Excuses, Excuses

So sorry for not writing this past week. With school coming to an end, everything seems to be coming to a close all at once. School projects, exams, and including the end of deadlines I have to make while blogging. In the past, I’ve had a problem with remembering to blog without specific deadlines that I had to meet. In this case, I’m going to try to fix that problem. With this tough, things will slowly change around here. What does that mean exactly though? It means that things will become slightly more superficial in a way. On the personal side, more DIY projects, recipes, events I went to, books read, etc. I love the community and that means immersing yourself in its culture and lifestyle and attending local events. Of course, I will still talk about the benefits of the community in these blogs plus other posts I have. On the professional side, I want to focus more on different tutorials for computers, things I’m trying out, and what projects I’m working on right now to give on hands on experience. For both of these, I want to dive into the art of doing “vlogs”, which if you don’t know what that is, is video blogging. I want to do more tutorials by showing step by step how to complete things.

I promise this won’t be some ditched out blog again and will continue to grow and expand after every post. Hopefully, you continue to read this and don’t hesitate to leave comments below.

Have any suggestions of what you want to see on my blog? Comment below. 

Let’s Blog

blog-3Businesses should relate to their customers in ways that show that they are all human as well. There are ways to do this through paths that have been spoken about on here. Some ways to reach out to the public is through social media, public events, and writing blogs to help with products, company events and milestones, and things that take place in the employees’ lives.

Let’s take a look at Microsoft. They have a blog that talks about the new things that are happening at the company including product development and product updates. Having the up-to-date information on the company and the product updates give a inside look at the company for those that read the blog.

There are other types of businesses that can, should, and have utilized blogging as a form of communication with customers. One type of business is the publication industry. Wired Magazine has a section of their website dedicated to a list of blogs that are written by employees of the company. Not only do they place articles on their website and in their magazine but they also publicize the personal writings of their own writers, editors, and employees. This gives customers a better connection with the employees of Wired Magazine and a personal touch to the company.

Many companies find free-lance bloggers for their websites. It’s easy to look up blogs in specific topics and its not hard to write for business and companies. If you want to get into freelance blogging at all, check out this article with tips and a how-to to start getting ready.

Have you gotten into freelance blogging? Have you found a company that blogs that you feel connected with?

Photo credit

System Analysis In…

We’re going to start a discussion about how systems analysis work in different areas. Now, I’m only scraping the surface and I will admit that I don’t know everything that it takes to be a systems analysis but these tools, scenarios, and tips are just some things that I have learned during the beginning stages of my career. Today, we’re going to start with systems analysis in universities/colleges.

CaptureInformation systems is an important component to universities no matter where they are located. A university needs to have the right system, the right programs, the right social media platforms, and the right amount and right location for student and employee use. It’s very important to have this figured out right away if not already or when a college is just opening up. The following is a list of the different areas to look over when looking for systems analysis. Please remember these are my own recommendations from analysis.

Systems – It is important to have different platforms for different uses. For my example in this blog, I will use my own campus, University of Nevada, Reno. There are different uses that students and professors and faculty need which require different computer systems. I have seen my University have Windows, Apple, and connections to remote desktops of other systems. There is also the availability of Linux. For more information about different systems, check out my past blog post The Systems.

Programs – There are so many platforms for so many different majors in a college and university. Make sure that you look at what the professors want to teach in their classes. Afterwards, compile a list of all the programs. In the example of UNR, there are programs that are loaded on the College of Business lab computers but not in the library while there are some programs installed in the library’s computer labs that may not be found in another spot of the campus. It is important to have the programs available where the students that need it the most will be most of the time. This strategy will work out well. If the program is needed for students on their own desktops or laptops, it should be looked into about having a discount on programs or a limited time where the program will be free for students if they are currently in the class that needs to the program.

Social Media – A college and university needs to have an outreach program to incoming and current students and alumni along with those in the community interested in staying current with the school. Having the right social media platforms is important as there are specific ones where people are looking at. Some of these would be Facebook, Twitter, RateMyProfessor.com, LinkedIn, and even YouTube. These links follow along with our example of all the social media platforms that UNR is currently on. These five social media platforms are not the only platforms that a college or university should limit themselves to. It should be looked into to be able to find where their audience is at so to expand their influence on the Internet.

