Big Data

Big Data - the next Big thing..?



so what is Big Data?



Every day an increasing amount of information is gathered and stored by all manner of websites, companies, organisations and products.  We record data on everything from weather stations to shopping habits, social media to traffic trends. The volume of this data is growing at an alarming rate as we develop more complex programs for recording data down to the smallest detail for analysis, reporting and business intelligence, and the type of data that we can record is also evolving. 



Every day, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data



The growing need for "trending" means that not only does an individual customers details now need to be stored, data for all customers is now required to be accessed quickly and analysed as a whole, to find trends and patterns across the whole collection of data whether that be thousands, millions or trillions of values to be analysed



90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone



Structured/UnStructured Data
Data now also does not only mean values and figures that can be represented in spread sheets and graphs as previously favoured. "Data" can now be stored as images, documents, emails, text messages, audio, video, etc.. These various data types are commonly known as “non-structured” or “unstructured”, ie: unable to be stored and analysed in a typical relational database.  This is the real issue faced by todays companies, the data they have stored is not able to be analysed in the traditional way, but simply ignoring this data would be foolhardy



Many organizations are becoming overwhelmed with the volumes of unstructured information — audio, video, graphics, social media messages — that falls outside the purview of their “traditional” databases. Organizations that do get their arms around this data will gain significant competitive edge



For example in the past medical records would be held in vast paper files containing Xrays, reports, doctors notes, etc.. Now those Xrays are recorded electronically and can be accessed from a doctors PC without the need for any physical document store.  One hospital will store and record thousands and thousands of Xrays, one hospital group will have millions. Big Data is the means of retrieving this information easily and comparing and analysing this data in a way which has never been possible previously



“We are only looking at what we have in our data warehouses, it’s not going to be enough for us to get the insights that we need. If you’re a retailer and you were not using all the information you could to judge your customers’ buying patterns, then the retailer across the street probably will, and they’ll steal your customers. That’s the realization, I think, that drove a lot of people to think that they should be capturing much, much more” 



Data Timeline
The other demand for data is timeliness.  The demand for “real-time” data is increasing, data that is 24 hours or even 1 hour out of date could be the difference between a successful business decision.   The accuracy of the information received often depends on the age of the data analysed, for example a hotel needs up to the minute room allocation data in order to receive new customers.  If this data was 10 minutes old then a room could be allocated twice, or customers turned away when a room is actually available.  For Credit Card companies the ability to recognise fraudulent activity quickly and stop the stolen card saves them many thousands of pounds
Real-time analytics is the big demand.  The Holy Grail is “getting and making effective use of information as it happens.”  Whoever can crack this will be the forerunner



'Data delayed' is 'Data Denied' 



Velocity – Often time-sensitive, big data must be used as it is streaming in to the enterprise in order to maximize its value to the business 



So now we understand that “Big Data” is the means of accessing and analysing large quantities of data regardless of size, format or timestamp



The next question is how do you compare millions of images to find trends and patterns? Originally in a "structured" database this would not be possible (useable), as a relational database is designed to analyse data, not images. For the latter we need a platform to query "non-structured" or “semi-structured” data.  New technologies are now emerging for the storing and analysing of this large volume structured and non-structured data, but it is still early days



NoSql (short for Not Only SQL) is the term used to describe non-relational databases that can handle both structured and unstructured data.  There are several contenders for big data databases, some use no SQL at all while others utilise certain areas but avoid joins, etc..



Apache Cassandra is the most common NoSQL database, as used by Facebook
Apache Hadoop (to be integrated with SQL Server 2012 – more on this in the next blog)
Google BigTable



It has been predicted that “Organisations that will leverage the new data types will outperform their peers by 20% by 2015” - If you ignore big data, your competition will not



Once Big Data takes off the possibilities opened up will create a lot of changes.  New cars fitted with “smart boxes” recording data about your driving could be accessed by Insurance companies, with lower premiums offered to those drivers who can prove they are a safer risk.  Medical data compared for millions of patients to identify high risk groups for certain illnesses or diseases, and tests developed to pick up the warning signs earlier for those most at risk. GPS data analysed to predict traffic volume and flow at peak times, Event data built into our satellite navigation to warn of possible delays. Live streaming from traffic cameras to our iPhones’.  Facebook photos used to identify benefit fraudsters



The realization that time to information is critical to extract value from data sources that include mobile devices, RFID, the web and a growing list of automated sensory technologies

TriSys Everywhere - The Economic Argument

I recently ran a poll on LinkedIn in which I asked all recruiters I know, including all TriSys customers, to choose how they prefer to access TriSys. The results are very interesting:

This poll proves that the TriSys windows desktop application delivered on a PC or via a secure remote desktop is favoured by 85% of TriSys customers.

