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Understanding the Past; Being Honest about the Present; Planning for the Future

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  1. Understanding the Past; Being Honest about the Present; Planning for the Future A presentation for the SAOIM 2014 conference Brian Kelly, Cetis

  2. Understanding the Past; Being Honest about the Present; Planning for the Future A presentation for the SAOIM 2014 conference Further details: http://ukwebfocus.wordpress.com/events/saoim-2014-lets-predict-the-future-workshop/ Talk to be given by Brian Kelly, Cetisat the SAOIM 2014 conference in Pretoria, South Africa on 5 June 2014

  3. About Me • Brian Kelly: • Innovation Advocate at Cetis (Centre for Educational Technology, Interoperability and Standards) • Based at University of Bolton • Was UK Web Focus, UKOLN from 1996-2013 • Role as a national advisory post to UK universities • Long-standing Web evangelist (since 1993) • Prolific blogger (~1,300 posts since Nov 2006) • Prolific speaker (~425 talks since 1996) • Author of peer-reviewed papers on various Web topics • Member of NMC Horizon Report Panel of Experts Twitter: #saoim Contact details: Twitter: @briankelly email: ukwebfocus@gmail.com

  4. About This Talk • How should libraries predict and plan for technological developments? When it comes to future planning, how can libraries identify the ‘weak signals’ which may indicate possible significant changes? • If we look back to the past to our childhood we may have had over-optimistic views on benefits which technological developments would provide. • This talk describes a methodology used by Cetis in their work with Jisc to systematise the prediction of technological developments.

  5. About This Talk Joe Murphy: “I’ll ask questions about future of libraries” Me: “I’ll describe a methodology for asking the questions and interpretting the findings” What we can learn from: • Expectations from the past • Limitations of futurologists The need to: • Gather evidence • Solicit broad feedback on interpretations of the evidence • Be receptive to the implications of new technologies and the broader environment Relevant horizon-scanning report Conclusions (What, specifically, does the future hold?) If time!

  6. In the Future • Data will be Big Image from Wikimedia Commons. CC BY-SA

  7. In the Future • Content and services will be open Web is Agreement by Paul Downey.CC BY

  8. In the Future • We will own our services and content

  9. In the Future • We will see a growth in use of online services

  10. In the Future • We will see a growth in use of online services with increased access on mobile devices FinTech Mentor Huy Nguyen Trieu shares his views on new opportunities in the FinTechspace, April 2014

  11. In the Future • We will see a growth in use of online services and content and services hosted in the Cloud NASA Turns to Online Giant Amazon for Cloud Computing Services for Mars Rover Curiosity, August 2012

  12. In the Future • We will see the importance of librarians and information professionals acknowledged Causes, ALA

  13. In the Future • We will see greater investment in libraries £298kinvestment! ‎ The Library is committed to enhancing its services and facilities to deliver the very best library experience for users. During 2013/14 we are directing £298k to boost access to core materials.  This sum is in addition to the millions spent on library resources across the Colleges. Enhancing Core Library Collections 2013/14, University of Exeter, UK

  14. In the Future • We will travel to work by monorail

  15. In the Future • We will use jetpacks at weekends (or maybe for document delivery!)

  16. When Did You Stop Believing? • At what point did you become sceptical? Growth in online Big data Open source Open content Value of librarians Greater investment Monorails Jetpacks

  17. Top Tips for Predicting the Future • Tip no. 1 You will be inclined to believe in predictions which reflect personal beliefs and interests or reflects the organisational or sectoral culture

  18. Looking at the Futurologists • Gartner report

  19. Gartner • Beware vested interests which may be threatened by implications of predictions Gartner May Be Too Scared To Say It, But the PC Is Dead, Mark Hachman, Readwrite Web, 5 April 2013

  20. We commission reports from experts in the field PDF

  21. We commission reports from experts in the field … is an information professional who has specialized in the fields of electronic information provision for over 20 years. In recent years, he has specialized in metadata for digital libraries, in which capacity he is a member of the editorial board for the METS (Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard) standard for digital library metadata.

  22. Looking at Other Sectors • What can we learn from the changes in the music industry? • Record labels & music distributors reluctance to respond to: • Growth in networked music services • Users willing to accept limitations of file formats (MP3) • New players (Apple, Amazon, Google) enter the market Were reports commissioned which (mistakenly) provided evidence of importance of high fidelity formats over MP3?

