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New Frontiers in Business Intelligence

Nari Kannan

Why is social BI just as important as regular BI?

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Social business intelligence is not just trolling for company and product mentions in Tweets or in Facebook. There is so much useful information available, way ahead of time, but many companies do not have a formal way of collecting and distributing it and so fail down the road in ways that could have been anticipated.

Regular BI is the analysis and dissemination of information from your data warehouses. Social BI deals with what your various departments and people in those departments will tell you, if only someone bothered to collect all that information.

How many product managers periodically have informal conversations about the quality of the products from the customer support or service departments? Go down to the warranty claims department and talk to people about what kinds of warranty claims they are seeing?

Or saunter to the legal department and chat with them about any complaints or lawsuits their products are making come the company's way?

Or talk to that remote sales person in Boondocks, Faraway State, to listen to what their prospects are saying about their products?

The information is there, actively collected but not yet distributed in proper and efficient ways.

TIBCo's Silver Spotfire solution is a produce that collects and disseminates information from social media networks. 

This can be very useful. But I think that the eyes and ears of a company's employees are much more reliable and provide first-hand information more immediately than hearing about it on the public social media, especially if what is said about the company is bad. By that time, it is more a matter of damage control rather than learning from the market.

If you go back in corporate history the last fifty years, there have been countless recalls, especially of automobiles, after companies have received complaints for years and years. Companies do not react even when they are being sued! Not all lawsuits may be genuine, but closing the communication gaps between employees in different departments is a great way to create and use social BI to help prevent such issues.

It's not that the mechanisms are not available yet. Here is a great  New York Times article: Companies Are Erecting In-House Social Networks.
 
It talks about new corporate social media tools like Yammer and Chatter that many companies have started using. This will make it very easy for people within the same company but in different departments to pass on social BI. "Hey. Here's something I heard from my prospect today....." is so easy to do with these tools.

Something to think about!

A single conversation across the table from a wise person is worth a month's study of books - Chinese Proverb


Nari Kannan's blog explores how new approaches to business intelligence can help organizations improve the performance of business processes--whether these processes are creative or operational, internally-focused or customer-facing, intra-departmental or across functions.

Nari Kannan

Nari Kannan started and serves as the CEO of appsparq, a Mobile Applications development company based in Louisville, KY with offices in Singapore and India. Nari has over two decades of experience in computer systems development, translating product and service strategy into meaningful technology solutions, and both people and product development. Prior to this, he has served as both Chief Technology Officer and Vice President- Engineering in six successful startups, two of which he co-founded. He has proven experience in building companies, engineering teams, and software solutions from scratch in the United States and India. Prior to this, Nari started Ajira Technologies, Inc., in Pleasanton, CA, where he served as Chief Executive Officer for more than six years. While at Ajira, Nari was instrumental in developing service process management solutions that modeled, monitored, and analyzed business processes, initially targeting the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Telecom, and Banking verticals in India, and Finance, Insurance, and Healthcare verticals in the United States. Prior to this, he served as VP-Engineering at Ensenda, an ASP for local delivery services. He also served variously as Chief Technology Officer or VP-Engineering at other Bay-Area venture funded startups such as Kadiri and Ensera. He began his career at Digital Equipment Corporation as a Senior Software Engineer. Nari has a long involvement with Customer Support and other customer facing processes. At Digital Equipment Corporation he was involved with their 1800 person customer support center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He was tasked with coming up with innovative tools to help customer support people do their jobs better. He holds a U.S patent for a software invention that automatically redirected email requests for customer support to the right group by digesting the contents of the request and guessing at which software or hardware support group is best equipped to handle it. At Ensera, he led a 45 person team in developing an internet based ASP service for handling auto insurance claims, coordinating information flow between end-customers, Insurance companies, Repair shops and Parts suppliers. Ensera was acquired by Mitchell Corporation in San Diego. Nari holds a B.S. degree in Physics from Loyola College, and an M.B.A degree from the University of Madras in Madras, India. He graduated with a M.S. degree in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1985. Contact Information: Nari Kannan. Email: nari@appsparq.com Mobile: 925 353 0197. Website: www.appsparq.com View more .

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