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The power of people-first data design (Video)

Learn more at KMWorld 2019, coming to Washington, DC, Nov. 5-7.

Watch the complete video of this presentation, Accelerating Digital Business Clarity, in the KMWorld Conference 2018 Video Portal.

Sriram surfaces ideas on how the world’s biggest and most innovative companies transform customer and employee experiences. Learn how the best and brightest organizations take a human-first approach to finally meet the transformational promise of Big Data by delivering moments of clarity to employees and customers alike through engaging digital experiences. 

Customers or companies that foster a culture of innovation, and foster a culture of collaboration will win, according to Lucidworks CMO Vivek Sriram, who delivered a presentation at KMWorld 2018 that looked at how organizations are taking a human-first approach to meeting the transformational promise of big data through engaging digital experiences. 

These organizations and individuals will win not only, because they've understood the importance of using machines to improve the lives of humans at work but they will do so because they put humans first, and machines as a way of augmented things that people do, said Sriram. 

“For those of you that don't know, Reddit is the fifth or sixth biggest website on the planet. In many ways it's the front door to the internet. It's where people get together and talk about any number of different things. Search and knowledge management technologies, recommendation engines really power the experience for people there. They're really using AI to provide assistive, immersive experiences for people as they're engaging with content. Red Hat, recently acquired by IBM, uses CAM and AI to help their support agents be better at their jobs. They've dropped their service tickets by 50,000, and reduced their cost of ownership by over 90%, by using AI to help service agents understand what to do, and do their jobs better. Even before, often times, customers raise issues to them. There are very many more examples like this. 

“The question then you might have is how do this stuff actually happen? It happens in the case of Reddit, and in the case of Red Hat, and any number other folks the SAS Institute. They kind of pivoted from thinking about the world from a data-centric, data first perspective to a human centered model. I'll just call out a couple of these pillars. The number one thing is that for many of these companies who have approached it this way is that it's not really about the data. It's about people, first of all. It's about empowering people.” 

Taking it a step further, he said, it's not about simply managing, collecting, and storing data because today, those are almost table stakes. “Any sophisticated system has to be able to do that, and has to be able to do so at scale, but it's about applying that data, and creating experiences that make sense for people. So, this kind of requires a shift in focus from thinking about this architecture, and IT, and the system complexity involved in it. Those things aren't going to go away, but you have to go beyond that to think about, ‘Well, how do we take this and make it make sense for people in everyday, in everything that they do?’ Shifting the mindset from thinking about activity and looking only at the past to thinking about intent, and what does it mean for people at all times?” 

Lucidworks, said Sriram, has tried to crystallize this into a few points, and applied them to how products are designed. 

“Number one,” he said, “is that systems have to automate processes, and automation has to be intelligent. The complexity around data, and entitlements, and security is not going to go away, but you can't force people to have to deal with that all the time. If they do, then they're not creating, they're not innovating, they're not working with each other. They're fundamentally, not solving interesting problems.” 

Number two is that there is a unified data layer, he noted. “This goes around with this ever-present idea of data silos, or data dispersion. This problem is also not going away. In fact, it's probably getting bigger because if you think about this explosion of functions, specific workflow and analytics tools, especially SAS space tools. There's an analytics tools for any possible workflow you can imagine.” The trick then is empowering people to apply design thinking to what they do by creating software or buying software that abstracts a lot of these problems, and shifts it from individual analysts or knowledge workers having to deal with it, he explained. 

Next is to think about systems as being intent-driven. “So, search engines understand intent. This is the fundamental way in which they're different from databases, but as you think about either buying systems or building them on your own ... Now, this is an interesting way to apply a very simple, but powerful shift in thinking. Understanding user content is the key to making this digital disruption.” 

Think about common business models, and how the ability to apply an intent-based approach to models can result in multiplier effects, advised Sriram. “So, the next new application that you build uses the same data infrastructure, uses the same common business models, and removes the need to have to do everything on a one-off basis.” 

Many speakers have made their presentations available at www.kmworld.com/Conference/2018/Presentations.aspx.

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