FileTrail

Business Intelligence Makes for Smart Businesses

Business Intelligence, or BI, is a concept that usually involves the delivery and integration of business information in an organization that can be useful for making decisions. Every organization has multiple departments, and each database may only contain information that is relevant to its own department.  Business Intelligence involves the use of customer information, sales data, statistics, product movement, profitability, etc. Companies use BI to detect significant events and identify and monitor business trends in order to adapt quickly to their changing environment and a scenario. If you use effective business intelligence training in your organization, you can improve the decision making processes at all levels of management and improve your tactical strategic management processes.

Regardless of whether you run an established and successful business, or a new startup, your organization needs the ability to make informed decisions through proper data analysis.

1. Boost productivity. Through traditional data gathering methods, users need to compile and analyze data and write related reports. This can be incredibly time consuming, especially for small businesses that may not have the employees to do it. With a BI program, you can pull data and create the reports at the click of a button thus freeing up time and resources allowing employees to be more productive on their own tasks.

2. To gain sales & market intelligence. A CRM is a useful tool for sales and marketing people. A CRM solution collects data about clients and presents it in a way for you to solution collects the data about your customers and tries to make sense of it. You get insights on new prospects, existing customers, and post sales services. 

3. Results closer to established goals. How many times have you established a set of seemingly reasonable goals for a project or other venture, only to end up with an outcome that is drastically different? With BI you can keep track of information, and have it accessible by parties that need it, when they need it. BI goes a long way in helping achieving what you aim for.

4. Return on Investment BI will help a company decrease operating costs and lower overhead costs. For example, if a company is looking to save on storage costs, they are able to see a visual chart of how much they have saved this year compared to previous years. Companies are able to better dictate if they are on track with their new goals and projections. 

5. Gain insights into consumer behavior. One of the main advantages of investing in BI and skilled personnel is the fact that it will boost your ability to analyze the current consumer buying trends. Once you understand what your consumers are buying, you can use this information to develop products that match the current consumption trends and consequently improve your profitability.

6. To improve visibility.  If you want to improve your control over various important processes in your organization, Business Intelligence will improve the visibility of important processes in your organization and make it possible to identify areas that could use improvement.  

7. Turn information into actionable information. A BI system is an analytical tool that can give you the insight you need to make successful strategic plans for your organization. This is because such a system would be able to identify key trends and patterns in your organization’s data and consequently make it easier for you to make important connections between different areas of your business that may otherwise seem unrelated.

Data must be configured to display trends and statistics. Data visualization makes data legible and allows the user to be able to decipher the meaning of it. Business Intelligence Dashboard displays reports on what the company is doing and it shows a breakdown of how each department is doing. Businesses are able to get a centralized view of where they are saving money, and where they are spending too much. 

There are so many important parts to a business, and even though some parts appear to be silos, every part ties into one another. It is important to understand these subtle connections and look at your organization's data from a centralized view through data analytics. It's understanding the subtle connections that can make the difference between a company that excels to the top of the market, and one that makes poor decisions due to not using its data to the fullest potential. 

 

6 Ways Information Governance Uncovers Valuable Data

Information governance makes a positive contribution to businesses. Businesses can leverage information governance to create new income by using big data mining techniques to acquire valuable corporate data.

The maximum value of big data is realized when the output of computing is efficient at creating new wealth. It is important to find meaningful data among a bulk of information. That way businesses can see the bottom line benefits of making the business case for big data governance.

Ultimately, information governance should be "the rules-based management of digital information that connects to the advancing, the wealth creation, and wealth preservation goals of an organization.” The key is to uncover hidden data through big data mining because this can help efficiently filter data to find what is actually worth taking a look at.

For big data analytics to be successful, information governance rules must be followed closely by every person in an organization. Think of big data analytics as a machine, where the engines are performing calculations on the numbers, but they can only do this with correct input -- the data has to qualify, it has to meet the rules that are useful for the engine to compare to find the patterns, and if the data does not qualify, it is useless.

1. Data must conform to rules

Information must be first validated. Then data needs to be compared with the rules in order to decide whether or not to pass it through to the analytics engines that are being operated.

