Monday, January 22, 2018

Community Colleges- All you wanted to know about education and employment in the U.S.

As Digital Transformation becomes pervasive and Artificial Intelligence arrives as a major disruptor, the employment market is getting increasingly complex and competitive. Most traditional jobs are either getting revamped or altered in a complete fashion or just disappearing. In such a fluid yet dynamic situation, skills become required and necessitated in a super-quick pattern. The need of the hour is smart skills and also the ability to pick up new skills fast. Education is going to become continuous in the future leading to challenging and exciting careers and more satisfying lives.

Even in a normal, standard-paced scenario, while schools counsel students on the selection of career paths, students are not able to make a decision on the stream to opt for more often than not. The dismal news on the student debt front will also serve as a dampener for students looking to identify a graduation major. When students have connected with a skill or an activity that they enjoy, internships are a great way to get their feet wet while in High School in a business or factory/plant environment. For those who are not sure of their preferred career as well as those looking to find a cost-effective path to graduation, community colleges offer the ideal gestation ground.

Gestating ideas and careers
A community college makes it possible for students to get real focus onto their studies by way of several features of the system. The foremost beneficial feature is that the classes are small followed by the related element of teacher attention to every student as well as reduced workload on teachers. Of course, lower Tuition and Fees are among the top reasons to enrolling in Community College but the crucial element is that students know that they are able to work on all their weaknesses in a low-cost and low-stress environment. And then, they are also able to work part-time to develop their cash reserve for future academic and life pursuits. In beginning to focus on the importance of a two-year degree in today’s economic and commercial environment, a look at the overall education and jobs environment is imperative.

Department of Education
Betsy DeVos has recently advocated a move towards apprenticeship in making a pitch for a ‘major shift’ in higher education. The Secretary of Education requested businesses to partner with community schools and other similar institutions.

Job creation
In 2017, history has been set with job openings that have been created with the all-time top three months of job openings being set this year. They have crossed 6 million in four months of 2017. Data for job openings have been recorded since 2000.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data for 2016 revealed Median Usual Weekly Earnings for those with a Bachelor’s Degree at $1,156 while for those with an Associate’s Degree it was $819. The Unemployment rate for the former was 2.7 percent while it was 3.6 percent for the latter.

How many High-School Graduates go to college
As of October 2016, 69.7 percent of High School graduates of 2016 were enrolled in Colleges or Universities. The number of students who had graduated from High School from January to October 2016 was 3.1 million between ages of 16 to 24. About 2 of 3 of the 2.2 million enrolled in colleges were in 4-Year courses which make up about 1.6 million.

The National Center for Education Statistics Preliminary Data for 2016-17 released in July 2017 reported data on Degrees and Other Awards Conferred for 2015-16 and 12-Month Enrolment for 2015-16. In the 2016-17 academic year from July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016, there were 1,995 2-year institutions among the 6,760 Title IV institutions in the United States. Of the 1,995, those within U.S. jurisdiction were 1,969 with the remaining 26 were situated in other U.S. jurisdictions. The number of Title IV eligible institutions granting a 2-year degree had been 1,732 in 2000-01.

Number of students
The NCES data for 12-month headcount 2015-16 at Title IV institutions offering 2-year degrees was 8, 985, 279 at Public institutions, 89, 188 at Private Non-profit institutions and 450,093 at Private For-Profit institutions.

Rate of completion of 4-year Degrees
At For-Profit Institutions granting a 4-year degree, only 42 percent of the 286,000 students received a bachelor’s degree while the count for public institutions was 64 percent. All data is with regard to Title IV institutions. Tuition and Fees increased in the last three years by 1 percent for For-Profit institutions and 4 percent for Public institutions. At Non-profit institutions, 53 percent students received a degree with fees going up 5 percent in the period from 2014-15 to 2016-17.

Breaking Down 2-year institution numbers
Of the total 1,995 institutions providing 2-year Degrees, 990 were public institutions, 842 were For-Profit Institutions while 163 were Non-Profit institutions.

