Home > Blogs > Hadoop: A Gift to the Healthcare Industry
Hadoop is an open-source software framework for storing data and running applications on clusters of commodity hardware. Big data in healthcare industry is used for reducing cost overhead, curing diseases, improving profits, predicting epidemics and enhancing the quality of human life by preventing deaths.
Hadoop was born out of a need to process an avalanche of big data. Hadoop has been used in various popular applications such as Facebook and LinkedIn. Hadoop and the big data has a high potential specially for healthcare industry. Also, managing healthcare data is exciting, but till now it has not been fully realized and utilised. The main reason for this is that Hadoop has not been well-understood and the healthcare industry doesn’t have the huge quantities of data seen in other industries that would require Hadoop-level processing power.
A recent case study by industry stalwarts declares that Hadoop as the most significant data processing platform for big data analytics in the healthcare sector. Hadoop is an indispensable tool for efficiently storing and processing large quantities of data. Its unique capabilities will offer new ways of thinking about how we use healthcare data and analytics to provide improved patient care at reduced costs. By using Hadoop, data sets can be used easily which were impossible to handle in the past. Various life sciences companies are using genomic and proteomic data to speed drug development.
In the last few years there has been a move towards evidence-based medicine, which involves making use of all clinical data available and transforming that into clinical and advanced analytics. The outcomes of this movement include improved ability to detect and diagnose diseases in their early stages, assigning more effective therapies based on a patient’s genetic makeup and adjusting drug doses to minimize side effects and improve effectiveness. Scientific research labs, hospitals and other medical institutions are leveraging big data analytics to reduce healthcare costs by changing the models of treatment delivery.
Despite the fact that, most of the data in the healthcare sector is stored in printed form, the recent trend is moving towards rapid digitization of this data. Big Data in healthcare industry promises to support a diverse range of healthcare data management functions such as population health management, clinical decision support and disease surveillance.
Big data helps in improving the likelihood of knowing when a particular patient might have an emergency and allow for effective interventions. Also, a client can be provided a better customer experience by offering faster claims processing. The Hadoop or big data helps in collecting this very fast growing data and stream it in real-time for actionable alerts that can help in detecting changes.
Hadoop helps healthcare organizations to detect the fraud based on analysis of anomalies in billing data and patient records. For example, they can analyze patient records and billing to detect anomalies such as a hospital’s overutilization of services in short time periods, patients receiving healthcare services from different hospitals in different locations simultaneously, or identical prescriptions for the same patient filled in multiple locations. Read more about Big Data Analytics using Hadoop and its benefits on Manipal ProLearn.
Home > Blogs > Why is Inventory Management Important to a Retailer
What is Inventory Management?
Inventory is a term used to describe unsold goods and material that can exist in a store, the back room or a warehouse.
Inventory management is the system of keeping tab on the goods available and sold, along with managing stock so that the retailer is never out of it. Inventory management is a complex and time consuming process and is usually the top priority for retail decision makers. Unless you have a very specific and slim product mix, there is a high chance that you may end up spending lots of time just tracking inventory. This is of course a very important process and once finessed, will become the strength of the business. Remember, inventory management comprises of many units of the supply chain and each unit may end up using a different tracking system.
Inventory management is vast and covers many aspects of the retail business. Here are a few components that are part of the management system; - inventory forecasting, pricing, cost of storing inventory and replenishing exhausted goods, managing space to store inventory, shipping and return/exchange processes and policies, demand and sales forecasting, and inventory status.
So, why do we need Inventory Management?
There are many reasons why keeping an inventory is necessary.
With the modern day retail industry booming and ecommerce penetrating into the market, it is very important for a retailer to not delay the product availability. If a customer doesn't find what he or she needs, they will simply move to another retailer. Inventory helps manage the time to delivery by always having a ready stock of products. There is a also a high chance that production will be uniform through the year, but buying patterns will change; festivals and holidays will see a boom in purchase, whereas, the end of a financial year will see a dip in buying. Retailers may want to hold back goods during a price or stock revision, to increase demand or offer discounts.
Of course, there is the uncertainty of customer behaviour which is hard to predict and is important to maintain inventory for scenarios like these.
