Over the past few months we have been thinking about how we can identify and embed innovations at the University of Bolton, taking a sociotechnical perspective and including new technology, processes ways of working. To help us with this we have begun to use the Gartner STREET (Scan, Track, Rank, Evaluate, Evangelise, Transfer) process (this book covers it in detail) which is approach to picking the innovation that is right for your organisation informed by the notion of the Hype Cycle.
The Hype Cycle diagram is pretty intuitive when looked at and will resonate with many people’s experiences. Put simply it is a way of plotting the expectations of an innovation (vertical axis) over time (horizonal axis) and illustrating how over inflated these can be initially (‘peak of expectations’) , leading to a reappraisal (‘trough of despair’) and possibly as the innovation matures adoption through a ‘slope of enlightenment’ to a ‘plateaux of productivity’.
The purpose of this post was to consider how the track part of the STREET process might be informed by Google Insights which is a tool that allows you to ‘compare search volume patterns across specific regions, categories, time frames and properties.’ Below are a few that we tried, do they tell us anything when viewed through the lense of the Hype Cycle? Of course many problems with this approach but it might be that as the period of time over which this kind of analysis is available extends it becomes a useful step in the tracking of innovations.