Costs for a 2-year Degree
Tuition and Required Fees
In Public institutions, students from in-district paid $3,312 for Tuition and Required Fees for a 2-Year certificate in 2014-15 which went up to $3,479 in 2016-17. The corresponding figures for students from within the state were $3,875 and $4,087. If the student was from out of the state, the costs were $7,586 in 2014-15 and $7,937 in 2016-17. For Private Non-Profit institutions, the costs for Tuition and Required Fees were $14,282 in 2016-17 while they were $14,694 for Private For-Profit institutions.
Books and Supplies
Over Public, Private For-Profit and Private Non-Profit, the costs for books and supplies were in the range of $1,422-$1,627.
Room and Board
At Public Institutions and staying on campus, room and board cost $6,568 in 2016-17 while for off-campus not with family, the cost was $8,191. The corresponding figures for Private Non-Profit were $8,814 and $9,470. At For-profit, they were $10,308 and $8,466 respectively.
Other Expenses
At Public Institutions on campus, they ran up to $3,270 while at For-Profit they were $3,452 in 2016-17.
Total expenses
We have the following total costs
·        Public-within a state-staying on campus-$15,347
·        Private-NonProfit-within a state-staying on campus-$27,931
·        Private-ForProfit-within a state-staying on campus-$30,081

Among the 1,969 2-Year Institutions in the U.S., there were 990 Public Institutions and 830 For-Profit Institutions while Non-Profit Institutions numbered 158. It is to be noted that the number of For-Profit Institutions within the segment makes up 28.6 percent while it is only 17.7 percent for 4-Year Institutions. This reveals that the private sector sees more commercial prospects within the 2-year segment or it could be a factor of lower costs in beginning a 2-year institution.

2-Year Tuitions compared with 4-year Tuitions
Tuition and Required Fees at For-Profit Institutions are $16,011 for a 4-year course while they are $14,694 at a 2-Year For-Profit Institution. At public and non-profit institutions, Tuition and Required Fees for a 4-Year course are almost double that of those for a 2-Year course.

Rate of Student Persistence
The Community College Research Center (CCRC) has provided data of 55 percent persistence at one year for students who started part-time while it was 69 percent for students who started full time.

Developmental courses
The CCRC data on Developmental Courses shows that 35 percent of students beginning a two-year college took a remedial course in the first year. This data pertains to the period from 2003-2004 to 2011-2012. The NCES has reported that budget constraints have led to some states reducing the number of remedial courses. These states were Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Virginia. Other states were trying to shift remediation to community colleges. These states were Illinois, Montana, Tennessee and Texas.

NCES data on remedial courses
According to a NCES report of September 2016, 41 percent of students at public 2-year institutions in 2011-2012 took a remedial course. Data for 2003-2009 stood at 68 percent for students who had enrolled in 2003-2004 and taking a remedial course in any field. Those taking multiple remedial courses across subjects were 26 percent. On average, a student taking remedial courses enrolled in three such courses. Those completing all the courses they had begun stood at 49 percent.

Link between Remedial Courses and Dropouts
Those who began a 2-year study program at a public institution and were weakly prepared opted for remedial math at 65 percentage points. Those taking a remedial course did so within three months of beginning college at 72 percentage points.

Key data on Remedial Courses in 2-year programs between 2003 and 2009 (Public Institutions)
·        68 percent of students enrolled for a remedial course
·        48 percent took two or more remedial courses
·        26 percent took courses across multiple subject areas
·        72 percent enrolled for a remedial course in the first term
·        49 percent completed all of their courses
·        35 percent completed some of their courses
·        16 percent completed none
·        73 percent who took one remedial course completed it
·        25 percent who took four remedial courses completed all four
·        41 percent weakly prepared students completed all courses taken
·        51 percent of moderately prepared students completed all courses taken

The NCES Report showed that students with weak academics who had completed a remedial math course were 11 percent less probable of dropping out of college in the first two years when beginning at a 4-year public institution.

