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New book: Social Knowledge Management in Action

10 Apr

After collaborating for a long time with Jocelyn Cranefield (Victoria University of Wellington) and Jurrian van Reijsen (my former PhD at Utrecht University). Our edited book titled: Social Knowledge Management in Action is finally published by Springer:  http://www.springer.com/kr/book/9783319451312. It is part of the Knowledge Management and Organizational Learning series, which is edited by the International Association for Knowledge Management (IAKM).

Knowledge Management became very popular in the 1990s but companies slowly lost their interest in Knowledge Management due to failed projects and a shift in attention towards new trends. But the rise of social media in the last 10 years, opened new avenues for knowledge management initiatives since these platforms have knowledge sharing in their DNA. Furthermore, knowledge sharing taking place on these platforms leave digital traces that can be analysed to further improve knowledge sharing practices. The book presents 8 chapters in which the application of social media for knowledge management are explored. It is meant to inspire both practitioners and researchers by showing current applications and suggesting new directions for research.

Of course there are more examples of social media and knowledge management then we could cover in the book. If you have inspiring examples we are happy to hear about them so that we can integrate them in our teaching on this subject. Just place a comment on this web page or send us an e-mail and perhaps this will be start for a second volume!

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Open PhD position

20 Feb

Recently we (Rogier van de Wetering, Johan Versendaal, Marjolein Caniëls and myself) got a grant from our Faculty of Management, Science & Technology of Open Universiteit to hire a new PhD. It concerns a PhD in the field of Information Systems and the title of the project is: “Co-evolutionary IS/IT alignment and Dynamic Capabilities in hospitals”. The location for this position is the beautiful city of Utrecht.

If you are interested in this position please e-mail me for further details. Or check out the vacancy text at: https://www.academictransfer.com/employer/OU/vacancy/38981/lang/en/

 

Terugblik: Datasafari – exploreren om te innoveren

17 Feb

Vrijdag 13 februari 2015 was de grote dag van mijn oratie aan de Open Universiteit te Heerlen met als titel: Datasafari – exploreren om te innoveren. Tijdens mijn rede heb ik een overzicht gegeven van het belang van datOratie_Helms1a als grondstof voor innovatie bij bedrijven en instellingen. Daarbij heb ik vooral vanuit een Informatiekundig perspectief gekeken waarbij het accent meer op de gebruiker en de organisatie lag dan op de technologie. Technologie is een belangrijke aanjager maar de stand van de technologie is inmiddels zover gevorderd dat bedrijven zich vooral moeten afvragen hoe ze deze optimaal kunnen benutten. Naar deze problematiek zal ik verder onderzoek doen binnen het expertisecentrum Business Intelligence en Smart Services in samenwerking met de Smart Services Hub. Daarbij wil ik werken aan een Datasafari-ecosysteem waarin bedrijven, kennisinstellingen en technologieleveranciers samenwerken. De basis is een bigdata-infrastructuur waarin (open) data wordt samengebracht en waarbinnen analytic tools beschikbaaprofessorenHelmsVersendaalBrinkkemperr zijn voor de analyse van de data. Daarnaast vormen de partners binnen het ecosysteem een community waarin kennisdeling, opleiding en ontwikkeling van best practices centraal staan. Binnen het ecosysteem zullen de partners samenwerken aan exploratie van data met als doel te komen tot concrete innovatie. Tevens zal er onderzoek worden gedaan naar het ecosysteem zoals bijvoorbeeld de succesfactoren voor het opzetten van een ecosysteem, de privacy van data die binnen het ecosysteem wordt gedeeld en het proces van de datasafari.

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Ik kijk terug op een fantastische middag en wil iedereen bedanken voor zijn aanwezigheid, felicitaties en complimenten. De rede is uiteraard terug te lezen in de digitale uitgave, die hier is te downloaden.

Interesse in samenwerking? Neem gerust contact op via e-mail of telefoon.

