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True enough, the real world is much more complicated than school life. Back in school, we used to think that the one thing that matters most are our exam scores for every subject. Little did we know that in the world of adulthood, there’s another type of score that could make or break our records–credit scores. So then, what is a good credit score? AAACreditGuide. Before being able to answer that, let us first look into what credit scores are.
When it comes to dealing finance, banking, credit, etc., things can get a little bit complicated. With credit, we’ll have to deal with a set of numbers called credit score that will determine our loan worthiness. Basically, a credit score refers to an assessment of how likely you are able to repay debts on time. It is represented by a three-digit number; a numerical judgment by lenders at a point in time. Understandably, the better your credit score, the more trusted you will be as a loan customer.
In all honesty, good credit scores are largely subjective. Although there are standard numbers that are considered “good”, the judgment on whether the score is good or bad would still highly depend on the lenders, themselves.
Most credit scores work with the range of 300 to 850. Usually a fair credit score starts at 650; the higher, the better. Anything lower than 600 would easily be considered poor. Then again, the meaning of these numbers are not exactly the same for all lenders.
Credit scores are some of the most important digits that will ever be associated with your name. It’s true that these numbers will play an essential role in your financial life and here is how they do.
With good credit scores, you may also be rewarded with lower interest rates whenever you borrow. That being said, a healthier credit score will, therefore, help you save more money over time by helping you pay less.
Another importance of a credit score is the fact that it will affect the approval or disapproval for further credit. Approval for credit card, mortgage, car loan and all other types of loans will be much more difficult if you have a bad credit history. Of course, all lenders want the assurance that they will be paid back and so, if you do get approved for some loans despite your weak credit score, chances are; you will probably face interests and fees that are extremely high.
Avoiding credit mistakes is one major way to maintain a healthy credit history. But there are also a number of specific ways to improve credit scores. All in all, however, it will still boil down to the following:
If all else fails, there’s no need to worry. This may simply mean that it may be necessary for you to consult a firm that focuses on rebuilding or fixing your credit history. With their help, you can get back on your feet again. But this time around, do keep in mind the ways to improve your credit score.
Before the advent of the Internet, influencer marketing was not considered a viable option for the vast majority of business enterprises. While major corporations had the budget and reputation to turn celebrities and stars into brand ambassadors, cash strapped entities simply did not have such options. However, with social media now firmly entrenched, this has all changed and now influencers are not reserved to those who are celebrities. Whether you are an Instagram user who posts your artistic creations to small audiences or a blogger with thousands of weekly page views, the opportunities are limitless.
Taking time to create an influencer marketing strategy or looking to established brands for inspiration can establish credibility, quickly increase your brand awareness, and even create new clients- all of which should have a significant impact on your bottom line. According to research by influencer marketing platforms, more than 60% of marketing companies are now planning to drastically increase their influencer strategy budgets. But if you are a startup, where do you begin? Well, here is how your startup can leverage influencer marketing as follows:
When you are establishing your influencer marketing strategies, having an open mind can have unexpected and great results. Considering morals, personality, and looking beyond immediate associations can widen an influencer’s relevance for various products and brands. This means that while it may be viewed as business sense for a food-based business to target food bloggers, you do not have to be restricted by this. Another influencer, say a sports personality, may better reflect your brand personality in a more effective way than someone in the same industry.
In order for a startup to effectively use influencer marketing, it needs to define its values. When you first get your enterprise off the ground, it may be easy to brush aside things that do not seem urgent. This may often include fine tuning your brand (determining belief system, brand ethics, and tone of voice), but without believing in and knowing your core values, influencer marketing may be in vain.
Influencers can be traced real time to allow better decision-making.
By researching how established brands and large corporations use influencers, you can draw inspiration for your own influencer marketing strategies. An excellent case in point is the multinational Tyson Foods. Considering that there are about 4 million women in the U.S. blogging about motherhood, the company encouraged these mom bloggers to turn chicken nuggets into Christmas-themed decorations over the holiday season. With women bloggers responding enthusiastically, the corporation’s name spread through social media and blogs, resulting in a 42% increase in sales whilst gaining almost 8 million impressions.