Amount and Location – A final thing to look into is where computers should be placed and how many should be placed. There should be computers available for students at spots that have a good traffic flow and need. For an example, there is a computer lab in the Knowledge Center and in the College of Business on the UNR campus. The traffic flow should be looked at as well to decide on the amount of computers in the designated areas. Make sure that there are enough computers to be used and enough area so not to be packed together in an uncomfortable area.

Is the computer analysis good at your university or college? What could improve there? Comment below for a discussion. 

Let’s Network

3bd653325fa2e2b1e3d63181db592b9aIt is important to be able to network around with associates, people in your field of business, and people that could help with you any part of your life. I have learned through my usage of the internet and other various business activities, that networking with others is very important and that it is one of those pass times that I do enjoy. This post may be a little different but I enjoy it and it’s something that can still be used online. Everyone networks in many different mediums. Online, at events, on the street, in meetings, and so many more forums. Here, I will be talking about two forums that I was just involved with this past two weeks.

The first event is the Third Annual Build Your Network For Success  event that Delta Sigma Pi put on at the Student Union in Reno. We networked with those at our tables, which were both students and professionals, over a nice dinner. Afterwards, there was a panel of professionals invited to the stage for a question and answer session between the students and the professionals. There was also a keynote speaker, Mark Babbitt, CEO and founder of YouTern. While not fully participatory, I was a part of the event by helping to run the Twitter feed that the questions were posted on and later displayed during the panel’s allotted time. From this, I personally spoke with Babbitt and made connections with other member’s of the panel.

The other event I was a part of was the Enactus Regional Competition yesterday in Seattle, Washington. During the time that our team was not giving a presentation about our projects, we networked with professionals and other teams from around the country. There was a career fair with businesses like AT&T, Home Depot, PepsiCo, Sam’s Club, Walgreens, and many others. It’s important to talk to these people and get as much information as possible about the company and what sort of positions they are looking for. Besides the job fair, there was also a luncheon where members of Enactus and the professionals sat together and discussed a specific topic while also learning about each other. I absolutely love the discussions that are had and the views of other people that aren’t from my own field in business or region of the country.

Of course, as a reminder, make sure that you follow up with anyone that gave you a business card to say thank you and to keep on contact with them. That always leads to important and sustaining relationships with people that could easily help you in the future.

How do you network? Do you feel that networking is an important component to the business world?

 

Picture Source: Enactus

Learn a Language

images (1)Earlier in this blog, I had talked about the different languages that are important when making a website. I had given different tips and tricks on how to write in HTML specifically that I have found useful in my time. What about other places to learn different languages besides w3schools.com and what about other languages? The following is a list of websites that I have found that will help with HTML and PHP, and Visual Basic. Currently, I’ve found that, now that I’m looking for a job after graduation, I’m going to be needing to brush up on my coding skills and have even begun to use these websites myself.

HTML

  • Net Tuts+ – This website is completely free had has daily videos for 30 days to learn HTML5. You only need to take out ten to fifteen minutes out of each day for a month to learn the language. This is something I started a few days ago and it has definitely already taught me a few small things that I had glossed over in previous lessons and have been reminded of many things that I’ve become rusty on. These lessons also include learning about CSS as well which is fundamental when it comes to HTML5.
  • Learn HTML in 20 Minutes – This site is perfect if you just are looking for a code when your working on a webpage or if you want to get to know specific codes for specific aspects of the webpage you want to create.

PHP

  • Net Tuts+ – I have started to learn PHP better using this site and I think it’s helpful. It has a clean introduction and it’s easy to follow. It may seem like they gloss over some stuff in the sections and steps to learn PHP but there is a link that will take you to learning the fundamentals for beginners.
  • About.com – While I don’t normally like to use about.com, it is still very helpful. This article gives some beginning steps for PHP and then adds links to their highly recommended pages to learn about PHP as well.

