Infographic – #InternetofThings Primer by AIG

Internet of things - aig

This infographic covers some of the basic benefits that are expected from the Internet of Things era.   Dr Shawn DuBravac created the infographic for AIG.

One interesting note is the cost reduction on devices – the infographic notes how accelerometer devices have dropped in average cost from $7 to just 50 cents.

This expected trend of lowered costs was also mentioned in during Joichi Ito’s presentation at the O’Reilly Solid conference, a media event that covers the latest Internet of Things innovations. Ito is the director of MIT Media Labs, a facility which specializes in technology research.  He is a leading thinker and writer on innovation, global technology policy, and the role of the internet in transforming society.

You can read about the Solid conference in these posts for CMSWire (see Finding Solid Ground in the IoT Era) and for Small Business Trends ( Ways Your Small Business Can Capitalize on the Internet of Things).  You can also check out the video of Its’s Solid Conference presentation How Bio Is The  New Digital .

CloudCamp – The Basics of HIPAA Privacy Compliance

CloudCamp Chicago Meetup
Cloudcamp is a technology meetup in Chicago which showcases topics and ideas from presentere accross the Chicagoland area. This meetup focused on healthcare cloud issues such as privacy and health movement from wearables.
There are a ton of meetups in Chicago on technology, but few are dedicated to cloud technology. One that does examine the influences on cloud tech is CloudCamp.
CloudCamp presented a healthcare theme meetup, in which presenters displayed lightning talks on health.  Alex Connor, Lead architect at Crimson Care Management  highlighted the best of compliance concerns in his talk called  Security Sanity – what is it like in a HIPAA compliant environment.
HIPAA requires PHI – otherwise known as “protect health information” – from organizations. This means tactics such as encryption and physical security of hard drives and in emails.
Moreover, encryption efforts means having a sense of traceability is important. Traceability addresses the following questions that a HIPAA review would raise:
  • To whom does the data refers
  • Who saw the data
  • What did they see
  • When did they see it
  • From where did they see it?
To identify traceability and to maintain protocols,  annual HIPAA compliance assessment is needed.  Connor outline the basics that would support HIPAA compliance.  Thes would lead into safety best practices such as:
  • Ensure that the Information security officer attend HIPAA training, compliance,
  • Add encryption to all workstations
  • Add a Screen shield to prevent over-the-shoulder view of data
  • Lock laptops whenever you leave it – even for less than a minute
  • Set clear expectation; contextualize policy and definitions
  • Include clear definitions around warning, sanctions, and breaches
  • Stay current with current laws
  • Talk openly about breaches in the news
More is available on the slide deck, available on the Cloudcamp Slideshare page.  You will see Connor’s talk, as well as the presentations from other speakers in their entirety.

Video: The Responsive City – Stephen Goldsmith @Goldsmithongov at @ChicagoCityData

Stephen Goldsmith of Harvard Kennedy School speaks on the value of data within government agencies

This post features a video of an informal presentation from Stephen Goldsmith. The talk was given in Chicago at the Microsoft Technology Center as part of the meetup group  Chicago City Data User Group.  Goldsmith showed innovation and thought leadership during his roles as Deputy Mayor of New York City and two-term Mayor of Indianapolis. His efforts changed how many cities view technology as a driver of physical and civic improvement. He is now the Daniel Paul Professor of Government at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

The talk centers on the civic usage of data.  A brief 30 minute discussion, Goldsmith noted about the challenging need to use data to improve the discretion of government agency managers.  Goldsmith believed that the data should not be used to embolden bureaucratic processes, but to instead align those processes to serve citizens better and to better deploy precious resources.  Check out his comments and insights in the video below.


I know what analytics is – but how can I use it better for my business?

Pierre DeBois Chicago Small Business Expo
Pierre DeBois speaking about analytics at the 2014 Small Business Expo in Chicago

Most businesses have heard the definition of analytics at some point since 2006 (with Zimana being in business since 2009).  Here is the definition, for those just joining the internet.  Analytics is about the measurement of a system. With respect to small businesses, the interest is in web analytics. Web analytics is the measurement of website performance.

The origins of web analytics is linked with web development.  Originally it was meant to track and help account for webpages being served – in essence, a diagnostic tool.  But with the advent of paid search, combined with newly introduced Javascript tags, marketers realized that web analytics could provide a means to manage marketing campaigns, thus raising results and reducing costs.

The next advancement of importance  are smartphones and tablets. They changed the ways people review websites before making a purchase, because sites are accessed while visitors on the go instead of just at home.  Moreover, websites are increasingly accessed by mobile devices, so the sites have to be mobile-friendly.

If you are starting your business, there are a few ways to start using analytics to confirm how your website enhances your business digital strategy.  Planning for data collection can become complex based on the amount of marketing you have planned, but a dedicated planning pays off in organizing necessary steps, reducing effort needed over time.

If you are unsure where to start, here are a few great starting points if you are just planning to launching a website.

  • Identify how your web presence will be laid out.  Web designers use wireframes to lay our each page navigation, but if you are technically challenged you can do so on a piece of paper. This will also help assess costs for launching and maintaining associated components such as a microsite for an app or an e-commerce cart.
  • Choose your downloadable material for the site – these can be tagged in analytics through features such as event tracking, a minor code typically added to the HTML links for the documents. Tag managers are also available to make tag management manageable.
  • Install an analytics tag is on each page. Most analytic solutions use a Javascript code added into the HTML coding of the page (for Google Analytics, there are several checkers available).  Be prepared to modify the code for e-commerce, CRM, and other  features that are not included with standard reporting (a web developer or analytics specialist should help). Also consider a tag manager to manage a number of tags easily, particularly for complex set ups with cross-domains and e-commerce shopping carts.
  • Consider names for each webpages that includes a highly-trafficked keyword if feasible. You’ll have to keep page name lengths simple for user convenience (and it may depend on the URL you select). Three words in a subdirectory URL is a good rule of thumb to maintain.  So a URL can appear like this example below: 

In this example, three words can be selected to the subdomain, kept relatively short in case a customer is typing the URL or speaking the words into a search window on a smartphone.  Each word can be an opportunity to use a keyword – say “shoe repair” in this instance – or a useful high volume description like “Chicago” to help in local search. 

There’s no one combination that will guarantee success, but the key is develop the most descriptive page names that will aid discovery in a general search engine.

  • Make sure each page title and description are filled out, since those come in handy not only for search engine but in sharing content on Facebook, Google +, Pinterest, and other social media platforms.
  •  Identify a goal page from your website. This will aid reporting on how well people are navigating on your site.
  • Plan your marketing in addition to executing a search strategy.  Search traffic is helpful, but you may need to select marketing for an additional reach to your audience.