Real Estate Agent Assistant Agreement

Using an assistant agreement is vital when hiring a real estate assistant. It should describe the working relationship between you and the assistant. The first thing you should consider is whether he or she is an employee or working as an independent contractor. If you choose to have an employee you have to deduct taxes, social security and unemployment insurance from their pay. This involves a lot of record keeping on your part plus the added expenses you incur by having an employee…

So after consideration most agents that hire assistants choose the independent contractor status. You do not have to do any of the withholding. You just have to provide a 1099 form. There is no salary only a commission or fee as payment or services rendered payment. This fee will also be deductible on your taxes as an expense.. It would be wise to check with your accountant to see how to handle the payment schedule.

You should hire an assistant that has an active real estate license because if they don’t have one it will limit them to doing only what an unlicensed person can do. This will make a very big difference because there are many tasks that need a licensed agent to perform. Some of the requirements you should consider when interviewing an assistant would be having computer skills in programs such as Microsoft word, excel or comparable programs. If they don’t have a laptop computer you may have to provide one. Although it’s an expense the investment will prove well worth it.

Let’s talk about what else an agreement should do.

  • Define the work hours
  • Define commission or payment services
  • Explain what duties you expect from an assistant
  • Assist with showings
  • Assist with market value reports
  • Go on market value report appointments with you
  • Set Appointments
  • Do open houses
  • Record keeping
  • Mailings
  • Hand out flyers
  • Place signs for open houses
  • Make phone calls on your behalf
  • Prospecting for new business
  • Review the daily updates on the MLS
  • Preview new listings
  • Meet all of your clients and customers
  • A team player attitude

You must determine a payment schedule of how much, when and how often the assistant should expect payment. Your business growth should have a direct effect on commission increases for the assistant. A confidentially clause is important to have in your agreement. The assistant must know that what goes on between both of you stays confidential. Having this all on paper will set the guidelines. Your assistant will know their job description and their duties.. A real estate assistant agreement should protect both parties.

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Business Intelligence – What to Analyze?

Business intelligence or BI refers to skills, processes, technologies, applications and practices used to support business decision-making.

Several factors are analyzed in the process of making high quality decisions. Customers, competitors, business partners, economic environment and forecasts, and internal operations data all play a part in the business intelligence dynamic.

Customers: By collecting customer data, either (POS) Point-of-Sale or surveys and polls owners and managers can use this data to make important business decisions in marketing, budgeting, inventory, demographic targeting, and much more.

Competition: Competitive analysis can help your business in two major ways. First, by analyzing your competitors, you can take the very best of their ideas, and if you're not doing them, add them to your business mix. In addition, knowing each competitor well, allows you to look for areas where you can make your business stand out from them.

Partners : Making sure to use a careful selection process in selecting partners, and that all of your partners deliver on a timely, professional basis and offer affordable prices are keys to making your business run smoothly. Your business is only as good as the company it keeps, so make sure careful pro-active analysis and ongoing assessment is done on partner performance and consistency.

Environment: The economic landscape and especially that of your own particular industry are very important areas of business intelligence to focus on. By analyzing the economic climate, and making your business flexible enough to change with the times to keep up, you can use business intelligence to stay ahead of your competitors who are not keeping up-to-date.

Internal Analysis: Internally, you should analyze your businesses weaknesses and strengths often.Assets, liabilities, credits and debits also need regularly monitoring. (KPI) Key Performance Indicators are one of the most common ways businesses today measure their progress. KPI analysis can be done on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, bi-annual, or yearly basis. Business intelligence can help you decide which schedule is right for your company. KPI gives businesses a way of analyzing data, and forming strategies based on that analysis.

Many businesses use outside IT consultants to help them develop a "digital dashboard" to monitor all of their business intelligence data from one central focus point. An outside IT expert can help you design and carry out a network approach, where all BI technologies are able to community with each other, both inside and outside the business. Companies need assurance that they have a sound business intelligence infrastructure in place first, though. A business intelligence consultant can also help your business with this step.

