• How Predictive Analytics will Transform the CRM Experience

    By Kuntala Sarkar | Technology

    17 May 2022

    In the last few years, predictive analytics has become the most discussed topic, as this is helping many businesses to predict their customer requirements. The experience of a well-designed predictive analytics tool can be very fruitful in terms of customer relationship management. Let us explore the different aspects of the predictive analytics and CRM dimensions.

    Definition of Predictive Analytics

    As the name suggests, predictive analytics predicts the future using data mining, machine learning, and predictive modeling; these predictions are based upon current and historical data. These forecasts usually help to understand future business requirements or customer demands and future risks.

    Predictive analytics can be called advanced data analytics. It uses different techniques to study the data; four commonly used are decision tree, text analytics, neural networks, and regression model.

    Predictive Analytics and CRM

    The process of Customer relationship management has been using data analytics to understand their customer and business. Predictive analytics brings advanced techniques to analyze the data to the table, which provides predictions based upon the available data of different timelines. This will help the CRM module consistently monitor the customer activity and their experiences; this will help them make changes or advancements in their business module.

    Examples of Predictive Analytics to improve CRM experience

    Many business industries can be enhanced using predictive analytics; we will discuss four different types of sectors here –

    Manufacturing with Predictive Analytics

    Many major sectors, like the food industry, wood industry, paper industry, petroleum industry, or transportation equipment industry, qualify as manufacturing industries. In manufacturing, future demands in the project or equipment maintenance, which entails very high-cost margins in such sectors, can be predicted by predictive analytics. The use of the raw materials also can be monitored by analyzing the usage history. Using predictive modeling techniques, future product failure or risk involvement can be easily handled with the help of predictive analytics.

    Healthcare with Predictive Analytics

    In recent years the healthcare industry has benefited by using a predictive analysis integrated system, which has provided more significant outcomes in diagnosis and cure. By using predictive analytics, the results of patient outcomes have improved significantly. Predictive analytics algorithms can be programmed to provide insight into treatment methods that will work best for the current patients by studying patients’ history and past effects.

    Banking service with Predictive Analytics

    By Implementing an advanced algorithm to predict credit risk analysis. Predictive analysis can help understand the banking market and launch new ideas according to the prediction.

    Customer service with Predictive Analytics

    Businesses can be estimated better by using customer history and current data. The service provider can predict the user’s future requirements and, based upon that, can provide a service or solution. Let us say certain users have a history of forgetting credentials and want an alternate logging/credential recovery mechanism. Predictive analysis help business hypothesizes such use-cases and take preemptive steps, such as storing user contact to send OTP, to enable a seamless customer experience and provide greater customer satisfaction.

  • Self-care is the tool for a healthier life

    By Kuntala Sarkar | Lifestyle

    13 May 2022

    These last two years have exhausted us emotionally; we have been learning a new way of life that we were unfamiliar with. The worst part of the Covid-19 pandemic was that we were not prepared for this physically, not even emotionally; this life at home and life danger outside came as a shock to us. Even though we are now accustomed to this new way of life, that feeling of emotional fatigue still lingers around our heads. Self-care has never been more important and widely discussed in this challenging time.

    While thinking about self-care, let us not get confused between self-obsession or self-indulgence and self-care. It is similar to the situation where you mistakenly consider narcissism as self-love. Self-care is taking time for yourself so that you can shower your empathy and kindness to others because you were empathetic and kind to yourself first. Self-care enables you to warmth and widens your scope of being yourself.

    The first rule of self-care is to not constantly compete with others or yourself, whether it’s work or personal life. There are numerous quotes on social media about how you should only compete with yourself; on the one hand, this is a perfect way to grow by setting your standards, but constantly being on this run can be mentally exhausting. Taking a slight pause in the growing process can help you reflect and make the journey more compelling.

    In our busy schedules, we always least prioritize our self-care; even if it comes, the frequencies are significantly less. Not taking time for yourself daily can give you stress, and those daily stress piling up can lead to severe anxiety and depression.

    Research says there’s a neurobiological reason for this—and it has to do with the brain structure known as the frontal lobes. This area is responsible for executive functioninga set of skills that involves problem-solving, judgment, and reasoning, just to name a few. Depression has long been associated with dysfunction of the frontal lobes, so it’s not surprising that people with depression find it hard to self-care (Ref- Psychology Today Article).

