SAP and Oracle are both making big investments in in-memory computing. They are both moving forward in applying this technology to a variety of their product lines including their workforce management portfolio (SuccessFactors and Taleo respectively).
So what is in-memory computing? As far as I understood, the technology allows rapid data crunching by doing away with dedicated data storage and storing /processing all the data in-memory. This model dramatically brings down the processing time required to crunch complex reports and is extremely useful to manage Big Data. For more details, please read the CIO article here and check out the video below.
I definitely see a several possibilities opening up for enterprise learning as a result of Big Data and In-Memory computing provided the concept of Big Data takes off in the minds of the CLOs and Learning Leaders within enterprises.
Imagine a scenario where every activity of the user associated with learning and subsequent application of learning is tracked. Let’s look at the various points of intersections of performance and learning metrics with technology. Some of the points that readily come to mind are – candidate assessment data, skills and performance data, appraisal data, data extracted from enterprise social platforms (contributions to blogs, questions in discussion forums etc), formal training feedback provided by the employee, data on online training usage from LMS, employee satisfaction surveys, frequently used documents and content from the company intranet, and customer feedback (where applicable) on employee performance. As you can imagine, we can easily accumulate tons of data that could potential hide revealing insights about learning and performance.
Concepts like Sentiment Analysis have been in use for several years now to monitor social media chatter. With In-Memory computing, the same tool could be deployed to start monitoring how employees are learning and the impact of learning on performance. For example: A report that captures real-time employee sentiment on a product that was launched recently. This analysis could be culled from enterprise social learning platforms, official email communications between employees, training feedback received from employees, and customer service data. Such real-time reports could provide the CLO organization a valuable insight into how different communication media such as quick learning modules, mobile learning, classroom based training, job aids, and peer-to-peer knowledge sharing is impacting product adoption within and outside the enterprise and also provide an opportunity to recalibrate how learning is delivered.