Data is classified into two broad categories; Quantitative and Qualitative, based on the techniques employed in the field to gather and analyze data/facts. Researchers need to choose the most suitable methods that can be helpful in collecting relevant and viable data/facts, suiting the monitoring and evaluation of the given project. There is a distinction between quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection and analysis. This is elaborated in the discussion below.
Quantitative techniques in M&E
Crafting for quantitative methods, largely depend on the kind of data we need and the nature of the project under evaluation and monitoring. Evaluators can opt to use secondary data or primary data as per the needs of the project.
Quantitative methods directly measure the status or change of a specific variable, for example, changes in crop yield, kilometers of road built or the amount of money spent on purchasing items. Basically, this methods incline to numerical data whereby the collection involves the formulation of structured questionnaires that form the solid part of getting facts from sampled respondents. Upon getting the questionnaires filled, data is then coded into specified programs and softwares, to attach meaning to every number used, and then the analysis proceeds. In regard to the presentation of the outputs, answers such as; How many? How frequent and how much forms base for the numerical results. The successful completion of a project depends on how fruitful the quantitative methods applied were and the nature of data collected, analyzed and presented. In knowing how the study was conducted, monitoring and process evaluation reveals the quality of the program and techniques used, viability of collected facts, the barriers encountered in the field and whether the set objectives were achieved. All these help in streamlining the intended purpose of the project.
Qualitative Techniques in M&E
As we monitor and evaluate projects, we use many different kinds of qualitative methods, and each of these methods gives us different kinds of data. Based on our evaluation statement or performance monitoring plan, we apply different techniques on particular scenarios to elicit certain kinds of data. We might develop emic or etic perspectives depending on where we get data from.
Qualitative methods gather information by asking people to explain what they observe, do, believe or feel. This is more of textual descriptions rather than numerical values. Qualitative methods can also be called “informal” as they have an open-ended approach to gathering facts. Respondents get subjected to provide views based on how they understand the topic of concern. Sample of questions mostly answered are; “Why do you think this happened?” or “How do you think this will affect you? People’s attitudes/behaviours, beliefs, opinions, experiences and priorities can be known through the kind of facts collected hence, making qualitative methods to be unique in a way. For any project conducted, it is easy to monitor and evaluate the progress based on how both respondents and researchers behave. The qualitative methods mostly used in collecting facts include; Interviews, focus groups, case studies, The KAP (knowledge, attitude and practice) survey and observations. In getting to understand more about data collection and analysis in M&E, enroll at Sirmirt Company for the coming training.
Technology has rocked today’s world and every company; be it big or small is yawning to embrace new invented tactics, methods and even programs with hopes of replacing the once re-known tedious manual processes and systems. Among the many shocking innovations, ODK and Kobo toolbox are inclusive as they add value to the field of research. For many years, NGOs, private corporates, government parastatals, ministries, and even students have been relying on hard copy questionnaires, which at some point are prone to numerous errors, leading to collection of ineffective data. The invention of ODK and Kobo has solved the menace as the use of electronic questionnaires is the way to go. The use of pen, bulky papers and unreserved methods has been replaced by structuring of electronic questionnaire which get uploaded to online servers like On.io and survey CTO, then get accessed by ODK or Kobo toolkit and one is able to conduct a research by filling the questionnaires upon asking respondents questions.
Over the years, the manual systems have been expensive, costing companies and even students or individual researchers a lot, but with the coming of ODK and Kobo, there is hope of reducing these expenses. Large amounts of data can be collected at a minimal cost an instance that has made companies to adopt the technique. The user friendly nature of ODK and Kobo enables researchers to gather facts without getting tired nor losing any valuable data as opposed to when using hard copy questionnaires. It is time for technology to be given room, hence, NGOs, private and public companies, students and any research related entity should try ODK and Kobo if viable and quality facts are to be collected.
The use of ODK or Kobo not only cut costs but also, provides error free and quality data which is directly subjected to analyzing tools and programs. There are no regrets by any company or individual who has applied ODK or Kobo in conducting a study. In getting the skills of formulating electronic questionnaires, uploading them to online servers, and then retrieving these forms for a given research, Sirmirt Data Services has got experienced professionals who will impart the knowledge to anyone interested.
