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5 Companies That Are Moving Cloud Data Forward

5 Companies That Are Moving Cloud Data Forward

When it comes to utilizing cloud data, businesses often find themselves clueless as to where to turn. Many of their goals may be the same (easier management, greater productivity, etc.), but finding the right solutions out there is a task that can prove quite challenging. Put simply, the cloud has a lot to offer companies, but that potential can too often go untapped. Luckily, a number of businesses have risen to the forefront of utilizing cloud data, unlocking all that potential in some innovative ways. While the word “revolutionary” may be a tad bit overused these days, these companies offer a new way of thinking that helps propel cloud data forward. Businesses interested in reaching their goals would be wise to take a closer look.

1. IFTTT

Yes, that’s a lot of capital letters, but the service IFTTT provides doesn’t have to be complicated (the company’s name rhymes with “gift,” in case you were curious). IFTTT basically works by helping users have more control over the apps and products that they normally use. This is done by allowing them to create “recipes” connecting their apps. “If” recipes take the form of the well known “If, Then” cause and effect relationship, only this one ties directly into the apps used. For example, you can create a recipe with IFTTT dictating that every time you post a picture to Instagram, that photo is saved in Dropbox. “Do” recipes allows users to create personalized buttons, allowing them to control products like their thermostats, playlists, calendars, and other items. By using the cloud to give people more control, IFTTT’s rules engine takes cloud data into a more usable route.

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2. Zapier

Similar to IFTTT (though without the long acronym), Zapier also employs a rules engine to give you more connected apps. Instead of creating recipes, Zapier allows you to create Zaps using triggers and actions. By setting the trigger and action, you can automate certain tasks. For example, a Zap can be created with the trigger of receiving an email and the action being getting an SMS message. This is a convenient way to move data between apps seamlessly. With more automation, users can get more work done, manage multiple accounts easily, and work with lots of data without trouble. Zapier makes using cloud data accessible for everyone.

3. DataHero

DataHero takes a different strategy to using cloud data, this time by developing a self-service analytics platform. DataHero’s service helps businesses connect all of their cloud services together, analyzing all of that information and coming up with some valuable business insights. Essentially, Datahero takes cloud data and compiles it into one centralized location. The company also helps everybody within an organization use the service, whether they are a data expert or not. With increased business intelligence, companies will be in better position to make the most use out of their cloud data.

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4. Chartio

Much like DataHero, Chartio is a big data analytics tool all about taking data from multiple sources. Much of Chartio’s focus is turning that data into easy-to-use formats through the creation of charts, graphs, and other forms of data visualization. Chartio also allows for easy in-depth queries that take into account all the sources of data a company is using. With more complex analytical queries, the self-service analytics platform Chartio delivers makes communicating business insights easier than ever.

5. Domo

Similar to Chartio and DataHero, Domo is all about taking a bunch of complex information and merging it into one place—in this case, a specialized business platform. This platform helps businesses connect to all the data they use no matter the source, whether it be on the cloud, through social media, or on-site software. This makes it possible for anyone within the organization to access and analyze, creating a more dynamic business. If a company makes their use of data central to their operations, as Domo supports, it makes them better at making business decisions.

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These are just a few of the companies making great strides in the use of cloud data, opening up new opportunities to businesses all over the world. They empower organizations, giving them added capabilities. With this type of innovative thinking leading the way, cloud data is more usable than before. Finally, companies have ways to unlock all of big data’s potential thanks to these big data analytics tools.

Featured photo credit: Exif Data/Flickr via flickr.com

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

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    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

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          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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