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A Graphical Look at New Year's Resolutions

Each year, like clockwork, on January 1st millions of people take a long, hard (or maybe not-so long and hard) look at their lives and plan out their goals. I’m a list-maker and planner by nature, but I had never been into making New Year’s resolutions before I began working at Golden Software. All the statistics point to a system that is designed to fail. I heard on the radio recently that 75% of New Year’s resolutions are broken within the first 24 hours. Now, I don’t know about that, but it did get me thinking about the numbers behind New Year’s resolutions, and why the success rate was so low.

NY2016Blog.png

New Year’s resolutions by the numbers. These Grapher 11 graphs show the types and specific resolutions people make, what percentage of Americans make and keep their resolutions, and the percentage of resolutions that are kept over the first six months of the year. Data from http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2015/2015s-top-new-years-resolution-fitness.html and http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/ using our unique graphing software.

 

You may have noticed that I said I had never been into making New Year’s resolutions before I began working at Golden Software. This is an important distinction, because we at Golden Software do make resolutions, to a certain extent, and we have been successful in doing so. We call these SMART goals, and we present them to the entire group at the beginning of each year. Doing so gives us the opportunity to know what each of our coworkers is striving to accomplish, and keeps us accountable to one another. You may be wondering “What is a SMART goal?” SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic, and Time-related. It is a modus operandi for setting goals that you can actually achieve.

  • Specific – target a specific area for improvement
  • Measurable – quantify (or at least suggest) an indicator of progress
  • Assignable – specify who will do it
  • Realistic – state what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources
  • Time-related – specify when the result(s) can be achieved

 

Keeping these in mind, if your goal is to lose 20 pounds this year, you can break that down into specific goals to eat better and exercise more. You can measure your progress by keeping food and exercise logs, and have weekly weigh-ins to see how you’re doing. Here’s an example of one of my SMART goals for 2016: Increase training video content.

  • Specific – Create training videos to document both bigger, more generic topics and smaller details for each product.
  • Measurable – I've got a list of topics created by the product managers that I will cross off as I go.
  • Assignable – Leslie
  • Realistic – I think I can write one script per week, but it would be prudent to add in a little extra time for interaction with our product managers and our video creator, so I'll aim for three videos per month.
  • Time-related – At the end of each month, have three new videos uploaded.

 

So, if you’re one of those people who puts together New Year’s resolutions each year, or if you just want a better way to do long-term planning for work, here are my takeaways:

  • Make your goals SMART. If they’re vague or too large in scope, it will be easy to break them or get too overwhelmed to even try them in the first place.
  • Share your goals. If someone you’re close with knows what you’re trying to accomplish, you are accountable to them in addition to yourself, and they can help keep you motivated when you feel like giving up.
  • Be flexible. If you modify your goals as circumstances change, you’ll be less likely to break them altogether.
  • Go big or go home, and don’t be afraid of failure. If you aim to work out 5 times a week and only make 3 of those, that’s still better than not working out at all. If you don’t push yourself, you’ll never know what you can accomplish.

 

Happy resolving!

 

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01 March 2016
Company News

I was recently interviewed by Scientific Computing World (you can read the full article here), a global publication dedicated to providing computing and information technology resources to scientists and engineers. During this interview, I enjoyed discussing how the needs of these scientists and engineers have changed, and how Golden Software will continue meeting their needs in these ever changing times.

The month of March marks our 33rd anniversary, and as you can imagine, we have witnessed many changes over the past three decades! It’s difficult to recall days where printed image resolution of 24dpi was the norm, but that’s where we began. Our first product, PlotCall, was a breakthrough and offered 200dpi imagery resolution for computer generated maps. Fast forward to today and you’ll see our products used to generate maps and graphs for scientific publications, cutting-edge research, business intelligence reports, and even expert witness documents.

We’ve grown to be a global company with products sold in 186 countries and territories. Yet through it all, we’ve remained customer-centric with a tenacious focus on providing useful and intuitive mapping and graphing tools for users. All the while, we are easily accessible and have not entangled ourselves in layers of bureaucracy. When you call Golden Software, you will be greeted by a live, competent individual who is there to answer any and all of your questions.

It has been a pleasure to serve each and every one of you over the past 33 years, and all of us at Golden Software are excited to continue exceeding your expectations for the next 33 years and beyond!

