Articles

The Role of Relays In Big Data Integration

The very nature of big data integration requires an organization to become more flexible in some ways; particularly when gathering input and metrics from such varied sources as mobile apps, browser heuristics, A / V input, software logs, and more. The number of different methodologies, protocols, and formats that your organization needs to ingest while complying with both internal and government-mandated standards can be staggering.

Is there a clean and discreet way to achieve fast data integration and still reap all of the benefits of big data analytics?

Source de l’article sur DZONE

Beyond Observability: Putting Intelligence in Modern Monitoring

If you’re paying attention to anything that’s happening in the development world, you’re likely familiar with the term “observability.” We’re seeing more and more monitoring companies from all different backgrounds jumping on the term to describe their solutions, many claiming their observability tool to be the factor that will take businesses to the next level.

Growing out-of-control system engineering, observability allows dev teams to unify and study the behaviors of various IT systems through the external outputs of the internal systems. In the case of software, that’s log events, distributed tracing, and time-series metrics. By unifying the data streaming through today’s complex IT environments, it certainly gives SREs and DevOps practitioners a leg up from traditional monitoring. But the data alone is no longer enough.

Source de l’article sur DZONE

Variable Font Reveals The Full Horror of The Climate Crisis

Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat has developed a variable font, that is designed to make the effects of human-driven climate change tangible in a simple graphical form.

Whereas most type designers use variable font techniques to embed a range of weights in a single font file, the team — lead by Helsingin Sanomat’s art director Tuomas Jääskeläinen, and typographer Eino Korkala — used the technique to “melt” the typeface.

In the design process, we tried out countless letter shapes and styles, only to find that most of them visualized the disaster right in the earliest stages of the transformation. That’s something we wanted to avoid because unlike a global pandemic, climate change is a crisis that sneaks up on us.

— Tuomas Jääskeläinen

The default typeface represents the volume of Arctic sea ice in 1979 (when records began). It’s a rather beautiful, chiseled, chunky sans-serif, with cut-aways that open up counters to give it a modern appeal. As you move through the years towards 2050 the shapes appear to melt away, to the point that they’re barely legible.

Set the scale to 2021 and you’ll see an already dramatic loss of Arctic sea ice, and the resulting desalination of the ocean.

As depressing as these outlines are, they aren’t an estimate. The typeface’s outlines precisely match real data — there was an unexpected uptick in Arctic sea ice in 2000, and that’s reflected in the font.

The historical data is taken from the NSIDC (The US National Snow and Ice Data Center) and the predictive data comes from the IPCC (The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).

We hope that using the font helps people see the urgency of climate change in a more tangible form – it is a call for action.

— Tuomas Jääskeläinen

You can download the font for free, for personal or commercial work.

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Building a Scalable E-Commerce Data Model


Introduction

If selling products online is a core part of your business, then you need to build an e-commerce data model that’s scalable, flexible, and fast. Most off-the-shelf providers like Shopify and BigCommerce are built for small stores selling a few million dollars in orders per month, so many e-commerce retailers working at scale start to investigate creating a bespoke solution.

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10 Best Alternatives to Google Analytics in 2021

When you think of installing analytics, you probably reach for Google Analytics. And you wouldn’t be alone. The platform’s tight integration with SEO and the implication that using Google products is beneficial to ranking means that Google Analytics is the most commonly installed analytics solution globally.

Google Analytics isn’t a bad choice: it’s free, it’s fairly comprehensive, and it does indeed tie most SEO efforts up with a nice bow.

But Google Analytics is also slow, extremely bad for privacy — both yours and your users’ — and for many people, it’s too unwieldy, having grown organically over the years into a relatively complex UI.

Some alternatives are fast, privacy-friendly, and geared towards different specialisms. Today we’re rounding up the best…

1. Heap

Heap is an event-based analytics platform. That means you can tell not just how many people visited your site but what actions they took when they were there. This isn’t a unique proposition, but Heap is one of the best implementations.

Heap offers an auto-track tool, which is ideal for new installations because you can get up and running immediately and fine-tune the details later. That makes it great for startups, although it’s also the choice of major corporations like Microsoft.

