Yesterday I had the pleasure to present with my coworker Franz Walder a session on: Socialytics: Accelerating IBM Connections Adoption with Watson Analytics
As a business consultant that focuses primarily on enabling organizations to collaborate better with their ecosystem of employees, partners and customers, a big question is always for me: “What are the numbers saying? How are our systems being used, what data is out there that I can use to analyze what is happening?”. So that I can track real activity and turn it into actionable content to use in my adoption strategies. As, let’s face it, what we think is happening and what really happens can be two totally different things.
But those are not easy questions to answer as they require insight into the data held in databases that most admins won’t let you even get close to. Simply because it requires too much security level access or could potentially cause performance issues by putting too much strain on a production environment. Plus: even if they did, making sense of it would be very difficult to most.
iDNA & ConnectionsExpert:
Joining panagenda earlier this year though opened up a whole new way into this data. panagenda products like iDNA (analytical reporting on IBM Domino Mail and application environments) and ConnectionsExpert (analytical reporting on IBM Connections) recognize the limitations specified above and selectively and in a controlled way (to prevent overload) retrieve relevant metric and analytical data from your production environment and store it in databases on its own appliance. Data that is then used to create instant reports, graphs and visualizations on how your production environment is doing without putting any strain on it and without having to take the data outside your firewall.
Working with the data:
Since joining I’ve felt like a kid in a candy store. With ConnectionsExpert I now have access to a wealth of information I can show and play with. Visualized and presented in the form of out of the box analytics, graphs, visualizations and exports that I can immediately use.
But as always, we also get specific requests. Reports that customers want that are really only relevant to them. And that’s where the true beauty of what I’ve been able to do these last few weeks comes into play. Because both iDNA as well as ConnectionsExpert have their own data warehouse independent of the platform they are polling information from. Now why is this good? Well, it means that with the right access levels, the right tools and knowledge we can then work with raw data that for instance ConnectionsExpert collects and make specific analytical reports out of it without having to have direct access to any production databases.
The things you can do with what ConnectionsExpert is collecting are really mind boggling and this world of reporting and data mining is opening up a whole new exciting layer of knowledge and opportunity to me I never had before! Over the last few months I’ve been working hard on understanding the specifics of the database model and on using Tableau to get relevant reports out of that. And I love it 🙂
It’s truly exciting and thrilling and I’m so happy to have all this opportunity to do this. Not just from a point of view of getting the tools and data but also in having a fantastic and very knowledgeable team behind me that can help me when I can’t figure things out myself. The combination of their technical knowledge and my own experience in the world of social adoption is creating some really interesting new perspectives and making me hungry for more!
To be continued….
Last week I had the privilege of attending IBM Insight 2014 in Las Vegas. The largest Big Data conference in the world that focuses on Business Analytics, Information Management and Enterprise Content Management. As someone with a keen interest in both Analytics as well as ECM it was the perfect place to learn a bit more of the solutions IBM offers – or is planning to offer – in this space.
Out of the many highlights of this week three stood out for me personally:
1. IBM Watson Analytics: A cloud based solution that allows you to upload a data set and get an in depth data quality & relationship analysis back in the form of graphs and infographics. Combining cognitive computing & analysis to deliver predictive business analytics.
I was a bit skeptical about all this but had the chance to play around a bit with it in one of the usability sessions and must say I really liked it. It’s currently in Beta status but I can’t wait to see the end result and to use it in my own environment.
2. IBM Navigator: This one threw me a bit because of the name as there is also the IBM Content Navigator that I was familiar with already. Where Content Navigator is an on-prem user interface & toolkit that allows access into existing CMIS enabled ECM systems and offers a great level of integration with other systems -without being tied into any of them-, IBM Navigator (without the “content”) is a cloud implementation of that same interface but with a fully functional cloud ECM solution already behind it. Allowing organizations the ability to utilize the cloud ECM with user interfaces & mobile applications without having to install or maintain the heavy systems that are required for most enterprise ECM’s themselves. Now I have to admit I don’t know the full extent of what this product is going to offer and what its limitations will be as I’m currently still awaiting access into the IBM Navigator beta to try it all out but what I’ve seen and heard so far is promising. Especially for SMB customers who don’t have the knowledge or capacity to maintain an Enterprise level ECM but do require the functionality.
3. Case Management: This isn’t a new product but simply one I hadn’t been around yet and that really ticks a lot of boxes for me as someone with a strong interest into ECM related business processes. “Case management is built around the concept of processing a case, which is a collection of information and coordinated activities by knowledge workers or case workers. […] It looks at repeatable business problems from the perspective of the knowledge workers, and empowers the knowledge worker to solve those problems. Bundling the case information, documents, rules, and all the tasks that might be required to solve the business problem into a flexible solution“.
I really enjoyed working with this one in one of the labs. It allows you to quickly create and adjust case oriented applications with workflow, task management and content management by easily configuring properties, forms and process flows. Currently this is not yet available in the cloud but I understand there are plans for it. If it does become available as a cloud solution (perhaps as extension to the IBM Navigator platform?) it will open up a lot of possibilities to the larger SMB market as it provides a single ECM framework that includes case management, content management, processes, records and analytics in a easy to manage way.
There were many more products and announcements there and I’m sure others would have probably named other highlights but for me these are the things that really peaked my interest. Some might have been around for a while now but were simply not on my radar before. Others were entirely new.
Currently I’m signed in and awaiting access to several of the beta’s and reading up on more documentation. I hope to post more about these as I continue learning!