Using Big Data to Understand the Impact of Email on Business

December 9th, 2015 |
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Using Big Data to Understand the Impact of Email on Business
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IT Best Practices: Intel IT is responsible for fueling Intel’s business transformation with information technology, which includes providing employees with the ability to effectively communicate and collaborate. While email is pervasive in most businesses today, it can siphon time, productivity, and creativity from the workforce. Intel IT decided to explore the correlation between productivity and email. We conducted a study to determine email usage, while complying with Intel’s policies regarding employee privacy rights.

To conduct the study of the impact of email on business, we created a custom architecture using Apache Hadoop, Hive, Impala, Pig, and Sqoop. Based on four months of data collection, we were able to identify the highest email users at Intel by region, Intel site, and business unit. We were also able to determine a baseline email volume, recognize trends, and identify usage patterns and the main sources of email.

We plan to coach groups with the heaviest email use about proven methods for managing and reducing the time spent on email, thus enabling them to focus on higher-value activities. We will also work with the business units to determine whether the use of collaboration tools or corporate web portals might be more effective for teamwork and communication.


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