    Self-care does not always have to be a prolonged skincare regime or spa session, or meditation; just an ordinary conversation a day with your partner or having a cup of tea in silence, or a session of you jamming your favorite song can be part of your self-care. Self-care and self-awareness go hand in hand; taking your moments to listen to yourself and identifying the list of things or activities that might not always make you happy but comfort you. Understanding your mind and body is a power; self-care enables that power to you. Let’s just spend one day each month without those rigorous to-do lists.

    People keep telling us that we should practice being a better listener or we should listen to people, not wait for our turn to talk, which is absolutely true but what if you have always been the best listener in your gang and have been that sponge to the group who takes it all. You should have your day of speaking and others listening because that is your form of self-care.

    Physical well-being is proportionate to your mental health, wherein it is good to take a few days off from your fitness regime but quitting the regime can represent that you accept yourself, but you do not love yourself. Acceptance is the first step to loving yourself, but as they say, love is not easy. Loving your body means taking good care of it by eating healthy and pushing yourself for that 30 min run. An unhealthy lifestyle or body can easily trigger self-pity or anger, leading to anxiety. So no matter how cliché it might sound, your yoga or gym session is one of the purest forms of self-care.

    Unlike physical, mental exertion is not easily understandable. As we have mentioned earlier, self-awareness is one of the ways of picking up on the signs of mental labor, for example, the array of judgment from one of your toxic friends that has been making you uncomfortable for years or that weird comment on social media that made you feel sorry for posting that picture in the first place. Once your illness is diagnosed, you can start acting to cure the same, so stop indulging that toxic friend and just block that account from your social media. Because it is essential before anybody you have your own back, which will give you a sense of power. While looking out for your mental health, it is also necessary to keep changing your perspective; like how social media can quickly generate this sense of inferiority, you design and follow more people who inspire and influence you to be a better version of yourself. Self-care is looking after yourself, defending yourself from falling into that pit of dark emotions.

     Working on the small things does not mean you should refrain from those big adventures, get that dragon tattoo or go for that solo trip you always wished for. While climbing those mountains, we should always take a moment to look around, and similarly, in life, if we can steal our moment of self-care, we can thrive on higher mountains.

  • Top 8 Picasa Replacement Tools To Consider Using Today

    By Kuntala Sarkar | Technology

    April 26, 2022

    Picasa was one of the first image viewing, organizing, and editing website. After many years of extensive use on a global market, Picasa was ceased on 15 March 2016 by Google.

    Besides essential photo organizing and editing, Picasa had many features, including red-eye reduction, color enhancement, facial recognition, etc. Later Google photos, introduced in 2015 by Google, had more features to offer.

    Standing in 2022, the photo managing and editing market has to offer many better alternatives to Picasa. Let us discuss the top 8 Picasa replacement tools.


    • Adobe Lightroom CC

      If you are a professional photographer and want your RAW photo to be edited directly, Adobe lightroom CC is your one-stop solution. This application can be used on mobile and computer parallelly, unlike Picasa. Apart from many advanced features, their healing part is the stand-out.

    A minimal subscription can bring you even better features like selective adjustments, geometry tools, premium presets, etc.

    • Luminar 4

          This brings us to the second alternative Luminar 4; though it is a less popular tool than Adobe lightroom CC, this offers more user-friendly features. This tool provides smart contrast, AI  sky replacements, AI portrait, and skin enhancer; all in all, the best use of artificial intelligence.

    Luminar 4, for its best review of user experience, is the best option for any beginners for faster and more efficient photo editing.

    • ACDSee Photo Studio

    Initially, this tool might seem pricey, but its robust features will be worth the price. ACDSee photo studio has various advanced photo editing features like brush selection tool, adaptable brushing, and additional blend modes. The most interesting is the customizable interface feature that allows you to change the interface according to your photo.

    In the era of Instagram, if you are dealing with a high number of photos, then ACDSee photo studio would do the best management of your photos.

    • Darktable

     In contrast to Adobe Lightroom CC, Darktable provides more versatilities in photo editing features. One of the most significant advantages of using this application is that Darktable is entirely free; you do not have to pay to enjoy the advanced features. Darktable can edit RAW files and offer an extensive range of powerful color correction tools like adobe lightroom.

    Darktable provides image catalog management, making the wide range of photo management easier. Overall, this is the best free alternative to Adobe Lightroom CC.

