First Meerkat support structure completed

first_img6 February 2014The first dish support structure for the Meerkat radio telescope, manufactured by South African company Tricom Structures, is ready to be transported to the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) site in Carnavon in the Northern Cape.The SKA project is an international effort to build the world’s largest radio telescope, which is to be co-hosted by South Africa and Australia.The 64-dish MeerKAT radio telescope is due to come online in 2016 both as a precursor to the SKA and as one of the most powerful telescopes in the world in its own right.Addressing a media briefing in Pretoria on Wednesday, Tricom Structures CEO Sihle Shange said the massive steel structure was expected to be transported from Pretoria, where the company is based, to Carnavon before the end of the month.The structure weighs about 25 tons and will need two or more abnormal-load trucks to transport it, Shange said.He said Tricom would be assembling all 64 structures for the Meerkat telescope at a rate of two a month, adding that he was confident that the company would meet the 2016 deadline.“We have design capability and we are confident that everything will be smooth,” he said, adding that they would create more jobs should there be a need.Each structure will have to provide exceptionally stable support for a 13.5 x 16 metre main reflector dish standing at a height of 19 metres in the face of winds capable of gusting at up to 144 kilometres an hour.The MeerKAT is due to be commissioned in 2014/15, and to come online for science operations in 2016. It will be the largest and most sensitive radio telescope in the southern hemisphere until the Square Kilometre Array itself is completed around 2024. Leading radio astronomy teams from around the globe having already signed up to use the instrument.SAnews.gov and SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

How to become an omni-channel, data-driven retailer

first_imgInternet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You… In our next webinar Ian Macdonald, Principal Technologist at Pyramid Analytics will show how a BI platform can help you amalgamate data and get a unified and accurate view of all your customer, competitor, and corporate data.Step 3: Create a data-driven culture Succeeding with data is not just a matter of investing in a BI solution or hiring a data analyst or scientist. Instead, it requires you to develop a data-driven culture that involves people from all the departments of the organization. This is particularly important for retail businesses because every single department of a retail business can add something significant to the data value chain.For example, the finance department can help you determine if the prices are consistent across all channels or if there is a particular store or platform that’s not delivering the desired performance. Similarly, the people responsible for supply chain management can provide you information regarding supply chain issues and how they impact your order fulfillment capabilities. To summarize, from sales to marketing to HR and supplier relationship management, every single department of your organization can provide you answer to an important question. Therefore, establishing a data-driven culture and involving all the functions is imperative to become a data-driven omni-channel retailer.Step 4: Do not be confined by reporting cyclesWhile automated pre-built reports offered by a BI and analytics solution can help you analyze data in a real-time manner in a more efficient manner, the routine reporting capabilities may also limit your ability to extract maximum value from your BI investment.An ad-hoc analysis is a viable solution to this problem. It will allow your employees to adopt an innovative approach towards data analysis and get a deeper, more precise, and comprehensive view of your existing customers. Also, since Ad-hoc analysis solutions are built specifically for users, they ensure a high adoption rate. This, in turn, makes business intelligence accessible to every single person in your organization, allowing them to contribute to the data value chain in their own unique way.Step 5: Look beyond your businessIn order to become a true data-driven omni-channel enterprise, businesses should look beyond the data sources present within the organization. Consider the data sources located externally. The most common yet an important external data source is social media. Customers’ feedback about your business on various social media platforms can offer you a wealth of information, which you can use to optimize your customer journey.Other unconventional external data sources that your business could benefit from include:Search result dataDemographic information collected by different surveysOnline rankings of web pages and TV adsOnce you have collected information from all these channels, integrate it with your existing data and use a BI tool to identify trends and patterns and to predict customer behavior.What have we learned?From the evolution of e-commerce to the increasing use of social media and smartphones, the retail environment has gone through a multitude of changes over the past few years. This has led retailers to adopt an omni-channel approach that can enable customers to interact with and buy a product from a retailer at any time via any platform. However, in order to leverage the profit maximization potential of omni-channel strategy, businesses must utilize the data available to them in the right manner.While the 5-step strategy mentioned above can help a business make progress towards their ultimate objective of becoming a data-driven, omni-channel enterprise, each and every business has its own unique needs, and therefore, a thorough evaluation of these needs and a customized approach to fulfill them is necessary.If you are interested in learning more multi-channel retail analytics, you can register for my upcoming webinar. You can also follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay updated with the latest in BI and journey science. In today’s digital age where customers are as likely to buy a product from an e-commerce website as from a brick and mortar store, delivering a seamless and value-adding shopping experience has become more important than ever before. The multiple shopping channels available to customers and the competition posed by other retailers have made it an absolute necessity for a retail business to integrate data inputs from different channels and use to it define an omni-channel shopping experience.See also: Is Amazon Go the sign of the downfall of the retail workforce?As a Big Data and BI influencer, I have worked with a large number of businesses within and beyond the retail industry. Using this knowledge and expertise, I have developed a 5-step approach that businesses operating in the retail sector can adopt to meet the expectations of their customers and become an omni-channel, data-driven retailer.Step 1: Collect the right type of customer dataIn their journey to becoming a data-driven organization, businesses are required to collect the right type of data — data that can help them improve the customer experience and maximize the profit they gain from their online and offline channels.For example, a business that operates brick and mortar stores would probably like to try different layouts and floor plans to determine which maximizes the chances of a sale. To do this, they will require sales breakdown for each store. On the other hand, since in online context you can personalize customer journeys, a business with an eCommerce website will be required to collect data about their purchasing history, browsing behaviors, and more.Apart from customer data, competitor data is another type of data that you need to collect. Collect data regarding price, customer reviews and ratings, and sizing and use the intelligence gain to optimize your product catalogue and customer journey.Gathering data without analyzing is not only a waste of time, it will also raise doubt and suspicion among your customers. Therefore, it is also important not to collect data that you are not going to use.Step 2: Integrate your data sourcesOnce you have determined the type of data you want to collect, the next step is to identify the channels that can provide you the data. Retail businesses collect massive amounts of information from a wide range of channels. In fact, each successful transaction presents a data collection responsibility to retail businesses. However, the sheer amount of data and the disparate sources from which they are collected may make it quite an impossible task for businesses to organize the data and generate valuable insights from it.Since a large amount of data collected by a retailer is processed through its Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, the platform can be used for the purpose of data organization. Alternatively, there are a number of other BI platforms available that businesses can use to improve their data collection, organization, visualization, and analytical capabilities. These platforms can collect data from a large number of sources, including:Point-of-sale dataCustomer feedbackWeb Analytics dataCustomer Relationship Management dataSupply chain data How Myia Health’s Partnership with Mercy Virtua… Related Posts Follow the Puck Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Tags:#Big Data#e-commerce#Internet of Things#IoT#omni channel#retail#retailers Ronald van Loonlast_img read more