Inventory Management will allow retailers to :
1. Focus on optimizing the product range. A narrow inventory leads to improved stock management, lower warehouse costs and also removes the possibility of good expiring or becoming harder to sell.
2. Although creating a lean inventory is ideal, this may be a hard task to achieve. With increased competition in the retail market, discount battles, retailer are rethinking and realigning their product lines to be more relevant and appealing to buyers. This often involves, diversifying the products families as it is believed to increase revenues. Do keep in mind that introduction of newer products often kills the older products on shelves. Optimize before you diversify.
3. Build a computerized inventory management system with most repetitive tasks being automated. A digital inventory management system will allow retailers to keep a tab on ordering, shipping, delivery information, finances and costs involved. The system will help predict demand based on inventory status, historical data and user inputs.
To sum it up, remember the 5 R’s of inventory management. The product should be available at the right time and at the right place. Customers should be able to acquire the right quantities, at the right price and the right quality.
Inventory Management Systems
There are a lot of cost effective inventory management systems available which offer a suite of tools that allows:
1. In-depth and real time insights into the inventory, consumer and supplier, ultimately delivering the right goods at the right time and at the right cost.
2. Product performance indicators with the ability to forecast.
3. Customer support for vendors and customers; this could include self help like what we see with many online retailers
4. Keeping track of sales, costs, discounts and providing on-demand or timely reports
5. Reducing the chance of fraud either by a customer or by an employee.
Modern day inventory management solutions are now cloud enabling their tools to allow on-demand and real time management of the process. Managers can now access their business ERP from virtually anywhere in the world, even using their own personal devices! The cloud provisions for systems to stay simple initially, and dynamically scale along with the business, a growth model many recommend.
Home > Blogs > Making Effective Analytical Business Decisions
Business decision making is a quality that is highly regarded amongst leaders. Business leaders will often make many decisions every day, some that involve internal teams and some that involve the success of the business. Making decisions can be easy or hard depending on its impact, the nature of the decision maker, and of course qualities like experience, understanding and intuition.
Before we go ahead it may be a good idea to define business decision making.
Decision making is the process of selecting the best course of action from amongst a set of options. There are a plethora of factors that could become considerations to making a decisions but broadly, here are a few; number of decision makers involved, time available to make a decision, impact on business.
A large part of making the decision lies with the person on the team making it, and his or her decision making style.
Here are a few styles that managers use to make decisions:
Consultative Style: the leader will give the decision making team all the facts and information and then look for suggestions and answers before a decision is finally made. This can be extrapolated to a larger audience by using the example of a survey. A survey asks relevant people for inputs, these inputs are then assessed and used to make a final decision.
Autocratic Style: The leader does not depend on anyone to make a decisions and uses only the available facts, information and his or her abilities. This style of decision making can be tricky as there is a high chance of insufficient information being considered and also relies on the nature of one person.
Informative Style: This is an amalgamation of the consultative and autocratic style of making decisions. When a leader does not possess enough information, he or she will consult with the team to get more information before a decision is made independently.
Negotiation: This style is typically seen when there are multiple stakeholders in a team. A leader will present the facts to everyone and then all decision makers will go back and forth, try and reconcile differences before arriving at a decision.
Delegative Style: In this style of decision making, the leader plays the role of a facilitator, with the decision being made by a group of identified stakeholder or a team.
The one commonality to all of these styles of decision making is that there is information involved. Unless a manager is making decisions intuitively, there is a very strong chance that he or she would use information in the form of reports, history, email and people's opinion to make a decision. If analytical decision making were to be defined, it would be - the approach where a leader makes decision based only on reliable data or information and only once it is available.
Since the mid-2000’s there has been a boom in data collection and business analytics, presenting leaders with not just a lot of information, but the most relevant information presented in a personalized way. The decision making process goes back to early mankind, but the way we consume information has completely changed. Using a process called GOFER which was proposed by psychologist Leon Mann, analytical business decisions can be made in 5 steps:
1.(G)oals: this is an important step but is also most overlooked at times. Define the problem and what the solution intends to achieve. If you’re making a decision that a superior has ask you to take, ensure you understand the problem; sometime cross-questioning reveals more facts!