Education formats at Community Colleges
Online courses are increasingly becoming commonplace with hybrid courses offering a mix of online and traditional coaching also being available. Accelerated Learning options are also available which allow for graduation in 15 months.

In 2008-09, the top five in-demand professions in the 10-year projection for 2006-2016 included two jobs that needed a Bachelor’s Degree, two that needed Short-Term On-the-job training and one that needed an Associate Degree. The 10-Year Projections are revised every two years. At number one was Network systems and data communications which needed a Bachelor’s Degree, number two was Personal and Home Care Aides that needed Short-Term On-the-job training, number three was Home Health Aides which also required Short-Term On-the-job training, number four was Computer Software Engineers which required a Bachelor’s Degree and at number five was Veterinary Technologists and Technicians which required an Associate Degree.

Which industry led in the Past?
Among other jobs in demand in 2009-09 that required an Associate Degree were
·        Physical Therapist Assistants
·        Dental Hygienists
·        Environmental Science and Protection technicians

Looking at the period from 2004 to 2014, six of the top ten in-demand occupations did not require a Bachelor’s Degree. Five of the six were in the health care industry.

Which industry leads now?
In 2017, the top five in-demand professions in the 10-year projection for 2016-2026, there are none that need a Bachelor’s Degree. Health Care dominates again with three out of the top five in-demand jobs projected for the next decade with the other two jobs related to the alternative energy segment.

Top Five Jobs for 2017 and further
At number 1 is Solar Photovoltaic Installers which requires a High-School Diploma or equivalent. The median pay for 2016 was $18.87 per hour or $39,240 per year. There were 11,300 jobs in the segment in 2016 with projections for 105 percent growth over the next decade. Trade schools and Community Colleges have courses that train for the job such as Basic Safety and PV Knowledge to System Design. The duration of these courses can range from a few days to a few months. Important qualities for the job are Communication skills, Detail-Oriented towards accurately following instructions, Mechanical skills to work with electrical and mechanical equipment, Physical stamina towards climbing ladders frequently and Physical strength for lifting heavy equipment. A course in Photovoltaic Systems at a Community College is the best route to secure employment in this job.

At number two is Wind Turbine Service Technicians which requires a Postsecondary nondegree award. The median pay for 2016 was $25.13 per hour or $52,260 per year. There were 5,800 jobs in the segment in 2016 with projections for 96 percent growth over the next decade. Technical Schools and Community Colleges are the source of training for the job with certificates or associate’s degree in wind energy technology. Rescue,  safety and first aid, Electrical maintenance, hydraulic maintenance, braking systems, Mechanical systems and Programmable Logic Systems are among the skills needed for the job.

At number three is Home Health Aides which requires a High School Diploma or Equivalent. The median pay for 2016 was $10.66 per hour or $22,170 per year. There were 2,927,600 jobs in 2016 with projections for 40 percent growth over the next decade. 

At number four is Personal Care Aides which also comes under the same pay as Home Health Aides and is included in the job count projection for Home Health Aides.

At number five is Physician Assistants, number six is Nurse Practitioners and number seven is Statisticians all of which require a Master’s Degree.

At number eight is Physical Therapist Assistants and Aides. The Median Pay in 2016 was $21.77 per Hour or $45,290 per year. An Associate’s Degree from an Accredited Program is required for the job. There were 350 Associate’s Degree Programs for Physical Therapist Assistants in 2017. The subjects in the course include Algebra, English, anatomy, physiology and psychology. Important qualities for the job are compassion, detail-oriented, dexterity, interpersonal skills and physical stamina.

Other jobs that are trained in community colleges include
·        Medical Assistants who made $15.17 per hour in 2016 at 634,000 positions and
·        projected to grow 29 percent by 2026

·        Occupational Therapy Assistants or Aides

·        Fire Inspectors who might be required to have done a 2 or 4 year degree in Fire Science

Jobs that are not being filled

There were 468, 600 Machinists in 2016 who were making $20.75 per hour or $43,160 per year. Growth over the next decade through 2026 is projected at 1 percent. Openings in the position arise from retiring workers. Two-year programs to train machinists or tool and die makers at community colleges and technical schools cover design and blueprint reading, use of welding and cutting tools and Computer Numerically Controlled machines.

