Tiger tales of eras past

first_imgPiece by piece, the origins of Lang Lang Football Club’s identity are being discovered by two men from vastly different…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription. By sports editor Russell Bennett last_img

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Essequibo farmer loses $1.5M in cash crops after his land was sprayed

first_img― suspect still at largeA father of four from Adventure Village in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) is now clueless as to how he would provide for his family now that his livelihood has been intentionally destroyed by someone who sprayed his farm.The damaged tomato cropDevendra Persaud cultivates 17.9 acres in the Onderneeming Sandpit area and according to him he has lost an estimated $1.5 million in crops.The man related that upon visiting his farm on December 5 he discovered that the area had been sprayed with a substance suspected to be poison. Over 1200 tomatoes, 300 peppers, 600 bora, and a quantity of water melon were destroyed.All the plants he said, were in bearing stages. Clueless as to his next move, Persaud said after inspecting his land he immediately made a report at the Suddie Police Station, after which Police ranks promptly visited the scene. However, the suspect remains at large.A damaged section of the farmThe man is contemplating his next move: “I nicely plant my crops so that Christmas I can reap, everything would have come in for Christmas. The suspect is out there, he has been threatening me on a number of occasions.”Persaud, who recently took a loan from IPED is pondering how to repay that loan since his crop has been destroyed. The distraught farmer is therefore calling for the Police to apprehend the suspect.He is seeking any assistance to recultivate his farm.last_img read more

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It’s on! Sir Alex aims dig at Rafa

first_img0Shares0000MANCHESTER, United Kingdom, November 23 – Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has taken a swipe at Rafael Benitez’s appointment at Chelsea after questioning the London club’s decision to sack Roberto Di Matteo.Benitez was installed as Di Matteo’s successor on a short-term contract at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, hours after Chelsea lost 3-0 to Juventus in the Champions League. There is no love lost between Ferguson and Benitez, who criticised his title rival while in charge of Liverpool in 2009, claiming he was the only manager to avoid punishment from the authorities.Ferguson was quick to renew his rivalry with Benitez on Friday, springing to the defence of Di Matteo, who masterminded Chelsea’s Champions League triumph in May.The United manager told a news conference in Manchester: “Everyone feels for Roberto Di Matteo, and quite rightly.“It’s quite amazing that you win the FA Cup and the Champions League (and lose your job). The biggest disappointment for me is that in two weeks’ time, they go to the Club World Cup.“You’d think that they would give the guy the chance to win that.“Rafa Benitez is very lucky because on his CV in two weeks’ time he could have two Club World Championships to his name — and (he had) nothing to do with the teams.“Jose Mourinho won the treble after going to (Inter) Milan. He (Benitez) took over and won the Club World Cup without having to do anything.“He had nothing to do with the constrution of the team and that’s where I feel real disappointment for Roberto Di Matteo.“He could really have on his CV an FA Cup, a Champions League and a Club World Cup. It’s a pity for him.”United entertain bottom-of-the-table Queens Park Rangers on Saturday, after former United player Mark Hughes was sacked as coach of the London club on Friday.QPR have yet to win a league game and Ferguson said he had expected them to do better.Speaking before Hughes’ dismissal had been announced, he said: “I’m surprised his team have only got four points.“I didn’t think they would be top of the league or anything like that. But by having only four points, that creates so many headlines.”Striker Wayne Rooney will return after recovering from a bout of tonsilitis as United look to bounce back from two straight defeats.Having slumped to a surprise 1-0 loss at Norwich City last Saturday, a young United side lost by the same scoreline to Galatasaray in Turkey in the Champions League on Tuesday.Defender Chris Smalling is also available after a shoulder problem, but Nani (hamstring) and Jonny Evans (groin) are not available.With leaders Manchester City not playing Chelsea until Sunday, United will return to the top of the table if they defeat QPR, the day after a nine-foot bronze statue of Ferguson was due to be unveiled.Former United players, including Eric Cantona and Ruud van Nistelrooy, were scheduled to attend a ceremony outside Old Trafford on Friday afternoon.Ferguson’s first captain, Bryan Robson, was also expected to be there, along with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who scored the famous injury-time match-winner in the 1999 Champions League final.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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Anfield evacuated after security alert