A little bit too much big data

29 Jan

In preparing my inaugural speech I needed some numbers to illustrate the size of big data. During my search I encountered a paper by McAfee & Brynjolfsson from 2012. In this paper they mention that the company Wal-Mart processes a whopping 2.5 Petabytes of data on customers transactions every hour. That sounded as a great illustration of big data because the number is huge. But then if you think about it is a huge amount of data if you consider that Wal-Mart has 11,000 stores and that they serve 245 million customers each week(1). Per hour that means that they would serve roughly 2.9 million customers considering they are open 12 hours a day and 7 days a week. But how can 2.9 million customers per hour generate 2.5 petabytes of data? 2.5 petabytes is roughly 2.6 million gigabytes (i.e. 2.5 x 1024 x 1024). So each customer would generate roughly 1 gigabyte of data from its customer transactions. If customer transactions is the list of items that you bought plus some payment and customer loyalty details then this number just cannot be true.

So I went searching for the source and at first it seemed it was an article from The Economist in 2010 reporting the same number (2). But there is no source or explained how they got to that number. Then I found an article in ComputerWorld from 2008 that reports that the databases of Wal-Mart contain 2.5 petabytes of data (3). It is interesting that this number is exactly the same as the number from the economist but instead of the contents of the whole database it transformed into data generated per hour. Continuing my search I also found a blog post that mentioned this same number and use a report from SAS as its source (4)(5). Unfortunately the SAS report has no reference as to where the number comes from. But the ComputerWorld article shows that it comes from TeraData who provided a solution to Wal-Mart for storing its data. Hence I consider this the most reliable source and do not consider it very likely that Wal-Mart handles 2.5 petabyts of data every hour from its customer transactions. Just to be sure I also asked @walmartlabs and will let you know about the outcome.

In the meantime I can still use a good example to illustrate the size of big data. So please let me know if you have one and do not forget to mention the source 😉

Update 30/1/15: On the Wal-Mart website I found a quote from 2014 by Wal-Mart’s CEO saying that they store around 30 petabytes of shopping information (6). As Wal-Mart is the source themselves I consider this one the most reliable. Note that in 2008 they ‘only’ stored 2.5 petabytes and were among the few Teradata customers, amongst for instance e-Bay and Bank of America, that crossed the 1 petabyte mark (3).

Reference(s)

McAfee, A., & Brynjolfsson, E. (2012). Big Data: the management revolution. Harvard Business Review, 90(10), 61–68.

(1) http://corporate.walmart.com/our-story/

(2) http://www.economist.com/node/15557443

(3) http://www.computerworld.com/article/2533642/data-center/teradata-creates-elite-club-for-petabyte-plus-data-warehouse-customers.html

(4) http://wikibon.org/blog/big-data-statistics/

(5) http://www.sas.com/resources/whitepaper/wp_46345.pdf

(6) http://news.walmart.com/executive-viewpoints/picking-up-the-pace-of-change-for-the-customer

Data Safari: Exploreren om te innoveren

5 Jan

Nu was ik al even benoemd als hoogleraar Informatiekunde aan de Open Universiteit, maar nu volgt dan ook de gebruikelijke rede die hoort bij het openlijk aanvaarden van het ambt van hoogleraar. Het uitspreken van de rede zal plaats vinden op vrijdag 13 februari 2015 aan de Open Universiteit te Heerlen. De titel van mijn rede is:

Data Safari: Exploreren om te innoveren

In de kenniseconomie draait het om het toepassen van kennis, waardoor innovatie en economische groei mogelijk zijn. De grondstof voor deze kennis is in toenemende mate big data die bedrijven zelf verzamelen over onder andere processen en klanten. Omzetting naar kennis vindt plaats door analyse van de data met het oog op onbekende verbanden en patronen, en vertaling via synthese naar innovaties in organisatie, proces, product en/of dienst. Voor de analyse van big data is inmiddels een arsenaal aan technieken en tools beschikbaar. Toepassing hiervan is echter slechts een voorwaarde maar geen garantie voor succes. Nodig zijn aanvullende methoden, technieken en tools die managers ondersteunen in de synthese van resultaten naar concrete innovaties, en zijn ingebed in een strategisch proces waarin managers en dataspecialisten samen data exploreren met als doel te innoveren.

