Archives for March 2014

LinkedIn Maps: Mine your own big data

You probably hadn’t considered the possibility that you personally generate anything one could call big data, but you do.  One source is your network of connections on LinkedIn. Through InMap you can create a visual representation of all your personal connections.


The above map shows my connections, including a legend of what each color grouping represents.

In a recently published book chapter called “Planning for Knowledge Management: Conducting a Knowledge Assessment” I suggest that maps like this one can be used to help understand connections within an organization.  The map is interactive, making it possible to hover over any individual’s node and see what connections track back to him or her.  Areas of overlap can also provide useful insights.

Note, the map loses some of its impact when printed in black and white, as the publisher did in the aforementioned book. The chapter in full color is available for a fee on the publisher’s website or after registering on the Shamel Information Services website.

More on Big Data

OnlineSearcher March-April_2014For more about big data, what it means, who’s using it, and why, see Chris Sherman’s article “What’s the Big Deal About Big Data” in the March/April 2014 issue of Online Searcher.  Chris discusses a number of freely accessible big data tools and points to one of my favorite blogs Information is Beautiful.



In Other News

AIIP Annual Conference, April 3-6 in Baltimore

Ulla de Stricker andCindy Shamel will present a pre-conference workshop on Wednesday, April 2 –Landing a project…then nailing it:  How to win a project then deliver quality results every time.

SLA Annual Conference in Vancouver BC, June 8-10

Another professional development opportunity for info pros will be offered by Cindy Shamel and Ulla de Stricker on June 7.  Maximizing Consultant-Client Partnerships:  Key Success Factors.  Visit the SLA website for more information or contact Cindy.

SlideShare: Searchable and Social

SlideShare offers another place in cyberspace to see and be seen.  An online community for sharing knowledge, Slideshare currently bills itself as “the world’s largest community for sharing presentations and other professional content.”  The content consists of over 15 million uploads including presentations, infographics, documents, videos, PDFs, and webinars.


SlideShare is free and open to search.  Its content can be valuable for competitive intelligence, understanding technology, or learning more about a given topic.  I recently located a detailed description of a competitor’s accounting practices (for a client related research project) and later watched an academic lecture on the knowledge audit process (for my own learning).

Once you’ve entered your search terms and have a list of preliminary results, you can limit by time, format, or language.

There are some pretty well known contributors to SlideShare including Guy Kawasaki, The White House, the United Nations Development Programme, Huffington Post, and Mashable so when you participate in the SlideShare community, you are in good company.


To take full advantage of the social aspects, you need to register and create your own profile.  Then, if you find an interesting individual or organization uploading content to SlideShare, you can follow them  and receive notifications of any new information.  Just click on the contributor’s name.  Then on their profile page click Follow.

Knowledge Management Matters

A knowledge audit can affect the bottom line.

Knowledge management – minimizing the unknowns and knowing what we know – continues to gain attention as organizations seek to wrangle tacit and explicit knowledge within their ranks.  New methods beyond the purely technical solutions are receiving closer scrutiny.

As a co-author of Knowledge Management Practice in Organizations, I recently had the opportunity to participate in a webinar organized by editor Ulla de Stricker.   We gave the presentation to a professional community of practice interested in better management of knowledge and information.

During my portion of the program I had the opportunity to discuss how a knowledge audit can benefit the organization’s bottom line.  A knowledge audit requires a commitment of time and money to collect meaningful data and develop useful insights.  The results, however, support strategic plans, establish spending priorities, advance organizational goals, and identify workable solutions to barriers affecting knowledge acquisition and sharing.  Whether the organization has eight members or 8,000 knowledge management matters.

The slides are available on SlideShare.