Maximizing Productivity with Remote Teams

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Working remotely is now becoming a necessity. The global health emergency we have all experienced over the past few months has expedited the transition to virtual teams across all types of organisations who have until now been reluctant to commit to such a radical change. It has now become a critical factor for business continuity in addition to the already known benefits of accessing the best talent wherever they might live and increasing flexibility and productivity for colleagues.

That said, managing projects using remote teams brings its own set of challenges on top of an already difficult task. There is an extra dimension to the standard procedures for making assignments, managing resources, tracking progress and updating stakeholders when they may be in different countries and time zones.

Virtual project management is the process of managing projects via remote or virtual teams. When teams are distributed across different time zones, they still need to get assigned tasks and that work must be monitored and tracked to make sure it stays on schedule. As more teams work from home, virtual project management has become more defined.

Not having physical contact with your team creates new obstacles that project managers must overcome.  The good news is that project management tools have for some time been moving from analog to digital, and with that transition increasing efficiencies and productivity. So, the move to virtual project management is not the great leap it might at first appear.

As organisations become more accustomed to working with teams who are not co-located, they’ve also warmed to the idea of virtual project managers. This has been facilitated by technology advances that have made it easier to manage remote workers. The development of a virtual office has made the transition to virtual project management that much smoother.

The generational change of workers is also at play in the rise of virtual project management. New workers are entering the workforce, but older workers who are able to adapt are staying in with the help of virtual teams. This creates an even more productive team, one that is energized by youthful enthusiasm and new ideas, but anchored by the experience and skills of older team members.

The acceptance of virtual teams has now reached a tipping point but that’s not to say that we are in unchartered territory. Many organisations globally have been early adopters of the virtual cool-aid and there is a wealth of expertise and experience available to organisations now making the journey. iEngageIT’s project managers have been managing virtual teams and delivering virtual projects successfully for over 25 years and offer the benefits of that experience to any organisation whether  just making the transition now, or planning to extend their existing capability.

Web scrapping – Is your business benefiting?

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What is Web Scraping?

If you’ve ever copied the data off a website and used it then you’ve scrapped the data manually. When you automate it to get data intelligently and efficiently you use a software tool called as Web Scrapper.  Once the data is scraped, web scrapper will usually then export it in a more convenient format such as an Excel spreadsheet or JSON. Depending upon suitability, content of a page may be parsed, reformatted, searched its data copied into a database etc.

Web scraping or web harvesting solutions range from the ad-hoc, requiring human interactions, to totally automated systems that are eligible to transform entire web sites into structured data.

Web scrapping typically involves two stages

  • fetching pages (by crawler)
  • and extracting data from it (by scrapper)

web  crawling is an important component of web scraping, to fetch pages and data for later processing. Once fetched, then extraction can take place.

Why Web Scraping?

It’s a common knowledge that Data is ‘King’. The true power of web scraping lies in its ability to build and power some of the world’s most revolutionary business applications. ‘Transformative’ doesn’t even begin to describe the way some companies use web scraped data to enhance their operations, informing executive decisions all the way down to individual customer service experiences.

Some obvious examples of their frequent use are:

  • Real Estate listings scraping (in the real estate industry)
  • Scraping product data to build price comparison tools
  • Scraping website for new lead information
  • Using web scraping to assist with website transitions
  • Social Media scraping for sentiment analysis
  • Scraping stock prices for market analysis

 

Conclusion:

  • Web scraping is legal in general and won’t get you into trouble.
  • follow some basic rules like
  • Don’t overwhelm an online server
  • Don’t steal content
  • Give due credit to source of information
  • Do not download copies of documents that are clearly not in public domain.
  • If the information you scraped is not within the property right please take due permission to share it. Then share it out there for others to reuse it.
  • If you wrote an online scraper to access it, share its code (e.g. on GitHub) so others can have the benefit of it.

Robotic Process automation: Swivel Chair Automation

You are at right place if you want to know about the Robotic process automation (RPA) in software industry.

RPA is one of the hottest technologies in the IT market today, mainly due to its potential to deliver huge benefits to companies. Broadly speaking, those possible benefits include workflow efficiencies, cost savings and accurate outcomes. Clearly the emerging technology is having a huge impact on the way enterprises perform day-to-day business processes. In IT industry, very few IT service companies  are into RPA software development and services.

Think of data sources around you in the form of webpages, spreadsheets, files, different kind of databases and desktop applications, this may be structured data or unstructured data. You want to gather that data and make a reusable structured data for further processing. You will go ahead and do manual copying and pasting that data or you will do manual data entry work. If you are using two different desktop applications, you need to swivel chair or your head for copying data from source application and pasting it to the target application to make structured data. This manual work will became a nightmare for you, if data is too big.

RPA will help you solve above swivel chair issue.

In banking sector, tasks such as opening accounts or processing mortgage applications can be automated with RPA, while insurance companies can use RPA to automate health claims. In the transport sector, RPA can be applied to the supply chain and logistics operations. The list of possibilities is nearly endless and beneficial to any business that deals with time taking laborious manual processes.

Kubera meets the world

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On  5th March, iEngageIT attended the LineUp Conf 2020 to celebrate International Women’s Day 2020 in Londonderry.

 We took a morning bus out from Belfast and reached the calm and scenic valley of Derry. A scenic walk from bus station along the Foyle embankment, overlooking peace bridge, brought us to the venue for the all-Ireland conference.

Met the ever-charming Camilla Long and amazing Alistair Cameron once in, along with some coffee and accompanying traybakes.

We couldn’t contain the excitement and quickly rushed into the auditorium inside.  It was a day full of intelligent insights, presentations and pitches. Day full of learning , sharing and celebrating the best of all Ireland. Heard about Elemental’s inspiration journey and the new innovative platform Solv from Concentrix

After the conference we all proceeded to Sandinos for an evening social. There finally got to meet the firebrand Mary McKenna and her Top 10 tips for female entrepreneurs along with Diane who mentioned her game changing 20 for 20 fundraiser for Hospice . The  team behind JourneyProtector won the startup pitch competition and along with £2020 they won the highly coveted support of 20 mentors as well. Nothing better than having 20 proven experienced mentors by your side.

We got the opportunity to unveil ‘Kubera’ .  This was the very first outing and introduction of Kubera to the world.

Kubera is being developed inhouse by the experienced and proven TeamiEngageIT. This is a (RPA) Robotic Process Automation based system.  It will not just auto enhance the data but will resolve the issues around tracking , reporting and  intelligent insights.

It has been an exciting 1st day out for Kubera and we can’t wait to share the rest of this journey with you all.