Copernic Summarizer & ROI

At Winterfest RSS this morning, Bob Scoble talked of blowing people's minds by showing how he can keep up with 1,200 blogs in an hour a day. (RSS lets you read the headlines and drill down only when an item is of interest.) I'm applying similar logic to reading from dead trees (AKA paper).

I have a dozen white papers I'd like to read in the next couple of days. Well, "read" isn't quite the rigth word. I want to extract and retain any new information from them that ties into my current quests.

  1. First I would like to assess which papers are worthwhile putting some time into and which are not.
  2. Some chunks of the remaining papers will be more worthwhile than others. I'd like to be able to focus on the high-return sections and breeze through the rest rapidly.
  3. My days are full. When I'm not reading for pleasure, I want to read as quickly as I can while still retaining the message.

Copernic Summarizer is going to enable me to do all that and more.

As they say on the Copernic website,

Make the most of your reading time This easy-to-use summarizing software dramatically increases your productivity and efficiency by creating concise summaries of any document or Web page so you spend considerably less time reading without missing any important information.

I turned Copernic loose on Workflow Leaning, 285 pages (124,000 words) of technical matter and explanations. Minutes later I had a 1000-word summary. Click of a button and I had a 250-word summary. Click, a 100-word summary.

Each summary is a selection of representative sentences. Reading the summary tells you what you want to take the time to read the old-fashioned way. There's some sort of artificial intelligence doing a good job behind the scenes here; the summaries make for great reading.

It's hard to believe technology like this is available, especially with a price tag of only $60. You can try a full-featured 30-day demo for free.

Seeing is believing, so up ahead, I'll show you a few summaries of my eBook, Metrics. Who knows but what you'll see enough to make you want to order the full version of Metrics. For the price of Copernic, you could buy two copies and have enough left over for a cup of coffee and an hour of online wireless time at Starbuck's.

Here is Metrics in 100 words:

    In either case, you need to convert the return to profit, or profit contribution.

    At a breakout session at TechLearn several years ago, I could hardly sit still while a researcher told four dozen training managers how to use ROI to sell their programs.

    You want to build a set of shared assumptions and a logic train that translates training activities to business results.

    The vice president of operations and technology training told us how she drummed up management support of eLearning.

    When you add up the cost of development, salaries of people out of the field for training, and implementation cost, your "all-in" cost for the project, soup-to-nuts, is $1 million.

Here is Metrics in 250 words:

    In either case, you need to convert the return to profit, or profit contribution.

    At a breakout session at TechLearn several years ago, I could hardly sit still while a researcher told four dozen training managers how to use ROI to sell their programs.

    You want to build a set of shared assumptions and a logic train that translates training activities to business results.

    The vice president of operations and technology training told us how she drummed up management support of eLearning.

    "Investment" is what you pay to achieve the return.

    When you add up the cost of development, salaries of people out of the field for training, and implementation cost, your "all-in" cost for the project, soup-to-nuts, is $1 million.

    If you're growing into a new area of capability, you may spend half your time learning.

    "People engaged in learning and creating the future together can move beyond the old structure, strategy, and systems philosophy of running the business.

    International Data Corporation studied the buying behavior of corporate and IT training managers and concluded that, "ROI will no longer be measured in 'savings' or 'reduced cost of training.'" Instead, attention will be directed to "measurable changes to business metrics resulting from training investments.

    Until you know what an individual manager is trying to accomplish, you can't talk to them about potential results.

    This eLearning infrastructure would give Charlie a platform for broadcasting and reinforcing his message about transforming our organization.

    A Fortune 50 company used eLearning, knowledge management, and collaboration to bring new-hire sales people up to speed in six months instead of fifteen.

Finally, here is Metrics in 1,000 words:

    Few others were pointing out the absurdity of traditional accounting measures and the famous "four levels."

    In either case, you need to convert the return to profit, or profit contribution.

    Applying reasonable rules of thumb, the 15% increase in customer satisfaction could become $1.5 million in profit.

    When you talk with an executive, you need to talk about execution.

    At a breakout session at TechLearn several years ago, I could hardly sit still while a researcher told four dozen training managers how to use ROI to sell their programs.

    You want to build a set of shared assumptions and a logic train that translates training activities to business results.

    The vice president of operations and technology training told us how she drummed up management support of eLearning.

    The CIO of the bank and other top managers have dubbed her "e-Laura" and use chance encounters for updates on the bank's eLearning progress.

