Weather And Business: Insights And Ideas For Weathering The Storms

“How about this weather we’re having?” “Can you believe how cold it is?” “The weather made my commute just brutal today!” Weather dominates small talk in the United States, and there has been a lot of research done on how weather influences behavior and emotions. But, weather also has strong financial impact; it is estimated that nearly 20% of the U.S. economy is directly affected by the weather, and it impacts the profitability and revenues of many industries, including agriculture, energy, events, construction, travel and others. In a 1998 testimony to Congress, former commerce secretary William Daley stated, “Weather is not just an environmental issue, it is a major economic factor. At least $1 trillion of our economy is weather-sensitive.”

This regular column will focus on business and its relationship with weather. Our economy is dependent on weather, and increased weather volatility has forced businesses to be more proactive in including weather insights into operational planning.  As weather-forecasting technology continues to improve, businesses are finding it easier to be more proactive in making decisions related to weather.

Of the more than 10,000 practicing meteorologists in the U.S., there is strong representation in the private sector. A meteorologist may be found in a variety of positions, ranging from weather forecasting duties, to non-forecasting roles like sales, marketing and business analytics. The job outlook for meteorologists is estimated to grow by 12%, which is almost 40 percent faster than the national average.

Public safety is a very visible example of weather forecasting for business. But there are many other ways weather plays a role in business. For some companies, it’s about risk management. For retailers, meteorologists help develop strategies that address how weather impacts purchasing trends. Meteorologists can help with business planning and developing strategies for expansion geographies. The impact of weather on business is real, and as forecasting and other technology continues to evolve, the weather-based decision making within business will also evolve.

Top of mind for so many folks right now is winter and safety, particularly as yet another storm rolls into the northeast. Severe weather will impact flights, road traffic, agriculture, the delivery of energy and the general safety of the public. When thinking about the current winter conditions and the impact on traffic and road conditions, it’s expected the plows will keep the roads clear, but there’s a lot of planning needed, not only to effectively keep the roads clear, but to also effectively manage budgets. In Minnesota for example, Anoka County is responsible for keeping 1,100 lane miles of roads clear with the work of 40 full-time, and 20 on-call, maintenance workers. These crews rely on the accuracy of each weather forecast and a big benefit of leveraging those forecasts is the effective use of budgets. Anoka County weather forecasts have specific pavement forecasts, which help the team schedule crews appropriately. The county is required to give night crews a 24-hour notice, and those crews are paid a premium rate for working after hours. Having an accurate forecast helps the department avoid scheduling workers for night shifts unless it’s necessary, ultimately protecting the bottom line.

Pavement forecasts also help the department use other resources efficiently. When freezing rain is predicted, it uses this information to help determine the optimal time to salt the roads, in turn, avoiding unnecessary applications. The department also knows the best time to pretreat roads, allowing it to avoid sending out a second shift which increases safety for everyone on the road. As this story from Anoka County, Minnesota, shows, there are real economic implications to everyday weather events.

[“source=forbes”]

Suresh Prabhu Links Ideas, Business Opportunities To Cheap Goa Beverages

Suresh Prabhu Links Ideas, Business Opportunities To Cheap Goa Beverages

Suresh Prabhu’s statement did not go down well with some of the political parties.

Panaji: Union minister Suresh Prabhu has sought to link the availability of cheap beverages in Goa with “creativity and business opportunities”, a remark the Congress said was projection of the coastal state as a “liquor destination”.

Mr Prabhu, while participating in the Global Venture Summit in Goa on Friday, said the state government had reduced taxes on some beverages that help calm the mind and lead to creativity, which can be converted into business opportunities.

“Ideas are there, but to make ideas into a form that actually be converted into a business opportunity is some sort of creativity.” “And creativity comes when your mind is calm. And when it comes to Goa, mind becomes calm. And to make body calm, Goa government has reduced taxation on some of the beverages, which can make your mind soft,” the commerce minister had said.

Mr Prabhu’s statement did not go down well with some of the political parties.

Congress’ spokesperson Siddhanath Buyao condemned the statement, saying it was wrong to link the state’s culture and creativity to the availability of liquor at lower rates.

