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Skillsoft Strategy: Harnessing the Power of Big Data

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John Ambrose, SVP, Strategy Corporate Development and Emerging Business at Skillsoft, explores why big data is one of the hottest buzzwords in technology. Big data is already changing industries from …

John Ambrose, SVP, Strategy Corporate Development and Emerging Business at Skillsoft, explores why big data is one of the hottest buzzwords in technology. Big data is already changing industries from retail to healthcare to transportation and more.

How can the learning industry benefit from big data? Skillsoft is undertaking groundbreaking research in collaboration with IBM, the biggest name in big data. John Ambrose shared some of the early findings of a multi-phase joint development agreement between Skillsoft and IBM Research to leverage the learning interactions of millions of learners to create more personalized, adaptive enterprise learning experience – in order to predict what content and topics learners will need based on a variety of factors including job role, company, and even day of the week.

In addition to sharing Skillsoft's efforts to harness the power of big data to transform enterprise learning, John shared other new developments and areas of strategic focus that Skillsoft is working on to bring the latest in learning innovation to our customers.


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  • 1. Harnessing the Power of Big Data John Ambrose, SVP Strategy and Corporate Development @johnJambrose
  • 2. Opening the Black Box
  • 3. Witness to Greatest Transformation of Information in History 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 1986 1993 2000 2007 Overall Exabytes 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 1986 1993 2000 2007 99 97 75 6 1 3 25 94 Analog Digital Source: Hilbert and Lopez, “The world’s technological capacity to store, communicate, and compute information,” Science, 2011 Data storage growing significantly Shift from analog to digital data since 2000
  • 4. Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends 2014 2,532 Business and HR Leaders 94 Countries All Industries
  • 5. “Businesses around globe struggling to adapt to the needs of the 21st century workforce” The ‘Overwhelmed Employee’
  • 6. Employees Deluged by Data and Interruption Emails Tweets Meetings Conference Calls Voicemails Text Messages Flood of Information
  • 7. Checks cellphone_______times per day? The Overwhelmed Employee… A 1-49 B 50-99 C 100-149 D 150+ 150+ 150+
  • 8. 150 Times per Day… 0 5 10 15 20 25 Other Search Web Calendar News & Alerts Alarm Camera Social Media Gaming Music Checking Time Voice Call Messaging Research Shows: # of Times Typical User Checks Phone per Day Source: Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, Internet Trends D11 Conference, presented by Mary Meeker and Liang Wu, 5/23/2013
  • 9. Can only focus for ____ minutes at a time? The Overwhelmed Employee… A 90 Mins. B 60 Mins. C 30 Mins. D 5 Mins 5 Mins. 5
  • 10. 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 1998 2008 2018 12 Minutes 5 Minutes ??? Minutes 12 minutes in 1998 to a measly 5 minutes in 2008 The Average Adult Attention Span has Plunged
  • 11. “Everything is happening so fast that it may as well be simultaneous. One big now.” - Douglas Rushkoff
  • 12. BigData So what’s the antidote to data overload? ?
  • 13. What’s the Big Deal about Big Data? • The clickstream data of 45 Million online shoppers is analysed monthly by Walmart • As a result, provides personalized choices to customer, increasing transactions between 10-15%. (Gartner, 2013) Drives Revenue I • $2 Billion is identified by Visa as potential fraud before lost • Thanks to “analytic engine” that powers their advanced use of data. (Wall Street Journal, March 2013) Reduces Cost II • 75% of survey respondents said better management of big data helps with smarter business decisions • More than 37.5% said analysing big data was their biggest challenge (Information Week, 8/2012) Improves Decisions III • By 2015, 4.4 million IT jobs globally will be created to support big data • 1.9 million IT jobs will be created in the US (Gartner, 2012) • Massive training opportunity!! Creates Jobs IV
  • 14. Skillsoft Offers a Treasure Trove of Content Assets
  • 15. The “Harnessing” of Big Data
  • 16. Data-driven Enterprise Gary Loveman CEO Caesar’s Entertainment
  • 17. Harnessing Data to Enhance the Experience
  • 18. Old Adage Adapted for New Era “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas … … as data”
  • 19. Skillsoft’s History of Anticipating and Investing in Innovation Business Skills Online Informal & Formal Learning Portals Simulations Skillport 8 What’s Next ?
  • 20. Harnessing of the Underlying Learning Data Mobile Learning content Social SearchPortals Global Simulations Targeted VideoExam PreparationCore Instruction
  • 21. Skillport Licensed Users Skillport Content Assets 1 Trillion+ User-Content Interactions 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 CY 2011 CY 2012 CY 2013 Millions 0 10,000 20,000 30,000 40,000 50,000 60,000 CY 2011 CY 2012 CY 2013 X Mining data on massive scale requires specialized expertise
  • 22. Today - Corporate Level Demonstrating Business Impact • Align learning solutions • Context is key Alignment • Demonstrate impact vs objectives • Optimize Value • Define objectives • Success Criteria Engagement • Marketing with purpose • Accessibility and visibility are vital Adoption
  • 23. Future – Individual Level Today - Corporate Level Demonstrating Business Impact • Align learning solutions • Context is key Alignment • Demonstrate impact vs objectives • Optimize Value • Define objectives • Success Criteria Engagement • Marketing with purpose • Accessibility and visibility are vital Adoption
  • 24. The Potential of Big Data for Learning User-centric Data-driven Dynamic Program-centric Anecdotal Manual Transforms the Overwhelmed User into an Empowered Learner
  • 25. Big Data Analytics SocialBehavioral patterns Machine Learning Mutual Desire to Invent the Future
  • 26. T J Watson Research Center Multi-year agreement JDA - Most prestigious level of engagement Co-inventing patentable technologies Algorithms for Skillport
  • 27. Start with the Business Opportunity, not the Data “The most effective approach to building a model usually starts, not with the data, but with identifying a business opportunity and determining how the model can improve performance… …We have found that such hypothesis-led modelling generates faster outcomes and roots models in practical data relationships that are more broadly understood by managers.”
  • 28. • Engagement Sensors – mine usage patterns to determine best time and channel to interact • Recommendations engine – create personalized learning recommendations leveraging user-content interactions, content ontologies and temporal consumption patterns • Visualization techniques – to provide visual context along three different dimensions The Result: Data-Driven Adaptive Learning Platform Adaptive Learning Key to Unparalleled User Experience of the Future
  • 29. Video User Scenario: View on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Texn4xpaZ0w
  • 30. User Value:  Continuously learning  Anticipates my needs and aspirations  Richer content = richer experience  Higher engagement Organizational Value:  Scalable  Impactful outcomes  Manages talent forward  Performance is not an annual event Performance Improvement = Personal & Continuous
  • 31. “Not the latest fad, it’s the future of how we are going to guide and grow business.” Big Data is the Future
  • 32. Harnessing the Power of Big Data John Ambrose, SVP Strategy and Corporate Development

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