INFORMATION MANAGEMENT TIPS

Information management skill has never been so important in the past as it is now. What is news now, quickly become outdated in the next few minutes. Managers always find themselves in a tight corner trying to grasp with as much information as is possible for them to get. Business managers has been exposed with more resources to the extent that of “data” is no longer an excuse for not making an informed economic decision but, inappropriate use of those data.
Business managers are faced with the challenge of effectively and efficiently managing their information need. Development of Business Intelligence (BIs) by different software vendors has been on the increase. Competitors activities is always calling for the attention of the business manager. Our customers are constantly demanding more information concerning our products more than we can relinquish for the fear of our competitors.
Amid all these challenges, what will a business manager DO and NOT DO to to excel in the area of information management? Listed below are important steps that a business manager needs to remain competitive in this “information jet age”:
(1) Constant refinement of the information selection (filtering) skill. Managers should improve on their necessary information filtering skill. Never waste your time analysing every data that comes your way unless you have all the time in the world. See how this can be done in the next paragraph
(2) Deployment and good use of state of the art technology. Business Intelligence (BI) is a good tool to use. BI when plugged into a system that filters information to the need of the manager can help reduce the amount of work that the manager needs to do on information management.
This is important because the amount of information that floods the desk of an average manager per day cannot be utilised to the tune of 5% of the whole information. Many of these tools requires you to impute certain keywords/variables/tags as a criteria for filtering your information needs. Though this on its own tends to create a fresh problem of possibly filtering useful in formation that does not contain the criteria for selection and allowing the useless ones that contains the variable(s) stated in the selection criteria. This problem can easily be taken care of by quickly glancing through the blocked data before they are finally discarded. As a business manager, never ignore the emergence of new technologies. Always embrace them.
(3) Develop the skill of getting information from informal sources. It was once reported that a cleaner in a factory help the company save up to 21% of their running cost by asking them to always turn off the lights in the factory where robots are used for production since they don’t need light to work. Never be too rigid in your judgement criteria. As a manager, see every employee as a potential vital information provider. In fact, always ask for their opinion (this will not only give you useful information but will help motivate your subordinate and they will love and respect you for this)
(4) Work with the trend: This will save you a lot of headache trying to analyse one data or the other. Most of our business information needs are embedded in the trends. Remember that the trend is your friend.
(5) Securing your information: Company’s vital business secrets not not be leaked out for any reason. Try as much as possible to get them best hand and tools to manage this aspect of your business. And make sure you treat them well.
While you get busy with your information management, never forget to: Get motivated, Stay Motivated and Enjoy all the good things of live.

GOOD ASSET MANAGEMENT TIPS

Assets are those resources that we control as a result of our past actions, from which we expect to get returns from in the future. I am not going to bother you with technical terms here. My aim is to make sure that you understand how important it is to manage your assets properly. I will try as much as possible not to let my training as an Accountant affect my explanation here I promise.

To start with, I will give a simple definition of what an asset is. An asset is any resource by us that we expect to get future or immediate economic benefit from. This can tangible or non-tangible asset. Common sense will tell us that these resources if not controlled or managed properly will not bring the desired result/ benefit. So in this article, you will learn to mange your assets for optimum result.

Tangible assets are those resources that we can touch and feel. The rule of thumb here is to make sure you always go for the best quality. Quality saves- both Time and Money, even stress. Is not enough to only go for quality, the following tips are also invaluable.

Always employ the service of a qualified technician to service and maintain the asset whenever the need arises.

  • Insure the asset(s): this will help re-instate the asset back to its original position in the case of the occurrence of the event insured against.
  • Provide physical security: is a good practice to place your tangible asset under lock and key when they are not in use. Large companies even employ some biometric measures to protect their assets.
  • Motivate your staff to put other asset to its best use. Your staff is your most important asset that never appears on the balance sheet. Take good care of them, and they will surly take good care of your asset (business in this case).
  • Do not use your asset beyond the threshold specified by the manufacturer. Your staff inclusive.

Applying the above simple yet powerful techniques will help maximize the returns from your fixed/ tangible asset without wearing them out.

Intangible assets on the other hand are resources that we cannot touch or feel. Some examples include: time, patent, trademark, ideas etc

One funny thing about non-tangible asset is that once you don’t care for it, it quickly goes to another owner that will value it. Time management is one area that we cannot allow to go unattended to. Successful people will tell you that time is money, take care it today and it will take care of you today, tomorrow and beyond.

