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Which clippings match 'Centralisation' keyword pg.1 of 1
30 OCTOBER 2013

Forget big data, small data is the real revolution

"Big data smacks of the centralization fads we've seen in each computing era. The thought that 'hey there's more data than we can process!' (something which is no doubt always true year–on–year since computing began) is dressed up as the latest trend with associated technology must–haves.

Meanwhile we risk overlooking the much more important story here, the real revolution, which is the mass democratisation of the means of access, storage and processing of data. This story isn't about large organisations running parallel software on tens of thousand of servers, but about more people than ever being able to collaborate effectively around a distributed ecosystem of information, an ecosystem of small data. ...

And when we want to scale up the way to do that is through componentized small data: by creating and integrating small data "packages" not building big data monoliths, by partitioning problems in a way that works across people and organizations, not through creating massive centralized silos.

This next decade belongs to distributed models not centralized ones, to collaboration not control, and to small data not big data."

(Rufus Pollock, 25 April 2013)

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TAGS

big datacentralisation • centralised silos • collaborate effectively • collaboration not control • componentised small data • computing era • creating and integrating small datadatadata accessdata contextdata humanisationdata into information • data monoliths • data packages • data revolution • data sharingdata visualisation • data wrangling • decentralisationdistributed ecosystemdistributed modelsHans Rosling • household energy use • information ecosystemintimate exchangesliteracylittle data • local buses • local government spending • local narratives • loosely joined • mass democratisation • means of access • Microsoft Excel • one ring to rule them all • Open Knowledge Foundation • partitioning problems • people and organisationspocket datapopulation change • processing of data • processing-power • Rufus Pollocksensemakingsmall data • small pieces loosely joined • storage of data • technology must-haves • trend forecasting

CONTRIBUTOR

Neal White
07 FEBRUARY 2013

The Strategic Plan is Dead. Long Live Strategy

"The approach we developed in working with our clients at Monitor Institute is what we call adaptive strategy. We create a roadmap of the terrain that lies before an organization and develop a set of navigational tools, realizing that there will be many different options for reaching the destination. If necessary, the destination itself may shift based on what we learn along the way.

Creating strategies that are truly adaptive requires that we give up on many long–held assumptions. As the complexity of our physical and social systems make the world more unpredictable, we have to abandon our focus on predictions and shift into rapid prototyping and experimentation so that we learn quickly about what actually works. With data now ubiquitous, we have to give up our claim to expertise in data collection and move into pattern recognition so that we know what data is worth our attention. We also know that simple directives from the top are frequently neither necessary nor helpful. We instead find ways to delegate authority, get information directly from the front lines, and make decisions based on a real–time understanding of what's happening on the ground. Instead of the old approach of 'making a plan and sticking to it,' which led to centralized strategic planning around fixed time horizons, we believe in 'setting a direction and testing to it,' treating the whole organization as a team that is experimenting its way to success.

This approach wouldn't surprise anyone in the world of current military strategy. Recent generations of military thinkers have long since moved beyond the traditional approach, most notably famed fighter pilot John Boyd. He saw strategy as a continuous mental loop that ran from observe to orient to decide and finally to act, returning immediately to further observation. By adopting his mindset (with a particular emphasis on the two O's, given our turbulent context), we can get much better at making strategy a self–correcting series of intentional experiments.

To provide structure to this fluid approach, we focus on answering a series of four interrelated questions about the organization's strategic direction: what vision you want to pursue, how you will make a difference, how you will succeed, and what capabilities it will take to get there.

The skills and mindset for today's strategic planning will come from continuously asking ourselves these questions about our organizations, programs, and initiatives. Once we accept Dwight D. Eisenhower's sage advice that 'Plans are useless, but planning is everything,' we will be ready to adapt to whatever curveballs the twenty–first century sees fit to throw."

(Dana O'Donovan & Noah Rimland Flower, 10 Jan 2013, Stanford Social Innovation Review)

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TAGS

adapting to changeadaptive approach • adaptive strategy • becomingcentralisation • continuous mental loop • data is ubiquitous • decision makingDwight Eisenhower • evolving trajectory • experimentation • experimenting to success • fixed time horizons • fluid approach • John Boyd • military strategy • military thinkers • Monitor Institute • navigational tools • pattern recognitionplanning • plans are useless • predictionsrapid prototyping • real-time understanding • roadmap • shifting destinations • strategic directionstrategic planningtactical engagementturbulent contextuncertain environmentsunpredictability

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
28 SEPTEMBER 2005

ICT-Based Learning Environments: Transmission or Active Exploration?

"The underlying logic of contemporary on–line learning and teaching environments has been informed by a systems approach to design. Despite the considerable effort devoted to their evolution and the focus of this effort on flexible learning, on–line learning and teaching systems appear to be limited to the task of transmitting information. In her essay on the evolution of ICT–based learning environments, Rosa Maria Bottino describes this orientation as, firstly one that sits in opposition to constructivist theories, and secondly one that fails to sufficiently accommodate social interaction and practice contexts within the learning and teaching environments. Bottino goes on to critique the information transmission model of ICT–based learning and teaching systems, and suggests that approaches that privilege learners as active participants should be pursued:

'One of the major forces which has driven change has been the assumption that meanings are lost if learning is simply seen as the transmission of information. Learning is progressively considered as being based on an active exploration and personal construction, rather than on a transmissive model' (Bottino 2004).

In the current milieu of on–line learning and teaching environments, ICT architects appear to be caught in a bind between a requirement to provide generalised system features and a will to embrace contemporary educational strategies. In the light of a systems approach to design, a compromise appears to have been made that privileges administrative robustness and security over (student) agency and engagement. Baltasar Fernandez–Manjon and Pilar Sancho have further described aspects of this problem as one where 'the requirements of a commercial learning environment are too diverse to be provided by a single monolithic system' (Fernandez–Manjon and Sancho 2002). The result is that the ability for students to collaborate and maintain autonomy within such centralised systems has been limited to superficial sharing of data over networks within closed publishing contexts. Without a serious interrogation of the underlying imperatives governing a systems approach to ICT design, learning and teaching within these environments is destined to remain locked in the administrative mode."

(Simon Perkins, 2005)

2). Perkins, Simon C. (2005) "Towards a socio–constructivist approach to learning and teaching within OLT environments". In OLT 2005 Conference, September 2005.

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