Without a good BI plan, you are doing business in an information vacuum. It is a crucial part of starting, operating and preparing your business for changes. In the years to come, it is those businesses that outwit their competitors through flexibility, competitive analysis, and quick retrieval of crucial data that will stand the test of time.

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Healthy Living For a Healthy Life

Having a healthy living is the most important factor in our life. Most of us know that living with a healthy body is the best path to live happy, to feel better, and to look better. Healthy living will lead us to the point where we can enjoy life to the fullest until we grow old and will never experience anything that might harm us or give us pain.

In this article, we will take you in the world of healthy living and healthy lifestyle. It is very simple and yet it provides you the easiest way on how to develop yourself up for a better and healthy person. In addition, we will provide you essential information that can be incorporated to your everyday life.

At present, most of the people in the world have fear of different diseases, and we are commonly looking for the best prevention. One of the best preventive measures to avoid disease is a healthy diet. Remember that prevention is better than cure; this famous line can be applied to anything in this world.

Eating healthy foods is a vital factor to be away from some immeasurable diseases and to have a good condition of our body. Each one of us knows that eating healthy and having a regular exercise will leads us to a healthy lifestyle. There are a lot of healthy recipes that can be seen in some health magazines.

These healthy living magazines can be purchased from any bookstore in your locality as well as healthy living catalogs where you also find the guidelines of the food pyramid.

Speaking of food pyramid, it is a group of food that tells the importance of eating a variety of food that we need every single day. It shows the food that we need to eat less, and those that should be eaten much too. To name one, carbohydrates is the most important food in the pyramid that we should take because it gives us more energy for our everyday tasks, next are the fruits and vegetables group which is high in protein.

However, bear in mind that too much is not good and will have a bad result. Eat only that is necessary and avoid eating food that is more in calories and less nutrients.

Cooking light is the most common way of losing weight. Many of us are suffering from obesity with the main problem of weight loss. In our present time, natural living is introduced and promoted, the natural holistic living. Life is full of challenges they say, but we can avoid too much trials, especially when it comes to our health if we are having a healthy living.

If you will notice the vegetarians, or the green living people, you will get to know that what they are practicing is something that is really amazing and fantastic-the organic living. However, the body still requires us to take proteins from various sources, such as eggs, meat, and other poultry products with only limited amount, just to sustain the food pyramid. Having all the things done appropriately, forever-young living will be achieved, slowly but surely.

Some of healthy living articles like this give healthy living tips which are very useful and helpful for everyone who wants to start and act now to gain a wonderful life today and for the next years of their lives. Here are some of the basic matters that we sometimes tend to overlook

  1. Drink pure water for every 1/2 ounce of body weight. Determine if you are really starving or just dehydrated. Drink a glass of water before the meal but not more than a glass.
  2. Eating healthy is taking in fresh fruits and vegetables. Instead of unhealthy snacks, replace them with fresh vegetables and fruits. Nutrition is found most on the darker ones.
  3. Protein is muscle builder. Good source of protein are beans, fish, meat etc. Again, do not eat too much of it because to the kidney will overwork to filter them.
  4. Starch should be avoided because they are sugar; among them are white bread, potatoes, French fries, and instant oatmeal. Instead, try the grains.
  5. Practice a regular exercise. Make a plan that you can perform without missing even a single session because of laziness. This will increase the metabolism of your body.
  6. Fasting is not a good idea. Instead of the three big meals, replace them with 5 smaller meals in a day.
  7. Fiber is good because it controls the increasing rate of cholesterol within the body. You can find them in legumes, fibrous fruits like pineapple and whole grains.
  8. Fatty acids are good to the body too. So, include them to your healthy living diet. They can make good nails, skin, and hair.

