THE PSYCHOLOGY OF KILLING – RAGE OR RECONCILIATION

Features: August 4th, 2017

With the constant threat of terrorism and news stories highlighting death, people may feel fearful when going about their business. Dr Stella Compton-Dickinson offers advice about how to deal with our own fears and help others deal with theirs.

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HMRC AUDIT BRINGS IMPORTANCE OF EFFICIENT FLEET MANAGEMENT TO LIGHT

Features: July 31st, 2017

The wide variety of business continuity checks that a HMRC audit covers has helped highlight the importance of utilising digital tools, such as vehicle tracking, in order to properly validate that the right fleet management procedures have been followed.

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HOW DO YOU BALANCE YOUR CHILD’S TECH PLAY WITH NATURAL PLAY?

Features: June 30th, 2017

Computer gaming has become ‘child’s play’. In this article Gill Hayward and Kellie Forbes explore the pros and cons and suggest a balance between computer and natural play.

A whopping 93% of kids aged 7-10 play computer games on a regular basis, with more than a third spending between one and two hours a day playing. As a parent, I’ve sometimes felt quite guilty about giving my son an iPad, even if it does keep him entertained playing an educational app. It feels a bit like lazy parenting and I worry it could be messing with his mind, or he should be reading a book instead.

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ELECTRONIC CALL MONITORING BOOSTS QUALITY AND CUTS COSTS

Features: June 23rd, 2017

Chris Haynes, Joint Commissioner for Gloucestershire County Council, explains how implementing new homecare technology has resulted in a better quality of service for adults with disabilities and improved joint working with external care providers.

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WORKING AS A THERAPIST WITH SEX OFFENDERS AND PAEDOPHILES

Features: April 21st, 2017

Michael Stock describes his experience working as a Counsellor and Psychosexual Therapist.

When I meet a client for the first time I see a suffering human being who has decided to try and deal with a difficult or troubling issue in their life, and who desperately hopes that I can help them. My role is to provide a safe environment in which they can share distressing material without feeling judged. This is true for counselling and sex therapy clients. It is also true for sex offenders and paedophiles but there are added challenges, because they most probably have come because they have been arrested and I must assume that they have harmed others, quite possibly children.

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LOCAL AUTHORITIES GEAR UP FOR THE EDUCATION HEALTH AND CARE PLAN DEADLINE

Features: March 31st, 2017

Mark Raeburn explores the implications for local authorities of the next stage of the government’s special educational needs and disabilities reforms.

The government recently announced that April 2018 is the deadline for local authorities to ensure that all children with special educational needs who are currently on old-style statements to be moved over to an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan – £40 million in funding is being made available to support this.

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NEW INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY FOR WEST LONDON

Features: March 10th, 2017

As the Spring 2017 budget gives more support for technology, a new Institute for Technology is announced for Ealing, in West London.

A DfE-backed review of further education has recommended that Ealing, Hammersmith and West London’s College develops its base as the largest provider of degree-level and higher-level technical qualifications in West London. The proposal will ensure the college can deliver the increasingly complex technical skills that employers in the region will need while doubling the number of apprenticeships available in the area.

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MAKING PUBLIC SECTOR CHANNEL SHIFT WORK

Features: March 3rd, 2017

VoiceSage’s Matthew Weil discusses cross-channel engagement and the practical ways we can make that happen in not just the commercial space, but the public sector too

The public wants to engage with their service providers in the way they want to, not the way Whitehall or the Town Hall necessarily want. Service users also want to discover the option that suits them best. But how can we make that flexibility happen in ways that meet that need – and help tight public sector budgets?

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ANALYTICS AGAINST FRAUD

Features: February 24th, 2017

The 2016 Annual Fraud Indicator, an industry report produced at the University of Portsmouth, estimated that fraud costs the UK £193 billion every year, with £144 billion attributed to business fraud. Having more financial services and more personal information online can entice fraudsters but organisations can also leverage this information to monitor and reduce risk. Here, Greg Richards, Sales and Marketing Director of business intelligence specialist Connexica, looks at how organisations can employ analytics software to manage the risks of fraud.

From paying council tax to paying a leisure centre membership, many tasks that previously required a trip to the local council office can now be completed online. While this is far more convenient for customers, it also gives the organisations a chance to cross-reference this large amount of data to prevent fraud.

According to the National Fraud Authority, fraud and corruption costs local government £2 billion a year. At a time when budgets are tight for local authorities, any financial savings have a large impact. Fraud and corruption reduce the amount of resources that are available for legitimate claimants and also reduce the money available for public services.

In response to these figures, Kent County Council’s counter fraud team set up the Kent Intelligence Network (KIN). Local authorities involved in the partnership unified a wide range of data before using analytics software to scrutinise the data to find matches and patterns which could potentially indicate fraudulent activity.

By using business analytics software, organisations can search for discrepancies between previously separated data sets such as council tax, benefits and leisure centre records. Council tax records may show that someone claims to live alone but leisure centre records may show multiple people registered at an address. Councils can use analytics software to flag up such discrepancies and investigate further based on quantitative findings.

Streams of data that need to be analysed may come from different types of software, especially when they come from different organisations. To successfully identify any potential fraudulent activity, business analytics software should be able to monitor data from different sources. For example, Connexica’s CXAIR software is able to monitor data from a number of common business applications such as Sage. CXAIR also uses plug-in adapters to import information from other services such as Twitter or LinkedIn.

Every day, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data. Due to this huge amount of data that large organisations record every day, it is impossible for employees to manually monitor all data to look for any suspicious activity, or to look for patterns. In banking, analytics software is often used to search for suspicious activity, such as a series of withdrawals or transfers to offshore accounts, and these can then be flagged for further monitoring.

It is vital that large companies have safeguards in place to protect against fraudulent activity. For example, bank employees have authorisation limits on the payments that they can make, but even these measures have previously been circumvented by making two smaller transactions rather than one large one. By using business analytics software, companies can trace all of the transactions that have been made by a teller if suspicions are raised. Software that uses natural language search makes this much easier for non-technical staff, who can search for all records by name. They will then see a record of all of the payments authorised by that teller and can identify any fraudulent activity.

With experts predicting an increase in fraud over the coming years, the annual fraud report recommends that companies should make investments into the development of anti-fraud detection systems. By using business analytics software, companies have increased control and management over the wide range of data that they hold and can better mitigate the risk of fraudulent activity.

Editor’s note: If you want to ensure you keep up to date with press material, opinion focussed blog content and case studies from Connexica, you can visit its media centre here – https://www.connexica.com/media/.

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THE TRUE COSTS OF MISSING THE SCHOOL TRANSPORT SCHEDULING WINDOW AND HOW BEST TO AVOID THEM

Features: February 21st, 2017

Paul Attenborough describes the problems councils face annually in inviting tenders for school transport. He offers suggestions for tackling the issue with rapid route planning.

According to the Department of Transport, 29% of 11-16 year olds use some form of bus transport when travelling to school. With more than 8.5 million pupils attending 24,000 schools in England that equates to up to 2.5 million school passengers a day. The provision of safe, reliable and efficient school transport poses a significant challenge for Local Authorities, especially when finances are constrained. Councils are under further pressure to minimise the number of vehicles needed, reduce CO2 emissions and minimise journey times for passengers.

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