    • Google Photos

    The best alternative to Google Picasa provided by Google is Google Photos. Google photos came with many features that Picasa did not have and is one of the most famous photo storage apps. Unlike previously discussed alternatives, you need to have a google account to use this app; you can use it independently, but having a google account will make the files’ transfer easier. For the time being, Google photo is free till 15GB of memory.

    Google photos have a user-friendly interface with solid search functionality. Unlike Luminar 4, the photo editing options for this app are minimal.

    • Microsoft Photos

    This application is entirely free for storage and editing images. The most striking feature of this application is a video editor. Along with photos, if you are into editing videos, Microsoft photos is an excellent option to start your journey. This app uses AI extensively to recognize faces and objects, making the sorting faster.

    This is a highly user-friendly app that enables automatic album creation. This also integrates with OneDrive making the cloud storage easier. Similar to Google photos, this app also has limited photo editing features.

    • Phototheca

    Unlike the previous option, Phototheca is not entirely free; if you pay a one-time meager cost, you get full access to the application. This software can, however, only be used on desktops. Phototheca is a user-friendly app; it has a straightforward interface that provides just the basic photo editing features. Although its photo editing features are pretty basic, it has a very advanced face recognition tool. You can best use this application for transferring a large number of images from different devices; this app would work efficiently for the same purpose.

    • Apple Photos

    Like Microsoft Photos, Apple photos are also free for all Apple users. Apple photos, one of the biggest limitations is that it is restricted to Apple device users only. This app is also user-friendly and comes with a striking feature like Lightroom and Darktable; this can also edit Raw files. This app offers better editing features than Microsoft and Google Photos and has a decent facial recognition tool.

    Picasa ruled the image storing and editing global market for a long time; now, we don’t have to restrict ourselves from using apps with brand names tagged to them. In the era of Instagram and Facebook, we can feel free to use any app with better features or free or paid or best sorting mechanism.

  • Busier is the city, lonelier it gets

    By – Kuntala Sarkar

    6th April 2022

    In my lifetime, I have been in 3 different cities – a small town from West Bengal called Alipuduar, Kolkata and Bangalore; each with its own culture, crowd, and essence. As I shifted from one city to another, I observed isolation from society, and people increased.

    Alipurduar, my hometown, is a small city in the foothills of the Himalayas where everyone knows everybody. My parents live there; their society consists of people from that tiny, close-knit community – friends and relatives who don’t stay that far apart, even the nearby shopkeepers or our milkman. These people are an integral part of my parent’s life; their quotidian life revolves around these people. It was the same for me when I was a kid; I was used to the fact if I was up to any mischief while I was out in my hometown or did anything that would not fit the norms set by my moderately conservative hometown society, there would always be some acquaintance or friend of my parents who would inform them about my actions.

    After high school, I moved to Kolkata to pursue my graduate degree. The first thing that struck me while walking on the roads of Kolkata was that nobody notices anybody on the streets until you are wearing something revealing or smoking a cigarette. Everyone seemed to be in a hurry, be it early in the morning or late at night. I felt a sense of freedom; now, I could go out with my friends, stay out as long as I wanted, and have nobody to check on me as I lived in a paying guest house. Lying to my mother about my whereabouts seemed easy and became habitual. Here I had my PG roommates, who eventually became family, college friends, and some relatives who visited from time to time, yet as time passed, I missed home; missed my mother telling me what to do, what to wear, and how much to spend, missed the taste of her food. My hometown isn’t very far from Kolkata, so on every vacation, I visited Alipurduar; Maa and Baba used to lather me with extra affection and food.

    Kolkata was way bigger than Alipurduar; the density of people was scary sometimes. In small towns, life is slower because you didn’t have to travel 30mins every day to reach your workplace like in big cities; people from small-town could quickly grab a couple of hours of their day to spend some time with their friends and family. In Kolkata, we had to wait till the weekend to meet our friends. Kolkata was indeed the city of joy; I was happy and contented.

    I started working, and I moved to Bengaluru, the city where I always wanted to be. Bengaluru was very unique in terms of its diversity of people from different states coming to this city to make their careers. In this city, various cultures, languages, clothing, and mentality coexisted. More than anything, Bangalore was the land of work opportunities, with 67000 registered IT companies making it the most prominent IT hub in India. Hence everyone in this city had a 9 to 5 job which immediately made this city 5 times busier than Kolkata. Work-life balance hardly existed in this city, slow-moving traffic culture made everyday office travel even more time-consuming.

