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Machine Learning in Business: What It Is and How to Use It

Machine learning in business

While it might seem new and intimidating, machine learning in business is already bringing massive benefits to companies and consumers alike.

From increasingly effective product suggestions to accurate journey time predictions and advanced customer analytics, machine learning is an incredibly powerful tool which lets you analyze every important aspect of your business without wasting human hours on the task.

But what exactly is machine learning, and how do you go from knowing that to actually using it?

Instead of using labels to teach an AI what each object it’s looking at is, this DeepMind project teaches itself because it learns to recognise images and sounds by matching them up with what it can see and hear.

This method of learning is almost exactly like how humans think and learn to understand the world around them.” – Vaughn HighfieldHow Google DeepMind is learning like a child: DeepMind uses videos to teach itself about the world

In this article we will cover:

  • What is machine learning?
  • Benefits of machine learning in business
  • Applications of machine learning in business
  • Different types of machine learning in business
  • Real-world examples of machine learning in business

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The E Myth Summary: How to Create a Business That Won’t Fail Immediately

The E Myth Summary

Where did The E Myth Summary come from? Michael E. Gerber is the answer.

And when Michael E. Gerber gives you advice for starting a business you listen to it.

With a career spanning over 40 years and working with hundreds of thousands of companies worldwide, Gerber’s expertise is invaluable to anyone looking to start their own venture. Lucky for us, he’s written several books on the topic, the most famous of which I’ll be summarizing in this post.

This E Myth summary will take the core business tips from Gerber’s work and condense them into a single post. It’s all of the value, proven with examples from companies like Facebook and Zenefits, and it doesn’t need you to spend 40 years to learn it.

In particular, I’ll be covering:

  • Balancing your business personalities
  • Creating a business, not a job
  • Working on your business, not in it
  • Why your business needs systems
  • The idea of your business being your product
  • Motivating employees with the idea behind their work
  • Make topics human to make them interesting

Let’s get started.

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How to Create a Runbook: A Guide for Sysadmins & MSPs

create a runbook

How do you name a new server, export config data, or fix that one really annoying bug that keeps popping up every 2nd Thursday? Well, create a runbook!

For prepared IT professionals, that information is stored in a runbook. A runbook is a set of standardized documents, references and procedures that explain common recurring IT tasks. Instead of figuring out the same problem time and time again, you can refer to your runbook for an optimal way to get the work done. What’s more, you can also delegate tasks and onboard employees more effectively if you have documentation to train them with.

Whenever you do a task, think of this quote:

“Will you remember how to do these things 6 months from now? I find myself having to re-invent a process from scratch if I haven’t done it in a few months (or sometimes just a few days!). Not only do I reinvent the process, I repeat all my old mistakes and learn from them again. What a waste of time.” — Tom Limoncelli, The Operations Report Card

In short, the less time wasted figuring out how to do a task, the better it’ll be for your business efficiency, productivity, and sanity.

This post will look at:

First, let’s look at two example runbooks to give context on what I’m going to talk about.
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Don’t Micromanage! It Destroys Your Team. Do This Instead

micromanage HEADER

“Don’t micromanage!” you may have heard. But what if your team’s errors destroy the business!?

It’s hard watching someone make mistakes, especially if you already know how to avoid them.

Staying silent while they slip up (or even do things in ways you would not) is harder.

That doesn’t mean you have an excuse to micromanage them.

Micromanagement is the ultimate controlling management style. It’s demoralizing and counter-intuitive, as the desire for control to make sure everything goes to plan only creates more problems in the long term.

That’s why in this Process Street article, we’ll be looking at the following:

Let’s get started.
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Flexible Work Models And How To Make Them Work

There are many work models these days, and this includes flexible work models.

Choosing the right flexible work model can be daunting – nay, terrifying, even.

There are a string of what-ifs to contend with, and the experts can’t even seem to agree on whether flexible models are more productive than traditional ones. Even employees are divided on which they prefer, so you’re uncertainty is definitely warranted.

That’s okay: With a little creativity and the tips in this Process Street post, you’ll be able to make your work-life work well.

We’ll cover:

Let’s get right to it!

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42 Productivity Hacks to Work Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

productivity hacks

Self-control is over-hyped, according to Kentaro Fujita, a psychologist who studies self-control at Ohio State University.

Research suggests that the popular idea of self-control as the ability to resist temptation with willpower is fundamentally flawed.

