Enabling Content Discovery: Part 6 – Practical Example

Posted by Bill Ives on Sep 19, 2011 5:10:00 AM

This is the sixth of a six part series on enabling content discovery and combatting information overload. In this post we look at a practical example of the Awareness Engine™ at work and the difference it can make. We believe that the best way to illustrate the practical impact of the Awareness Engine is through a use case.  This use case is based on actual projects that converge the emergence of content on the organization’s intranet, and events of interests found on the Internet. It covers two fictional competing mining companies. ACME is using the Awareness Engine to complement their content monitoring capabilities and Bedrock Mining is limited to more traditional means to monitor content.

ACME's CEO is communicating that attention should be given to a new mining project in the Middle East.  This project is expected to increase profitability significantly, and is expected to increase the value of ACME for years to come.  Likewise, Bedrock Mining, a major competitor, is also exploring a nearby site.

ACME and Bedrock Mining make use of search and enterprise 2.0 technologies to facilitate research, collaboration and projects.  Both companies employees, within their different and respective business units, are engaging in discussions and sharing information internally regarding the mining project and it's location.  

Bedrock Mining takes a linear and project oriented approach with top-down directives and task objective completions that feed the executive dashboard and reporting expectations.  Their project advances with mechanical precision according to previous experiences and best practices.  Bedrock Mining management observes the progress according to monthly reports to validate the direction and prescribes corrective measures.  Their team is focusing on respective tasks; the occasional discoveries and issues are addressed by the appropriate resources.  When an event that could have meaning for a different business unit is encountered, the event is often overlooked or simply recorded for further investigating.  Likewise, discussions and events recorded within Bedrock Mining only serve a transient purpose - to build a report, or be communicated if the observer has knowledge of a resource that might benefit from the information.  

ACME uses similar technologies to manage work and information sharing, but it's management adopted a different approach to monitor what is happening by providing the Awareness Engine for cross-organizational information transparency.   With Awareness Engine, events recorded by the employees, or Web events, are organized and presented through a temporal correlation.  This allows anyone in the organization to observe the patterns of recent information as well as the emerging and accelerating themes in real-time.  

ACME's management team, or any employee, can observe the pulse of the entire company regarding the mining project.  No need to wait to see if a given concern or focus is emerging.  The system displays a real-time ScanCloud of the aggregated collaboration, discussions, micro-blogs, comments and other accessible sources, capturing live information.  Additionally, the system displays a BuzzTape showing the accelerating themes within the last 24 hours.   The information presented is independent from any deterministic semantics analysis, ranked search, or social distribution systems; it organizes the information without prejudice.  

EVENT: The local Middle Eastern government refuses to grant exploitation rights despite having provided exploration rights to both companies.

Bedrock Mining:

The field exploration team discovers the issue and reports it to the legal department for assessment.  Legal launches an investigation and dispatches local contractors.   Other teams are unaware of the discovery and proceed according to plan.


ACME has included news wires about the mining projects in the Middle East in it's Awareness Engine.   They were already aware of an radical activist group that was using blogs to expose the "malfeasance" of mining in the region.  When the news emerged about revoking exploitation rights, the Awareness Engine had already correlated the Web events and buzz generated by the news.  Furthermore, the issue was visible as an emerging topic to all employees and sparked insights and comments.  The management team and legal team was now able to see, simultaneously, who in the organization had knowledge and opinions regarding the impact of this event.   

The Awareness Engine Scan cloud also revealed the word "France".  This was an anomaly in the known context of what was happening.  By selecting "France" ACME was able to discover that the event was most likely driven by a business counter-offer than a foreign policy maneuver.  Furthermore, the appearance of “France” leads some employees with expertise in the area and French mining companies to share their insight.  This caused a new theme acceleration that allowed management to identify the right resources across the organization to quickly be mobilize to address the problem and start alternative negotiations. 

Meanwhile, Bedrock Mining is focusing on the foreign policy strategy and missed the opportunity to work and collaborate with the French mining company to accelerate the exploitation authorization - Bedrock Mining never knew France was a player until their legal department found information months after the fact.

The ability to be aware of what is happening as it occurs from many sources, paired with transparency, makes the adoption of a Management 2.0 approach visible and actionable.  The organization becomes more human, resilient and opportunistic.




Topics: Competition Awareness, Darwin Case Examples, Brand Awareness, Content Discovery