These results however do not tell the full story.

Firstly, like all LinkedIn or social network polls, response is usually measured in dozens, rather than thousands which would be a much more representative sample size.

Secondly, we have not over-promoted our mobile or browser offerings to our customer base, rather we have relied on standard non-pushy sales and marketing techniques which our customers tend to prefer.

Finally, tablets are coming, together with a lot more smart phones. The latest research by IDC shows the following: 

Upon first glance it appears that smartphones are taking over the world, but it actually shows that PC and tablet sales are increasing over the next 4 years. Of course it also correctly predicts that most people on the planet will own a smart phone very soon.

The second chart shows this forecast from a different perspective: 


In this view, we see that it is laptop PC's in emerging markets which enjoy the greatest growth.

What does this mean for 'TriSys Everywhere'?

This latest research points the way to a more mobile, and global recruitment industry, whilst retaining the traditional PC and laptop, but augmenting this with many more mobile devices. TriSys will therefore continue to invest in R&D to supply recruiters with powerful, yet very accessible recruitment systems. By everywhere, we simply mean on every device in any location in the world.

Get ready for the future. Thanks for reading.


Calendars Part 4 and the Moon in HD

Yet another very busy week on support, answering our customers issues and tending to our infrastructure.

There is always something that needs to be done, and we are always looking to make improvements where we can.



Google Calendars
Following on with my 4 part how to add, share and access colleagues Calendars in Google, here is the last installment.
Part 4 - Sharing a Custom Calendar in Google Apps
Login to your calendar at<your domain name>
Select the gear symbol in the top right

Select “Calendar settings”

Select “Calendars”

Select the calendar you wish to share

Right click on the “ICAL” icon and select “Copy link address”

Email this URL to your colleague's

For further information on this see:- Sharing a Custom Calendar in Google Apps

You can find further helpful information at :-


The Moon In HD

The link below takes you to Take a close-up tour of the Moon as seen through the high-resolution video cameras of NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Old news but well worth a look.  

To tour the Moon in HD - Click Here


Well this is all from me for now, pop back later if you get a mo. - - 01223 393519

Recruitment Activity By Consultant Report

Spring has sprung the grass has riz.. I wonder where my data is....


Have you ever wondered how the data on the Recruitment Activity By Consultant is populated? I have.. so I had a look!


When you first run the report you are asked for the Date range   

This Date Range is then used to display the information in the Headers below:


New Candidate/CV's This currently shows all Contacts with a Date First Registered between the From and To Dates selected where the CV field is not empty, the Consultant they are marked against is the Owner of the Contact (shown under Codes tab of the Contact record)

Updated Candidate/CV's This currently shows all Contacts with a Date Last Updated between the From and To Dates selected where the CV field is not empty, the Consultant they are marked against is the Owner of the Contact (shown under Codes tab of the Contact record)

Tel Calls Made This is updated when a “Telephone Call” or “Client Call” task is recorded by a Consultant (ie: when running a “Call” action), if the call is a Scheduled Task it will not count against this figure

New Requirements This shows all Requirements where the Date Initiated is between the From and To Dates, the Consultant they are marked against is the Owner of the Requirement

CV's Sent This is updated when a “CV Send” task is recorded by a Consultant (ie: when running a “CV Send” action), if the task is a Scheduled Task it will not count against this figure

Interviews This is updated when a “Interview Booked” task is recorded by a Consultant (ie: when running an “Interview” action), if the task is a Scheduled Task it will not count against this figure

Offers Made This shows all “Offers Made” between the From and To Dates, the Consultant they are marked against is the Owner of the Requirement

Offers Accepted This shows all “Offers Accepted” between the From and To Dates, the Consultant they are marked against is the Owner of the Requirement