first_img“There is an incident at Anfield stadium, and as a precautionary measure the facility has been evacuated,” said a Liverpool spokesman.“Our priority is to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone at the ground. The emergency services are aware of the situation.”Merseyside Police said in a statement: “Merseyside Police can confirm that a search of Anfield football stadium is currently under way after the club raised an alert earlier this afternoon.“At 3.05pm (1505 GMT), the club reported to Merseyside Police that the ground had been evacuated after a man who had been on a tour was unaccounted for and believed to be in the stadium.“The club cannot guarantee that the man has left the ground and therefore a search of the ground is under way.”Anfield is due to host Liverpool’s League Cup fourth-round tie against Bournemouth on Wednesday.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Anfield stadium in Liverpool, pictured on October 20, 2012, was evacuated after two men who were taking part in a stadium tour went missingLONDON, October 27 – Liverpool’s Anfield stadium was evacuated on Tuesday after an “incident”, the Premier League club said.Reports said that the evacuation call was made after two men who were taking part in a stadium tour went missing, which saw police called to the ground.last_img read more

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TOP FUN AT GLENSWILLY SUMMER CAMP – PICTURE SPECIAL!

first_imgFor the second year running Glenswilly GAA Club and local parents have come together to hold a hugely successful summercamp for local children.Almost 80 children occupied themselves for the entire week with a range of activities including athletics, football, drama workshops, baking as well as arts and crafts and other ‘experiments’!And there wasn’t a computer game in sight for the entire week. The children are today awaiting some of their local heroes in the form of GAA stars Michael Murphy, Neil Gallagher and Gary McFadden.TOP FUN AT GLENSWILLY SUMMER CAMP – PICTURE SPECIAL! was last modified: August 23rd, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Glenswilly Summer Camplast_img read more

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West Ham transfer news: Batshuayi loan, Hernandez bid rejected and Perez exit

first_img 6 gameday cracker ANALYSIS It looks to be time up for Lucas Perez in London targets West Ham currently sit eleventh in the Premier League, firmly secured in mid-table.This is a position Manuel Pellegrini’s men would certainly have taken given their woeful start to the campaign, as they lost their first four matches. Gomez will be loaned back to Los Celticos for the rest of the season Lucas Perez: Betis Over SchalkeSchalke appeared to be the frontrunners to secure Lucas Perez’s signature, however the German side wanted an initial loan with the option to buy in the summer.Real Betis meanwhile, are willing to pay £3.5m for an immediate permanent deal and so according to Sky this transfer is close. The average first-team salaries at every Premier League club in 2019 Martin Peters, 1966 World Cup final goal scorer for England, dies aged 76 Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT LATEST WEST HAM NEWS Javier Hernandez has far from peaked under Manuel Pellegrini Javier Hernandez: Bid RejectedIt’s reported by Sky that Valencia have made a £7m bid for Javier Hernandez.The Mexican was previously said to be eager to leave due a lack of game time, but the club have rejected the offer. Where every Premier League club needs to strengthen in January However, the Hammers have recently returned to losing ways, suffering three consecutive defeats to Bournemouth, Wimbledon and Wolves.Now they will seemingly look to dip into the transfer market on January’s final day to address outstanding issues. target revealed 6 Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won getty BIG PRESENTS UP TOP center_img GETTY Alternative Premier League table based on expected goals – lucky Spurs? 6 Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? 6 Maxi Gomez: Edging CloserOne deal that is nearing completion is a £40million move to sign Uruguayan striker Maxi Gomez.Gomez has been on fine form in LaLiga this season for Celta Vigo – netting nine times in 19 appearances for the club.However, it’s reported that he will sign for West Ham and will be loaned straight back to Celta, as the Spanish outfit are unwilling to let their main striker go without finding a replacement. Michy Batshuayi: Loan SwitchThe Hammers are considering making a move to recruit Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi on loan, according to SkyHe could come in while the side waits for Maxi Gomez to arrive on a permanent basis. REVEALED 6 Mesaque Dju: Done DealWest Ham have completed the signing of 19-year-old forward Mesaque Dju.The Portugal Under-20 joins on a free transfer from Benfica having agreed a three-and-a-half-year contract.He said: “I know a lot about West Ham because it is a very big club in England and helps young players get to the first team.“I want this and I’m working for this. I want to help the team and I want to score a lot of goals for this team.” Manuel Pellegrini’s West Ham are mid-table and out of the cup competitions Tributes to ‘complete gentleman’ Martin Peters following England legend’s death Mesaque Dju battled with Ryan Sessegnon in the 2017 UEFA Under-19 Euro final REVEALED RIP LEGEND Tottenham line up bid for West Ham star who was labelled a ‘monster’ by Mourinho Michy Batshuayi struggled for form with Valencia earlier this season What every Premier League club’s fans dream of this Christmas 6 sad day last_img read more