U bent van harte uitgenodigd tot het bijwonen van deze plechtigheid, die tezamen met de oratie van mijn oud-collega prof.dr.ir. Johan Versendaal zal plaatsvinden. De plechtigheid start om 15:00 uur precies (ontvangst vanaf 14:30 uur) en aanmelden kan tot 6 februari 2015 op http://www.ou.nl/uitnodiging.

De complete uitnodiging (inclusief een routebeschrijving) is ook beschikbaar en is hier te downloaden.

Het gebruikelijke oratieboekje, met daarin de tekst van de rede, is hier beschikbaar.

Als hoogleraar Informatiekunde ben ik verantwoordelijk voor de door de NVAO ge-accrediteerde (deeltijd) bacheloropleiding Informatiekunde aan de Open Universiteit. Daarnaast zal ik binnen het nieuwe kenniscentrum Business Intelligence en Smart Services, een samenwerking van de kennisinstellingen Hogeschool Zuyd, Universiteit Maastricht en Open Universiteit, onderzoek uitvoeren in lijn met het onderwerp zoals naar voren gebracht in mijn rede.

New book: Social Knowledge Management in Action

6 Oct

Currently I am preparing a new (edited) book on Social Knowledge Management in Action together with Dr Jocelyn Cranefield (Victoria University of Wellington) and Dr Jurriaan van Reijsen (formerly Utrecht University). This book aims to provide an overview of new and innovative applications of social media for knowledge management and to report on the facilitators of success, as well as the challenges, risks and issues that need to be tackled in applying social media in organizational contexts.

Knowledge management (KM) is a well-known concept and concerns managing the knowledge life cycle consisting of creating, storing, sharing and applying knowledge in an organizational context. Several types of knowledge systems, for example knowledge repositories, expert systems and yellow pages, have been introduced over the years, to support knowledge management initiatives at organizations, with various success rates. Many of these knowledge systems aimed to codify knowledge in the organization, yet relatively few aimed to support the socialization approach to knowledge management.

Social media have the potential to help redress this imbalance by supporting both the codification and socialization approach towards knowledge management. A key characteristic of social media is that content is generated, shared and combined by the users through social means. Effective use of social media therefore has the potential to support the creation of new knowledge while building a shared awareness of the knowledge and expertise within the organization, in turn facilitating the development of transactive memory and social capital. At the same time, the content and interaction history is digitally captured by social media applications, offering organizations the opportunity to apply knowledge mining techniques. Furthermore, social media may help strengthen the absorptive capacity of the organization through collaboration that crosses departmental, divisional and/or  organizational boundaries.

Many organizations have recognized the potential of social media, using it for knowledge management applications. For example, wikis are being used to collect organizational knowledge and social networking tools are being used to support the exchange of ideas and innovation. This book should provide an overview of work in the area of Social Media for Knowledge Management to inspire both practitioners and academics.

The full call for proposals can be found here. The most important deadlines for contributing to the book are shown below:

October 15, 2014: Submission of abstracts (500 words)
October 22, 2014: Invitation to submit full paper
January 5, 2015: Submission of full chapter
February 15, 2015: Review notification
March 15, 2015: Submission of revised paper
April 11, 2015: Final notification of acceptance

For any question do not hesitate to contact me.

Appointed as full-professor in IS

2 Sep

As of September 1, 2013, I have been appointed as full-professor in Information Systems (IS) at Open University in Heerlen. It is a part-time position and I really look forward in managing the Information Systems educational program at Open University and setting up research in the area of Information Systems (Dutch: Informatiekunde). There are many challenges coming up for the Open University and the first major one is the merger of the Computer Science, Management Science and Science department into one faculty headed by dean Prof.dr. Gerard Mertens. On my blog I will update you on new educational and research developments in my job at Open University.

