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The Pawns of Politics: Where Is My Patronage?

The Pawns of Politics: Where Is My Patronage?

Peter Grear

Educate, organize and mobilize -- For more than a year leading up to the recently completed General Elections, I’ve written about Voter Suppression, gerrymandering, the Black vote and voters.  

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Thurgood Marshall College Fund Focuses on Developing Black CEOs

Thurgood Marshall College Fund Focuses on Developing Black CEOs

Developing Black CEOs

According to research conducted by Richard Zweigenhaft, a psychology professor at Guilford College in Greensboro, N.C., though Blacks account for more than 13 percent of the U.S. population, 

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Verbal Abuse in the Workplace: Are Men or Women Most at Risk?

Verbal Abuse in the Workplace: Are Men or Women Most at Risk?

Abuse in the Workplace

There is no significant difference in the prevalence of verbal abuse in the workplace between men and women, according to a systematic review of the literature conducted by researchers at the Institut universitaire de santé mentale de Montréal

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The Decision to Handle Rejection

The Decision to Handle Rejection

Rev. Manson B. Johnson

The Big Idea: Endurance is the key to achieving challenging goals in life.“Man’s rejection can be God’s direction.  God sometimes uses the rejection of hateful people to move us to a new place or assignment–where we wouldn’t have thought of going on our own.  

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How to Turn Personal Obstacles into Triumphs

How to Turn Personal Obstacles into Triumphs

(StatePoint) Everyone faces setbacks in life.

While those personal obstacles can lead to disappointing outcomes, they can also be harnessed into personal motivators, say experts. 

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Subscribe to Get GDN Print Edition

Subscribe to Get GDN Print Edition

Print Subscription

 Greater Diversity News (GDN) is a statewide publication with national reach and relevance.  We are a chosen news source for underrepresented and underserved communities in North Carolina.  

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Five Ways to Advance Your Small Business Using Business Intelligence

Written by Saint Joseph's University on 13 February 2012.

If you don’t know everything you would like to know about how to grow your small business — who are your best customers, what is your most profitable product or service, what’s the best location for your business — you need business intelligence (BI). “The businesses that aren’t obtaining this kind of information are operating below the curve,” says BI researcher Ginny Miori, Ph.D. “Business intelligence provides small businesses with tools to standardize data, reduce costs and identify new opportunities to improve efficiency.” And the good news, according to Miori, is that business intelligence doesn’t have to be expensive to be effective.

She suggests five ways to advance your small business using BI.

1. IT Infrastructure. How does your business gather information, what network are your computers connected to, is everyone using the same system? Consistency in technology is of critical importance according to Miori. “In the supply chain, the information always follows the product,” she says. “Small businesses are successful when there are little to no kinks in the IT infrastructure so information follows an efficient path between all concerned parties.” This is particularly important to maintain customer satisfaction, she adds.

2. Data Mining. The intent behind data mining is to approach the task without preconceived ideas. By examining the data collected, small business owners will better understand their labor force and customers. “Many small businesses aren’t in the financial position to hire a market research firm, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get your hands on relevant data,” says Miori. “In addition to sales and inventory data your organization may collect, there is a surprising amount of free data available through the government.” She recommends the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics as credible sources for data collection.

3. Forecasting. This uses the information from data mining and applies specific techniques to predict future growth. Generally, people predict sales and make staffing decisions based on this information. Forecasting is the cornerstone of business according to Miori. “It’s important to get it right the first time or small business owners carry a huge risk,” she explains. “Forecasting helps you to build your business to meet customer demand and better manage future growth.”

4. Six Sigma of Operations. This is about using materials efficiently. It can be as simple as re-arranging the layout of a store so employees can get from point A to point B in the shortest amount of walking. Or, it can mean stocking your warehouses in a way where your most popular products are positioned closest to the shipping facility. “No task is too small for an efficiency makeover,” according to Miori. “Once your business grows, even the smallest inefficiencies can become costly in both time and money.”

5. Decision Making. Small business owners make decisions everyday. Strategic decisions, those that significantly impact business, are made less often. Miori advises small business owners to make these decisions based on the trends and behaviors identified through data mining and forecasting. “This is what BI is all about,” says Miori. “Smart companies employ business intelligence to gain a better understanding of their operations, so they can make strategic decisions that advance their business and sustain future growth.”