Data Science continues to evolve as one of the most promising, in-demand aspect necessary for companies to adopt. As technology advances, data science keeps on developing, prompting organization to subscribe to new innovative methods, strategies, programs and systems in order to be abreast with any changes experienced.
The types of data analytics each company needs to embrace are;
Descriptive analytics answers the question of what happened. For example, a nurse or a doctor needs to know how many patients were hospitalized last month; and a manufacturer – a rate of the products returned for a past month.
At this stage, historical data can be measured against other data to answer the question of why something happened. Companies go for diagnostic analytics as it gives in-depth insights into a particular problem. At the same time, a company should have detailed information at their disposal otherwise data collection may turn out to be individual for every issue and time-consuming.
Learn Data Science By Doing Data Science
Predictive analytics tells what is likely to happen. It largely depend on the findings of descriptive and diagnostic analytics to figure out tendencies, exceptions, and to predict future trends, facilitating forecasting.
The purpose of prescriptive analytics is to literally prescribe what action to take to eliminate a future problem or take full advantage of a promising trend.
Data in the modern world has grown to be a powerful house that drives all businesses across the globe. To develop the most astonishing and decision-based insights, businesses should be hungry for big data. Big Data is not just like any other data until it is well collected and managed. Big data is the combination of the tools and processes of managing and making use of the large datasets. This data can be both structured and unstructured data. Structured data is a kind of data that has been organized into a better format for analysis. On the other hand, unstructured data is the information that lacks a predefined data model. Running better analytics on the big data will help draw best insights from the data and identify the most valuable customers to the organization. Well collected and analyzed data can help organizations create new products and services as well as gain new experience. This analysis will reveal the trends, patterns, associations, behavior and interactions. Without modern and advanced application software techniques, it is difficult to maneuver through this data. Research has proven that many successful and leading companies like Amazon, Apple, Google, Huawei among others have used data-driven strategies to innovate and develop new experiences in their products. The big data has helped these companies to make predictions and metrics from the customers intent, preferences and loyalty retrospectively. Success of an organization or a company is not how you run the company but rather depend on various factors. All the other factors depend on the big data for better predictive analytics. It is recommendable therefore to train the employees of the company about Big Data management skills and techniques for the company to reap more in the competitive market. We will also ensure that you are conversant with data safety and protection measures for the success of your company. Our team will not only help you to gather quality and timely data but will ensure that;
- Data is well analyzed to identify business opportunities for your organization
- Data collected targets the relevant customers
- Data collection tools are efficient
Your SEO Checklist
The goal of search engine optimization is to have the search engine spiders not only find your site and pages but also specifically rank the page relevance so that it appears at the top of the search engine results. The process of optimization is not a one-time process but requires maintenance, tuning, and continuous testing and monitoring.
Below is a broad four-step process for a strategy for search engine optimization. Use this as your top-level checklist.
Step 1: Target Market Business Analysis
- Website analysis. Analysis of meta sets/keywords, visible text and code to determine how well you’re positioned for search engines. For example, how much code do you have on a page compared to text?
- Competitive analysis. Examination of content keywords and present engine rankings of competitive websites to determine an effective engine positioning strategy. Pick the top five results in the Google listing results to begin this process. Expand as necessary. Use tools such as Semrush.com and Keywordspy.com.
- Initial keyword nomination. Development of a prioritized list of targeted search terms related to your customer base and market segment. Begin with this: What would you type into a search engine to find your business website or page? Then, ask your customers!
Step 2: Keyword Research and Development
- Keyword analysis. From nomination, further identify a targeted list of keywords and phrases. Review competitive lists and other pertinent industry sources. Use your preliminary list to determine an indicative number of recent search engine queries and how many websites are competing for each keyword. Prioritize keywords and phrases, plurals, singulars and misspellings. (If search users commonly misspell a keyword, you should identify and use it). Please note that Google will try to correct the term when searching, so use this with care.
- Baseline ranking assessment. You need to understand where you are now in order to accurately assess your future rankings. Keep a simple Excel sheet to start the process. Check weekly to begin. As you get more comfortable, check every 30 to 45 days. You should see improvements in website traffic, a key indicator of progress for your keywords. Some optimizers will say that rankings are dead. Yes, traffic and conversions are more important, but we use rankings as an indicator.