There are some simple yet essential ways to have a healthy living. You can practice them anytime to improve the overall health of your body. If the body is in good condition, the good metabolism will result to good digestion, will result to better flow of the blood, and will give us more energy to perform our daily tasks.

It is a chain of organs and system, and if they all work perfectly, the brain will work properly too, to help us think well of better ideas. You can look and feel better when you perform a healthy living.

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BCIN? Difference Between Designer, Architect and Engineer According to the Ontario Building Code

As I meet with new clients and friends every day, I commonly hear the same questions “What is a BCIN?” “When is a BCIN required?” etc. Here is some clarification to the public on some important issues about choosing a company to provide you with plans. Please note that this information applies only in the Province of Ontario.

What is a BCIN?

A BCIN stands for ‘Building Code Identification Number’. This number is assigned by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs & Housing, to successful applicants who have completed the requirements outlined in Division C Section 3.2 of the Ontario Building Code. There are two distinct types of BCIN number, individuals & firms. Individuals are people who have completed the exams and have received a BCIN from the MAH; however, they do NOT carry any insurance. As a result this limits the types of projects that the person can do. Firm BCIN’s on the other hand MUST carry valid liability insurance, and depending on the amount of designs fees that a firm charges in a year will dictate the required amount of insurance coverage they must have. Insurance is expensive but it is there to protect you so avoid working with companies who do not have it. For most people, a home is your single largest asset; do you really want to get plans from someone without insurance?

How do I know if I am choosing a registered company?

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs & Housing maintains a database of all registered BCIN holders. The registry is available through a system called QUARTS. Once on the Public Registry, this system allows you to search by the individual’s name, the company’s name or the BCIN #. Once you have found a business or individual, it will bring you to a page with details on the company. It lists the mailing address of the business & contact details. At the bottom it should also show the Registration as ‘Registered Designer’ and the Status as ‘Current’. If it shows up as ‘lapsed or expired’ then this means that they either do not have valid insurance for that year, or that they are late in filing their paperwork.

Do I need an architect or engineer for my project?

Probably not! There have been massive changes to the system in the last few years, opening the doorway for a new title; designers. Architects & Engineers are NOT required for any project less than 600m² (6,458 sq.ft.) and less than 4 storeys. For most residential and small commercial projects, you do NOT need an architect or an engineer. However, and this is important, if the project involves severe structural modifications, an engineer may be requested by the municipality to review the plans. On this note, there is a BCIN exam which will supersede this requirement! If your design company is a registered company in the Category of ‘Building Structural’ then they can complete the plans.

When do I need a BCIN ‘stamp’ for my project?

Depending on the type of project you may or may not need a BCIN number on your drawings. You do not need a BCIN number if the project relates to the construction of a house that is owned by the person who produces the drawings or if it relates to a farm building less than 3 storeys. There are a few other instances, but these are probably the two most important. Often I hear homeowners ask for just the drawings to submit for permit (no stamp). This is allowed, but as the homeowner you must be knowledgeable of the drawings (after all, you are claiming that you have produced them). It is okay to admit to the municipality that you hired someone to draw them for you, but at the end of the day you will be responsible to ensure that the drawings meet code. If the city has approved your building permit based on the drawings and you proceed to build your project to the drawings only to later find out that there is a problem, you will be on the hook to make any necessary adjustments to pass inspection. Most companies will charge from $200 to $2000 for the use of their BCIN number on the drawings. This may seem expensive but it is the security blanket that will keep you safe and ensure that your drawings meet code! I also personally apply for the permits and handle all the paperwork on my client’s behalf when I charge this fee; which most people prefer as nobody likes to stand in line for half a day to submit paperwork to the City.

I hope that this will help to clarify any questions you may have had regarding the requirements of having someone produce building permits for your project. I look forward to working with you, and if you have any questions then please don’t hesitate to ask!

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Software Development Company

We are living in twenty-first century and around us every things rapidly change. Generally we listen that now train, bus, car, post office, banking and attendance system etc working as computerize. Normally all people trust on the automated system because this work according predefine functions and give result accurate, never tired and more reliable.