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Rick and Bubba joining New WSLM Morning

first_imgCoffee Club, WSLM’s previous morning show aired from 8:00-8:30a and White has been looking to add a traditional morning show, airing from 5a until 9a each morning.“We’ve been looking at the right combination of personalities to have and I think we’ve found that in Rick and Bubba,” she said. “We’ll still be featuring our local guests during Coffee Club and FYI each week as well as being joined by Rick and Bubba until 9a.”White wanted a quality morning crew that weren’t SHOCK JOCKS like Bob and Tom and others.”Rick and Bubba call themselves “The Two Sexiest Fat Men Alive.” Said White. “They often refer to their Christian faith and beliefs on air and have been regarded as a family-safe alternative to “shock jocks” often associated with morning radio. Their political beliefs are also very conservative. And don’t believe they don’t have fun because you’ll be laughing with tears on your way to work.”At 9a, religious programming will continue on 1220 AM, while Classic Rock and Oldies music will continue uninterrupted on WSLM 97.9 FM.“We’re finally transitioning the programming to more of what WSLM listeners remember – with some positive changes” said White. “As the studios have been renovated and modernized, we have switched some programming around. Now that we’re done with that phase, we’ll be settling our programming into regular spots on both stations.”White said 1220 AM will feature classic country music along with original Christian programs during the morning such as Memory Moments at 9:15a, Blue Sky Church at 9:30a and Thru The Bible Radio at 10:30a.Saturday mornings will include a two-hour Rick and Bubba show from 6-8a; then feature the Saturday Morning Trivia edition of Coffee Club at 8a.During the fall and spring, WSLM will continue to air COACH”S CORNER at 8:30a.During the rest of the year, that time slot will feature COWBOY CORNER and at 9:15a, Memory Moments. Blue Sky Church will continue at 9:30a and be followed by The Indiana State Police Road Show at 9:45a. The mid-morning news will be at 10a, followed by the Silver Creek Bluegrass Show, a regional show hosted each week by Dr. Floyd Robinson.WSLM will continue to feature the Don Hicks’s program, Treasure in the Fields at 11a.At Noon, WSLM 1220 AM will air the Kentuckana Exclusive Broadcast of The Crook and Chase Country Countdown.WSLM 1220 AM will also feature local and regional sports action as the Home of the West Washington Senators and Purdue University Football and Basketball. 1220 AM is also home to the Cincinnati Reds.Saturdays on WSLM 97.9 FM will feature Classic Rock and Oldies all day long as well as local and regional sports in season – IU Football or Basketball; Indianapolis Colts football and NASCAR and INDY races. 97.9 FM is also home of the Salem Lions.Sundays on WSLM 1220 AM will feature the Gaither Gospel show at 7a, followed by local and regional Christian programming throughout the day until 6p. At that time, WSLM 1220 AM will air a repeat of the Crook and Chase program.Sunday mornings on WSLM 97.9 FM, from 6-8a, there will be a new travel program called “Rudy Maxa’s World.”Rudy Maxa is one of America’s premier consumer travel experts whose writings and radio and television shows have helped save thousands of travelers both time and money. A former Washington Post investigative reporter and life-long traveler, Rudy began covering the travel industry 20 years ago for public radio’s evening business show, “Marketplace,” where his commentaries under his moniker, “The Savvy Traveler,” were heard by millions of listeners.“We’re adding programs I think people will enjoy,” said White. “Not only have we added Sports programs listeners can’t get anywhere else in the region, but we’ve added DELILAH and we have a great lineup in the mornings – and all day long — that will be suitable for the entire family.”A complete schedule of programming can be found online at wslmradio.com WSLM is unveiling some changes for the summer – including THE NEW WSLM MORNINGS, featuring The Rick and Bubba Show and Becky – starting at 5a each weekday morning on 1220 AM WSLM COUNTRY and WSLM 97.9 FM.“We’ll be joined by Rick Burgess and Bill “Bubba” Bussey on our new morning show beginning at 5a each weekday morning,” said Becky White, WSLM Owner and general manager. “The show will begin on Tuesday, June 3 and they will bring humor, national news and interesting interviews to the Kentuckiana area on WSLM. This will be another exclusive for WSLM to provide to the area.”last_img read more