While most major brands are still happy to pay the Taylor Swifts of the world huge amounts to tweet about their services and products, many are moving away from this tried-and-tested tactic. While Internet stars and celebrities with the biggest audiences have an obvious appeal, it is becoming increasingly obvious that audiences are not everything.
Influencers with audiences of between 1 and 10 million followers often have an engagement rate of about 1.66%, which increases to 4% for those who have between 1,000 and 10,000 followers. The figure is even higher at 8% for those who have less than 1,000 followers. For a startup, the biggest celebrities are obviously out of reach, but you need not fret approaching those with the biggest audiences who you cannot afford.
In influencer marketing, the Holy Grail is, undoubtedly, to make an influencer so enthusiastic about your product that they promote it for free and naturally. You can do this by inviting your influencers to use your services for free in exchange for talking about you on their platforms, or sending them your products to review. This approach works wonders if you focus on building genuine and honest relationships with them. Therefore, comment on their blog, retweet their work, and send concise, open, and warm emails (as influencers tend to be very busy).
Gone are the days when we would retire as the sun slumbers until the next dawn, as mankind invented electricity and the lightbulb, which has significantly changed our way of life from the time we wake up and sleep, to how we work and play.
The first long-lasting commercial lightbulb was invented by American businessman Thomas Edison. His invention sparked innovation after innovation in the electronics industry that eventually led to the invention of the light-emitting diode (LED), which is now widely used worldwide to defy the schedule of the sun and reduce our carbon footprint.
While the lighting industry is now being dominated by Asian companies, many American companies are still thriving by diversifying their products and finding their niche in different industries. One of the newest up and coming LED producers is the Laser Christmas light industry, which uses outdoor projectors for high quality lighting displays.
GE Lighting is a division of General Electric, Inc., the company founded by Edison in 1896, which offers a wide range of lighting fixtures from general purpose bulbs to outdoor and decorative lightbulbs. Its commitment to improving what their founder worked on has been incomparable as they employ about 36000 technologists to create innovations for the company. Currently, its Energy Smart LED bulbs are characterized by their cooling fins, which cools down the bulb and prolongs its life.
Cree is a company founded in North Carolina by Neal Hunter, Thomas Coleman, John Edmond, Eric Hunter, John Palmour, and Calvin Carter in 1987. It is one of the trailblazers in the LED manufacturing industry, placing 6th in the 2010 top ten LED manufacturers list by market research firm Strategies Unlimited. It was the company that brought the blue led light to the market in 1989. It has one of the widest selections of LED products in the market from LED components, bulbs, lamps, to floodlights. It redefines the market with its Smart Cast technology, which utilizes sensors, electronics and software that learns and interacts with itself and its surroundings, making energy-saving effortless.
Independence LED Lighting is an LED focused lighting company founded by Charlie Szoradi in 2007. The company proudly stands by their name as they differentiate themselves from other lighting companies by manufacturing their products in southern Pennsylvania. Its products range from spec sheets, LED tubes, LED Troffer Fixtures, to grow lights, which are specialized for growing vegetation and flowering. Though fairly young compared to its competitors, the company is making its name in specialized LEDs.
Green Ray LED is a LED lighting company founded in 2009 in California that provides total lighting services for both commercial and industrial facilities. In its less than 20 years in business, it has been able to expand Argentina, Puerto Rico, Chile, Mexico, Colombia and Uruguay. The company manufactures its products in its wholly owned facility in Shenzen, China. Its products range from linear lamps, troffers, roadway lights, to bay lights. In addition, they also offer lighting design and installation while taking your budget and needs into consideration.
These companies are just some of the many companies in the US who offer LEDs. So if you’re looking to brighten up a space or two, look into these companies and you’ll likely find that perfect light bulb moment.
