The amount of data in your organization is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is. I mean you might think that it take a long time to read your inbox but that’s just peanuts to how much your organization touches in a single day.
– Mangling of quote by Douglas Adams in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
The amount of data in your organization is massive. Anyone who has been in the Content Management industry for more than a few years can tell you that much. All those content repositories are nothing more than messy, poorly structured, data warehouses.
The part that I didn’t realize until watching Clay Shirky’s keynote at AIIM 2012 was that the amount of data that many organizations is amassing isn’t always enough. Many organizations just are dealing with what I will now shockingly classify as “traditional” Big Data issue. They don’t have the volume, variability, variety, or velocity of data. (Your actual “V”s may vary)
This is actually an even bigger problem. All those organizations are leaving useful insights on the table. How can tell what my customers, employees , or members need without actually tracking what they are doing?
Let’s talk about you, the reader. If you are reading this, you are likely an Information Professional and the kind of person that AIIM wants to help become better at solving all these information challenges.
Maybe you’ve already been to the website. Maybe you found it through a search on how to solve a problem. Maybe you found one resources and left when you couldn’t find another. Maybe you stayed a while and left a series of intelligent comments on blogs and in discussions.
Do I know this? Some of it. I can dig in and surface all sorts of web traffic information. What I can’t do is track your engagement on the site and use it to provide you with more content. I can’t use it to identify good content for others. I can’t use it to surface your contributions based upon the quality of the information.
Because the data isn’t there. I don’t have a big data problem. It isn’t a matter of coming up with questions, monitoring trends, and uncovering new questions. Without all that data, I can’t even begin to determine what questions I really need to be asking.
Should I “gamify” the website? Hate or love the term, some people do respond when they are recognized for their contributions. Some people do respond to leaderboards. Some people use those tools to FIND quality, not just measure it.
The problem is, how can I reward for behavior that I don’t measure? How can I determine what behavior should be rewarded?
I have to collect data. I have to start amassing data so I can then find out what I have been missing. I have to do all of this in order to better serve my fellow members of AIIM.
I have to go out and create my own big data problem.
If I don’t, I’m making the answers to the most important question unanswerable.
I don’t even know what that question is.