In-Meeting Real-time Analytics - Are we missing the value of analytics to make our meetings better during the meeting?

28 Jan 2021

On our recent BCS Expert podcast on best practices for using video, collaboration and teams, Kevin Kieller talked about the data from meetings and usage that is gathered in Microsoft Teams. He talked about how it shows issues in how people meet today. In fact, cloud-based communication and collaboration applications gather an amazing amount of information during every meeting event. Every time a new person speaks it generates a change that is noted. Even when it was only a basic voice system, Uberconference generated a report on the active mic time for each speaker. In all of the modern cloud platforms the amount of collected conference data is extensive. Actual media (audio) can be recorded, transcribed, and translated.

Later I was on another one of our incessant video conferences, which was dominated by one of the attendees. While it was obvious that one participant dominated the speaking time, the meeting did not provide any view during the meeting as to the allocation of time. The potential of using all the collected data in real time to impact the meeting while it is happening could be a valuable new tool for meeting effectiveness. The data could be provided to the organizer or the whole meeting depending on how it is used. The percentage of time a speaker is speaking could be shown to the moderator. This could enable them to encourage people that are not participating to become part of the conversation. Or to dissuade speakers that are using more time.

Alternatively, real time analytical data could be put directly into the meeting GUI space so everyone could see it. Rather than trying to enforce a policy through moderation, let the participants self-moderate through seeing how the communication patterns are distributed. A hybrid only showing the top speakers to the group and showing the non-participants to the organizer might optimize reducing the dominant speakers and enabling the moderator to encourage others to join in.

Similarly, the patterns of communication could be utilized in real-time to better manage the meeting. The relationship of the participants (who talks first, who follows, who has not talked, etc.) could be used to better facilitate the meeting. While this could be done by the moderator, the potential of having a back end solution that enhances the in-meeting experience could create great value. An AI-based “Meeting Advisor” could send a message to one participant to let someone else speak or to some that they should consider responding now.

I realize that this sounds both advanced and a bit intrusive, but it might pose an interesting solution to some of the remote meeting fatigue that people feel. If the analytics of the meeting can be used to make the meeting easier and more effective it might reduce some of our fatigue. Cisco has introduced meeting templates to normalize meeting types and structure. Integrating that planning process with historical individual data and in-meeting analytics could dramatically change and improve meeting structure and outcomes. If the meeting templates include mandatory outcomes and check points, the AI could facilitate those processes in the meeting in real time. And achieve a goal all of us want, less time in actual meetings.



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