Visual Basic

  • About.com – Once again, this is another page I’m not too fond of using but it does have decent advice and articles about the subject
  • Visual Basic is solidly a Microsoft product. In my schooling, I took an entire semester on the subject and used this book. I believe that the book is very helpful and anyone that is learning VB can get through the book and be able to use the information given completely.

What other sites are found to learn this languages? Are there any specific ways you learned? Comment below. 

Picture Source

The System

We have talked a lot about businesses and their way to advertise and expand their customer base through online tools. Now, we’re going to take a step back and go back to basics. When first starting with IT in your business, there is a big question that is necessary to answer: What computer system should I use? Now, this question can’t have a universal answer because businesses have different needs to attend to. Here we shall go through some of the most popular of the systems that businesses use for their computers. These are Windows, Apple, and Linux.

Microsoft Windows

3D-Windows-7From all the classes I’ve taken, all I’ve heard is that Microsoft Windows is the computer system to use. While it is definitely one of the most common systems for businesses, there are still problems that can’t be glossed over. Currently, businesses that have been around a decent time work with Windows XP. The problem is that Microsoft is soon not going to be protecting users with Windows XP. This means that businesses will soon be more susceptible to cyber attacks. This is just an example of how much Windows changes over time and the consequences for not being up-to-date are extensive. When it comes to new updates, Microsoft users must once again purchase the program. Still, there are good qualities of Microsoft Windows for businesses. With the new improvements to the system, Windows has become more user friendly, mobile, universal, and expansive with their programs. Windows has become available with computers, tablets, and other mobile devices. Windows is currently one of the top computer systems for businesses along side our next system.

Apple

appleApple is becoming bigger and bigger in the market as the years go by. In the past years, more and more people can see more and more iPads in the hands of business people in the world. The market growth is rising slowly in the business world but it is still relatively small. While the system is less popular than Windows, it is growing. Many of the programs come in both Microsoft format and Apple format so many business people can use the same software while on different systems. Still, Apple is still small enough that businesses still have their reservations about the company and system. Apple is slowly changing though after the death of Steve Jobs now that they are catering more towards businesses as well as the consumer.

Linux

content_3This final platform is one system that is good but isn’t used often due to reluctant business owners. There are many advantages to using windows but it is understandable that businesses don’t use it. While some of Linux’s systems are user friendly, there are still some that are not easy to use. The programs that are run with Linux are not the same as Windows and Apple in most cases which allows for problems. Still, there are advantages to the system. The system is open source which allows for businesses to get their programs for free, create their own programs, and give allowance for the businesses to be able to create their very own customized system.

Photo Credit: Microsoft Windows | Apple | Linux

What system is the most popular, most used? What is your opinion on the choices?

Online Advertising

While businesses have a presence online through social media and their website, they also need to utilize other parts of the internet. To continue extending your audience outreach, it is important to have advertising out on the internet. While there are those that gloss over advertisements that are online, there are still plenty of people that notice them, click on them, and see what deals are happening at your place of business.

There are many different places that ads can be placed online and there are different ways to place up ads. There is an article that gives ten inexpensive ways to advertise your small business online. The first three that are given are the ones that I have seen the most online and that I can also agree are the most important. Here we shall go over each one.

Invest in Google AdWord

AdWordGoogle is quickly becoming the highest power of the internet. Now comes in the creation of Google AdWord. Say you go online and you go to Google.com to search something. When your results come up there are the ads on the side and then there are the ads in the tan box on the very top of the search list. These advertisements are powered by AdWord. AdWord takes what you have searched and looks through key words in the ads that they have archived on Google. It is important to have strong SEO for Google AdWord.

Try Facebook Ads

Facebook allows for businesses, organizations, and websites to place their ads on Facebook. Even though there are people that may not instantly go buy the thing that is being advertised, these ads give good publicity as many Facebook users end up liking the pages that created the ads.

Look into StumbleUpon Paid Discovery

Now, StumbleUpon is a social media platform that we haven’t really talked about. StumbleUpn is  social networking site that you can “stumble” around on the website which shows different websites that it has found based on the interests you put into your preferences. While this is an interesting way to find new websites and blogs, business can also utilize this. The rate is dependent on how many clicks actually is used in the website. StumbleUpon also gives free advertising for those websites that have received a large amount of likes as well.

