phase of the purchase funnel. Company story videos can be used in newsletters, about us page of your website, etc.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=d_7y2Nbz6sI

7. Branded Content

Suppose you could make a business video that influences individuals by creating a desire to see the video, as opposed to compelling them to see it. Wouldn’t that be great? That is what branded content can do in your marketing strategy. These videos barely mention the company, but the entire focus is laid on the targeted audience. These videos are attractive, engaging and impactful without a moment’s delay, therefore influencing your clients to share it all by their own will. They create audience engagement overselling the brand, hence being perfect for building a mindfulness about your business, item or service. They can be hosted on social media platforms, video hosting websites and on television.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=KyYyKRiJR4M

8. Retention Videos

Are you facing huge competition in the market? Is it difficult to retain your existing customers and maintain their loyalty to your brand? That’s where you should use retention videos. Retention videos are indeed essential to engage your existing customers, connect with them and maintain their interest in your business. This type of business videos is helpful in making your customers keep coming back. Creating retention videos will ensure that you don’t lose them, while also increasing their relationship with your business. They can be either a video answering their queries, a festival greeting, a thank you video, or videos about customer updates etc.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tO9jJu9zUcQ

9. Live Videos

The camera is in your pocket and you are celebrating a year of your business’s success. What are you waiting for? Take your mobile out and go live on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Live videos are nothing but videos that are shot and broadcasted at the same time, thereby helpful in connecting with your users and prospective clients in real time. These videos are an epitome of who you originally are, what your organization looks like etc. Users can shoot any questions and you can instantly send them replies or reactions. Awesome isn’t it? Live videos are a must have in your marketing strategy because they can create a rational bond with the customers, increasing their trust factor due to unfiltered content offered.

Summing up, above were the different ways in which you can incorporate video into your digital marketing strategy, and shoot up to marketing heights. These video types are undoubtedly the best in town to get your marketing grip upright!

Development

Developing artificial intelligence apps using python

The IT world offers numerous highly utilizable options of programming languages for your next project. Every development environment comes with a specific set of advantages and disadvantages which are best realized reading reviews across the Internet. The whole world will tell you how and why programming language is good or bad, but you will not find some real words to act over for your next AI project. Among all the programming languages offered for a project like Lisbon, Java, C hash and many more, brightness turned out to be a real potential player to host your next big AI project. It is true that the choice if you do it will be influenced by many factors like the availability of human resources similar to that language, libraries and the overall, is of coding in that language.

This highly informative, genuine blog post brings you all the compelling reasons to choose Python software development.

Being a company in the IT ecosystem is a common sight where developers spend the day in and day out working out custom algorithms and the overall functioning blocks of code to give birth to an overall AI solution. Python is easy to code language and reduces the lines of code by over 80%. It becomes a cakewalk to make new AI systems.

Python as the AI enabler

Another compelling reason to choose python to be your next language for the right solutions is the proactive contributing community which gives an enormous number of open source libraries which are mostly built-in or easily accessible. Write an offer some super useful libraries like my brain, sci-fi, and Mumbai for different kinds of uses and approaches to words your next AI solution.

Support is smartly blended with all the pies in this product which are available through the help of the great buyers in the community. In general, it is not something complicated to rule out complex products with huge functionalities that provide assistance and support for all of them is an enormous task. Python encourages you to make it your next solution development language with the colossal community willing to help the programmers at every stage of development.

YouTube link: – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsAVf3fn3yM

Cross-platform ability generally brings jabber to our mind. Python is another language which allows you to make applications which are easy to run on any platform just with a simple tweaking of the code. This not only helps your AI solution to reach a large number of users but also reduces the workload of your developer’s manifolds.

Why Python against the Sea of Others?

If you build your solution in any other language like LISP or C sharp, the human resources will take a massive chunk of your budget. Moreover, talent acquisition will create a deep hole in your pocket in the initial phase.

R is considered to be the go-to language for all kinds of data analysis and management purposes. But Python has dedicated libraries which will help you build projects with utmost ease. Most of the AI projects involve data cleaning, and then the same data is used for manipulations and fed into the algorithms for the mathematical which procedure is like the nodes of a neural network. All this can be done with fantastic ease and lesser time material cost.

These are some of the most compelling reasons to choose python as your next AI solution development language. Unlock the real potential of AI with the key of python in coming years.

