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Big Data; a Learning breakthrough

February 27, 2014, Robin Martin -

The Internet seems awash with discussions of ‘big data’. Every day more stories reveal how we are using huge chunks of information in ever more creative ways to help us pinpoint demand and opportunity. That said, the Learning sector has sometimes appeared a bit slow to grasp this. Instead, we seem more focused on Social opportunities – favouring self-directed research, where we find our own way in a world of crowd- generated wisdom.  

But that can be harder than it sounds.  How can you direct yourselves to learn when we don’t know what you are looking for? Sometimes the task of finding Learning online can take longer than the Learning itself. Even when you’ve found an answer to what you are looking for, how do you know it’s the right answer? In short, how can you know what you don’t know? Step forward TIM.

The Intelligent Mentor (TIM) is kind of a career ‘GPS’ for employees from Saba. It automatically learns about you, based on what you do in the Saba Cloud. It remembers who you are and what you do. It even looks at other people in similar roles to see what they are doing. It then makes personal recommendations about content, classes and mentors to help you develop. And like all big data projects, the more you use it the better it gets. Even the act of rejecting a recommendation helps it make better ones in the future.

By its very nature therefore, this ‘machine Learning’ methodology can only improve. Before you panic, you’ll be pleased to know this is not about some kind of Terminator, Schwarzenegger led, apocalyptic future. But it is about continuous improvement in Learning and predicting new programmes of self-improvement based on ever better data sets. That has to be a big deal for both the individuals and organisations who get more functional (and probably happier) employees.

But that’s not the best thing about TIM. The best thing is that it really was created by a guy called Tim.

 

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