Remember the famous monkey-in-the-middle problem I mentioned earlier? Here I post my solution to this problem.
How do you gather information in a large company like IBM? You have to schedule meetings, meetings and more meetings – trying to figure out what’s going on. Or you can take several audits, collect evidence and publish your findings if you think they’re relevant enough.
Why do you have to chase for good analytics? The whole problem is that most of the analysis is done a-posteriori, when a task has already been done. Instead of performing an analysis task separated from the normal work, the analysis part of each work step should be integrated into the work.
An easy step to integrate the collection of data into your normal work is to use information technology to process your data. For example, paperwork does not integrate the data collection part into your daily business. Paperwork prevents the efficient sharing of information, ideas and innovation by its inability to integrate the analysis part of your work right into the process. If you draw something on paper you might interchange some information with others who are in the same room, but there is no way to share information automatically with other people in distant locations. It is also not possible to store and archive your data in real time: you may have to photograph or to scan your drawing to store it on your labtop or PC. The analyst must chase you to get the information you want to provide.
This problem could simply be avoided by creating your documents not on paper, but in electronic form and in a shared environment. If you write something in an Internet Forum, it can directly be accessed by other people. The analyst stops being the monkey-in-the-middle, once we use shared electronic media. The simple, but smart solution to the monkey-in-the-middle problem is changing the media where information is transferred through.
Currently I am working in a project with the goal to automate most IBM Service Management processes and to make them available for Business Intelligence and Reporting. Most current Service Management processes are unstructured. I don’t say here that our processes are chaotic. Of course they are well-defined and measurable, but there is almost no electronic tool support for our processes. Therefore it is almost impossible to automatically analyze our work. In Service Management, the monkey-in-the-middle problem becomes evident.
The solution is again a change of the communication media. Because we use ISM Maximo for Request Processing, Incident, Problem and Change Management, all data is available in electronic form. It can be analyzed by using Cognos Business Intelligence software. Now that we use shared electronic media it is possible to analyze the whole business in real time. Smarter analytics is not only about more intelligent algorithms and more computational power: it is about embedding analytic capabilities into the daily business. As you may have read many stories about the intelligence our new IBM Watson expert system provides, it may be an interesting thought to think about the intelligence the use of shared electronic media provides.