2.(O)ptions: The first thing to do is put all the information down on a system where you can easily analyze it. Next would be to create an analysis plan that should predict a solution or justify a hypothesis.
3.(F)acts: Gather data that can be used as input to the statistical model you choose or information that will help build the hypothesis from the first step.
4.(E)ffects: the information that you gathered in step 3, will then have to first be validated to check correctness and relevance to the decision making process. These inputs will then give you insights and reports, and will possibly yield multiple decision routes. Evaluate each route to understand what effect it will have if it were to be your final decision.
5.(R)eview: Depending on who is making the decision, you may be required to present one or multiple options. Propose a plan of implementation taking each decision route into consideration.
Considerations while making analytical business decisions
Although making analytical decisions gives you a process to depend on and reliable data to consider, there are a few considerations you must operate with:
1.Time: A big part of making decision is not just making the right ones, but also to be able to make the decision at the right time. Data and information can be analyzed in many ways and may present multiple outcomes. Consider the styles of decision making and pick one to help; making an analytical, and consultative or intuitive decision for example.
2.Data driven decisions may be tent to make leaders rigid as dependence on information and analytics increases. This tends to make people become less receptive to information that is intuitive and comes from other leaders. Always be open to ideas and always have a plan B.
None of these two considerations makes analytical decision any less desirable. In fact, analytical decisions will move you away from relying on hunches or make guesses. Of course by looking at data, you greatly reduce your chances of making a wrong decision.
Home > Blogs > Google has chosen Manipal ProLearn as its Authorised Android Training Partner in India
Targeting to train 2 million Android developers in India, the Associate Android App Developer Program is aimed at making India a global hub of high-quality mobile developers. With this program, Google is looking to make world-class Android Developer education accessible to millions of students and developers in the country. For this course, Google has authorised Manipal ProLearn, the most popular professional certification provider in India, to prepare students for the Associate Android Developer Certification.
The course is meant for students and learners interested in developing the skills needed to get an entry-level job as an Android developer. During the program, learners will learn how to build Android apps following best practices, demonstrate their proficiency and skills with typical tasks and promote themselves to relevant communities, projects, or employers. Post the course, the students will be equipped to take the exam for the Associate Android Developer Certification. On passing the exam, student will be awarded the Associate Android Developer Certificate from Google.
The curriculum of the Associate Android App Developer Program is extensive and covers all the topics that will equip the students to build a variety of apps, ranging from a simple Hello World app to a dictionary that uses content providers and loaders.
Manipal ProLearn, a leading provider of professional certification courses is the authorised training partner of Google for the Android Developer Certification Program in India.
For more information, refer https://developers.google.com/training/programs/india/
Home > Blogs > Excel Macros - A Power Tool for Advanced Excel Users
What is a Macro?
MS Excel has a whole bunch of built-in functions but also lets you write your own to perform various tasks, usually repetitive. Macros are powerful pieces of code recorded and stored as a series of commands, and can do pretty much anything with your data, for instance:
- Perform repetitive or routine tasks like printing reports,
- Manipulate data and text in an excel sheet,
- Facilitating creation of tables and graphs
- Apply style and formatting, and even
- Communicate with other data sources like database, text files, or within spreadsheets.
Two primary components of writing macros are the:
The Macro Recorder: This is a tool that lets you record steps or user actions, and then replay them at a later time. The macro recorder is incredibly useful to record complex actions and replay them with other set of data in a matter of seconds. This is obviously a great time saving tool and is also the first tool to familiarize yourself with before writing macros.
The Visual basic Editor (VBE): The VBE allows users to write code in a language that is familiar to excel, much like sending people messages in a language they understand. The VBE assists with writing code, flagging errors, and by providing debugging tools that help you to track and detect errors in code.
Since writing macros would require you to use the VBE often, here are the basic visual components to get familiarized with the editor:
- Standard Toolbar: Contains the basic buttons which perform functions like saving, editing, debugging, switching to Excel and hide/show other windows.
