Infrastructure Managed Services Paves The Way For Smart Cities

With the proliferation of the concept of smart cities, technology giants are increasingly realizing that tomorrow’s problems cannot be solved by today’s solutions. The need of the hour is to develop smart technologies that anticipate and prevent problems proactively as opposed to solving them reactively.
What are smart cities?
Are they mere geographic landscapes that stand out from their not-so-smart counterparts through a technology-driven stroke of luck?
Or, do they become smart by making its citizens smarter? If yes, how do they do that?
According to Frost & Sullivan, smart cities use intelligent (or smart) solutions that accomplish at least five of the following goals:
Smart infrastructure
Smart healthcare
Smart governance
Smart technology
Smart citizen
Smart education
Put simply, smart cities leverage futuristic solutions to lower costs, save energy, build strongly-connected ecosystems and eventually, improve the quality of life.
Cities that collect and share data from everywhere and anywhere to deliver better services- be it in public transport, airports, convention centers or downtown shopping lanes. Cities that create networks capable of connecting with thousands of devices – dumb or smart – to drive better outcomes.
There are likely to be 26 smart cities worldwide by 2026, including Sydney, Tokyo, Amsterdam, Singapore and Beijing, amongst others. Within India, the central government has earmarked a budget of Rs 1000 billion to develop 100 smart cities in the next five years.
Infrastructure Managed Services Shows the Way
To bridge the gap between the dream of smart cities and its realization, the need of the hour is to singularly focus on the most important edifice on which these cities will be created – infrastructure.
Without the right infrastructure that accommodates and simplifies data-driven Information Security – sharing information safely at the speed of now with those who need it – smart cities are nothing more than snippets of wishful thinking.
This means upgrading existing, social, technological, environmental and communication infrastructures using automation at unprecedented levels. What this also means is stereotypical silos will need to broken.
For example, it’s great to have technologically sound traffic management, but its efficacy is next to nothing if it cannot solve a real problem of congestion at a particular time slot, say 6 pm.
By implementing big data analytics – a critical component of Managed Services – you can actually reprogram the traffic lighting system to decongest traffic by getting all stakeholders onboard within a stipulated timeframe. This is how silos are broken.
Digital transformation has the potential to unite and optimize the management of critical operational elements such as processes, policies, human resources, data and technology. In fact, digital transformation and infrastructure managed services (IMS) are two sides of the same coin and are inevitably interlinked. In the context of smart cities, its significance is invaluable.

How​ ​A​ ​Premier​ ​Mortgage​ ​Company​ ​In​ ​The​ ​United​ ​States​ ​Migrated​ ​&​ ​Automated​ ​200+ Excel​ ​Sheets

 

A case study detailing how Sparklore’s future-ready, data-fuelled insights automated a manual reporting system seamlessly.

Client​ ​profile
The client is a premier mortgage company providing best-in-class residential mortgage lender services throughout the United States.

Once a small family-owned business, the company witnessed over 30-fold growth within a few years to become a leading mortgage player with a widespread footprint across the country.

Driven by their trio mission of simplicity, authenticity and transparency, the client is committed to simplifying the complexities of residential mortgage for their ever-expanding customer base.

Business​ ​Challenges

In the wake of their exponential growth, the mortgage company found it increasingly difficult to manage its reports manually using traditional excel sheets. Their high-end requirements necessitated a data-driven transition that automated their reporting system without disrupting the existing workflow. Predictably, the challenges were multifaceted.

➢ An isolated reporting system that was difficult to manage
➢ Limited data visibility
➢ Tedious exchange of 200+ excel reports between the departments
➢ No mechanism to ascertain the utility or necessity of these reports
➢ The data was gathered from multiple sources, often with little or no correlation

➢ The organization’s reluctance in transitioning from traditional reporting to modern
technology
➢ Long hours of error-prone manual reporting

Business​ ​Solution
To automate its reporting system and reduce manual intervention, the client realized that their requirements would be best met by specialized data visualization experts who were experienced in working with different verticals and would also be able to implement the transition in a simple, accessible manner. In light of these requirements, Sparklore was seen as an ideal fit owing to its ability to work with different data sources, simplify data automation and design, and its ability to maintain and publish interactive dashboards.

Approach​ ​and​ ​Strategy
After understanding the client’s requirements through structured data collection, Sparklore’s highly-coordinated team of data engineers and visualization consultants decided to adopt a step-by-step approach to automate the client’s reporting system.

Data​ ​Collection​ ​&​ ​Storage
Firstly, Sparklore realized that the entire data had to be stored and collected in one place. To this end, they:

➢ Undertook design thinking methodology to understand the specific requirements of the client
➢ Examined their existing reporting process
➢ Conducted onsite requirement sessions with different departments
➢ Took complete ownership of the 200+ excel reports
➢ Compiled an Oracle database containing the entirety of client’s data
➢ Identified redundant reports
➢ Consolidated different reports delivering the same insights

Report​ ​Preparation​ ​&​ ​Automation

The next logical step was to automate data using interactive dashboards that would save manual work hours, foster communication and facilitate 360° visibility. ​In this light, Sparklore’s data visualization experts:

➢ Extracted data manually and created corresponding Oracle tables
➢ Designed and developed the data in Tableau
➢ Developed Tableau Server Sources with relevant refresh schedules
➢ Collected data from Oracle and linked it seamlessly to Tableau based on specificrequirements
➢ Prepared Tableau dashboards that looked similar to Excel tables to simplify the transition
➢ Prepared visually-attracting graphs & charts that allowed the client to drill downinto
➢ Performed audits on existing reports
➢ Combined different reports on one dashboard to improve visibility and communication between business units

