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  • Ana Asuero 9:00 am on September 22, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , information management   

    How do you store your information in the cloud? 

    Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

    How do you store your information in the cloud?A few days ago I read an article by Enrique Dans, a regular contributor to this blog. The article was about Diogenes syndrome, a behavioral disorder that consists of hoarding large quantities of rubbish and objects that are largely useless.

    Applied to the digital world, we might think of a common syndrome that many of us have when it comes to emails or information that we hoard in the cloud. Enrique classified users in a much earlier article (2005, in spanish) based on their email storage behavior patterns, a classification I have reproduced below.

    Tell me how you store and I’ll tell you who you are

    1. The auditor:

    Everything ever received must be carefully filed… one never knows when somebody is going to be reminded that they sent such and such about such and such on such and such date, or when the corporate server will crash and the firm’s collective memory will have to be reconstructed from his or her files, thus converting him or her into some sort of corporate hero… At first glance, this person’s inbox looks clean and tidy, containing only emails waiting to be answered or processed. Everything else is carefully hidden away in folders. Every now and then, knowing that Outlook .pst archives become unstable once they get beyond a certain size, the auditor files them carefully, transfers them to CD, and starts again from the last three months… In reality, he or she has never ever had to consult one of those CDs filed neatly on the shelf, but every afternoon, when work is done, it’s a great feeling knowing that they are there…

    (More …)

  • Enrique Dans 9:00 am on July 14, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: information management,   

    We are what we share 

    Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

    Editor’s noteEnrique Dans (@edans) has let us republish this article from his blog where he talks about the importance of sharing. 

    We are what we shareMy column in Expansión, Spain’s leading financial daily, is called “You are what you share” (pdf in Spanish), and asks some questions about what lies behind a very common activity among consumers of online information, but is not so natural for people who have simply transferred their habits from the analogical world: sharing.

    Sharing information is a much more interesting and complex activity than one might at first imagine. More than a mere gesture, it is actually a different way of managing information in an environment within which managing information efficiently has become a major challenge. It’s a very simple thing to do, and really only involves installing a button on your navigation bar and then acquiring the habit of using it regularly, but it has enormous potential. In the first place, it marks a step from being a mere consumer of information to taking a more participative approach: from unidirectional to bidirectional. And it also marks a change in attitude toward being somebody who uses information efficiently, given that the habit of sharing involves creating an archive. In many cases, the reason for sharing is not simply to give something useful to those on the other side of the screen, but provide benefits to oneself in the form of feedback and information management.

    But something subtler is going on as well: what we share says a great deal about us. Somebody who only shares news about certain topics will inevitably become associated with them. Somebody who only shares jokes will be seen as jokey—or worse—depending on the quality and the quantity.

    Creating an archive to share information on the social networks or information management tools can become a way to establish a personal brand, a way of being associated with certain topics and trends. Information sharing can be a powerful tool, and although it is still misunderstood by many—who see it simply as a way of attracting attention—it has huge potential benefits. Below, the text in full.

    You are what you share

    Sharing is an inherent part of living in society. Considered a basic function associated with the development of language, sharing turns us into active entities in the way that we treat information: we don’t just “find ourselves with it” in some passive way, but instead we can consciously decide to circulate it, or at least to store it for later use.

    (More …)

  • Zyncro Blog 9:00 am on February 20, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: information management, ,   

    The value of #tags within Enterprise Social Networks 

    Estimated Reading time: 4 minutes

    Tags have democratised the Internet since the famous arrival of the Twitter hashtag. Their function is to contextualise and organise message and conversation content spread anywhere.  The value of tags within Enterprise Social Networks is equally interesting.  They allow the members of an organisation to clasify information, contextualise it and access it at a later time in a quick and easy manner in order to resolve specific issues.

    How do tags work?

    Within Zyncro, tags can be created in two different ways. When composing a message for your followers, within a specific group or sharing a document with the rest of the organisation, you can create a tag by using ‘#’ in front of the word with which you wish to classify the message or file or by filling in the ‘tag’ field which you can find under the text box in which you edit your messages.

    Once your message has been published, the created tags will be visible to the rest of the organisation and by clicking on them, you will be able to access all of the content stored under that term.

