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Business

How to Optimize Productivity in the Workplace

Keeping employees engaged takes reflection on the strategies used to run your business. Business management is connected to workplace culture. Unfortunately, these close ties mean that if one area is lacking, the other will follow. To prevent slips in productivity, here are some ways to ensure that your employees remain satisfied and on-task at work. 

 

Improve Workplace Culture

People are creatures of habit. When we repeat an action, a thought, or a combination of the two, our minds begin to associate with these things to the extent that they become second nature. At work, we showcase our habitual natures by repeating a task or thinking the same things about the workplace. While these habits help produce outcomes, they can be destructive. If one’s thoughts are negative, the actions they take towards work will also be negative, albeit unintentionally. If employees regularly feel that they are not being acknowledged for their efforts at work, soon enough, their work ethic will suffer, and so will the company. Understanding that this is the effect of negative thinking and poor workplace culture, we can piece together ways to improve productivity. Employees are more likely to be motivated and increase their productivity if the workplace culture is improved upon.

 

Set Goals Effectively

Depending on your business’s size and scope, the way you go about goals will vary. For larger organizations, integrating strategy developments such as objectives and key results (OKRS) can be an effective way to engage the company. For smaller businesses, relying on SMART goals is often a more practical approach to achieving business aims. Consider the specifics of your organization and adopt strategies that emulate your setup and dynamic the best. Look into HCM management as another way to harness business success for your company. 

 

Integrate Employee Rewards 

The millennial workforce is exceptionally responsive to task-reward strategies for workplace productivity. A job well done can be acknowledged in many ways. Business leaders might consider gift cards, employee of the month posts, acknowledgment during a meeting, or paid time off as a few ideas for work rewards. At the very least, incorporating consistent positive feedback will motivate employees to continue producing the ideal results needed. Without considering your employees regularly, they will start to feel like machines, and their work ethic will dwindle. Remember to see the person behind the employee and make efforts to engage positively for increased productivity.

Use Team Management Software

If you’re noticing signs that your business needs digital tools to enhance productivity, invest in business management software. Stay on track of goals using team software that allows everyone in the office to connect at all times. You can check off assignments and tasks using these systems, and everyone can see what is happening that day on the dashboard. Using online software to store data and communicate will also subsequently boost business security. Communicating through instant messaging is a common feature found on these software programs and makes work productivity flow faster and more efficiently. We like Asana for the business management of smaller teams—and don’t worry about learning a new system, you can get Asana consulting to help you adjust quickly. Larger companies may need to use regular video chatting to optimize productivity. Designate a specific amount of time each week where business meetings can take place online. Deliberately mapping out this time will allow employees to plan and get more work done in time for the chats later that week. Even better, you can use time management software to keep things organized.

Improving workplace productivity requires that business leaders take a look at how well they are treating their employees. Efforts to improve workplace culture and instill a positive attitude in the company will be most effective at increasing the work productivity taking place as a whole.  

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News

Tamoco Data Used To Identify Areas Most Vulnerable To COVID-19

A report based on a geospatial analysis conducted by researchers from the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) in collaboration with TAPTAP Digital, using additional data from Predicio and Tamoco, identifies the areas in Spain that require increased measures of protection against new outbreaks of the COVID19 epidemics.

Based on their population density, Madrid and Barcelona are the Spanish cities with an increased risk of infection; however, when considering other variables, such as the rates of the at-risk population and, in particular, coverage of critical points of interest (such as hospitals, pharmacies or supermarkets), the areas requiring additional measures of protection, in particular contexts, can be identified.

The most vulnerable areas, according to the proportional concentration of at-risk groups, are Castellón, Cantabria and Gipuzkoa. Likewise, Toledo, Segovia, Salamanca, and Navarre are the areas which have the least hospital coverage in relation to their vulnerable population, according to the conclusions of the study.

“The analysis of indicators which affect the evolution of the virus or risk in a particular geographic area in isolation could lead to incorrect conclusions or biased assessments. The multi-variable rates provide a more comprehensive analysis,” the report says.

Extracting multi-variable rates facilitates a broader analysis of the evolving behavior of the COVID-19 pandemic based on several factors such as, the area, the population’s mobility or possible propagation of the virus in relation to the phased recovery of commercial and industrial activity, for example.