You can view another article that discusses the best places online to post ads as well here.

Do you click on ads online? Does your business put up ads online and has it worked out? 

Signing On

social-media-buttonsThere are always those important components to a business that groups preach about. There’s the need to advertise, the need to have community outreach; with the I.T. department and also marketing/management department, there is social media. Social media is an important and fundamental tool for a business that wants to have their brand online. While we have discussed how important it is to have a website, it is also necessary to know how important it is to have eyes in ears in social media as well. Now, this isn’t a rundown of what I have learned in my own class about social media. This is what I have learned from personal experience and a little addition to fill the gaps from class. I have always believed that social media is one of the most important tools for a business to have and have preached it to the businesses that I have helped with online work.

There are multiple websites that businesses should be located on. These include Facebook, Twitter, a blogging platform, Google, Yelp and LinkedIn plus many others. There should be a way for online customers to be able to contact the business and a way for the business to get their brand out to those customers. Social media can be used for so many different things to help a business. Customers can send private messages if there are any questions, businesses can post any promotions that are being held, customers can post up reviews about their experiences, and one of the most important uses, the business can get their name out by customers sharing their pages around.

An article for Business 2 Community has shown that social media has actually helped budgets for different businesses. Having a decent strategy for marketing your website is fundamental for success. The article also gives factors that are needed to be considered to have a positive result that can help budget your business.

  1. Prepare your social media strategy
  2. Preparing and optimizing the social profiles
  3. Content development for social media platforms
  4. Running and managing the social media campaign
  5. Monitoring the progress on the social media platform

If you aren’t good at getting social media set up, keep a look out for companies that will help out. One example is Business Breakthroughs International. They will help with different tools to help your business grow and flourish online for the world to see.

Now, say you are an individual but you have a brand that you want to promote, you can easily use these social media outlets as well in the same manner. Take these tools and turn them into what you need and can use for yourself.

Picture Credit

How do you interact with businesses through social media? Does social media help your business? Need any help with social media for your business or need tips and tricks, just comment below!

A Common Language

So you want to get get your business online now? First off, check out my blog post Build a Website if you are looking to get started with putting up a website for your company. If you are already passed that and ready to begin to design your page, you’ve come to the right post. As I said in the Build a Website post, I mentioned all the different platforms that can be used to create a website. Now, let’s get on the technical side. While it is important to know other languages, my personal opinion is this: everyone that is making a website should have a strong understanding of HTML.

What is HTML to begin with? It stands for HyperText Markup Language. It is the main markup language for creating web pages, etc. that can be displayed on web browsers. My personal favorite for looking different codes for HTML is w3schools.com. They have great tutorials and they show the exact code that would be needed. They also give different tools for coding as well like charts of codes to different colors you wish to use.

The following are different codes that I believe are helpful for getting started with your webpage.

Links
<a href=”URLGOESHERE”>TITLEGOESHERE</a>
Example: Shelbyisms
ExamplePictures
<img src=”URLGOESHERE” atl=”TITLEGOESHERE</a>

Emphasized Words
<i>italics</i>, <u>underline</u>, <b>Bold</b> There are also sights that use the following: <em>Italics</em>, <span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>Underline</span>, <strong>Bold</strong>
Example: Italics, Underline, Bold

Breaks and Paragraphs
Place the paragraphs at the beginning and end of your paragraph as shown or you can make different lines with a breakline. There is also another way to show breaks and that is by placing a horizontal line where you want it to go.
Paragraph code: <p>PARAGRAPHGOESHERE</p>
Line break: <br> or </br> or <br /> (it’s by preference and what works with the website you are using)
Horizontal line: <hr>


Lists
There are two types of lists that can be made. There are those that are numbered and those that are in bullet form. Bullet lists can be made as follows
<ul>
<li>ITEMHERE</li>
<li>ITEMHERE</li>
</ul>

