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The Big Data Benchmarked Corporation?

Sogeti Labs
November 07, 2012

Everything that goes on inside an organization is digital, or has a digital representation. Emails, voip-calls, meeting minutes, web-conferences, collaborative online spaces, production lines, scans, you name it! There are employee directories, personalized digital entry passes to enter the building, security cameras and … almost everything happens on corporately managed devices. Many tools try to tap into this wealth of company data. First there were tools to enable company search. Install Google inside your network and you can search all data that is hidden on the corporate networks. But then search became more savvy and started recognizing people, places and ‘topics’ to make it easier to find what you were looking for. Now, search can spot trends, display results graphically and blend search data with the more traditional BI tools of ‘slicing and dicing’. But then it became really interesting: there are the tools (such as IBM Atlas) which analyze the interactions among employees and show the ‘real’ structure of the organization: who works with whom, who are the go-to experts on a certain topic and who are the most popular people in general. But wait! What about privacy? Can organizations simply scan everything we do at work? The answer depends a bit on where you work, but generally: yes, they can! In the United States, organizations can analyze almost anything you do, as long as there is a valid business reason. In Europe, things are a bit more complicated, naturally. I think it will be interesting to see what the effect will be of ‘bring-your-own-device’ and the increased blending of business and personal: will that give us more privacy, or the company more insight? I can imagine a world where all IT systems used inside an organization are automatically benchmarking against an industry standard. Where a company like Salesforce.com tells you how you are doing with regard to your sales process. Where through Big Data, we can optimize business processes and find out which people to give a bonus and which ones to fire. But in a world where productivity improvement is dictated by data analyses, what would a working day look like? Crystal ball, anyone?

About the author

SogetiLabs gathers distinguished technology leaders from around the Sogeti world. It is an initiative explaining not how IT works, but what IT means for business.

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