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The DAQ (Data Acquisition) market, growing at a cumulative average growth rate of 6% and currently valued at over $2.26 billion as at 2015, is expected to cross the $3 billion threshold by 2020. The market is primarily driven by the proliferation of open source software standards, interoperable abilities, the adoption of Ethernet, and the need to cut on distribution losses that continue to be incurred. However, the market still faces significant skilled labor constraints as an advanced technology such as this requires highly specialized skills in computer languages such as FORTRAN, PASCAL etc. Also, cost considerations are a major bone of contention as are security issues owing to the widespread popularity of wireless technology. Below, we take a look at 3 data acquisition trends to watch out for in 2017 as follows:
Late last year, Google open-sourced its machine learning platform- TensorFlow. A few weeks later, IBM followed suit by releasing SystemML-its machine learning technology- into the open source community. These initiatives join a growing plethora of already existing open source machine learning platforms e.g. DL4J that is used to implement deep learning in Java. Data technologists and scientists now have the world’s leading algorithms at their fingertips if they wish to carry out advanced predictive analytics. This is expected to propel the innovative ways by which we create value from data to levels previously unimagined.
After several years of technology-focused on the adoption of Hadoop and other related alternatives to traditional databases, expect a shift toward more business-oriented data strategies in 2017. Such carefully crafted strategies are likely to involve Chief Data Officers (CDOs) as well as other business leaders, and should be guided by the creation of business value from data and innovation opportunities. The latest trend of exciting advances in data engineering and data science techniques should spark a myriad of creative business opportunities, with the data infrastructure playing a supporting role. Real benefits to companies such as DAQifi will be best achieved through strategic alignment of the right technologies with high value opportunities in order to support innovative solutions.
Having gone out of favor in the 1970s, AI (Artificial Intelligence) is proving hot once again. Examples such as medical diagnosis, stock trading, facial recognition, and autonomous vehicles are exciting the imaginations of present-day technologists. In addition, the power of parallel, distributed computing is now more accessible than ever before, making it much easier to experiment with numerous novel ideas. Also, the rich data that is needed to feed machine learning algorithms continues to be more diverse, prolific, and readily available than ever before. While it may take a little bit longer to perfect your self-driving car, you can definitely expect your life to get better in 2017 as a result of the innovative uses of AI.
As with every passing year, 2016 has proved that with innovation comes acquisition. While it may be difficult to predict where the next great IT revolution will emerge from, the future looks great for data loggers in these three spheres heading into 2017.
In recent years, 3D printing companies have, undoubtedly, come into their own, with stocks in this market doubling or even tripling in some instances. And it is not hard to understand why. For long-term investors looking to cash in on the next big thing, 3D printing companies are definitely it. On-demand manufacturing reduces costs for both consumers and businesses, programmers for 3D printers are the new software engineers, and the technology itself has turned out to be a defining cultural trend.
Granted, we are still in the early days of this trend, and some of its most exciting applications- such as printing of 3D homes or human organs for transplant- remain, admittedly, out of reach. But if you are a believer in this technology, there is still plenty of time to invest in this fast-growing sector. Below, therefore, we take a look at 5 of the biggest 3D printing companies as follows:
This is the largest 3D printing company by revenue and also boasts the largest scale in terms of the 3D printers it has installed. SSYS is characterized by a decent midcap valuation, operates soundly year after year and put up an incredible market-beating performance in 2013. The company recently acquired MakerBot and the buyout not only gave it more scale, but it has also given it more control of Thingverse- the hottest open-source forum for sharing 3D printing designs. Here, whoever who owns a MakerBot can browse blueprints from anywhere across the globe and access them for free or buy them if the creators allow.
This is, arguably, the biggest and, perhaps, the best known 3D printing company. It is also the largest stock both in terms of total revenue and market capitalization. Since 2013, DDD stock has doubled and it shows no signs of letting up. The reason for this staggering growth lies in its numbers with quarter earnings in 2013 turning up revenues of more than $136 million, up 50% from the previous year. In fact, DDD stock has been profitable every single quarter since the beginning of 2009 when the Great Recession was in full effect. 3D systems is also heavily involved in Tyvek-based printing. This is proof positive that this is a real business with real potential.
