Full Sail Partners Blog

Madeline O'Connor

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Data Visualization and How it is Used

Posted by Madeline O'Connor on Wed, Jan 22, 2020 @ 11:05 AM

chart graphic

Business Intelligence (BI) puts together business analytics, data mining, data visualization, technology resources along with the best practices to help companies make more data-driven decisions. Business intelligence can help businesses make better choices by displaying present and historical data in their business context. Analysts can use data visualization to provide performance and competitor benchmarks for a smoother and more efficiently run organization. Analysts can also detect market trends to boost sales or income more quickly. Making sure you are using BI and data visualization properly is important. Let’s look at how you can choose the right data visualizations for your company.

Temporal Visualizations

In the temporal category, data visualizations belong if they satisfy two conditions: they are linear, and they are one-dimensional. Temporal visualizations normally have lines that either stand alone or intersect with each other, with starting and ending time. Some common examples of data visualizations include scatter plots, time series sequences, timelines, line graphs, and polar area diagrams. These visualizations are usually pretty easy to recognize and understand. Picking the right visualization all depends on the kind of story you are trying to tell. When choosing a temporal visualization, your end goal should be comparing one or many value sets. This can help you easily show the low and high values of a data set.

Hierarchical Visualizations

In the hierarchical category, data visualizations are those that organize groups within larger groups. These are best used to display clusters of information, especially if they flow from one point to another. Typical hierarchical visualizations are tree diagrams, ring charts, and sunburst diagrams. Just like any type of data visualization, it is important that you are effectively telling a story with the graphics that you use. For this type, showing levels of importance coming from a single source is the main purpose of these visualizations. The only downside is that these graphs tend to be complex and sometimes difficult to read. The tree diagram is used most frequently because of its easy-to-follow linear path.

Multidimensional Visualizations

While linear data is easier to understand, sometimes you have the need to capture your audience’s attention. Multidimensional displays two or more different variables to create a 3D data visualization. These types of visualizations are scatter plots, pie charts, Venn diagrams, stacked bar graphs, and histograms. These visuals can break down a ton of data into key takeaways, making it easier to clearly identify what you are trying to get across. Multidimensional is used to compare data and parts of a whole and show relationships between two variables. With multidimensional data, you are able to choose different colors and shapes to really customize your graphic.

Data Visualization Makes an Impact

Choosing the right visualization for your data directly impacts how it gets across to the viewers. Your main goal should always be to properly tell a story with the graphics that you use. Data visualization allows you to display specific data in an eye-catching way leading to a successful conveyance of important and relevant information.

Blackbox Connector for Informer

Topics: Technology Solutions, Business Intelligence, Data Visualization

What is a CRM System and Why Your Firm Needs one?

Posted by Madeline O'Connor on Wed, Dec 18, 2019 @ 12:50 PM

CRM Solutions

A CRM system, or Customer Relationship Management system, is a technology tool that allows you to track important details about your customers. Firms need to know which product or service the customer currently has and want the ability to monitor the customer’s buying journey and needs. A CRM system also helps support the firm’s overall goals and strategies within each department. Let’s take a better look at what a CRM system can do for your firm.

Create More Revenue with a CRM

Sales teams use a CRM to conduct research as well as find new leads for future opportunities. A CRM system offers an abundance of information that can increase productivity when it comes to generating new sales. The CRM system can be used to track client communications which enables sales representatives to build stronger relationships with their customers and create new streams of revenue that grow firm profits. Furthermore, a CRM system can provide interactive analytical tools that give the sales force an accurate insight into a customer’s interests and needs. Sales representatives can then have more productive conversations with their leads and continue to develop personal relationships.

Along with building stronger relationships, a CRM solution can help a firm figure out the most effective sales practices and use that information to better their sales team. Staying abreast of proven processes will keep your sales team up to date on the fastest and most effective way to move a lead to a sale. 

Work More Efficiently

Similar to sales, marketing can benefit tremendously from the use of a CRM system. First off, the relationship between the marketing team and sales team is crucial to ensure customer needs are being met. With everyone actively using a CRM system for customer information, sales and marketing results can be seen across the board. Communication between sales and marketing will improve since both teams will have access to the most relevant data.