Patent and trademark are intellectual asset/ property that are mainly protected by law. They emanate from ideas. Good ideas if well managed translates into intellectual properties. The fact that the law protects them does not mean we are not going to manage them. Good practice in the management of non-tangible asset includes management of brand. This applies to both individuals and corporate bodies. Manage your brand and you are just fine.

Money is another asset that is worth mentioning. Money is the most liquid form of asset. It is the oil that greases the wheel of every other asset. Some technical skills are involved which is beyond the scope this article. But not too worry, as long as you make this site a regular visit, read all relevant articles, those skills will in no distant time be yours.

I will like to state it clearly at this point in time that asset management is not something you can master in one article like this. The secret to mastering it is to LEARN. So always make it a date to come back here for more insight. Stay motivated and enjoy.

MOTIVATION IS THE ULTIMATE TIME MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUE

Motivation is the key to all that we do as living people. There is this Universal bank account that nature gave to everybody. What we do with ours is purely up to us. We all have the same amount of money deposited in it irrespective of our status in the society (politically and economically). The most funny part of it all is that this account will always go in the RED at the end of the financial year (in this case time year) whether we spend it or not.

Your question at this point will be “what will one do now to keep this account out of RED”. well. the simple answer is to be motivated and every other things will be taken care of. If you are looking for yet analytical tool for time management, sorry, this is not the right article for you.

I have no problem with all the time management techniques out there, in fact, I use most of them on a regular basis, but motivation comes first. and that is probably why I had time to write this article you are reading now.

first, you have to find a reason for whatever you are doing. until this is done, your day can be extended to 72 hours or more without you achieving a single thing. have you ever lost concentration while working on something before? Now, one will be wondering how and where on earth will I find the reason for what I am doing. My question to these class of people is : why do you defy all odds of inertia to go to work on Monday morning? Did I hear you say to keep your job? Fine then, that is enough reason to find joy in what ever you find yourself into.

After you most have found the reason, make it work in your favour rather than against you. For instance, you have activities lined up for you this weekend that you may not have the time to take your clothes to the laundry, tidy up your table in the office for fresh work(s) On Monday morning. On the other hand, your activities for the weekend are so important that you cannot afford to miss because of the knowledge and experience you stand to gain from there.

This is no doubt a tricky situation. I have found my self in this situation on several occasion. but guess what, I INVITE motivation to take over all other time management techniques.

NEGATIVE AND FRAUDULENT USES OF IT IN FINANCE

Fraudulent use of IT infrastructures have become the order of the day. The intent of those that toiled day and night in the past to make sure that there is advancement in the already existing way of communication is almost defeated. They researched to make sure that we all enjoy a comfortable and enhanced life. But I feel bad whenever I see or hear about people who engage Information Technology tools in fraudulent act. Banks and other financial institutions are always the prime target of these men of the underworld. For this reason, I have sworn to always expose every negative use if Information Technology tool that comes to my notice.

Computer is the primary component of InfoTech that we all talk about. The primary aim of the founding fathers of this device was to aid us in our daily activities. But today, it is being employed as the primary tool to commit fraud – especially on the internet and other networks. Below are the two main ill-use that the computer is being put into today:

  • The spread if Virus (Malicious code)
  • Stealing of confidential information illegally.

What am about to tell you now are few tested and trusted ways of shielding yourself against these ill-use of computer. I will start from the second. The major points will be listed in bullet form then followed by brief explanation.

  • The use of firewalls and Intrusion Detection System.
  • Use of a virtual private network (VPN)
  • Use of Copper in computer rooms.
  • Use of appropriate data remover tools (Soft-wares) from your hard-drive before disposing.
  • Employment of both physical and logical security measure.
  • Use of encryption and other cipher techniques.

Obviously, a computer in a network especially the internet needs more protection today than ever. There is no amount of protection you provide that will be much in today’s world. Firewalls and intrusion detection systems (IDS) are guards that alert us whenever the security of our system is compromised. They don’t always stop the intruder but draw our attention to their presence.

Virtual Private Network is a secured way of transferring our confidential data over the network. Secured socket Layer (SSL) is employed in most cases as a standard to follow.

It has been proven beyond doubt that there are numerous softwares that has the capability of stealing information from computers within certain range even when they are not connected by any means. And Copper happens to be a good conductor that traps those data that the conventional wall cannot trap to earth. Is a good security practice to build computer rooms with coppers.

Many people end up loosing valuable information to the outside world through disposed hard-disc of computer. This security loophole can be blocked by ensuring that data from hard-discs are safely removed with the help of third party software after formatting and disposed properly.