    In addition, the members of the Enterprise Social Network will be able to subscribe to tags or tag families they are interested in and will receive notifications of any new content within that area of interest.

    A highly valuable functionality for employees and management

    • Allowing for the creation of a unique experience for each Enterprise Social Network member: each user will be able to adequately organise the information they work with, subscribe to tags of interest to their role within the company and in this way, personalize the flow of information they receive.  By subscribing to a tag or family of tags, a salesperson would be able to follow what is being said within the company of a potential client, the technological progress of the project, its planned marketing activities or its designed sales strategy.
    • Facilitating and improving the search for useful information: If there is any one topic the collaborators of a company speak of recurrently, then it is likely that there will be a tag under which all relevant content is stored.  Finding and following popular tags guarantees finding relevant information about a topic shared amongst different teams.
    • Organised and accessible information for organisational analysis: for management, tags are a real goldmine of information about the company, its employees and its projects.

    (More …)

  • Carlos Gonzalez Jardon 9:00 am on August 29, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , information management, , , ,   

    The importance of communication in project management 

    Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

    We already spoke about the benefits of using an Enterprise Social Network in project management. From a project manager, communication is one of the key skills you need to nurture and encourage. Communication represents an important part of our day-to-day and we need to give it the attention it deserves.

    What can we do for our communication?

    • Plan and prepare communication. We can’t leave communication to improvisation. We need to be clear about what we want to transmit, when, how to do it, what medium we will use, and who our interlocutors are. Limit improvisation as much as possible to avoid running the risk of saying what we shouldn’t.
    • Use simple language. This is very important in a highly specialized environment. Often we tend to use a language that we only understand in our scope of work (engineers, etc.). We need to communicate thinking in who receives the message, not who issues it.
    • Get feedback from the recipient. This point strengthens understanding of the message. We need to ensure that our interlocutor has understood what we want to transmit.
    • Establish multiple channels of communication. We need to define what the main lines of communication in our project are, and formalize/control them: reports, enterprise social networks, intranets, etc…
    • Determine the sensitivity of the recipient regarding the information to be transmitted.
    • In face-to-face communication, pay attention to the recipient’s body language. This will give us clues on whether the information is being received correctly.
    • Communicate at the right time, with the right format and means.
    • Strengthen words with actions. Avoid attitudes like “do what I say, not what I do”.
    • Listen actively. We need to listen and understand communication from the point of view of who is speaking.

    Carlos González Jardón (@cgjardon) is Consultant and Trainer in Project Management with more than 18 years’ experience in the IT sector. y Formador en Dirección de Proyectos con más de 18 años de experiencia en el sector TI. He holds a computer engineering degree from the Universidad de Vigo, an Executive Master’s from ICAI/ICADE and PMP certification from the Project Management Institute. He is currently consultant in Project Management at Tecnocom.

  • Pere Molina 9:00 am on February 11, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: analysis, geo-technology, information management,   

    Geo-technology 2.0 in businesses: The Importance of “Awhereness” 

    Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

    Editor’s note: Today on ZyncroBlog, we are delighted to have Pere Molina, trained matematician and geomatics engineer by trade, he is Research Assistant at Instituto de Geomática. He has participated in European projects on personal navigation using mobile devices, and in his opinion, geo-technology nowadays is a reality of the present and a need of the future both for users and companies. Thanks for your collaboration, Pere. Welcome! :)

    “Wait, let me check it in Google Maps…” And there you have it! Problem solved. The typical questions of “wasn’t it close to that closed cinema?” or “what is there to eat around here?” belong to the past, to what we call the ‘1.0 era.’ Without a doubt, open web-map services like Google Maps, Bing, OpenStreetMaps and others have become the best street-level sales reps we could have ever imagined, both for users and small, medium and large enterprises. One of the keys lies in having exploited the potential of the Web 2.0 (sharing, socializing, user-focus, etc.), adding an extra variable: the where.

    The example given in the first paragraph, i.e. checking the location of a service on a cell or PC, illustrates the two paradigms that have led to the boom in geo-technologies. firstly, free interactive access to geo-information, and secondly, personal location tools in real time. In today’s post, I will look at both and their impact on today’s society.

