Marie’s shortlist for #Connect2014

In my opinion this is without doubt the best IBM Connect so far in terms of analytics. Below is my initial shortlist of must-attend sessions. I have to confess that I’ve put my own projects at the top of the list (surprise surprise!), followed by some of my favorite collaborators and their respective work. All sessions listed are definitely worth attending if you planning to be at #Connect2014 and have an interest in analytics.

Over the coming weeks I will be sharing lots more information about my own projects. I will also provide some recommendations for the Innovation Lab which is generally my home when I’m at #IBMConnect. To anyone who is planning to be at #Connect2014 and interested in catching up, just reach out to me on Twitter (@marie_wallace) and I’ll make sure we get time to chat. And if you are a customer who is interested in Social Measurement (engagement, reputation, …) and/or Social Graph technologies and planning to do something in this space in 2014, then definitely reach out as I’m very interested in finding more “partners in crime” outside IBM ;-)

SWF304: The Business Value of Analytics for a Smarter Workforce
Track 02: Creating a Smarter Workforce
Speaker(s): Ido Guy, IBM; Marie Wallace, IBM
Abstract: The trend toward more a open, transparent and collaborative business environment is changing how people interact across the enterprise and beyond. Analytics has the potential to harness these interactions in order to drive a new class of analytics-driven decision making. This session will detail IBM’s point of view for how an integrated view of the workforce, paired with a deep understanding of how they interact, will transform how the business works at an individual and organizational level. We will dive into some concrete examples of the value IBM has realized from its own social analytics investments, and discuss scenarios that represent the value proposition our clients are anticipating from their analytics programs.
Comment: For this session I will be joined by one of my favorite collaborators in Research, Ido Guy, whose team is responsible for such innovative technologies as SaND (check out session #INV114 below), SaNDVis, and SaNDStreams just to name a few. Ido’s team in Haifa have also been actively partnering with me on social measurement and reputation analysis (Shiri Kremer-Davidson, you’re a rockstar!). We will aim to make this session as examples-based as possible so it won’t be a load of abstract fluff :-) and therefore I would recommend it for both technical and business folks interested in getting a broad perspective on the potential of enterprise social analytics.

AD306: Turbocharge Your Enterprise Social Network with Analytics
Track 04: Application Development
Speaker(s): Vincent Burckhardt, IBM; David Robinson, IBM
Abstract: Social is generating large volumes of data about the business (who interacts with whom, when, and in what context). However, little of this data is being actively leveraged in order to generate insights that allow the business to work smarter and faster. This technical session describes how to capture and collect interactions within IBM Connections through its public APIs and apply a variety of analytics, including map/reduce and graph analytics, on a scalable Hadoop platform. This allows us to uncover insights into what the corporate network structure looks like, how information propagates across the organization, how are opinions formed, and how resilient is the organization to attrition.
Comment: This is one session I am particularly excited about as its the technical accompaniment to my business-level session, providing practical guidance on building bigdata social analytics on IBM Connections. For this session we have two really smart guys who have been working on my social measurement project. The first is David Robinson who is overall architect and one of the most productive developers I’ve ever worked with. There is nothing he doesn’t know about scalable bigdata architectures, particularly when it comes to leveraging graph technologies for social analytics. The second is Vincent Burckhardt who is leading the design of my social data integration. This session will give you an intimate understanding of what can be achieved using open source bigdata technology and IBM Connections data APIs, ie. the #ESN firehose. Note: I have to give a call-out to Jason Plurad who unfortunately can’t make #Connect2014. He is an amazing developer who can turn his hand to just about any technical challenge, and without whom I would be nothing more than a talking shop. Talk is cheap, quality code is priceless!