Offers Rejected This shows all “Offers Rejected” between the From and To Dates, the Consultant they are marked against is the Owner of the Requirement

Withdrawn This shows all “Withdrawn” between the From and To Dates, the Consultant they are marked against is the Owner of the Requirement

Placements This shows all Placements where the Date Initiated is between the From and To Dates, the Consultant they are marked against is the Owner of the Placement


I hope you are now as enlightened as I am

TriSys Product Portfolio/Roadmap 2012

I often get asked what our roadmap is for the coming twelve months, and the anwser is that it is pretty exciting. Unfortunately, the recruitment software market is ultra-competitive so I am limited in what I can divulge at this time.

What I can say is that we have accelerated the rate of adoption of the latest technology in the IT industry and are very much leading edge, if not bleeding edge on a couple of R&D projects.

To remind readers of our current shipping product/service portfolio, here is the list:

  • TriSys Version 10 Starter Edition

This is the latest addition to our portfolio and is a very comprehensive 'smart client' software which installs on any windows PC and connects to the cloud for all data/services. We have loads of videos, our own YouTube channel and you can also download the trial version today.

We will be releasing TriSys v10 Professional and Enterprise versions this year.

  • TriSys Version 8

This is our enterprise class recruitment product for agencies, comprising front, mid and back office business functionality to manage the entire recruitment business. TriSys is a feature-rich recruitment software database application which provides state-of-the art Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to recruitment professionals. TriSys delivers advanced searching, reporting, ease of use and sophisticated workflow to aid the orchestration of an efficient recruitment business. TriSys can be delivered either on-premise or on-demand.

  • TriSys ASP

TriSys ASP (Application Service Provider) is a fully functional 'TriSys Recruitment Desktop' centrally managed and securely delivered directly to your computer (or hotel, airport etc..) using a standard broadband internet connection. Please click here to view our global network hosted by our tier #1 partners: Amazon, Google and Microsoft.

  • TriSys Web

TriSys Web is a web browser interface to the TriSys recruitment database. It allows candidates to register, build and upload CV's, search for vacancies, apply for jobs on-line, maintain account details and enter timesheet details. Clients can add/maintain vacancies, search for candidates, maintain account details and authorise timesheets. Consultants can access the system to manage the entire recruitment process, even from mobile devices such as phones and tablets.

We will be releasing a new all-singing, all-dancing TriSys Web this year.

  • TriSys Mobile

Remote access to corporate information has become a necessity as workers become increasingly mobile. Candidates and clients now expect to be able to interact with recruitment consultants at any time and from any location. It is now a key business requirement for recruiters to be able to access all types of information whilst on the move. TriSys Mobile is the solution to this problem, and provides recruiters with a comprehensive suite of products and services to facilitate 'recruitment on the move'.

We will be releasing a new all-singing, all-dancing TriSys Mobile this year.

  • Project X

Rather unimaginatively titled (and nothing to do with what's on at the cinema today) internal code name for our top secret R&D project which will simply blow the minds of both customers, prospects and competitors. Developed in association with our offshore partners in Jordan, Belarus, Pakistan, Argentina and India, this revolutionary new product/service will provide something completely diferent to the global recruitment industry. We can't wait either! More later.

Wonderful Spring Days and Some Training Information

Daffodils and snowdrops seem to be about in abundance all round Cambridge.  Is it too early to think that winter is behind us and spring is here?  The longer daylight hours are making dog walking much more enjoyable again rather than the cold dark mornings of January.

Following on from my post Do We Need Training? Just a reminder that TriSys advertise training courses held at our offices in Cambridge on the web site or you can speak to us about bespoke training options

  • For details of courses at our offices click here
  • To request a call back about training click here

You might also find it useful to know that TriSys upload documents that have been created for frequently asked training questions to our web site click hereto see a list of topics.  You will also find the Introduction manuals for V7 and V8 here that accompany the Introduction training courses or you can request a copy in Word format if you would prefer. 

Remember your F1 key as well this will launch the TriSys help and is a great way to find information on the system.

Calendars Part 3 and an Amazing Night Sky

Very busy on support last week, short handed towards the end of the week, so that always puts us under a bit more under pressure, but a full crew again this week with only a little backlog to deal with.

