May 19, 2020

Some small Canadian companies big on data

Canada
small business
Marketing
Big Data
Adam Groff
3 min
Some small Canadian companies big on data

Just because your business is small doesn't mean you can't take advantage of big data.

A number of small businesses across Canada have already jumped on the big data bandwagon and your business can do the same.

Here are just a few ways your small business can adopt a big data mindset:

Big Data in the Canadian business world

Businesses both small and large are turning to big data for all of their data management needs.

In fact, according to SAS Canada, nearly 50% of Canadian businesses now use big data for their data management and data analytics needs.

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Roughly 17% of those businesses have been using big data for 5+ years while the remaining percentage has adopted the technology in the past 1 to 3 years.

If your small business is considering jumping on the big data bandwagon, it's not too late - 7% of Canadian companies are implementing big data right now.

Although the Canadian business world is about 12 months behind the U.S. in terms of big data adoption, businesses are catching on fast. The big data industry in Canada is predicted to reach $1.5 billion within the next year.

If your business hasn't done so already, here's how you can begin implementing a big data mentality:

Pilot programs

As the following article looks at, if you're wondering how small businesses can jump on the big data bandwagon, pilot programs could be the solution. Using a pilot program to implement big data into certain areas of your small business allows you to start small and slowly scale up.

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A properly monitored pilot program will essentially prove to your small business whether it's ready for big data and big data analytics.

For example, your business can get the big data ball rolling in your social media data collecting practices.

If big data provides the social media insights you're looking for, you can move forward with implementing the technology in other areas.

Combine existing data

Chances are your business pulls data from a number of different locations such as your website, your marketing and social media activities, and online sales.

One way to implement big data into your small business is by combining all of this data into one location.

Big data can actually help you combine existing data and begin analyzing it immediately.

With big data, your business can automate the data collection process and combine data sets, which will help your small business better analyze website, social media, and customer information.

Educate employees

Although your employees are well versed in system software, big data is a bit of a different process. So, before you implement big data throughout your small business, it's important to provide your employees with some technical training first.

Whether you set up an in-house big data training program or you hire outside professionals to come in and train your staff, informing your employees on the broad stroke ideas behind big data technology will put your business on the right track from the start.

If big data is in your business's future, then keep the implementation tips above in mind.

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About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including big data analytics and business tech.

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Jun 12, 2021

How changing your company's software code can prevent bias

Deltek
diversity
softwarecode
inclusivity
Lisa Roberts, Senior Director ...
3 min
Removing biased terminology from software can help organisations create a more inclusive culture, argues Lisa Roberts, Senior Director of HR at Deltek

Two-third of tech professionals believe organizations aren’t doing enough to address racial inequality. After all, many companies will just hire a DEI consultant, have a few training sessions and call it a day. 

Wanting to take a unique yet impactful approach to DEI, Deltek, the leading global provider of software and solutions for project-based businesses, took a look at  and removed all exclusive terminology in their software code. By removing terms such as ‘master’ and ‘blacklist’ from company coding, Deltek is working to ensure that diversity and inclusion are woven into every aspect of their organization. 

Business Chief North America talks to Lisa Roberts, Senior Director of HR and Leader of Diversity & Inclusion at Deltek to find out more.

Why should businesses today care about removing company bias within their software code?  

We know that words can have a profound impact on people and leave a lasting impression. Many of the words that have been used in a technology environment were created many years ago, and today those words can be harmful to our customers and employees. Businesses should use words that will leave a positive impact and help create a more inclusive culture in their organization

What impact can exclusive terms have on employees? 

Exclusive terms can have a significant impact on employees. It starts with the words we use in our job postings to describe the responsibilities in the position and of course, we also see this in our software code and other areas of the business. Exclusive terminology can be hurtful, and even make employees feel unwelcome. That can impact a person’s desire to join the team, stay at a company, or ultimately decide to leave. All of these critical actions impact the bottom line to the organization.    

Please explain how Deltek has removed bias terminology from its software code

Deltek’s engineering team has removed biased terminology from our products, as well as from our documentation. The terms we focused on first that were easy to identify include blacklist, whitelist, and master/slave relationships in data architecture. We have also made some progress in removing gendered language, such as changing he and she to they in some documentation, as well as heteronormative language. We see this most commonly in pick lists that ask to identify someone as your husband or wife. The work is not done, but we are proud of how far we’ve come with this exercise!

What steps is Deltek taking to ensure biased terminology doesn’t end up in its code in the future?

What we are doing at Deltek, and what other organizations can do, is to put accountability on employees to recognize when this is happening – if you see something, say something! We also listen to feedback our customers give us and have heard their feedback on this topic. Those are both very reactive things of course, but we are also proactive. We have created guidance that identifies words that are more inclusive and also just good practice for communicating in a way that includes and respects others.

What advice would you give to other HR leaders who are looking to enhance DEI efforts within company technology? 

My simple advice is to start with what makes sense to your organization and culture. Doing nothing is worse than doing something. And one of the best places to start is by acknowledging this is not just an HR initiative. Every employee owns the success of D&I efforts, and employees want to help the organization be better. For example, removing bias terminology was an action initiated by our Engineering and Product Strategy teams at Deltek, not HR. You can solicit the voices of employees by asking for feedback in engagement surveys, focus groups, and town halls. We hear great recommendations from employees and take those opportunities to improve. 

 

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