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Making analytics make a difference – our interview with David Sealey

How do you try to make use of your analytics? We all know that in theory web analytics tools give us fantastic insight to help us improve results for our digital marketing. In practice you need to know the right questions to ask and use the right reports and measures to find the answer. You also need to know the intuition to follow-up on a hunch.

Every marketer and every analyst will have their own unique style. As a consultant I’m always keen to learn how others tackle a problem so I can learn from their ideas. In this interview, David Sealey of Design and Analytics Agency Quba shares his approach on how to avoid “analysis paralysis”.

Current marketing challenges for 2011

Question 1: What do you see as the current major challenges faced by marketers and how can analytics help?

We also live in a day and age with multiple marketing channels which need to be assessed and managed. Digital channels alone include web, video, email, SEO, PPC, affiliates, mobile, social media and online PR. If you”€™re not following the latest trend then you”€™d better have the evidence ready to defend that choice.

When I started my career in digital marketing, traditional marketers were playing catch up. Our knowledge of HTML, SEO and new media made us kings of schoolyard. There is now a reverse of this as digital natives find that they have to understand the basics of marketing as a discipline in its own right. So whilst the 4Ps (product, place, promotion, price) or AIDA (attention, interest, desire, action) won”€™t replace new technology, they do need to work hand in hand. A perfect example of this is the merging of old school PR with the new kid on the block that is Social Media.

Where to focus investment

Question 2: What focus of time and budgets do you recommend to get better approach?

The focus is definitely on wringing the maximum value out of the web channel before completely changing it.

Obviously this is a much more cost-effective exercise and the results should be clearly visible through basic site metrics. With analytics tools that are ever easier to use, identifying the sticking points is a more straightforward exercise.

I personally appreciate this approach as the focus is on the results (an objective measure) rather than the creative (a more subjective matter). With the focus fixed on definable goals (e.g. double the site conversion rate) it is easier for everyone to pull together their ideas.

There is a downside to enhancing a website. We all know and accept that any technology will have bugs that occur. In enhancing a website, these bugs can be amplified or create additional errors. This adds to the overall technical debt which the system carries and your repayments (i.e. the amount of technical fixing time required each month) will only increase.

Whilst enhancements to an existing site may be a cost effective strategy, innovation may suffer due to technical platform limitations. Such innovations are needed to engage with users and be competitive.

Metrics that matter

Question 3: Which metrics do you think are important for marketers to focus on?

I”€™ve talked with marketers who are stressing over metrics that really don”€™t matter. “€œMy average time on site is down by 30 seconds! What do I do?”€ they ask in a blind panic, fearing the approach of the MD. The metrics I”€™m primarily interest in are:

Unique Visitors

Bounce rate

Conversion rate to goals

Average order/enquiry value

These stats really tell the story about the state of a business website. By addressing and segmenting these numbers first, I identify what can be improved and the goals that can be set.

The value of the feedback you receive will give you the insights necessary to make (or at least a/b test) improvements.

Outside the stats you need to be considering the entire end-to-end user experience. From the ad that they see before the site to any interactions afterwards, everything should be reviewed for consistency and ease of use. For instance there was one project I worked on where the email sent after registration didn”€™t contain the name of the company or a link to the site. Make it easy for people to do business with you.

How to apply web analytics

Question 4: How do you think marketers should best use analytics to get better results?

Analytics tools have greatly improved and Google Analytics has played a large part in moving both the industry and user intelligence forward. Its reports and interface have made web analytics accessible to everyone in large and small organisations.

However for analytics to really move businesses forward and provide greater value, the tools need to become smarter and simpler. With web analytics there is still a large amount of work to be done in interpreting the results into an insight that can affect change. Knowing that your bounce rate was 35% for the last twelve months isn”€™t actionable insights yet many marketers are sweating over figures like this.

In the future I think Analytics needs to move forward to a point where it can be easily configured by non-technical teams to record what is important to marketers rather than analysts. Deeper integration is also required with CRM systems to improve attribution of customer registrations and orders.

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What Is Antivirus And Should I Use It?