A CRM system can also be used to track marketing campaign success. The marketing team can evaluate how effective different marketing campaigns were including the costs which can help determine the best use of marketing department funds. With this available data, the marketing team can additionally change certain parts of the campaigns and maybe personalize some better for certain customers.

Improve the Customer Experience

Making sure customers are satisfied with their experience with your firm is very important. The customer service team relies on being able to measure things such as customer retention, satisfaction, and what is and is not working. This data can be tracked using a CRM system. If a customer did not have a good experience, the cause of the problem can be determined, and customer service can figure out what needs to be done in the future to prevent that situation from happening again. This information can then be relayed back to the sales and marketing teams so they can fix the issue on their side.

Why a CRM System is Right for Your Firm!

To be successful in any business, working smarter and most efficiently is very important. A CRM system can provide your firm with the metrics and relevant data to see how well your firm is meeting customer needs. Additionally, a CRM system offers the most accurate and up to date information allowing all department teams to work together seamlessly and effectively. Are you ready to take advantage of a CRM system?

Grow Revenue with a CRM  

Topics: Client Relationships, Building Business, CRM

Streamline Your Business Processes with Deltek Vantagepoint

Posted by Madeline O'Connor on Wed, Oct 23, 2019 @ 01:37 PM

Deltek Vantagepoint-1

Deltek strives to continually improve its products to ensure clients are best able to utilize the software.  To make it easier for you and your employees to take full advantage of Deltek Vantagepoint, changes have been made to the accounting, screen designer, billing, security, and project lifecycle features. These features are now effortless to use so let’s take a look at some and see how they help with efficiency.

Accounting and Billing

Improvements have been made to reduce error in the accounting and billing processes. The changes include features such as retaining last sessions information, a maximize button giving you more information, adding columns to transaction tabs, and much more. You no longer must select the modify tool to edit timesheet comments, and an all new Fees Tab works with billing phase grid. The transaction center also got an update allowing the transaction entry process to go smoother with billing. The settings that come along with accounting and billing have also been organized in a more logical way making it easier to navigate the system.

Security

Security is a big deal when it comes to client business information. Making sure that Deltek Vantagepoint provides maximum safety for data and information is a major concern so the security browser and module has been enhanced. Enhancements include role security in the browser, additive security model, fields secured on server for protection, and more navigation menu access rights. With the update, there are extra steps you can take to guarantee safety such as deleting security roles that are no longer being used. For more tips on how to maximize Deltek Vantagepoint check out this webinar.

Project Lifecycle

Project lifecycle is something you always want to monitor, and there are many benefits that Deltek Vantagepoint offers to create seamless transitions from different projects. This includes entire project lifecycle reporting, structural opportunities, and one record to track the entire project lifecycle. Similar to security, there are certain steps you can take to optimize opportunity convergence. You can now link any opportunities and project records that represent the same project making sure that each project is only linked to one opportunity. For more information check out this webinar.

CRM and Proposals

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) helps sales staff stay organized. Recently, clients and vendors have been combined into the Firm hub which allows you to track activities, contacts, address changes, etc. all in one place. The qualified statuses of contacts can also be checked to see progress and figure out what needs to be done to create a new customer. Additionally, Vantagepoint has a new drag and drop proposal builder. You can actually see what your proposal looks like as you build it. To see more that Deltek Vantagepoint can do with CRM and proposals check out this webinar.

Preparing for Deltek Vantagepoint

This new solution is based on Vision with reimagined features and capabilities that can help you streamline your business processes. When you are you ready to get started, we are here to help! For further details about what Deltek Vantagepoint has to offer, click on the on the link below to access our entire webinar series about Vantagepoint.

Deltek Vantagepoint

Topics: Building Business, New Features, Deltek Vantagepoint

Improve Business Development with Technology

Posted by Madeline O'Connor on Wed, Sep 25, 2019 @ 01:22 PM

Build Business

Business development can be a challenge especially when firms are already busy with day to day activities. Leaders must figure out what is worth putting effort and money into to get the pay-off they want. Fortunately, Deltek and Full Sail Partners offer many different solutions that are technology forward and can help make business development easier for you. Let’s take a look at some of these and see how they support business development.

