Microsoft began rolling out Office Graph and Delve in September of last year and by now, most tenants have access. So now's the time to think about how we can use them in a more conscious way.
Here are five reasons how and why these new tools can change the way we work, and maybe even how we think.
1. Discover New Information
Discovering new and relevant information is (or should be) an essential part of our everyday work. We currently have to search through multiple information sources to get the latest news, even within the corporation. Marketing, HR, IT, Finance, Business Development -- each department has its own area in the information management system or worse, its own information management system. To stay well informed requires we visit each of them daily, which seems almost impossible, considering we need to work, too.
Delve can help aggregate everything -- the latest HR news, IT research results, latest sales reports, etc. Setting Delve as your start screen in Office 365 can be a good start to getting and staying well informed every day.
2. Fighting Information Overload
Besides looking for new, useful and relevant information, it is also critical to be able to filter out useless, irrelevant and outdated content. We get far more information than we can ever read or process. Filtering the information we receive can save our attention for the items that need it.
Office Graph provides a great way to support this functionality. It keeps track of relationships between people as well as between content and people, differentiating between content that is “close” to us and content that is “far away” from us. Delve, as an application built on Office Graph, displays the content that is “close enough” to us.
3. 'Pushing' Relevant Content
The best part of this filtered content aggregation is that it’s all personalized. Your Delve Home will be different from anyone else’s, because it not only supports security trimming (you can see only the content that you have access to) but with Office Graph powering it means you see the content and people “around you” in the Office Graph, from your personal (and unique) point of view. Imagine it as presenting everything as if you were the center of the Graph.
The "10 blue lines” search and discovery experience hasn’t really changed since the birth of Enterprise Search and therefore hasn't kept up with the changing and increasing needs of the modern user experience. Custom search based applications have been around for a while now, and Office Delve takes it to the next level. With the “card” experience, users can see thumbnails of the content with the most relevant metadata -- and this is mobile and touch-screen friendly. This helps people generate an instant overview of trending content, without the need to visit several, disparate places with different methods of displaying content.
5. Thinking in Graphs
The last challenge we get to when start working with Office Graph and Delve is to think in graphs. People usually tend to think in rows and columns – like in databases. A different mindset is needed to think in terms of three dimensional graphs with different kinds of nodes and different weight of edges. But now's the time to learn and get familiar with graphs.
Besides being a nice way to display content, Office Graph and Delve might in the long term help clear a path through the information overload jungle. For now, they can help us discover new and relevant content while filtering out the noise.