What we’ve been talking about for the last 6 years

Workflow Tag Cloud

By looking at the tag cloud in the side bar of this blog, it was interesting to note the keywords that were frequently being used in the context of workflow.

It got me thinking – apart from ‘workflow’, why do all other tags appear to be of equivalent size, which would indicate they are of equal importance?  I was not convinced because how could ‘random ramblings’ be considered as equally important as ‘business process management’!

If you are not already familiar with tag clouds, the way they work is by grabbing the keywords from within a website to create a visual representation by arranging them according to their importance. It emphasizes the key tags by making them larger and typically darker in color.

Although the existing tag cloud served its functional purpose, could it be improved to make it appear more interesting and the important tags to stand out more noticeably?

I was able to stumble accross Tagxedo, a tag cloud generating website that allowed you to submit your website to generate a tag design. It automatically identifies the key tags and allows you to customise the appearance of the image through various settings. After a few attempts, this is what I was able to come up with.  This appears to be a much more accurate representation for this blog’s content!

As suspected, it identified ‘workflow’ as the largest tag since it can be found in almost all of the blog posts since the the first in 2006. Other closely related tags include business, process, software and web which are agreeably far more valuable than ‘random ramblings’.  Which raises the question – what are we not posting about that we should be?  I’d be interested to hear your thoughts…

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Workflow Trends

I have just had a quick look at http://www.google.com/trends and thought I would share the results and my analysis.

First I typed in: workflow

It seems the volume is down from 2004 but more than 2005

The top 5 normalized countries are:

India, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, South Africa

Next I typed in: workflows

This was not tracked in 2004.  2005 and 2006 have approximately the same number of searches.

The top 5 normalized countries are:

India, Australia, Austria, Germany, United States

Next I typed in: Business Process Management

This was not tracked in 2004.  2005 and 2006 have approximately the same number of searches.

The top 5 normalized countries are:

India, Pakistan, South Africa, Malaysia, Singapore

For all searches new reference volumn increased year on year.

So what does this mean.  Well at this point I can only speculate.  One thing seems to be that a high percentage of people in India are searching for workflow/BPM the other is that in different countries some tend to use the word workflow more often then they use the words BPM and vice versa. 

Workflow Trends

For those of you who don't know I live in Australia.  As such the trends in Australia with respect to workflow and BPM are behind parts of the world and ahead of other parts of the world.  In this little post I will be discussing the workflow trends I am seeing from here in Australia and this may not reflect other places.

First from what I can tell more and more businesses are adopting workflow although government is still a little behind.  I think that in Australia we are still at the early adopter phase.  As for its growth it is a bit hard to tell.  I can look at our websites and say that we increase on average by 10% a month but this doesn't mean that the demand is growing by 10% a month (although that would be nice). 

Another aspect is that smaller companies are realizing that workflow is becoming more of an issue.

Finally the reasons for purchase are a little different.  It used to be all about cost savings, and while the is still a large part of it the trend is more towards risk mitigation.  Even on the other side of the world Enron has made waves.  Increased regulations and reporting now seem to be major reasons for investing in workflow.