You’ve heard of Antivirus software before? Of course, you have – It’s that piece of technology that helps prevent nasty viruses from infecting your PC… or so it used to be back in the 90’s. Today, the “threat landscape”, as security experts like to call it, is changing. That means the approach to protecting your privacy and your data should also evolve.

Antivirus alone can give you some protection, but as we’ve moved from a PC-centric world of desktop computers to one in which you’re likely to have multiple internet-connected devices across your home and as you travel, it may not be enough.

What is antivirus?

Antivirus software helps protect your computer against malware and attacks from cybercriminals. It looks at the data that travels over the network to your devices— web pages, files, software and applications. It searches for known cyberthreats and monitors the behavior of all programs, becoming alert at suspicious behavior or malicious code. It seeks to block or remove malware as quickly as possible.

When looked at simply, a computer virus is similar to a flu virus. It’s designed to go from one infected computer or device to the next, copying itself, and spreading malicious codes and programs that can damage and infiltrate your operating systems. Viruses are designed to give cybercriminals access to their victims’ devices.

Antivirus software provides protection against these types of cyberthreats by performing key tasks:

Pinpointing specific files for the detection of malicious software

Scheduling automatic scans

Scanning either one file or your entire computer at your discretion

Deleting malicious codes and software

Confirming the safety of your computer and other devices

Installing antivirus protection on your devices is a must to provide basic protection, given the array of constantly-emerging cyberthreats. If you don’t have protective software installed on your PC, laptop, smartphone or tablet – you could be putting yourself at risk of picking up a virus or being targeted by other malicious software that can remain undetected, potentially causing significant havoc on your devices and leading to data or financial loss.

Do I need protection beyond antivirus? 

With antivirus software installed you may think your perfectly secure. But it might not be that straight forward. If there’s any gaps in your cybersecurity defenses it leaves your privacy at risk. Cybercriminals are constantly tweaking their methods and could still try to find a way in.

Did you know that public Wi-Fi could be unsecure? This could be another point of access for cybercriminals to access your sensitive data. If your connecting to public Wi-Fi, you should be using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to encrypt the information you send and receive.

How do you manage your passwords? Passwords are the keys to your most private of information – email, financial and online accounts –and if they get into the wrong hands may leave you vulnerable. Having the same password across all your accounts is no longer an option and securing access to your online accounts is important.

Do you regularly back-up the information on your devices? Backing up your data is one of the best ways to securely store important files and documents as a preventive measure against data loss due to hard drive failures, stolen devices and even ransomware.

Considering all of the risks mentioned above, having the right protection that goes beyond antivirus is important. It can mean the theoretical difference between browsing online more safely — with your financial and personal information inside your lockbox at home, or going shopping with your personal and financial information available for the taking.

Introducing NEW Norton 360 Deluxe. Protection for your devices, online privacy and more.

Menino’s Time At Bu: Cut Short, But Indelible

Menino’s Time at BU: Cut Short, but Indelible In academia, a chance to reflect, share career wisdom

During his five terms as mayor of Boston, Thomas Menino (Hon.’01) was known for visiting neighborhoods throughout the city and participating in city events. Photo by Jeff Myers

Former Mayor Thomas Menino’s time at Boston University was short, but he leaves an indelible impression with his fellow faculty, students, and staff. Signing on last February to co-direct the Initiative on Cities, Menino (Hon.’01) spoke often about the shock of shifting gears from the around-the-clock responsibilities and trials of running a city to the more human pace of academia.

Settled into his swivel chair in an outsized mahogany-trimmed office on Bay State Road, the five-term mayor, who made no apologies for—and gleefully capitalized on—his slurred diction, had the opportunity to share his thoughts on what makes a city great, what he accomplished at Boston’s helm, and what remains to be done. Menino was particularly passionate about the ravages of climate change and the need for Boston to step up on behalf of future generations. Often pointing to his beloved Hyde Park as a model of urban livability, the former mayor routinely expressed hope that his city’s diversity would increase along with its population. And he was proud of the low-budget human touches that make Boston more livable—the landscaping around subsidized housing in Roxbury, the well-maintained pocket parks, the inner city ball fields verdant with Astroturf.