DevelopmentInsightsSaaS

Answered: Your Most Burning Questions About Salesforce

Whether you are looking for a Salesforce app to use in a business operation or you want to make a position in the Salesforce world, you need to understand what Salesforce offers and what it does to help you win more customers.  Being a pioneer in Salesforce, people, experienced or fresher, come to us with so many questions regarding the utility, features, and technicalities of Salesforce. Through this post, I have answered a few repetitive questions that Salesforce enthusiasts continuously ask us.  

What are the benefits of Salesforce CRM?

The topmost benefits of Salesforce CRM are:

  • You get more opportunities to increase your sales
  • The use of the analytical approach to ensure customer acquisition.
  • Minimizing the cost to improve customer satisfaction.
  • The complete automation of repetitive tasks.
  • Upfront communication with improved efficiency

To unlock these benefits, you need to master the concepts and aspects of this CRM tool, which Salesforce training can help you achieve.

What are Salesforce’s custom objects?

Salesforce.com contains all enterprise-level data.  There is a requirement for Junction Object, which has a master-detail relationship. This allows you to create a master-detail relationship between two objects and plug in a child object to a related list.

You need to define these custom objects if you want to take the following steps.

  • Integrate records with custom objects.
  • Custom lists display the custom object data
  • Build a custom tab for a custom object.
  • Developing page layouts.
  • Developing a dashboard & report to evaluate custom object.
  • You can share the custom tab, app and object.

What are Governor Limits in Salesforce?

Governor Limits controls the volume of data and the number of records you can store in shared databases. This is because Salesforce is designed on the basis of multi-tenant architecture. Simply, Salesforce stores the data of multiple clients/ customers using a single database.

To avoid the monopolization of shared resources, Salesforce is driving the concept of Governor Limits based on the Apex run-time engine.

Whenever the Apex code goes beyond the limit, a run-time exception is what the expected governor issues that are not possible to handle. Therefore, being a Salesforce developer, stay cautious while developing your application.

The governor Limits of Salesforce are:

  • Per-Transaction Apex Limits
  • Force.com Platform Apex Limits
  • Static Apex Limits
  • Size-Specific Apex Limits
  • Miscellaneous Apex Limits
  • Email Limits
  • Push Notification Limits

What can cause data loss in Salesforce?

Reasons responsible for Data loss in Salesforce are:

  • Changing date and time as well as data
  • Moving to currency, number, and percentage from other data types
  • Shifting from the multi-select picklist, checkbox, auto number to other types
  • Changing to multi-select picklist from any type rather than picklist
  • Moving to auto-number except for text
  • Taking advantage of text-area for e-mail, phone, URL, and text

What are the different dashboard components?

The different Dashboard components are:

Chart: A graphical representation of data.

Gauge: You can display a single value amongst custom values.

Metric: You can show a sole key value – By clicking on a blank text field next to total and then entering the metric label straight into components. All metrics are correctly aligned in the console column.

Table: Display report data in column form using the Table.

Visual force-This helps generate custom component or showcase info not accessible to other sections.

Custom S – component: It involves the content that runs or exhibits a browser like Excel file, Java applet, ActiveX Control and custom HTML web form.

Can you explain the details of Salesforce SaaS functionality?

The important features of Salesforce SaaS functionality are:

  1. You get a pay-as-you-go framework that resonates well with all clientele.
  2. You don’t need to bother about substructure management.
  3. Retrieval of all requests via the internet.
  4. Easy to integrate along with numerous applications.
  5. Uncover newest features without any postponement.
  6. High uptime and safety.
  7. Excellent presentation for various operations.
  8. Connect anywhere through mobile devices

If you know about CRM, you must have heard of Salesforce. It offers robust customer relationship management software, which performs real-time analytics by evaluating customers’ data. It has become a need of the hour to meet the requirement of the client end to end.

DevelopmentInsights

How Increasing Design Tolerance Can Cut Costs

Product development and design are essential for ensuring that you can actually produce and sell the products you make. Oftentimes, products are designed and produced in a way to maximize quality. In order to achieve that, tight tolerances are focused on during the development process. What exactly are tight tolerances in product development? Tolerances are variables in the design, usually concerning the dimensions of a specific product.

In layman’s terms, it’s a plus or minus here and there that are allowed in product design. Tolerances influence the overall design of the products, as well as its manufacturing and quality control. In some cases, tight tolerances are absolutely necessary to ensure that the product can perform appropriately. However, strictly leveraging tight tolerances isn’t mandatory in every case. What’s more, they will only increase the production costs. Therefore, here’s how increasing design tolerance can actually cut costs.

