Liens de la semaine (weekly)

  • « Faced with the ongoing confusion over the term €˜Big Data,’ here’s a handy €“ and somewhat cynical €“ guide to some of the key definitions that you might see out there.

    The first thing to note is that €“ despite what Wikipedia says €“ everybody in the industry generally agrees that Big Data isn’t just about having more data (since that’s just inevitable, and boring). »

    tags: bigdata technology defintion


      (1) The Original Big Data


      Big Data as the three Vs: Volume, Velocity, and Variety. This is the most venerable and well-known definition

    • (2) Big Data as Technology


      Why did a 12-year old term suddenly zoom into the spotlight? It wasn’t simply because we do indeed now have a lot more volume, velocity, and variety than a decade ago. Instead, it was fueled by new technology, and in particular the fast rise of open source technologies such as Hadoop and other NoSQL ways of storing and manipulating data.

    • (3) Big Data as Data Distinctions


      The problem with big-data-as-technology is that (a) it’s vague enough that every vendor in the industry jumped in to claim it for themselves and (b) everybody €˜knew’ that they were supposed to elevate the debate and talk about something more business-y and useful.

    • 4) Big Data as Signals


      This is another business-y approach that divides the world by intent and timing rather than the type of data, courtesy of SAP’s Steve Lucas. The €˜old world’ is about transactions, and by the time these transactions are recorded, it’s too late to do anything about them: companies are constantly €˜managing out of the rear-view mirror’. In the €˜new world,’ companies can instead use new €˜signal’ data to anticipate what’s going to happen, and intervene to improve the situation.

    • (5) Big Data as Opportunity


      This one is from 451 Research’s Matt Aslett and broadly defines big data as €˜analyzing data that was previously ignored because of technology limitations.’

    • (6) Big Data as Metaphor


      In his wonderful book The Human Face of Big Data, journalist Rick Smolan says big data is “the process of helping the planet grow a nervous system, one in which we are just another, human, type of sensor.”

    • (7) Big Data as New Term for Old Stuff


      This is the laziest and most cynical use of the term, where projects that were possible using previous technology, and would have been called BI or analytics in the past have suddenly been rebaptized in a fairly blatant attempt to jump on the big data bandwagon.

  • « he challenges GE faced were daunting. If the goal was to leapfrog the competition in every product line while revitalizing U.S. manufacturing, management had to take a big swing. The $1 billion plan envisioned 11 new product platforms in six different manufacturing sites. GE needed to reduce new product development cycles from 3-4 years to 1-1.5 years. The plants had been on life support, so they needed major repairs. The workplace was divided into functional areas; no one knew how to work together. All the laboratory equipment had been given away. The only people left were tough survivors, so the bench was not deep. The company needed to rebuild expertise and capabilities. It needed to recruit huge numbers of people in a short period of time. It needed to invest in new development labs and to co-locate teams.

    tags: management casestudies GE collaboration culture lean process

    •  » Functions were seated together with a common goal: working on the value stream from consumer research to testing.
    • As the leadership began to introduce a new way of working together it had to solidify trust in the workforce and instill a level of confidence that continuous improvement was not just another initiative that would pass. This would be a journey.
    • he GE team developed a purpose and nine guiding principles €” the « Appliances Performance System. » The biggest shift was to focus on making work better for front line operators and put everyone else in support of operators…shifting the paradigm to support versus command and control.
    • To further shift the culture, Dirk Bowman made a commitment that nobody would lose his or her job due to Lean, but that everybody’s job would change every day.
    • GE Appliances is proving once again that the balance of process and people, aligned with a clearly articulated and understood purpose and vision, is the source of improved performance and capability development. With leadership engagement and support, this system will thrive.
  • « An industrial company with approximately 110,000 employees and an almost 150-year history hardly sounds like a social media pioneer €“ yet many BASF characteristics are a strong fit for Web 2.0. These include employees who embrace innovative technologies to the existence of large Verbund sites whose individual production plants are interlinked through a complex network.

    BASF started work on a corporate online business platform as early as 2008. Five years later, over 35,000 employees are using connect.BASF to build up their internal network, share knowledge and collaborate more efficiently across units. »

    tags: socialbusiness enterprise2.0 collaborarion casestudies BASF adoption communitymanagement

    • Establishing a corporate network

      An online business network (connect.BASF) was to be established as a new business platform for BASF employees across the globe. Three specific goals were involved:

      1. Active utilization: Providing a technical platform was not the only objective. The real goal was to get employees all over the world actively using connect.BASF to build their network, share knowledge and collaborate.

      2. One network: The idea was to establish connect.BASF as the corporate network. This involved integrating at least two-thirds of the existing isolated applications into the new corporate network.

      3. Value creation: Another aim was to develop €“ in collaboration with users €“ best practice examples that would demonstrate connect.BASF’s potential to enhance efficiency and hence create value for the company.

    • 4. Involving all stakeholders

      What is the best way to go about launching corporate social media €“ top-down or bottom-up? A combination of the two approaches was the way to go at BASF.

    • 5. The right mix of participants is crucial

      “Skip the pilot” is a common piece of advice for Enterprise 2.0, i.e. the use of social media in companies for business purposes. We did not skip the pilot, and that was the right decision to make.

    • 7. Developing an effective launch campaign

      “If we build it, they will come.” That thought has been behind many technology-centered social media projects in the past. We know that providing a good technology platform is not enough to build up a network that people will want to use. A fixation on IT would have been downright counterproductive, that’s why we opted not to mention technology at all during the global launch of connect.BASF in May 2010. Instead, we emphasized the business character, the practical benefits for employees and the unique proposition of being the one and only corporate communication network.

