Let's Predict the Future: C1 Some Approaches


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Slides on "Let's Predict the Future: Some Approaches" for a workshop session on "Predicting the Future" held on 3 June 2014 at the SAOIM 2014 conference in Pretoria, South Africa and facilitated by Brian Kelly, Cetis.

See https://ukwebfocus.wordpress.com/events/saoim-2014-lets-predict-the-future-workshop/

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Let's Predict the Future: C1 Some Approaches

  1. 1. C: Approaches Let’s Predict the Future! A half-day workshop at the SAOIM 2014 conference held on Tuesday 3 June 2014 facilitated by Brian Kelly, Cetis Slides available under a Creative Commons licence (CC-BY) 1 C1: Let’s Predict the Future! Some Approaches
  2. 2. Why Future-Watch? Need for future-watching to help identify tomorrow’s key technologies: • Change existing business processes • Decide to invest resources in finding out more (e.g. commissioning reports) • Invest in training and development in new areas • Explore ways of deprecating existing services (cf WH Smith’s decision to stop selling CD singles in 2004) • … 2
  3. 3. Accompanying Paper Papers on “What Next for Libraries? Making Sense of the Future” and “Reflecting on Yesterday, Understanding Today, Planning for Tomorrow” presented at EMTACL 2012 and Umbrella 2013 conferences See: • bit.ly/emtacl12-kelly • bit.ly/umbrella-13-kelly 3
  4. 4. Inventions, Innovations, Improvements From Wikipedia: • Invention: the creation of the idea or method itself. • Innovation: the use of a better and, as a result, novel idea or method. • Improvement: doing current activities better. 4 Today’s focus: innovations and improvements within the organisation / sector.
  5. 5. JISC Observatory JISC Observatory: • JISC-funded initiative • Systematises processes for anticipating and responding to projected future trends & scenarios • Provided by JISC Innovation Support Centres at Cetis and UKOLN • Ran from 2011-2013 • See <http://blog.observatory.jisc.ac.uk/> 5 Cessation of core funding for UKOLN and CETIS led to closure of JISC Observatory on 31 July 2013. Therefore need to ensure sustainability of ideas and approaches for use by institutions
  6. 6. JIS Observatory process JIS Observatory process 6
  7. 7. Scanning Activities Blog posts: Posts published on JISC Observatory blog and on existing blogs. Monitoring trends: Monitoring trends in order to:  Benchmark current usage patterns  Identify trends  Identify emerging patterns of usage 7
  8. 8. Sense-making Need to: • Understand limitations of evidence-gathering techniques (including documenting ‘paradata’ so survey findings are reproducible & can be critiqued) • Provide suggestions of implications of developments for the sector In addition need to encourage feedback on: • Evidence-gathering techniques • Interpretation of findings • Implications of developments In order to inform: • Further investigation • Policy-making, planning and funding 8
  9. 9. Significant Trends: Mobile We now know of the importance of Mobile 9 Tecmark Digital Marketing Agency
  10. 10. Significant Trends: Mobile Need to gather evidence from multiple sources 10
  11. 11. Significant Trends: Mobile We now know of the importance of Mobile: but did we say the same when WAP came along? 11
  12. 12. Significant Trends: Social Media There were “more than 150 million Tweets about the Olympics over the past 16 days”. [Twitter blog] 12
  13. 13. Significant Trends: Social Media Survey in Aug 2012 of institutional use of Facebook across the 24 Russell Group universities found >1M ‘Likes’ followers 13
  14. 14. Behind The Data Trends in Fb ‘Likes’ for Russell Group universities since Jan 2011 show steady increase 14 But note increase in Jul 2012 due to addition of 4 new universities! But might trends hide a more complex story: • Usage & growth dominated by one significant player. • More modest usage generally 01/2011 09/2011 05/2012 08/2012
  15. 15. Need for Paradata Surveys carried out to monitor usage & trends for: • Institutional use of social media • Use of researcher profiling services (e.g. Google Scholar, Academia.edu, …) across institutions Observations (and feedback): • Differing results found if quotes used • Possible inclusion of wrong Unis (e.g. Newcastle University, Australia) • Personalised results depending on client environment 15 Need to provide paradata and encourage feedback on processes and interpretation of findings
  16. 16. Lies, Damned Lies and Graphs “#Blekko traffic goes through the roof – for good reason. Try it out!” Based on blog post entitled “Blekko’s Traffic Is Up Almost 400 Percent; Here Are The CEO’s Five Reasons Why” (includes dissatisfaction with Google) 16 Is Blekko’s Traffic Really Going Through The Roof? Will It Challenge Google?, UK Web Focus blog, 18 April 2012
  17. 17. Open Sense-making Importance of open approaches to interpretation of signals: • Evidence-gathering methodologies may have flaws • Incorrect or inappropriate implications may be made • This may lead to wrong decisions being made 17 Open sense-making approaches may be difficult – your marketing department may wish a consistent, positive message to be made.
  18. 18. Beware vested interests who may be threatened by implications of predictions Developments may • Be aligned with current plans • Challenge current plans 18 5 April 2013
  19. 19. Sense-Making: Social Media Social media: • Is about nodes and connections • Numbers do matter for effective engagement and disseminations • Experiences from other areas:  Nos. of mobile phones  Importance of email  “All bugs are shallow to many eyes” Implications: • Importance of best practices for popular & well- used channels • Difficulties for new entrants e.g. Diaspora (open alternative to Facebook) and identi.ca and app.net (new open alternative to Twitter) 19
  20. 20. JIS Observatory process JIS Observatory process 20
  21. 21. Conclusions • We tend to believe in prediction which interest is or justifies our existence • Economic realities necessitates more objective approaches to future-watching • Social media and big data can provide access to evidence that was previously difficult to use • Evidence-gathering processes and interpretation can also be flawed, so need for open debate 21
  22. 22. Questions Any questions? 22