Nominated for AIS Council

17 Apr

Recently I have been asked to candidate myself as the Region 2 Representative in the Council of the Association of Information Systems (AIS). The association is the premier professional association for individuals and organizations who lead the research, teaching, practice, and study of information systems worldwide. Being an AIS member for many years I am currenly involved in the AIS as the Organizing Chair for ECIS2013, which is an AIS affiliated conference, and as moderator of the @AISconnect Twitter account. I would really appreciate your vote and below you can find my plans for when I am elected and a biography.

VOTE NOW!

My plans for Region 2

If elected as the region 2 representative of the AIS, my overarching goal is to strengthen the region 2 IS community. Before outlining my plans, I acknowledge the outstanding work of the current region 2 representative, Dr Nancy Pouloudi. Nancy has succeeded in bringing ECIS and AIS closer together for the organization of ECIS. Her efforts have also led to the formation of new local AIS chapters in region 2. My plans below build on Nancy’s work.

I strongly believe that local AIS chapters are the hubs of a strong and healthy IS community in region 2. I would like to establish connections between local AIS chapters in region 2, particularly for regions currently underrepresented. Establishing such connections starts with developing an awareness of other local chapters’ existence, knowledge and experience. I will build initial awareness and connections which will lead to new research collaborations and knowledge exchange. I also propose a program of exchange in region 2. Academic staff and student exchange will motivate research collaboration and broaden knowledge among other important benefits. Many universities already have grants/scholarships to support such exchange. Lastly, the future of the IS academic community relies on graduate student success. If elected, I will initiate the formation of student chapters and connect them through activities such as case competitions and summer schools.

We already have a great IS academic community. I am asking for your support and vote to take it to the next level!

Biography

Dr. Remko Helms is an assistant professor in the Organization & Information group in the Department of Information and Computing Science at Utrecht University, The Netherlands. He holds an MSc (cum laude in Management Science and Industrial Engineering) and a PhD (Information Systems) from Eindhoven University of Technology in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. Currently he is the organizing chair for ECIS 2013.
Helms has worked in industry and academia for over fifteen years. In industry he consulted to a wide range of clients in different industries on business process improvement and product lifecycle management systems. Since entering academia he has taught and researched IS, focusing on social media, knowledge management and virtual customer environments. His interests in research methods have centered on the use of qualitative approaches with social network and content analysis techniques.
Helms has published extensively in major IS conferences, journals and books. He has served on program committees for key IS and knowledge management conferences. He has reviewed extensively for major IS conferences such as ECIS, PACIS, HICSS and ICIS and IS journals such as IJIM and JAIS. Enjoying research collaboration, Helms has been a visiting researcher to universities such as the University of Melbourne, Australia and the University of Victoria, Canada.
Helms greatly enjoys supporting the global IS academic community through cutting edge initiatives, with prior roles including department editor for AIS for social media (@AISconnect) and founding member of the International Association of Knowledge Management.

ICSE 2013 paper – The Role of Domain Knowledge and Cross-Functional Communication in Socio-Technical Coordination

29 Mar

Last year I spent 3 months at University of Victoria at Vancouver Island, visiting associate professor Daniele Damian. Besides a very pleasant stay it also has been a fruitful collaboration that resulted in a paper that has been accepted at the prestigious International Conference on Software Engineering:

Damian, D, Helms, R.W., Marczak, S., Kwan, I., Koelewijn, B. (2013). The Role of Domain Knowledge and Hierarchical Control Structures in Socio-technical Coordination. Proceedings of 35th Interational Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2013), May 22-24, San Francisco, USA.

A nice overview of the paper can be found on the blog of Irwin Kwan, one of the co-authors of the paper and currently working at Oregon State University, USA. The collaboration with Daniela Damian is ongoing and shortly after I left Victoria last year one of my students, Robin van de Akker, visited her group. In July 2013 we receive Daniela Damian for a visit at Utrecht University with guest lectures on our paper and on how to publish on ICSE.

If you like outdoors, you definitely should visit Vancouver Island. If you are a student of Utrecht University you can e-mail for opportunities to go there for a project.

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