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9 Levers of Differentiation in Big Data (Social creates alot of data!)

What is big data anyway?  It is the flood of information that is available today.   Did you know that every day, 2.5 billion gigabytes of data are created in a variety of forms, such as social 
media posts, information gathered in sensors 
and medical devices, videos and transaction records?  Why .. that’s Big!

Why is Big Data important? Being able to capitalize of that data gives you better insight and makes you more competitive.

big data info

IBM’s Institute of Business Value just published a study on the 9 Levers of Differentiation for Big Data.   The research makes it clear there are specific activities that can help organizations accelerate value creation and simplify analytics implementation.

Those 9 levers are:

1. Know the Source of Value.   Focus on actions and decisions that generate value.  Organizations realizing value from analytics solutions are those that can readily measure their impact.

2. Culture.  Those cultures that support the availability and use of data and analytics see higher value from analytics and data.

3. Executive Support and involvement.  Infusing the use of analytics into an organization’s culture typically requires advocacy and action from the most senior levels of
the organization.

4. Measurements.  Evaluating impact on business outcomes.  

5. Trusted data and data management practices.  Decision makers must have confidence in the data before they will use it to guide their actions.

6. Disicplined approach.  Leaders use a financial rigor in analytics funding process.

7. A great software platform.  You need integrated capabilities delivered by software tools to take advantage of big data.

8. Organizational confidence in the data and the skills.

9. Focus on Skills. Development and access to skills and capabilities.   There is a huge analytics skills gap.  Those leaders focus on training a great team.

Download the full report:

Social Networks Help me Survive! 6 Degrees of Separation goes to 0!

It began as a normal day. I flew to Brazil and when I landed, I Foursquared, Tweeted and Facebooked as I headed off to meet my partners and clients.  And when I finished, I would fly off to meet the CEO of one of my top clients! This was going to be a superb day!

But then a life-changing event occurred. With a bit of water, cobblestones and bad luck, I fell while heading up a ramp. When I saw people running toward me, I knew something was not right. I could not move my left side and was panicked because all I heard was Brazilian Portuguese. Employees at my hotel called for a doctor.  IBMers and others tried to assist and get me to the right hospital, but after four hours I was in intense pain with massive blood loss.

I was afraid and alone. I was scared, very scared. I have had few accidents in my life but before this, they all happened around my family.

But that was about to change.

My new family emerged…and rose up out of social networks, both online and in the real world. First, a colleague of mine came to ride with me to the hospital. I called my parents and husband. When I arrived at the hospital, I was greeted by three local IBM colleagues who gladly helped interpret and relay my needs, including the biggest at the time — pain killer, please!!!!

I broke two toes, my left rib,  and my femur — the biggest bone in the body. I also lost about 1.5 liters of blood. (They say shock sets in at 2L.) The surgery occurred the next day and went amazingly well. And yes, I do have a long recovery of about three months ahead of me (with no travel — ouch!).  But enough about the blood and gore…

This amazing story is about the people!

Let me start with the surgeon. strong>His name is Dr Jose Sergio Franco. He is a top-rated surgeon in Brazil and was a miracle worker for me. He did emergency surgery the day after the accident and did an amazing job. My doctor in New York said it was one of the best jobs he had ever seen — better than 95% of the surgeries for like injuries in the U.S. But Jose was more. He was my cheerleader, my comforter, and my hero.
He came to see me daily and encouraged me to hang in there (said of course in the Brazilian way) even though my family wasn’t nearby. I would not be where I am without him.

The IBM Nurse Dottie Robinson, who is based in New York, immediately jumped on the phone with me time and time again to advise, reassure and ensure that I was being taken care of. With bravery and compassion, she saw to it that I was cared for in the best possible way in a foreign land. She helped me get from Brazil back home. (This part was fun: medical evac plane to San Paulo to 10-hour flight through ambulances — and bigger cars to ensure my health at every step of the way!).  She more than did her job. She extended her heart to me like I was her very own family.

Our IBM Brazil Team was amazing. Fabio Pinto de Britto rode with me to the airport and got me that much-needed pain killer. His brother Djlama flew in from Mexico to make sure I was okay and worked through getting my husband a visa in four hours (a record!). Isabella Costa argued on my behalf to get me an English-speaking nurse, and offered to stay with me through the night. And Flavio de Figueiredo Mendes rushed over to the hospital immediately after returning from 40 days in China. The heart of this team, their care and their compassion moved me beyond belief. They came to visit every day while I was there — they were transparent, helpful, thoughtful … and as I learned, truly Brazilian in their actions. I can never repay them!

Back in the States, IBM HR Executive Leader Yara Saad was also amazing. As many of you know, I was recently placed in a new role as General Manager and new HR support. But since I had bragged so much about the support Yara had provided to me in my previous role, my husband called Yara when I was injured. Despite this “not being her job,” she worked my services, my flights, and my recovery as if it was her own. She is such an incredible and talented woman with so much on her plate. I was honored and deeply touched with the time and heart she spent helping me.