 

From 25 km to 5 km a day during isolation

At a national level, the population’s mobility decreased from 25 to 5 kilometers per person per day during the isolation period, a decrease of approximately 80%. In addition, the study finds that the restriction of all non-essential activity began to significantly affect mobility about 5 days later.

“These results can help institutions and the community analyze various indicators and better understand the COVID19 pandemic,” says one of the report’s authors, Rubén Cuevas, a professor at the UC3M’s Telematics Engineering Department. This research has been carried out as part of the TAPTAP Digital-UC3M Chair.

“Before the COVID-19 pandemic, we were able to use our geospatial engine, called Sonata Location Intelligence (LI), to gain an understanding of the population’s mobility, demographic significance and interactions with points of interest or essential services, such as hospitals, pharmacies or supermarkets, during the isolation period,” says Álvaro Mayol, partner and chief product and technology officer at TAPTAP Digital.

This tool enables additional analyzes with regard to other issues related to COVID-19. “Because the data provided by TAPTAP, Predicio, and Tamoco is global, we are now working on a scientific article which compares population mobility patterns in different countries,” says Rubén Cuevas.

Categories
News

Tamoco’s Full Response To Questions On Articles Published In NRK

In recent weeks, Norway’s state broadcaster, “NRK” has published a number of stories around a geo-location dataset they purchased from Tamoco in November 2019. NRK told us repeatedly this data would be used for urban planning – to understand the “correlation between peoples movement patterns and the public transit/urban planning developments being performed by local and national entities”. We double-checked this with NRK before selling them the data but NRK had no intention of ever using the data for this purpose.

Instead, this data was used to present a number of misleading claims about how we operate and to present and share opinions that present a very limited and unbalanced view of how location data is used and what Tamoco’s role is within this space. We have always been fully transparent on the industry and how we work. We were shocked that a reputable news organisation would need to use deception when we have openly discussed what we do with major media outlets many, many times. In the interests of full transparency, we have published, in full, the answers to questions we have received. Our aim is to be allow people to make up their own minds based on the full picture. Most of media reports on this – using old-school “gotcha” journalism – present only one side of the story. This is unfair to all parties – most of all viewers and readers.

Tamoco has been in contact with both NRK in Norway and DR in Denmark but is publishing its full, unedited response to the questions raised on these claims:

 

NRK: The Norwegian Consumer Council says that the data sold by Tamoco is “without doubt” obtained illegally due to the lack of informed consent. The organization explicitly mentions that consumers cannot know to whom their personal data is shared when consenting. How do you respond to these claims?

Tamoco: This isn’t true. We source data directly from app publishers, their partners, or SDK’s integrated into apps. They’re required to provide explicit consent from their users. Consents are managed by those publishers who provide assurances that they comply with relevant laws and regulations.

 

NRK: What precautions have you made to ensure that personal data is not misused?

Tamoco: Tamoco uses standard mobile advertising identifiers IDFA (Android) or AAID (Apple), but it’s critical to understand these DO NOT identify individuals – only a device. Identifiers can easily be changed (in phone settings), meaning they’re not fixed to an individual.

We vet customers carefully demanding information on where data is used. We sell data on a legitimate basis for a bonafide purpose. We do so in good faith that the buyer will respect laws and regulations. NRK was deceptive in pretending it was using our data for urban planning. When we challenged NRK over its use, it provided fake maps. In our view, NRK has breached its own code of ethics because the way Tamoco works is already widely in the public domain. NRK did not need to use deception.

NRK contravened the way in which the data was meant to be used, and the reality is many large anonymized datasets sold by major firms like Uber, Strava, or TomTom can be taken apart and engineered in precisely the same way.

 

NRK: Tamoco lists products and services using location data for purposes other than those mentioned in Tamoco’s privacy policy? Why are these purposes not mentioned in your privacy policy?

Tamoco: Although nothing requires them to match, our privacy policy is very clear:

“We analyze, segment, and categorize the data provided by our customers, clients, and partners for the purposes of providing accurate and relevant content and advertising across devices and to analyze the effectiveness of these advertising campaigns. The data is also used to provide relevant advertising to mobile devices.”

We’ve always been fully transparent. We use location data for various functions across statistical analysis, research, and machine learning on top of personalized advertising. Again, it’s important that people understand that many critical functions in our lives depend on large datasets being analyzed – such as urban planning.