You are welcome to directly send me any questions, comments, concerns, or suggestions. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,
Blakelee Mills
CEO
blakelee@goldensoftware.com

07 March 2016
Grapher

Prior to any release, our software undergoes a rigorous 6 week external testing period. This testing period, referred to as Beta Testing, gives a select group of Grapher customers an opportunity to provide their input on the new features and to test the functionality in their everyday use of the product. These individuals are extremely important to the final release as their input and testing ensures we have a stable and upgrade-worthy product.

During the Grapher 12 Beta Testing period, 20 individuals completed the testing period. Below are their comments on the newest set of Grapher features.

  • "I use Grapher exclusively for any graph that goes into a report that leaves my office." Paul Maconochie, Principal Geotechnical Engineer, GeoTek Solutions
  • Regarding the color gradient fill set to values: "Absolutely works great for linear-scaled graphs. Cool thing is we can save *.clr file and then use that file to set color-filled contours in Surfer when we need Grapher and Surfer colors to match. Or, vice versa. Nice way to get these products to play together." Gary Rice, GeoFrontiers
  • "I've been using Grapher since 1998 and have always appreciated the high quality appearance of the exported graphs. Use of the program leading to the finished graph products has been easy to learn. This is one of the things I like about being able to do beta-testing for Golden Software: the testing process nearly always exposes me to new and old functions within the tested software I never had occasion to use before." Larry Turner, Managing Geologist, DIR Exploration, Inc.
  • "I love the improvement that allows you to add scripts to the developer tab. Very good! A plus that historically has had Golden Software is to enable programming via scripts. This saves us a lot of time on tasks that are highly repetitive." Alberto Vargas, Geographer
  • "I will pay for this upgrade just to have the Visible Plots Only checkbox for legends. What a timesaver." Eric Tappa, Research Associate, Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of South Carolina
  • "Love the improvements, especially the Move Label in the legend…now it's much easier - Thank you!" Nada Derek, Research Technician, CSIRO
  • "The legend’s visible plots only option is awesome." Kevin Beattie, Environmental & Mining Project Engineer
  • "Beta-phase is a good time not just for testing but for unleashing imagination." Igor Yashayaev, Ocean Research Scientist, Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Grapher product manager, Sabrina Pearson, commented on Beta Testing, “It was a pretty smooth beta testing period. Probably the biggest surprise was around the colour mapping feature. I thought I had tested every piece of functionality involved, but the Beta Testers used it in many other ways I had not considered. They provided a number of improvement requests which we were able to implement and Grapher is even better!”

During the Beta Testing period, we also hold a graphics competition. Participants submit images they create while testing Grapher 12 and are entered to win a prize. Below are the first and second place winners for the Grapher 12 graphics competition.

Grapher 2D & 3D graphing software: line plot of temperatures, salinity and density of the Central Laborador Sea
First place winner. Line plot of temperatures, salinity and density of the Central Laborador Sea. Image courtesy of Igor Yashayaev of the Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Grapher 2D & 3D graphing software: bar graph and line graph of mercury injection porosimetry of rock sample
Second place winner. Graph of experimental results and interpretation for mercury injection porosimetry of a rock sample. Image courtesy of Andrey Kazak of Schlumberger Moscow Research Center.

Grapher 2D & 3D graphing software: line/scatter plot of the subduction profile of the Cocos Plate under the Caribbean Plate in Costa Rica
Runner up. Line/scatter plot displaying the subduction profile of the Cocos Plate under the Caribbean Plate at Northern Costa Rica. Image submitted by Albert Vargas.

From all of us at Golden Software, thank you Beta Testers for your valuable feedback! If you are interested in future Beta Testing opportunities, contact graphersupport@goldensoftware.com.

16 April 2015
Grapher

Golden Software released a free update for Grapher 11 today! Click the File | Online | Check for Update command to update your version of Grapher 11 to Grapher 11.5.791! Changes include improvements to vector PDF exports containing transparency and gradients, updates to help articles, and more! For a full list of changes made, please see our Grapher Version Info page.

To purchase a new copy of Grapher 11 or upgrade a previous version, please visit our shopping page.

If you aren't familiar with Grapher, I would like to invite you to download the free demo version. The demo version does not have a time limit, so you're free to explore as long as you'd like! The cut, copy, save, print, and export functions are not available, but all other features are enabled for you to delve into with included sample files or data of your own!

Have questions about our 2D and 3D graphing software? Email me at jennifer@goldensoftware.com or contact us at graphersupport@goldensoftware.com!

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