Numbered lists are made as follows
<ol>
<li>ITEMHERE</li>
<li>ITEMHERE</li>
</ol>

In the end they look like this

  • Item here
  • Item there
  1. Item here
  2. Item there

Of course, there are many more things that should be learned when working with HTML. Using w3schools is a great way to know everything and a great tool for if you have any questions. There are also many books at stores like Amazon that go into detail about HTML as well. If you have a blog on WordPress you can easily practice there. Here’s how:

  1. Go to a new post page
  2. In the box where you write out the post, there is the option to either type in visual or in text. Visual allows for the user to use the formatting functions at the top of the screen or quick key on the keyboard (ex. Ctrl + b for bold). The text option allows you to code everything by hand. Here you can practice writing out your code to create your blog.
  3. After you write you post in the text tab, click the visual tab. This will now display your post in the way you have formatted it but without all the code and in the way you want it to be.

Below shows the two different tabs for a picture reference.

visual
text

Have you coded in HTML? What codes have you found useful to use? Have any further questions or comments about the language comment below. 

A Bus-What?

With graduation coming up, I have been thinking a lot about what I want to do for work. I’ve always had an interest in the computer world. I started working with HTML back when MySpace was the hottest thing around. Simply learning to code a page with an overlay and making it look amazing could begin a fire in someone that is kept lit for the rest of life….or at least for me. I’ll admit to even still itching to get my hands on some of that code and messing around and adding pictures and text areas to create a very awesome end result. When I got to college I thought about majoring in something else but Information Systems was calling and I allowed to be taken away by it like a child following the Pied Piper. Granted…nothing bad happens in the end. So, what exactly have I decided to do with my life? I’ve thought long and hard on this question and after three and a half grueling years of mulling over the question, I believe I have finally decided. Business Analyst.

By definition, business analysis is “the practice of enabling change in an organizational context, by defining needs and recommending solutions that deliver value to stakeholders.” Just like my favorite motto, a business analyst helps businesses help themselves. Now this may not sound like IT work but I promise it is. IT business analysts are becoming the hottest thing in the IT world right now. Money Magazine has rated IT business analyst one of the country’s top 12 jobs to pursue. According to Computer World, analysts want variety. This means they want multiple projects to work on rather than working on an exclusive program. It also means that there should be a variety of people that will be the end-users for the programs that are being created. In the end, analysts deliver perspective into what the business needs, wants, and can do.

analysisAccording to the figure, these are the steps of how to start and grow as a business analyst according to The Business Analysis Blog. They say that it is in fact harder than expected to become a good BA and to have that ability to mentor others that are where you are….well now. Shadowing a BA will help clarify any questions while on the job and to inspire your interest. Next, perform in the project you are currently working on. There’s nothing wrong with getting started right away . Next is to be a junior BA in a new project. It’s good to get those projects under your belt. The more projects you do, the more roles you take over and can understand for the next round of projects. Next, be the top business analyst for another project to challenge yourself. Finally, begin to mentor others as you move up to senior business analyst. Give people that spark that your mentor instilled in you.

Bridging the Gap has the five steps for becoming a Business Analyst.

  1. Learn about business analysis and confirm your career choice
  2. Identify your transferable skills and leverage points to develop your positioning
  3. Get tangible feedback by putting out feelers
  4. Approach your work with a BA mindset and strengthen your positioning
  5. Focus your efforts to find your first BA opportunity

Now that you have all the job skills or at least are ready to work on them, how do you get a job as a business analyst? Make sure your resume fits what you are looking for. When giving descriptions of activities completed while at work, mention anything related to BA that you have done. Network and dig deep as well to find those BA jobs that are available at other companies. It’s surprising to see what companies actually need business analysts. More tips can be found here.

Now, this may not be helpful information for your job but it is definitely helpful. It’s helpful to see that everyone needs to do their research on the career they want. It’s also important to see that there are many people in the community with ample information about anything that will lend a hand when needed. Just make sure you research, look in the right places, and decide on your career.

Picture Source: The Business Analysis Blog

What do you want to do for a career? Have you done plenty of research to have an idea where to start and if it’s right for you?