General Maintenance and Repair Worker
Courses at Community Colleges in Mechanical Drawing, Mathematics, Computers, Electrical and Woodworking are relevant to this position that paid out $17.76 per hour or $36,940 per year to 1,432, 600 workers around the country. Growth for this job is projected at 8 percent over the next decade through 2026. Tasks in this job include painting, repairing of flooring, plumbing, electrical, air-conditioning and heating systems.

Rounding off the data, we can take a look at the jobs and unemployment rates which we started out with by looking at data for 2016.

Looking at the overall job scenario
As of 2001, persons who had a Bachelor’s or higher degree earned $832 a week. Those with an Associate Degree made $625 each week. Those with Some College with no Degree made $568 each week. Persons with a High School graduation or equivalent made $497 a week.

As of 2014, people with a Bachelor’s Degree only made $1,101 per week. Those with some college or an Associate Degree made $761 each week.

Unemployment Rates
As of August 2017, people with a Bachelor’s Degree or Higher were unemployed at 2.4 percent. People with some college or an associate degree were unemployed at the rate of 3.8 percent in August 2017.

Moving from an Associate Degree to a Bachelor’s Degree
As and when a person wants to complete a Bachelor’s Degree, credits earned towards the Associate Degree can be used in the completion of the Bachelor’s Degree.

Why an Associate Degree is much more effective than a High School Graduation?
With durations of just 24 months and sometimes as short as 15 months, an Associate Degree provides a strong foundation both in terms of job stability as well as strength of skill.

New prospects in the digital economy
Associate Degrees in Multimedia, Digital Marketing are of immense value as they deliver just the right skills that businesses and employers are seeking out right now.

Is an Associate Degree enough for a good salary?
Associate Degrees that are in demand

Paralegal Studies
The Curriculum typically covers Introduction to Law and Ethics, Legal research and Writing, Business Law, Personal Finance, Employment Law, Contracts, American Government, Torts, Civil Litigation, Criminal Law, Real Estate Law, Family Law and Income Tax Fundamentals. Among career choices are Corporate Paralegal, Litigation Paralegal and Immigration Paralegal. Some Associate Degrees are framed for students who do not want to study further delivering all the information and knowledge that is needed for a career.
The 2016 Medium pay for a Paralegal was $23.80 per hour or $49,500 per year. The number of jobs in 2016 were 285,600. Growth projection for Paralegals through 2026 is at 15 percent which translates into an additional 41,800 jobs. As Law Firms try and improve business efficiencies, Paralegals might be required to take on responsibilities of Legal Secretaries which is a position that requires a High School Graduation that had median pay of $17.90 per hour in 2016. The demand for Paralegals is expected to increase given the focus on cost optimization by Law Firms. Corporations are also going to be seeking paralegals to avoid the costs of employing outside counsel.

Dental Hygienists
The Associate’s Degree in Dental Hygiene requires students to have taken Biology, Chemistry and Math in High School. The 2016 Medium Pay was $35.05 per hour or $72,910 per year at 207,900 positions. At 20 percent growth over 2016-2026, 40,900 more positions are projected to be created through 2026. This is a course that is much sought after leading to a high level of applications for limited seats.

Geologic and Petroleum technicians
A 2-year Associate’s Degree for this job can be based on mining or geosciences among others. The 2016 Medium Pay was $27.15 per hour or $56,470 per year. There were 15,000 positions in 2016 with 2,500 set to be added by 2026 at a growth rate of 16 percent. Support Activities for Mining constituted 25 percent of the positions while Oil and Gas Extraction constituted 23 percent followed by Engineering services at 12 percent. Important qualities for the job include analytical skills to study data and samples, Communication skills to interact with scientists and managers, critical-thinking skills to interpret scientific data, interpersonal skills and physical stamina.

