Friday, 16 May 2014

Data to Insight for Innovation

I guess you will be the familiar with the classic 'pyramid' above, or a variation of it.

Whilst in the US recently I met Thomas Davenport of Babson College and author of 'Working Knowledge'. These days, Tom is working at the data end of the spectrum; a topic that is getting a huge amount of attention through 'big data', 'data analytics' and 'Open Data'. Incredible advances in computing power and analytical engines hold the possibility of deriving insight directly from the data layer. Indeed a new breed of geeks have emerged to engineer this revolution - if you have seen 'The Wolf of Wall Street' you will know that the data 'Quants' are king in the world of finance.

Back to the more prosaic real-world, how does this impact the work we do in organisational learning? Tom has authored a report for Amadeus on how big data and data analytics have changed the travel industry. The impact has been in both effectiveness (for example targeting promotions) and efficiency (maximising airplane seat optimisation). So what's different? These improvements have always been possible, it's just that now the insights can be derived directly from the data without the interim stages of producing information (spreadsheets) and knowledge (analysts poring over spreadsheets, looking for trends and opportunities).
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The conclusions in Davenport's report, which cites case studies from several innovative travel companies, can be applied to almost any industry, no doubt including yours. If you are a KIN member, take a look at the Amadeus big-data report on KIN MemberSpace . You will find the report in the KIN Innovation special interest group library.

In November, KIN will be holding a members' event on 'Data to Insight'. 

If you are a knowledge professional in a large organisation and not a KIN member, do contact us to find out if your organisation could both benefit and contribute to the network. Please note that one of KIN's membership criteria are that we only allow one member organisation from each industry sector.

Photo credit: www.research.ibm.com/visual/projects/chromogram.html (via Wikipedia)
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