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Social BI

1 November 2011

Social Business Intelligence, following BI 2.0, reflects a recent trend, namely searching for and detecting information in social sharing media such as Facebook, Twitter, blogs, forums, etc. all for business profit.

The internet's evolution has brought a new way to stay updated. The shift from static data pages (Web 1.0) to sharable, interactive pages (Web 2.0) has generated the possibility to communicate, share and express an opinion in a new and unique way.

While "traditional" Business Intelligence deals involves collecting information from sources such as study reports, opinion poll, market analyses, etc. Social BI deals with detecting social and consuming trends as expressed in social media, then tagging, analyzing and entering them into the organizational 'data warehouse' for intelligent implementation in the organization. Social debriefing from Web 2.0 media enables not only to receive data on product sales but also a deep understanding of the  "behind the scenes" process, an explanation to why a product was or was not purchased.

The data sources that appear on the Web 2.0 platforms provide new perceptions of our customers, such as: opinions on products, the company's market reputation, new fashionable trends.  Social BI allows us to create a full profile of a client and follow their history of preferences and generate a forecast of trends and future fashion accordingly, thus reaching better business decisions that are adapted to the company's target audience.

Social BI: compatible systems

Social data usually lacks uniformity as it is accumulated from various sources; in order to reach its "heart" we must strip it from redundant components that are distracting us from the central idea. Some intelligence systems were created to allow companies to integrate the various types of information.

These systems enable us to follow the number of entrances to company pages, number of times company products were mentioned and how many followers does the company Twitter account have.

These systems main idea is finding a pattern/trend in this concoction of scattered data; simply collecting the data is insufficient. To reach insights, we must sort the data by categories and search for central trends.

Business Intelligence systems assist in creating a social data archive with metadata that simplifies the search for information, so that data can be displayed according to its time of appearance (current vs. historical) thus better analyzing trends and developments.

Incorporating the social information into the organization's BI systems allows us to better track the reasons for a product or brand's success or failure.

Social BI for workers

Another use of social information platforms is leveraging intra-organizational work processes among workers.

Current intelligence systems allow workers to add comments, classify information, notify its use and efficiency as well as share these findings with colleagues. This allows other workers from other departments to rely on their fellow worker's comments and instructions and search for information that will better suit them thus improving their work processes.


The bottom line: Using "wisdom of the crowds" to generate inter-departmental cooperation enables workers to reach data that fully answers their search requirements.




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