Implementation​ ​&​ ​Training

The biggest roadblock in implementing the solution was the client’s reluctance in making
the transition, given their comfort level with Excel reporting. To overcome this challenge,
Sparklore:
➢ Examined their existing reporting process
➢ Dispatched its own team to the client office to help smoothen the transition
➢ Educated the client about the numerous benefits of data automation, and Tableau in particular
➢ Undertook a rigorous QC process to ensure the accuracy of all reports
➢ Smoothened the implementation by preparing the reports in Tableau and replacing Excel reports with interactive dashboards
➢ Trained the client’s employees in the use of new tools
➢ Conducted post-transition training sessions to increase user familiarity with Tableau

Business​ ​Outcomes
➢ Reduced the manual work hours of the client team by 40%
➢ Improved client productivity by 85%
➢ Increased data visibility by 80%
➢ Facilitated seamless communication across all teams.

10​ ​Easy​ ​Ways​ ​To​ ​Use​ ​Hibiscus​ ​For​ ​Hair​ ​Growth

Give​ ​your​ ​coconut​ ​oil​ ​a​ ​miss​ ​and​ ​try​ ​hibiscus​ ​for​ ​hair​ ​instead.​ ​The​ ​oil​ ​from​ ​the​ ​plant is​ ​known​ ​to​ ​enhance​ ​blood​ ​circulation​ ​to​ ​the​ ​scalp​ ​and​ ​in​ ​turn​ ​promote​ ​healthy​ ​hair growth.

You can buy readymade bottles from the market or simply indulge in some DIY.

10 DIYs For Great Health Using Hibiscus

1.​ ​Hibiscus​ ​oil​ ​for​ ​hair​ ​growth:

  • Wash, crush and grind 8 to 9 hibiscus flowers and leaves.
  • Now heat 1 cup of coconut oil and add the hibiscus paste to it; mix, cover and turn the heat off.
  • When it is slightly cool, rub the oil to your scalp and leave it overnight.
  • Wash off the excess oil with Hibiscus shampoo or even one like Pantene Pro-V.
  • Nature Fusion Fullness and Life which is infused with essence derived from nature.

2.​ ​Controls​ ​premature​ ​greying:

  • Take 4 tbsp. yoghurt, few hibiscus leaves and make into a paste.
  • Rub this paste onto your hair for 1 hour before shampooing.
  • This will help prolong premature greying of hair.

3.​ ​Prevents​ ​hair​ ​fall​ ​and​ ​split-ends:

  •  Soak amla powder in amla juice and mix hibiscus leaves to it.
  • Make a paste out of this combination and treat hair fall and split-ends with this in a
    matter of just 45 minutes.

4.​ ​Shampoo:
If you use hibiscus leaves for hair, you will surely not regret it!

  •  Take 15 leaves and 5 flowers from the plant and boil it in 1 cup water for 5 minutes.
  •  Wait for it to cool and then blend it into a paste.
  •  Mix gram flour to this paste and voila, your organic shampoo is ready!

5.​ ​Deep​ ​conditioner:

As seen in this article, there are many ways of using hibiscus for hair growth. One such way is when you are able to make your roots stronger. How?

  •  Just make a paste of 8 hibiscus flowers with water.
  • Apply it to a clean scalp and leave for 1 hour.
  •  The effect is the same as deep conditioning from an expensive salon.

6.​ ​Cleanser:
Rid yourself off the dirt accumulated in the hair by using hibiscus leaves. Grind ½ cup of hibiscus leaves to form a thick paste, then massage your hair with it and leave for 3 minutes  before washing off.

7.​ ​Anti-dandruff:

Hibiscus leaves are an excellent remedy for dandruff.

  • All you need to do is soak 1 tbsp. of fenugreek seeds overnight.
  •  Next grind a handful of hibiscus leaves, the soaked fenugreek seeds and buttermilk together to form a paste and apply to your scalp.

8.​ ​Controls​ ​itchiness:

If you have a dry scalp then hibiscus oils might help.

  • Boil a pot with half-filled water, mix some hibiscus flowers, neem leaves and fenugreek seeds to it and let the water evaporate a bit.
  • Cool the mixture and then filter it through a sieve.
  • Use the residue filter on your hair.
  • Then rinse your hair with shampoo.

9.​ ​Preserves​ ​natural​ ​lustre:
Make a paste of 1 whole lime, few hibiscus flowers and henna leaves. Apply this mixture onto the scalp and leave for 30 to 45 minutes before washing off.

10.​ ​Stronger​ ​hair:

For stronger, thicker and manageable hair, use a mask of hibiscus with curd.

  •  Simply make a paste with few hibiscus leaves and add 4tbsp curd to it.
  •  Smear it over your scalp and let it rest for 1 hour.
  •  Wash off with shampoo.

McXtra

Brief – Closer to go-live, this Insurtech company got in touch with The Words Edge right after website design was in place, wanting to establish an online presence by the day of their launch.

 

What we did –

  1. With our team of qualified experts, we took time to understand the business and conducted extensive competition benchmarking.
  2. Our in-depth questionnaire helped us limit multiple iterations with the client, by fully understanding their current business models and future objectives.

Finally, we were able to develop content that suited their requirements.