Cyber-memory – fact or fiction?

Over the last few years I’ve been increasingly convinced that the combination of Systems of Engagement and big data analytics has the potential to create a totally new and unique way of understanding how our businesses work. Systems of Engagement contain the data the describes HOW a company works (who interacts with whom, when, and in what context) and the Enterprise Graph (as a big data store) allows us to represent this network of interactions, persist them, and ultimately analyze them to deliver new insights to the business.

I like to think of this as the “memory of an organization” and since an organization is made up of groups of individuals, it also contains the “memory of an individual”. However since this memory is currently limited to those interactions that are native digital, it has loads of holes in it and so the analysis is limited. This is the #1 comment people make when I talk about engagement analytics. Now imagine if I had a simple mechanism (activity stream? mobile or wearable?) that allowed me to share non-digital actions (with the Enterprise Graph service) so I could retrieve them later, or even better if they could be integrated into my cyber-memory (personal graph) and used to provide me personalized analysis. This would be a killer low-tech way to capture the actions that are not natively digital and address the data sparsity that impacts quality of analysis.

The next obvious question is “why the heck would any individual want to share this information with a computer?”. For the same reason we increasingly rely on calendars, task lists, reminders, address books, etc. because we just can’t remember stuff! Also since we are living in a hugely competitive world where our ability to ingest, harness, and leverage knowledge is going to be our single greatest differentiator, maybe we need all the help we can get in persisting and synthesizing our life’s experiences.

And synthesize is the key point here. While many systems collect data, few provide us mechanisms to integrate multiple facts into a single personal life map, and that’s what we need. Data without analysis is noise.

Now I know this may sound creepy… but that’s just an implementation detail. If one’s personal map is indeed personal, than its not creepy. But that’s a discussion for a whole other blog post :-)

4 Responses to “Cyber-memory – fact or fiction?”

  1. I love your statement: “Data without analysis is noise”!


    • Thanks :) It’s something we can all relate to as we become increasingly buried under mountains of “stuff”.


      • Full agreement! I’ve been mining data for association rules, and am developing a greater appreciation for how these rules make sense of the data and for the relationships that exist in the data — relationships we wouldn’t think as existing. Granted, these relationships are probabalistic in most cases, but it’s still very enlightening.



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