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Change Happened: Big Data for a Better World 2017

25 Nov

Northeastern Ohio nonprofit innovators met for first annual Big Data for a Better World Conference on November 16 at Hyland Software’s sprawling Westlake, Ohio campus. Leading Hands Through Technology (LHTT) and Workman’s Circle teamed up to offer the event for local nonprofits to discuss how analytics could be used to help their organization’s stay profitable and sustainable. The conference, sponsored by Hyland Software and Kent Displays, captivated the attendees offering participants the chance to ask the panelists and keynote speaker questions.

Panelists included Leon Wilson from the Cleveland Foundation, David M. Holmes from the Foundation Center and Jason Therrien from Thunder::Tech. Moderated by Marc Majers, the founder of LHTT, the session focused on questions ranging from where a nonprofit should start with analytics to how an organization should continue to grow their metrics. Mr. Wilson focused on planning funding for nonprofits so they can ultimately gain traction with their mission. Leon stated that in order to start and grow metrics, organization’s need to carefully plan how they are going to generate donations and funding. Mr Holmes, a veteran of the Foundation Center, highlighted that there is a plethora of free resources to help organizations understand how to increase their reach. David gave examples of groups that walked into his center wondering how to strengthen their efforts and left with a solid game plan. The key to strengthening their efforts was first determining what they wanted to achieve. Jason spoke about using analytics as a bargaining chip to negotiate with other groups; it is amazing how most groups do not understand the value of their data and how they can use it. An organization must harness the power of their own information to effectively change minds.

The panelists stressed that nonprofits conduct an information audit and realize the what they are first own. Once organizations determine the information they have, then they must figure out what to focus on. Start with a goal and then map out a plan to accomplish it – a goal without a plan is just a wish. Find low hanging fruit and get small wins. One of these starting points is website analytics. Mr. Therrien specifically cited an organization that used Google Analytics in conjunction with Google Maps to pinpoint where donations are coming from. After doing the geographical overlay exercise, the organization identified that a high target donor area was not giving because they never canvassed the area. The group also stated that “Big Data” and “Data Scientists” are buzz words and each organization needs to define what these words need. “Big Data” from one organization to another can mean something totally different – do not get lost in the tech jargon.

Todd Packer, co-creator of the event and volunteer from Workman’s Circle, introduced the keynote speaker Kambiz Ghazinour, PhD from Kent State University who lead an intriguing session on how organizations should pay attention to how they encrypt their data. The keynote started by defining how “Big Data” was introduced during the dawn of the Internet and then moved to how it has evolved today.

Kambiz lectured that companies have time and time again run contests to challenge the world to crack their data and the Internet easily figured it out. The professor stressed that with just a few pieces of information like a date of birth, gender or ZIP, a person can be quickly identified. He referenced two examples from NetFlix and Yahoo; the two tech giants thought they had done enough to protect their customer’s identity, but that was far from the truth. Dr. Ghazinour stressed that nonprofit organizations must protect their constituents data at all costs and follow strong tactics to reduce risk of breech. He said, “Anonymization is difficult so any privacy guarantee must be proven and established formally, minimally.” If you would like review the presentation, please continue on SlideShare.

On behalf of Workman’s Circle, Leading Hands Through Technology would like to thank the speakers, sponsors, volunteers and the attendees of the first annual Big Data for a Better World Conference. If you would like to sign up for upcoming LHTT events or donate to the cause, please contact us.

 

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Pay It Forward For Kids

27 Jun

Nick created a new TV show focused on kids who created a cause to change the world. The show is called HALO; it stands for Helping And Leading Others, and kids who inspire us to make this world a better place create The HALO Effect. Follow stories of kids who have used their passion and creativity to help those in need. Explore ordinary kids doing extraordinary things!

Http://Nick.com/halo

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Be A Super Hero

21 Sep

I recently watched a fantastic commencement speech by Bill Preimer the CEO of Hyland, creator of OnBase.  In his address, he told the graduating class that in order to make it in the world you need to exhibit four qualities that all super heroes hold. I think this speech touched me because as a kid I always wanted to be the Greatest American Hero. Ralph Hinckley was given a super suit by aliens (green guys) to wrong the right but lost the directions on how to use it. Ralph along with his FBI agent pal Maxwell had to continually figure out the powers of the suit in each episode. The team continually possessed the four qualities below and I tried to do the same to be the Greatest American Hero.