    • 8. Creating online and offline support

      Using connect.BASF is voluntary. Rather than making its use compulsory, we rely on the pulling power of interesting content and employees who are role models. The member of the Board of Executive Directors responsible at the time for North America not only personally invited all employees in his region to use connect.BASF but switched his own video blog from the intranet to connect.BASF. His move also helped position connect.BASF as a platform for communicating with staff.

    • 9. Not taking sustainable growth for granted

      Development and the global launch of connect.BASF closed officially end of June 2010. The network has gone viral since then. A user survey carried out in December 2010 indicated that 36 percent of registered users heard about the network from a friend. The value proposition has been taken on board too, with more than 80 percent saying they associate connect.BASF with the three aims of building up a network, sharing knowledge and collaborating with others.

    • 10. Practicing active community management

      The responsibilities for supporting connect.BASF are clearly mapped out. The technical platform is supported by BASF’s Information Services & Supply Chain Management. Internal marketing, user advice and development of best practice guidelines are the job of a global Community Management Team under the aegis of Corporate Communications. There are two Ludwigshafen-based Enterprise Community Managers in charge of global coordination and European user support. They are assisted by regional community managers, one for North America, one for South America and one for Asia-Pacific.

    • I.Expert networks and professional groups (Communities of Expertise)

      Communities of Expertise are set up by employees to serve the organization. Communities of this kind exist in a variety of areas, including controlling, communication and project management. Knowledge sharing is the main focus. Members provide mutual support in solving problems. Membership in this kind of community may be equated with a certain degree of recognition as an expert.

    • II. Social networking groups (Communities of Interest)

      These communities are set up by employees wishing to network with like-minded people. Examples include a network of people on transfers in Ludwigshafen from other countries and alumni groups from various universities or training institutes. The shared interests create an atmosphere of trust between employees. The bond thus forged strengthens their sense of identity with the company and hence promotes constructive collaboration.

    • III. Corporate initiatives and corporate units (Communities of Engagement)

      These communities are founded by the organization itself to facilitate dialog with employees. Those responsible for corporate strategic initiatives use these forums to talk to interested employees. Service units present their offerings and receive feedback from their internal customers. Managers invite their divisional employees to articulate their views, and use the community structure as a means of making corporate decisions transparent.

    • IV. Workgroups and project teams (Communities of Practice)

      These communities are set up by organizational units to serve the organization. The main thrust is collaboration. To ensure that specific business goals are achievable, connect.BASF activities need to be integrated in the most effective possible way in business processes.

  • « In my view, the essence of « data-driven » is making better decisions up and down the organization chart. Over the years I’ve had the good fortune to work with plenty of individual decision-makers and groups, some terrific and some simply awful. From that work, I’ve distilled twelve « traits of the data-driven. » »

    tags: data decision decisionmaking

      • The data-driven:



      • Make decisions at the lowest possible level

      • Bring as much diverse data to any situation as they possibly can.

      • Use data to develop a deeper understanding of their worlds.

      • Develop an appreciation for variation

      • Deal reasonably well with uncertainty

      • Integrate their ability to understand data and its implications and their intuitions.

      • Recognize the importance of high-quality data and invest to improve.

      • Are good experimenters and researchers.

      • Recognize that decision criteria can vary with circumstances.

      • Recognize that making a decision is only step one.

      • Work hard to learn new skills and bring new data and new data technologies (big data, predictive analytics, metadata management, etc) into their organizations.

      • Learn from their mistakes.
  • tags: socialbusiness excellence governance goals processes activities stakeholders

    • 1) Social media stakeholders: CoE staff and internal customers


      The early days of establishing a center of excellence tends to be politically fraught, with concerns about over-centralization and prized social media functions at a local level getting moved to a larger bureaucracy in another area within the company. But the first step is clearly understanding who is engaging in important social media activity within the company today. The pattern tends to be the same: There are one or two major initiatives, 5-10 departmental initiatives, and a lot of smaller informal or shadow activities.

    • 2) Key social processes and activities


      While a large part of the CoE’s function is to respond to requests for assistance from across the organization, a lot takes place on a regular basis that was formerly managed locally, informally, and in a fragmented fashion. Proactive activities include centralized listening, dispatch of key events to internal stakeholder, reporting, measurement, community management, education and training, risk management, governance, and the coordination of crises in social media. Plus evaluation of tools, new social media channels, and enterprise-wide social media strategy development and planning.

    • 3) Portfolio of social tools, platforms, identities, and standards


      Social media is greatly enabled by the right social technology, maintained in an effective architecture. The specific details vary by industry, organization, and even by the part of the organization. The CoE has the unenviable job of sorting out the confluence of social silos and activities and bringing some semblance of order and consistency. Most CoEs quickly realize there is no one tool or silver bullet when it comes to social technology. All of CoEs manage large and growing portfolio of social tools, platforms, and standards, with a focus on careful introduction of new tools and rationalization of existing ones so that fragmentation, risk, excess effort, and duplication are managed to an acceptable level.

    • 5) Knowledge base: Lessons learned and best practices


      One of the most vital outputs of the work of the CoE is a body of knowledge about how best to apply social media in the organization. Most of the processes and activities in the CoE generate valuable information that other stakeholders can learn from.


      CoEs that have the greatest impact actively capture and share this knowledge, often in a social tool/repository, and ensure everyone can access it and learn from it.

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