It is not enough to take the above measure when the physical and logical access to the computer is not properly secured. Access control software can be employed on the logical part of it.

Encryption and Digital Signature has in no small way help beef up security in the area of data protection. Encryption ensures that the data is safe while digital software gives the assurance that the data has not been compromised in transit.

Wow! That has been a bit long but we still need to talk about the use of computer to spread virus. Some of the above tips still apply here. Like the use of Digital Signature and Envelope to establish the authenticity of a message before running it on the system.

The use of anti-virus is the most popular measure against virus. One rule here is that you carryout you due diligence on the anti-virus company before installing the software and always make sure it is updated all the time.

By chance your system is already infected, read the article titled financial identity theft- defending your self for insight.  Good luck.

Identity theft – what you should know about it.

 Identity theft is a term used to describe those circumstances when someone uses another person’s name, address, certificate, bank account number, international passport, ATM information and other identifying information to commit fraud or other crimes.

Identity fraud like every other fraud can only be perpetrated when the three necessary conditions for fraud are met. These conditions are:

  • Motive,
  • Opportunity and
  • Rationalization

Many times, those whom we trust the most are in the best position to defraud us. I know you may be wondering at this point how these “nice guys” can possibly benefit from these information. May be the following paragraph will interest you most.

I know a guy in my neighbourhood whose international passport was found at the scene of robbery. Now tell me. How can this guy deny that he was not involved in the robbery. The only saviour he had was that he was hospitalized in a government recognized hospital during the time the robbery took place.

A fraudster can use your certificate to secure employment, commit fraud in that company, disappear into thin air, leaving you to face the trouble. Or still, your personal information could be used to collect a dedicated IP address from ISP (Internet Service Providers). In turn, this IP will be used to commit online fraud knowing fully well that the Police and other relevant Security Agents will be looking for the wrong person.

The most common and easiest use of personal information illegally is to open a new Credit Card account with the victim’s details. These fraudsters complement this by applying for a change of address from the postal authority so that the victim doesn’t find out on time, if at all. Always check out with the postal authority if you fail to receive your bills for some time.

Ones personal identification information could also be sold to group of other fraudsters that will even employ more sophisticated means of defrauding and putting one into trouble in the long-run.

Stealing a victim’s identity is not a rocket science (i.e. not as difficult as you may probably be thinking at this point in time). Fraudsters use numerous ways to get the information required to commit identity theft. Some of the more common types of information gathering technique used by these fraudsters are as follows:

  1. Posing as Legitimate employee, bank official, government official or representative of any organization.
  2. ‘Bin scanning’: the fraudsters rummage through victim’s trash with the hope of finding pre-approved document with necessary information.
  3. Skimming of victim’s credit card information. Though this involves some advanced technical knowledge, but is not impossible. The perpetrators often employ the following: War driving, war walking, hacking, sniffing (with the help of protocol analyzer), and infiltration of victim’s computer with dangerous Trojans, etc.
  4. Fraudsters can gather information from businesses by bribing or conning a worker in the company who has access to confidential information.
  5. Shoulder surfing is also another easy way of stealing your identity – especially ATM (Automated Teller Machine) information.
  6. Fraudsters can resort to stealing their victim’s wallet, sneaking into victim’s house, stealing victim’s mail, personal computer, PDA (Personal Digital Assistant)
  7. They also employ some social engineering techniques via the use of the internet.

As it stands now, education is the only weapon you have to protect yourself from these unscrupulous evil agents of our time. At the barest minimum, always do the following:

  1.  
    • Guard your mail and Trash from theft.
    • Protect your wallet, all personal information, your home, your password and personal computer.
    • Take advantage of  any of the several privacy Acts out there e.g, Gramm-Leach-Blily Act. Opt out of it. Go to your bank and other financial institutions you deal with and opt out of sharing your personal information with marketers. Just like every other endeavour of life, what really matters is not he amount of information you have but the action you are able to take to benefit from those information. Take action today!

ANTI-SPYWARES, ANTI-MALWARES AND ANTI-ADWARES SECRET OPERATIONS REVEALED

Spywares are malicious codes that resides in our computer to cause different kinds of harm. Some of those harms are noticed as a result of the malfuctioning that we notice in our computer. The majority of spywares however do not disrupt the operation of our computers. Hence, the essence of this article.

I took an Oath to review the operations of most soft-wares out there after the Company I represent lost its vital business secret to its competitors as a result of the use of software that is supposed to be protecting it.