Heap’s free plan includes 60k sessions per year and 12 months of data history, but when you outgrow that, the business plans start at $12,000/year.

2 ChartMogul

ChartMogul is geared towards SaaS that offer subscription plans, staking a claim as the world’s first subscription data platform.

Services like Buffer and Webflow use ChartMogul to monitor their revenue and analyze the ROI of changes to their features, design, and user experience.

Ideally suited for startups, ChartMogul pricing is based on monthly recurring revenue; it has a free plan for up to $10,000 MMR; after that, pricing starts at $100/month.

3. Fathom

Fathom is an awesome, privacy-first analytics solution. It offers a simple dashboard and is ideal for anyone looking for simple analytics information to verify business decisions.

Fathom is ideally suited to freelancers, or entrepreneurs with multiple projects, as it allows you to run multiple domains from a single account. Fathom is entirely cookieless, meaning you can ditch that annoying cookie notice. It’s GDPR, ePrivacy, PECR, CCPA, and COPPA compliant.

There’s a seven-day free trial; after that, Fathom starts at $14/month.

4. FullStory

FullStory is designed to help you develop engaging online products with an emphasis on user experience.

FullStory is a set of tools, making it ideal for large in-house teams or in-house teams working with outside agencies or freelancers. It pitches itself as a single source of truth from which everyone from the marketing department to the database engineers can draw their insights, helping digital teams rapidly iterate by keeping everyone in the same loop.

FullStory uses AI to track and interpret unexpected events, from rage clicks to traffic spikes, and breaks those events down to a dollar-cost, so you can instantly see where your interventions will have the most impact.

There’s a free plan for up to 1k sessions per month; once you outgrow that, you need to talk to the sales team for a quote.

5. Amplitude

Amplitude has one of the most user-friendly dashboards on this list, with tons of power behind it. For project managers trying to make science-based decisions about future development, it’s a godsend.

The downside with Amplitude is that to make the most of its powerful data connections, you need to pump a lot of data in. For that reason, Amplitude is best suited to sites that already have a substantial volume of traffic — among those customers are Cisco and PayPal.

Amplitude provides a free plan, with its core analytics and up to 10m tracked actions per month. For premium plans, you have to contact their sales team for a quote.

6. Mixpanel

Mixpanel is a little bit more than an analytics program, aiming to be a whole suite of web tools it has ventured into split testing and notifications.

Mixpanel is laser-focused on maximizing your sales funnel. One look at the dashboard, and you can see that Mixpanel, while very well designed, has too many features to present them simply; Mixpanel is ideally suited to agencies and in-house development teams with time to invest — you probably want to keep the CEO away from this one.

Mixpanel has a generous free plan for up to 100k monthly users, with its business plans starting at $25/month.

7. Mode

Mode is a serious enterprise-level solution for product intelligence and decision making.

Ideally suited to in-house teams, Mode allows you to monitor financial flow and output the results in investor-friendly reports. You can monitor your entire tech stack and, of course, understand how users are interacting with your product. Wondering who handles the analytics for Shopify? That would be Mode.

Mode has a free plan aimed at individuals, but this tool’s scope is really beyond freelancers, and the free plan’s only likely to appeal to high-price consultants and tech trouble-shooters. For the full business plan, you need to contact Mode’s sales team for a quote.

8. Microanalytics

Microanalytics is a relatively new analytics program with a lightweight, privacy-focused approach.

Microanalytics provides a simple dashboard with acquisitions, user location, technology, and the all-important event tracking to monitor user behavior. Microanalytics is compliant with the web’s most stringent privacy laws, including GDPR, PECR, and CCPA. The tracking code is just 1kb in size, meaning that you’ll hardly notice its footprint in your stats.

Microanalytics is free for up to 10k pageviews/month; after that, the monthly plan starts at $9.

9. GoSquared

GoSquared is another suite of tools, this time aimed at SaaS. Its primary product is its analytics, but it also includes live chat, marketing tools, and a team inbox.

If you’re tired of comparing multiple tools to help make the most of your startup, GoSquared kills several birds with one stone. Perhaps most importantly, if you’re beginning to build a team and don’t have any engineers onboard yet, GoSquared has an award-winning support team and an idiot-proof setup process.

