shutterstock_93816259.jpgThe Jain legend of the blind men and the elephant came up at this week's Dachis Social Business Summit during David Gray's presentation. 

The story goes a little like this: six blind men are led up to an elephant, each left in front of a different part. One man feels the tail and says, "It's a rope." Another feels the ear and says, "It's a fan."  You get the idea. The story is usually told to show the value of collective intelligence, but I think it works for many of this week's articles as well. 

If you segment and analyze your data without keeping in mind the bigger context, you lose value. If you search for information in your DAM system and it's missing context, your results will be irrelevant. If technology continues to explode at a pace faster than people can adapt to, we run the risk of losing perspective on its place in our lives. 

Curious? Read on.

Creating the Best Customer Experience

Secondary Dimensions: Getting the Most Out of Google Analytics

Michael Wiegand (@mwiegand): 

Google Analytics (GA) is a wondrous thing. Simple to install. Easy to use. 

But for all its ubiquity, very few users do more with Google Analytics than just scratching the surface of the reports. And that’s a shame. There’s so much to be gleaned from a few clicks.

According to W3Techs Surveys, GA now possesses a staggering 82 percent market share in the web analytics industry. So what can all of those users do to transform ordinary GA reports into extraordinary?

Are Your Digital Actions Action-packed or Action-less?

Brent Dykes: The renowned business author Peter Drucker has been attributed with the familiar quote, “what gets measured, gets managed.” This statement highlights why most companies invest in analytics. But the critical question remains, why do companies invest in data but fail to act on this valuable resource?

After working in digital analytics for more than eight years with multiple large corporations, I’ve discovered that the belief that captured data will be subsequently optimized or improved doesn’t always hold true. In fact, data frequently doesn’t translate into actions.  

Wildervoices: John Kennedy on the Changing Role and Challenges of Today's CMO 

Scott K. Wilder (@skwilder): CMOs today face a shifting landscape in terms of their roles within companies and the challenges inherent in creating better customer experiences in a multi-channeled, socially connected, data-driven world. To get a better sense of where this trend is going, I spoke with John Kennedy of IBM.

How To: Getting Started In User Experience (UX)

Stephen Fishman (@trivoca): I have seen the question on Quora. I have seen the question on LinkedIn. I have seen the question on so many different online properties that I have lost count. The summarized question is: "How do I get started in learning about UX (User Experience)?". I have yet to see an answer that makes me believe that someone could take it and really move forward into learning the field and ultimately get a job. The biggest problem is that I don't find the question to be phrased in a way that a highly experienced UX professional can meaningfully answer without completely reframing the question. 

Content Strategy: The Perils of Search Engine Optimization

Gerry McGovern (@gerrymcgovern): Search engine optimization (SEO) tactics often make it harder for customers to do what they need to do. If Google wanted to get found in Google would it have the homepage it has? No. It would have a homepage with lots of content on it. This content would repeat keywords such as “search engine.” For example, a classic SEO statement would be. “Search with our search engine. We are the best search engine to help you search.”

Tools to Connect 

Social Activity Streams: Can They Replace Email?

Andrew Bishop (@andrewbish): I recently got the chance to get away from my desk for a few days and I used the opportunity to get in some hiking in the nearby high country. At one point I stopped for a rest on the bank of a mountain stream. As I sat there like Huckleberry Finn, idly watching the flotsam and jetsam float by, it got me thinking about social activity streams.   

Let the Enterprise Cloud File Sharing Games Begin

Virginia Backaitis: Enterprise technology is entering the “fun to watch” era. September’s playlist centers around online enterprise file-sync-n-share. This week’s disruptor:, and they haven’t even made a formal announcement yet. 

Food for Thought 

What a Difference 30 Years Makes: Megatrends Redux

Barry Schaeffer:It’s been thirty years since John Naisbitt published his landmark book, Megatrends, exploring a number of major changes in society, ten to be exact, likely to impact the way we live, work and govern ourselves. Looking back across those three decades, it’s clear that Naisbitt got a lot right and a few things wrong about the information society whose arrival he recognized.

DAM People and Context Requirements

What a Digital Asset Manager Needs to Know

Henrik de Gyor (@hgg101): After reading one of my most popular blog posts, a few readers have asked "What does a Digital Asset Manager need to know?"

This is assuming an organization realizes why a Digital Asset Manager is needed who is skilled and experienced in the field.

Digital Asset Management's Missing Context of Discussion

David Diamond (@damsurvival): Ever had one of those discussions in which neither you nor the person with whom you were speaking seemed to understand one another? No matter how many different ways you restate your points, it’s clear that meaningful communication is not what’s taking place. What goes on between a DAM and a DAM user often feels much like this.

You Say "Share," I Say "Point"

The Executive's Guide to SharePoint 2013: Understanding Communities

Symon Garfield (@symon_garfield): Did you miss me? Since wrapping up the Art of SharePoint Success series here on CMSWire I’ve been reviewing the SharePoint Server 2013 Preview. There’s already lots of articles and posts out there that tell you about all the cool new features but little guidance on how to use them in an organization, or what benefits they might deliver so I am back with a new series of articles which examine SharePoint 2013 from the executive's perspective.

SharePoint: Empowering Your User Base

Jennifer Mason (@jennifermason): In previous articles, we have covered the different solutions that can be built using SharePoint. But even the best of features are no good if they aren’t being fully utilized by the organization. 

As I spend time talking to various organizations I continually come back to a few clear points that seem to cause issues with adoption in the organization. Most of these issues are associated with how SharePoint has been implemented and really have very little to do with the actually toolset itself. 

SharePoint 2013: Six Mobile Features for the Enterprise

Mike Ferrara (@mikecferrara): Let’s face it, mobility should absolutely be on your radar if you’re an IT executive or decision maker. Whether your firm has a substantial investment in mobile devices for the workforce or you’ve adopted modern BYOD policies, you cannot ignore the impact of mobile devices on how we do business. Microsoft knows this, and has been hard at work to upgrade SharePoint’s plumbing in relation to the mobile experience. 

SharePoint Business Governance Strategy: Project Management

Frederik Leksell (@letstalkgov): It is very common for SharePoint projects to be run by IT. The focus will then become technical functions and features instead of business value. It is therefore important that the business is running the project to make sure it solves business needs and gets ROI in the end.

Be sure to check in again next week, when we will not only have more content on what to do with all of that data you've been collecting, but a Tweet Jam so you can get more advice in 140 characters or less!

Title image courtesy of Donovan van Staden (Shutterstock)