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Finish Line is Winning Big with Big Data

first_imgReturn fraud and abuse continues to cost retailers billions of dollars every year—$16 billion to be exact. But some retailers like Finish Line, a $16 billion premium retailer of athletic shoes, apparel, and accessories, are fighting back and combatting return fraud head on with winning results.Headquartered in Indianapolis, Finish Line operates approximately 1,400 branded locations primarily in U.S. malls and shops inside Macy’s department stores and has a strong online retail presence. With a mission to connect to young, fashion-conscious individuals through a premium-brand experience, Finish Line’s retail stores play an important role in delivering this premium experience. More than 14,000 “sneakerologists” are employed across the country, so maintaining a consistent loss prevention strategy and process is paramount to preserving that premium customer experience.Seeking to protect the company from return fraud while continuing to provide an inviting customer experience, in 2005 Finish Line turned to a real-time, consumer-based return authorization solution called Verify from The Retail Equation. It helps prevent fraudulent and abusive transactions from occurring by using predictive analytics to identify and stop high-risk returners, increasing net sales, and reducing return rates, while ensuring all legitimate returns can be made.- Sponsor – Creating an effective returns policy that protects the company from loss without negatively impacting sales or customer loyalty requires a careful balance; it’s both an art and a science. This solution quickly became a valuable tool to streamline the return processes at the point of sale, help enforce the return policy, and provide management discretion to evaluate suspect returns as needed.A Powerful Resource for the Whole TeamUnderstanding that the return authorization solution could bring far more benefit to the company than just within the loss prevention department, we collaborated with Finish Line’s IT and operations departments through the selection and implementation processes. Our LP team had the foresight to know that a technology spending decision should not be made solely through the scope of loss prevention because the success of this implementation would depend on—and benefit—virtually every department.Several years after we implemented the returns management technology, our foresight has proved to be true. By understanding return patterns through the data captured in the system, we have learned about merchandise categories, product groups, and specific items that can help loss prevention, merchandising, operations, and even our vendors. We have a tool that can truly curb return fraud without alienating loyal customers and deterring future sales. And we were able to integrate the system with our existing exception-based reporting application to provide a clear picture of what’s happening in the business.Furthermore, for operations executives and in-store teams, the solution has helped tighten POS processes and controls. In effect, we have helped improve the consumer’s return experience and engender their loyalty through a quick, efficient, and easy-to-manage return process that eliminates all guess work from our store employees.A Historically Strong Offense against Return FraudBy understanding return patterns through the data captured in the system, we have learned about merchandise categories, product groups, and specific items that can help loss prevention, merchandising, operations, and even our vendors. We have a tool that can truly curb return fraud without alienating loyal customers and deterring future sales.The solution helps quickly determine whether a return is accepted or declined—guiding the salesperson and removing the guesswork. While each retailer can choose the best way to identify consumers, previously with every return at Finish Line, the customer was required to present a valid government-issued identification, which was then swiped at the point of sale (POS). Pertinent data was captured in the system, encrypted for security, and instantly run through a series of predictive algorithms and statistical models. Almost immediately, the system generated one of three recommendations for the return—accept, warn, or decline.The automated returns tool improved the consistency in Finish Line’s return procedures. The solution’s analytics backbone consistently uses the same parameters to apply the return policy guidelines, as opposed to a cashier having to make a subjective decision with each return—a situation that can escalate emotions and lead to customer dissatisfaction or accepting fraudulent returns in a panic, both of which are very damaging to a retail company.Taking a proactive, analytics-driven approach to return authorization helped deter fraudsters and shoplifters who often attempt to return stolen merchandise for cash. Any attempt to return merchandise with frequency is detected, and immediately the transaction is flagged, and the store associate is notified to deny the transaction. Prior to this system, we were unable to capture that data, much less make it available in real-time. With this increased insight and intelligent decision making come cost savings. We recognized a return on investment through an improved rate of return within one year of implementation, and we expect to again see a decrease in return rate year-over-year when we re-deploy the solution with our new POS system. Shrink was also down markedly over the same time period. Additionally, there were improvements in customer experience, greater POS efficiency, and greater profitability thanks to reduced loss.Leveraging the Future to Create More Loyal FansThe most exciting part of Finish Line’s new solution deployment is our ability to directly enhance the return experience for our loyalty customers. Very soon, members in our Winners Circle program will need to present a government ID at return only once, and then every time afterward they will be identified by their loyalty info. This provides multiple benefits:It makes the return process easier and more streamlined for Winners Circle members,It creates an “easier returns” selling benefit to attract and sign up new loyalty