The soul of Computerize system is software. The custom software development is not a simple work. When we look any computerize system this work quite soft and easily but behind this a big mind work which developing by software engineer.

The Software development is long process and this developing step by step. When software engineers developing software he/she thought every aspect of the software such as…

Planning of the project: when a client wants to software development by software development company then first step of the project will be planning in step studying What problems may occur when develop this project.

Study of feasibility: in this step check the project may feasible or not. Project cost cover by client or not along with check estimate time of the project and in this field ensured this project may develop or not.

Design of the system: system designing is the most critical step of the project development. In this field all step mentioned who software work such as where data store, where data come & go, how where data and information display etc step cover in this field.

Coding: coding works performed by programmer and written according system design.

Implementation: normally big software develops in a number of the small software (program). Every program working checks in this step.

Software integration: now all program integrating and development a software.

Software testing: In this phase Developed Software is tested to assure that it works according to the client’s requirement. For a bug free and efficient application this step is very important. A lot of time is devoted in this step to make a foolproof application. This step insures the good character of software.

Installation: in this step software hand to client and all cost of software development received by client. The software install client computer.

Maintenance: maintenance work is tedious work because who person written code of the software is not available all time and maintenance work performs another person normally he/she confuse. When maintainer read all code then he/she can remove errors.

Now we can understand that software development is not a simple work. When client want to development of web software or custom software he/she notice software Development Company’s services history. Which software Development Company has long experience in the field of Software development services may be gold for clients because this has long experience technology. The software should be complete within time, complete within estimate cost and fulfill all requirements of the clients.

Software Development in India is not only cheap but also delivers good quality software. Indian Software Engineers are intelligent, dedicated and work for perfect ness. In India numbers of companies provide Offshore Outsourcing Software Development Services. These companies also provide web design, complete ecommerce Solution Services, CAD services, SEO services and Cheap Logo Design in India.

India’s Software Development Company mostly located in Delhi & NCR, Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad and other places. Mostly IT companies in India provide offshore outsourcing software development services.

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Single Mother Sanity Savers, Part 1

Being a single mother is no easy task. I know. I was a single mother of two children less than six months ago, so I can say with some authority that being a single mother is a beast. It can drive you crazy if you let it. The insanity is not just that you have to raise children alone and be mother and father. The craziness gets worse when you add a full-time job, not enough money, societal pressure, not to mention being blamed for all of society's ill. How does a single mother remain graceful under pressure? How does she keep from wielding a knife at the next person that tell her "it's not that bad"? What keeps her from pulling her hair out at a minimum, and at a maximum keep from killing herself, her children, or just her spirit? The following five Sanity Savers offers some solutions that I find help get me through some really rough times. They may be a temporary, just for the moment fix, but then again sometime that's all a haggard single mother needs.

1. Music lifts the soul.

Listen to uplifting music that inspires, energizes, and praises God. When I am in a particularly deep depression I put on a upbeat gospel or jazz CD and dance like nobody's watching (nobody is). After a few moments of that I am feeling 80% better. I feel more energetic and positive and the problems seem small.

2. Journaling to get the cobwebs out.

Writing out my thoughts and prayers clears my mind and connects me to God (or whomever you believe in). It draws me closer to him. I feel a deeper connection to him because I am sharing all of my thoughts and feelings with Him. I find that the best time for me to write is in the early morning hours. My thoughts are fresh and I can concentrate better. I put the pen to paper and just write what comes to mind or I follow a specific order of giving thanks, confession and repentance, intercession for others, and petition. Which ever way I choose is fine as long as I am communicating with God.

3. Meditating

It calms my mind. I do it in complete silence or with soft music playing in the background. Meditating puts me in His sphere. I think about His goodness and mercy towards me and His love for me.

