Enterprise social data could help provide customized employee experiences

Tools

In a guest post this week, Tony White from Ars Logica talked about the growing use of analytics to drive content delivery and, perhaps eventually, create personalized experiences for visitors based on their online habits. Now imagine, you applied that same type of analytical expertise to users inside the enterprise. By understanding each employee's social footprint, companies can begin to build a clearer picture of their charges and use this information to make more logical connections and decisions about how to best use the employee's talents.

As employees use Enterprise 2.0 social tools, explained Jive Software's Senior VP of products Chris Morace, companies can begin to see other employees they connect to, the documents they read, the projects they work on and much more. Layer this information with an organizational chart, and employees can filter the information that's most important to them.

Morace said it's something Jive can do to some extent today using their "What Matters" product to deliver the most relevant content to each employee based on this information that they know about a person. And unlike the open web, organizations don't have to deal with the same privacy issues because employees for the most part don't have any privacy expectations when using tools at work.

But this is really just the beginning of what companies could do with this information. They could also create more personalized work experiences in house. They could match employees with similar interests and expertise to help them find the most relevant resources.

At a session at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Santa Clara, Calif. on Tuesday, hosted by Real Story Group's Tony Byrne, Walton Smith, who has helped build the internal social network at Booz Allen Hamilton discussed how this information can help employees. In fact, he was able to turn a reluctant user of his company's social service into a fan in a couple of minutes by showing her how to use the social information to connect her to data and people that mattered to her.

Smith explained that this particular employee came to him because her boss had insisted, but she had told him, she didn't have time for "toys." Smith decided to help this person understand the power of the system by simply looking up her area of expertise (a narrow market, he explained) and the system returned a rich set of documents and contacts--many of which, this person had never seen in spite of expertise in the market at the company. At that point, Smith said, she insisted, he explain how to use this "tool."

"She went from 'toy' to 'tool' in three minutes," he said.

If the Enterprise 2.0 social system can help users do their jobs better, with less friction than traditional systems, it could be a very powerful combination for enterprises.

For more information:
- see Bill Ives' Fast Forward series on Implementing Enterprise 2.0 at Booz Allen Hamilton
- see Chris Morace's blog post explaining Jive's What Matters

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