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Cognitive Corporation™ Innovation Lab Kickoff!

I am excited to share the news that Blue Slate Solutions has kicked off a formal innovation program, creating a lab environment which will leverage the Cognitive Corporation™ framework and apply it to a suite of processes, tools and techniques.  The lab will use a broad set of enterprise technologies, applying the learning organization concepts implicit in the Cognitive Corporation’s™ feedback loop.

I’ve blogged a couple of times (see references at the end of this blog entry) about the Cognitive Corporation™.  The depiction has changed slightly but the fundamentals of the framework are unchanged.

Cognitive Corporation DepictionThe focus is to create a learning enterprise, where the learning is built into the system integrations and interactions. Enterprises have been investing in these individual components for several years; however they have not truly been integrating them in a way to promote learning.

By “integrating” I mean allowing the system to understand the meaning of the data being passed between them.  Creating a screen in a workflow (BPM) system that presents data from a database to a user is not “integration” in my opinion.  It is simply passing data around.  This prevents the enterprise ecosystem (all the components) from working together and collectively learning.

I liken such connections to my taking a hand-written note in a foreign language, which I don’t understand, and typing the text into an email for someone who does understand the original language.  Sure, the recipient can read it, but I, representing the workflow tool passing the information from database (note) to screen (email) in this case, have no idea what the data means and cannot possibly participate in learning from it.  Integration requires understanding.  Understanding requires defined and agreed-upon semantics.

This is just one of the Cognitive Corporation™ concepts that we will be exploring in the lab environment.  We will also be looking at the value of these technologies within different horizontal and vertical domains.  Given our expertise in healthcare, finance and insurance, our team is well positioned to use the lab to explore the use of learning BPM in many contexts.

From an implementation perspective we have a core execution team of 8 individuals assigned as owners across Requirements, BPM, BRM, Data Mining, Semantic Technology, Relational Database Technology, and Application Architecture.  Scrum will be used as the lifecycle for the lab projects.  Beyond the deep expertise provided by our team, I’m excited by the energy and excitement that the execution team members bring to the lab.

A separate advisory team has also been established.  This group will provide a sounding board as the sprints complete and new stories are considered.  It will also serve as a pool of team members to swap into the execution team since these folks will be in the loop with the ongoing projects.

The tools we will use are enterprise solution components including workflow and rules engines, web service and message-based middleware, traditional relational database management systems, data mining tools and semantic technology such as an ontology editor, reasoner, triple store and SPARQL endpoint.  We are creating an architecture with components similar to what we find our clients using, augmented with less common components such as predictive modeling tools and semantics.

The lab’s goal is to advance our company’s expertise with these enterprise tools and techniques, providing insight regarding best practices for leveraging them as components of a learning system.  Methods for dynamic interactions between components such as predictive analytics driving business rules changes or semantic technology simplifying data integration will be tried, honed and ultimately become part of Blue Slate Solution’s best practices for advancing the value of BPM within our clients’ enterprises.

As part of our process, we will be sharing updates, both from individual team members through blog entries and also in general communications highlighting the overall progress and outputs from the lab.  We all hope that others will find the information thought provoking and educational.

If you have thoughts about what we are undertaking, or would like to learn more about it, please feel free to send an email to info@blueslate.net.

Prior blog entries on the Cognitive Corporation™:

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