Deltek Vantagepoint

Deltek has recently revamped Vision, creating a more powerful and user focused system that is designed for professional services firms. Deltek Vantagepoint can be used to improve productivity, increase profitability and make smarter business decisions. It also allows business development teams to quickly put together proposals that will give them an edge over the competition. So, by using Deltek Vantagepoint, you will have a platform that promotes business development with easy to use tools.

Blackbox Connector

Blackbox Connector provides the opportunity to connect Deltek Vision and Vantagepoint to 3rd party software. For business development purposes, Constant Contact and Mailchimp Blackbox Connectors will help make it easier to nurture relationships with potential new business. What is sent out via Constant Contact or Mailchimp is brought back into Vision or Vantagepoint with the Blackbox Connector making it convenient for you to track your marketing efforts which leads to new business.

Deltek PIM

Efficiency is one of the leading attributes to great business development. Deltek PIM offers your employees one place to access all your files across all aspects of your business. With all emails and documents in one place, it is simple to research and determine where new business might be found saving you a lot of discovery time. This can be an asset when trying to advance your firm’s business development.

Informer

Informer is a business intelligence tool which allows your firm to collect data and analyze it. Business intelligence provides insight you can use to make better business decisions and evaluate areas for business development. Visual options in dashboards can display a variety of charts and graphs which give you vital information. For instance, you can identify which clients have used your services the most and may require further assistance. Informer thus allows you to pinpoint business development potential.

Deltek Learning Zone

Deltek Learning Zone is a great resource to find out more about tools that can help your firm further its business development efforts. DLZ offers virtual live classes, self-paced classes, support videos, infographics, and many more ways to learn. You can find experts that have a lot of knowledge regarding the best way to target business development using Deltek products. This will help your firm plan a course of action for your business development strategy.

Making Business Development Easy

Time is a precious commodity to all firms. With the many offerings from Deltek and Full Sail Partners, your business development efforts can be handled more efficiently and effectively. It is crucial to target business development if you want to set your firm apart from the competition. Use these resources and stay on top of the business development game.

Deltek Vision Workflows

Topics: Tips, Building Business, Professional Services

What’s Happening at Deltek Insight 2019?

Posted by Madeline O'Connor on Wed, Aug 28, 2019 @ 03:29 PM

Deltek Insight 2019 Orange-1

Deltek Insight 2019 is just around the corner, and it is time to start making plans! This year the conference will be held in Orlando, Florida from November 18th through the 21st at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center. If you have been thinking about attending this year, but are just not sure, let’s take a look at some of the amazing reasons why you should attend.

Expand Your Understanding

Deltek offers so many products that can be beneficial to your business. At Insight, you can customize the events you attend to cater to your specific firm needs. Figuring out which sessions are best related to your firm needs allows you to get the most out of Insight and gain the knowledge required to take your business to the next level using Deltek products.

In addition, our experts from Full Sail Partners will be on-site leading sessions that will get you on the right track with some of the trickier Deltek products. If you are having trouble with configuration planning, Michael Kessler, PMP will be speaking on implementing projects and resource planning. If you want to learn more about implementing the Asset Management Module, join Kelly Duguette as she shows you how to enhance module usability. You can check out everything Full Sail Partners is doing at Insight 2019 here.

Finally, if you need a little more help with a certain area, you can meet with a Deltek expert who can assist you with whatever problem needs attention. You can set up a 1 on 1 meeting with an expert which will last around 45 minutes. These meetings are first come first serve and the slots fill up fast. Getting one on one expert advice provides new insight on your products and is another great reason to attend Deltek Insight. For more information about these sessions click here.

Mingle to Grow Your Network

With Insight being one of the largest conferences for Deltek users, the opportunity arises to connect and mingle with others in your field of work. You will have the chance to speak with people from around the world that you normally would not be able to meet. There will be plenty of time for learning and growth and collaborating with these people in your industry might help solve a problem you have mutually experienced. The Celebrate Insight event which takes place on Wednesday the 20th also offers tons of food and socializing with the rest of the Insight attendees. You will surely leave Deltek Insight with new solutions and awesome connections

Have an Experience Packed with Fun

Deltek Insight will kick off Monday, November 18th with a pre-conference workshop from Deltek University that will boost your knowledge. After that, there will be a general session where attendees will learn the schedule of what’s happening throughout the four days of Insight. In the evening, there will be a welcome reception where you can visit the sponsors’ booths to gather more information. Make sure to stop by the Full Sail Partners’ booth and see what we have been up to this year!