- Goals and Objectives. Clearly define your objectives in advance so you can truly measure your ROI from any programs you implement. Start simple, but don’t skip this step. Example: You may decide to increase website traffic from a current baseline of 100 visitors a day to 200 visitors over the next 30 days. Or you may want to improve your current conversion rate of one percent to two in a specified period. You may begin with top-level, aggregate numbers, but you must drill down into specific pages that can improve products, services, and business sales.
Step 3: Content Optimization and Submission
- Create page titles. Keyword-based titles help establish page theme and direction for your keywords.
- Create meta tags. Meta description tags can influence click-throughs but aren’t directly used for rankings. (Google doesn’t use the keywords tag anymore.)
- Place strategic search phrases on pages. Integrate selected keywords into your website source code and existing content on designated pages. Make sure to apply a suggested guideline of one to three keywords/phrases per content page and add more pages to complete the list. Ensure that related words are used as a natural inclusion of your keywords. It helps the search engines quickly determine what the page is about. A natural approach to this works best. In the past, 100 to 300 words on a page was recommended. Many tests show that pages with 800 to 2,000 words can outperform shorter ones. In the end, the users, the marketplace, content and links will determine the popularity and ranking numbers.
- Develop new sitemaps for Google and Bing. Make it easier for search engines to index your website. Create both XML and HTML versions. An HTML version is the first step. XML sitemaps can easily be submitted via Google and Bing webmaster tools.
- Submit website to directories (limited use). Professional search marketers don’t submit the URL to the major search engines, but it’s possible to do so. A better and faster way is to get links back to your site naturally. Links get your site indexed by the search engines. However, you should submit your URL to directories such as Yahoo! (paid), Business.com (paid) and DMOZ (free). Some may choose to include AdSense (google.com/adsense) scripts on a new site to get their Google Media bot to visit. It will likely get your pages indexed quickly.
Step 4: Continuous Testing and Measuring
- Test and measure. Analyze search engine rankings and web traffic to determine the effectiveness of the programs you’ve implemented, including assessment of individual keyword performance. Test the results of changes, and keep changes tracked in an Excel spreadsheet, or whatever you’re comfortable with.
- Maintenance. Ongoing addition and modification of keywords and website content are necessary to continually improve search engine rankings so growth doesn’t stall or decline from neglect. You also want to review your link strategy and ensure that your inbound and outbound links are relevant to your business. A blog can provide you the necessary structure and ease of content addition that you need. Your hosting company can typically help you with the setup/installation of a blog.
Talk Code To Me, Software Development Process
Do you remember your first mobile phone? Big, heavy, horrible specs, super bad camera or none at all…are those memories coming back? Now, compare it with your current phone. We all agree so much has changed from the physical appearance to the user interface. It is pretty evident that technology is accelerating at a rapid pace and we are becoming further dependent on it for every purpose. The demand for software is also rising considering the fact that we use them for simple and basic things like ordering food, accessing health care and also education.
Today we will talk about software development process. A software process (also known as software methodology) is a set of related activities that leads to the production of the software. These activities may involve the development of the software from the scratch or modifying an already existing system.
A good software process is repeatable, predictable, learnable, measurable, improvable. These characteristics allow the process to be reused and improved over time.
This is the first step in software development. It involves extracting the requirements of a desired software product which is the first task in creating it. It may require skill and experience in software engineering to recognize incomplete, ambiguous or contradictory requirements.
This step is about analyzing the performance of the software at various stages and making notes on additional requirements. Analysis is very important to proceed further to the next step. It involves developing concepts, terminology, and relationships essential to the software and its behavior.
In this stage, the software is designed by the designer. Here the analyst and the designer work together in designing the software. This step helps remove possible flaws by setting a standard and attempting to stick to it.
This involves writing and compiling code for the individual software components. The actual task of developing the software starts here with data recording going on in the background. Once the software is developed, the stage of implementation comes in where the product goes through a pilot study to see if it’s functioning properly.
The testing stage assesses the software for errors and documents bugs if there are any. When the software is ready it is sent to the testing department where quality analysts test it thoroughly for different errors by performing test cases.
Once the software passes through all the stages without any issues, it is to undergo a maintenance process wherein it will be maintained and upgraded from time to time to adapt to changes. Maintaining and enhancing software to cope with newly discovered problems or new requirements can take far more time than the initial development of the software.
