FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is FIBRES exactly?
FIBRES is a browser-based application for intelligent collaboration on future trends. The software applies natural language processing technologies on written data pieces to help human users find new linkages and share their own insights. It is a tool that helps you and your organization build a shared view of your future and use this for improved business decisions. Some use FIBRES as a part of their strategy work, some to feed their innovation process.
Where does the trend data come from?
With FIBRES, your own team is typically one of the most important data sources! FIBRES is making it super easy for human users to add their own observations such as newspieces from the web. FIBRES also integrates with internal or external data sources for automated content feeds. Please contact us for more information on such automated feeds!
Finally, the data does not get evaluated or assessed automatically. Assessments of trend implications to your own business ultimately need to be done…well, by you! FIBRES assists the human users in doing such assessments and automatically visualizes your work…but it still does not do the work for you. We are strong believers in ultimate human judgment, and even more so, your own judgment for your own business.
How can I get the trend content provided by your partners?
We’ll set you up with the automatically updating contents from our partners. Contact us, and let’s talk! Currently, there is no option to ’click and buy’ just yet.
Can FIBRES be customized to fit our needs?
There are some premium features that a FIBRES test account does not include, such as joint evaluation topics for “voting” purposes over trend impacts.
In addition, there are customization options. These include configuring your own custom Trend Radar, or having your own logos for the FIBRES UI and content ppt exports, and so on.
Also, entire parts of the FIBRES main navigation can be hidden for even more simplicity. In fact, a FIBRES test account does not include all navigation sections available…
Please contact us for a full listing of premium features and customization options!
I work as a consultant. Can I use FIBRES with my customers?
Absolutely! Most importantly, you are free to invite people from any organization to your own FIBRES account – we set no limits. We also have a plan that enables you to work with several different customers, safely and securely. Contact us for more details!
Can I get a free trial for my team?
Yes. Just please sign up for a 30-day free trial with your team. No commitments or payment details needed. The free trial does not however hold all premium features, and obviously it is not yet customized for you. But we will share you some more information during your trial, and later we hopefully agree on your continued and paid use.
Can I invite my team members onto the same FIBRES account?
Depending on your user rights levels, yes. If you just signed up for a test account, you have full rights. Just navigate to the users list (via the top-right hand corner community icon) and click on ‘Invite User’.
How do I get new content into FIBRES?
There are three main ways for adding content:
- by creating content manually: start by clicking ‘Create‘
- by using the FIBRES Web Clipper for storing newspieces from the web
- automatically either from our content providing partners or through integrations with your internal data sources (please contact us for more information!)
Where do I get the FIBRES Web Clipper from? How do I use It?
Did you find a piece of news on the web you’d wish to store into your FIBRES account? At a click of a button?
For installing and using the FIBRES Web Clipper:
- first make sure your favorites toolbar is visible on your browser
- click the question mark on the top-right-hand-corner of your FIBRES, for a pop-up support window to open
- in the support window, please crab and drag the web clipper (‘Add to FIBRES’ button) to your favorites bar (Edge browser not supported, sorry…)
- then navigate to any newsarticle in the open web (e.g. https://www.theengineer.co.uk/issues/july-2011-online/vascularised-composites-could-lead-to-self-healing-materials/)
- while reading the article, please click the ‘ Add to FIBRES’ button now in your favorites bar -> see how FIBRES retrieves and stores a copy of the newspiece onto your FIBRES account and you can immediately link it with other data, etc.!
See the video below.
Megatrends, Trends, Signal Clusters, Signals...what's the difference?
About the difference between Signal, Signal Cluster, Trend, Megatrend: first, the layout for all these foresight content types is the same. For one, this is to allow you to even change the type of a given item when need be: just click the type name (e.g. ‘Trend’) in the upper left-hand corner of a given item.
You can also freely link any content to any other content, not depending on the content type: in logical terms, this is an n-to-n relation, and not a forced hierarchy.
The main difference between the different types is that the Network visualization only shows Megatrends, Trends, and Signal Clusters, and furthermore, the Radar visualization only shows Megatrends and Trends.