As mentioned before, the annual Deltek customer appreciation event, Celebrate Insight, is always the highlight of the conference. It will once again be a great event featuring dinner and drinks, concerts and games. With the party venue located in Florida, this year is something you are not going to want to miss.

Register Now for Deltek Insight 2019

With so much to look forward to this year at Deltek Insight, you’ll surely want to sign up! From the opportunities to network, to learning from experts, to having fun in Florida, it is worth attending this year! Register now, and we can’t wait see you there!

  Deltek Insight 2019

Topics: Building Business, Deltek Insight

Why Your Firm Should Be Keeping Up with Technology

Posted by Madeline O'Connor on Wed, Aug 07, 2019 @ 01:58 PM

Technology

In the business world, it is vital that your company stays ahead of the competition. Business leaders must consistently evaluate many things from the technology being used to the way the business is organized. While firms tend to spend a lot of money on business development activities, they focus less on technology advancements. This is a costly mistake since technology is rapidly changing and continues to provide solutions to many common business challenges. Let’s see why companies should prioritize digital innovation.

Worth the Cost

Businesses push back on investments in technology because of the cost to upgrade their current systems. However, they don’t consider the cost of their current software being outdated. Choosing to save that money and not invest in new and up-to-date software could lead to more problems down the road like hardware failure.

Even more significant, using outdated systems can be frustrating and lead to less productive employees and slower work production. Using current technology will promote productivity plus allow employees to learn what is new so they can benefit their customers. Keeping up with the growing technology can give companies the edge over others that are still using out-of-date systems.

Reducing Redundancy 

There are many software offerings available to reduce redundancies and improve employee efficiency and productivity. Firms first should find an application that will communicate with other systems they have in place. Employees should have an easy and effective way to get data from one place to another without having to import and export to different systems. Having a system that can interface with a client’s software can make it easier to manage data. Working with current software eliminates duplicate data which results in more work down the line.

Remote Access

As newer technology arises in the business world, mobility becomes an option for more employees. The ability to access corporate data while not in the office is essential to employee productivity. There is an additional impact on your team since data can be updated whenever creating real-time information. Furthermore, being able to work from wherever provides more flexibility to meet customer needs whenever they arise. Only the most current technology allows for these benefits.

Fostering Collaboration

Digital innovation promotes global collaboration. While businesses require collaboration, it is becoming increasingly difficult with more companies going global. By employing collaboration solutions, employees are able to share information real-time instead of storing it. Having the ability to share results instantly can improve employee relationships within teams located around the world.

Make Technology a Priority

Unsupported software and out-of-date hardware can cause data failure, but it also prevents businesses from being as productive as they could be. Pursuing digital innovation, companies can make sure they are on top of their games.  Up-to-date systems offering employee mobility ensures productivity and an exceptional customer experience. Prioritize technology for your firm.

   Increase Employee Productivity

Topics: Support, Technology Solutions, Deltek Vision

Summary of Technology Trends from the 40th Annual Deltek Clarity Report

Posted by Madeline O'Connor on Wed, Jul 24, 2019 @ 11:00 AM

40th Annual AE Clarity Report-1

Technology is a huge part of any growing business and leaders are constantly searching for emerging technology trends that can drive their businesses forward. Originally, the A&E industry strayed from embracing new technology because of the time and effort it took to learn and adopt the new trends. However, firms are now identifying technology as a strategic and innovative way to educate staff, identify key initiatives, and implement incremental changes to improve business.

Top Three Technology Trend Challenges

In this year’s Deltek Clarity Survey, firms were asked about their top technology trend challenges. The results presented in the 40th Clarity Report showed that the top three challenges were the struggles of prioritizing trends, the cost of technology, and the lack of time to learn. Other challenges included client education, lack of leadership, and buy-in from firms.

