Posts Tagged ‘analysis’

BlogSummarizer a new way of accessing and summarising blog content

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

My friend Henry Lewkowicz at Context Discovery has been working on the automatic extraction of knowledge summaries from a variety of sources including Wikis & Word docs and now Blogs. On the right hand side of this blog you will now see a BlogSummarizer widget.  First select a keyword (they are automatically extracted from the blog) and then click Knowledge Map or Keyword Search.

Knowledge Map – A new window will open with a map whose central topic is the keyword and the branches are the secondary keywords.  Keep on clicking to dive deeper.

Keyword Search – Shows a map of the blogs with that keyword. Click the plus sign at the end of each topic to reveal a blog summary.  This allows you to quickly review the entries before visiting a specific blog by clicking Source.

The maps can be exported for you to continue your research in application which suits you.

The best thing is to select a keyword and give it a go.

I have already given Henry some feedback:

  • Some of the primary keywords need hiding e.g. MindManager in the Applications of MindManager are redundant and the blog owner needs to be able to hide them.
  • I think anything that is a link should be a consistent colour. Some are blue some are black.  Don’t miss the black ones like I did!

What would you change or add or improve?

Visit these sites to try BlogSummarizer on your blog or WebSummarizer to get summaries of other web sites.

BlogSummarizer - Relevance MattersWebSummarizer - relevance matters

Using the new Mindjet for Windows – AutoCalc Function

Monday, October 8th, 2012

Mindjet 11 for Windows now includes an AutoCalc function. This allows you to perform a few statistical rather than mathematical operations on the topic properties of subtopics and display the results in the topic properties of the parent topic (easier to see below!). You can display the sum, average, count, maximum and minimum values.

You cannot perform arithmetic functions e.g. price x quantity or price + tax or price – discount. Use the Mindjet Spreadsheet or Insert Excel Range to display these type of calculations.

The basics are:

  • Create a parent topic and the subtopics the calculation is to be based on.
  • Apply AutoCalc to the parent topic, create the value and calculation type.
  • Edit the subtopic properties to add values and see the result.
  • Add more properties and edit value names if required.

The map below expands graphically on the above:

Using Mindjet's AutoCalc Function
"Download Download Using Mindjet's AutoCalc map

Optimising your travel plans with MindManager

Sunday, November 20th, 2011

Every fortnight for the next few weeks I will be travelling on Monday morning from Alresford in Hampshire to Mortlake in London. If you have ever watched the University Boat Race you will have heard the name. I have to be there at about 09:30. I will be comming back at 14:30ish.

I don’t want to drive and I started to look at the various routes and modes of transport I could use to get there. I knew the train fare would be more expensive from Winchester than Alton. I knew I could get lifts to Winchester and the bus back. I knew the bus times would be awkward. So I started to map it out.

I used a technique Nick Duffill introduced me to many years ago called Funnel Timeline. It’s a core process for using Results Manager. You place the objective on the right and start working back from their.

My objective is to be in Mortlake for 09:30 on Monday morning. I have a five minute walk from the railway station to the event. I used app on the iPad to get the train times and prices. It works a lot faster than the browser version on my PC. I used the local bus timetables. I have a friend who gives me lifts to Winchester railway station when I need them. He leaves at 0625 every day! And my wife can drop me off in Winchester on her way to work.

You can see the conclusions by clicking on the Alresford to Mortlake by 0930 map below.

Alresford to Mortlake by 0930 - the optimised route and times

And for those who have no idea where I ma talking about, here is a map showing the driving route.

View Larger Map

Mapping a Skype conversation

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Have you ever joined a Skype group chat after the other participants have exchanged several messages? Scrolling down the conversation you get some sense of what has been going on. But the questions and answers are sometimes interleaved and there are multiple threads going on between the participants. Here is my solution for unravelling the spaghetti.

