Millennials and knowledge sharing

This post examines how the knowledge-sharing practices of millennials can affect the organizations for which they work.  The article discusses the importance of collaboration in the workplace, and notes that while older workers prefer face-to-face interactions, for millennials, this is anathema. They would rather communicate using online meetings, chat apps or online tools to get things done. A coffee and a face-to-face meeting is too outdated for them. I’m not a millennial, but I have to agree with them on this one, but this might be related more to my introversion than it does to my age. This is the danger of generalization, of course.

The author notes further that it is the millennials who want tools to help them work through a problem the fastest. When looked at by age groups, a large number of millennials (71%) said they face challenges with their collaboration tools, compared with Generation Xers (62%) and baby boomers (45%). The always-on generation need [sic] to fix their cravings for information instantly.

The author points to the importance of having collaborative tools that function efficiently, but that have robust features to maintain the integrity and security of information.

The future of knowledge management

In this post, Bernie Palowitch, President of Iknow LLC, discusses the challenges facing knowledge management (KM):

  1. Relevance. Ensuring that KM programs have direct relevance or impact on the organization.
  2. Grappling with the explosion of available content. Dealing with the increasing amounts of content in varied forms, including social media and public websites.
  3. Finding the right technology solution for a specific use case. Finding the KM software that best meets your needs is becoming increasingly challenging with the growth in the number of this software.
  4. Funding. Ensuring executive support and KM program funding.
  5. Tailoring your KM program to meet your organization’s “big picture” demographics. Do you have a good understanding of the demographic composition of your employees and clients?

Data stewardship is everyone’s concern

In this post, Robert Steiner expands the notion of a Data Steward (someone who has formal accountability for data in an organization) to extend to everyone in the organization:

My premise is based on the fact that everybody that comes in contact with data should have formal accountability for that contact. In other words, people that define, produce, and use data must be held accountable for how they define, produce, and use the data. This may be common sense, but the truth is that this is not taking place. Formalizing accountability to execute and enforce authority over data is the essence of using stewardship to govern data.

Steiner argues that everyone who comes in contact with sensitive data is subject to all regulations that govern its use. Steiner advocates for a “Non-Invasive Data Governance” program that formalizes that level of data usage accountability. In this program:

  • Organizations should identify people who have a level of accountability for the data they are defining, producing and using to complete their job or function.
  • Organizations should identify existing escalation paths and decision making capabilities from both a positive (how and why is it working) and negative (why doesn’t it always work) perspective.
  • Organizations should recognize people for what they do with data, and help them formalize their behavior to the benefit of others potentially impacted by that behavior.

This program uses the following Data Governance Operating Model of Roles & Responsibilities:



Q&A feature in Google Slides

I have been using Google Slides increasingly for presentations, as I find it works more smoothly for public displays, although I don’t think it has all the features of PowerPoint yet. An interesting feature that I would like to explore in the academic year allows students to submit their questions to the slides via a web-enabled device. This is done via an Audience Tools area. This article discusses the use of this feature in more detail.


If you click on a question (there is no assumption that you would choose all of them), it appears as a new slide, which allows you discuss the question with the class.

I think this feature would work well also for presentations, as it gives you the option of collecting all questions and addressing them at the end of the presentation; this can be a good way of managing time. It also allows the audience members to not forget the question they wish to ask, especially if your policy is to allow questions only at the end of a presentation. It could help students who are too shy to raise their hands; on the other hand, I think we need to be careful of providing too large a safety net, as helping students manage their discomfort with public speaking is one of our roles as instructors. Below are other suggested uses highlighted by the author:

  • Leave questioning open for the whole class period. In a large lecture, students who may be hesitant to raise their hand and ask a question may feel more comfortable submitting their question anonymously.
  • Have students work in groups and submit questions about the material after a lecture.
  • Have students share examples (anonymously or with their names) from their own experience about whatever the instructor is discussing.
  • Have students, in groups or individually, create 25 word summaries and submit them via Q & A.
  • Collect questions all during class, and then have students work into groups and choose a question to answer as a group.

I particularly like the last application, as  it allows students to engage in more active learning.



Metadata is not a technical term anymore

In this article, Dr. Ron Klein provides a useful framework by which metadata can be understood.


Klein suggests the following steps in the successful implementation of a metadata strategy:


Define – make your words reverberate across the organization. Name things clearly and properly; use the cultural slang but innovate to improve understanding and improve communication.

Capture – ensure it is well documented and communicate, communicate, communicate. Use this opportunity to review on an item-by-item basis: (1) update/revise and check the terms, (2) delete duplications, or (3) rationalize similar ones.

Assess Quality – validate that it is in use appropriately with different audiences.

Deliver– Once updated, publish through all channels you can utilize.

Sustain – keep doing it, always.

The revelatory nature of telephone metadata

A study was conducted in Stanford University to examine the impact on privacy of the National Security Agency’s collection of bulk telephone metadata nationwide. The study found that telephone metadata is densely interconnected, can trivially be reidentified, enables automated location and relationship inferences, and can be used to determine highly sensitive traits.

The authors conclude that more broadly, this project emphasizes the need for scientifically rigorous surveillance regulation. Much of the law and policy that we explored in this research was informed by assumption and conventional wisdom, not quantitative analysis. To strike an appropriate balance between national security and civil liberties, future policymaking must be informed by input from the relevant sciences.