    “Business intelligence” and its geo-aspect

    Around February 2005, Google posted on its blog the launch of Google Maps (initially for Explorer and Mozilla). Thanks to the magic formula of the company’s search engine, users can find places on a map instantly, automatically, digitally… and free. The rest of that story of small achievements was a question of time: open interfaces enabling interactive development based on maps, incorporating services and businesses on the maps, time-spatial traceability of an individual’s information, integration with social networks and many other nice features. In short, the fusion of an (enormous) database of services for the consumer with an (immense) layer of geographic information and its materialization in the (small) screen of our PC or the (tiny) screen of a smartphone. But perhaps the most important achievement is establishing the following idea in the social sub-consciousness: we all need free access to information, but what’s more, we need it referenced in space–which is what is know as Awhereness

    This also applies to organizations. To be able to precisely and quickly visualize data from one or several customers and/or other companies in a geographical context may be critical in decision-making. The so-called visual business intelligence services are precisely used to provide greater understanding of the customer and their surroundings, and to be able to give better forecasting. For example, the company Geo.me produces what are called heat maps: a bit like meteorological maps, in which we see the cloud evolving in time and space, a company can see how the sales rate of a product evolves in each country, or see the number of hits on a web and its spatial and temporal distribution, or on a smaller scale, see where customers move around a supermarket and hence understand what they are looking for and what they like. All are data and all have a spatial component. In such a way that a multi-scale geographical support where this data can be represented is an open door to improvements in efficiency in a company.

    Go on, ask yourself: How can I incorporate geographic or spatial information in my products or services? What would be its added value? Don’t worry whether it is viable technologically speaking — now it is.

    Personal navigation, or “tell me where you are and I’ll tell you what to do”

    Once we have the map, it’s a good idea to find ourselves on it. And more interestingly, to do it in real time. This is what is known as personal navigation and we have seen it filter through first from automobiles (thanks to the brands Tom-Tom and Garmin, above all), and then to cellphones (from the first integration in 1999 by Benefon, and later implementation in many other models). Services for cells are the famous Location-Based Services (LBS).

    This evolution is in keeping with that shown in the market study carried out by the European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency: road and LBS applications represent 54% and 43.7% respectively of the total in the satellite navigation technologies market in the period 2010-2020. Personal navigation in LBS has benefited not just from GPS, but also from other existing technologies available for mobile devices, such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth protocols, or mobile GSM coverage itself, It represents a natural progression.

    The aim in LBS is clear: offer users a range of possibilities (offers, entertainment, information, etc.) with their spatial reach. And it’s viable: there is a large geographic database of services (first paradigm) and the user’s location is pinpointed with more or less precision (second paradigm). Some revealing examples are the social network FourSquare, created in 2009 and with more than 20 million users these days, which provides services mainly focused at entertainment based on the position of its users; or the community Endomondo, whose beta was launched in 2009, based on following the position of its users to create sporting statistics (trails, speed, times, etc.) These are just two examples of the many out there, but all have a common denominator: using the capacity of current mobile devices to quickly provide a user position with acceptable precision. Without this technology, all this business wouldn’t be viable (to not say it would be impossible).

    In a near future, our cells will locate us in outdoor locations below the precision meter thanks to the multiple global satellite navigation systems, such as the European Galileo or the Chinese Beidou, and with greater reliability. With it, undoubtedly other application barriers will be broken and new needs will emerge. An example of the direction it is heading is the system PastView, consisting of an augmented reality video glasses (in other words, a reality overlapping the one seen) for taking tours around a city (Seville, in this case) and discovering how the city looked in the past. The system uses (what a surprise!) the position provided by a cellphone to superimpose the map correctly and display it through the glasses. More recently and closer to home is the system Barcelona Visual, based also on augmented reality that can be downloaded as an app. We can see that the tourist sector is incorporating personal navigation capacities into their products having seen the added value they provide.

    And not just entertainment, restaurants and tourism are the sole beneficiaries and potential operators of geo-technology, enterprise 2.0 management also incorporates mechanisms based on personal navigation:

    In short, the benefits of geo-technology as a tool for businesses are undeniable, and there is a long list of success stories and best practices. Know how to take advantage of the potential of geo-technology 2.0? I hope, at least, it has helped you “mark that route on your map.”


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