4. Talking.

Talking to others or to God through prayer is another way to maintain sanity. Speak to someone gets all the stuff that's bottled up out and clears your mind and body. Discussing problems and concerns can be done by phone or in person while driving along, standing at the kitchen sink doing dishes, or while cooking or cleaning. Talking to God can happen any time; particularly for me doing it in the shower seems to be the best time.

5. Reading.

Reading the bible or book of affirmations. Some of my favorite passages are in Psalms and in the New Testament. The words are my words, especially in the Psalms. I get hope when I read the scripture. When I am having a particularly hard time and I can't bring myself to read whole passages of scripture I just read one verse and meditate on it. It gives me what I need at the time and keeps me connected to God. A book of affirmations helps keep me positive about life when my outlook is negative. The power of positive thinking is priceless.

Hopefully you are a much saner single mother now. The tips outlined above are not hard to practice. It takes a few minutes to pop in a CD or jot down a few thoughts in a journal to decompress. Meditating for 15 to 30 minutes or just taking a five minute breather is simple. Phoning a friend or whispering a prayer does wonders to your stress level and finally reading a verse of scripture or one affirmation can bring calm to your sinking spirit. Please take the time to follow these tips. It could mean the difference between a padded room or a comfy chair. You owe it to yourself and your kids.

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Online Business Banking Enables You to Do Banking Transactions Easily

The onset of call center businesses has boosted the economy of most third world countries. However since their clients are usually from the other side of the world, they have to adjust to the time range of their customers. So they usually work late at night to the wee hours of the morning and they sleep the whole day. If it weren’t for online business banking, bills will not be paid. So even if you have the capacity to pay but do not have the time to pay it or are unable to pay it due to time schedule, well you are in big trouble, unless banks decide to make their services 24 hours too.

There was a time when people were quite hesitant to make use of the World Wide Web for their banking needs. No longer as there are already an increasing number of people who do online business banking. It is easy, fast and secure. It is readily available 24/7 so this will definitely benefit most business owners as they no longer have to rush to the bank to make certain transactions.

If you are quite curious as to what services are made available to you: you can view your business (or personal) savings account, loan account and checking account. You can transfer money among two accounts. You can even monitor your money activities and cash flow. Last but not the least you can pay your loans, debts, monthly bills online without any sweat at all.

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Preparation of Profit and Loss Account

Explanation of Certain items of Profit and Loss Account

1. Salaries

Salaries are paid for the services of employees and are debited to profit and loss ac- count being indirect expense. If any salary has been paid to proprietor or partners, it should be shown separately because it requires special treatment at the time of income tax assessment.

2. Salaries and Wages

When wages account is included with salaries it treated is as indirect expense and is taken into profit and loss account.

3. Rent

Rent of the office shop showroom or godown is an indirect expense and so is debited to profit & loss account. However, rent of factory is debited to trading account. When a part of the building has been sublet the rent received should be shown on the credit side of profit and loss account as a separate item.

4. Rates and Taxes

These are levied by the local authorities to meet public expenditure. It being an indirect expenditure is shown on the debit side of profit and loss account.

5. Interest

Interest on loan, overdraft or overdue debts is payable by the firm. It is an indirect expense; so debited to profit and loss account. Interest on loan advanced by the firm on depositor investments is an income of the firm and so is credited to the profit and loss account.

If business has paid any interest on capital to its proprietor or partners it should also be debited in the profit and loss account but separately because this item needs special treatment at the time of income-tax assessment.

6. Commission

In business sometimes agents are appointed to effect sales, who are paid commission as their remuneration. So this being a selling expenses is shown on the debit side of profit and loss account. Sometimes commission is also paid on purchases of goods, such ‘as expense should be debited in the trading account. Sometimes the firm can also act as an agent to the other business houses and in such cases it receives commission from them. Commission so received is shown on the credit side of profit and loss account.