Super Heroes have these four qualities:

  1. Extraordinary ability
  2. Conviction
  3. Mission to serve
  4. Courage

Set yourself off on the right path by acting like a super hero! You can catch Bill’s speech around 30 minutes into the video.

https://www.boxcast.com/show/#/2015-baldwin-wallace-university-graduate-commencement

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You Can Only Go As Far As Your Taught

6 Sep

I had a simple thought the other day. You can only go as far as your taught. If you aren’t taught to dream big and never give up then you will come up short. It’s never too late to go after a goal. Of course if you are up against a lava flow then you have no choice to move another direction. Is this thought too simple? What do you think? What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been told?

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Because I Said I Would

19 Sep

Because I Said I Would is an organization dedicated to helping people keep their promises. Alex recently lost his father to cancer. He wants to honor his Dad and the promises he kept, by helping others remember their commitments with Promise Cards.

How to use a Promise Card:
1. Write your promise on the card.
2. Give the card to the person you’re making that commitment to.
3. Fulfill your promise.
4. Get your card back and keep it as a reminder that you are a person of your word.

Follow the link below to get you free promise cards.
http://becauseisaidiwould.com

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Change Your Perspective Everyday

11 Jun

Don’t get stuck in a rut, think differently! You need to change your perspective everyday.

Recently, I had the pleasure of attending a training session with Chris D. and he did something extraordinary during the class. Each day he sat in a different spot in the room to get a different perspective. I truly didn’t notice what he was doing until a few days into the class, however his technique peaked my interest. His switching of seats made me think that this philosophy could transcend into many situations.

Ask yourself, why do you sit in the same seat each time you enter a weekly meeting? Why do you take the same way home every night from work? Why do you listen to the same music? Why do you eat at the same restaurants? Are your decisions based on sheer logic or because you are comfortable? You owe yourself the opportunity to switch it up.

In marketing terms, how are you thinking of your customers? Do you ever put yourself in their shoes? Do you look at your website from a mobile phone? Have you ever called into your call center to listen to the consumer experience?  All of these questions lead to the same conclusion, “Are you looking at situation from other perspectives?”

Sit in a different seat. View the room from a different angle. You will be surprised how a simple change can give you a different perspective.

 

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Tom Peters

5 Jun

A friend of mine is always talking about Tom Peters and his phenomenal Blog. Periodically he mentions a key phrase or concept that is straight from Tom Peter’s website. If you are looking to increase your leadership skills and get inspired to make that next sale, presentation or just out right improve your life, then check out this blog. 100 ways to succeed is his mantra! Mr. Peters will show you tidbits that can transcend directly from your business life into your personal life.

http://tompeters.com/

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Spies Like Us

13 Feb

Does your child know what he or she wants to do when they grow up? Astronaut? Police Officer? Teacher?

Codebreaker?

Yes, the National Security Agency, a government organization that originally “didn’t exist” to crack codes and ciphers is looking to your children.

Someday, the current generation of spies and analysts will need to be replaced, so the NSA has put together a site to appeal to kids.

Characters such as Crypto-Cat™ and Decipher Dog™ will show you and your children how much fun it is to figure out puzzles, crack codes, and keep our nation safe.

http://www.nsa.gov/kids

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Giving is better than receiving

17 Jan

Last December, a girl in north-east Ohio brought warmth to the cold, stark white hallways of local hospitals for the holiday season. Ashley Imbrogno didn’t just become one of local news channel 3 anchor Romona Robinson’s Kids for no reason. She put together a blanket drive that was like no other.

Along with her friends and family, she designed and created unique blankets for hospitalized children in the Greater Cleveland Area. She made deliveries to local hospitals such as Rainbow Babies and the Cleveland Clinic because she wanted to make a difference and bring a ray of light to terminally ill children.

The drive is over now, however 2007’s plans are already in the works. You can contact Warming The Hearts for more information by visiting the official website.

http://www.warmingthehearts.org

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