- Object Box: Displays the name of the selected object chosen from the drop down box.
- Procedure Box - This displays the name of the procedure or event of the object.
- Code Window: This is where you maintain the VBA code.
- Project Explorer: All the code associated with a workbook is stored in the ‘Project’ window. This is automatically saved with the Workbook.
- Properties Window: Properties are characteristics of the selected object. You can change these characteristics to a worksheet, workbook and user-form.
Writing a macro.
1. Enable macros from the Trust Centre
Before you start writing a macro, there is a security setting in Excel you must change. To protect your machine against virus, Excel has built-in security, to block running of unauthorized macros and functions. To do so navigate to excel options, and then to Trust Centre Settings, select one of the relevant macro settings and click OK.
For a list of excel macro security settings please visit this page or take the Advanced MS Excel course on the Manipal ProLearn website.
Next, for easy access place a command button on your worksheet by clicking on the Developer tab, click Insert, and in the ActiveX Controls group, click Command Button.
Begin by opening an excel sheet with some data organized in it already.
2. Record your macro.
A huge advantage about using Excel macros are that we can build functions without knowing how to code in VBA.
Now, to record a macro,
- go to View > Macros > Record Macro.
- Assign a macro name (without spaces)
- Perform a few actions on the data:
If you’re working with numbers, create a few additional columns and perform a few operations like SUM, AVERAGE, MEDIAN.
Format cells in your sheet - if you’re working exclusively with numbers, then you could visually format cells by adding a header row or summary/total row (bold, color italics, centered etc.).
- Once complete, stop recording the macro and save it.
Congratulation, you have now created your first excel macro. Excel will record every cell change, scroll action, window resize and everything other action you have performed.
3. Edit your macro or look under the hood
Like we read earlier a macro is a piece of code that is written and recorded for excel to interpret. This means the marco we just recorded is saved as a set of VBA commands and can easily be viewed or edited.
All the steps that were recorded by the Macro Recorder will be stored between the Sub MACRO_NAME() and End Sub. You can edit the macro if you’re comfortable programming in VBA or save it for use.
4. Replay your macro.
To test your macro, open the original excel sheet you had created or an excel sheet with similar data.
- Go to the macros menu (under the View tab) and select View Macros.
- You will see the macro name you saved earlier, select this and say Run.
- You will see the cursor jump around a little on the screen, replicating every action you recorded earlier.
A few guidelines to writing or recording macros in Excel:
- Keep macro names short and descriptive: If you record a lot of macros, this will let you uniquely identify macros. Excel also provides a description field that can be used to distinguish what the macro does.
- Use relative cell addresses: Absolute cells are the exact cell locations are recorded into the macro such as B13 or D1. This may limits the macro’s ability to function Relative means the macro’s recorded keystrokes are relative to the starting cell’s position.
- Keep macros small: The bigger the macro, the slower it runs. Debugging a large macro is harder as compared to a set of smaller macros that run sequentially.
Having understood these basics go ahead and write your first macro and breeze through repetitive excel tasks. To create powerful dashboards and learn to write macros take the Advanced MS Excel course on the Manipal ProLearn website.
Home > Blogs > Big Data for Dummies - What Data is BIG DATA?
Big data is a term used by a lot of analytics and ecommerce companies, and usually refers to vast amounts of data that can be used to provide intelligence. Although many of us have heard the term, not all of us have stopped to ask ourselves, “What is big data?”.
90% of the information in the world today has been created over the last 2 years , and by 2020 we will be generating 50 times more information than we are today! Today, organizations are not measuring data capacity in Gigabytes or Terabytes anymore, but in Exabytes and soon in Zettabytes. To break down data types, its storage and the analytics of big data it’s important to understand what big data really is.
So, what is Big Data?
Stored data is broadly classified into two types of structures, Structured Data and Unstructured Data.
Structured Data, is data that is stored in a highly organized format such as information stored in a relational database that is easily queried using search terms and algorithms that are available. For example a chain of hospitals and all its patient records, or data libraries that can be queried by a search engine. This can be thought of traditional data in a sense, as humans are used to using and analyzing data in this format.
