Two Second Advantage

Some time back, I had the pleasure of listening to Vivek Ranadive (Founder and CEO of Tibco) speak at the Commonwealth Club in Palo Alto, CA. Vivek talked about how knowing about an event or a disaster even a few seconds before it occurs is much more advantageous than finding all details about it six months down the line. He calls it the “Two Second Advantage” and has authored a book by the same title.

The examples Vivek cited were pretty powerful:

The airlines have all the data about your bags. Why is then that you have to wait for eternity until all the bags have arrived at the baggage carousel to discover that your bag is missing and then report it to their customer service? Why can’t airlines be proactive and let passengers know upfront that their bags will be arriving later?

Power companies have the data at hand on grid failures. Why do they only respond several hours after dozens of customers call and complain? Wouldn’t it be better if they use the data ahead of time to prevent failures in the first place?

The Fed has all the data to take fiscal, economic and monetary decisions in real time. Why is still clinging on to an obsolete model of meeting only a few times a year to review the data and adjust the policies and rates in hindsight? Why can’t the Fed be replaced by a much smarter, real time computer algorithm?

Tibco’s products bring that valuable two second advantage to the enterprise for structured data. The most common form of structured data is a database, where data is stored in rows and columns.

Documents, on the other hand, represent the world of unstructured data. There is a wealth of information contained in Enterprise documents. However, this information cannot be analyzed easily since the content is not organized in a structured way. Imagine the potential an Enterprise could unleash if it were able to analyze the information scattered across thousands of documents to obtain the two second advantage.

Infinote brings structure to the unstructured world of documents. It provides a platform to build tools that can give corporations the ability to extract information from their documents and become proactive instead of being reactive. In my future columns, I will explain how Infinote can help your corporation get the two second advantage by mining information from your documents.