Archive for December, 2011

Pensions Regulation in UK

December 30, 2011

As the year 2011 draws to a close, we are entering into a new year that is very important for UK workplace pensions. The new regulation around workplace pensions is coming into force in 2012.

Being purely technical for few years, I just want to test my skills around understanding regulatory documents and extract “Functional Information Needs” for a business.

A good review published in October 2010 can be accessed here:

Basically, all the employers in UK have to automatically enroll all the eligible workers falling in a AGE range and EARNINGS range to a suitable pension scheme. They also need to “certify” the selected pension scheme meets the required quality criteria. (Refer to section 6.5 of the review document above) The requirement is to have at least 8% of earnings are paid towards a pension fund.

Regulation defines “Qualifying Earnings” as gross earnings that include commissions, bonuses, overtime etc., but most of the employers have the pension contribution basis as the “Basic Pay” i.e a pensionable pay. So, employer has primarily following options to “Certify” the pension scheme and comply with it.

Pseudo logic in plain English
1. IF pension contribution basis IS qualifying earnings (within the band) THEN pay the contributions of 8% and no certification is required.
2. IF pension contribution basis IS pensionable pay THEN
2a. CASE pensionable pay is 100% of gross pay THEN pay contributions of 7%
2b. CASE pensionable pay is at least 85% of gross pay THEN pay contributions of 8%
2c. CASE pensionable pay is less than 85% of gross pay THEN pay contributions of 9%
AND self certify pension scheme for all the employees participating in the pension scheme.

So, core information needs to implement this regulation is employee payroll data that covers age, all components of qualifying earnings of all employees. A bit of intelligence is needed to “model” the best possible grouping of employees and assign them to a suitable pension scheme(s) with one (or more) of the pension providers in the market.

The overall goal for a techno-functional consultant like me is to optimize the value of new pension regulations for employees, employers, pension providers and IT consulting companies by optimizing the information flows across various stakeholders!!

Wishing everyone a great new year 2012. Let there be peace, security and prosperity be with one and all.

యోజకః – Organiser/Leader

December 22, 2011

అమంత్రం అక్షరో నాస్తి నాస్తి మూలం అనౌషధం
అయోగ్యః పురుషో నాస్తి యోజకః తత్ర దుర్లభః ||

amantram aksharO nAsti nAsti mUlaM anaushadhaM
ayOgya@h purushO nAsti yOjaka@h tatra durlabha@h  ||

There is no aksharam (sound) that has no mantra shakti (magical power)
There is no mUlam (root of a herb) which has no medicinal power
There is no person who has no skill (i.e., every person is gifted with his/her unique skill)

Then what is it difficult?

yOjakaH (One who can employ the right person/medicine/sound in a given situation to achieve desired result) i.e., a right organizer or a Leader is the one who is difficult to find. 

om tat sat

–ఉత్తరాయణ పుణ్య కాలం లో ఈ సకల చరాచర జగత్తుకూ యోజకుడైన పరమాత్మ ను తలచుకుంటూ…. 

What makes a man commit sin?

December 19, 2011

What makes a man commit sin?

— శ్రీ ఖర నామ సంవత్సర మర్గశిర బహుళ నవమి 


December 16, 2011

నిర్ద్వైతోఽస్మ్యహమస్మి నిర్మలచిదాకాశోఽస్మి పూర్ణోఽస్మ్యహం
నిర్దేహోఽస్మి నిరిన్ద్రియోఽస్మి నితరాం నిష్ప్రాణవర్గోఽస్మ్యహమ్ |
నిర్ముక్తాశుభమానసోఽస్మి విగలద్విజ్ఞానకోశోఽస్మ్యహం
నిర్మాయోఽస్మి నిరన్తరోఽస్మి విపులప్రౌఢప్రకాశోఽస్మ్యహమ్ || ౫||

निर्द्वैतोऽस्म्यहमस्मि निर्मलचिदाकाशोऽस्मि पूर्णोऽस्म्यहं
निर्देहोऽस्मि निरिन्द्रियोऽस्मि नितरां निष्प्राणवर्गोऽस्म्यहम् ।
निर्मुक्ताशुभमानसोऽस्मि विगलद्विज्ञानकोशोऽस्म्यहं
निर्मायोऽस्मि निरन्तरोऽस्मि विपुलप्रौढप्रकाशोऽस्म्यहम् ॥ ५॥

— ప్రౌఢానుభూతి నుంచి

చేసిన కొద్దీ పెరిగేవి

December 14, 2011

उद्योगः कलहः कण्डूर्द्यूतः मद्यं परस्त्रियः
अहारो मैथुनं निद्रा सेवनात्तु विवर्धते

ఉద్యోగః కలహః కణ్డూర్ద్యూతః మద్యం పరస్త్రియః
అహారో మైథునం నిద్రా సేవనాత్తు వివర్ధతే

ఏదో ఒక పని (ప్రయత్నం) చేయడం, కలహం, దురద, జూదం, మద్యం, పరస్త్రీలు, ఆహారం, మైథునం, నిద్ర, ఇవి సేవిస్తూన్న కొలదీ వృద్ధి చెందుతాయి.

