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24/7 Software Blog

“Something is strange with the economy,” writes Greg Rosalsky in their recent NPR article entitled “Is Our Economy In The Upside Down?

“Normally, in good times, the government seeks to balance its books a bit, borrowing less, paying off some debt or — gasp — maybe even aiming for a budget surplus. And right now, on some important measures, economic times are good. But the government has been increasing spending and cutting taxes — and the budget deficit is projected to grow to nearly $1 trillion, an increase of over 35% since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was passed in 2017. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve would normally be raising interest rates to make sure the price of everything doesn't get out of control. But high inflation is nowhere to be seen, and the Fed is now cutting interest rates,” explains Rosalsky.

According to the NPR article, “We're living in the Upside Down. You know, like that shadowy land in Stranger Things, where the laws of physics don't apply and monsters might eat you. It's an alternate dimension where economic textbooks are being thrown out the window. A scary place where despite big deficits and easy money, the economy is slowing down to a rate below historical averages and wage growth remains disappointing. And it's a place where frightening monsters, or demogorgons, continue to scare away investment and productivity. Slaying these monsters is the key to growth and prosperity, but we seem to be stuck in this new world where investment and productivity will not come roaring back.”

“Can we escape?” asks Rosalsky.

“Could you escape?” was our first question following the one above.

We don’t know how your operation is doing.

But we’re always concerned whether you’re running a reactive operation – one that’s in The Upside Down.

Call them what you want.

Your frightening monsters and Demogorgon lurk in unique ways to your properties.

Lack of awareness, poor communication, illegible handwritten documentation, and zero ability to analyze your operation’s effectiveness are good examples of the monsters we’ve seen.

Sound familiar?

Keep reading; we’re going to show you how Proactive Operations can help you move right side up.

“Consider, for a moment, the circuitous journey of the insecticide called thiamethoxam, on its way to killing a wild wasp,” writes Dan Charles in their recent NPR article entitled “New Evidence Shows Popular Pesticides Could Cause Unintended Harm To Insects.”

“Alejandro Tena, a researcher at the Valencia Institute of Agricultural Research, in Spain, mixed the chemical into water used to irrigate clementine trees. This is a common practice among citrus farmers. As intended, the tree roots absorbed the insecticide, and it spread throughout the trees' branches and leaves,” Charles explains.

The article continues, “A mealybug landed on the clementine tree, bit through the bark, and began feeding on tree sap underneath. The bug ingested traces of the insecticide. This, in fact, is how thiamethoxam is supposed to work.”

“Unfortunately, though, the pesticide's journey wasn't over. Traces of it showed up in a sticky, sugary, substance called honeydew that the mealybugs excrete. Honeydew is an important food for other insects, such as wasps and hoverflies. In Tena's experiments, wasps and hoverflies that fed on this contaminated honeydew died in large numbers. Wasps and hoverflies are a fruit grower's friends, because they help to fight harmful insects,” Charles writes.

According to the NPR piece, “Tena's study, published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is just the latest evidence that a family of pesticides called neonicotinoids, sometimes just called ‘neonics,’ can pose risks to the insect world that are not fully understood.”

We read this NPR article and thought, “wow.”

Talk about severe implications from an approach you believe to be working.

But the evidence is clearly proving the opposite.

It’s a contrast we can relate to with property operations.

Your property’s reactive mindset could be causing unintended harm.

But to what?

Everything from your awareness, to your communication to your documentation, and your ability to analyze valuable information is affected.

Not to mention, the long-term effect of this is on your staff and customers.

That’s dangerous.

Let’s change what you can control using the Proactive Operations methodology.

“Electric cars are all over the roads these days. But what about electric planes?” writes Ari Shapiro in their recent NPR article entitled “With An Eye Toward Lower Emissions, Clean Air Travel Gets Off The Ground.”

According to the article, “Air travel currently accounts for only about 2% of global carbon emissions. But it's expected to grow in the next century, and clean air travel is seen as a key part of slowing global warming.”

"We're expecting to see massive growth. The International Civil Aviation Organization projects upward of 700 percent growth by the middle of the century. So while it is small, it is going to be a larger and larger share," says Umair Irfan in Shapiro’s article, who writes about climate change, energy and the environment for Vox."

Irfan’s data got our attention.

We had an interesting observation – and takeaway – from this article and the information shared about the growth.

Can you see it?