Determine the functionality of a product

The functionality of a product determines how it will be designed and produced. In some cases, tolerances of even a single decimal can mean the difference between a functioning product and a failed one. That is only the case if product functionality depends on tight tolerances. However, materials used in the manufacturing process also play a role in determining acceptable tolerances in product design. In other words, not every part of the product needs tight tolerances, but in most cases, the entire product is based on strict requirements.

For instance, a product with a certain number of components requires a tolerance of ±0.001 because there’s a specific way component must fit together. But, a separate part is also automatically specified using the same tolerances, even if the part does not interact with the others or may not need the same tolerances. That’s why it’s important to determine the functionality of the product and which component – if any – requires a tight tolerance to function.

Consult with a manufacturer

Creating a product design eventually comes down to tolerances that are numbers on paper. You may think that those tolerances are absolutely necessary, even if that’s not the case. Tolerances are influenced by the materials used in production, how they’re made during manufacturing and the sensitivity of product features to variations in design. That’s why it’s important to have an experienced manufacturer on board that can help you determine if there’s room to increase the design tolerance or not.

For example, if you’re developing a design for electrical components, you should consult with an electronics manufacturer. That way, a manufacturer can go over your design and help you determine the acceptable increases intolerances to help you cut costs. Electronics are produced by the IPC (Association Connecting Electronics Industries) standards which allow certain tolerances in product design. Your manufacturer will know how to best implement those tolerances, without compromising the product’s functionality and quality.

Understand the costs of tight tolerances

As mentioned before, product developers and designers focus on tight tolerances in order to ensure product quality. The reality is that tight tolerances do not always influence quality, but they are always expensive to implement. You need to consider these costs before insisting on tight tolerances. For example, tight tolerances require more precise tools and higher grade materials, which cost a lot more. The tighter the tolerance is, the more it will cost you. In addition, tight tolerances require more processing, which increases the costs of the machinery used and labour.

Moreover, you need to pay for a close inspection to determine whether the tolerances are within the acceptable range. What’s more, if you cannot implement tight tolerances on your own, you may need to outsource the process, which will cost you more. In the end, you end up paying for precision that may not be required. That’s why it’s important to actually determine if tight tolerances are mandatory for your products. If you don’t need such tolerances, you should take the opportunity to implement more appropriate variables and greatly reduce the costs of product development.

Don’t relax tolerances too much

In an effort to cut costs, increasing the design tolerance is quite beneficial. However, relaxing the tolerances too much involves certain risks. For example, the product components may not fit well together if tolerances are too extreme. In addition, your customers may disapprove of increased tolerances, if you haven’t consulted with them beforehand. Also, you may need to repeat the manufacturing process and redesign your products if you’re not careful with tolerances.

That will only skyrocket your costs. Instead of focusing on tight tolerances or relaxing them too much, you should focus on implementing quality assurance and tolerance analysis. That way, you’ll be able to determine exactly which variables are acceptable for your product design. In addition, you’ll know exactly where to apply strict tolerances and, of course, how much you can increase them to cut costs.

Product design is important for the manufacturing and quality of the products. However, ensuring product quality doesn’t always rely on implementing strictly tight tolerances. Tight tolerances are only required when there are specific needs and functionality requirements. Other than that, you can consider relaxing the product design tolerance and save yourself a lot of money during the development process.

About the author:

My name is Raul, editor in chief at Technivorz blog. I have a lot to say about innovations in all aspects of digital technology and online marketing. You can reach me out on Twitter.

DevelopmentSaaS

Top 3 Machine Learning trends in 2018

Machine Learning has been growing at an incredible pace in 2017. We’ve witnessed many breakthroughs such as AlphaGo beating the best world’s Go players, the comeback of evolution algorithms meta-learning, or WaveNet generating speech that mimics any human voice. Deep Learning research has been skyrocketing since 2012, and it’s not going to stop. Carlos Perez – Co-Founder of Intuition Machine – predicts that the number of research papers related to Deep Learning will triple or even quadruple in 2018!

 

The beginning of the third quarter of 2018 seems like a good time to take a closer look at the top Machine Learning trends in 2018.

 

Generative Models

One of the core goals for AI is to understand the world as a human does. In order to understand the world, one is required to build meaningful representations of abstract concepts. In particular, generative models are very good at this task. There’s nice intuition behind this taken from Richard Feynman who said:

 

What I cannot create, I do not understand  

 

Since their introduction in 2014, Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) are probably the hottest topic in unsupervised learning research, along with Variational AutoEncoders. A GAN is a generative machine learning model that consists of two neural networks: a generator and a discriminator. During training, the generator tries to generate realistic samples, while the discriminator needs to determine whether they’re fake or real. As the training proceeds, both the generator and the discriminator get better at their tasks. In the end, the generator is capable of generating data that looks like the real thing. GANs have a lot of interesting applications, such as an image to image translation, or improving the quality of low-resolution CT scans.

