From patterns to personality: how creativity helps you find your own unique voice

PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 335 posts, we featured an art festival, cartoon gallery. world music festivaltelecom expomillets fair, climate change expo, wildlife conference, startup festival, Diwali rangoli, and jazz festival.

As explained in books like The Creative Curve and Creative Confidence, the value of creativity is at a premium in a globalised, digitally connected world, where change and disruption are the new normal. It’s not just the number of ideas you have, but their quality, originality and customer or community value that are important.

Creativity can be cultivated by keenly observing patterns and connections in the world around us, engaging with audiences, and iterating ideas and prototypes. Engaging with the field and getting regular feedback helps build creative confidence and overcome fears about risk and mistakes.

In a chat with YourStory, insights on such creative patterns were shared by Satish Pujari,

Senior 3D Animator, Technicolor. Satish is also an artist, and his works are being showcased at the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishat in Bengaluru. He graduated from Vijay Mahantesh Lalitakala Mahavidyalay in Hubballi, and was also team lead at Tata Elxsi’s Visual Computing Lab.

In this photo essay, we feature some of Satish’s works, along with samples of the other exhibiting artists: Sanjay Chapolkar, Nilanjan Guha, Vidhu Pillai, Ravindra Mahale, Nagabhushan, Satish Biradar, Vittal Kulkarni, H Sheshechala, and Ram Mohan.

Satish has been in the animation field for over 15 years, but has also created a range of unique paintings that feature bonsai trees. As shown in this photo essay, some of the bonsai trees also seem to have elements of animals, birds and human characters – such as eagles, peacocks, snails, and even a pregnant woman.

“Making a connection between patterns and finishing a work of art is itself an act of success,” Satish explains. He also sees success for himself as an artist in making a deep connect with audiences.

His art works are priced in the range Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000. “If someone shows an obvious liking to my painting but says he is unable to pay the full price, I don’t mind giving a discount. What matters is seeing that the art work gives him happiness,” Satish says, though he jokes that other artists may not see things his way.

The message he wishes to convey through his art is respect for nature, both plant and animal life – hence the duality of both forms in his works. “Imagine if all Indian citizens had to plant a tree in order to get an Aadhar card, and if the government then gave you benefits for planting the tree – how green India would be,” Satish explains philosophically.

He also offers advice for aspiring artists. “Observe the style of other artists, but don’t imitate them. Learn from them but don’t copy them – focus instead on developing your own unique style, based on your technique and the connections and meaning you see in the world,” he explains.

“Develop your own talent. Don’t constrain your creativity,” Satish signs off.

Now, what have you done today to pause in your busy schedule and see how to build impactful connections with the shifting trends around you?

Satish Pujari

Got a creative photograph to share? Email us at [email protected]!

See also the YourStory pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups,’ accessible as apps for Apple and Android devices.

[“source=yourstory”]

How blockchain helps move money internationally like you send emails

Navin Gupta, MD (South Asia and MENA region) at Ripple.

We want to move money around the world like information moves today. We should be able to send money the way we are able to send emails and WhatsApp messages. When I say money, I mean legal money which is fully authenticated, regulated and controlled,” Navin Gupta, managing director of South Asia and the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region for Ripple, a provider of leading enterprise blockchain solutions for payments, said at the Mint Digital Innovation Summit held in Bengaluru on 15 March. He was speaking on “Understanding Blockchain’s Impact on Payments”.

It is estimated that today the world sends more than $155 trillion across borders. Yet, the underlying infrastructure is dated and flawed. This is where Ripple with its blockchain technology connects banks, payment providers and digital asset exchanges to provide a seamless experience to send money globally. More than 200 institutions are using the blockchain technology built by Ripple to transact daily, Gupta claims. “In India, banks like Axis and Yes Bank are using our technology to process their customers’ payments anywhere in the world. We live in 40 corridors and 6 continents, besides having offices in 8 countries,” said Gupta.

Blockchain has advantages because it is open source, decentralized, reliable and trusted, Gupta said. The cost of transaction is consistent—there is no fee or timing loss and it is scalable. There are no physical assets and enterprises that leverage Ripple’s digital asset XRP (cryptocurrency used by the Ripple payment network) when sending payments on behalf of customers. Using XRP for liquidity when sending a cross-border payment helps financial institutions avoid the hassle of pre-funding accounts in destination currencies. It allows them to make faster, lower cost payments than they can through the traditional correspondent banking system. Banks can now help global companies send on-demand payments around the world without fail. There is an opportunity to “secure a greater share of cross-border payments volume”, said Gupta.

Ripple also helps bank customers send money to people in many emerging markets including Mexico, India, and Thailand to increase their share of “this large and growing market”. What’s next? “Ripple is moving beyond blockchain, and connecting networks so that we can move money across networks. Again this is open-source and lightweight so it becomes easy to transfer money across networks. So we are building the ecosystem for networks to connect with each other and in our view globalization will be completed when data, goods and money flow seamlessly. That’s the way we think of it as an internet of value when the whole world gets connected through payment systems,” Gupta said.

[“source=livemint”]

How Nextiva Analytics Helps Small Business Succeed

Business Call Analytics - Nextiva Analytics

Usefulness
Functionality
Price

Summary


With quick and easy access to your call data and tools to analyze that data, Nextiva Analytics was designed to help small business succeed by providing them with the information needed to make informed decisions.

Since the late 1990s, virtual phone services have enabled small businesses to obtain robust business phone services for less money by shouldering all the hardware, management and maintenance costs and spreading them across a number of businesses.