Emerging Technology Trends

For the second year in a row, firms were asked how important nine emerging technology trends were to their businesses. Lining up with the top four from last year, The Internet of Things (loT) and Geo locations ranked in, closely followed by big data and data science.

The loT is the interconnection of devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data. It is important because connected devices offer the potential to better manage certain projects. The key is being able to extract and manage actionable data from the loT devices to make informed decisions.

Geo location is more prominent now than ever. Firms can leverage geo location information to make things easier for the employees and clients. Geo locations can be used to determine an employee’s location, to track how long an employee is on a job site or deliver valuable details about the client when you arrive at a project or client office. Firms can use this information to better manage projects and improve client satisfaction giving them a competitive advantage.

Application of Technology Trends

This year, firms were also asked to which areas of their business they apply technology trends. Most firms are looking at implementing these trends into projects themselves through either project management or project execution. Futhermore, more than half of the firms want to apply technology to improve their business development and marketing.

The problem is that not enough firms are seeing the value of technology and how it can improve human capital management. Potential and existing clients are wanting businesses to be tech-savvy, and those that can deliver streamlined services that use up-to-date technology will stand out from the rest. Embracing technology today can create a clear competitive advantage, while those who are not will have to play catch up later.

Top Technology Trend Initiatives

Additionally, firms were asked to identify the top three initiatives they are employing to address technology challenges in the next three years. Two-thirds of the firms identified creating a strategic plan as one of their top three initiatives, followed by educating staff and identifying and developing technology subject matter experts. With these initiatives in mind, how can firms get this information and learn from it and eventually apply it to their work forces?

First, firms just need to know where to start. Industry associations and partners are a great resource they can use to learn more about technology. Firms should not be nervous about integrating new technology into their organization because of the fear of failure. Once they gain an understanding of the technology, developing a budget for implementing these trends will become more manageable.

Learn More From the 40th Annual Deltek Clarity Report

This is simply a summary of technology trends from this year’s report. For more details, download a copy of the 40th Annual Deltek Clarity Report today. You may also find other topics of interest to keep your firm ahead of the competition.

New call-to-action

Topics: Technology Solutions, Deltek Clarity Report

Why Your Firm Needs Deltek PIM

Posted by Madeline O'Connor on Wed, Jun 26, 2019 @ 11:00 AM

PIM-1

Projects are the life blood of the AEC industry. Efficiently run projects yield the most revenue and are thus essential to firm success. Fortunately for these firms, Deltek Project Information Management (PIM) provides project management and collaboration tools designed to help employees access critical project information and keep teams connected throughout the entire project lifecycle. Let’s check out what PIM can do for your firm.

Access All Project Emails in One Place

Employees spend 2-3 hours per day on average on email related activities according to a study by Dr. Michael Einstein at MESMO Inc. With Deltek PIM, project employees can easily add project related emails and communications into one central location allowing all project employees visibility into all email communications. Now hours are no longer lost managing and organizing project emails from other sources, since PIM provides a central location for the most up to date project emails. Project employees can utilize PIM to improve productivity, not impede project progress.

Simplify Document Management

Deltek PIM helps firms maintain hundreds of files across all aspects of their business in one location, giving companies the organization and intelligence to run their business smarter. All drawings, correspondence, and submittals are accessible by all team members at any time. Even more, PIM allows project teams to share large files in the office or with external team members while maintaining security and control. With PIM, there is no more worrying about setting up accounts or dated FTP sites so deadlines remain on track.

Take Information Management to the Next Level

Most importantly, Deltek PIM integrates with your Deltek ERP solution to improve how your firm manages schedules, budgets, resources and files for every project. Furthermore, PIM enables project teams to manage project documents while in the field. As a result, project employees can stay on top of everything that has been done or needs to be done at the site including uploading site photos, managing inspections, updating punch lists, and more with mobile access.

Make More Revenue Using Deltek PIM

Deltek PIM offers firms the chance to stay organized and run projects more efficiently. With PIM, team members will have access to all important documents with up to date details in one place throughout the entire project lifecycle. Therefore, project managers can ensure their projects are completed on time and on budget. How can PIM help your firm?