    For example, if Chevron-Texaco's accountants uncover a $32,000 error in the sales department's expense budget, they don't make Chevron-Texaco note the error in its annual report.

    A very conservative businessperson values these as "soft" benefits and doesn't factor them into ROI calculations.

    In sum, following accounting conventions to the letter can lead to making the wrong decision.

    "Investment" is what you pay to achieve the return.

    When you add up the cost of development, salaries of people out of the field for training, and implementation cost, your "all-in" cost for the project, soup-to-nuts, is $1 million.

    If you're growing into a new area of capability, you may spend half your time learning.

    "People engaged in learning and creating the future together can move beyond the old structure, strategy, and systems philosophy of running the business.

    Training has earned a bad reputation in executive management.

    Join me for a fresh look at ROI in the information age.

    International Data Corporation studied the buying behavior of corporate and IT training managers and concluded that, "ROI will no longer be measured in 'savings' or 'reduced cost of training.'" Instead, attention will be directed to "measurable changes to business metrics resulting from training investments.

    Until you know what an individual manager is trying to accomplish, you can't talk to them about potential results.

    When you're working with the right client, measuring results is not difficult.

    Accounting conventions play a major role in ruining numbers' reputation.

    "Good Heavens, this effort is going to cost us $8 million and change.

    This eLearning infrastructure would give Charlie a platform for broadcasting and reinforcing his message about transforming our organization.

    A Fortune 50 company used eLearning, knowledge management, and collaboration to bring new-hire sales people up to speed in six months instead of fifteen.

    Throughout most of 2000, SmartForce was among my marketing clients.

    SmartForce ran off the rails -- It's a complicated story -- but accelerating employee time-to-performance remains one of the biggest paybacks of any investment in corporate learning.

    Accelerate the development of the direct sales force.

    HP VARs who participate in eLearning build better customer relationships and make more sales.

    Schwab and others provide user-friendly, high-quality, and effective learning tools on their Web sites, thereby creating more knowledgeable investors and increasing the likelihood that they will become long-term customers.

    The cost of implementing eLearning throughout an organization the size of Widgetware (not just for the sales force) would be approximately $1 million.

    Dell didn't get to be the number one computer company in the United States by ignoring customers' needs.

    "Why would a world-class company offer anything but world-class learning opportunities to help its customers get the most out of their computers?"

    IC Growth has developed models and formulas that link intellectual capital management to economic profit.

    Business looks and feels radically different from in your father's day, and it's changing so fast you will hardly recognize it a decade hence.

    Accounting -- a system of assumptions and conventions for identifying, measuring, recording, and communicating economic information.

    Unlike the cost of an asset, the cost of an expense does not provide a future benefit to the business.

    In this case, the roi du soleil.

    In Fall 2000, a panel of ROI gurus joined in conversation about the state of ROI calculations today, what needs to be measured, and the ROI of eLearning.

    Welcome to today's roundtable on return on investment, part of our series on Making eLearning Work for You.

    If people want to know more about what we're discussing today, they should read Ed's Running Training Like a Business and Jack's Return on Investment in Training and Performance Improvement Programs.

    I spent most of my career on the customer side of the equation, so I come at this from the point of view of having been a customer of training providers for many, many years.

    All the business people I know want to take the time to understand the return on the investments they're making.

    To make a credible ROI argument, you have to start before any intervention takes place.

    Because otherwise it's like the cartoon where Charlie Brown shoots an arrow and then goes and draws the target around it.

    Personalization, where learning is tailored to my style, what I need to know, and where I can test out of things I already know, saves time and makes it interesting.

    Most business and university executives know better than to base strategic decisions on a two-decimal-point difference in ROI figures.

    But they insist on ROI and other metrics as a form of business discipline to get myopic unit managers to consider the mission of the overall organization, not just the operations of their own department.

    This is bound to be a challenging transition because many training professionals need additional skills to assume the new role, upper level executives need see learning as a strategic asset, and there need to be examples that demonstrate this new role and its benefits.

    Where infrastructure investment is concerned, as is the case of many of the initial costs associated with eLearning (including training a first generation of trainers and administrators), this should be obvious.

Copernic, where were you when I was in college?


Posted by Jay Cross at January 21, 2004 06:28 PM | TrackBack
Comments

Let us celebrate this software package for its simplicity and utility.

Posted by: Andreas at January 22, 2004 09:07 AM

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