We welcome feedback to help improve the clarity of our privacy policy and are happy to update it. To go further, we are undertaking an internal review of our policies to ensure they can be as clear as possible. For the avoidance of doubt, nothing about the way Tamoco uses the data is unusual, illegal, or unique. There are many companies, such as Foursquare, Unacast, and Fysical, that all use similar data for similar products and services.

In respect of this particular story, most phone users understand how location services in apps work. We agree there’s a debate to be had around whether all apps are clear on permissions, but many NRK viewers will ask why any working in the armed forces did not think twice about using apps that clearly use location data.

 

NRK: The Norwegian Data Protection Authority is opening an investigation into Tamoco. They seek to work together with the UK Data Protection Authority (ICO). What is your comment?

Tamoco: We’ve launched our own internal investigation into data provided to us and will comply fully with any external investigations from Norwegian or British regulators. We have also been very open with the media around what we do.

 

NRK: In response to NRK’s first article, Tobias Judin of the Norwegian Data Protection Authority described the sale of Norwegians location data as a “very severe” matter. How do you respond to this characterization?

Tamoco: Let’s be clear – NRK obtained data from us by deception, then decompiled and decrypted it for an illegal use. This is a very severe matter, but like any intermediary, while it’s fair to hold us to account for doing everything possible to ensure the quality of the product we sell, we sit between the party supplying data and the party using it. If the user is doing illegal things beyond our control, then it’s unfair to blame us if there are no reasonable steps we could have taken.

We employ our best efforts to ensure compliance with regulations as much as possible, however balanced reporting must consider the role of those parties who collect data and those who take it from us to use. NRK viewers may question why a national broadcaster used deception where it could have walked through the front door and asked questions.

We do take data privacy seriously, but the regulation and enforcement of these rules must be omnipresent for things to work as intended. While it makes things easier for the media, you cannot merely apply rules to one party.

 

NRK: The Minister of Regional Development and Digitalisation in Norway, Linda Hofstad Helleland, says that the sale of location data is ethically unacceptable. How do you respond to this claim?

Tamoco: Location data, like any other data set, has the possibility to be misused by bad actors, but has perfectly legitimate and ethically positive use cases which unfortunately go unreported by the media.

Dissemination, decoupling, or decryption of this data is indeed unacceptable and is not a process Tamoco has or ever will employ. NRK felt that for the purposes of their investigation, they would themselves commit an ethically unacceptable act, including breaching their own journalistic code of ethics to prove a point that no responsible company in the industry would do. NRK used deceptive tactics to obtain data for a legitimate use case they actually had no intent of pursuing. It did this to create a story around their own misuse of data and it has attempted to give the impression they were able to ‘trick’ Tamoco – a company that has spoken publicly about its business and products for several years.

It is also very important to distinguish between location data types. We agree that there is limited rationale for persistent and invasive tracking; receiving 10,000 location points from a phone per day is excessive and unnecessary in 98% of use cases. It is also not something that Tamoco uses. However, measuring important points in a journey such as a visit to a shop or when someone starts or stops a journey is necessary, and some would argue essential in the pursuit of building better products and services. In this regard, location data is an accurate and powerful signal for advertisers, researchers, analysts, and more as an aggregated data set. It helps with such a wide range of applications from city planning to contact tracing, advertising to analytics.

 

NRK: Based on data from Tamoco and open sources like Facebook, NRK could identify several individuals, amongst them military personnel. What do you think about that?

Tamoco: The data is not able to, on its own, identify any individual person, nor should it be reverse engineered or decrypted in the pursuit of this kind of use. We work with firms around the world and focus on measuring data around consumer “points of interest” such as shops, attractions, and destinations. We do not store any sensitive or restricted places in our database and thus do not measure these places, meaning that anyone who had access to the data would have to misuse it and combine it with other data sources, in order to expose any potential correlations around these locations.

Tamoco takes privacy concerns very seriously and is committed to working to ensure that consumers can control their data. We have launched an internal audit into our data providers and the way in which this data has been used, and will not hesitate to immediately end relationships with any providers who have failed to comply with all appropriate regulation and legislation.  

Tamoco is happy to work with any data protection organization that has concerns about how data may be used and we welcome any recommendations to improve processes.