 

The classic problem with GANs is that they are really good at generating synthetic images in a bunch of different domains, but they struggle to model aspects of images that require the understanding of the whole, like getting the number of animal legs right.

 

Recently the father of GANs, Ian Goodfellow, has published a work on Self-Attention Generative Adversarial Networks (SAGAN). Introducing a self-attention module to the generator resulted in generating images in which fine details at every location are carefully coordinated with fine details in distant parts of the image.

 

There are already almost 4000 papers on Google scholar related to GANs this year, and there’s much more to come!

Interpretability

Many machine learning models, for example, Deep Neural Networks, are considered to be black boxes. However, the typical end-user of machine learning based system prefers solutions that are interpretable and understandable. For example, you may ask yourself if you would trust a neural network diagnosing cancer without explaining its reasoning. Would you choose an AI doctor with 85% accuracy that can explain its reasoning or an AI doctor with 90% accuracy that cannot?

 

Interpretability of machine learning models seems to be crucial for applications in healthcare or law. Last but not least, machine learning engineers benefit a lot from interpretable models, as it’s much easier to validate and improve them.

 

Again, we can borrow an intuition from Richard Feynman who said:

 

If you can’t explain something in simple terms, you don’t understand it

 

We can notice an increasing amount of research in the area of explaining machine learning models. One may distinguish model-agnostic methods and model-specific methods for explaining machine learning models. For example, LIME is a simple technique that uses local linear approximation via K-Lasso regression to provide model-agnostic explanations. You can find a Python implementation of LIME on GitHub. There are a lot of techniques for producing visual explanations for Convolutional Neural Networks, such as saliency maps. If you’re interested, I strongly recommend this compiled list of resources on interpretability by Michał Łopuszyński.

 

Edge Computing

The Internet of Things is going to revolutionize our world. All of these devices, such as mobile phones, beacons or Raspberry Pis, are able to provide tons of data. However, IoT alone is not smart technology. On the other hand, machine learning is fueled by data. These incentives are crucial for machine learning meeting edge computing.

 

There are several advantages for running machine learning applications on edge devices. Firstly, we can highly reduce latency when communication with the cloud is not required. It’s possible because of several reasons, such as hardware improvements, software improvements, and last but not least – compact deep learning architectures without losing a lot on accuracy (MobileNet v2). For example, MobileNet’s forward pass only takes about 20 milliseconds on the newest iPhones.

One cannot omit the importance of the existence and development of frameworks such as CoreML and TensorflowLite. Currently, it’s very easy to implement, train and evaluate a model in one of Python’s Deep Learning libraries and latter deploy it on an Android device or an iPhone.

 

Privacy has always been an important concern on the Internet, and it seems that this year this is truer than ever. Machine Learning algorithms cannot be trained without data. However, if you train a machine learning model on an edge device, your data doesn’t need to leave it.

 

And last but not least, since Deep Gradient Compression has been introduced at ICLR 2018, distributed training on many edge devices seems to be possible on 1Gbps commodity Ethernet.

Guest post by Mateusz Opala, Machine Learning Tech Lead at Netguru

SaaS

Measures that determine the success of CRM performance – The screw gauge for KPIs

Peter Drucker rightly said, if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it! Nowadays more and more organizations are increasingly focusing on quantifying the CRM performance to enhance the level of customer experiences and to better handle organizational data. CRM indeed provides a significant return on investment. However many companies fail to quantify it. This is where the CRM software with its analytics engine can help measure performance so that your business does not land on the unpaved runway!

So, how does one measure CRM performance? Don’t worry! Let’s slice through the royal cake.

CRM performance can be measured through balanced scorecards, value driver analysis, customer knowledge management and ROIs. It gets quite technical from here! I feel you. I will try my best to simplify it.

Balanced scorecards!

The balanced scorecard was developed by Robert Kaplan and David Norton. It is one of the foremost measurement tool used by highly successful management firms to align business activities to the vision and strategy of the firm. Robert and David analyzed many successful businesses and found out that all those successful businesses had one thing in common. They had a clear vision and strategy aligned with key areas such as finance, customer service and internal operations.

The balanced scorecards allow decision makers to view businesses from 4 different aspects.

They are:

How businesses view stakeholders in terms of financial aspects?

Are the businesses providing value from a customers’ point of view?