“Goa is known for its scenic beauty and warm people. Creativity is in the DNA of Goans right from the beginning. May it be in the field of science, art, culture, music and even entrepreneurship, Goans have contributed immensely to the country,” Mr Buyao said.

He said it is the same calm nature and creativity that draws Mr Prabhu to Goa often. “Does Prabhu come to Goa to enjoy cheap beverages and then get the creative ideas?” Mr Buyao taunted the minister.

“Instead of projecting Goa as a liquor destination, BJP should concentrate on restoring the governance, which has deteriorated due to the ill health of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar,” he added.

The Shiv Sena slammed the ruling party saying encouraging liquor consumption should be the last thing any government should be doing. “Prabhu should understand that liquor does not make mind soft. It is the natural beauty of Goa that inspires people,” said Sena state spokesperson Rakhi Prabhudesai Naik.

She said the BJP should stop linking Goa’s culture and tourism to liquor. “Union minister of the stature of Prabhu linking liquor to Goa is condemnable, especially when he always brags about his closeness to Goa

[“source=ndtv”]

Three Ways To Understand And Apply Social Media Insights To Your Business

Pexels

The internet has impacted the way most, if not all, industries have evolved. Keeping up with industry trends and available platforms is a job in and of itself. In particular, social media is shaping the way many companies engage with customers and drive sales.

In the education industry, the internet has revolutionized the way people learn and how they interact with their peers. Based on my experience working with social media influencers to engage students, I’d like to share three tips for entrepreneurs in any industry.

Learn how your target audience is using social media.

You can never stay hot for too long in the world of social media. One minute Snapchat is the app of the hour, the next it’s Instagram, and the cycle continues. Social media has secured credibility in recent years as a trusted source of information not only for news but also as a platform for consumers to engage with companies and exchange information.

My company’s target audience is students, and we have found that students today use social media in ways that are foreign to generations that did not grow up in the digital age. For example, “study with me” videos have become a popular internet sensation among youth. My company decided to capitalize on this opportunity by partnering with YouTube influencers to learn how students are using YouTube to study; we then applied that information to our platform to better help our users succeed academically.

Understanding how your target audience is using and benefiting from social media is critical to success. This applies to any business. Many companies are under the impression that all there is to social media is a simple press of a button to post content, but that’s not where the value lies. Building your presence is important, but understanding why you have that presence will help you properly utilize your channels and benefit in multiple ways.

To do so, connect with your target audience and customers. Create surveys, send personal emails or even make phone calls to understand how your customers are using social media and in what ways your business can have a valuable impact. Get a deeper understanding of your audience behavior and which channels you should focus on.

[“source=forbes]

Google ‘App Maker’ Low-Code Tool for Building Business Apps Now Generally Available

Google 'App Maker' Low-Code Tool for Building Business Apps Now Generally Available

HIGHLIGHTS

  • App Maker is G Suite’s low-code application development environment
  • Google first launched the App Maker in November 2016
  • App building tool would allow developers access to 40 Google services

Google has made App Maker, its low-code tool for building business apps, generally available and open to all developers, a year and a half after the launch of its beta version.

“Today, we’re making App Maker generally available to help you rethink how your teams operate,” Geva Rechav, Product Manager, App Maker, wrote in a blog post late on Thursday.

“App Maker is G Suite’s low-code application development environment that makes it easy for teams to build custom apps to speed up workflows and make processes better,” Rechav added.

Google first launched the App Maker in November 2016 and made it available through its Early Adopter Program for G Suite Business at that time.

It was created with the idea of enabling line-of-business teams to create bigger apps, revamp company processes, resolve help desk tickets and more.

The new features include a built-in support for Cloud Structured Query Language (SQL), responsive templates, a drag-and-drop user interface design and declarative data modelling.

It would also come with Expanded OAuth Whitelisting controls to let administrators prevent apps from running without their approval.

In addition, the app building tool would allow developers access to 40 Google services including Gmail, Google Calendar, Sheets and other data sources, Rechav said.

The App Maker is now available to all G Suite Business and Enterprise customers, as well as G Suite for Education customers.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]