Most of the company out midweek, so that may impact as we take up some of the slack.



Google Calendars
Following on with my 4 part how to add, share and access colleagues Calendars in Google, here is the next installment.
Part 3 - Accessing a Colleague’s Custom Calendar in Google Apps

Login to your calendar at<your domain name>

Your colleague will have sent you a URL highlight this and copy it
Login to your calendar at<your domain name>
Under “Other calendars” select the drop down arrow then select “Add by URL”
The calendar will appear under your “My calendars section”
It will also be available in Outlook

For further information on this see:- Accessing a Colleagues Custom Calendar in Google Apps
Yet To Come:-
Part 4 - Sharing a Custom Calendar in Google Apps
You can find further helpful information at :-
Amazing Night Sky :-
For the first time in over a decade, people can see five planets in the solar system with the naked eye over the course of one night.

As the Sun sets, Mecury appears on the horizon and the Moon, Jupiter and Venus will be the prominent lights in the sky. (Venus being the brigter of the two)

Later in the evening Mars will appear high above you in the constelation Leo and will be noticeably red even to the naked eye.

As Venus and jupiter sets at around 10pm, Saturn will rise in the east.

On Tuesday Venus and Jupiter will cross paths and should be an amazing event to see.

Well this is all from me for now, pop back later if you get a mo. - - 01223 393519

CRM Solutions in a ‘Nutshell’

After several discussions with clients over the past few weeks it is apparent that getting the most out of your CRM is very important and a lot of people put cost at the top of their list when deciding on a solution… However this shouldn’t be the case as Recruitment specific CRM solutions will streamline most/all the processes to get the most out of your business.

Many recruiters do not understand the benefits that a customer relationship management (CRM) system can bring.   CRM is much more about recruitment process than ‘contact management’.   For example a CRM is expected to store client and candidate contact information and do e-mail marketing, but recruitment CRM systems do so much more such as, sending CV’s, generating contract documentation, posting messages to twitter/facebook etc.. A recruitment CRM system should work in a way that is intuitive to a recruiter, and help with the overall recruitment workflow processes.   Recruiters who are thinking about implementing a CRM should be aware that generic ‘off the shelf’ CRM systems which are not recruitment industry specific will always fail to deliver a return on investment.   This is because they do not reflect or model the workflow/data/reporting etc.. desired by the recruitment industry and thus force recruiters to change their established and proven working practices to a generic ‘one size fits all’ approach. Recruitment agencies need to differentiate themselves from their competitors, and a flexible and fully configurable CRM recruitment system is essential to achieve this goal.

When investing in a recruitment CRM all points need to be taken into consideration, the key areas of interest are usually “how do I find contacts”, how do I add a job”, how do I search” these 3 questions are fundamentals of all CRM solutions that should be taken for granted,  however the other questions people should be asking “how does this CRM help me manage my clients”, “will the CRM automate the administration of laborious tasks”, “how flexible is the CRM to mould into our current processes”.  These few points are hardly asked during presentations and when you’re providing high level overviews these points are over looked, it’s not until you get into the “nitty-gritty” with the client before they see what your solution can do for them!!  As a whole when deciding on a solution don’t base it on the fact that the system is CHEAPER but base it on how it can work for you and make your processes even more streamlined and your productivity levels increase for you, your consultants and make sure these factors improve your client relations.

Your thoughts and suggestions are always welcome.

The History of Enterprise Software

Software Advice, an online reviewer of ERP software, has published a four-part series on the history of enterprise software. In the series, Lara Zuehlke, Managing Editor at Software Advice, investigates how computing hardware and software evolved from punched cards all the way to the Internet and social applications.

Here’s a link to each of the four parts, with a quick summary of the history each covers.

Part 1: Origins of Modern Computing

The back story on enterprise software can be traced all the way to the 1700s with punched cards, but computing really got its legs at end of the 19th century when Herman Hollierth founded the company that would eventually become International Business Machines (IBM). From there, mainframes and supercomputers dominated throughout the early to mid 1900s. Further advances led to the birth of new stages in computing: the minicomputer, and the early stages of enterprise software.