It seemed all hope was lost after we lost our vital business secret to our competitors. I did not loose hope because of the lost of vital information to our competitors but because this was actually caused by a software whose primary function was to protect our information from intruders (identity thieves).

It all started on The 20th of May, 2008 when my Company (the Company I represent suffered a great loss in terms of sales revenue and profit due to lost of its planned unique promotional campaign. This led to the acquisition of three soft-wares (Anti-Spy-ware, Anti-Mal-ware and Anti-Ad-ware) that we believed to be the best in the market. You can imagine the peace of mind we had after installing these heavy and expensive “protect-ional software” on our systems.

We whole-heartedly transferred some of our hard copy core business secrets to our system (Just as innocent as a baby will fall into the arms of the Mother).

You guessed right! This time we were HIT even bigger. This singular event swung me into action. I went underground; I started contacting owners of various software companies, presenting them with some mouth watery offer to let out secrets of some sort of rapport with the owner(s). Some turned down the offer, while some gladly accepted the offers. The Cruz of the matter is that amongst those that accepted my offer was one of the so-called producers of the ‘ANTIs’ that our company bought into.

This then led me into further research and discovered that most of the software companies include one or two malicious code into their software.

Here are some of the precautions to take before installing soft-wares in your system.

  • Get testimonies from previous users of the product you intend using (possible if the company is old)
  • Ask for presentation date. After the presentation, take the computer to a security expert for examination if there is no in-house expertise.
  • Run the software on a system (computer) that those not contain vital information for a period of time before installing in other systems.
  • Buy software that has been reviewed by a trusted reviewer. The question here is; who is TRUSTED.
  • Always be on the lookout for your information without.

For details about protecting your online identity from theft, you may consider reading other articles under the FINANCIAL INFORMATION SECURITY  TIP section of this webpage

BAD PERSONAL FINANCE STRATEGIES

Bad personal finance strategies contribute most to the lack of money that a lot of people suffer from. Finances are like trees, they quickly die off as soon as they stop getting the required nutrients to survive….good personal finance stratgies acts like all the nutrients needed to grow your financial tree.

In this article are some bad ways of managing your money that you must avoid at all cost. 

Nobody ever wake up in the morning and pray to God that S/He should be poor. Yet, most of us do those things that will naturally block the heavenly windows of finance against them. In this article are some of those things that we should avoid if we truly don’t want the finance heaven to close against us.

The first thing that you should avoid doing is; having a negative mindset. Garbage-In-Garbage-Out (GIGO) is one computer term that can easily relate to natural law. You cannot expect something good to come out of a negative mind- Impossible!

Actively seek motivation. A non-motivated person cannot face the challenges of financial battle. Motivation plays a very significant role in our life especially our finances.

Take time to plan. Planning is the bed-rock of every of your activities.

Avoid over spending at all cost. A lot of people fall prey to the bogus marketing strategies of marketers and buy things they have no need for. They spend more than they earn, thereby living in perpetual debt. If you must be indebted, let it be a good one. That is, business or investment related debt. Avoid credit card debt as much as possible.

Also do not take advice from people that are not qualified. When I say qualified, I don’t mean paper qualification alone. See the article on selecting Personal Financial Advisor .You don’t go to a mechanic when you are sick or do you? I bet your answer is no. Why then do many seek financial advice from friends and relatives who are themselves not sound financially. To me, that is crazy, so don’t do it.

Confusion is another thing to avoid. Be focused at all time. Focus on one thing at a time. If your financial advisor asks you to follow certain investment vehicle, please do stick to them. Provided it’s coming from the right financial advisor

Procrastination is a killer, avoid it. The right word is Action!, Action!!, Action!!!. Never say tomorrow because now is the right time to take charge of your finances.

Never at any time ignore investment (in your assets and your–self). Invest your money on assets and your time in learning. It will help open up the windows of finances from above.

Don’t be at war with the concept of time value of money. Also be at peace with financial statements of companies. My mentor once told me that Accounting as a subject is the best course to ever study. It will help you acquire all the above techniques and more. And the good news is that it must not be learnt on a formal basis. Little book here and there and articles like helps on this.

The final thing I will be discussing in this article is INSURANCE. You must not leave your assets unprotected. A lot of people have been taken back to square one because they failed to insure their assets.

Oh! Sorry, I almost forgot this, the most important for that matter. The natural law of giving and taking need not be overlooked. Learn to Tithe and give back to the society.

Haven being equipped with all these wonderful tips, now is the time to go ahead and kick open the window of finance and grab as much wealth as you can.