    Urban loneliness is a virtual pandemic. Even though there have never been as many cities across the world as there are right now with such high populations, urban loneliness carries with it huge social, medical and financial consequences. Ideas contributor Tom Jokinen believes the design of urban centres may actually be the cause of urban isolation. Yet they may also contain the ingredients for a more integrated social landscape. It’s hard to believe that anyone could be lonely in the city, surrounded by millions of people. But urban loneliness is real, and it’s at the centre of a health epidemic.

    Initially, making friends seemed more difficult as everyone was either busy going to the office or coming back from the office, too busy to exchange a good morning smile or drop a ‘hello’; everyone seemed like they always had their guards on in this dynamic city. I had this sinking feeling; I kept trying to make friends, which always turned into a very superficial set of interactions. After a year or so I started meeting people who were interested in deeper connections, made few solid girlfriends for life. The number of friends were less yet I was again content in their company, always used to snatch sometime for them to have our little girl chats.

    In between all of these, the frequency of visiting home was reduced. It became twice a year only for ten days. Each time I visited home, my mother looked a little different every time; after a few years, I lost count of what I was missing out on.

    During my last year in Bangalore, I was going through a rough patch in my life; I was all by myself. Over time due to the geographical distance, I had lost the ability to share my inner turmoils with my family; after so many years of self-parenting, I have forgotten how to tell that ‘I was not ok; I was scared and anxious’. Urban lifestyle do this to you; they make you so self-sufficient that you forget to trust and rely on people; without trust, no human dynamic is deep enough. I missed the sense of belonging; end of the day, even if I had friends, I realized the necessity of family, my home. All I wanted was to go back to my home and hug my mother. So I did; I stayed at my home for two years only to realize that I had so many good and bad experiences because I went out of my comfort zone. I allowed myself to have those experiences that have made me wiser and stronger. The crowded urban lifestyle have made me self-sufficient; it has taught me how to find family in complete strangers, and I have learned how to let go and move on. So I decided to go out again to enable myself to have new experiences.

  • My breakthrough moment in body positivity

    By KUNTALA SARKAR | Beauty

    30th March 2022

    I was just at my work desk, busy filling excels sheets, when I suddenly looked at my colleague. She showed me a picture of a thin and white lady in a bodycon dress, and I said, ‘you would look good in that too’, she shied. My colleague is a pretty lady with a bigger curvy body (bigger to the social beauty standards); she said she will buy this kind of body-hugging clothing only when she loses weight. On the one hand, I thought it was OK that she wanted to feel fitter. Maybe she did not feel fit at this moment, yet I knew it was not about that. It was somewhere a girl felt like she did not belong in that dress until she had a certain kind of body.

    I was introspecting. I was precisely like her, with my bigger body constantly trying to fit in and trying harder to be in shape to fit into those clothes and beauty standards. I thought this was toxic for her, me, and every girl who was constantly trying to fit in.

    I know I have been practicing this since my teenage; I was so bummed when I hit my puberty days, my body started getting flesh on thighs, stomach, hand, chest, and everywhere. Since then, I have never loved my body. But why didn’t I like it, It was because I didn’t look like those actresses and models on TV and in magazines, as simple as that. No matter how often my mother told me to eat, not starve myself, and I looked beautiful, I won’t listen because I thought she was being sweet, even she knew I was ugly and fat.

    At this moment, sitting at my desk, I thought my colleague was wrong; I was wrong too. All of us are pretty, and all we need is bodycon of our size. I was never ugly. My mother was never wrong. The only thing missing then and now is the representation of women of different body types in media and magazines.

    Although now, the media spectrum is changing slowly after the body positive movement wave in 2012. Currently, there are more representations of plus-size women playing the main protagonist in a film or series. We see big brands like H & M, Forever21, Victoria’s secret, and Vero Moda catering their product to plus-size women. Instagram is now full of influencers like Gabi Gregg, Caralyn Mirand, and Ashleigh Tribble, flaunting their curvy bodies unapologetically and inspiring the body’s positive movement.

    Now I feel more confident and am unapologetic about my body type. All those years, the amount of mental trauma and frustration we went through was all planted in our heads so deep-rooted that even now, I feel a little uncomfortable when my sweet belly fat bulges out of my dress. Yet I have learned to love my body and accept it.

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