7. Trade Expenses

They are also termed as ‘sundry expenses’. Trade expenses represent expenses of such a nature for which it is not worthwhile to open separate accounts. Trade expenses are not taken to trading account.

8. Repairs

Repairs to the plant, machinery, building are indirect expenses are treated expense and are debited to profit and loss account..

9. Traveling Expenses

Unless mentioned otherwise, traveling expenses are treated as indirect expenses and are debited to profit and loss account.

10. Horse & stable Expenses

Expenses incurred for the fodder of horses and wages paid for looking after stable are treated as indirect expenses and debited to profit and loss account.

11. Apprentice Premium

This is the amount charged from persons to whom training is imparted by the business. It is an income and is credited to profit and loss account. In case apprentice premium is charged in advance for two or three years, then the amount is distributed over number of years and each year’s profit and loss account is credited with its share of income.

12. Bad debts

It is the amount which could not be recovered by the trader on account of credit sales. It is a business loss, so is debited in the profit and loss account.

13. Life Insurance Premium

If the premium is paid on the life policy of the proprietor of the business; it is treated as his drawings and is shown by way of deduction from the capital account. It should not be taken to profit and loss account.

14. Insurance Premium

If insurance premium account appears in the trial balance, it stands for the insurance of the business. This is taken to profit and loss account. Insurance premium on goods purchased, factory building, factory machines are treated as direct expense and are taken to trading account.

15. Income Tax

In the case of merchant income-tax paid is treated as a personal expense and is shown by way of deduction from capital account. Income-tax in case of companies is treated differently.

16. Discount allowed and Received

Discount is a reward for prompt payment. It is belief to show discount received and discount allowed separately on the credit and debit side of profit and loss account respectively instead of showing the net balance of this account.

17. Depreciation

Depreciation is a loss incurred on account of use of fixed assets in the business. Generally, it is charged from profit and loss account at a fixed percentage. The students should exercise great care as regards the rate of depreciation. If rate is without words ‘per annum’, then the rate will be taken irrespective of the period of accounts. This is very important when the period of accounts is less than one year. On the other hand, if the rate of depreciation is ‘per annum’ the depreciation should be calculated on the assets with due consideration to the period for which the asset has been used in business during the year. In case of additions to assets during the year, it is advisable to ignore depreciation on additions if the date of additions is not given. Same rule shall hold good for the sale of assets during the year.

18. Stock at the end appearing in the trial balance.

It is important to emphasize the rule that balance appearing in the trial balance is taken to one and only one place. It may either be trading account or profit and loss account or balance sheet. Since stock at the end is an asset, it will betaken to balance sheet. On the other hand, so long as there is stock in trade, account for that must be kept open and thus be taken to the assets side of balance sheet.

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Gaining Business Intelligence