Associate-Degree Jobs that are low-growth over the next decade
Air Traffic Controller
The job requires a degree from an Air Traffic-Collegiate Training Initiative(AT-CTI) available school. There are 36 approved AT-CTI schools around the country which award two and four-year non-engineering aviation degrees. The subjects that are taught include aviation weather and reading charts. To be selected for the job, candidates need to pass drug screening and background checks, a Federal Aviation Administration pre-employment test, pass the Air Traffic Controller Specialists Skills Assessment Battery and also complete training at the FAA Academy with the academy training needing to be begun before 31 years of age.
The 2016 Medium Pay for Air Traffic Controllers was $58.85 per hour or $122,410 per year. There were 24,900 positions in 2016 with growth expected at 3 percent through 2026 to add another 900 positions.

Cost-effective education in securing an Associate’s Degree
Many 2-year institutions offer flexible tuition fees with options such as customization of monthly payments.

Flexible education pathway
Institutions that award 2-year degrees also allow students to choose and set their own study schedule with regard to the selection of subjects and the mode of coaching that they seek to receive.

Courses designed in partnership with industry
With the involvement of industry in the design of courses, a 2-year Associate’s Degree gets its most important advantage. Courses are framed to meet emerging requirements in industry at the same time that a shortfall is beginning to be encountered. Personal Coachers are made available at many institutions. The interactions between student and teacher or with the institution have all been brought into the mobile platform making it completely simple to plan and organize the learning journey.

Credits transferred into an Associate’s Degree
Any credit from a college that was attended prior to enlisting for an Associate’s Degree can be transferred in, the same way that credits earned towards the Associate’s Degree can be transferred out towards a subsequent enrolment for a Bachelor’s Degree. Some 2-year institutions also offer credits for the work experience that a person has gained prior to enrolment for the Associate’s Degree (or Bachelor’s Degree too).

Most 2-year institutions provide very interesting offers that are an incentive for those dithering on what track to get on to. Some of the deals offer almost-zero levels of initial payments and monthly payments as low as $50. Others offer semesters for free. Discount offers can range up to 20 percent or more. At many colleges, the tuition fees include study materials, career services and much more.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

What is Bitcoin and cryptocurrency?

Article written in June 2017 and published in December 2017

Crypto currencies are based on the use of cryptography, which is the practice of encoding messages for communication so that they are not understood by anybody who intercepts the communication. In the case of a currency, the coding is done so that another person who is on the network that uses the currency is not able to lay their digital hands on that held by the rightful owner. The procedure that is followed to ensure that all transactions with a currency unit are carried out only once and not ‘double-spent” is based on the implementation of a peer-to-peer network. Such a network is one which does not have a centralized server, in other words, all the systems in the network are peers. When was this model for a digital currency evolved?

Satoshi Nakamoto
Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency. The Paper that specified the alogorithm and procedure for Bitcoin was written by Satoshi Nakamoto, whose identity is not known and it can an individual or an entity. Nakamoto presented the paper in 2009 and left the project in 2010. Bitcoin is run by all its users. The concept behind it also involves all users also known as peers working on its implementation.

Peer to Peer Model
The peer-to-peer model works through the involvement of the entire network of users in the production and utilization of the crypto currency. The core method is the application of a cryptographic hash function. This is a function that takes data of any size and converts it into a string of bits, with the string being of a fixed size. The procedure is called hashing. As laid out by Nakamoto, each transaction is hashed, i.e., represented by a fixed string of binary digits(bits), into an “ongoing chain.” This becomes a record that cannot be changed without the chain being redone. The chain that is thus created, termed as a block chain, is available with every user of the network.