Father of two and grandfather of six, Menino adored young people. In his months at BU he tried to combat what he saw as growing cynicism about public service and government in general. While students may have had to lean in to make out his precise words, he had a rare gift for getting at the meat of an issue. There would be no florid prose from the man who never strayed far from his blue-collar roots, but with young Menino Scholars gathered around, he’d offer an honest, memorable description of what makes a good mayor: “You have to be a good listener. And being mayor, you have to work at that. It’s not one of those jobs with a lot of pomp and circumstance.” In all his years of listening (“People yell at you all the time,” he recalled), here at BU Menino found himself in a position to do most of the talking. Here is some of what he had to say during a series of interviews with BU Today.

On City Hall versus academia:

As mayor, you have to make most decisions right away. Over here in academia we have to plan things, we think things out, and try to use what we are doing to help make a difference in policies and procedures and educate individuals about the issues out there. And here we can work to make sure we have an educated workforce out there, to make this the best city in the country. That’s what it’s all about.

On young people’s cynicism about government:

They’re cynical, and I don’t blame them. There is a perception that the government isn’t working. But the government is where it starts. You learn so much when you deal with people every day. What I tell people going into government is, you’re helping people, and that should be your first goal. You have to adjust to situations, so what you do still has meaning. I’d like young people to think about going back to government, and helping out—to get the “Me” generation to think about being an “Us” generation.

On college students and voluntarism:

Honestly, this generation in college now, they are more into voluntarism than the previous generation. Can we do better? We can do better. But I‘ve seen an improvement over the last two or three years and a huge improvement from the previous ten years.

On Boston’s growing appeal: On the importance of cooperation:

The most important thing mayors can do once they get elected is to find good people to serve with them and not have the ego that the people around you can’t be smarter than you are. When they are, that helps you. Also, reach out to people to come and help you with issues on education and public safety. Other elected officials are willing to help. They love to help.

On quality of life issues: On Boston’s strong economy:

Boston is very unique. We have higher education, health care, financial services, and tourism. We have four foundations of our economy. When one goes down, the other picks up. Especially universities and hospitals—they’re always expanding, they’re always growing.

On setting an example for the city:

The mayor is the guy who sets the tone for the whole city. Is he involved in communities of color, in issues with young people? People get a perception of the mayor who cares about those problems. It was my job to be out there. It was my job to be on the front line—if tragedy happens in the neighborhood, if there’s a shooting, you have to be there for that family, for those parents.

On climate change and sustainability:

We’re only going to go so far, because the problem we have in this city with sustainability and climate change is that we have too much scientific talk and not enough street talk. People don’t understand that. They don’t understand sustainability. They don’t understand carbon footprint and climate change. I believe that this could be the issue that creates jobs for us, if we could just change the vocabulary.

On the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings:

Boston matured that day. We really showed our best. After we made the arrest, our people were standing in streetcars singing “God Bless America” and raising American flags, and the Boston Common was filled with people. I got one call from the police department that said, “All the students are making all kinds of noise at Fenway about this thing. What are we gonna do?” I told them, “They’ve been stuck in dorms for 12 hours–leave them alone. They’re not causing trouble. They’re just celebrating.”

*Latest* Gta Online Summer Update: When Is The Release Time?

*LATEST* GTA Online Summer Update: When is the release time?

All the latest GTA Online summer update rumours, leaks, and speculations

GTA Online summer update is arriving TODAY and will be called Criminal Enterprises, Rockstar has confirmed.

It will launch for free – and Rockstar has promised there will be tons of stuff to do. However, we do not know yet exactly what time it will drop.

Rockstar write on their blog: “The Criminal Enterprises is a sweeping update bringing new missions and upgrades to GTA Online including significant expansions to business prospects for Criminal Careers, plus new, elaborate Contact Missions with players operating as a sworn-in agent for the IAA and much more starting July 26.”

The Tweet from the Rockstar official account gave us details about Criminal Enterprises

GTA Online Criminal Enterprises latest news

According to leaker Tez2, Rockstar has recently updated their website’s page to include a link to a Prime Plus offer.

It is not live yet but hints that there could be a deal for those that have both Prime Gaming and GTA+.

