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Will social media transform BI?

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As Karan Chadha says in this article, Can social media be the next big lever for business intelligence? "The phenomenal rise of social media has created a huge opportunity from a Business Intelligence perspective."  So do you see social media transforming BI?

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    Social Media is a strange beast that unless you have experienced the power of that beast first-hand you may not realize its influence on business and eventually on Business Intelligence. Traditional Business Intelligence have all been "rear-view-mirror looking" in that you analyze Sales Figures, Financial Figures, Manufacturing Numbers etc, all sort of backward looking. Social Media allow companies, especially their Marketing departments to utlize a new kind of Business Intelligence, more like ZBI or Zeitgeist Business Intelligence - what's going on in my company, products, industry, with my typical customers, their competitors, etc? Are people saying positive or negative things about our products and our company? What about our competitors? Are their disgruntled customers tweeting about their dissatisfaction? Is that using the "network effect" of social media like Twitter to spread too quickly to rein in and contain? In that sense a lot of it will be "forward looking" and new tools like Text Processing, Emotion-sensing technology (already in use in some Call centers to direct angry customers to reps quicker!) will be adding new dimensions to this that we never thought of so far. They laughed at Facebook and Twitter. Now they are changing the World in ways never seen before! I am sure so will it, BI!

  • Surely it will, but handling the unstructured data and the volume is still a challenge.

  • Social Media is truly the beginning of a social norm adjustment. This adjustment will bode well for corporations and advertisers due to the ever-improved intelligence on customer sentiment. Privacy, even the definition ten years ago, differs drastically than it did so in the past. That said, corporations will seize the opportunity to understand their user base in a fashion never before available.

    Today, twitter, facebook, and other feeds are available for extraction and usage. In fact, my company uses these tools to understand community sentiment and respond to customer comments. As "Generation-Net" begins to mature, data will become more and more open as the culture allows itself to be exposed. In fact, our online web experience will be entirely tailored to our online social identities. Corporations will begin to fine tune their advertising strategies based upon each customers unique public profile. We do this today -- but we're not quite there, yet.

    Instead of relying on web logs or surveys, companies will soon be able to track the move of almost *every* customer (on and off-line). While they can, corporations must seek out ways to extract this data and understand it. Analytic companies like Jaspersoft, Talend, and Microstrategy are powerful tools especially when coupled with an analytic database such as Infobright.

    Social Media has already begun to change business intelligence -- it's now a matter of how long it takes Social Media to "perfect" BI on a per-customer basis.

  • Social Media will be yet another dimension to BI & Analytics. For certain functional areas like Brand Management, Advertising, Competitive Intelligence etc. the data-sets available through traditional transaction processing systems, viz. ERP, CRM etc., have proven to be inadequate and these are areas where social media related analytics can play a significant role.

    My hypothesis - On an average, if the influence of BI on business decisioning across all functional areas is taken to be 100%, Social media related analytics will be less than 5%. Having said that the impact could be higher in certain industries like CPG, Retail as compared to industries like Manufacturing & Financial services.

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