Doing the math for confirming a bitcoin transaction
The process of hashing i.e., the conversion of network timestamps into bits, requires computing power which is supplied by each user. When the owner of a coin pays, the hash of the previous transaction is transferred along with a digital signature as well as a public key of the new owner of the coin. As each timestamp is used to create a hash and the ongoing hashes, the chain reveals the utilization of a coin in the first instance and so it cannot be used a second time by a rogue user.

Effort(energy) required
The confirmation of a transaction is called “Mining” and requires the utilization of a CPU. This requires scanning for a value so that the bit string conforms to certain specifications. The specification is that the bit string must have a number of zeros at its start. The calculations become exponentially tougher as the number of zeros are higher. The mathematical computation involved is for the identification of the right number that can be combined with the block can yield the bit string with the specified number of leading zero bits. The computation involves billions of calculations per second.

Proof of Work
After the calculation is completed by the CPU, which is termed as Proof of Work, the block is completed. The block is the cryptographic proof that the order of transactions is secure. When a transaction takes place, it is communicated to all nodes on the system. Every node then starts to gather new transactions into a block.

Creation of new Bitcoins
A confirmation might not be needed if the users know and trust each other. A single confirmation by a node of a transaction can suffice for smaller transactions whereas larger transactions would need six confirmations. The more confirmations there are, the lower are the risks. The average rate of addition of blocks to the chain is one every ten minutes. When a miner verifies a transaction, they get a reward in the form of newly-generated Bitcoins. When the number of Bitcoins reaches 21 million, issuance of new units will be stopped.

Spending the cryptocurrency
There are many types of wallets that can be used to store and transact. They are available in the form of mobile wallets, desktop wallets, hardware wallets and web wallets. The wallets needs to be kept secure and must have backups. If the wallet is on a user’s phone, it needs to be encrypted. Hardware wallets are devices that are built solely for bitcoin storage. In a user’s wallet, private keys will be stored. A transaction for spending the currency will be signed by the user with this private key. The person receiving the currency will have to provide an address, which is not used again for any other transaction. The spender has control over the selection of any fees that may be required for the transaction.

Buying Bitcoin
Bitcoin can be bought at exchanges dealing in it in exchange for other currencies. The denomination that is used is known as ‘satoshi’ with one Bitcoin equal to 100,000,000 Satoshis. One Bitcoin is represented by BTC.

Exchanges in India
·        BTCXIndia
·        Coinsecure
·        Unocoin
·        Zebpay

Advantages over normal currencies
·        No processing fees by a central authority
·        No other unwanted charges can be levied on a purchase
·        Individuals are insulated from fraud
·        A transaction cannot be reversed
·        Personal data is not required for a transaction
·        No delays on international transactions
Disadvantages are primarily about the volatility of the value of the currency.

Current value of bitcoin
Bitcoin has risen nearly 500 percent in the last year, and 50 percent in May of 2017. In June 2017, it had been maintaining a range of between $2000 and all time high of $2791. As more countries have begun to look closely at the crypto currency, there is an expectation that demand will be high in the coming days. The BTC value in India in June was around 178,000. The Government of India is currently seeking suggestions from the public on cryptocurrencies. Update: In early December BTC has risen to above $11,000 and in Indian Rupees is trading at 75200.

There are many other crypto currencies in the wake of Bitcoin, with Ripple coming second. A prominent competitor is Ethereum which has grown rapidly from $8 at the beginning of 2017 to over $200 in May.

Last Word

Bitcoin has been projected to grow rapidly as is the case currently too. Its competitors are also all growing. However, volatility is a fundamental feature. It can be used as an alternate asset at the moment while not yet being at the level of a regular investment. People must avoid making any investments in Bitcoins with their primary cash and savings.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

A series on taxi service apps-1

Curb Passenger App

Curb delivers the most extensive network for a Taxi service around the U.S. with coverage of 65 cities. Curb delivers a different level of security when compared to other apps with its verified driver roster. In each city, drivers who have certified licenses and insurance according to local specifications are registered. This makes it a Taxi app that provides total secure rides to its users as it does not stop with ensuring quick hailing but also goes ahead and creates a secure pathway to your destination.

