Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Windows will be relevant again, thanks to AI

A great article arguing that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a platform shift and how Microsoft's bet on AI will bring back Windows to the forefront. It discusses the possibilities of AI on Windows and its potential to manifest the new paradigm in various applications. This marks a significant change from the past when Windows was relegated to backseat.

Microsoft's focus on AI, particularly its partnership with OpenAI, will be the next growth driver for the company. AI integration in Microsoft's productivity apps, such as Microsoft Teams, offers a compelling reason for customers and startups to choose the Microsoft ecosystem.

Friday, May 19, 2023

Data Literacy

Data literacy is becoming increasingly important in today's data-driven world, where vast amounts of information are generated and used to drive business, scientific, and societal decisions. Data literacy refers to the ability to understand, interpret, and effectively communicate with data. It encompasses the skills and knowledge required to read, analyze, evaluate, and make decisions based on data.

Data literacy involves several key components:

  1. Data Awareness: Understanding the types of data available, their sources, and their limitations. This includes recognizing different data formats (e.g., structured, unstructured), understanding data collection methods, and being aware of potential biases or errors in the data.
  2. Data Analysis: Having the ability to work with data using various analytical techniques. This includes skills in data cleaning, data transformation, data visualization, and basic statistical analysis. Data literacy involves being able to identify patterns, trends, and insights from data.
  3. Data Interpretation: Being able to draw meaningful conclusions from data and make informed decisions. Data literacy involves understanding how data can be used to answer specific questions, solve problems, and support decision-making processes. This includes recognizing the limitations of data and being aware of potential pitfalls or misinterpretations.
  4. Data Communication: Effectively conveying insights and findings from data to others. This involves the ability to present data visually through charts, graphs, and other visualizations, as well as explaining complex concepts in a clear and understandable manner. Data literacy also includes being able to effectively communicate data-driven insights to non-technical audiences.
  5. Ethics and Privacy: Recognizing the ethical implications and privacy concerns associated with data. Data literacy involves understanding the importance of data privacy, data protection regulations, and ethical considerations when collecting, using, and sharing data.

Data literacy is not limited to data scientists or analysts. It is increasingly becoming a critical skill for professionals across various domains, including business, marketing, healthcare, education, and government. By developing data literacy skills, individuals can make more informed decisions, drive innovation, and effectively leverage the power of data in their respective fields.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Metrics to Track for an IT Service Consulting Business

Here are some metrics that an IT service consulting business may want to track:

  1. Billable hours: This measures how many hours your consultants are spending on billable work for clients. It's important to track this metric to ensure that your team is working efficiently and effectively.
  2. Utilization rate: This measures the percentage of billable hours worked compared to total available hours. A high utilization rate means that your team is working efficiently and generating revenue for the business.
  3. Client satisfaction: This measures how satisfied your clients are with the services provided by your consulting business. It's important to track this metric to ensure that your clients are happy and to identify areas for improvement.
  4. Sales pipeline: This measures the number of potential sales opportunities in the pipeline and their estimated value. It's important to track this metric to ensure that you have a healthy sales pipeline and to identify any areas for improvement in your sales process.
  5. Revenue growth: This measures the growth in revenue over time. It's important to track this metric to ensure that your business is growing and to identify any areas for improvement in your sales and marketing efforts.
  6. Employee satisfaction: This measures how satisfied your employees are with their work and the company culture. It's important to track this metric to identify any issues with employee retention and to create a positive work environment.
  7. Profit margin: This measures the percentage of revenue that is left over after all expenses have been paid. It's important to track this metric to ensure that your business is profitable and to identify areas for cost savings.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR)

Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) is a metric used by businesses that offer subscription-based services to measure the total amount of revenue they generate from their recurring monthly subscriptions. It's a way to track the predictable revenue stream that comes from subscription-based business models.

To calculate MRR, you take the total number of customers you have and multiply it by the monthly subscription fee for each customer.

For example, let's say a software company has 100 customers, each paying $50 per month for the service. Their MRR would be $5,000 (100 customers x $50 per month).

