Day: October 4, 2020
The Justices agree to hear cases on climate change and voting rights.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has her powers pared by the state’s high court.
In our modern digitally enhanced world, data and information underpin all of our activities.
But are you making your data work for you, or is it something that you are yet to take full advantage of?
For many business owners and marketers, analyzing and deploying data can be an intimidating prospect.
For that reason, analytics agencies have emerged, whose aim is to help businesses leverage their data for better decision making and improved outcomes.
If you are thinking about hiring an analytics agency, here is everything you need to know.
Know Your Goals and Desired Outcomes
Like when working with any agency partner, you first need to consider your current situation and goals.
The reason for this is that not every analytics agency is built in the same way.
Some agencies work with certain industries or companies at different stages of maturity.
Other agencies specialize in certain areas of analytics such as marketing vs operations.
There are also differences in how they execute. For instance, one agency may rely heavily on technology to power their insights. Whereas another may rely more on their years of experience and human intuition.
When thinking about your goals, consider these aspects:
- Your existing data – Think about the data assets that you are currently building. This can include things like marketing channels (search, PPC, content), operations or product data.
- The role of data in your business – Next, you will need to think about the role that data plays in your business. For instance, do you need to use data to predict and manage your inventory? Or perhaps you may need to leverage data to scale an existing marketing channel.
- Your budget – Naturally, there is a varying service fee depending on which agency you work with. Depending on what you want to achieve, you need to think about how much budget you can allocate to an analytics service.
- Business priorities – Ultimately, you will need to think about what is a priority for your business at the moment. This is where you should spend most of your time thinking and see how data and analytics syncs up with your main priority. Maybe you need to optimize your processes to reduce costs. Or perhaps you need to discover new market segments by leveraging customer data.
Before rushing into hiring an analytics agency, take the time to conduct a full audit of where you are today and where you want to be, while being conscious of how leveraging data can help you get there.
6 Characteristics That Make a Great Analytics Agency
Choosing the right analytics agency can be tricky if you don’t know much about analytics yourself.
In addition to a partner that can provide all the technical fundamentals of analytics, you will need someone who guides you and helps you make sense of what’s going on with your data.
And in the ideal case, a partner that can help take over the execution of your new data-informed strategy, particularly when it comes to the marketing aspect.
When evaluating an analytics agency, make sure that you vet for these characteristics.
Thought leadership describes the esteem and authority a company is held in in a particular industry.
This position is typically achieved by that company producing content that educates, solves industry problems and demonstrates superior expertise.
Take a look at the type of content that a given analytics agency is producing.
Are they even creating content at all?
Is the content insightful and communicated in a clear and concise manner (this also affects how they will communicate with you)?
An analytics agency that is producing good thought leadership content also signifies whether that company is on top of the latest trends, which is needed in fast-evolving fields.
Your analytics agency partner will need to have the appropriate technologies built that can help you aggregate and make sense of your data.
Their technology will need to be able to integrate with your data sources such as Google Analytics or Shopify, depending on the platforms that you use.
They should also have a platform that allows you to view and make sense of this data in a way that provides an intuitive user experience – such as the ability to visualize data with graphs or easily download reports.
In an ideal case, your analytics agency will have more advanced technology such as machine learning algorithms which can crunch and manipulate data for deeper analysis.
A Well-rounded Team
Analytics sits at the intersection between the world of numbers and the world of words.
There’s no point in collecting data if you can’t turn that data into actionable insights and strategy.
For that reason, the analytics agency that you work with will need to have a diverse set of team members who are both analytical but also creative.
This could include team members such as data scientists, psychologists, and digital marketers.
Bonus points for analytic agencies that have strong founders, as the insight and disposition of the founder is often imprinted onto the companies culture – affecting how they think and execute.
A Solid Client List
Sometimes, you can gauge the value of a company simply by looking at who they’ve worked with in the past.
If the analytics agency you are considering has an impressive track record of working with big names such Google or Intuit, then chances are that they know their stuff.
One caveat though: even if the agency has worked with impressive brand names, it doesn’t mean that they will necessarily be the right fit for you.
For a start, you may not even be able to afford their fees. And even if you could, they may be more optimized to working with bigger clients or clients with different needs.
So consider also the relevance of their client list in relation to your particular situation.
If you are working with an analytics agency, you want a partner that can explain to you the story behind your data.
The first way they need to do this is through their technology, which should allow you to visualize your data through graphs, charts, and other meaningful ways.
The second way they should do this is through how they communicate actionable insights through storytelling, and ideally strategy creation.