GoSquared has a free plan that’s fine for evaluating the suite and integrating data from day one. As you begin to grow, paid plans start at $40/month.

10. Segment

Segment is a little different from the other analytics tools on this list; Segment is a layer that sits between your site and your analytics. It integrates with many of the tools on this list.

There are several benefits to this approach. The main one is that different teams within your enterprise can access analytics data in a form that suits them — designers can access complex data, and management can stick to revenue flow. It also means that you can switch analytics programs with a single setting in Segment and even migrate historical data into new apps. If you’re an enterprise that wants to future-proof its customer intelligence gathering, Segment is worth considering.

Segment is trusted by some of the web’s best-known names, from IBM to Levis, and…ahem…Google.

Segment is free for up to 1k visitors per month, and after that, the team plan starts at $120/month.

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5 Web Design Trends and Ideas for 2021

One of the few bright spots in 2020 has been the creativity companies and individuals alike have exhibited in dealing with what, at times, seemed to be overwhelming problems.

The world of web design was no different. Designers and agencies had to adapt and implement new color schemes or design new shopping experiences, which made some of the previous design trends not fit for the current design problems.

We’ll take a look at these newest design trends and the rationale behind them. As we do so, we’ll also take a look at some of BeTheme’s 600+ pre-built sites that have already put them to good use.

1. Comforting Color Palettes Lighten the Load

In years past, bolder color schemes were one of the hallmarks of web design trends. Their purpose was to quickly engage a visitor and prompt him or her to respond emotionally.

Given all the drama and turmoil we were subjected to through most of 2020, we’ve come to welcome the use of toned-down colors in marketing instead of the bolder, brasher, and more “in-your-face” color schemes. 

Bellroy’s website puts toned-down colors to good use. This company’s product line of wallets, bags, and the like, are designed to keep people’s belongings organized, safe, and secure. A wild color scheme simply wouldn’t be fitting.

How, then, are brightly-colored products dealt with? Thanks to judicious uses of white space and background photos, this website still emphasizes a toned-down color palette.

The BeSpa pre-built website is another example of a color scheme that almost immediately puts the mind at ease.

Calm and soothing? Yes.

Boring? Definitely not.

Comfort and security are the emotional drivers in this example.

2. Seamlessly Intermingle and Balance Physical and Digital Imagery

People confined to their homes because of Covid-based restrictions spent many more hours looking at their screens in 2020. Online programming began to take on the appearance of a reality show that blurred the boundaries between the real and the digital.

Whereas web designers tended in the past to rely on either photos or illustrations in their designs, these same designers have started to integrate these blurring effects into their designs, with results that range from amusing and quirky to highly informative.

Check out this example from fashion designer Constance Burke

It’s not every day you see real models wearing hand-drawn fashion sketches. But it’s just one example of how the physical can be blended with the digital.

The BeSki pre-built site does the same blending of the two, but in a totally different way:

The sections’ designs switch from predominantly physical to largely digital and back again, an excellent approach that provides a maximum amount of useful information.

It’s also worth noting how snowbanks are effectively used to seamlessly transition from one section to the next.

3. Create Well-Organized and Helpful Shopping Experiences

More people spending more time at home has created a surge in online shopping. As a result, many online store owners are now feeling the effects of increased competition.

Consumers look for brands they believe they can trust. At the same time, they want their online shopping experiences to be as quick and painless as possible. They look for (and expect) quick and effective product search capabilities, helpful and effective product displays, one-page product descriptions, and the like.

Walgreen’s product page design is especially well-suited for 2021 ecommerce shoppers: 

Everything shoppers usually need to know is presented above-the-fold. They can easily proceed to the next step or scroll down for reviews or additional product specifications. 

BePestControl’s pre-built website uses a similar product design approach: 

In this example, the main selling points are up-front and are kept short and sweet. The shopper can either hit the ‘Add to Cart’ button or look below the button for additional information.

In both examples, a visitor doesn’t have to mull over what step to take next since one of the design objectives is to make the shopping experience as easy and as satisfying as possible.

4. Take Advantage of the Benefits of User-Controlled Video Content

Once upon a time, video content was “the thing” to incorporate in a website. Hero background videos proved to be particularly engaging, and “how-to” videos presented much more useful information than illustrations or blocks of text could.

