What do you get when you cross collaboration with analytics?

Collaborative Analytics… which is what exactly? Yes, depending on your perspective these two words can mean very different things to different people.

  • To some folks, it’s analysis and reporting for collaboration platforms, such as measuring onboarding and adoption, identifying the most active communities, teams, individuals, etc.
  • To others it’s about using analytics to improve the collaboration experience, such as providing social search, content recommenders, expert finders, etc.
  • If you are a seller or marketer you might think of it as ways that you can use collaboration or social data to gain insights into potential customers, maybe for campaign targeting or social selling.
  • Whereas a HR professional might think of this as providing ways to better understand employee sentiment and engagement.
  • And a communications specialist would be using collaborative analytics to help them more effectively dissiminate messages through identifying influencers, brokers, information flow, optimal communication times and channels, …
  • And if you are a data scientist then you might think of it as the act of making your analytics projects more collaborative and engaged across all participants, allowing sharing of insight, data, and perspectives, and enabling individuals to tap into the collective intelligence of their networks in order to generate the best possible actionable insights.

What does collaborative analytics mean to me? Pretty much all of the above, although the majority of my career at IBM has been focused on the knowledge worker and at ways of applying analytics on collaboration and social data to make them more effective.

Last year I moved into the IBM Analytics Group Chief Technology Office, a team led by the inspiring Tim Vincent, IBM Fellow and CTO. It’s from this vantage point that I attend IBM’s World of Watson (WoW) next week in Las Vegas where I will be presenting on Collaborative Analytics: The Next Frontier for Social and Collaboration Systems (Monday, 1:00 PM – 1:45 PM | Breakers E | Session ID: 2788A). My session will focus on this new consumer of collaboration sevices; a consumer who is naturally analytics savvy and therefore demands that our approach to collaboration be driven from an analytics and “cognitive” standpoint.

I will explore ways that we can learn from our past experiences in building solutions for the knowledge worker, where we were very much focused on their challenges of content overload, and apply these to the challenge of data overload faced by the analytics professional; a challenge which will also increasingly face the knowledge worker are we gradually shift to become data-driven cognitive businesses. I will share perspectives on the growing complexities of executing analytics projects and why I believe that these cannot be solved by technology alone, but must explore ways that we can maximize our human capital through allowing greater engagement and knowledge transfer during the analytics process.

I will also share with attendees a number of solutions we’ve developed, and are applying without our own company, to address our needs for collaborative analytics. I’m also glad to say that this year we’ve two separate demo stands in the Cognitive Concourse that will allow attendees to get up close and personal with the technology and also our research and development folks.

I’m very excited to shift my focus to my own analytics profession and I look forward to sharing that excitment with those of you attending World of Watson (WoW). Please do attend my session on Monday afternoon and visit our demo booths in the Cognitive Concourse (ALY15). I will also be one of the judges at the Cognitive Build Pitchfest that is happening in the Cognitive Build Theatre, a place I would strongly recommend you visit during your time at the event. A couple of final recommendations, firstly that you make time to visit IBM Research Day on Monday in the Mariners Ballroom, and secondly check out our collaboration-related sessions.

So for those attending… have a great time and I look forward to meeting you there :-) And for those not… do the next best thing and follow our social stream on Twitter with hashtag #ibmwow.

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