SB102: Socialytics Equals Social Business, Big Social Data and Analytics
Track 01: Social Business: Strategy and Innovation
Speaker(s): Scott Padgett, IBM
Abstract: Socialytics sits at the convergence of social business, big social data and advanced social analytics tools. It is a powerful force multiplier for businesses and governments that want to monitor and analyze the social spectrum for new intelligence as it pertains to their products, brands and competition. Socialytics provides CEOs and CMOs a powerful new business intelligence tool to improve customer intimacy, customer satisfaction and competitive intelligence. We will demonstrate the capabilities of socialytics that is built on the IBM Platform for Social Business and how it can be a force multiplier for your organization.
Comment: Scott Padgett is someone who has been passionate about social analytics long before it was fashionable. He has been working on customer projects for years, so I anticipate that his session will be really practical and based on personal experiences with lots of concrete examples of the business value. Scott also has a real gut instinct for social and analytics so I would strongly recommend this session.

INV106: From Social Media to Social Business
Track 15: Innovators and Thought Leaders
Speaker(s): Andrew Grill, IBM
Abstract: What has social media taught us and how can we apply this to social business? Engaging on external social media channels may be daunting to some, but we can learn from what works on social media and apply this to social business. This session will discuss social media analytics, collaboration, influencer marketing and a range of extremely practical examples to show how companies can become a social business.
Comment: Andrew Grill is one our recent (and best) new hires and someone who has been living and breathing social analytics for years. He was CEO of Kred (the social influence measurement company) and is now part of our GBS organization, leading our Social Business Center of Competency. Coming from the external social analytics world, he brings an extra dimension to the enterprise that I believe will prove hugely valuable and I anticipate that this session will be an insightful one to attend.

INV114: Future Directions: Enhancing Social Search with Content Analytics and SaND
Track 15: Innovators and Thought Leaders
Speaker(s): Bob Foyle, IBM
Abstract: Search applications can be greatly enhanced when they incorporate relationships between the query, the content and the people analyzing information and the content itself. Come see and discuss a proof of technology that integrates IBM Content Analytics with Enterprise Search and Social Networks and Discovery (SaND). SaND is a social analytics and discovery framework over enterprise data which aggregates social information from various sources across the enterprise and extracts relationships between documents, people and tags. We will show you how these future capabilities will enable querying of people, content and relationships to exploit use cases such as expertise location, social discovery, recommendations and more.
Comment: Having previously worked as IBM Content Analytics (ICA) strategist, I’ve a bit of a soft spot for the technology :-) ICA has some really comprehensive NLP capabilities which, when combined with social analytics, should demonstrate a strong value proposition. I believe Scott Padgett (session #SB102 above) also leverages much of the ICA stack in his socialytics solution so you may also get exposed to the product in that session.

SWF404: Measuring the Pulse of Your Workforce
Track 02: Creating a Smarter Workforce
Speaker(s): Werner Geyer, IBM; Jay Dorio, IBM; Casey Dugan, IBM; Don Tomlinson, IBM; N. Sadat Shami, IBM; Stela Lupushor, IBM
Abstract: Employee feedback is critical for successful decision-making in today’s complex business environment. Making sense of that feedback and reacting to it can be challenging, but ultimately it will increase employee engagement. Research shows that engaged employees deliver better business results. We will discuss various technologies and approaches for understanding the voice of your employees, ranging from Kenexa’s latest Survey Analytics product to late-breaking research on measuring employee engagement from social media. The combination of these technologies forms an employee engagement suite. Depending on your business needs, this suite can provide workforce insights from yearly surveys to more real-time understanding through social media analytics.
Comment: This is a must-attend for anyone interested in engagement analytics. What I believe makes this session particularly worth attending is that it combines a diverse set of perspectives with folks from IBM Research (Werner Geyer & Casey Dugan), Survey Analytics product development (Don Tomlinson & Jay Dorio), and IBM HR (Stela Lupushor & Sadat Shami). This gives this session, and the technology, a high level of credibility as its not just a piece of great research, but something which has been productized and also deployed and validated inside IBM HR. Plus… these are a really passionate bunch of folks so I can only imagine that this is going to be an enthralling session :-)

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