MindManager map of Skype ConversationSelect all the messages and paste them on to a MindManager map. You will get a topic for each message with the Skype ID (writer) and date/time included. Pick a principal statement or question and then drag the responses to the principal creating subtopics. Often responses can be found several unrelated messages later.  Additional marking up you could do:

  1. If topics relate to each other, you can add relationships or colour code the topics.
  2. Search for Skype ids and then mark the topics with an avatar.
  3. Search for keywords and highlight the topics.
  4. Add Call Outs with your private thoughts

This is the map (without the text) from two other peoples conversation that I was not able to participate in yesterday. It gives you some idea of how MindManager can be used to convert a complex stream of messages in to coherent digestable groups!

Click the map to see a larger image.

Mind Mapping for Social Work (or general patient diagnosis and care)

Sunday, June 12th, 2011

A friend of mine has asked if I knew of any examples of mind mapping being used by Social Workers to understand complex cases. This arose from his conversation with a Social Worker. My immediate answer is I have no direct experience of it. My second reaction was to search the web. I found examples of social workers using it to study and manage projects but not patients (or even descriptions of how to use mind mapping in patient care). As my friend observed “There would appear to be a prima facie case for mind mapping”.  A statement I find easy to agree with.

Here are some examples of use I can think of:

  • Mapping the patient’s circumstances: Family, Friends, Finance, Illness, Home situtation
  • Asking the patient to map their situation
  • Comparing maps produced at different stages in the case
  • Mapping the assessment, diagnosis and remedies
  • Mapping those involved in the care of the patient and their roles

Perhaps you could suggest other examples.

If you are a social or health worker you could add some comments to this blog about the use of mind mapping in your profession. And if you are willing to put in direct with the Social Worker my friend wants to help please make direct contact with me.

Mind Mapping Software ranked by Google Search Results

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

This is research and background material for a presentation I am giving on Thursday evening called Using Mind Mapping Software to Organise Your Business at Wired Wessex in Winchester Guildhall.

The results are variable in their accuracy because for some applications it is easy to create a unique search e.g. MindManager, iMindMap, MindMeister, XMind, ConceptDraw or Mindomo but others produce results which are nothing to do with the software e.g. Freemind, Inspiration, MindMapper, Visio, or Curio.   Another issue I frequently encounter is people referring to MindManager as MindMapper and I guess iMindMap has a few variations etc.

Do you think these results reflect your understanding of the market and the relative positions of the applications?

I have produced the results in three forms:

Which format do you prefer?

How to summarise a blog with MindManager

Monday, January 31st, 2011


Every now and again you see a blog and realise that would be a good template for a MindManager map which you could use to develop your business.  Today I came across yet another such map from my friend Richard White – The Accidental Salesman.  I first heard Richard speaking about story telling to Petersfield Ecademy back in January 2005.  Here is how I processed Richard’s blog “How to Sell Thin Air” in to this.

"How to Sell Thin Air" - MindManager Map

Conversion to MindManager Map

You could just copy and paste from the blog. It produces a reasonable map but you will have to drag and drop text to be subtopics of the main topics or into the Main Topic Notes.

I copied the blog content to a Word document. Then I added the Title style to the Title (not the date and the intro), the Heading Level 1 Style to the headings and saved the document.

Import the Word document to MindManager and hey presto!  The title is the Central Topic and the headings are the Main Topics.  The text has become the Topic Notes.

Creating the Summary

Open a Main Topic – Notes Pane, take the keywords from the text or use your own and add as Subtopics to the Main Topics.

Then I added relationships to show the flow of information proposed in the blog.

Plus a few icons from the Simplico free icon set.

There it is a template with the notes from the original blog which I can use to think about Cabre’s services and solutions.

Would you like a copy?

Click the thumbnail image or “How to Sell Thin Air” and you will find a full size image and links to Richard’s original blog, to download the MindManager map and a PDF of the image.

This next web page also contains all the notes from the map further down the page.  I must get round to publishing the web export template I have created for doing this.  Anyone interested?