The leaker also goes on to claim that:

 18 New vehicles are coming to the game (dripfeed included)

There are 4 New Bennys vehicles

New events like Ammunation Delivery, dealing with troublemakers at the Nightclub or collecting a dufflebag for the Clubhouse

Metal Detector collectible

GTA Criminal Enterprises release time prediction

As per any other GTA Online update, we are expecting the expansion to go live at 10am BST. That’s 5am EST.

Rockstar confirmed there will be new vehicles arriving to next-gen platforms, but last-gen players are set to miss out.

Elsewhere, nightclub owners are now able to contact Yohan to take on missions to source goods, or call Tony for club management missions.

Rockstar confirmed: “Two new Club Management missions have been added to the roster, giving you new ways to promote your above-board operations.

“Meanwhile, inside your club, you’ll be able to maintain the vibes by ejecting troublemakers and chaperoning passed-out VIPs to safe locations off-site.”

Those who have an Executive Office will notice new staff manager Lupe – who will be able to source additional Special Cargo.

There will also be a new side gig, where a shipment of Special Cargo will arrive daily outside your Warehouse.

Rockstar go on to confirm: “Plus, two new sources of Special Cargo will also be added to the mix of Source Missions, increasing the variety of missions available to white-collar criminals statewide.”

Bikers meanwhile, will see their Custom Bike Shop getting a FREE upgrade, while there will be two Clubhouse Contracts.

Rockstar also stated: “A Bar Resupply mission will keep the kegs tapped and the clientele happy while earning a little extra income for your MC.”

Criminal Enterprises will bring with it one new vehicle and a host of new stuff for players to enjoy

GTA Criminal Enterprises new vehicles

Rockstar confirmed new vehicles arriving ‘throughout the summer and beyond’.

To kick things off, two new Imani Tech-eligible vehicles be able to get special upgrades, including remote control and missile lock-on jammer.

Previously, Rockstar has been pretty quiet about the Summer update.

On 14 July, 2023: Rockstar extended GTA Online event until Tuesday the 26th of July, which caused fans to speculate the GTA Online Summer update was imminent.

The leak comes from reliable GTA leaker, Tez2:

11th July 2023: Concepts around “a more convenient way to access snacks and armor” are explored by fans of the game. The latest comes from Twitter user JohnM90GTA who shares this idea:

7th July 2023: Rockstar has officially released the latest GTA Online weekly update and it clearly confirms some of the suggested rumours we’ve been hearing.

The new event week is set to run between July 7th and July 18th – leading many to believe that the big GTA Online Summer update might drop on the 19th of July.

6th July 2023: No news regarding the upcoming GTA Online summer update. However, it looks like Red Dead Online players won’t be receiving any updates this time around. Our thoughts go out to our fallen brothers.

Initial leaks surrounding the GTA Summer Online update came from Tez2 who noticed that the GTA Online membership only ran until the 18th of July – leading many to believe the new DLC would be available on the 19th.

UPDATE: The GTA Online Summer Update is out now! It’s a 12GB download though, and people are reporting issues when it comes to downloading the actual update, so be patient.

Last year’s GTA Online summer update, Los Santos Tuners update, launched in July – leading many people to believe the same will occur for the 2023 summer update.

The Tuners update was an instant hit with fans of the game, offering up new vehicles, missions, music, and more.

That said, it was closely followed by the game’s most popular DLC to date, The Contract.

READ NOW: Do you need PS+ to play GTA Online?

If you want to buy everything that releases today in the GTA Summer Update, it’ll cost you roughly between $10 million and $15 million. $30 Million will cover all the vehicles including the dripfed content and 900K will cover the new weapons.

The new GTA Online Summer Update includes a grand total of:

18 new vehicles

4 new Bennys Vehicles

New events such as Ammunation Delivery

Metal Detector Collectible

The last big update for GTA Online was of course the GTA Online Winter Update that was pushed live on December 23, 2023.

That update added snow to the game world in order to make Los Santos a lot harder to travel around, while also creating the potential for snowball fights around the map as an ongoing threat.