Connect with a huge customer base
Taxi services that plug into Curb get customers across the U.S. to serve while maintaining the high standards that Curb applies to drivers. This ensures that any fleet that works with Curb has a high quality threshold by meeting the guidelines laid down by Curb. Not only do Transportation Service providers get customers across the country but also maintain zero tolerance for unprofessional drivers. When a professional driver utilizes the Curb app, they are assured of regular customer bookings with more rides per shift than the rest of the apps in the market.

Online booking avenue
Curb also provides the option to go in for online booking which is very useful when you are planning well ahead of your journey and need to customize various facets of your travel plan. At the same time, you can make bookings right from your app. The online experience is for those who like to do it with a bit more detail. Customers can plan for a trip 24 hours in advance. A crucial differentiator with Curb is you can make the payment with cash if you want to do so, thereby not closing any channel of payment that the customer might prefer.

Choice of vehicle
In addition to choice of payment, Curb also provides choice of vehicle which is a very crucial parameter for some customers.

Pair and Pay
Customers can hail a taxi on the streets and then pair the service up with the app.

Wide network of Taxi drivers
Curb is not confined to professional taxi drivers but also includes any for-hire driver after all the mandatory approvals with regard to local standards and insurance.

Payment is instantaneous
Curb delivers automatic payment leading to a complete elimination of any interaction between devices or any dialogue between the driver and the customer. A default tip percentage is applied with the automatic payment feature, which can be changed by the customer to set the tip percentage of their choice. Tips can be set for future rides and tips on past rides too can be adjusted down the line by contacting support.

Unique add-ons
Customers who want to engage Taxis for an event that they are organizing can get in touch with Curb and organize a more customized hail and dispatch.

Credit Card benefits
With credit card being essential in some jurisdictions, the payback for customers comes in the form of promos that add a great way of bringing down some of your customer’s transportation bills. Credit cards can be added by using a smartphone to scan the card and after the scan is configured by the App, entry of the expiration date completes the addition of the card to the account. With such ease of card addition, there is absolutely no extra effort needed by customers to get their payments off and running. The same can also be done by going through the menu of the app.

No worry about lost articles
When you lose some object on your Curb App ride, all you need to do is log into your account and identify the company whose service you have utilized.

Sharing benefits
Curb users can convert their travel into a shared one by sing the app to set the destination as well as the number of people that they want to share their ride with. After the request is confirmed, a nearby location where the travel will originate is notified to the customer. Such comprehensive customer benefits are not available in many other taxi apps. This feature is available in specific areas within New York City which can be identified on a map on the app. Once the ride is confirmed, four minutes are allowed before the ride can be started while the passenger who joins in has two minutes to reach the pickup spot.

Getting receipts
Curb will send customers receipts for the ride within 24 hours. Customers can also log in to the site and get their receipt mailed to them.

Using Curb without an account
The taxi company that customers frequent can be used to get the transaction routed through Curb but many features might not be available through this avenue.

Completion of the journey

Curb is completely paperless for customers who want to eliminate all hassle from their journey. It is this feature that makes it a futuristic mode of travel wherein customers can get their taxis in a matter of minutes, complete their journey and exit the vehicle without loss of any time for completion of the payment.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Stress in the workplace

Stress is Good
When Stress becomes an apparent issue, it is time to realize that you have entered a phase of intense activity at the workplace. It is an indication of your responsibilities becoming bigger and your career gaining exponentially in terms of expertise. To rise up to the occasion, the first step is to acknowledge that you are being required to deliver more as you have developed the foundation for the same. This is the time to make the move towards aiding yourself to cope with the responsibilities better.

Turning insecurity into resourcefulness
If you are having insecurity with regard to your abilities to handle added responsibilities, planning and learning are the key words to address it. This stress is good because you have identified the areas that need more focus, either consciously or sunconsciously. All that remains to be done is to work out the ways to address them with the development of a mission statement for the particular challenges. By linking with the required resources, half the stress is addressed while the remaining half is overcome with a roadmap for application of the resources.

