The Ascento Blog

Using Google Lens: What's next for visual search?

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 21, 2019 1:00:00 PM / by Jack Hawksworth posted in Digital Marketing

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Search is continually evolving. We know this. We know search changes and we know that Google like to keep all of us on our toes in understanding what latest activities lead to hitting that desirable position #1.

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The dark side of emotional intelligence

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 20, 2019 1:00:00 PM / by Simon Taylor

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So, you will all have heard of Emotional Intelligence (EI). It’s been around a while now, actually since Daniel Goleman’s 1995 book. However, before this, In 1983, Howard Gardner's Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences introduced the idea that traditional types of intelligence, such as IQ, fail to fully explain cognitive ability.

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How to use the Apprenticeship Levy strategically

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 18, 2019 2:20:11 PM / by Oliver Simpson posted in Apprenticeship Levy

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This is the sixth article in our 18 piece series on the Apprenticeship Levy. The one thing you should never do with apprenticeships is invest in them for the sake of just making sure that your levy pot is spent. As with any kind of business investment there should always be a clear business need in the first place, with a demonstrable method for ensuring a return on investment.

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The Apprenticeship Levy Digital Account

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 8, 2019 1:00:00 PM / by Oliver Simpson

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This is the fifth article in our 18 part series on the Apprenticeship Levy. Along the way, we’ve learned what the Apprenticeship Levy is, who’s eligible to contribute and use the levy, and what levy funds can be spent on. In our last piece, we confirmed that levy funds can be used for both new and existing employees, but must be spent on approved apprentice courses through the Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS) portal. This piece will be a direct continuation and go into more detail about DAS. Read on to learn how to create a DAS account, how to use it, and how to spend your valuable funds.

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Strategic planning - Making strategic thinking real

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 6, 2019 1:00:00 PM / by Simon Taylor posted in Leadership & Management

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In my last article, I comprehensively worked through the key components of strategic thinking and how it can operate within an organisational context. Of course, strategic thinking goes nowhere without the ability to strategically plan. In other words, put the thinking into action.

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What can the Apprenticeship Levy be spent on?

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 1, 2019 1:18:18 PM / by Oliver Simpson posted in Apprenticeship Levy

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This is the fourth article in our 18 piece series on the Apprenticeship Levy. So far, we’ve explored what the Apprenticeship Levy is, who’s eligible for contributions and who has access to the funds. In this piece, we’re going to be expanding on the last point and asking how Apprenticeship Levy funds can be spent. Can they be used to pay wages or cover travel costs? Can they be used to set up an apprenticeship programme or fund apprentices from existing programmes? These are all common questions, so let’s break things down.  

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Is Voice Search really taking over?

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 28, 2019 1:00:00 PM / by Jack Hawksworth posted in Digital Marketing

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“Alexa, play my ‘concentration’ playlist", would be something that I might say to my Amazon Echo as I prepare myself to get stuck into some background reading, data finding and thought splurging activities, if I had an Amazon Echo that is. You see, I’m rather sceptical about this development and honestly, this technology. I’m sure it has its uses and benefits for a lot of people, but personally all I find myself doing is trying to make Siri say something funny. Usually it isn’t. When that fails I’ll research some of my favourite people, but how much more can I know about Ryan Gosling?

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Strategic thinking - Real or not?

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 27, 2019 1:00:00 PM / by Simon Taylor posted in Leadership & Management

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I once worked with a colleague who always put a block in their diary across Monday morning. No one could disturb them, no phone calls got through. The place could be burning down, but they wouldn't leave their office. The door was locked and bolted from the inside (not quite, but you get the idea). in the diary for every Monday morning, it simply stated two words; "Strategic Thinking". On Monday afternoons, they were always in a foul frame of mind.  Asked how the morning has gone,  the reply was always the same - "dreadful, I've not been able to do anything"! The colleague, made the same mistakes every week for nearly forty-seven weeks a year. By simply blocking time out and calling it the thing they wanted to do, they honestly thought that it would happen, they would be able to think strategically. That's simply not how it works.

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How to calculate the Apprenticeship Levy

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 22, 2019 1:00:00 PM / by Oliver Simpson posted in Apprenticeship Levy

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This is the third article in our 18 part series on the Apprenticeship Levy. In our last post, we talked about whether or not it’s okay to use levy funds to train existing staff and what processes are involved.

This time, we’re turning our focus to the fund itself and how it’s generated. If you're eligible to pay into the levy, how is your contribution calculated? And how much of the fund will your business have access to? If you’re not paying into the fund you may still have access to levy funds, but how does that work? 

 

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Can the Apprenticeship Levy be used for existing staff?

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 15, 2019 1:00:00 PM / by Oliver Simpson posted in Apprenticeship Levy

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This is the second article in our 18 part series on the Apprenticeship Levy. In our first post we talked about the levy in general, how it is calculated and what it means for employers. In this article, we’ll be paying particular attention to employers who aren’t quite ready to hire new staff and want to learn whether or not they can use levy funds to train their existing employees.

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