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Excelling by numbers

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Ever wondered how psychics seem to ‘know’ quite a lot about their clients? I was watching one video the other day on You Tube. It was about one psychic who was predicting peoples’ futures. After watching it, I was very intrigued; not because of the fact that the people confirmed the predictions to be true afterwards, but because of the ‘method’ he used to make those predictions.

I likened the method to what is called predictive analytics, also known as advanced analytics.Predictive analytics is using new and historical data to forecast activity, behaviour and trends. It is just a matter of making great hypothesis by using algorithms combined with past events, situations etc. There are variables that can be measured and analysed to predict the behaviour of an individual, a group of people or how a product or service is going to perform in the market.
Some businesses have seen this to be the future solution to transcending through the margins of meeting market needs and saving the business from producing or rendering a service that may not be needed.

Let us look at a simple example. Let us say a gym has implemented a predictive analytic model for the business as a result of the fact that it is difficult to predict whether clients would renew and pay for their membership especially if they have the choice to suspend it for a period of time. By using the model, the system might predict that a certain individual(s) may not renew their membership. This prediction is due to the historical data and it gives the owner of the gym an idea of a possible loss in which a remedy can be formulated before the damage is done. For instance, an incentive may be offered to these particular individuals in an attempt to make them continue their membership, but not coercing them into it.

As a leader, you can also use this method to retain your staff. Let us say that there is an employee who is hardworking but is sort of ‘neglected’ (and most of the time not intentionally). They are given almost each and every problem to solve and it seems like the weight of the company is on their shoulders, but still they never disappoint to deliver. They seem loyal and there is nothing suggesting that they are looking for a different job, except their CV shows that they have never worked for more than two years in any one of the companies they have worked for previously.

The particular employee has been with the current employer for three years now and has recently started to further his studies. With this trend, a predictive model can predict the outcome from this particular situation and give HR enough time to react accordingly. This can save businesses on losing very essential resources. Have the ability to anticipate and drive better business outcomes. Become a decisive competitive factor in your industry.

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SMEs benefit from Consumer Fair growth

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The Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) has applauded Botswana Consumer Fair’s continued efforts to improve small to medium enterprises’ linkages.

BITC Chief Executive Officer, Keletsositse Olebile, when opening the fair, said the event has provided interactive forum for both local and foreign exhibitors. He said the shopping show has enabled manufacturers, wholesalers and traders to market their products directly to consumers, an alignment to government’s endeavors.

“As part of government intention, we continually encourage local sourcing by retailers and distributors,” said Olebile who is just few months into his new post. He further celebrated the growth of Botswana Consumer Fair over the years, attributing the expansion to quality of goods displayed at the previous shows.“Improved quality and increased variety of wares increases the interest of the visitors and makes them look forward to returning the following year,” said Olebile.

This year’s exhibitors at the 13th event still running under the banner: ‘It is more than just shopping’ have been drawn from Lesotho, Zambia, Swaziland, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Egypt, Japan, India, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

Consumer Fair is a flagship event for Fairgrounds Holdings and provides a platform for small medium enterprises (SMEs) from the different sectors of the economy to showcase and promote their products and services. In addition, the SMEs are expected to establish long term business linkages and promote local manufactured goods.Fairgrounds Holdings is already optimistic that the Fair immensely contribute to the socio-economic development of the country through supporting SMEs.

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‘Involve SMMEs in standards development’-Minister

Keikantse Lesemela

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Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Bogolo Kenewendo appealed to Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS) to include the Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) when developing the standards to improve the sector.

She said the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry has identified three areas of focus going forward which are modeled on SMME development, investment promotion and export development apexes. “I would like to implore you to include this sector in standards development processes and assist in improving SMMEs conformity to standards and compliance to technical regulations,” said Kenewendo.

Speaking during the BOBS Technical Committee Members appreciation ceremony on Thursday, Kenewendo explained that the important roles of standards are underpinned by the aspirations and intentions espoused in both diversified export led economic growth and job creation as priority areas. “It goes without saying that the diversification of the economy requires a National Quality Infrastructure and Technical Regulatory Framework that promote competitiveness of Botswana goods and services.”

She also emphasized that an effective National Quality Infrastructure and Technical Regulatory Framework are essential as they provide crucial links to global trade, market access and export competitiveness through their contribution to consumer confidence in product safety, quality and the environment.Since inception in 1997 BOBS has published more than 1700 standards through 48 technical committees across several sectors of the economy; 109 certification licences have been issued against some of these standards. Currently 46 Botswana Standards are being implemented through the standards regulations with a view to protecting the health and safety of consumers as well as protection of the environment.

On her note, BOBS Vice Chairperson of the Standards Council, Professor Edward Dintwa said standards are powerful tools for helping organisations that implement them to realize their potential, have access and compete in the global marketplace. “In this highly competitive and complex world, issues of sustainability and productivity, viewed from economic, environmental and societal perspectives require that businesses must be more efficient in their operations, which can be achieved through the implementation of standards”.

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