Meet IBM researcher Shiri Kremer-Davidson

A social media maven whose dashboard can score your social engagement

Shiri Kremer-Davidson
Editor’s note: Shiri Kremer-Davidson is a specialist in graph-based social analytics at IBM Research - Haifa

What do you do at IBM? 

I’m part of a cross organizational team that built the Personal Social Dashboard. It’s a pilot web application that provides employees with an engagement score along with insights on their individual social activity within the organization. It helps people understand how their activity is being consumed and how they are perceived by their colleagues – something we generally are unaware of.

I lead the engagement analytics that produce the resulting scores and evidence shown in the application. With new studies showing how important it is to raise the level of employee engagement inside the enterprise, it’s crucial to have a way to let employees and managers know how they’re doing.

Why is this project interesting for you? 

For me, this is a fascinating journey into learning how IBMers socially engage and how they use our internal social network, IBM Connections. I was also keen on identifying success stories and extracting personalized recommendations on how people can grow their voice inside the enterprise. If you’re motivated to increase your digital presence, the dashboard gives you feedback on how people are reacting to you and what you’re sharing. It helps you see whether you’re on the right track.

Personally, I wasn’t publicly active enough on social media before this project. This tool is also helping me increase my social presence within IBM. 

What insights did you discover as part of creating this tool? 

We had a client engagement this year with a large European bank where we deployed the dashboard. We wanted to help in areas such as: increase adoption of Connections; provide input for organizational changes; get an indication of the collaboration across and between different divisions.

Using the dashboard’s analytics along with an enterprise graph, we found: how and what different divisions are interacting and the strength of those connections; how information flows within the organization; who are the primary influencers and brokers within and between the organizations, and more. 

How did this dashboard get started? 

It all started with a project called Breadcrumbs, led by Analytics Strategist Marie Wallace. We built an enterprise graph over all the social activities done on Connections inside IBM. It included historic and current data for hundreds of thousands of employees. We also built a Big Data infrastructure that would allow us to perform a wide range of analytics over it.

What were you looking for, initially? 

First, we started looking at how social activity patterns over time can serve as a clue for who is staying and who might be leaving the company. Next, we began working with the CIO to develop a solution that could empower employees with knowledge on their social eminence, and guide them on how to improve it. In parallel, we wanted to help management understand how their employees engage socially – but without exploiting the privacy of employees.

Since I had done research on social reputation, the idea of incorporating my experience into such a social engagement dashboard was intriguing. It was fun working together with teams across IBM.

How does your dashboard measure social eminence? 

The dashboard gives you four scores: Activity, Reaction, Eminence, and Network. All scores are relative inside the organization.
Capture of my page in the Personal Social Dashboard
The dashboard scores are periodically refreshed and we improve the algorithms regularly. Ultimately, we’d like to add personalized recommendations to guide employees on how to raise their eminence and how to make their voice more prominent inside the organization. 

What are your future plans? 

We are getting a lot of positive feedback for the pilot. Employees feel that it is helping them understand their social presence and increase their voice in the enterprise. Our pilot currently has more than 9,000 users and is rapidly growing.

In the future we plan to integrate additional data sets into the tool and add features our user community finds important such as personalized recommendations.

Find more information on IBM JStart and on Shiri’s web page.

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