It also added various different rewards for players such as new cosmetics and new vehicles, so it’s likely that the summer update will add something similar.

If players are lucky, they’ll even get a new weapon akin to the previously added Fireworks Launcher.

The GTA Online summer update is a DLC that occurs every summer, around this time of year.

It normally offers up fun new vehicles, missions, and music – alongside some interesting cameos too.

At present, we don’t have a tonne of information regarding the GTA Online summer update for 2023. However, we expect it to offer similar content to that of Los Santos tuners – the last summer update.

Like always, we will be keeping this page bang up to date with all the latest leaks, news, and announcement by Rockstar.

While the GTA Online summer update is a relatively sizeable event, it doesn’t manage to eclipse the winter/December update – which is said to be the game’s major DLC.

Having said that, Los Santos Tuners update still managed to clock in at around 3.5GB (Xbox), 3.6GB (PlayStation), and even bigger on PC.

READ NOW: GTA V system requirements

One of the big talking points surrounding the GTA Online summer update is the Oppressor MK2 – with many fans of the game calling for it to be nerfed.

One Redditor says, “A nerf to the Oppressor mk2 would be nice, so not every single mission in the game is absolutely trivial and low-level players can actually make meaningful progress and have somewhat fun battles.”.

Another agrees, saying, “Totally agree with a nerf to the Oppressor MK2; that stupid thing is the reason I always switch into a invite only lobby “.

Whether or not Rockstar decides to nerf the hover bike is yet to be known – however, it certainly seems like it’d be popular amongst the GTA Online community.

What Makeup Should I Wear Quiz

Makeup is an often-misunderstood art form. You may hear phrases like, “I prefer people who don’t wear makeup” and “People just wear makeup to get attention” floating around. But in reality, wearing makeup isn’t about attracting someone else—it’s about how it makes you feel.

In fact, there are many benefits to makeup that you may not be aware of:

Confidence: Studies show a connection between makeup rituals and positive self-esteem. So, by applying cat eye each morning, you could actually be boosting your self-confidence. And confidence can have amazing effects (such as increased satisfaction, happiness, and success), especially in young people.

Passion: Why don’t we consider makeup to be a fulfilling, challenging hobby, just like painting or drawing (especially when the “canvas” is so much harder to work with)? By dedicating your time to something you genuinely love, you’re doing yourself a huge favor. People who invest in their passions experience less stress and anxiety, and fewer low moods!

Just getting started with makeup? Follow these tips:

Use primer if you’re having trouble keeping makeup in place. Primer isn’t necessary to create the look of your dreams—but if your makeup doesn’t sit well on your face or seems to lose its shine too quickly, using primer can be a huge help.

Choose a foundation that matches your skin tone. Matching foundation to your skin tone is crucial to get a natural, flawless look. The best way to do this is a simple test. First, pick a tone that looks like it’s similar to your shade. Then, apply it to your wrist. If it blends in perfectly, that means it’s a great shade for you.

Pair oil with oil and water with water. Mixing oil and water products can create ‘cakiness’ and unevenness in your look. If your moisturizer is oil-based, use an oil-based foundation, too. If your moisturizer is water-based, use a water-based foundation.

Start with just a little foundation. Apply your foundation by starting at the center of your face and moving outwards. Start with just a few small dabs and add more as needed.

In a hurry? Apply concealer and tinted moisturizer. If you’re pressed for time or don’t want to apply foundation, concealer can do wonders for covering blemishes and creating an even skin tone. Throw a tinted moisturizer on top, and you’re good to go.

Go light on blush. As a beginner, it’s easy to go overboard with your rouge. Keep it light. Pro tip: if you use a cream blush, you can use it as a simple lip tint, too.

Fill your eyebrows with gel, a pencil, and/or powder. Eyebrows are an often-overlooked (but important) part of your makeup look. Using a couple products, you can fill in gaps and make your brows appear fuller in seconds.

For eyes, follow this order: shadow, liner, mascara. As a beginner, you definitely don’t need to apply all three to complete your look. A simple swipe of mascara can still elevate your look. If you do decide to do a full eye look, just make sure that you apply in the correct order.