2. Locate sources of new data

This includes warehouse data, graph data, text data and multimedia data. Event record logs, where every machine and application creates records of how they perform their function, are also an important part of information governance because they allow information governance officers to see what has happened to the data. Records can hold important information such as who used what device to type specific keystrokes, and what authentication sequences were carried out.

3. Establish rules for defining event logs

The information governance process should be seen as a front-end process rather than a back-end one. It is important for information governance experts to be involved in making the rules for governing information and handling data provenance. The systems being used today are designed and engineered without the realization of how to utilize their output -- their performance data and event logs, to create new channels of revenue.

4. Data provenance aligns with the rules you set

Data provenance is the records of the entities, people and processes involved in producing a piece of data. It is important because it allows information to be more easily identified as being what it purports to be. Understanding the data’s provenance makes the data much more valuable.

5. Provenance chains together to improve the value of data for analytics

Data provenance improves the value of information intelligence by eliminating excess validation. The validation exercise requires checking the metadata. It chains together so that the result is the net outbound data coming through systems that have been enhanced with information governance policies.

6. Effective information governance requires engineering the information life cycle

This helps with the business’s efficiency. Information governance should be a part of the engineering life cycle because this will allow for opportunities to discuss each data asset’s revenue opportunity.

 

The Dark Overlord

Last year, the biggest breach in healthcare occurred at the second largest insurer in the US-Anthem. The names, social security numbers, addresses, emails, employment info, and income data was stolen.

As of this week, there has been another data breach from an anonymous hacker who goes by the name of thedarkoverlord. This hacker has breached 3 different healthcare databases ranging from 50,000 to 400,000 patients and is offering to sell patients’ medical records.

Each and every employee of an organization has a trail of records, documenting information from the moment they are hired to the moment they leave. Organizations must understand the responsibility they have to protect both their client and employee information. Healthcare is an industry where they have had trouble keeping information confidential. The best defense mechanism against hackers is to implement security measures through an ECM – one with specific requirements, that is.

PICKING THE RIGHT ECM

Your ECM should also provide document authentication, integrity and privacy. It should be able to encrypt data and documents in a way that makes them only accessible through using the ECM directly.

1.      Your ECM should have access controls for admins to put permissions on users. A hacker would need to crack the admin level access in order to change the permissions.

2.      A retention tool that allows for records managers to destroy or archive documents so that confidential information is not sitting around when it shouldn’t be.

3.      Audit trails and reporting tools to show transparency for all user activity and changes to documents.

4.      Disaster recovery capabilities – your ECM data should all be backed up in case of a disaster so that your information is preserved.

5.      E-signatures in order to verify the authenticity of the documents and specify the owner of the documents.

Apart from internal ECM features, there are a few things you can do to add another layer of security to your organization:

1.      check for 3rd-party security audits

2.      ensure that each software release is scanned with a professional security tool

3.      optionally, contract for your own 3rd-party audit

If your company does not currently have an ECM or is running on an outdated one, chances are, you probably have already experienced a data breach. It’s time you migrate your data to a modern solution. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a foolproof security system, but with an ECM, chances of hackers breaking into your database to steal information are much slimmer.

 

 

Operational Agility Through Updates

How has Tesla set itself apart from other auto manufacturers and created its own niche of the electric automobile industry? The answer lies in a simple software update.  Tesla was able to alter the performance of their cars by applying an over the air patch.  This allows them to respond to problems or new situations much quicker than other cars.

OUR NEXT-GENERATION SOLUTION

FileTrail has positioned itself like Tesla in this regard. Our scripted and agile upgrade process allows the client to update their FileTrail software so easily that applying a patch or new release feels as smooth as butter. The process involves simply downloading a file to your server and logging into FileTrail. Because we have streamlined the process, our development team is able to respond immediately to new situations and problems.

Further, because a solution can be distributed quickly, the problem can be solved for all other clients before they even encounter it. We release a series of small incremental changes, making it much easier on the user community, rather than massive changes that accumulate over years. Our consistent and timely updates provide a smooth transition for our users as opposed to jarring changes that make the system feel unfamiliar.