Of course, there’s not a direct correlation, but the growth and the proactive introduction of a solution are aligned with our approach to operations.

Now, do you see it?

Okay, no more hints.

It’s how Proactive Operations got started, and it’s important to know because you’ll quickly understand the need for this methodology off the ground on your property.

Keep reading; we share how it all started below.

That way, you can have context and see how the supercritical framework for operations started.

“Equifax will pay up to $700 million in fines and monetary relief to consumers over a 2017 data breach at the credit reporting bureau that affected nearly 150 million people,” write Avie Schneider and Chris Arnold in their recent NPR article entitled “Equifax To Pay Up To $700 Million In Data Breach Settlement.”

According to the article, “The proposed settlement, which is subject to approval by a federal court, was announced Monday by the company, the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 48 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.”

“The consumer data exposed in the breach included Social Security numbers, birthdates and addresses and, in some cases, driver's license numbers,” Schneider and Arnold explain.

The NPR piece continues “CFPB Director Kathleen Kraninger said the settlement includes $425 million to cover the ‘time and money [people affected by the breach] spent to protect themselves from potential threats of identity theft or addressing incidents of identity theft as a result of the breach."

“Equifax also agreed to pay $175 million to the states and $100 million to the CFPB in civil penalties,” the article notes.

According to Schneider and Arnold, “starting in January, Equifax ‘will provide all U.S. consumers with six free credit reports each year for seven years,’ the FTC said. That's in addition to the free annual credit reports that Equifax, and the two other nationwide credit reporting agencies — Experian and TransUnion — currently provide.”

“One afternoon three years ago, Chelsey Vance decided to go for a walk. She took some ibuprofen before she left her Nashville, Tenn., apartment. She didn't know then that she was allergic to the medication,” writes Abigail Clukey in their recent NPR article entitled “Once Considered Creepy, Location Apps Now Seen As Critical For Safety, Logistics.”

Clukey continues, “About halfway down the trail, she felt like she was going to faint. Vance sent her roommate her location through iMessage and asked the roommate to come pick her up. She soon began fading in and out of consciousness as she went into anaphylactic shock.”

"I could feel my throat closing up, and I couldn't see anything. I couldn't find my phone to call 911, because I guess I dropped it when I was passing out," Vance says in the NPR piece.

“Because her roommate had her exact location, the roommate was able to find Vance quickly and call an ambulance. Vance credits the location-sharing service as the reason she's alive today. She now uses apps like Find My Friends to share her location with her boyfriend and close friends indefinitely, so they can find her immediately in case anything like that happens again,” Clukey explains.

According to the article, “Vance's story exemplifies one of the most obvious purposes of location sharing: safety. But it's used much more often in nonemergency situations. Modern relationships have become defined by the constant communication enabled by smartphones. Josh Constine, editor at large of the website TechCrunch, said constant checking-in through location sharing is the next natural step.”

We think so too.

And, of course, you know that anything related to safety will catch our attention.

This article resonated quickly.

Keep reading; we’re going to share why.

“Algorithms were around for a very long time before the public paid them any notice. The word itself is derived from the name of a 9th-century Persian mathematician, and the notion is simple enough: an algorithm is just any step-by-step procedure for accomplishing some task, from making the morning coffee to performing cardiac surgery,” writes Geoff Nunberg in their recent NPR article entitled “Algorithmic Intelligence Has Gotten So Smart, It's Easy To Forget It's Artificial.”

“Computers use algorithms for pretty much everything they do — adding up a column of figures, resizing a window, saving a file to disk. But all those things usually just happen the way they're supposed to. We don't have to think about what's going on under the hood,” explains Nunberg.

Nunberg continues, “But algorithms got harder to ignore when they started taking over tasks that used to require human judgment — deciding which criminal defendants get bail, winnowing job applications, prioritizing stories in a news feed. All at once, the media are full of disquieting headlines like ‘How to Manage our Algorithmic Overlords’ and ‘Is the Algorithmification of the Human Experience a Good Thing?"

According to the NPR article, “Ordinary muggles may not know exactly how an algorithm works its magic, and a lot of people use the word just as a tech-inflected abracadabra.”

“So it's natural to be wary of our new algorithmic overlords. They've gotten so good at faking intelligent behavior that it's easy to forget that there's really nobody home,” Nunberg remarks later in the piece.

Of course, this got us thinking about the evolution of Proactive Operations.