Keep it simple with your lip color. Lip liner, lip gloss, lip primer—there are tons of ways to overcomplicate your lip look. To keep things simple, start off with a simple lipstick, lip tint, or tinted lip gloss. This will be really easy to apply, and it can give you a pop of color.

“Set” your makeup look. Once you’ve finished your skin’s look, “setting” with a powder or spray will help you keep everything in place.

Should I Buy A Food Processor?

A food processor can be used to chop vegetables, grind meat for burgers and meatballs, make sauces, dips, dressings and pastes, chop nuts, make hummus, shred potatoes for rosti and more.

A food processor may come with a range of attachments including a chopper blade, a grater, a juicer and an emulsifying disc (a wavy, doughnut-shaped piece of plastic, which can be used for making mayonnaise and whipping cream).

You may want to buy a food processor if:

– You want to make food from scratch. There’s a big jump in terms of how enjoyable cooking is when you go from relying on pre-made dips and bottled dressings to making your own. One is essentially just heating, the other is real cooking, where you can make things taste exactly the way you want them. Being able to whip up your own sauce elevates a dish and is a great way to impress your guests.   

– A food processor is also a big time-saver if you regularly cook for a lot of people. Rather than spending ages chopping veg for a huge salad, you can have it done in seconds.

How does it differ from a blender?

There are some jobs that both a blender and a food processor can do but broadly speaking, a blender is used to mix liquids or foods with a high liquid content.

A hand or stick blender is not very effective at chopping solid food. It should be totally immersed in liquid before it’s switched on, or it’ll get extremely messy.

A jug blender really needs liquid to function properly. It usually has a cone-shaped base with rotating blades at the bottom. When it’s switched on, a vortex is created, and larger pieces of food such as fruit are dragged down into the blades and chopped up. It just won’t work as efficiently on solid foods like nuts, unless you’re adding them to a liquid – for example, as a smoothie ingredient.  

If you buy a more expensive blender, it may have a food processor attachment but most blenders will only blend liquids well.

Buying a food processor

A good food processor will start at around the £80 mark and go up to about £250. The higher priced processors will be more powerful, have a larger capacity and more attachments. If you buy one with a jug blender attachment, you won’t need a separate blender for smoothies and soups.

We think that a good option is the Bosch Compact MCM3501 2.3 litre food processor.  It’s available to buy from chúng tôi for £95, which is good value for what you get. It’s a mighty 800 watt appliance with two speed settings and a pulse function. It comes with 11 accessories, including a dough tool, a whisking disc, a beating disc and, crucially, a jug attachment. It’s pretty much a one-stop shop for all of your food prep requirements.

What are the alternatives to a food processor?

Typically, they are quite bulky and expensive and come with a large number of attachments for which you’ll need to find a home. So, if storage or counter space is an issue, but you’d like the benefits of a food processor, you can buy a mini chopper instead.

One of the best options is the KitchenAid 5KFC3516 Classic Mini Food Processor. It’s available from Amazon in the UK for £69.

It’s a 240 watt appliance with an 830ml capacity. Bear in mind that when you’re talking about any kind of food processor and blender, you’re not going to be able to use the full capacity to get the best results. 

It’s a smaller, stripped-down version of a food processor, with two speeds and a pulse function (which is handy to protect the motor when you’re grinding resistant food like nuts). The functionality will be somewhat limited by the fact that it doesn’t have a host of attachments but you can mince, chop and puree with it.

If that is still a bit more than you’d like to spend, we’d recommend the Russell Hobbs Desire mini chopper, which you can buy from the Russell Hobbs site for £29.99. 

It’s 200 watt, with a 500ml capacity. It has one button, one speed and its parts are dishwasher-safe. If you just want something to whizz up a sauce or chop veg for a salad, this could well be all you need.

If you’d like something more versatile, you could opt for the Russell Hobbs Desire 3-in-1 blender, which we’ve reviewed and liked a lot. It’s a stick blender with a mini-chopper attachment (it also comes with a whisk and smoothie cup). You can buy it from Russell Hobbs for £39.99.

If you think a blender, not a food processor, will better fill that empty spot in your kitchen, have a look at our article on which type of blender to buy. 

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