  23. Looking at Other Sectors • Are libraries following the path of HMV or Apple/Amazon/ Google?

  24. Top Tips for Predicting the Future • Tip no. 2 You can’t always trust futurologists! (they may bring their sectoral, organisational or personal prejudices with them) Caveat: Their expertise may also be valuable and correct, but they may miss significant developments

  25. JISC Observatory • JISC Observatory: • JISC-funded initiative • Systematises processes for anticipating and responding to projected future trends & scenarios • Provided by JISC Innovation Support Centres at UKOLN and CETIS • See <http://blog.observatory.jisc.ac.uk/> • But: • Work closed due to cessation of JISC core funding • Methodology being shared across community

  26. JISC Observatory • JISC Observatory processes

  27. Accompanying Paper • JISC Observatory work described in paper presented at EMTACL (Emerging Technologies in Academic Libraries) 2012 conference See bit.ly/emtacl12-kelly Sharing approaches with Norwegian librarians Feel free to view papers, share with colleagues & provide feedback using #saoim

  28. Accompanying Paper • Follow-up paper presented at CILIP’s Umbrella 2013 conference See bit.ly/umbrella-13-kelly Sharing approaches with UK librarians Feel free to view papers, share with colleagues & provide feedback using #saoim

  29. Top Tips for Predicting the Future • Tip no. 3 Information professionals should carry out evidence-gathering, sense-making and synthesis activities for their own organisation / sector.

  30. Invention, Innovation, Improvement • 1. Invention: The creation of the idea or method itself. • 2. Innovation: The use of a better and, as a result, novel idea or method. • 3. Improvement: Doing current activities better. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Innovation Which one is your main area of interest to support your professional activities?

  31. Top Tips for Predicting the Future • Tip no. 4 You will need to monitor (a) innovations to support long-term planning and (b) improvements in order to enhance operational practices

  32. Data • “Manchester City to open the archive on player data and statistics” • Example of: • How data can inform practices and decisions • Public interest in open data • Interest from commercial sector

  33. Significant Trends: Social Media • Survey in Aug 2012 of institutional use of Facebook across the 24 Russell Group universities found >1M ‘Likes’ followers

  34. Significant Trends: Social Media • Survey in Aug 2012 of institutional use of Facebook across the 24 Russell Group universities found >1M ‘Likes’ followers

  35. Behind The Data • Trends in Fb ‘Likes’ for Russell group Unis since Jan 2011 show steady increase But note increase in Jul 2012 due to addition of 4 new universities! Jan 11 Sep 11 May 12 Jul 12 But might trends hide a more complex story: Usage & growth dominated by one significant player. More modest usage generally

  36. Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics! “#Blekko traffic goes through the roof – for good reason. Try it out!” Based on blog post entitled “Blekko’s Traffic Is Up Almost 400 Percent; Here Are The CEO’s Five Reasons Why” (includes dissatisfaction with Google) Lies, Damned Lies and Graphs Is Blekko’s Traffic Really Going Through The Roof? Will It Challenge Google?, UK Web Focus blog, 18 April 2012

  37. Top Tips for Predicting the Future • Tip no. 5 Data can provide insights and indicate trends – but needs to be interpretted carefully

  38. JISC Observatory • JISC Observatory processes

  39. Open Sense-making • Seek feedback on: • Evidence-gathering methodology e.g. flaws in ‘paradata’ • Implications of findings • Interventions needed in light of findings “All bugs are visible to many eyes”

  40. Open Sense-making • Importance of open approaches to interpretation of signals: • Evidence-gathering methodologies may have flaws • Incorrect or inappropriate implications may be made • This may lead to wrong decisions being made Open sense-making approaches may be difficult – your marketing department may wish a consistent, positive message to be made.

  41. Top Tips for Predicting the Future • Tip no. 6 Once you’ve gathered evidence you should encourage open feedback on: • Validity of evidence-gathering methodologies • Interpretation of findings • Implications

  42. Envisaging Alternative Futures • There is a need to be willing to: • Envisage implications of technological developments

  43. Shush! We may appropriate technological developments to support their activities - but simply emulate existing ways of working! Acknowledgements to Patrick Hochstenbach (@hochstenbach)

  44. Question for the Audience • Hands up if you have: • Used a mobile device for work-related purposes in bed (yes, no, rarely) “20% of the iPad users spent time with their iPad in bed” 2010 Informal survey, March 2012 “The future is already here - it's just not very evenly distributed” What are the implications of this new ‘platform’?

  45. Becoming Receptive to Future-Thinking • How do we become more receptive to new future scenarios? • What did you notice for the first time recently? • What will you foresee for the future? • Typically optimistic or pessimistic views, reflecting personal traits. • Possibly no new insights • Now stretch your mind consider: • The History of the Web Backwards • Forecasting Trends Backwards

  46. Reversing the Future! • Romancing Your Soul Absolutely Brilliant! (1 min 44 secs)

  47. Reversing the Future! • The Future of Publishing (2 mins 24 secs) Various innovative story-telling techniques listed in a blog post by Tony Hirst (ouseful.info)

  48. Top Tips for Predicting the Future • Tip no. 7 Make use of techniques which may help you to be receptive to alternative future scenarios … and consider use of such approaches when you tell stories about the future to your users

  49. Prioritising Work • The Delphic Methodology • Group exercise • Identify 4 key technologies which you feel will be important : • During the current year • In 2-3 years’ time • In 4-5 years’ time • Vote on other groups’ proposals • You’ve identified areas you feel will be important Workshop notes The Delphi methodology is used by NMC and in the JISC Observatory

  50. Top Tips for Predicting the Future • Tip no. 8 Explore the potential of using the Delphi methodology to help identification of future developments of importance to your organisation