— సంస్కృత సూక్తి రత్నకోశః (ద్వితీయా మఞ్జూషా) సంకలనం తాత్పర్యం చ డా.పుల్లెల శ్రీరామచంద్రః

గీతా జయంతి

December 5, 2011

కార్తీక అమావాస్య నాడు భగవంతుని చే (దివ్య మైన అలౌకికమైన మార్గంలో) పార్థునకు ఉపదేశించబడి, మార్గశిర శుద్ధ ఏకాదశి రోజున సంజయుని చేత ధృతరాష్ట్రునికి చెప్పబడి, వేదవ్యాసుల వారి చే పంచమ వేదమైన శ్రీమన్మహాభారత మధ్యంలో గ్రంధస్థం చేయబడి అద్వైతామృతమును వర్షించే అష్ఠాదశాధ్యాయిని ఐన భగవద్గీతకు (భగవత్స్వరూపమైన అంబకు)మానసిక అనుసంధాన సహితంగా నమస్కరించుచున్నాను.

“భగవద్గీతా కించిదధీతా
గంగా జలలవ కణికా పీతా
సకృదపి యేన మురారి సమర్చా
క్రియతే తస్య యమేన న చర్చా”

శ్రీ ఖర నామ సంవత్సరం గీతా జయంతి సందర్భంగా (06-December-2011) కొన్ని పాత టపాలు:

గీతాంభసి స్నానం:



Storing Rows and Columns

December 4, 2011

A fundamental requirement of a database is to store and retrieve the data. In Relational Database Management Systems (RDBMS) the data is organized into a table that contain the rows and columns. Traditionally the data is stored into blocks of rows. For example a “sales transaction row” may have 30 data items representing 30 columns. Assuming a record occupies 256 bytes, a block of 8KB can hold 32 such records. Again assuming a million such transactions that need to be stored in 32150 blocks per day. All this works well as long as we need the data as ROWS! We want to access one row or a group of rows at a time to process that data, this organization has no issues.

Let us consider if we want to get a summary of total value of type x items that are sold in past seven days. This query need to retrieve 7million records that contain 30 columns each to just process the count of items of types x. All that we need is two columns item type and amount to process this. This type of analytical requirement lead us to store the data in columns. We group the columns together and store them in blocks. It improves the speed of retrieving the columns from the overall table quickly for the purpose of analyzing the data.

But the column storage has its limitations when it comes to the write and update

With a high volume of social data, where there is high volume of write is needed (like messages and status updates, likes and comments etc.,) , highly distributed, NOSQL based column stores are emerging into mainstream. Apache Cassandra is the new breed of NOSQL column store that was initially developed by Facebook.

So, we have a variety of data base / data stores available now, a standard RDBMS engine with SQL support for OLTP applications, A column based engies for OLAP processing and noSQL based key value pair stores for in-memory processing, highly clustered Hadoop style big data with map/reduce framework for big data processing and noSQL based column stores for high volume social write and read efficiencies. 

Making right choice of data store for the problem in had is becoming tough with many solution options. But that is the job of an architect; Is it not?

విధి ఉక్త ధర్మము

December 2, 2011

గృహస్థ విధ్యుక్త ధర్మములు

బ్రహ్మనిష్ఠో గృహస్థస్యాత్ బ్రహ్మజ్ఞానపరాయణః
యద్యద్ కర్మ ప్రకుర్వీత తద్బ్రహ్మణి సమర్పయేత్ 

ब्रह्मनिष्ठो गृहस्थस्यात् ब्रह्मज्ञानपरायणः
यद्यद् कर्म प्रकुर्वीत तद्ब्रह्मणि समर्पयेत्  – 23

The householder should be devoted to God; the knowledge of God should be his goal of life. Yet he must work constantly, perform all his duties; he must give up the fruits of his actions to God.

మహానిర్వాణతంత్రము, అష్టమోల్లాసము నుంచి
Duties of Householder: (The ashTama ullasa of mahAnirvANa tantra has been refereed by Swami VivekAnanda in his speech. Verse 23 till 67 have been explained in the link below.) 

Performing one’s own duties leads to highest good for individual as well as the society. swadharma acharaNa is the core of karma yoga.