Unstructured Data, is data that lacks organization. This data is hard to manage and make sense of, and machines are still understanding and improving data management and retrieval methods. Images and video uploaded to the internet, your email, text and social media conversations are examples of unstructured data.
Wikipedia defines big data as "data sets with sizes beyond the ability of commonly used software tools to capture, curate, manage, and process data within a tolerable elapsed time". Simply put, big data refers to the exabytes of information that is a challenge to manage and organize using current day technology. Big data is data from everywhere - GPS location and mobile devices, sensors on aeronautical or or space equipment, satellites, cameras and all other imaginable sources. According to IBM, 2.5 exabytes or 2.5 billion gigabytes of data was generated every day in 2012. This is the volume of data we’re managing and with storage becoming more manageable and cheaper, these volumes will only increase rapidly.
Characteristics of Big data
Big data is characterized by the following three V’s.
1) Volume - The volume refers to the extensive data that is being generated on a daily basis and then used as historical data to derive insights. According to a statistic mentioned earlier in this blog, 90% of the world's information was generated over the last 2 years, and this number will only multiply. This is an important characteristic, because just the sheer volume of data is a consideration for whether the data is categorized and hence managed as big data. Aeroplanes generate approximately 2.5 billion Terabyte of data each year from the sensors installed in the engines. Self-driving cars will generate 2 Petabyte of data every year. That again is absolutely nothing if we compare it to the Square Kilometer Array Telescope that will generate 1 Exabyte of data per day.
2) Variety - Variety is simply the different types of data formats we currently use. This could be email, photos, videos, weather and sensor data, social media chatter and many more. Variety is an important characteristic that a data analyst must consider to effectively use big data.
3) Velocity - Velocity refers to the rate at which new information is generated and the rate at which existant information is moved around. This is an important characteristic as computation time then becomes a large consideration while analyzing and visualizing large amounts of real-time data. For instance, technology now lets us analyze data while it’s being created without even storing it into a database! Due to a large number of people being connected to the internet, there is always new data being generated. Every minute we upload 100 hours of video on YouTube. In addition, every minute over 200 million emails and 300,000 tweets are sent. This high rate of content generation is a challenge companies must now tackle.
Where’s the world's data being stored?
For consumers and enterprises alike, the cost of data storage per GB/TB has drastically reduced and will not only become more cost effective, but also faster. This storage could be on local owned storage media or on a cloud service providers network.
90% of the data an organization generates is unstructured driving the need to be able to record and manage all of this data. Other than being structured, data can also exist as unstructured, semi-structured or complex structures. Cloud service providers will have set up large data farms on which data can be used and modified on-demand. To support these large volumes of unstructured and complex data, open-sourced tools like Hadoop and NoSQL are being developed and being used widely.
To learn more about big data analytics using Hadoop concepts and introduction to the Hadoop architecture, take the online course on Big Data Concepts & Hadoop Architecture.
Saheli Roy Chowdhuri
Home > Blogs > Learn the Tools & Techniques Employed in Project Planning
No matter how big or small a project is, it must be efficiently managed to make sure its goals are met. Project managers must be well aware of the roles and responsibilities they have, what the need to designate and be acquainted with the tools and techniques of project management by the back of their hands.
There is a wide range of project management tools and techniques project managers employ worldwide to triumph the project. Tools are preferably used to classify decisive activities, prioritise them, allocate them and then view the project progress to ensure successful deliverance.
Here are a few of the most important tools and techniques made use of in project management.
1. What is The Project Plan?
This is the most important implement when it comes to project planning/execution. When you have a plan in place, things automatically pan out the way you wanted them to. Without a plan of action as reference, all plans, no matter how big or small face complexities.
Here’s why you need one:
- Communication with clients becomes easy.
- Work gets transparent when everyone knows what their roles and responsibilities are and how the project is advancing.
- Your life becomes more organized especially when you are multitasking during the course of a project.
- You can focus solely on the project goal – every milestone you achieve, every task you complete and finally concentrate on the end product.
Practices of a project plan
- Scope of work for each person associated.
- Features out the approach of the project, line of attack as defined in the scope and project objectives.
