Ecosystem Contextual Data

25th June 2023

In yesterday’s post, I said we’d continue to build some industry specific solutions that utilise the idea of contextual data from the wider Microsoft Cloud ecosystem alongside business data…

However… there’s one post I’d like to sneak in prior to that… being this one! 🤩

In this post, I’d like to talk about ecosystem context or ecosystem ‘contextual data’ without making that concept vendor specific. In my previous posts talking about ecosystem context, we’ve spoken about it from the point of view of interacting with data from the Microsoft Cloud ecosystem subconsciously created which we can then retrieve using the Microsoft Graph API.

Much wider than just Microsoft Graph

So, now I’d like to shift the conversation I’ve been having on my blog from talking about Microsoft Graph as the source of context when building in the Microsoft Cloud, to it being one of many more sources of context.

I’ve previously spoken about the subconsciously created data we produce in the Microsoft Cloud such as the tasks, the messages, the calendar events and more… but context goes so much further than the things we create just using Microsoft 365.

person with toy airplane on world map
Globe – An Ecosystem

What is Ecosystem Context?

So on a wider scale, and non platform specific view, ecosystem context is effectively the contextual data that we can use to drive UX / CX and deliver greater impact with digital solutions, primarily through reducing time spent on things that require greater action without context.

Ecosystem context also isn’t just productivity data we create subconsciously which is one of the major types we can get out of the Microsoft Cloud using Microsoft Graph… it can actually also be our business data used more effectively in a contextual way, rather than just displayed as a table or grid of information. So let’s look at an example…

Using information such as other keyword based relevant support cases logged by a customer in a customer service to surface context to an agent that may be useful in resolving the current case in question.

Example of business data used more effectively as context

Examples of Ecosystem Context

So now let’s look at some one liner examples of ecosystem context, some of which lean more into cross ecosystem context which I’d like to talk about in an upcoming post soon… 👀

The ‘out the window’ context

  • Weather information
  • Traffic
  • Public transport statuses
  • Economy / market data
  • News
  • Major digital vendor service information

The digital ecosystem context

  • Subconsciously created productivity data
  • Customer data
  • Business commercial data
  • Our digital service status
  • Device information

Operational context

  • Employee skillsets and resource capacity
  • Site information i.e. accessibility info, surveillance
  • Processes as context
  • Employee site presence information i.e. clock in and out
  • Bookings information

These are just three major categories of data with their more granular sub categories which for each we can utilise as context in an application around the primary piece of information we’re focused on. We might not even surface the contextual information explicitly to someone interaction with our software, but we may do things like make suggestions and changes based on that context we’re aware of.

cars driving on urban highway in evening

Where does this take this series?

So, in this series, we’re going to continue with some solution builds as promised, utilising the Microsoft Cloud platform as an example of how to use contextual data, and through this method using Graph API to gain access to that context.

We may also in future posts look at the additional forms of context we can utilise other than that of productivity and device data surfaced by Graph, to really build some powerful solutions! 😎


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Posted in Ecosystems

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