Remember that although data is objective, it doesn’t guarantee that the interpretation of that data will be objective too.
For that reason, your partner should always have a strong, clearly communicated, and logical case for their analysis. This way, you can know that you are making informed decisions.
Syncing With Your Team
Working with an analytics agency requires synchronization between both your technology and your teams.
Your development team will need to be able to easily integrate and set up with your partners.
Your marketing team will need to feel confident and informed enough to adapt their strategies based on the insights your partners are providing.
To work successfully with an analytics agency, both your teams need to be on the same wavelength. Strategy, expectations, and skill sets need to be well aligned to get the best results.
How to Work With an Analytics Agency
Each analytics agency that you work with will have a slightly different process. In general however, there is an overriding structure that will be the same from company to company.
In order to reach a successful outcome when working with an analytics agency, you should typically go through these steps.
1) Share your goals – Your agency partner should have a complete understanding of your goals including services, timeline and results. You will need to be as transparent as possible at the start of your relationship to ensure that you both have the appropriate expectations going forward. For instance, if you will actually need help with the marketing execution but you’ve partnered with a tech focused agency, there will likely be an issue later on.
2) Manage expectations – It’s important to also manage clear expectations about what’s possible early on. Some agencies offer a variety of additional services such as helping with strategy or machine generated analytics. Others may just offer a simple dashboard. It’s also important to understand the role of analytics in general and what it’s uses and limitations are.
3) Map out your assets – Your data assets represent the existing ways that you are collecting and storing data across your business. You will need to map out all your existing assets such as marketing channels (Google Analytics, etc), operations (inventory management, etc) and technology. These will then be used by your analytics agency for integration and analysis.
4) Integration – With your assets in place, you will then need to integrate them with your analytics partner. In the best case, your partner will have their own platform and will work with your development team to connect your data assets. If you are working with a smaller agency however, they may choose to access your data directly, in which case you would need to provide them the login credentials to the software you use.
5) Reporting – Once everything has been connected, your analytics agency will begin conducting an audit of your existing data assets. If they have a platform, you will be able to access and view all of your data in one place. The best agencies will allow you to view and manipulate your data in a user friendly way through graphs, charts and reports. They may also have machine learning technology that makes sense of your data without any human input.
6) Analysis – With technology, the human eye or a combination of both, your analytics agency will help you make sense of your data by telling you the story behind the numbers. They should then help you produce actionable insights which will inform your strategy going forward.
7) Strategy – With your existing data fully analyzed, you will then need to update your strategy, depending on the insights produced. For instance, you may choose to double down on a particular sales channel, or realise that you need to remove a bottleneck in your operations.
8) Execution – Some analytics agencies offer services beyond analytics, such as marketing execution. Your data may signify that you lack the necessary human capital to generate results with your existing or new strategy. Here, your agency partner may be able to help by taking over the reigns of wherever you are coming up short.
9) Monitoring – On an ongoing basis, your agency partner will work with you to ensure that your data, strategy and execution are all synced up. You should be having analysis and strategy meetings with them at least once a month, but also be able to access your data and any computer generated insights on demand.
How to Find The Right Analytics Agency For You
Finding the right analytics agency requires that you look out for and vet certain things. We have spoken about some characteristics to look out for here and what to expect when working with an analytics partner.
Here is a quick summary of the things to look for when finding the best analytics agency (LINK HERE):
- Full stack marketers – When analyzing your marketing data, it helps a lot if your analytics agency are marketers themselves. That way, they can help turn your data into strategies that actually get results.
- Strong technology – An analytics platform is the bare minimum your agency partner should have. If they have machine learning and data crunching algorithms, even better.
- An all star team – Your analytics agency needs to have a diverse set of team members that understand both numbers and marketing psychology. A strong founding team is also something to look out for.
- A strong client roster – Agencies that have worked with big brands is always a good sign. But when inquiring, try to find out if they have worked with brands similar to yours in terms of size and industry.
- A great communication style – Making sense of data is one thing, but explaining it in a clear and concise manner is something else. An analytics agency that can storytell in a meaningful way will help you put your data to use.
- They take a holistic approach – There are numerous sources of data that you are probably collecting. The more sources of data they can integrate and analyze the better.
What to expect:
- Onboarding and integration – The first thing your agency partner should do is onboard you to their platform and talk you through the process. This will include things like syncing up your technology and managing expectations in terms of outcomes.
- Auditing of assets – Next, they will need to do an audit of your existing data assets and come up with actionable insights which will turn into strategy and then execution.
- Setting up marketing channels – If your analytics agency offers services beyond analytics, they will work with you to execute your marketing strategy, including channels such as SEO, PPC and social media.