members,It gives Finish Line associates an additional reason to ask a customer for their Winners Circle number at time of purchase, which gives us even better overall purchase history,andThe collection provides more big-data transaction information tied to specific consumers to help my business partners in store operations, marketing, e-commerce, and merchandising.By capturing this data in real-time at POS, we will provide greater insight into shopping trends and patterns and even better strategies to best reach customers and maintain loyalty. Additionally, an intelligent return authorization solution can help treat different consumer segments uniquely. We could add even more value to our loyalty program when these best shoppers can be quickly recognized and given a more lenient return policy. Ultimately, it creates a more premium return experience for Winners Circle customers.We are also creating an omnichannel environment by building a seamless return process between all business channels, as well as an expedited return/exchange process at the POS for both the customer and associate. Imagine implementing a “buy online, return in-store” policy with an easy way to validate that the purchase was actually made from your e-commerce site. This is very important for Finish Line since a majority of returns made from e-commerce sales are performed at stores and not sent back to the distribution center. The risk of these returns is greatly diminished, and the store can now focus on the shopper experience as opposed to fraud mitigation.These features are just scratching the surface. Knowing shoppers and their behavior in real-time, in-store is a huge advantage that adds value to the business.The Power of Connected Big DataWhen it comes to gaining insight into shopping habits and trends, there is no question that knowledge is power. Finish Line and other retailers are embracing data tools like exception-based reporting, predictive modeling, digital video, and ROI analysis to help identify previously hidden relationships to take decisive action to improve customer service and reduce the specters of fraud and shrink.Here’s how it works. Using analytics on top of linked data, we can build connections that reveal more about the customer. The better informed a retailer is about its shoppers, the better it can create strategies to market to them to generate future sales that meet the buyers’ needs and expectations, and therefore minimize returns. In Finish Line’s case, detailed data captured during a return transaction can ultimately reveal trends and preference that can help us provide better incentives, greater customization in the shopping experience, or additional merchandising flexibility.For example, let’s say a new shoe is hitting the market that is flashier and more colorful than shoes in the past. We decide to merchandise the shoe prominently on a display at the front of the store. As a result, the new shoe flies off the shelves, but then gets a lot of returns. The return data—what sizes, colors, styles were returned more—can be analyzed to separate potential fraud from other consumer issues, and ultimately provide insight to other departments to help determine, for instance, whether certain colors are less popular and should no longer be carried, or how merchandising displays might be designed differently to entice and help the shopper make a lasting purchase.Our primary objective with implementing this technology was to create a better consumer experience in our stores, while at the same time to get a handle on fraudulent returns, which are expensive for retailers. We then started to see other opportunities emerge by looking at the data captured in the system to help modify other processes by adjusting to meet customers’ interests and expectations.Collecting data and impacting business on a greater scale creates significant benefit. At Finish Line, the visibility all starts with the customer’s return. Over time you learn enough to link all of the data and have a holistic view of the customer. It is then possible to drill down even further through common threads of data to link disparate points.Each data type has variables allowing it to be linked with other data types. As shown in the customer linking details chart on page 19, beneath each high-level data type listed as a column heading are keys that you can link from one type of data to another. For example, employee number can be easily linked to customer name and then to other disparate data. The ability to take this additional information and tie it into existing and future analytics tools is very important.For Finish Line, these links add significant value to the analysis effort already in place with our exception-based reporting tool. In one case we started with a SKU that was missing in a physical inventory. We linked that SKU to a refund transaction during that inventory period and then connected it to the employee performing that refund.With infinite ways to use this data to improve business and gain intelligence, we have a tremendous cross knowledge of returns with inventory and employee behavior. To fully realize the benefits, it’s important to educate your business partners in store operations, marketing, e-commerce, and merchandising about customer behavior. With everyone on the same page, the real benefits are achieved, including an improved customer experience while shaping customer behavior.The Benefits to the Bottom LineThe more you know about a customer, the more you can affect your bottom line. Authorizing returns may have started as both a customer service improvement and fraud prevention initiative, but it has proven to be so much more.Everyone in the organization will benefit from this scientific, analytics-based understanding of overall customer behavior. It’s important to increase awareness about our overall return activity now and as our policies and procedures change. Store operations can reinforce policies with all store associates and be actively engaged in the shaping of new, profitable customer behaviors. Marketing is enhanced with a better loyalty program. Merchandising can be more creative. E-commerce is streamlined.At Finish Line this is much more than a loss prevention initiative; it involves the entire company. And the entire company has and