My husband Todd was of course his normal self. His giving personality came through and he was in Brazil within 48 hours. I could not have done any of this without him. No questions asked. He is a keeper!

My IBM Assistant Megan Mennonna has always been a blessing to me — but on this occasion, she went above and beyond. She and Becky Michel covered the meetings, and handled the top items that we needed covered. She is such a great friend and colleague.

Also, I have to say that I already knew IBM was a great company but this experience made me realize that it is a SUPERB company that cares and shows it!

Now, combine these in-person friends that I know with my blogosphere friends. From Facebook, I received messages from Africa, Turkey, U.S., Australia, India and more. More than 10 bouquets of flowers came to my hospital room. Candies and teas from around the world were also delivered. I had hundreds of check-up posts as well as calls that crossed the social bridge from the blogosphere to the real world. These friends crossed global boundaries, and included partners, clients, IBMers and more.

It made me realize that I never could have survived without my social networks. Six degrees of separation became closer than a family. I will always remember the kindness of all my friends!

Social selling: Tip #5 Build your social graph!

Happy Monday!

We are continuing our social selling series and today will focus on one of the top 5 pieces of advice for strong selling in the blogosphere! 

The Blogosphere is a  connected community of all blogs and their interconnections, including micro-blogs, LinkedIn, Facebook, and so on. Essentially all social tools online.

Have fun building your social graph!

Mixed Audiences into today's Social Business World

Today, I was chatting with a client who proclaimed that he wished everyone was using social!  The world would be so simple!

Yes, it would but we don’t live in that world — and won’t for a few years.

Today, I see us having 3 types of people.

  1. Digital Natives.  These are people who grew up online and in social networks.   They work in a collaborative fashion — they grew up this way.   They do not do email or even answer phones.   (Note:  The post-millennial “digital native” was a term coined by U.S. author Marc Prensky. 
  2. Digital Immigrants.   These are people who have not grown up digitally but have taken to the new social world and use the tools like a native.   They have a foot in each world… being able to leverage email, and traditional forms of collaboration, with the new world. 
  3. Non Digitals or affectionately called The Analogs.  Yes we all know they and they are in very significant places of influence today.  They email, they dictate, and they don’t use Facebook.   These are some of your best clients, so you cannot leave them behind. 

Yes, and today there are digital outcasts.   These are folks who would grow up digitally but globally have not been blessed with the resources to do so.  Many companies are working on these issues which I believe must be fixed before we do see people across the globe plugged into the “AORTA,”  which is Always On RealTime Access, a term coined by Mark Anderson, the chief of the Strategic News Service.

What do you see?  How long before the Natives overtake enough influential positions?

SXSW: Key decision makers around the globe are influenced by social networks: GlobalWebIndex research SXSW session

As part of my SXSW speaking proposal on ‘How to Avoid Being a Social Zombie in a Global World’, I recently caught up with Tom Smith at GlobalWebIndex who shared some fascinating insights from their unique and far-reaching study of the patterns of key decision makers: a theme we’ll be exploring further in our session.

 The findings are a must-read for anyone who does business globally!

 Take, for instance, the GlobalWebIndex finding that those decision makers who interact most on social networks are from emerging markets such as Thailand, Turkey and Mexico. If you are looking to do business in the emerging markets, don’t ignore the local social networks!

 Also, when asked what they consider the most influential marketing channel, decision makers overwhelmingly picked ‘Conversations with people from the company/organization on a social network’. Your employees are a more trusted source than than your webinars, sales presentations or events. This is in line with our push here at IBM to become a social business: we have a strong emphasis on employee enablement.

Now, another fascinating finding is that these decision makers make heavy use of mobile technologies to access social networks, whether that be a smartphone or a tablet. Business happens around the clock and these folks are always on. Are you?

You’ll find more even more insights in this 8 minute webinar I recorded with Tom:

We will be diving deeper into this topic during the proposed session at SXSW. Want to hear more?   Don’t forget to also see my other session: Socialytics Bootcamp! Social + Big Data + Analytic

I look forward to seeing you at SXSW 2014!



Social Business Lesson: What is reflected?

As I was at the beach this summer, I caught this gorgeous picture of the moon reflecting on the water!


It got me thinking about how social reflects your company’s culture and for you personally, your personal brand.   Social really reveals all the parts of your culture — good , bad, and neutral.

The moon’s shine above in the picture is ampliflied by the water, just as your company’s cultural elements are amplified by social.

One of my favorite quotes is:

“Social doesn’t transform your culture.  It reveals your culture.”

This fact is why i advise my clients to do a cultural assessment before starting down the social path.

Here’s a quick tidbit of that assessment.    And I’ll leave you with this question.   What does social reveal about your culture?!



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