- A project plan also states the strategies that drive the core of a plan. This again varies from project to project and the purpose each serves.
- Resource allocation and delivery schedule comprise two other chief mechanisms of a project plan. The details in this section include each activity by each person and what their respective R&Rs are.
2. Milestone Checklist
One of the most powerful tools a project manager should bring into play is the milestone checklist. This checklist helps a project manager to establish if they are on track as per the plan at hand. This is not an extensive expensive tool. A simple Excel template does the trick. This document is a live document that is updated according to progress of the plan.
Here’s how a typical milestone checklist looks like:
Source- Milestone Charts
3. Gantt Charts
A gantt chart illustrates the project schedule and shows the project manager dependencies of each person and the activities each is undertaking. These are charts that are brought into play for any kind of project, no matter how big or small. Because a project involves a wide range of tasks and responsibilities, while creating a Gantt chart may look easy, it’s one of the most complex tasks for a project manager.
If the project is of a small scale, one can create a Gantt chart on Excel or download a template easily available on the web. If the project is of a large scale and has a lot of risks involved, the project manager should use sophisticated tools like MS Project, SmartSheet, TeamGantt, Tom’s Planner etc.
Here’s how an archetypal Gantt Chart looks like:
Home > Blogs > Planning is key to Project Management success. Here's why!
“It’s not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what’s required.” – Winston Churchill
Did you know that 75% of business and IT executives anticipate their projects will fail and the United States economy loses $50-$150 billion per year due to failed IT projects? Appalling isn’t it?
Project management works pretty much the same way, except on a much larger magnitude. There are stakeholders involved; resources are involved both in terms of people, time and money, clients and sponsors are involved and a whole range of factors like quality, communication and risks.
This is precisely why planning is crucial to the success of a project and we’ll tell you exactly why.
Before we begin, here’s something to cheer you up. A Glassdoor survey has suggested that the median salary for project managers in the US is $87,500 per annum and a PMI review states that there will be 15 million new project management jobs within the next decade. Now, isn’t this something?
A few of the most important blames are levied on stakeholders, internal communications and better allocation of roles and responsibilities. But, is this really true? All this could be avoided if proper planning was done from the very beginning. Here are certain factors to bear in mind when planning a project.
Don’t jump onto the bandwagon, plan first
When you spend time planning something, at a later stage, you will only save time, money, enhance the quality of your project while also delivering before the stipulated time period. Define the project at hand and all the aspects around it. Once approved, this becomes your groundwork. The plan should ideally include:
Create a work plan sheet
Once you have defined the above mentioned factors, you should create a detailed project plan. This will be more like a step-by-step guideline for the project. Write it, draw it as you please including resources, work, cost estimates etc.
Classify scope of work up front
This will outline the resources that will be used to manage the project – issues, scope changes if any, what risks are involved, what is the kind of quality you are looking at, communication between members etc. For a project manager, it’s important to be able to handle multiple things at a time and make sure that everyone associated knows where things are headed toward and alter plans where required.
Monitor each step religiously – work, timetable and finances
Now that you have made concrete project plans, execution should begin rapidly and appropriately. While, most projects never pan out according to estimations, the challenges are getting things done so that you deliver on time while also saving resources.
Try to find out if your project is in trouble. A small lapse in budget or schedule can lead to a massive gap. This is definitely a warning sign. Find out activities you think have already been completed but are still being worked on. If situations like these arise, raise the issue through risk management and create a plan that will get your project back on track.
Home > Blogs > What we fail to appreciate in Project Scope Baseline - Part 2
Continuing on the scope baseline is the project manager’s best friend story.
Assumptions would be included in the scope baseline. It is like the project manager saying “I would complete the project subject to the assumptions being met.” Conversely, if some assumption is not met, we may need to relook at the project management plan. Let’s say that your customer says “Er, the test data that you wanted from me, is delayed by a month.” In your scope baseline if you had already documented the assumption about the test data, you are safe. You may respond saying “Well, let me see if this would necessitate a change request.”