will continue to benefit greatly from big data.SIDEBAR: Big Data Is Reshaping Retail LP Operationsby David Speights, PhD Businesses, including retailers, are losing 5 percent of revenues to fraud every year according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners’ 2014 Global Fraud Study. This is a staggering number, especially when applied to the 2013 estimated gross world product, which translates to nearly $3.7 trillion in potential projected global fraud loss.Many retailers are taking action to combat fraud by employing new technologies to monitor high-risk retail transactions. This is helping reshape retail loss prevention operations to deliver a better customer shopping experience, while effectively protecting company bottom lines.Technology Enhances the Collection and Monitoring of DataRetailers collect data from many sources, including store sales transactions, store video, traffic counters, alarms, merchandise movement, loyalty programs, e-commerce click paths, and much more. A large retailer collects millions of transactions and hundreds of millions of line items per day. To that, they add 30 to 60 gigabytes of video per store, per day. For a 1,000-store retailer, this could total 22 petabytes per year, or the equivalent of 23,068,672 gigabytes.Conventional systems like exception-based reporting and data-mining systems uncover direct relationships that occurred in the past on a single identifier. But big-data analytical tools take analysis to a new level by detecting the connections among seemingly unrelated identifiers to reveal underlying larger groups of transactions and individuals. For example, a return authorization technology like The Retail Equation’s Verify-3 solution helps prevent fraud and abuse in real-time during the return process, not the day after, while simultaneously linking in all related information to an individual. This type of response is not possible with conventional systems because they simply cannot process the complex analytics and deliver accurate answers fast enough to authorize a transaction in process.Many companies and solution providers have approached the data size or analytics problems by investing in a small number of bigger, faster hardware machines. This works up to a point. However, the massive amounts of data building up in the system and the complex analytical methods required to unearth the information is more than most traditional computing architectures can handle.Big data-oriented companies achieve high-processing speeds by using special tools like the Hadoop platform to split data into thousands of chunks and distribute the load across a very large number of machines. We have developed custom software to operate in this environment to tackle very tough analytical challenges. Additionally, tools like IBM’s PureData (formerly Netezza) data-warehouse appliances are also used for added throughput and operate on a similar parallel-processing architecture. This architecture decreases processing time by more than 90 percent versus more traditional hardware/software deployments. A query that may take five hours to process using SAS on a conventional single-server system takes only minutes on a Hadoop or PureData parallel-processing architecture. In the field a return authorization completes in milliseconds.Knowing Precisely What to Look ForPredictive algorithms and machine learning techniques rely on big-data tools to quickly improve the shopping experience and reduce return fraud and shrink simultaneously. Companies can process the data from all the transactions in the chain and identify suspicious behavior indicative of any form of return fraud or abuse, including wardrobing, returning stolen merchandise, receipt fraud, price arbitrage, price switching, double dipping, check fraud, and tender fraud. When an individual attempts to make a return, systems perform calculations and in a fraction of a second predict the likelihood of whether the return is fraudulent.While the vast majority of consumers (about 99 percent) are approved, those whose actions are highly suspicious are warned or denied. This is an important point to notice. The system allows and supports generous return policies, so profitable consumers enjoy a fast and pleasant return process, including those who make numerous returns. In fact, the most valuable consumers tend to have a very high number of returns, which is why it is best to not rely solely on simple return-velocity calculations, but rather use big data to identify fraudulent patterns of behavior in real-time.Complex queries can also be used to identify organized retail crime rings and fraudulent returners by linking seemingly independent events. The diagram above shows a cluster of suspicious purchase and return events.At the center of each dandelion-like cluster is one person (or one ID). The thin lines connecting the clusters show a “hidden” connection, such as a gift card being passed among conspirators. On their own the clusters may appear to be legitimate (high-volume buyers often return many items), but the value of the returns exceed the value of purchases, and the connections indicate probable fraud by a group or an individual using multiple identities. Software-as-a-Service applications can halt the group’s returns immediately, and special reports can provide investigators with the information necessary to pursue a case. The big-data tools allow companies to maintain and update the linked identities on more than a billion linkages each day.The amount of return-related fraud is a staggering $9 to $16 billion problem, according to the 2013 Consumer Returns in the Retail Industry report released in January 2014 by the National Retail Federation. Many of these losses are preventable using the technology available today. Fraudsters depend on system delays and lapses in judgment by the cashiers and associates on the front lines.However, when big-data analytics replace subjective decisions, fraud and shrink diminish substantially, reducing return rates by an average of 8.2 percent and shrink by 12.95 percent. A $2 billion retailer would see about $15 million in savings per year, and retailers see a steep decline in return rates beginning immediately after the system is live. Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more

