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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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‘Manufacturing holds key to economic growth’

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Barclays bank’s economist Naledi Madala has urged the country to consider manufacturing, as a key tailwind to drive the economy and reduce inequality.

She was speaking at a gathering organised by the bank which focused on economic outlook for 2019. “We should not make a mistake of leapfrogging without manufacturing,” said Madala, lamenting that the country’s diversification remains a pipeline dream, as the diamond is still the economy’s mainstay. She bemoaned that mining activities in the country could not spring forward diversification, though non-mining GDP has been steady over the years.

“Extractive industries are not good stepping stones for diversification, the sector does not prepare us for the next step,” said Madala at the Barclays’ Economic Outlook Forum Review 2019. The economist further noted that government should confront head-on challenges of productivity and competitiveness to attract the much needed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Though diversification efforts continue to hit a brick wall, Madala said the country should expect increased activities in the mining sector hinged to ramp up in coal production in the year ahead.

She also implored government to consider a welcoming attitude towards foreign investors and generous tax incentives to businesses that set up in the country. Madala is also upbeat that the use of public private partnership model could also help diversify the economy coupled with privitisation. “Privitisation will offer opportunities for growth, through the renewed optimism from government, as business confidence has improved,” said Madala.

She implored the government and the business community to access what is going to drive and hinder growth highlighting that key headwinds to growth are income inequality, diversification challenge and productivity, among others. “The pace of poverty reduction has slowed down, while income inequality goes up,” said Madala

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MINISTER BEWAILS BAD REPAYMENT BY YOUTH

Keikantse Lesemela

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Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Culture Development, Tshekedi Khama has told parliament his ministry continues to face challenges on the repayment of Youth Development Fund (YDF) loans.

Recently presenting the budget to Parliament, Khama said this financial year the ministry has received a total of 2582 YDF applications and approved 983of them to the value of P98 million. He said the programme attracts a high level of interest from youth but the ministry is only limited to funding a maximum of 1200 youth projects annually due to budget limitations.

“However the greatest challenge for the Fund is the repayment of the loan component by the majority of the youth businesses. The youth have advanced number of challenges for this including high rentals for operating spaces, low market access owing to tight competition and limited production capacities,” said Tshekedi, adding that they continue to pursue beneficiaries to repay the loans.

Out of the 919 businesses funded 1058 jobs have been created. The minister highlighted that disbursements of funds will continue to be undertaken until the end of the financial year. “The YDF is currently under review in line with the pronouncement made by the President, Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi in the State of the Nation Address, to improve beneficiaries through training, and encourage consortia and cooperatives,” said Tshekedi.

The ministry assists YDF beneficiaries in marketing their products and services through fairs and exhibitions. The ministry also runs entrepreneurship-training seminars for youth and in the past year 3692 young people were trained. Over 600 youth businesses attended fairs and exhibitions to market their products and services. Currently the ministry is collaborating with Local Enterprise Authority (LEA), First National Bank Botswana and Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) on training in entrepreneurship development and mentorship of YDF beneficiaries.

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