On the other hand, Auto-play videos, those that started on their own, all too often had a tendency to irritate rather than inform, especially when their content didn’t address a visitor’s immediate concern.

Thanks to Zoom and similar video platforms that came into widespread use in 2020 and to website designs that include video “Play” buttons, users have become much more comfortable with the medium. As an example, Shoppers have been given total control over if or when they want to view a given video. 

This is the design approach Payoneer has taken: 

The white “Pay” button is impossible to miss, and while it is designed to encourage a visitor to watch a testimonial, doing so is completely optional.

The BeOptics pre-built website cleverly slips in a video play option as well: 

In this example, when visitors hover over the “See More” button, it lets them know that they have the option to watch the video if they want to learn more.

5. Trust Builders Should be Non-Negotiable Web Design Elements

There are various ways in which products are organized or showcased in brick and mortar businesses to instill trust. Helpful and friendly staff also contribute to instilling trust.

Some of these trust-builders are easily incorporated into eCommerce designs. Others, though more difficult to fit in, can usually be satisfactorily addressed.

Digital trust builders can include.

  • Logos (familiar, whimsical, innovative, engaging)
  • Portfolios and/or product pages
  • Customer reviews, product ratings, and client testimonials
  • Case studies and product or price comparisons
  • Safety and security seals, e.g., Better Business Bureau, PayPal checkout
  • Charts, graphs, counters, and other data visualization techniques
  • Proof of social, charitable, or community-related actions and contributions

Put, trust-building content will beat hard-sell techniques every time, especially if you would like your customer base to include referred and repeat customers.

Omaze, for example, gives people entries for prizes based on their donations while at the same time highlighting the good things it and its donors have brought about.

To help build trust, the site devotes space to highlighting publications that have featured Omaze and the work it has done and is doing.

Plus, it puts data visualization and non-profit testimonials into play to give visitors an added insight into what is going on behind the scenes: 

As you can see, it doesn’t have to be difficult to incorporate genuine trust-building content into your website designs.

BePortfolio is a great example of how you might go about doing this for a portfolio site, whether it’s your own or a site for a client:

The home page alone has plenty of space for including trust-building content:

  • A satisfied customer counter
  • Product usage case studies and testimonial
  • Portfolio highlights
  • Client and partnership logos

And it can only get better as a visitor moves through the site, but only if you’ve chosen to make that happen.

Have You Started to Take These New Web Design Trends to Heart?

We’re not suggesting that you throw the baby out with the bathwater, but some trends will need to be discarded to enable you to adjust to a new normal. Other 2020 design trends, like minimalism and headline topography, are likely to remain popular for years to come.

New trends that incorporate calming color palettes, image blending, more efficient eCommerce UX designs, user-controlled video, and trust-building elements should give your customers the feeling of comfort and security they will be seeking in 2021.

If you want to implement some or all of these new trends in your 2021 website designs, BeTheme’s 600+ pre-built sites make doing so an easy task.

 

[– This is a sponsored post on behalf of BeTheme –]

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Upskilling de vos effectifs : de la stratégie à l’action

Un personnel polyvalent est essentiel pour surmonter les défis, notamment ceux liés au COVID-19. Les entreprises reconnaissent désormais l’importance de l’upskilling et du reskilling. Mais elles ne savent pas toujours comment procéder à grande échelle. Ou comment exploiter efficacement des technologies comme les learning management systems (LMS). Si les collaborateurs peuvent accéder à une pléthore de formations, certifications et badges, de nombreux dirigeants peinent encore à discerner ce qui aura le plus d’impact.

Beaucoup d’organisations ont démontré leur capacité à faire basculer leurs salariés en télétravail presque du jour au lendemain. Alors que les entreprises commencent à s’adapter à cette nouvelle réalité, on peut se demander comment progresser sur d’autres problématiques. Comme celle de l’apprentissage sur le lieu de travail. Avec des solutions et des technologies innovantes les dirigeants étudient la meilleure façon d’y parvenir, en évaluant comment communiquer de manière authentique, recueillir des insights et mettre en œuvre des formations plus efficaces.