“Our prototypical model of self-control is angel on one side and devil on the other, and they battle it out. We tend to think of people with strong willpower as people who are able to fight this battle effectively. Actually, the people who are really good at self-control never have these battles in the first place.” – Kentaro Fujita, psychologist at Ohio State University

How does this tie in with productivity? If you ask anyone what is the biggest challenge they face in trying to be productive, a likely response will involve something about a “lack of willpower”, or perhaps a difficulty staying focused.

These kinds of responses represent the popular understanding of what it means to exercise self-control.

The most productive people don’t necessarily have the best self-control, they just know how to work smart.

They’ve also most likely built up a lot of good work habits for saving time and effort, allowing them to alleviate some of the stress or discomfort that is one of the root causes of unproductivity.

In this article, I’ll outline 42 productivity hacks to help you understand how to work smarter, improve the quality of your work life, and build habits that will save you time, energy, and mental strain in the long-term.

Here’s the complete list of productivity hacks:

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Genchi Genbutsu: The Problem Solving Concept That Drives Toyota Forward

 

Genchi Genbutsu

What is Genchi Genbutsu? It’s part of the Toyota Production System conceptual toolkit. And it works.

It’s one thing to identify errors or weaknesses in your business, but it’s another to actually fix and improve them.

The crucial step in fixing an error is deciding the right solution to implement. Pick the wrong one and you create a different problem.

When you’re in a massive company, you want to make sure you’re picking the right solution before you start implementing across a whole corporate structure.

Because of this, investigating the problem as thoroughly as possible should be paramount. And this leads us to Genchi Genbutsu.

In this Process Street article, we’re going to look at:

  • What is Genchi Genbutsu?
  • How Toyota revitalized their minivan thanks to a road trip
  • 3 academic approaches to guide your investigation

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Your Quick Guide to Energy Management for Sustainability and Reduced Business Costs

Your Quick Guide to Energy Management, for Sustainability and Reduced Business Costs

This article started with a cold cup of tea.

I was in the middle of a power cut, and the teabag floated despondently in a sad, mottled brew. In the confusion, I’d allowed the beverage to cool for far too long. All of that precious energy transferred to raise the temperature of the kettle to boiling point, gone to waste, and there was nothing I could do about it.

This is an example of poor energy management on my part.

As I sulked over the absence of my morning brew, it did get me thinking, would society ever face these kinds of energy management problems, like I easily had?

Welcome to the energy crisis” – Lawrence J. Becker, Welcome to the Energy Crisis

Some of you may have already experienced, say, aggravating waits in lines for gasoline, or your pocketbooks taking a punch from inflation. But, energy problems – like a cold cup of tea – are not only personal, they permeate into society and our economy.

80% of U.S. energy comes from fossil fuels. According to BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy, we have 115 years of coal and roughly 50 years of oil and natural gas remaining. To compound this, we also need to leave ~80% of current fossil fuel reserves untouched if we stand a chance of meeting IPCC 1.5°C (34.7°F) warming targets.

Energy management is the process of tracking and optimizing energy consumption for your business. It’s a continuous process, easily implemented by following the correct procedure.

In this Process Street article, you’ll learn about best practices for energy management, how you can successfully manage energy in your business (and beyond), as well as how to adopt best energy management practices using a handy free checklist to help you save time and money.

Don’t cry over cold tea. Learn how to manage energy properly, for a healthier business and a healthier planet. Click on the relevant subheader below, or continue reading as you please:

Let’s not waste any more time, and get right into the basics of energy management.
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Virtual Reality Recruitment: The Ultimate Hiring Solution or Just A Trend?

ALT: Virtual Reality Recruitment: Cutting-Edge or Tiresome Trend?

Virtual reality recruitment is a growing trend in the recruiting world, thanks to the many benefits it offers. This is especially relevant for employer branding because virtual reality offers an immersive experience that allows candidates to engage with your brand directly. 

Imagine candidates many miles away from you being able to put on a headset, and get an office tour! VR has many promising advantages for remote and hybrid hiring

Stick here to learn more about how you can use VR in recruitment and whether VR is really the future of recruiting.

We’ll be covering:

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Use this Interactive Project Proposal Template (and Ditch Microsoft Word)

Project Proposal Template

Do you need a project proposal template?

If so, we’re happy to help!

When getting a project approved, you need to submit all pertinent information to stakeholders and then get their approval to start. This means listing the project’s background, timeframes and expenses in an easily digestible document.

Traditionally, this has been done in Microsoft Word or on paper, but by using Process Street you can generate as many proposals as you like just by running a checklist of this template and filling in the form fields. When the stakeholders sign off on the document, all they need to do is click the checkbox next to their name, and Process Street will log the activity.

Check out the project proposal template below, and when you’re done, scroll down for a breakdown of the steps and how it all works:

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