Making sense of crowdsourced data

Turns out crowdsourcing has a lot in common with information governance.

This week at a beautiful desert oasis in New Mexico, Chaordix participated on IBM’s Data Governance Council Forum to work on strengthening and modernizing the Maturity Model that sets out best practices for information governance that distinguish leading organizations. Among an elite of IT, governance and finance professionals for some of the world’s largest organizations in health, banking, utility sector and the US Army, I began feeling an outsider to the scope and scale of information management challenges that these organizations face.

But when asked what they wanted to talk about, it turned out their top 3 interests were the same as top concerns enterprises have about data that is…crowdsourced!


Claudia Moore | http://www.chaordix.com

Is it true? Do I understand it? Is it data I can apply to perform better, right now?

Turns out crowdsourcing has a lot in common with information governance.

This week at a beautiful desert oasis in New Mexico, Chaordix participated on IBM’s Data Governance Council Forum to work on strengthening and modernizing the Maturity Model that sets out best practices for information governance that distinguish leading organizations. Among an elite of IT, governance and finance professionals for some of the world’s largest organizations in health, banking, utility sector and the US Army, I began feeling an outsider to the scope and scale of information management challenges that these organizations face.

But when asked what they wanted to talk about, it turned out their top 3 interests were the same as top concerns enterprises have about data that is…crowdsourced!

Crowdsourced data can pose some interesting governance challenges. For example, how to ensure semantic consistency: how can we get people from all different groups (think IT, engineering, finance…), with different first languages, and different cultures talking in a way we understand? Can we structure it to make it work and analyze it to make sense of it?

At Chaordix this comes up frequently, especially working with global organizations and when moving from closed-end surveying where answers are constrained, to crowdsourcing where people can submit freeform answers and comments. We of course apply crowdsourcing models and processes to make input meaningful and useful, but also want people to behave as they do – inconsistently! Absolute control comes at a cost of potential innovation and learning from your employees, consumers, partners or public. While we have some tools today, we are constantly looking for better analysis methods to identify patterns in language, mark interest clusters with tagging, and make it all easy to mine with search.

Data out of Chaordix is relied on to identify which product will sell most, which action will yield the most brand loyalty, which R&D answer is the right one and more. Crowdsourcing is catching on precisely for the reason that it lets more than a few internal experts guess at best outcomes. It lets a diverse and qualified group have a say, often those very people who will actually use a product. When we can help enterprises attract a diverse and qualified crowd, their volume response yields wisdom of the crowd.

We’re working hard on extracting ever better insight from crowdsourced data and if you follow us we’d love your thoughts. Our projects generate copious amounts of raw data to mine. Here are some of the latest we’ve focused on recently: co-created products ( see Mobile Volunteering), answers to difficult to solve problems (Global Voices for Maternal Health), and even policy innovation (see winners discovered Canada’s Digital Compass ).

Thanks to Steven Adler for inviting us to be part of the Smart Governance forum in Tamaya NM and for continuing to inspire leadership in information management. Take a look at IBM’s latest step to shift open – www.infogovcommunity.com.

Autor: Gabriel Catalano - human being | (#IN).perfección®

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