Thanks again to Richard

For publishing great information about selling and allowing me to use it in this example

Top 10 Blogs by Views in 2010

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

Top Ten Blogs in Applications of MindManager During 2010 Applications+of+MindManager+Top+10 - Twitter Search.mmmp Applications+of+MindManager+Top+10 - Twitter Search.mmmp Top Ten Blogs in Applications of MindManager During 2010.mmap Top Ten Blogs in Applications of MindManager During 2010.mmap

The basis of the map is the GetClicky web stats package I run on the blog. The ranking is based on the number of views each blog had during 2010.  You can click the map and view the blogs.

No surprise that an iPad comparison was at No. 2 but why all the interest in OneNote and MindManager?

Since the beginning of the year I have been Tweeting the results.  The map was created using a News Feed Map Part using an RSS feed from a Twitter Search for Applications of MindManager Top 10. I replaced the “atom” with “rss” from the “Feed for this query” URL on the Twitter Search results and pasted this in to the new map part I created.  Twitter only picked up Nos. 1 to 7 (it only goes back so far) and a Google Twitter search only picked up the No. 10 (it has not indexed the more recent tweets. So 8-10 were added manually!  Click the Map Part Call Out to download and this map part.  You can download the map by clicking the Central Topic.

What will be popular in 2011?  Tablet PCs, iPad, Android, SharePoint, Catalyst ……….

MindManager and Tenders

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

Thank you to Alex Gooding for this guest blog. He is a strategic planning, management and governance consultant based near Sydney, Australia. He uses MindManager in almost every facet of his business. See Gooding Davis

Click on the images to see them full size.

One of the things I really like about MindManager is its versatility. Not only can it be used for a wide variety of specific tasks, but these can also be combined to produce all sorts of different applications based on the program.

A good example of this is how MindManager can be used to assist in the somewhat arcane and dry process of analysing Request for Tender and Expressions of Interest documentation, preparing responses and, if you’re successful, managing the resulting project. Most people may have used MindManager to brainstorm a tender response or to manage a project when they’ve won the contract, but in this post I’d like to show you how to use MindManager in different ways throughout the whole process.

First you need to download the tender documentation. This will usually consist of a main tender document and a number of attachments, links etc. If you’re lucky, these will be available in Word format; if you’re very lucky they will be available in Word AND the person who put the documentation together will have used consistent heading styles.

However, most tender documents are likely to be PDFs, so you will have to convert them to Word; once you have done this (or if the documentation was already in Word but styles have not been used) you will need to go through the document and apply heading styles. This may not be as onerous as it sounds; most documents will at least rely on consistent formatting of headings and you may be able to use Word’s Find and Replace feature to search for the relevant formatting and replace with an appropriate heading style.

Convert the main tender document first, then check out the attachments. If these have additional requirements they will also need to be converted, but those attachments which just provide background information can be left as they are. Once this is done you can import the documentation into MindManager, starting with the main tender document; sections and sub-sections of the document should now be topics and subtopics in the map, with the text in each sub-section imported as topic or subtopic notes.

Repeat the process for the other tender documents. Unless these attachments are very complex, copy the resulting maps to the main topic map and attach them as branches in the appropriate places or paste as floating topics with relationship lines to the main map (the growth direction of the map does not matter at this stage, though I generally use a tree).

Then hyperlink or attach the tender documents themselves (including the documents with background information) to the map at the relevant topics. When it is completed this map will give you a much more structured view of the tender and is a great basis to analyse it thoroughly. It will also act as a repository and single access point for the original tender documentation (I’ve attached a simplified version based on an actual tender document).

Map 1 Tender Document Brief example

Review the material you have “captured” on the map carefully, checking with the original documents at the end of each section that everything has been imported properly. As you go through the map, mark topics based on the following two categories, using a separate marker (or topic colour if you wish) for each:

  • Tender response tasks: the activities involved in preparing the response to ensure it is compliant with the tender requirements;
  • Project tasks/deliverables: that is, what activities you will need to undertake and what outcomes you need to deliver to complete the project if your tender is successful.

