LOS ANGELES — Giants reliever Trevor Gott’s season is over.The club announced Friday that Gott was transferred to the 60-day injured list to clear a 40-man roster spot for right-handed pitcher Ricardo Pinto, who was acquired off waivers from the Tampa Bay Rays.Gott was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right elbow strain on August 27 and expected to return within two-to-three weeks. The Giants have not announced any new details regarding Gott’s injury, but he is no longer eligible to …
The upmarket Protea Hotel Asokoro in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, is one of 10 properties that the hotel group operates in the country.(Image: Protea Hotels) Brand South Africa CEO Miller Matola, left, with tourism director-general Kingsley Makhubela. The Financial Times and Brand South Africa provided the Nigerian High Commission with a platform for dialogue on trade and investment.(Images: Janine Erasmus) MEDIA CONTACTS • Nigerian High Commission in South Africa +27 12 342-0805 or +27 12 342-0663 or +27 12 342-0934 RELATED ARTICLES • Shaping Africa’s transformation • Top award for Nigeria’s bank chief • Nigerian for World Bank top spot? • Call to action for a green economy Janine ErasmusAs two of the strongest economies in Africa, co-operation between South Africa and Nigeria is pivotal to the growth of the continent – this is the message that came out of a dialogue co-hosted by the Financial Times (FT) and the Nigerian High Commission and supported by Brand South Africa.There was keen interest in the high-level event, and guests included the Nigerian High Commissioner Sunday Samuel Yusuf; director-general of South Africa’s tourism ministry Kingsley Makhubela; South Africa’s minister of arts and culture Paul Mashatile; Charlotte “Chichi” Maponya, chairperson of Brand South Africa; and Lindiwe Maseko, speaker of the Gauteng legislature.The purpose of the gathering was to discuss current and future trade and investment relations between the two countries, and to identify areas of opportunity for South African companies in Nigeria.Guests stood for a moment in respectful silence to honour victims of the recent heavy floods which have killed 363 Nigerians and displaced over two-million, before proceeding with the evening’s agenda.“South African companies first moved into Nigeria about 12 years ago,” said Nigerian Consul-General Okey Emuchay, “and they have thrived.”He named food manufacturer Tiger Brands, the Protea hospitality group, mobile provider MTN and retailer Shoprite as a few of those who have prospered.But there are many more opportunities available today, in four main markets – agriculture, oil and gas, infrastructure and power, and solid minerals or mining.The country is looking for creative ways to build its economy, said Emuchay, and South African companies should explore opportunities in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors, especially.“Tonight is the beginning of a mutually beneficial co-operation for South African companies and their Nigerian counterparts,” said Emuchay. “The Financial Times and Brand South Africa have given us this platform to start thinking afresh, and I envision this as becoming an annual event.”Growth hotspot“At a time when many developed countries are being downgraded,” said keynote speaker Olusegun Aganga, the Nigerian minister of trade and investment, “our country is being upgraded. We are seeing generally low growth and returns in the developed world, but the opposite tends to be true in developing nations. There has been a shift in the global economy.”Africa’s time has come, he said, and South Africa and Nigeria must work together to help the continent seize the moment.As one of the world’s fast-growing economies, Nigeria is an investor’s dream, with policies such as 100% repatriation of profits, 100% foreign ownership in all ventures except for oil and gas, and a liberal visa regime all designed to make it as easy as possible to do business.Aganga encouraged all African countries to look closer to home for trade and growth. “For more than 50 years Africa has exported its minerals and other precious resources to the developed world – those days should be over.”But there is more to be done – the continent must develop its industries. “Africa contributes just 3% to global trade, and 1% to manufacturing value-added services,” he said. “We are not industrialised, but we should be. Aid won’t get us very far in the global arena.”He described the financial crisis that has gripped many developed countries, including the Eurozone, as a “window of opportunity” for Africa.Areas of opportunityThere are four important factors that investors consider – money, technical knowledge, a market, and raw materials. Capital and technology can be taken anywhere in the world, but raw materials and a market are immovable – and Nigeria has these two in abundance, said Aganga.“We have a vibrant population of 167-million people and estimates show that by 2070 we will be the third largest nation in the world, after China and India. The average age at the moment is 18.6 years, and there is a fast-growing middle class.”The country has sought-after minerals in commercially viable quantities, is the seventh largest crude oil producer in the world and is in the top 10 in terms of gas reserves.All these factors serve to make Nigeria a country that South African companies should buy into before the rest of the world knocks on the door, said Aganga.He named several specific areas of potential – they include agriculture and food processing, such as maize production and the processing of sugar cane to sugar.“Nigeria produces just 2% of all the sugar it consumes,” he said, “but South Africa is a renowned grower of sugar cane.”The textiles industry is another potentially lucrative area, with opportunities existing in the processing of leather to leather products, and cotton to fashionable designs. Such operations would boost job creation too.Mining and associated services such as the processing of iron ore into iron and steel, and bauxite into aluminium, hold good prospects, as does petrochemicals and its related industries of plastics, textiles and chemicals.“Nigeria has the potential to become the continent’s petrochemical hub,” Aganga said.South Africa is internationally known for its motor industry, which produces goods in vast quantities for domestic and international consumption, and Nigeria aspires to an equally healthy motor industry, said Aganga.Another area where South Africa leads is in its services sector, and Aganga lauded the country for its progress in this area, saying that Nigeria can learn from its southern counterpart.And as for the all-important question of whether such initiatives would succeed – “Just ask MTN,” said Aganga. “Ask Protea, ask Shoprite.”To make it even easier for South African businesses to set up shop in Nigeria, the visa process for businesspeople has been streamlined, and a company can be registered in 24 hours, said Aganga.“We extend the hand of friendship to South Africa – together let us transform our continent.”To finish off the evening, there was a panel discussion moderated by FT Southern Africa bureau chief Andrew England, and featuring Brand South Africa’s research manager Petrus de Kock, as well as Nigerian businessmen.“All 54 African countries together are a force to be reckoned with,” said Chichi Maponya, introducing the panel, “and we should be setting our own agenda.”Maponya felt that the two countries’ futures are “inextricably entwined”.The panel discussed the perceptions people from each country have about the other side, agreeing that South Africans should not be suspicious of Nigerians, and vice versa. Intra-African trade stands at 10% at the moment, they said – but getting it to even 20% within a reasonable amount of time will have a huge impact on continental growth.The panel also advised local businesses to stake their claim in the West African country before the rest of the world takes an interest, and expressed their commitment to doing business in a corruption-free-manner, to the applause of the audience.
Internet 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 Loon
As the Union Cabinet discussed a bill seeking to rein in sports bodies, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was of the view that Ministers, who included his father Farooq Abdullah, heading these should have “excused” themselves from the meeting.Omar expressed his view through a tweet on Wednesday night soon after the Cabinet rejected the National Sports Development Bill because of strong objections by ministers who have interest in sports bodies.However, within hours, the Chief Minister deleted his post from the social networking site and replaced it with a new one.”And on a different note the next time I plan to tweet on what central cabinet ministers do, someone please tell me to shut up,” he tweeted with a smiley.Padding it up, he said, “I should remember that the channels will make a story out of just about anything & that will teach me to shut up”.Farooq Abdullah, who heads the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association, was among those who vociferously opposed the Bill, particularly because it sought to put a cap on age and tenure of those heading the sports bodies.”I am 73-plus but I can do so many things which younger people cannot do,” Farooq Abdullah is said to have remarked at the Cabinet meeting.