Parallèlement à une stratégie des effectifs, les entreprises peuvent suivre les étapes suivantes pour soutenir la formation et le développement de leurs collaborateurs.

collaborateur au bureau

1. Déterminer les déficits de compétences et anticiper les besoins à long terme

Après avoir déterminé leurs objectifs et évalué plusieurs scénarios, les entreprises élaborent une stratégie des effectifs adaptée. Pour la déployer, une étape clé est de combler l’écart entre les compétences que vos collaborateurs ont déjà et celles qu’ils doivent acquérir. De nombreuses entreprises, lorsqu’elles s’adaptent à l’incertitude économique, évaluent ces écarts tout en déterminant s’il faut réduire les effectifs. Aussi important soit-il de réfléchir aux besoins d’aujourd’hui, considérer les besoins en effectifs et compétences pour les 5 à 10 prochaines années est tout aussi central, si ce n’est plus. Si certaines compétences techniques deviennent rapidement caduques, d’autres, comme le leadership, représentent un investissement pour l’avenir. Il a également été démontré qu’un programme de formation solide aide à attirer et retenir les meilleurs talents.

La première étape dans l’élaboration d’une stratégie de gestion des talents est l’identification des emplois et des carrières qui nécessiteront l’upskilling des collaborateurs. Par exemple, de nombreux emplois seront reconfigurés avec des technologies telles que l’intelligence artificielle (IA). Les organisations devraient commencer par identifier les tâches essentielles à la croissance et à l’amélioration de l’expérience client. Ensuite, elles devraient identifier les ressources nécessaires pour les accomplir. Ressources qui incluent notamment les machines intelligentes et salariés requalifiés. Les nouvelles descriptions de poste devraient refléter le besoin de ces collaborateurs plus stratégiques et créatifs. Dans le cadre du recrutement, les technologies RH peuvent aujourd’hui aider les entreprises à prédire la réussite en évaluant la personnalité et les capacités cognitives des candidats.

De plus, pour évaluer en continu les compétences des collaborateurs, il faut envisager de développer une bibliothèque des compétences. Une base de données de ce que les salariés doivent savoir et des compétences qu’ils doivent posséder pour performer dans leurs fonctions. Dans un sens, il s’agit de descriptions de postes basées sur les compétences.

2. Interroger les collaborateurs

Les plates-formes technologiques RH peuvent recueillir des données en temps réel sur l’expérience des collaborateurs et les objectifs business, afin d’aider les entreprises à bien prioriser en matière d’upskilling. En interrogeant les collaborateurs, elles peuvent diagnostiquer les compétences actuelles d’une personne et recueillir des informations sur les compétences adjacentes.

Comprendre les besoins d’un collaborateur est essentiel, non seulement pour la stratégie d’upskilling, mais aussi pour améliorer l’expérience employé et la fidélisation. Pour de meilleurs résultats à long terme, les entreprises devraient aligner leurs efforts d’upskilling sur les plans de carrière des collaborateurs et leur développement. Un personnel heureux est souvent un personnel productif. Des recherches ont montré que les collaborateurs sont souvent « au mieux de leur carrière » lorsque leurs talents, leurs passions et les besoins de l’entreprise sont alignés.

3. Tenir compte des compétences, des connaissances et de l’expérience

Dans certains domaines, l’acquisition et le transfert des connaissances sont tout aussi importants que les compétences. Bien que les data scientists puissent être très demandés pour intégrer les technologies d’IA dans une entreprise, il n’est pas toujours suffisant qu’un collaborateur cherche à obtenir une certification en data science pour assurer la fonction. Les candidats devront avoir une connaissance approfondie des mathématiques ou de l’informatique pour comprendre le fonctionnement des algorithmes. Lorsque les entreprises n’ont pas la taille, la crédibilité ou l’expertise nécessaires dans certains domaines, elles peuvent s’associer à des institutions, organisations académiques ou professionnelles, pour une formation personnalisée.