MRR is an important metric for subscription-based businesses because it provides a more predictable and stable revenue stream than one-time purchases or variable sales. It can also help businesses to forecast revenue and make decisions about growth and investment. By tracking changes in MRR over time, businesses can gain insights into their customer acquisition and retention strategies and identify areas for improvement.

Monday, March 27, 2023

Net Dollar Retention (NDR)

Net Dollar Retention (NDR) is a metric used by businesses to measure how much revenue they are able to retain from their existing customers over a given period of time. It's calculated by dividing the total revenue generated from existing customers at the end of a period by the total revenue generated from those same customers at the beginning of that period.

NDR is important for businesses because it shows how effective they are at keeping their customers and generating repeat business. A high NDR means that customers are happy with the company's product or service and are willing to continue buying from them, which can lead to more revenue and growth in the long run.

For example, let's say a company starts a quarter with $100,000 in revenue from existing customers, and by the end of the quarter, they have generated $110,000 in revenue from those same customers. If we divide $110,000 by $100,000 and multiply by 100, we get an NDR of 110%.

NDR is sometimes also referred to as Net Revenue Retention (NRR).

A high NDR means that a business is able to retain a significant amount of revenue from their existing customer base over time. This can be a positive sign for investors, as it suggests that the business has a loyal customer base and is able to generate recurring revenue. On the other hand, a low NDR may indicate that a business is struggling to retain customers and may need to focus on improving customer satisfaction or retention strategies.

Image by brgfx on Freepik

Monday, November 18, 2013

Project Manager Role in Agile Development

Agile project management often puts the traditional project manager in a difficult position. He or she is told, for example, to make scope/schedule tradeoff decisions knowing that a product manager or customer might second-guess those decisions if the project goes poorly.

Agile acknowledges this difficult position, and distributes the traditional project manager's responsibilities. What is agile about this new paradigm is that many of these duties, such as task assignment and day-to-day project decisions, revert back to the team, where they rightfully belong.

Responsibility for scope and schedule tradeoff goes to the product owner. Quality management becomes a responsibility shared among the team, a product owner and ScrumMaster. Other traditional tasks are distributed as well among a team’s agile project management roles.

In a very large agile project with 200 to 500 – even 1,000 people, we must introduce more points of coordination and agile project management than small-scale implementation.

To coordinate the work of many teams, larger projects sometimes include the role of a traditional "project manager." While involving someone on the project with this title or background can be very helpful, we need to be careful of the baggage associated with the project manager title.

Even on a very large agile project, the team will still do much of the project management. For example, teams decide how to allocate tasks, not a project manager; so the project manager role becomes more of a project coordinator.

Duties would include allocating and tracking the budget; communicating with outside stakeholders, contractors and others; maintaining the risk census with guidance from the teams, ScrumMasters and product owners; and so on. This is a true agile project management role.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Aik Alif by Bulleh Shah

Parh parh ilm te faazil hoya
Te kaday apnay aap nu parhya ee na
(You read to become all knowledgeable
But you never read yourself)
You read so many books to know it all,
yet fail to ever read your heart at all.
Bhaj bhaj warna ay mandir maseeti
Te kaday mann apnay wich warya ee na
(You run to enter temples and mosques
But you never entered your own heart)
You rush to holy shrines to play a part,
Would you dare enter the shrine of your heart
Larna ay roz shaitaan de naal
Te kadi nafs apnay naal larya ee na
(Everyday you fight Satan
But you never fight your own Ego)
You are quick to attack the evil one,
yet pride is a battle you have not won.
Bulleh Shah asmaani ud-deya pharonda ay
Te jera ghar betha unoon pharya ee na
(Bulleh Shah you try grabbing that which is in the sky
But you never get hold of What sits inside you)
You grab for a star you can control,
yet fail to grasp the light in your soul.
Bas kareen o yaar
(Stop it all my friend)
Let the race end, my friend

Via FAiz