In a well-structured tender document these requirements will be grouped appropriately but might fall into several different sections if the tender is complex. It is also surprising how many tenders are poorly structured, with the project tasks and response tasks mixed together and/or appearing at random places throughout the documentation. You will need to read carefully through all the documentation to ensure you have identified every potential task.

At this stage you are primarily sorting out the key activities, but you should also add an additional flag for those things which stand out as potentially significant issues or problem areas in either the tender response or the project itself. Add callouts to summarise each issue.

The next step is to create a new map (either a split tree or an org chart) with two branches, one for the tender response tasks and the other for the project tasks. Search for the marker or topic colour you used for tender response tasks and copy them to the relevant branch and then repeat the process for the project tasks (you can set up a separate map for each category but there are advantages to keeping them on one map at this stage).

One slight problem you might experience is that while numbered headings in the documentation should be reproduced in the topic numbering in the initial map, numbering of the topics selected for this second map are unlikely to match the original. If you need them, you may need to consider manually including the original number in brackets as part of the topic name. You should link this map as a two-way hyperlink with the original map of the tender and you may also want to link at least the major tasks back to the relevant sections of this map.

Map 2 Tender response example

You can now plan what you have to do, starting with the tender response tasks. Arrange these in a logical sequence and then plan the development of the response, looking at issues such as the resources you will need and the time frames required. You also need to think about what you will have to do to address the potential problems you identified earlier.

For each task, try to identify all the additional steps you will need to undertake to complete the work involved. For example, the tender might say, for example, “provide a fee schedule including hourly rates and all expenses “. You might want to add “Get Michael to prepare fee matrix” and “ask Karen to update mileage rates”, etc. Add these tasks as additional subtopics, callouts, task info, resources etc, but retain the topics you imported from the other map to provide the overall framework.

Repeat this process for the branch containing the tasks relating to the actual project. This will probably involve a bit more brainstorming than for the tender response tasks and you may find that as you develop your strategy for delivering the actual project, your approach to the tender response tasks may change (and vice versa). Obviously the map can also be circulated or made available through catalyst for others to contribute to this process.

This iterative process is the main reason for keeping both branches on the one map (see the example). However, when you have completed the development phase you may want to set up two, three or even four separate maps.

The first of these maps will be based on the tender response branch. This map is relatively straightforward; it is used to manage the process of developing the tender response documentation. This can be done directly through the map, by using the Gantt view or by exporting it to MS Project, Word etc.

The branch relating to the actual project tasks and deliverables is a little more complex. The next map will be drawn from this branch and will provide the basis for the documentation which forms your response to the tender. Use the headings as the framework to prepare this material to ensure you address all the tender tasks, following the same approach outlined above for the tender response branch.

While the content of this map will draw mainly from the project tasks and deliverables, it is likely to use elements from the tender response branch (for example, a requirement to attach copies of current insurance certificates). You can then export this map to Word for additional work before lodgement, thus reversing the process you started off with.

If you need to make a presentation on the tender you can also create an additional simplified map based on this map. And if things go your way and your tender is successful the project tasks branch will also form the basis for your final map – the one you will use to manage the actual project itself!

Map 3 Tender analysis and response summary

Context Organiser analyses “The Coalition: our programme for government”

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

How did I do it? Firstly the original web site “Programme for Government” appeared for a while and then dissappeared. I planned to link to each section to a MindManager map and analyse it. It may be back by now.

The alternative route was to download the PDF version, paste the content in to Word, delete the index and create a document which could be analysed by Context Organiser. I linked my Word version to the map and ran Context Organiser. It is an easy process and produced the map you see a clip of to the right.  The options are available in a right click drop down menu on a linked topic after installing Context Organiser for Mindjet MindManager.

After some formatting to suit a one page web export, I created this web page The Coalition: our programme for government.

Now you can see a one page overview of a 36 page document.

It is of any use?