Part 2: Minicomputers to the PC

Advances in circuits, processors and memory allowed computers to shrink from room-sized machines to computers that could fit onto any office desk. While computers became less expensive, they were still too expensive for many personal and business users outside of large enterprises. This changed as minicomputers and personal computers put computing and software into many homes and businesses.

Part 3: Windows to the Web

Great advances in operating systems – including the graphical user interface (GUI) – allowed for the emergence of the first class of enterprise software applications. Software development was now in full force, and solutions now known as manufacturing resource planning (MRP), enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), and human resources (HR) began deploying in most businesses. The next great development would redefine computing as we knew it, and change how we live today – the Internet.

Part 4: Dotcom to Today

Thanks to Y2K and the Dotcom Era, IT saw unprecedented growth in the mid-to-late 1990s. Fears of the year 2000 caused many businesses to upgrade their software systems, while the Internet led to a enormous number of new business ventures – many of which would fail after the Dotcom bubble burst. Market consolidation within the industry signaled the end of an era, and the beginning of a new one: the Software as a Service (SaaS) Era. These applications spurred the licensing model and were available on-demand via subscription pricing. Cloud applications, tablet computers and mobile technology are some of the trends leading us right up to the present.

Do You Have Great Employees Or Remarkable Employees?

Great employees are reliable, dependable, proactive, diligent, great leaders and great followers... they possess a wide range of easily-defined—but hard to find—qualities.

A few hit the next level. Some employees are remarkable, possessing qualities that may not appear on performance appraisals but nonetheless make a major impact on performance.

Here are eight qualities of remarkable employees:

1. They ignore job descriptions. The smaller the company, the more important it is that employees can think on their feet, adapt quickly to shifting priorities, and do whatever it takes, regardless of role or position, to get things done.

When a key customer's project is in jeopardy, remarkable employees know without being told there's a problem and jump in without being asked—even if it's not their job.

2. They’re eccentric... The best employees are often a little different: quirky, sometimes irreverent, even delighted to be unusual. They seem slightly odd, but in a really good way. Unusual personalities shake things up, make work more fun, and transform a plain-vanilla group into a team with flair and flavor.

People who aren't afraid to be different naturally stretch boundaries and challenge the status quo, and they often come up with the best ideas.

3. But they know when to dial it back. An unusual personality is a lot of fun... until it isn't. When a major challenge pops up or a situation gets stressful, the best employees stop expressing their individuality and fit seamlessly into the team.

Remarkable employees know when to play and when to be serious; when to be irreverent and when to conform; and when to challenge and when to back off. It’s a tough balance to strike, but a rare few can walk that fine line with ease.

4. They publicly praise... Praise from a boss feels good. Praise from a peer feels awesome, especially when you look up to that person.

Remarkable employees recognize the contributions of others, especially in group settings where the impact of their words is even greater.

5. And they privately complain. We all want employees to bring issues forward, but some problems are better handled in private. Great employees often get more latitude to bring up controversial subjects in a group setting because their performance allows greater freedom.

Remarkable employees come to you before or after a meeting to discuss a sensitive issue, knowing that bringing it up in a group setting could set off a firestorm.

6. They speak when others won’t. Some employees are hesitant to speak up in meetings. Some are even hesitant to speak up privately.

An employee once asked me a question about potential layoffs. After the meeting I said to him, “Why did you ask about that? You already know what's going on.” He said, “I do, but a lot of other people don't, and they're afraid to ask. I thought it would help if they heard the answer from you.”

Remarkable employees have an innate feel for the issues and concerns of those around them, and step up to ask questions or raise important issues when others hesitate.

7. They like to prove others wrong. Self-motivation often springs from a desire to show that doubters are wrong. The kid without a college degree or the woman who was told she didn't have leadership potential often possess a burning desire to prove other people wrong.

Education, intelligence, talent, and skill are important, but drive is critical. Remarkable employees are driven by something deeper and more personal than just the desire to do a good job.

8. They’re always fiddling. Some people are rarely satisfied (I mean that in a good way) and are constantly tinkering with something: Reworking a timeline, adjusting a process, tweaking a workflow.

Great employees follow processes. Remarkable employees find ways to make those processes even better, not only because they are expected to… but because they just can't help it.