A white paper on how companies should analyse customer data to gain better business intelligence and how they can use that knowledge. In an increasingly competitive world, using your client database smartly, to gain a better understanding of your number one asset – your customers – can make or break the success of your company. Most companies use databases to store information about their current customers, previous customers, business partners, and potential customers. The challenge lies in finding a way to harness the useful information contained within these high volume databases in order to produce intelligent business solutions. Business intelligence (BI) refers to the process for increasing the competitive advantage of a company by intelligent use of available data in decision-making. Business intelligence consists of sourcing the data, filtering out unimportant information, analysing the data, assessing the situation, developing solutions, analysing risks and then supporting the decisions made. This white paper describes the business intelligence process, some elementary methods of data mining, and how you can use business intelligence in your company. Database Enhancement The first step towards gaining business intelligence is to start with a ‘clean’ database. Incomplete and inaccurate data invariably translate into incorrect management decisions. Duplicate data is also a problem as it can wrongly weigh management decisions to one side. Whilst a good quality database does not automatically lead to intelligent management decision-making, it is a pre-requisite for all types of analysis that attempt to elicit intelligent management. We could draw an analogy with cooking, where starting with the right ingredients does not guarantee you will bake a good cake, but there is very little chance you will bake a good cake if you start with the wrong set of ingredients. One of the primary reasons companies do not fully realise the potential competitive advantages they can gain from their own databases is the lack of proper integration of datasets across departments. Even though all the information might reside within the company, it may remain elusive due to a fragmentation of the data across incompatible databases. Regrouping all internal data into a single dataset or a series of interconnected datasets could be the single most useful step a company might take towards providing a solid foundation on which quality business intelligence can be developed. In some cases, data entry errors and/or missing data can also severely impair the quality of information that can be derived from corporate databases. Sorting these issues can range from very straightforward fixes (e.g. matching one list against another) to more time consuming processes (e.g. contacting all client companies to update contact details of individuals working there). Ideally, all inaccuracies should be weeded out of the databases. However limited time and monetary constraints dictate that you should bear in mind how this database will be used. The level of accuracy required will vary greatly depending on the expected use for that data. Data cleansing and database integration can provide significant advantages for a company over the medium to long term. However, they are both extremely time-consuming activities and can create a significant strain on internal resources, making them difficult for a company to justify. Hiring a third-party to do this job is often the best solution, allowing valuable information to be gained, without disrupting day-to-day business activities. Data Mining Analysing the information that your company stores in connection with all customer interactions can reveal a lot of remarkable facts about the buying behaviour of your customers, what motivates them and what might make them stop buying from you. It also provides a scientific method to monitor your business performance. When deciding to mine information from a database, one is faced with a wide number of available techniques. Some of the more popular data mining methods are described below: Statistical models
Basic statistical measurements – such as means, variances, and correlation coefficients – are useful in the early stages of data analysis to gain an overall view of the structure of the data. By revealing simple inter-relations within the data, statistical modelling can show which in-depth technique is likely to bring further information relevant to your interests. Clustering
Clustering is a technique that aggregates data according to a pre-determined set of characteristics. It can be used to differentiate groups of customers that behave similarly on certain factors, for example it can classify customer behaviours according to credit worthiness, income, age or any other factor of interest. CHAID Analysis
CHAID, which stands for Chi-square Automatic Interaction Detection, can be seen as the opposite of clustering, in the sense that the CHAID analysis starts with the overall database, and then splits it according to the most important variable until it achieves homogeneous sub-groups that cannot be split any further. A major advantage of this technique is that the results can be presented as an easy-to-read classification tree; each split in the tree being accredited to a single variable (e.g. credit worthiness, income, age, etc). Propensity models
Propensity models – also known as predictive models – have proven to be very valuable in predicting which customers are most likely to purchase a certain product based on a set of current customers. The results of such a model can be directly used to develop more appropriately targeted marketing campaigns. Other recognised techniques to extract information from datasets are database segmentation, neural networking, and wavelet analysis among others. It can be intimidating to choose which method will provide the best results. As shown above, analysis tools can differ greatly in their approach of the problem. It is therefore very important for a company to consult someone with extensive experience in data mining processes before going ahead with a business intelligence project. The best method to use will vary greatly depending on the time available to do the analysis, what the results will be used for, and the type of data that is available for the analysis. An important point to consider is whether your analysis is guided by pre-defined questions or not. Predefined points of analysis are aimed at understanding certain types of behaviours by analysing relationships between various pre-decided influencing factors. For example, a predefined analysis of customer service Vs sales would illustrate the effect of good and bad customer service on sales, and would answer questions such as how important customer service is to customers and how much it influences future sales. On the contrary, the objective of an open-ended analysis is to discover trends that are not anticipated by ordinary immersion in the day-to-day business. Performing an open-ended analysis internally is often impaired by the expectations brought on by individuals working within the company. The techniques used to analyse data are complex. In order for your company to be able to use the results of the data analysis, it is crucial that the results should not be clouded by the complexity of the calculations but are delivered in a straightforward manner.
Intelligent Marketing It is important for a company to recognise that a good understanding of its customers is useful only to the extent to which this knowledge can be translated into real business practices. Business intelligence refers not only to the data analysis in itself, but also to how you relate the results from the data analysis to every day business decisions and how you translate the recommended actions stemming from the analysis into live campaigns. It is therefore important for you to ensure that the marketing department in your company interacts with the data analysts constantly throughout the process. That way, when the data analysis is complete, the marketing personnel will already be in tune with the issues the company is facing, and will be able to develop campaigns to capitalise on opportunities and strategies to mend weaknesses quickly and effectively. Detailed analysis of your customer data will provide you insight into their needs and wants. The exercise will analyse and segment customers’ buying patterns and identify potential services that are in demand. You can use this information to shorten response times to market changes, which then allows for better alignment of your products and services with your customers’ needs. An in-depth understanding of your customers, provided through comprehensive data-analysis, will also allow you to pick and target better prospects, achieve a higher response rate from marketing programs, and at the same time identify reasons for customer attrition and create or alter programs and services accordingly. Understanding how external market conditions affect your business will enable you to react quickly to future changes in the market. Finally, understanding customer behaviour and the way they use your products and services will enable your company to improve its service to its current client base as well as to target new business more effectively. Visit http://www.accuracast-marketing-agency.co.uk/business-intelligence.shtml to learn more about gaining business intelligence.