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A New Perspective

first_imgThis is another in a series of interviews with working loss prevention professionals who have earned their LPQ or LPC certifications from the Loss Prevention Foundation (LPF) to hear in their own words why they pursued certification and how it has benefited their careers. Karla Hutchinson, LPC, is the asset protection administration systems manager for Brookshire Grocery in Tyler, Texas. Her career started with the company thirty-two years ago as a cashier in one of its retail locations. Hutchinson worked in human resources for about ten years and had several different roles in safety, asset protection, and retail operations.Why did you decide to pursue certification? I had the opportunity to attend my first Food Marketing Institute conference in 2010, and during the conference I learned about the various certifications offered by the Loss Prevention Foundation. Fortunately, my name was drawn to receive the LPC scholarship as a door prize for stopping by their booth. Wanting to advance my career and enhance my experience with loss prevention, I seized the opportunity.- Sponsor – Was the course what you expected? The coursework provided much more than what I expected. As a newly promoted LP professional, I wanted to learn more about the LP side of business. My background was retail, education, and training. I came into our LP organization with little practical knowledge of the loss prevention. The courses gave me a great deal of knowledge of loss prevention, safety, and business concepts.Tell us more about the process. The coursework provided up-to-date information about a large number of topics. I liked that you could read the information, take practice tests at the end of each section, and go back to review the materials if you liked. I would make note cards with the information and carried my notes with me to review wherever I went. This method helped me learn the information and gave me a great deal of confidence when I took the exam.Looking at your own personal development, what information within the course helped you the most? The program gave me a better foundation of how important it is to have department goals that are in line with the company’s strategic plans. My team works toward a common goal, and the course helped me with setting goals that will benefit the company.What benefits have you seen from taking the course? I believe that studying the coursework and receiving my certification has given me an extra layer of knowledge that has helped advance my career in this profession. I now approach my job with much more confidence knowing that I have a greater foundation of knowledge about loss prevention and look forward to learning something new from every experience that I am a part of.Would you recommend certification to others? Absolutely. The certification provides you with a wide range of business knowledge and gives you real-life situations that put that knowledge in a context that you can relate to. It’s an awesome opportunity to learn from the many veterans in the industry who contributed to the development of the certification program.If you could offer one key takeaway to someone currently considering getting certified, what would it be? Just do it! You will not only be better equipped with greater information to do your job, but you will also gain a personal sense of accomplishment. We are never going to grow professionally if we don’t continue to learn. The challenge is rewarding. Jump in and take the certification. You will learn so much and will show your colleagues the value and investment you have in your own