Constraints are options which are desirable but (alas!) you do not have. Like, I would want a budget of ₹ 50,000,000 to buy a villa by the lake. But I am constrained with ₹ 5,000,000 (and forced to settle for an apartment in the suburbs). Since you have constraints as part of the scope baseline, you would be safe if there is a change in a constraint. For example, “Thank you for letting me that the timeline has shrunk. Let me see the impact. May be I shall raise a change request.”
Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) too is a part of the scope baseline. Visualise an influential techie stakeholder of your project proposes basic change to the product architecture. This would impact the work breakdown structure, though not necessarily the product scope. You would still treat this as a change in the scope baseline and route it through the integrated change control process.
So next time you are creating project scope baseline, don’t feel intimidated by the details needed. The scope baseline will surely stand you in good stead as the project unfolds.
Eager to know your views.
About the Author
Mukund Toro is an independent Project Management Consultant who has worked with more than 1000 project managers. His 20+ years’ industry experience in software and telecommunication includes working in various capacities from project manager to director across multinationals, product and service companies and government research organisations.
Home > Blogs > E-Book - Email Etiquette - A Quick Rundown in 17 Tips
No matter what purpose your email is going to serve – business or personal, it’s imperative that it’s up to the mark each time. Here’s an E-Book consisting 17 quick rundown of email etiquette.
1.The Grammar Nazi!
Alright we live in the world of LMAO, LOL and OMG but we can never stress the fact that correct grammar is the most crucial part of an email. Avoid all such shorthands when communicating through an email. However, for a little less formal emails, here are some acronyms that you can use.
When writing an email, use emoticons sparingly. In most emails, the one mostly accepted is the regular smiley face. ☺ While a lot of people consider them to be silly, an emoticon/s is your best bet to clarify the tone of your message and heighten its emotional clarity.
- Personalize the subject line with recipient’s first or last name. This increases open rates. An example: Amit, we are thrilled to share…
- Don’t repeat subject lines. Keep them fresh.
- Keep them short and crisp. You’ve got 3 seconds to grab the attention of the reader.
- Always A/B test your subject lines after an email marketing campaign.
- Use a personal email id (firstname.lastname@example.org) when sending emails. email@example.com is an absolute no, no! Who likes to talk to robot?
- Do not make false promises. Don’t trick your readers.
- If the reader has downloaded something from your website, always make it exclusive by having a subject line which says, “Your new E-book is inside!” or “Your guide awaits!” rather than a plain “Thank you for downloading!”
- Make readers take immediate action by adding an ‘urgent’ tone - “today only”, “24 hour giveaway”.
- Is the reader really benefiting from your email? Which one will you open?
- “Increase your open rates by 50% now” OR “How to increase open rates?”
- Timing is everything. Example: It’s Friday and you are just about to leave office. You get an email – “Happy Hours start at 5 Pm at XYZ! See you soon!” Now, how cool is that?
- Use numbers. They work.
4. Sentence case OR Title Case…the never ending debate?
- When you are reading an email, what if you see a few ridiculous spelling mistakes? A major turn off right? Similarly, when you are writing an email, correct spellings communicate what you are trying to write. When the reader has a handle on what you are trying to put forth, response time and chances of them communicating back amplify multi-fold.
- When you are trying to pool in a new client, make an instant impact with concise writing and correct spellings.
- Because the attention span of your reader is highly limited, if you make spelling errors in the content of the email, there are elevated odds that the reader will stop reading mid-way.
- Set goals – No matter what it is, a goal in mind makes the task easier to accomplish within the predetermined time isn’t it? What goals are you looking at when writing an email –Solving a problem? Product driven or content driven email? Clicks or social shares? Derive your KPIs and then create the content plan
- Rich content – The kind of content that goes in the email should list the benefits that the customer will get at the end and the kind of demographic you are writing to.
- Trustworthy - Your content should have a soul not just a bot! Your readers should know they can trust you else why will they invest their time in reading an email from you?
- Use data to your advantage - Personalize your emails with user-generated data. A great example of this is Quora. They send out weekly emails with details about what topics the particular subscriber has liked, questions/discussions they have been a part of and also topics that may interest them. This also means that no two subscribers receive the same email. This offers exclusivity and social proof offers trust.