Smaller than Stratasys or DDD, Voxeljet is a much more speculative play on the 3D printing stage that caters mainly to industrial clients such as Doranix industrial printers. Having only recently gone public, the company remains untested and there is little data about their operations. But while its stock is not really well known by consumers or investors, it does have a big tail wind behind its back in the form of R&D plans. Voxeljet has and continues to invest heavily in research and development, with a portfolio of over 150 U.S. and international applications and patents. The company raised over $84 million in its IPO three years ago which should go a long way in putting these patents into action and consequently seize the opportunity in the fast-evolving 3D printing space.
EXoNE is a much smaller, and by extension, more speculative company than, say, 3D systems. The company is yet to turn a profit and its anemic revenues are only in the tens of millions of dollars annually but if you want to access the ground floor of the 3D printing industry, then ExOne might just be your best last chance.
ExOne specializes in 3D printers producing both production parts and prototypes, and has found a niche in several industries, including energy and automobiles. While it may lack the consumer appeal of a MakerBot, its enterprise focus could mean that the company is built more on sustainable sales than a simple fad appeal among tech junkies looking to catch the latest trend.
PRLB is the odd man out in this group of 3D printing companies because it is technically a computerized numerical control manufacturer rather than a 3D printing company. This is a fancy way of saying that ProtoLabs conducts high-tech machining using computer-controlled methods and robots to create things and machinery operate- not exactly 3D printing, but pretty close. PRLB produces custom-machined parts and injection-molded plastic parts for clients around the world denoting its business-orientation.
Following a turbulent period in the 1980s and 1990s, South American banks are beginning to slowly come into their own. Buoyed by the adoption of international regulatory standards and a number of thriving economies throughout Latin America, the region’s financial services sector is undergoing a period of enormous transformation. Today, the 10 biggest banks in South America are largely concentrated in Mexico and Brazil with the latter claiming the five biggest institutions in terms of asset size while the former plays host to four other banks. Below, therefore, we take a look at 7 of the largest banks in South America as follows:
In the wake of Mexico’s financial crisis in the 90s, Banorte was quick to act by acquiring multiple banks and quickly establishing its presence throughout the country. Known in official circles as Grupo Financiero Banorte, the bank offers investment services, insurance and annuity products, retirement funds, retail banking products, and warehousing capabilities. Banorte boasts an asset base of $74 billion.
Banamex was founded in 1884 through the merger of Banco Mercantil Mexicano and Banco Nacional Mexicano and is now officially a Citigroup subsidiary. The bank’s asset base stands at $85 billion and boasts more than 20 million customers as well as over 1,700 branches. Some of the financial firms under the Banamex umbrella include Afore Banamex retirement plan services, Banamex insurance, and Accival brokerage services.
Bancomer, a subsidiary of Spanish company BBVA, is Mexico’s biggest bank in terms of deposits and assets ($101 billion in assets). Its revenue stream includes among others mutual fund and insurance management, stock brokerage services, and retail banking operations. BBVA Bancomer now boasts nearly 7,750 ATMs and 1,800 branches spread throughout the country.
Established in the late 1960s, Ciaxa is considered a ‘private government entity’ owing to its close relationship with the Finance Ministry in Brazil. It plays a key role in implementing national housing policies and executing income transfer programs whilst also managing Brazil’s lottery program. Caixa Economica Federal boasts an asset base in excess of $380 billion.
Based in Sao Paulo, Banco Bradesco serves business as well as individual clients and offers retirement plans and insurance services besides the traditional banking products. With an asset base of over $391 billion, Banco Bradesco is currently the second-largest privately owned financial institution as well as Brazil’s third-largest bank.
Serving 40 million customers through a network of 28,000 ATMs and more than 4,000 branches, Itau provides merger and acquisition support, investment banking operations, as well traditional corporate banking services. In addition, Itau Unibanco Holding also works closely with more than 700 institutional clients in Asia, United States, and Europe. With an asset base of more than $445 billion, it is little wonder that it has such global outreach.
With an asset base of over $555 billion, the government-run Banco do Brasil is, undoubtedly, South America’s most dominant bank. Besides lending to businesses and individuals, this behemoth also offers foreign exchange capabilities and asset management services. Banco do Brasil has its headquarters in Brasilia but also has operations in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and North America.