OUR COMMITMENT TO THE USER

Our approach to upgrading is the result of our foundational commitment to the client experience.  Since our founding, we have focused on consistently having a migration path for clients, implementing enhancements based off client feedback. We have made it easy for clients to stay current and benefit from all the latest enhancements.  That is why our software upgrades are available at no extra cost. These results stand in stark contrast to the traditional approach by software companies.  Typically, software releases are few and far between.  The process for applying an upgrade can be a daunting task, and often involves custom work, ranging from $20k – $25k in charges.  The changes are dramatic and create a lot of change management issues in the client organization. 

However, it can be even worse.  Some products never have new releases, even though the clients pay for the product’s maintenance fees year after year.  Or, the releases that come out every 5 years have only minor improvements or are only cosmetic facelifts, like getting to this decade’s color scheme.  But, no matter how much lipstick you apply, the pig is still a pig.

EVOLUTION OF OLD WORLD TECHNOLOGY

The old world approach of planning large and infrequent releases is out of step with the way technology works today and the way releases are planned for modern applications.  Think of all the change that is happening that would be missed or delayed by a long release cycle.  Here is what you would have missed…

Today Touchscreen and High Def technology have become economical alternatives to the traditional screen, making UI design much more important. At FileTrail, we have designed a modern and straightforward user interface for our clients. 

Along with making superficial changes, technology has become more efficient and reliable through the invention of the Cloud. Not only have we beautified the face of traditional records management software, but we have revolutionized its inner workings as well. Here is a brief overview of the evolution of the Cloud:

In 1 year, Organizations started using the Cloud, resulting in sales growth approaching 50% annually for Cloud solutions.

In 2 years, people started using their smart phones for work much more than ever before. 

In 3 years, the tablet became a viable alternative to the laptop or notebook PC in the office.

In 4 years, businesses started using cloud document solutions like Office 365, Google Docs, etc.

In 5 years, Windows applications became history as browser-based applications became commonplace.

Given the pace of change for the business organization today, how can a software vendor provide value to their clients when releases happen every 5 to 7 years?

The New Silk Road

Imagine what it would be like to go from LA to SF in 35 minutes, London to Paris in 15, or Dubai to Abu Dhabi in 20?

Well the Hyperloop One team is taking us all one step closer to achieving the luxury of traveling faster than a jet plane, that is, over 760 mph on the ground. Hyperloop One took a trip to the Nevada desert last week for the Hyperloop Propulsion Open Air Test, where they built a track to test high-speed electric motors.

The Hyperloop technology was invented out of frustration with California’s plan to build a bullet train between San Francisco and Los Angeles, which would have been the slowest and most expensive bullet train per mile. Travel between two major California cities requires a quick and efficient mode of transportation, making Hyperloop One’s test run last week a major milestone in technology.

FILETRAIL'S SILK ROAD

FileTrail has changed the face of records management in the same way Hyperloop One has revolutionized transportation FileTrail was started in 2000 out of the frustration of implementing Windows software that had to be installed on every desktop and big-stack software companies that made it difficult for their customers to select the best of breed. 

Because of this, we vowed to put the customer before profits.  That meant that every process had to be easy to use so that we didn’t need a thick manual. Improvement would be continual, using customer feedback. Every client would have an easy migration path so they can stay current with the latest enhancements, and integration would be built with any vendors who delivered the best value to the customer in their area. 

THE STANDARD FOR AM 250 LAW FIRMS

The result is a powerful and modern browser-based solution that works both on-premise and in the Cloud, which has tools to integrate with best of breed systems in DM, Intake, Conflicts, Holds, and more.  Our focus on the customer has led the FileTrail product to a place where Records Management staff provide better services to the firm, management has access to on-demand graphical reporting to support decisions, and IT no longer bears the burden of desktop installation and support.

Because of this start, FileTrail is the new Records Management standard for the top 250 AM Law firms. While Hyperloop One is achieving great improvements in transportation, we are achieving great things for large law firms.

Read about how you can test drive the FileTrail solution at no cost in the FileTrail Sandbox blog below.