career growth.Newly Certified Following are individuals who recently earned their certifications.Recent LPC Recipients Deborah Abood, LPC, Bed Bath & Beyond Glenn Alexander, LPC, Ahold USA Alex Almaraz, LPC, Lowe’s Vicki Burnette, LPC, MRCO Shawn Canfield, LPC, Ahold USA Gregory Dinneen, LPC, Ahold USA Aidan Duffy, LPC, The Sports Authority Thomas Elser, LPC, Ahold USA Hector Erazo, LPC, CFI, PI, Walmart Daytona Erkan, LPC, American Eagle Outfitters Dion Fessler, LPC, Ahold USA Justin Ford, LPC, Fred Meyer Nathan Frazier, LPC, Helzberg Diamonds Gerald Haliburton, LPC, Lowe’s Jeffrey Hess, LPC, Ahold USA Scott Hoffmeister, LPC, Giant Food Stores Douglas Johnson, Jr., LPC, Giant Food Stores Lisa Johnson, LPC, Lowe’s Joshua Lamond, LPC, Neiman Marcus Jeffrey Martin, LPC, Lowe’s Michael Murphy, LPC, Ahold USA Brian Nowlan, LPC, Goodwill Industries of Seattle Daniel Perron, LPC, Rite Aid Richard Rabuck, LPC, Weis Markets Brendan Rys, LPC, Ahold USA Hector Santos, LPC, Ahold USA Donald Schleicher, LPC, The Mershimer Group Richard Shafer, LPC, Ahold USA Mark Stebbe, LPC, Burlington Coat Factory Lisa Sternbane, LPC, Delhaize America Nancy Tabeek, LPC, 7-Eleven Robert Thornton, LPC, Ahold USA Chuck Tyler, LPC CFI, Target Stores Paul Ullrich, LPC, Ahold USA Jason Vanne, LPC, Ahold USA John Vey, LPC, Ahold USA Calvin Watson, LPC, Lowe’s Bryan Wilson, LPC, Ahold USA Joseph Yannes, Jr., LPC, Ahold USA Carol Zielinski, LPC, WalgreensRecent LPQ Recipients Ronald Averette, LPQ, Publix Super Markets Daniel Bambas, LPQ, Walmart Stores Relana Brokmann, LPQ, PayPal Brian Casey, LPQ, American Military University Ryanne Jones, LPQ Robert Kolkebeck, LPQ Frank Maisch, LPQ, 7-Eleven William Muenzer, LPQ, Belk Elmelo Punongbayan, Jr., LPQ Bradley Schmidt, LPQ, Publix Super Markets Terrance Williams, LPQ, Billy Reid Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more

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Bing, Barely 3 Years Old, Catches Up With Yahoo in Search Market

first_imgTags:#news#search#web It’s not even three years old yet, but Microsoft’s Bing search engine now has about the same share of the market as Yahoo, which has been around since 1995. Bing hit 15% of the search engine market in November, according to ComScore. Yahoo had 15.1%.Both sites trail far behind Google, which holds onto more than 65% of the market. While that position isn’t threatened by any other search engine, it’s interesting to note how quickly Bing has risen in the last few years. Bing has a number of factors working in its favor. First, it’s made by Microsoft, which has a huge marketing budget and the freedom to bake Bing into many of its own products. Earlier this year, the search engine was found to be emulating Google rather closely, to put it nicely. It also doesn’t hurt that Yahoo has been shifting its attention to things other than search and continues to struggle to figure out which endeavors would best support its business in the future. ComScore’s numbers didn’t include mobile search traffic, but that will certainly be a trend to watch moving forward. Between Android’s massive market share and Google’s position as the default search engine on Safari for iOS, the current market leader on desktops is sure to remain dominant on mobile devices for quite some time, even if Apple does move away from Google at some point. The mobile search game is one area where Google and Apple don’t compete directly. Microsoft has a worthwhile mobile OS in Windows Phone 7, but best of luck to them in challenging both iOS and Android. john paul titlow A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

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