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Is There a Possibility That a Lot More of a Company's Private Business Intelligence Will Become Public? Good? Bad?

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Nari Kannan: Sites like Alexa.com provide the public a lot of information about any company's website - Unique Visits, Ranking, Page Views, etc. As time goes on, is there a possibility that a lot more of a company's private Business Intelligence can become public as well? Good? Bad?

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  • I see this being that two sides of the coin; will corporations feel obligated to release certain information to manage perception or see this as an opportunity to drive value.

    We are increasingly becoming a data driven society more so every day; and will begin to base our opinion on an organization based on their level of transparency. Financial data aside; which has a level of governance and much like a private citizen; really would have adverse consequences if left completely open. An article in the NYT yesterday; ranked companies based on levels of transparency; focusing more on information that relates to corporate responsibility and good citizenship. This type of data will be what pushes more of that Open Corporate movement.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/12/business/media/12mag.html?ref=business

    Downside? Similar to how a business looks at its data; it will be the "how much" before it becomes a data overload. I believe this will also some negative affect; as it will just overwhelm people.

    Though; with all this said; access to some data is better then no data at all.

  • Here is an interesting website where you can get so much information about any place based on its Zipcode!!!

    http://www.freedemographicsdata.com/index.html

    Interesting!

  • Public Business Intelligence that produces industry level aggregated metrics with underlying data from individual companies, is a very viable business model as exemplified by companies such as IMS, Nielsen, IHS, Travelport etc. to name a few.

    Coming down to public business intelligence at the company level, let me state my views with a business analogy. Every company deals with 2 types of accounting methods - Financial & Management accounting. Financial accounting is for public consumption and BI around such areas (remember, it is just an analogy!) will increasingly be done in the public domain. Management accounting on the other hand provides information that enhances the competitiveness of an organization. BI in such areas will continue to remain private in a competitive industry structure.

    Some areas where public business intelligence would be good are for - a) Non-profit organizations, b) Government policies, c) Monopolistic companies etc.

  • I don't worry much about the majority of proprietary data spilling out into the public because of new BI technologies, but there are a few exceptional areas where it is true a significant amount of data that may have been preferred to be secret is now out there.

    Tools like Alexa and Compete estimate competitive Web site traffic numbers. SpyFu estimates an amazing amount of PPC spending information. LinkedIn makes your company directory completely open and poachable.

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