I was playing with Google Trends the other day. I was curious what terms people were searching for on Google and how they related to the terms we seem to throw around the industry. This particular bout of curiosity stemmed from distinguishing between the technology and the business problems that people are trying to solve.
The first search was a set of standard terms we use when we talk about what we do on a regular basis.
- Content Management, 1.00
- Information Management, 1.52
- Records Management, 0.32
- ECM, 1.26 (Enterprise Content Management got 0.02)
It is a pretty consistent downward trend across the board. We can hypothesize as to why they are trending down, but I suspect it relates to the saturation of the term among those in the technology industry.
What is interesting is the relationship between Content Management, Records Management, and Information Management. Content Management has dropped faster than the other terms. Records Management hasn’t spiked upwards which seemed odd given the increase in governance in the last few years.
Before we read too much into this, let’s get some perspective. Here is highest scoring term, Information Management, compared against SharePoint.
- Information Management, 1.00
- SharePoint, 3.85
This clearly shows that the problems aren’t going away. People are looking at solutions more than simply technology. This trend is consistent when you extend this analysis.
- Content Management (1.00) versus Drupal (2.66)
- Content Management (1.00) versus Google Docs (2.60), and DropBox (4.20)
For one final look, let’s check out the Mobile market. You can’t just search on “Mobile” because it is such a broad term. I decided to compare Mobile Computing and Mobile Business, two terms that reflect the trends impacting the Information space.
- Mobile Business, 1.00
- Mobile Computing, 0.50
People want to conduct business on their phone, not perform computing. Actually, that may not be the case but they are thinking about what they want to do, conduct business, rather than how it is done, through computing.
What It All Means?
We need to focus our efforts on the same problems, but learn to describe them in ways that re more relatable to the business owners. If you spend your efforts helping people solve these problems, taking time to explain terminology is likely to do more harm than good. People want to work with those that speak the same language.
Do businesses need a Big Data solution? Maybe, but they aren’t likely to know that they need one. They do know if they need an Analytics solution.
- Big Data, 1.00
- Analytics, 61.0
Telling people about the power of a technology is great. The story just needs to placed into the context of the business need.
2 thoughts on “Checking the Industry Trends”
Could it be that as the topic areas like ECM and Records Management become more mature, that people are adopting solutions and then narrowing their search to specific topics within those solutions? I know that I search more today than ever about specific topics within SharePoint, but rarely if ever under the broad topics.
That is possible. As good of a theory as any I would have surmised. There is also the balance of new companies and new people that are learning about the problem. I think part of it may be people doing step one of their research socially through their network. They then look at the tools their friends are using. It is hard to map the search on older tools as acquisition have made them harder to track.
Brand names are key and once those are lost, it is hard to track it via trends.
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