Deltek PIM

Topics: Project Management, Technology Solutions, Project Information Management (PIM)

Ways to Track Marketing Success

Posted by Madeline O'Connor on Wed, May 29, 2019 @ 01:00 PM

Digital Marketing

When you are determining what marketing techniques are going to be the best for your company, there are some important things to consider. It’s common for business owners to cast a wide net in their initial marketing plan, throwing everything they can against the wall to see what sticks. However, continuing to throw money at a marketing strategy that is not generating conversation will result in loss of revenue and time. Fortunately, there are ways that you can avoid this by tracking the success of your marketing techniques and being able to adjust the ones not yielding results.

Website Analytics

Let’s start with one of the easiest and most common methods of tracking marketing success: website analytics. Utilizing this method, you can see who is coming to your site and from what sources. This lets you know which marketing tactics are creating the most clicks and how those clicks could be converted into leads or sales. A lot of website analytic tools are easy to setup and simple to use.

Email Outreach

Email marketing is easy to track and measure. Most email marketing platforms offer a host of data that will help you gauge the efficiency of your email campaigns. Your task is to find those metrics that best suit your email marketing goals and to keep an eye on them. There are many different things that are important to look at when it comes to the success of email marketing. Deliverability, open rates, click-through rates, conversation and bounce rates. These all can give you a better idea of how your email marketing campaign is going.

Phone Tracking

Call tracking is one of the most effective ways to evaluate lead generation sources. By taking advantage of call tracking technology, you can see what marketing ventures are generating the highest number of phone calls. This gives you the opportunity to keep track of who is calling from where and gauge where your budget is best spent.

CRM Tracking

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) helps sales staff stay organized and track marketing campaign results. Using a CRM software, sales professionals create profiles for each prospect including name, company, phone number, lead source, and any other relevant information. CRM platforms not only lead the way in tracking initial marketing efforts but continue to serve in following the future of client dealings.

Save Time and Effort by Tracking Marketing Success

Tracking marketing success is quite effective when using the right techniques. You can learn what works and what doesn’t when marketing to contacts to create more business and ultimately generate more income for your firm. Using a tool like the Deltek CRM, you can easily.

Email marketing, battle for the inbox

Topics: Marketing, Technology Solutions, CRM

Why a Good User Interface Matters?

Posted by Madeline O'Connor on Wed, May 15, 2019 @ 01:29 PM

computer_inside

In essence, a User Interface (UI) guides users – it is a chain of screens, pages, buttons, forms or any visual element that interacts with a user. It may prompt the user to seek further information, navigate the site, make a registration or purchase decision with a series of clicks. Having a good user interface can ultimately change the way you work and process information for your business. There are many different aspects that a UI can offer to make things more efficient, quicker, and easier to understand.

Clarity 

Clarity is one of the most important elements of a user interface design. The whole purpose of a UI design is to enable people to interact with your system by communicating meaning and function. Clarity throughout the application can make this easier and more efficient. One great way of simplifying an interface is to use whitespace which breaks up the content and allows the user to concentrate on the important areas.

Presentation

An interface that is poorly designed can drive incoming traffic away and leave a bad impression. Features such as attractive branding, color scheme, layout, graphics, tabs and other tools make a great design that users will want to utilize. You want the UI to look good while still having the right features to work well keeping users satisfied.

Easy-to-Decipher

Easy-to-decipher and consistent navigation that is simple to locate and browse through is the basic requirement for a good UI. If the navigation is complex for a user to work with, there is no way they will want to spend more time trying to figure it out. One way to make things better is to make buttons and options more easily recognizable by using the icons the users expect to see. A good example is the trash can as most users will understand what this does without further explanation.

Functional

In the end, it is all worthless if the UI’s functionality is not up to speed. A quality User interface focuses on making the user interactions simple and efficient. Having such a user interface can go a long way in ensuring an exceptional user experience. Every single second a user spends on the interface is directly attributable to the functionality of that UI.

Make Sure Your User Interface is Exceptional

The User experience is tantamount to business success, and the User Interface is the most significant touch point for your users. If your UI is user friendly, it will be used repeatedly increasing your business productivity. Without a quality UI, the opposite is true, and that is why having a good User Interface matters.

 Deltek Vantagepoint

Topics: Technology Solutions, Professional Services