Ramp up communication

Communication is crucial in creating the right atmosphere for all reactive and resourceful action plans to be put into practice. Develop a new vocabulary of communication to handle the new or the unfolding situation that is causing the stress. In the long run, stress is good because it drives you to make the changes required to wade through it and perform your responsibilities to the most optimum. Step up into a rich new phase of both your professional and personal life.

Is it time to start looking at AI for your business

Artificial Intelligence has acquired breakneck speed of late to the extent that warnings have been issued of machines taking over too fast. In Business, the time to make full use of the technologies underpinning the field is surely now or never. With delegation of noncreative tasks to the machine, employees will have the time to focus on key aspects of the business that deliver added value to customers. The focus will shift to research and the development of jobs related to the availability of rapid-fast deductions by machines on what is going on with customers and markets.

Aiding business intelligence
With machine-deduced insights, decision makers will have their hands full in responding to alerts that are generated by the system. Further detail can be picked out by using the customization capabilities of the Machine Learning process. With all future business patterns discerned in advance and all events responded to with precision, businesses are going to be beehives of activity with activities that are guided to the last detail. The next stage of business development will be led by analysts who assist the AI system to generate key knowledge streams.

Staying on Track
Businesses that get into the AI revolution will be able to mop up all the small bits and pieces of profitable activities while keeping even the miniscule loss-making parts out of the equation. As companies master this efficiency phenomenon, they will discover more advanced capabilities of AI down the track. It is Win-Win when AI is adopted early, in the near-term and the long term. Without an AI game plan, businesses will be falling back more and more with each quarter.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Digital Transformation-How to go about it?

Digital Transformation is the flavor of the season with all talk about bots replacing humans and the Internet of Things holding out great promise for transformation of all current practices. As companies embrace this buzzword or react to it, it needs to be realized that this is quite a major revamp of the entire setup and not just the introduction of newer technologies. The convergence of a whole lot of innovation and their continuous adoption and further innovation is delivering an environment where efficiency is maximized over all activities and processes.

What is the basic prerequisite for Digital Transformation?
It is the involvement and integration of every component of a business operation. For Digital Transformation to really achieve its potential, every part of an organization and its staff need to be connected to the transformation as too needs to be all operations and data. The interlinking of data to feed and refine decision-making processes translates into all data becoming crucial for every decision. Insights will be gleaned from across the organization and not any more from specific departments.

Who benefits the most?

It is ultimately the customers who are going to be struck by this new approach and delivery wherein the buying experience becomes elevated to rarefied heights. To create such an outcome, the tools and the ways and means that employees have at their disposal will be radically advanced thereby making employees work better.

From Chief Information Officer to Chief Integration Officer

The times are a changing and technology is gaining rapid momentum. When one grasps the momentum of the event, it is clear that these are the times of maximum revolution in all spheres of business. Technology is bringing about a new kind of existence where there is no room for vagueness. It is all about learning and adapting. To rise to the occasion, CIOs need to be afraid of complacency.

Restructuring comes to the Enterprise
Digital Transformation is raising the bar all around the organization. All activities and processes are going to be ultra-refined and revamped beyond recognition. Leadership is crucial now and CIOs need to get on their battle gear. This is a challenging time and most importantly an exciting time. It is going to be a time where employees are going to get into the great learning evolution. Like the Ice Age and the Dark Ages, we are now entering the Age of Learning. This is going to make humans ultimately realize the great wealth of knowledge that is out there to be delved into.

Digital Transformation of Everything

It is going to be an age where humans are going to shake away their immersion into straitjackets of learning. This is going to be the age where the Learning of Everything is going to come about. An unification of all learning disciplines is the new model. And the CIO is the person making the first move in taking over the entire organization as the ambit of operation. To be afraid of this overarching venture is to be prepared fully. It is time to get down to work, to move out of the Department and into the Organization.