Sunday, 20 October 2013

Internal communications and poetical scientists

I never am really satisfied that understand anything; because understand it well as I may, my comprehension can only be an infinitesimal fraction of all I want to understand”  (Ada Lovelace)

Every year in mid-October, the world celebrates Ada Lovelace Day to recognise and raise the profile of women working in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). 

The event, this year held on 15th, is done in the name of Ada Lovelace (1815 – 1852), considered to be the world's first computer programmer. 

For more information about Ada Lovelace, let's refer to wikipedia which reports:

Ada Lovelace, was an English mathematician and writer chiefly known for her work on Charles Babbage's early mechanical general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine. Her notes on the engine include what is recognised as the first algorithm intended to be processed by a machine. Because of this, she is often described as the world's first computer programmer.
Lovelace was born 10 December 1815 as the only legitimate child of the poet Lord Byron.
She referred to herself as a poetical scientist and an Analyst (& Metaphysician).
As a young adult, her mathematical talents led her to an ongoing working relationship and friendship with fellow British mathematician Charles Babbage, and in particular Babbage's work on the analytical engine.
Between 1842 and 1843, she translated an article by Italian military engineer Luigi Menabrea on the engine, which she supplemented with an elaborate set of notes of her own, simply called Notes. These notes contain what is considered by some to be the first computer program—that is, an algorithm encoded for processing by a machine.
Lovelace's notes are important in the early history of computers. She also developed a vision on the capability of computers to go beyond mere calculating or number-crunching while others, including Babbage himself, focused only on those capabilities.

On the occasion of Ada Lovelace day, I created a Storify, "Ada Lovelace Day & Women in Tech"(also below), to commemorate this intelligent woman, and think about female's potential in STEM's workplaces. Thanks to all the material shared on the web, I could capture a vast amount of articles, news, tweets, blog posts, infographics, podcasts, radio programmes, pictures and research.

The whole exercise prompted me also to think about the developments of technology for internal communications and social media inside the large enterprise.

With a focus on the potential power offered by social analytics and sentiment analysis, I wonder if it is time to bring attention to a new type of internal communicator, a sort of 'poetical scientist'? 

Like Ada Lovelace, both mathematician and writer, the poetical scientist would be required to leverage the power of social measurement inside the company.

Through the use of social analysis and a deeper, sound understanding of what is happening in the enterprise, this type of internal communicator would translate figures and data into stories, numbers into words, makes use of both analytical and creative skills to deliver the best value to the organisation.

Does the social enterprise require more Ada Lovelaces for its internal communications?