Technology Musings

I learned very early on in my career that what gets measured gets improved.  Yet, I am still surprised to this day at how many business leaders do not practice this principle. Maybe they do not understand or believe in this principle, maybe they are too busy to implement this principle or maybe they just don’t ask their technology departments to mine the data necessary to implement this principle.

As a leader in Micro Technology Stewardship I do my best on a daily basis to preach this principle of utilizing data from Business Intelligence initiatives to track those items you look to improve, be it sales, revenue, costs or productivity.

Striving to improve and utilize the many models of continues improvement is a key element in leadership success.  Continuous improvement at the  most basic level is easy, just ask yourself and your personnel three easy “How” questions:

1. How are we doing

2. How can it may be better

3. How about if we try something different

But remember, you can not improve without the data, you need the data to establish a baseline starting point (what are we doing today) and you need the data to measure if your changes positively improve or negatively impact your desired outcome and you need the data on an ongoing basis to continue to improve and course correct if things start to slip.



This is from the “Burger Conquest” Blog but it is so simple and so funny, I had to reprint it.  A simple analogy combining hamburgers and social media to create a tool that can measure any small business’ social media savvy.

Social Media Made Easier Through Burgers | Burger Conquest.

Quick Serves Pin Social Media Hopes On Pinterest

Tender Greens pins photos of the concept on its Pinterest board.

Social media continues to grow and emerge at a rapid pace, and quick serves are working hard to keep up with their various networks, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube.

Now there’s a new player on the field: Pinterest. Unlike other social networks that have evolved over time, Pinterest has exploded in the last year, and its impact may be far-reaching. This has made the social media outlet a must-have option for quick-service operators.

Essentially, Pinterest is a virtual, visual bulletin board where users can “pin” items of interest found online in one spot known as “boards.” These pinned items link back to the websites where they were collected, making them ideal referral tools. Unlike other social media networks, Pinterest relies on images rather than text. “It’s a new fun way to share photos with those of like interests,” says Linda Duke of Duke Marketing LLC in San Rafael, California.

The invite-only network (operators can ask for one on the homepage at launched in 2010 and grew quickly, reaching 11.7 million U.S. unique monthly visitors in January 2012, according to comScore. Users now spend more time on Pinterest than any other network except Facebook and Tumblr, per comScore.

Although initially popular with users sharing content related to DIY projects, recipes, weddings, and other visually strong subjects, Pinterest now has many brands building a strong following. Dunkin’ Donuts set up its Pinterest account at the beginning of February and already had more than 1,300 followers by month’s end.

“We spent a lot of time on Pinterest and saw that Dunkin’ Donuts fans were leveraging the platform to share what’s important to them, from their favorite donut, their go-to Dunkin’ Donuts coffee beverage, unique Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants they’ve seen in their travels, and more,” says Jessica Gioglio, public relations and social media manager of Dunkin’ Brands Inc.

To make the most of a Pinterest account, experts say brands should interact with their followers, not only by showing the latest menu items but also by engaging followers through shared interests, providing insight into the people behind the brand, and trading ideas with followers.

For instance, on Tender Greens’ Pinterest boards, followers can see what makes the company’s chefs tick, learn more about their local farming network, and see market reports on the latest produce, says Erik Oberholtzer, cofounder of the fast casual concept based in Los Angeles.

“It essentially gives Tender Greens a way to share our inspiration and information about our ethos, beyond what is offered physically at the restaurant,” he says. “It is a great way for Tender Greens to build a community with likeminded people. Plus the photos and links are a quick and easy way to see at a glance what Tender Greens is all about.”

To get the word out about the brand’s Pinterest account, quick-serve operators can promote their Pinterest boards through their other social media outlets.

Contests on Pinterest are another great promotional tool, says Katy Lynch, president and cofounder of SocialKaty, a Chicago-based social media marketing agency. “Contests on Pinterest can range anywhere from adding a comment on a photo, to ‘repinning’ a photo on a user’s own board, to submitting a photo,” she says.

As with all social media, Pinterest works best when brands are active and engaged with their followers.

“Those brands that are able to build a following, that are able to go out and evangelize about that brand, will have a huge advantage,” Oberholtzer says. “We also hope to be inspired by some of the other likeminded people out there. We will follow them to see what they have to offer.”

Although Pinterest’s future is uncertain, its visual format seems to be more permanent.

“Any brand that has a social presence should have lots of visuals, from photos to videos, to expand their brand’s presence online,” Duke says. “Whether the specific company and application Pinterest will be here in the long term is unknown, but generating visual content and sharing it online is here to stay.”

Quick Serves Pin Social Media Hopes On Pinterest – Restaurant News – QSR magazine.

This report ranks brands according to popularity, receptiveness, interaction, network reach, and trust on social media sites. The sites were tracked on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and the Web in general.

Technology and media companies had the home court advantage when it came to popularity and reach, with Google, Apple, and Disney taking the top three spots.  But other brands were more successful in different areas, like listening and responding to feedback from customers.  Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) like Johnson and Johnson seemed to do this especially well.

The chart also compares the top companies’ valuations (in U.S. dollars) to their social media performance scores. Analysts saw a positive correlation between the two, although it looks uneven on the chart.  The most valuable company on the list also had the highest social media performance score.

This infographic (from SBI) talks about modernization of health IT systems, and how $19 billion was allocated to expedite the health IT systems under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.  It goes on to talk about spending technology-wise, and how technology is being used in the healthcare system.  It is not only an interesting bit of information about the healthcare system, but an interesting look at what types of gadgets doctors prefer to do their jobs.  The infographic informs us that US hospital spending on IT systems will be $4.7 billion by the end of this year, and will grow to $6.8 billion by the end of 2014.


Doctor’s Tech Toolbox Infographic | The Infographics Showcase.

In early December 2011, Microsoft quietly launched Answer Desk, an online tech support center that provides free help to customers dealing with basic Microsoft software malfunctions, and offers in-depth help for a fee. The company’s move may have come in response to Apple, which offers free in-store support for basic problems, and priority support for a yearly fee.

Microsoft Answer Desk tech supportIf you’re having a problem with Excel, or if your version of Windows isn’t behaving as it should, Microsoft has technicians standing by to help you out at no charge. Answer Desk staff can assist you over the phone or via a custom Web chat service. Support is available around the clock to anyone with a Hotmail account, which is free and easy to create.

Answer Desk’s free service is available only for dealing with simple problems involving a Windows product. For more-complex issues, you’ll have to pull out your credit card.

In a series of informal trials, I asked for advice on buying a Windows phone, setting up Entourage (the Apple-only Microsoft Office email and calendar client), and finding some toolbars that had gone AWOL in my version of Word.

The technician I spoke to about Entourage seemed happy to ditch me with a link to a relevant FAQ page, but my other two support agents were very patient and helpful.

Microsoft Answer Desk tech supportMicrosoft aims to make the whole experience seem personal. Each of its technicians has a profile picture, a personal page that can be bookmarked, and a Yelp-like star rating. Some even speak multiple languages. If you find a technician who is particularly helpful, you can search for and request that person in the future, by name or by ID number.

Answer Desk’s premium services, ranging in price from $49 to $99, buy you anywhere from one hour to two hours of “one-on-one” time with a tech. The rep will help you optimize your PC’s performance, root out and eliminate viruses, or get more out of your Windows products. If you and the tech can’t figure out a particular problem via chat or over the phone, Answer Desk staff can access your computer remotely.

These services are, in part, an answer to Apple’s One to One service, which makes various technical support and learning tools available to customers online and in Apple stores for $99 a year.

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