A Guest NeverForgets A Host Who Has Treated Him Kindly
Deciding on which web hosting company to choose can be as tough as looking for Mr. Right. Gone are the days where Bandwidth and disk storage were the only thing to consider while deciding on which web hosting server to choose. There is a lot more that needs to be carefully contemplated and examined before settling on a particular host.
Different sites have different tasks to deliver and different customers to satisfy. Do not be in a rush to follow what other companies are doing or what they recommend to avoid breaking the bank yet you would have found an affordable host that fully satisfies your needs. Make a calculated decision before purchasing a web host having weighed the pros and cons of everything.
Let’s check out the factors to consider when choosing a web hosting company
This is the most important thing to carefully analyze and consider when purchasing a host. You should be in a position to answer the following questions:
- What type of website are you building? e.g blog website, Company website or portfolio website
- What kind of platform will you use?
- What volume of traffic do you want to attract?
- Is it a single website or multiple websites?
- Will you need special software?
The answers to thins questions will give a more particular guideline to the best host and the exact results you intend to get at the end f the day that will last you longer without fail.
Server Reliability and Uptime
Your website should be functional 24/7. This can only be so if the server operates 24 hours, 7 days a week. You cannot afford to have your website go down every now and then considering the level of impatience we have developed as onlibne users. Weak servers and unstable network connections can often push your site offline, what’s even worse you end un ranking low on search engines.
Besides making sure your websites are running fast, it is also important to ensure they are secure and trustworthy.
For one reason or another at some point in life, you will want or be forced to grow and add another website. An addon domain allows you the pleasure to have more than one website within a single web host account. This might be expensive than a single domain but in the long run, it saves you the expense of buying another account when the need to have another website arises.
There is nothing as important as customer service. This is what will determine whether a client will work with you or move on to the best service provider.
Do your homework well and figure out: Are they easy to contact for support? What’s the average time it takes to respond to a ticket? When they find a problem with a site, what’s their course of action? Look into their social media pages or do a google blog search and find out the reviews given by previous customers.
In this case, when looking for the right web hosting company, chose one that provides email hosting for your website’s primary email. What email features does your provider offer. Do they provide spam protection? Is your site and email address or addresses protected from viruses and malware? These are important issues to consider. You will most likely have to ask these questions of your potential provider in order to obtain the answers.
The web host should allow you should to easily update and modify your site without scratching your headache and biting off all your nails. The best providers use cPanel or Plesk to make updating and modifying your site easy.
A Promise Of Value To Be Delivered
Big companies like Apple or Amazon do not need to tell us who they are. They are globally known. However, if we do not know who you are, there is need to explain to us who you are and why we should care about you. When I say, what I mean is your target market. That is exactly why you need a Value Proposition.
According to Wikipedia, a Value Proposition is a promise of value to be delivered, communicated, and acknowledged. Simply put, it is a promise of value to be delivered in exchange for something else. A value proposition is the tool you use to communicate to prospects and customers the overall benefits you have to offer and why you are better as compared to your competitors.
To come up with a good value proposition, there are a few elements to consider. If gotten right, it is a huge boost for your brand. These elements should answer the questions
What will the visitor get?
Which specific problem are you solving?
What quantifiable valuables are you offers?
Why by from you and not anyone else?
Now, lets see how to arrive at a unique and selling value proposition
If you get this right, you’ve got everything right. You need to figure out who you intend to sell your product or service to because you cannot afford to sell to everybody. Research everything about your target audience, leaving no stone unturned. Know what they like, what they do during their free time, the language they use, lever of literacy etc. Trying to appeal everybody, there is a high chance you will get lost in the crowd.
You can only be different if you clearly know what has already been done. Setting yourself apart from your competitors requires you to know what they are doing and how they are doing it. It is then that you will be in a position to improve what is being done or doing it absolutely different. But remember not to move out of the line to avoid being irrelevant.
NEEDS MET BY YOUR PRODUCT
Does it work faster, is it affordable, does it save time, does it do it better than the rest. Clearly elaborate and champion how your product or service satisfy and meet the needs and wants of your customers in a way special and specific way.
BRING IT TO LIFE
Actions speak louder than words. After considering all these factors and coming up with an award-winning Value Proposition, now you have to figure out how to execute it and make it a marketing tool. Earn the trust of your customers by delivering on the promise you made to them .