The concept is simple. Data is usually locked up in monolithic applications (CRM, ERP, etc.). Application seats are expensive. Training is expensive. Etc. People that need the data often can’t get to it.
What if human readable data flows (via RSS) could be generated by these applications? It would allow the development of easy to read weblogs (that republished these RSS flows) that almost everyone in the company would find valuable. The combinations are almost limitless and the flow is completely automated.
The flip side is also extremely valuable. Using a weblog model of data entry, it would become much easier to train people to enter data in a timely fashion. Further, they get immediate feedback on their efforts since the data they post is transformed into an entry on the blog.
Let’s take the example of a sales force working at a Fortune 100 company. This sales force works on long-cycle consultative sales that generally take 60-90 days to complete.
Members of the sales force make blog entries each time they talk to or visit a potential client. This practice is valuable because it creates a repository of sales tactics and results.
Just like in traditional blogging, members of the sales force make entries each time they visit a potential client. However, and this is the key, because their blog entries have additional data fields on them they track quantifiable information like Chance of Close, Effectiveness of Pitch, Hours Invested, etc.
Graphs are generated from the extended data attached to each blog. For example, an Effectiveness of Pitch vs. Hours Invested graph will determine whether spending more time selling is worthwhile.
The Advanced Data Search feature is used to find entries based on quantifiable data searches… in much the same way that somebody might query a database. However, it is done simply through a web interface by anybody.
The extended data for each sales call is published in RSS feeds, meaning that other enterprise systems can consume it… a simple integration between the dataBlogging system and more complex and possibly more difficult-to-use legacy systems.
This seems similar to PubSub’s Structured Blogging initiative.