- Data management – On a continuous basis, you will be able to access and view your data through your agency partner. You will be able to download reports and visualize your data.
- Actionable insights and results – The best analytics agencies really stand out when it comes to translating your data into insights, strategy and execution. You should work with your agency to ensure that your data is informing decision making and driving results.
The Top 3 Analytic Agencies
There are hundreds of good analytic companies out there that serve all types of needs.
It is unlikely however that you have the time to go through and vet them all, so we’ve filtered down the top 3 analytic agencies, based on the various criteria we’ve discussed in this article.
The top 3 agencies listed here have different strengths and weaknesses, so you will have to decide which is the best fit for you.
1) NP Digital — Best For Marketing Execution
If you think that you will need helping putting the insights from your data into practice, then you should work with NP Digital. The agency was founded by Neil Patel, one of the most influential digital marketers in the world. And in addition to the analytics services they provide, they can also help you set up and execute a results driven marketing strategy. They have worked with big brand names including companies such as Google and Intuit.
2) Artefact — Best For Technology
Perhaps you are in an industry where you have a ton of data to analyze, or data plays a critical role in your ability to compete in the market. In this case, you should consider Artefact, an agency that has a robust technology stack which leverages artificial intelligence to really get the most out of your data. They have a strong and diverse team, ranging from social scientists to statisticians, and have worked with companies such as Greenpeace and Carrefour.
3) Adverity — Best For Smaller Businesses
For smaller businesses who may not be able to afford high end agency fees, Adverity may be a better match. Although Adverity is more of a technology platform than an agency partner, you will be able to amplify your analytics strategy at a fraction of the cost. The platform allows you to integrate data sources from operations to marketing. The drawback of course is that you don’t have the human level insight and execution that consultative agencies provide. Adverity currently has a 4.5/5 star rating with over 100 reviews on the G2 website.
At this point, you should have a good idea of how to choose an analytics agency.
Keep in mind that everything written is from our perspective, and there may be other things you should consider when evaluating an agency.
Before you finally pull the trigger and sign any contract, make sure that the analytics agency you want to work with has worked with companies similar to yours and that they can demonstrate some results.
Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.
Have you ever been in your office and realized the files you need are on your home computer? Maybe you’re working remotely or meeting a client, but need to access an app from your office PC.
With remote access software, you can view or access another computer from anywhere in the world.
This functionality is extremely versatile. You might use it to log into a client’s computer and help them overcome technical questions. Or you can share your screen with colleagues as you run a demo on your device. You can also transfer files between two computers without having to go through email or file-sharing software—even from unattended devices.
It’s a common misconception that remote access software is only for help desks, but these tools can be used by anyone.
Which remote access software is the best? After researching and testing dozens of options, I’ve narrowed down my list to five that I can recommend with conviction.
The Top 5 Options For Remote Access Software
How to Choose the Best Remote Access Software For You
Finding the right remote access software can be tough if you don’t know what to look for. But there are certain feature sets and considerations that must be evaluated as you’re comparing different options.
I’ll break these factors down into greater detail below, so you can make an informed buying decision.
The first thing you need to do is figure what types of devices and operating systems you’ll be using. All of the best remote access tools should have cross-platform access.
Examples include Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS, Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Raspberry Pi, Windows Mobile, etc.
With that said, if you’re just using the remote access software for personal use or for a small team, you might not need a tool that’s compatible with every device under the sun—just the device’s that you’re using. But if you need remote access software to assist clients or thousands of employees, you’ll want to have more versatility.
When it comes to remote access, security will always be a top concern. Is it really that easy for a third party to just access your devices? What type of sensitive information will they have access to?
Software vendors understand this concern. That’s why they add security features like 256-bit encryption, one-time access codes, two-factor authentication, etc. Always make sure that the remote access software you’re evaluating meets any industry-specific security requirements, such as HIPAA for healthcare.
Number of Devices
Not every remote access software is built to scale. If you’re deploying it with a team of five employees, you likely won’t be using the same software as an SME that needs the software to access 500 or 5,000 devices.
All plans will have limitations in terms of device quantities.
You might come across certain tools with unlimited user access. But unlimited users and unlimited devices are two different things. So be prepared to purchase additional licenses if you have a larger team and need the software on lots of devices.
The term “remote access” is pretty broad. Within that category, there are lots of potential functionalities and use cases for the software.
Features to keep an eye out for include third-party integrations, remote printing, multiple monitor access, file sharing, live chat, screen recording, unattended access, etc.
