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What is it? Do we actually know what we mean? how do we get it, how do we use it?

IT's A Matter Of Trust

The Isle of Man Government has launched an online survey to inform its Digital Strategy - basically a survey about what we think of Government’s current online services, what other services they might provide online, and how they handle the data we provide through online services. Ours is not the the only Government hoping to increase their provision of services through digital channels, many others are treading the same path including our neighbour to the East which has a “Digital By Default” programme both to make services available to the public via the web, and to make the web the preferred means of accessing those services.

Read more: IT's A Matter Of Trust

Are You Accessible?

We all use the Internet, in particular the World Wide Web. Your business probably has a website, and it’s quite possible that someone checks the website analytics on a regular basis to see how many visitors the site is getting and how popular it is. Websites have become important expositions of our products and services, and for many companies the website is now the primary interface with the customer. 

Which begs the question, how do people see yours? Does it work for those who visit it?

Read more: Are You Accessible?

What Is Big Data?

Last year – yes really it was only last year – a new IT buzzphrase came to the fore, “Big Data”. Whilst those working with the analysis of very large data sets had been using the phrase for a while it was less than two years ago that it started to invade the public consciousness. As with many ‘new’ IT concepts understanding is  vague about what big data is (an acquaintance once collated 37 different definitions of another IT buzzphrase “The Cloud”), but basically it refers to a collection of data so big that it is very difficult or impossible to “mine” with the technology we currently possess in our organisation. By “mine” we mean digging into the data to extract value from it, commonly called “data mining”.

Read more: What Is Big Data?

The Insecurity of Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi is often not very secure. Most IT professionals know this, but many smaller organisations can't afford to employ dedicated IT professionals and consequently leave themselves exposed to hacking and data theft. Recently SBA's Steve Burrows took a walk in a busy commercial centre with Jason Roberts, a reporter from Manx Radio. 

Read more: The Insecurity of Wi-Fi

The Data Goldmine

Years ago I worked in a company that had a small CRM system called Goldmine. It did, quite literally, live up to its name. We were so successful that we outgrew it and eventually had to upgrade, we spent c. £500,000 on our next CRM system and got the money back in three months as increased profits. Sounds incredible, but the reality is that most companies don’t sweat their data assets effectively; it’s expensive, hard work, and there are inevitably troublesome techies involved to whom we need to explain the business side in words of one syllable. Which is a pity really, because gathering and analysing customer data is, even though CRM has been around for over 20 years, a real game changer - but don’t take my word for it:

Read more: The Data Goldmine

It’s all in the Meta Data

Meta data has been in the news lately. The NSA’s Prism programme and GCHQ’s Tempora programme have hit the headlines thanks to the revelations of Edward Snowden, and both the US and UK governments have been forced to attempt to reassure their respective publics. Their assurances have all been along the lines of “we’re not reading your emails or listening to your calls, we’re just filtering meta data”. So no harm there then, meta data is harmless, right? Wrong. 

Read more: It’s all in the Meta Data

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