From an internal process point of view,

Are the business operations aligned with the company goals and values?

And finally from a learning and growth perspective,

Is the company providing the right training for its employees?

These aspects create a roadmap for analyzing and understanding smaller objectives within the larger framework.

As the famous Occam’s razor principle states “the simpler one is usually better.” So, the balanced scorecard helps businesses to focus on smaller things so more can be achieved!

In case you were wondering, this is the secret formula for businesses.

 

Value driver analysis

This is the second layer of the royal cake! The concept of value driver analysis was developed by DuPont several years ago. This is the extension of the infamous money flow analysis which allows companies to take more informed decisions thereby improving their day to day operations.

This hits you hard on the face!

Yes. Literally speaking, this method helps enterprises understand the value of a project. The value may have a strong impact on the organization’s finance or it may create a lasting impression on the society. The variables are usually controlled by the project management team who create a “driver tree’’ to map out the major drivers of value.

For example, for a stadium construction project, the seating capacity can be a major point of focus. The key value drivers for the seating capacity may include public transport, location, and ticket prices.

Customer Knowledge Management

It refers to the mechanisms and procedures used by the company to record, quantify, categorize and analyze data about its customers. This enhances organization’s sales processes. The data may be related to customers’ previous transactions, feedbacks, demographics and other miscellaneous personal information’s.

All data is stored in a single database!

Through customer knowledge management, customer experiences can be taken to a whole new level by minor tweaks or by fixing any loopholes in the business operations.

ROI

This is the icing on the cake for organizations trying to measure performance. Technically speaking, ROI is defined as the profit divided by the stock or funds invested. ROI is generally expressed in terms of percentage. Calculating ROI usually requires an incubation period of six months or more after the crucial data has been gathered from various sources. ROI analysis can drastically improve organizations performance and help achieve greater success.

CRM software can help with all the analytics and can act as a screw gauge for KPIs. CRM software would have a Business Intelligence engine which would efficiently handle all the analytics. It can also act as a database for customer knowledge management.

The report engine would also allow one to view and generate multiple reports for further statistical analysis that would help give your business a boost!

Indeed! CRM software is a must for any industry for analyzing the measures that would determine the organization’s CRM performance.

Guest Post by:
Kapture CRM

Insights

The IRS’ View on Bitcoin Roth IRA’s

Bitcoin was developed in 2009, which means it is not even 10 years old yet. The result of this is that financial experts are not making any statements with certainty on it yet because it is impossible to draw real conclusions in such a short period of time. This country is, in fact, one of the only ones in the world that has issued formal guidelines on cryptocurrencies as an investment class. Knowing the IRS’ view on bitcoin roth IRA’s is very important if you were hoping to invest in one.

How the IRS Views Bitcoin Roth IRA’s

The IRS made an official statement in March 2014 outlining that dates are cryptocurrencies as a type of commodity when calculating taxation. This means it processes Bitcoin in the same way as stocks and bonds. The IRS declared that cryptocurrencies are a type of property, which means that investment in them is possible but only when overseen by a custodian so that regulations are complied with.

Historic Lee, custodians would only accept mainstream assets in an IRA. This includes certificates of deposits, mutual funds, bonds, and stocks. Hence, if you do wish to invest in a cryptocurrency, you will have to choose a self-directed option. You do have the option of choosing between a traditional IRA, whereby you pay taxes on the eventual withdrawals, or a Roth IRA, where buy you pay taxes on the initial deposits.

A bitcoin Roth IRA is fully self-directed. This means you decide when to buy, sell, and hold bitcoins. You can also purchase dedicated cryptocurrency fund shares. If you want to invest directly in cryptocurrency, you will effectively become a Forex Trader with the difference being that your currency is not a mainstream one. If, on the other hand, you decide to invest in fund shares, you will delegate forex knowledge to that fund instead. Hence, you need to weigh up whether you have more confidence in your own skills or whether you have more confidence in the skills of a shared fund. Again, because bitcoin is so new, it can be quite difficult to determine whether or not someone truly does have the required experience to properly invest in this currency, but then the same would go for you personally.

Whatever decisions you make, you will have to open a bitcoin wallet. This is not a physical wallet but rather an application on which your digital signature, also known as private keys, are stored. Those keys are required in order for you to move coins between others on the public ledger, which is the blockchain. Those private keys are incredibly valuable because of the anonymity of the blockchain. It is impossible to determine who is accessing the chain so if you share your private key with someone else, for instance through loss or theft, they will be able to remove all your bitcoin and you will never be able to get them back. Do be careful with your private key, therefore!