The purpose of these different content types is to allow for content structuring and “drill-down”. In most cases, there are at least hundreds, or even up to tens of thousands of signals (small newspieces stored by your own users, for example), and obviously a much more limited number of real trends you typically would work with. We’d be happy to help you even further with data modeling of the content you are working with!
How do I create a Signal Cluster?
For creating Signal Clusters, there are alternative ways, most importantly the following two:
- click the green Create button on the top right hand corner -> choose to create a cluster -> create from blank -> give your cluster a title -> you’ll end up with an “empty” signal cluster content item where you can then immediately start linking your signals; OR
- in Discover, click the plus sign of the content “cards” to select the signals you wish to cluster -> then click in the bottom menu on ‘Link with content‘ -> choose ‘with a cluster’ -> click either to link these signals with an existing cluster or to create a new cluster of them
My FIBRES already has Trends but they do not appear on the Radar. What do I need to do?
Megatrends and Trends appear automatically on the Radar immediately after you give the necessary assessments for this content. In the default version of FIBRES, you need to give your assessments for ‘Time to Impact’, ‘Impact Strength’, and ‘Primary Domain of Impact’.
Also please pay attention to the fact that only the content types Megatrends and Trends are shown on the Radar.
I use the FIBRES Web Clipper to save Signals from the web into FIBRES. Sometimes I get a lot of text from the web page, sometimes only a small fraction of the article. Why?
This is a situation that occurs depending on the setup of the source page. We improve the Web Clipper continuously, so please let us know the exact pages where you have perhaps experienced problems!
Can I save a search list result from the web to FIBRES?
Not at the moment. You can only save “article-type” web pages.
Can I get notified about changes in content I am interested in?
Within any content item, you may click the ‘Follow‘ icon. Choosing to follow items results in:
- your Followed Items carousel on the front page will list the most recent changes to those items
- by default, you will receive a notification email listing unread changes to such items (you may opt out of such an email in My Profile via the community icon)
The Network visualization looks great. Which content is shown there?
The Network visualizes your trend universe. All Megatrends, Trends and Signal Clusters will appear there as a balloon. The circle around the balloon depicts the amount of Signals linked to the item in question. The Network also shows linkages between the items: direct man-made linkages as thick lines and underlying Signal linkages (several shared Signals) as thin lines.
What are the different FIBRES user rights levels?
FIBRES offers four user rights levels:
- Administrator users can invite and revoke user access to your FIBRES account, and rename the account. Admin users have full user rights to all FIBRES functionalities, and can change the ownership of any content item within your FIBRES account. We recommend having at least two Admin users.
- Trend Manager can add, edit, and remove all content, and can invite users with Trend Scout or Read Only rights. The main difference to an Admin user is that can not invite new Admin users or new Trend Managers.
- Trend Scout can add and edit Signals and Signal Clusters. For other types of content, Trend Scout holds read and commenting rights.
- Users with Read Only rights can read and comment all content, but can not edit or add content.
All users with editing rights can also adjust the visibility of a given content item. The alternative values there are Public (visible for all users inside your FIBRES account) and Private (visible only to the owner of the content item in question).
Finally, Workspaces hold some additional user rights…please see a separate explanation on those.
What are Workspaces?
Workspaces are private containers of foresight-related content: assuming you’d have dozens or even hundreds of users, some groups of people might want to work on selected themes or domains in a more private setting.
If you create a new Workspace, by default only you have access to it. Then you can invite hand-picked collaborators to join your Workspace either with Read Only or Full user rights.
Please pay attention to that the user rights here is a pretty complex thing, though. The Public items you link into a Workspace are still visible to all users within your FIBRES account even if the Workspace itself is not. In order to fully hide a given content item from others, you need to change the visibility of that item into Private instead of Public. Whooa. Please ask us for more help with this one!
I would like to link my trend insights with real action - projects, targets, strategies. Can I do that with FIBRES?
FIBRES includes simple Roadmap and Execution navigation sections that are not included in trial accounts by default. These sections include simple features for your own roadmapping functions (not trend roadmaps, but your planned activity roadmaps) in FIBRES so that you can link trend content to your own plans.
FIBRES can also be integrated with other parts of your toolchain: with project and portfolio management applications, for example.
As there may be several points of view specific to your own way of linking futures understanding to real action, we ask you to please contact us for a deeper discussion!