About AccuraCast AccuraCast is an integrated marketing, business intelligence and data analysis agency, providing small and medium sized companies in the UK a more accurate picture of their business environment via comprehensive data analysis, business intelligence, and marketing consultancy services. AccuraCast helps companies gain a better understanding of their customers and market their products and services more effectively. The company uses high-tech data analysis methodologies to investigate client databases smartly, and proven sales and marketing methods to reach the target markets. AccuraCast delivers costumer specific marketing solutions and information based on tailor-made analysis of the databases, allowing companies to gain the necessary edge over the competition. © AccuraCast Limited 2004

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The New Food Pyramid: Another Attempt At Providing Easy Answers

The Food Pyramid, first introduced to the US in 1992, just experienced a major overhaul. Why? Perhaps proper education about nutrition isn't as easy as picking out food from a colorful chart. Last month, The New England Journal of Medicine reported that childhood obesity was causing a retreat in average lifespan. That report seems to only cover part of the picture as chronic disease, such as cardiac dysfunction and Type II Diabetes have been on a steady rise in recent years. Because many people seem to be unwilling to learn how to make better lifestyle choices, it is only the toxic pharmaceutical drugs that seem to be extending the lives of these people.

Agriculture secretary Mike Johanns described the old food pyramid as being "quite familiar" to most Americans, "but few Americans follow the recommendations." The solution, found at http://www.mypyramid.gov , is apparently more colors and to make the bands travel downwards instead of horizontally. Yes, that counts as a solution where french fries and catsup count as two servings of vegetables in the school lunch program.

Well, some progress is better than no progress. On a positive note, the new dietary guidelines do recommend daily physical activity. If even a few people get out of their chairs because their government tells them too, these changes, and the expense of the marketing for all of this will be well-worth our tax dollars.

What is left out of these dietary guidelines is any source of education on timing of food intake. For example, how many of you are late-night eaters? Perhaps you have a bowl of cereal before bed? What do the cells do with all the extra starch and glucose as you sleep? The answer is they store it in the fat cells. If you think of a caveman, or woodland creature, bulking up before hibernation, you get the picture.

A better diet doesn't have to be entirely about sacrifice. It's more about better decisions. I'm not saying to stop eating ice cream. Consider some Wheat Germ or Grape Nuts as a toping. Both are excellent sources of dietary fiber and essential nutrients like Vitamin E, folate (folic acid), phosphorous, thiamin, zinc and magnesium. You get to have a tasty snack and sneak some nutrition through the teeth. Just don't eat it as a midnight snack!

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