Un cadre d’apprentissage largement référencé, le modèle « 70-20-10 », encourage les entreprises à promouvoir 70 % de l’apprentissage par l’expérience, 20 % par autrui (mentorat, coaching), et 10 % par la formation formelle. Mais le modèle peut être pondéré selon les domaines et compétences. Par exemple, les pilotes de ligne ont des exigences différentes selon la licence qu’ils souhaitent obtenir, notamment privée ou commerciale. Beaucoup estiment qu’une formation rigoureuse et formelle devrait peser plus de 10 % dans de nombreux domaines.

4. Repenser, remodeler et rééquiper les RH pour soutenir un processus d’apprentissage continu

L’une des clés d’une stratégie des effectifs réussie consiste à diffuser une culture de l’apprentissage. Les collaborateurs peuvent manquer de temps pour suivre une formation de deux heures. Heureusement la technologie, des applications aux systèmes de gestion de la formation (LMS), permet aux collaborateurs d’acquérir des compétences et de partager des connaissances entre eux par le biais d’un upskilling itératif. Ces capsules de formation peuvent prendre la forme de vidéos d’apprentissage de 10 minutes, au format « snacking », qu’ils peuvent visionner aussi bien hors ligne et sur smartphone qu’à la maison.

L’époque où les entreprises donnaient la priorité aux compétences de base et assignaient des sessions de formation à leurs collaborateurs est révolue. Aujourd’hui, les dirigeants peuvent tirer parti des technologies et des écosystèmes pour permettre aux collaborateurs de piloter leur propre apprentissage. Des outils personnalisables qui utilisent l’IA et le machine learning peuvent par exemple fournir une formation, un coaching et des feedbacks personnalisés.

5. Motiver les collaborateurs en les aidant à suivre leurs progrès

Il n’y a pas de modèle unique pour l’upskilling. Au lieu de proposer des plans de formation normatifs, les dirigeants devraient, pour une formation et un développement professionnel réussis, lire les signaux émis par leurs employés.

Grâce à des plans de développement des collaborateurs personnalisés et à l’apprentissage social, les collaborateurs peuvent rester engagés et concentrés grâce à la mise en réseau virtuelle et au mentorat, tandis que les managers les motivent pour atteindre les objectifs. Pour soutenir un personnel en distanciel, les messageries instantanées et les social boards peuvent être très utiles pour retrouver la dynamique collective. Parmi les autres techniques de motivation, on peut citer la gamification associée à des récompenses financières ou des cartes-cadeaux. Et les derniers learning management systems (LMS) permettent aux entreprises de délivrer, de suivre et de gérer le contenu, les certifications et les données des collaborateurs comme une source unique d’enregistrement de l’apprentissage.

Suivant la tendance croissante au partage et à la consommation d’information sur les médias sociaux, de nombreuses personnes s’attendent à avoir la maîtrise du moment et de la façon dont elles apprennent. Et encourager les collaborateurs à créer et à contribuer à leur propre contenu d’apprentissage en créant leurs propres « playlists d’apprentissage» leur permet de devenir, en matière de formation, leur propre patron. Et cela ouvre les portes du progrès individuel.

Grâce à une stratégie des effectifs qui s’aligne sur les objectifs stratégiques, les entreprises peuvent appliquer ces mesures pratiques pour identifier les opportunités de reskilling et les déficits à combler. Grâce à une amélioration de l’expérience et des résultats relatifs au reskilling, les entreprises peuvent soutenir un personnel à l’épreuve du temps. 

L’évolution des réalités dans le monde entier – de la modification des chaînes d’approvisionnement aux business models – a un impact sur toutes les entreprises. Celles qui peuvent réorienter leur personnel pourront relever les défis de l’avenir.

Publié en anglais sur insights.sap.com

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Source de l’article sur sap.com

Build a REST API with Node.js and HarperDB

If you are building an application using Node.js, it can get a little overwhelming since there are a variety of databases to choose from and different ways to build APIs. One way to reduce development time and focus on the problem you are trying to solve is to use a Database as a service to store the data. The advantage of this approach is to use a cloud database system without purchasing hardware which can be cost and time-effective.

One such database service is HarperDB Cloud. To build REST APIs rapidly this service allows us to perform all database operations using a single endpoint. It supports a variety of programming languages such as JavaScript, Java, Python, and so on. Some of the features of HarperDB are the following:

Source de l’article sur DZONE