While enhanced phone system functionality for less is a big win for small businesses, one could argue that the most valuable piece in play here is the insight provided by tools like Nextiva Analytics.

Business Call Analytics – Nextiva Analytics

Knowledge is Power

While most virtual phone services offer some form of reporting, Nextiva Analytics has taken this to a whole new level by focusing on three key elements: view, analyze and act.

Business Call Analytics - Nextiva Analytics - Nextiva Analytics Overview

By enabling you to view and analyze your inbound and outbound call data from as high as your entire organization down to a specific location, call group, user, or even phone number, Analytics gives you the freedom to make the right decisions on the fly.

In addition, analytics offers gamification, a feature that provides even more value to your business. Let’s take a closer look at what Nextiva Analytics brings to the table to help your small business succeed.

Visualize Data Clearly

Nextiva Analytics enables you to see your call data in a number of different ways including:

  • Real time or historical data using different types of charts;

Business Call Analytics - Nextiva Analytics - Real Time Reporting

  • Map views; and

Business Call Analytics - Nextiva Analytics - Map View

  • Custom reports.

Business Call Analytics - Nextiva Analytics - Custom Reports

So far, these reporting features have been handy, if not very unique. Analytics however, has more tricks up its sleeves.

For example, while viewing a report, you can dig in and access individual call recordings:

Business Call Analytics - Nextiva Analytics - Access Call

If you like to stay on top of your call data, analytics offers dashboards, scorecards, and wallboards like the one shown below:

Business Call Analytics - Nextiva Analytics - Wallboard

All of these features help you visualize your call data in a number of different ways both quickly and easily. Once you have the data you want onscreen, it’s time for the next step.

Interpret Your Data to Gain Actionable Insights

Having relevant data in hand is important, however the true value lies in how you use that data to monitor progress and identify current or upcoming issues.

Nextiva Analytics helps you in this effort by enabling you to:

  • Identify patterns in your call history;

Business Call Analytics - Nextiva Analytics - Identify Patterns in Call Activity

  • Gain an objective long-term view; and

Business Call Analytics - Nextiva Analytics - An Objective Long Term View

  • Compare data between locations, call groups, users and phone numbers.

Business Call Analytics - Nextiva Analytics - Compare Data

Once you’ve analyzed your call data, you can move on to the final step in the process.

Make Informed Decisions Clearly

This step is where Nextiva Analytics helps small businesses succeed. By making decisions based on actual data and analysis, small businesses can:

  • Avoid missteps in staffing and phone service levels that can cost you both money and time;
  • Catch issues before the potential for risk and impact grows; and
  • Gain true insight into the performance of your team no matter where they work.

That last point is one on which Nextiva has spent a great deal of focus. The result? Gamification.

Nextiva Gamification

Gamification is an approach that engenders friendly competition among employees to see who can come out on top in a certain way. This competition has been shown to engage employees, which in turn leads to better productivity.

Nextiva Analytics enables small businesses to achieve this boost in productivity by setting up a leaderboard for employees:

Business Call Analytics - Nextiva Analytics - Deploy Gamification

Ranking can be calculated by the number of inbound, outbound or total calls, and by calls or minutes. Here are some examples of the leaderboards you can set up with analytics:

Business Call Analytics - Nextiva Analytics - Gamification Examples

You can also view rankings for users, teams, locations or call groups:

Business Call Analytics - Nextiva Analytics - View Rankings

Conclusion

With quick and easy access to your call data and tools to analyze that data, Nextiva Analytics was designed to help small businesses succeed by providing them with the information needed to make informed decisions.

Throw in gamification and Nextiva has built a powerful tool atop its virtual phone system, one that may make sense to consider when shopping for a solution.

Images: Nextiva

More in: Nextiva

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Tinder Smart Photos Launched; Helps Find Matches by Choosing Your Best Photo

Tinder Smart Photos Launched; Helps Find Matches by Choosing Your Best Photo

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Tinder claims users saw a 12 percent increase in matches
  • Smart Photos alternates your profile pictures to test success rate
  • Tinder says algorithm will maximise your match potential

Tinder has quickly become one of the most popular dating apps around the world, but there has been one constant complaint that has plagued the app since its launch – the difficulty in finding a match. Now the app wants to address this issue and has introduced a feature called Smart Photos to increase your chances of finding a match by choosing your best photo to represent you.

The company says that it has implemented a brand new algorithm that maximizes your match potential. “It’s simple: Smart Photos alternates the photo first seen by others when you’re shown on Tinder, notes each response as others swipe on you, and reorders your photos to show your best ones first. In testing, users saw up to a 12 percent increase in matches,” Tinder said in its release.

(Also see:  Tinder’s New Boost Feature Helps You Skip the Line, Puts You on Top of the Pack)

The app will essentially be using what in the publishing world is best known as A/B testing to help you make your profile as attractive as possible with the photos you uploaded. It will constantly test your profile photos and then arrange them in a manner that increases your chances of finding a match.”We all Swipe Right for different reasons, so everyone on Tinder has a distinct swiping pattern. Smart Photos take into account each individual’s swiping pattern when selecting which of your photos they’ll see first. It’s a system that gets smarter with more input: the more you swipe and the more you’re swiped on, the better the algorithm serves you. Yes, there’s science behind the swipe,” the company said.

Tags: Tinder Smart Photos, Tinder Dating App, Apps, Android, Apple, Social
[“Source-Gadgets”]