You don’t necessarily need all of these features. It’s just a matter of how you plan to use the software for your personal and business needs. There’s no reason to pay extra for plans with extensive feature lists that you’ll never actually use.
Generally speaking, remote access software should be fairly easy to deploy. But certain solutions are a bit more complicated, especially at scale.
If you need assistance with the setup process, the software vendor should be there to make sure things go smoothly for you. When something goes wrong or if you have questions, you don’t want to be left on an island to figure it out by yourself.
For those of you who have a dedicated IT team, they should be able to manage everything without an issue. But not every business has those in-house resources, so support from the software provider should be a top priority.
The Different Types of Remote Access Software
Not every remote access solution is the same. This software can be segmented into a handful of different categories. However, some software will offer a combination of these types within a single solution.
On-demand tools require permission to gain access. Let’s say an IT agent wanted to help a remote employee with a problem on their computer, that employee would need to grant the IT team access in order for them to view and take actions on the screen.
In short, two people must be present (one on each device) for on-demand access software to work.
Unattended remote access software is the opposite of on-demand. This solution allows you to access devices even if nobody on the other computer.
In most cases, people use unattended access software for their personal devices. For example, you could be in the office and access a presentation, file, or application on your home computer.
But a prospect or client wouldn’t give you unattended access to their personal devices. You’d have to get permission every time (on-demand access).
Cloud-Based Remote Access Software
A cloud-based remote access solution doesn’t need to be installed locally on the device. This is also known as browser-based remote access software.
For example, let’s say you’re trying to access the device of a client to help them troubleshoot a software issue. Or maybe you want a prospect to view your screen as you run a demo. These users shouldn’t be forced to install anything locally. Access to the device can be granted using a web-based link.
Installation-Based Remote Access Software
As the name implies, an installation-based remote access solution must be installed locally on a device to work.
All unattended access software must be installed on at least one device. Otherwise, there would be no way for you to gain access since a person won’t be there to grant permission.
Help Desk Software
Help desk software is in a category of its own. It’s worth noting that not every help desk solution comes with remote access capabilities. Lots of times, help desk software is used for things like ticket support and customer service.
However, some help desk tools do offer remote access functions. This feature is prominent in IT help desk software, designed for in-house support.
#1 – Parallels Access Review — Best For Remote Desktop Access
Parallels Access is a quick, simple, and reliable way to access your computer from anywhere. It’s one of the best ways to retrieve all of your files and applications, no matter where you are in the world.
With just a few clicks, you can connect to your desktop from any mobile device or web browser.
Parallels Access is feature-rich and extremely versatile. Let’s take a closer look at why this software ranks so high on my list:
- Access your computer from any web browser with no additional hardware required
- Use full-screen applications
- Gain full access over PC applications, as if they were installed locally
- The software is fully optimized for screen resolution and optimal readability
- Access files on remote computers or files stored in the cloud
- Manage files by sorting, copying, renaming, deleting, etc.
- Ability to share files with friends and co-workers
- Copy/paste text and edit files remotely
If you’re going to install Parallels Access on your computers, then I strongly recommend getting the mobile app for your smartphone or tablet. Then your computer can essentially be in your pocket at all times.
Don’t have the smartphone with you? No problem. Just log-in securely to your Parallels Access account from any browser to gain the same access.
Plans for single users and up to five computers start at $19.99 per year. Business plans for unlimited users start at $49 per year.
#2 – TeamViewer Review — The Best For macOS and iOS
More than 2 billion devices are connected to TeamViewer, making it one of the most popular remote access solutions in the world. This software has quickly become a top choice for remote work.
TeamViewer has a wide range of solutions. In addition to remote access, they have tools for remote support, mobile device support, remote assistance for IoT, remote monitoring and patch management, global video conferencing, and more.
Years ago, PCs were the device of choice for business use. So when it came to supporting Macs and iOS devices, most software on the market wasn’t compatible. This was a problem for assisting clients and employees using Apple products.
But TeamViewer became a pioneer in the remote access space for Macs, iPads, and iPhones.
- Cross-platform access to iOS, macOS, Windows, Linux, and Android
- Enterprise-grade security and a VPN alternative
- Remote printing capabilities
- Easy to install and set up unattended access
- Admins can use it to access remote servers
- Mobile app available for iOS and Android devices
- In-session collaborations for co-workers and tech support
- Custom modules with company logos and branding
- Centralized management console and device reporting
Today, lots of other remote access tools support Apple devices. But not all of them do it as well as TeamViewer. Individuals can download it for free. Businesses can request a 14-day commercial trial before buying a license.
#3 – Remote Utilities Review — Best Remote Access For IT Teams
Remote Utilities is a bit unique compared to some of the other tools on our list. This software is built specifically for IT help desks.
The tool gives your team total control over your IT infrastructure.
Here’s an overview of the software’s noteworthy highlights:
- Download on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android
- File transfer mode
- Two-factor authentication (2FA)
- Unattended access to remote servers and workstations
- Remote access using LAN or VPN
- Deploy the program in an active directory network
- Proxy server support
- You can use a single PC on your LAN as a gateway to peers on the same network
- Easy to scale as large as you need it to be
- No mandatory, automatic, or unexpected upgrades
- Custom configurations, even for the most demanding IT requirements
Again, Remote Utilities isn’t designed for the average Joe or small business owners. This solution is for IT teams and users with more advanced needs. It’s a little bit more complex than some of the other tools on our list, but it gets the job done for technically inclined users.
Pricing starts at $99 with up to 20 endpoints per tech.
#4 – Zoho Assist Review — Best For Customer Support
Zoho Assist is a web-based remote support solution for businesses. It’s the best way to provide your customers with support through on-demand remote access.
The software also has the capability to manage unattended access sessions for in-house devices on PCs, laptops, servers, and mobile devices.
Zoho Assist is trusted by businesses across a wide range of industries. Whether your company is large or small, this software can accommodate your needs.
Let’s take a closer look at the features, benefits, and noteworthy highlights of Zoho Assist:
- On-demand remote support for troubleshooting with no prior installation
- Integrated voice and video chat for enhanced customer support
- Unattended remote access inside and outside your LAN
- Mass deployment options available (supports Windows and Mac)
- Secure file transfers with SSL 256-bit AES encryption
- Multiple monitor support and automatically detect active monitors
- Reboot and reconnect remote desktops from anywhere with a single click
The software is great for customer support, IT help desks, and outsourced MSP support.
Plans start at $8 per month for a single technician. The unattended access solution must be purchased separately from the remote support software. This also starts at $8 per month and includes 25 unattended computers. You can try Zoho Assist for free with a 15-day trial; no credit card required.
#5 – LogMeIn Pro Review — Best For Anytime File and Application Access
If you’re looking for a simple way to access files and apps on your computer from anywhere, LogMeIn Pro is the clear winner. The software is easy to use, secure, and extremely reliable.
It’s a popular choice for SMBs across all industries.
Let’s take a closer look at the software’s features to see why it comes so highly recommended:
- Simple step-by-step setup instructions for easy deployment
- Access your remote desktop as if you were in front of the screen
- Unlimited users and instant collaboration
- Free access to LastPass to store and manage all passwords
- Multiple monitor display view on a 1:1 local screen
- Remote printing functionality
- 1 TB of file storage to access and share from anywhere
- Quick access to frequently visited websites, cloud apps, and desktop apps
- Remote access on the go with the LogMeIn Pro mobile app
Plans for individual users start at $30 per month. This gives you access to two computers. To access up to ten computers, you’ll need a small business license, starting at $129 per month.
Which remote access software is the best? It depends on what you’ll be using it for.
Between Parallels Access, TeamViewer, Remote Utilities, Zoho Assist, and LogMeIn Pro, I know that one of these tools can accommodate your needs.
Just use the methodology I described earlier in the guide to help you choose the right option for your business. There’s something for everyone on my list.
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Did you recently find out that your conversions are low compared to the industry average? If that’s the case, then you need to hire a Conversion Rate Optimization Agency that can help you fix this issue. Today we’ll go over everything you need to be aware of before hiring the right agency for your business. …
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Bedful | Software Engineer | London, UK | REMOTE (UK residents only) | Fulltime | https://bedful.com
We run one of the most popular camping websites in the UK and help millions of people a year plan and book a great camping and glamping holiday, and the booking system which supports it. We are constantly improving our central booking system – Bedful, along with our sales channels cool camping, glampingly, cool places and others so you’ll be working on exciting new features for partners and guests including integrations with other providers and the internals of the booking system. We’re seeing high growth in domestic tourism and are expanding our team.
Due to Coronavirus our office in Shoreditch, London is currently closed, and we’re working remotely for the next 6 months at least, but we hope to return to the office next year. We are looking for applicants with UK residency only.
We deploy new code to production most days and are looking for a software engineer to work at first remotely. Most of our code is written in Go – we’ve been using Go for a few years now and love working with it. Limited experience in Go is not a problem as long as you’re keen to learn and self-motivated. Experience with Go in production is a plus.
More details here: https://bedful.com/careers/software-engineer or send me an email – hello at bedful.com.
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