Social business intelligence – the low down
For years, we have talked about Big Data and Business Intelligence, and the two converge when discussing Social Business Intelligence (BI) which is a term that refers to intelligence based on data garnered from social networks, and the analysis of that data. Live reports and visualizations of social media activities are pulling data points from all over the web and quantifying businesses’ efforts online. Social BI is not just for corporations, however, as small businesses now have access to tools that improve their competitive advantage as well.
A spokesperson for Panorama Software, an international solution for proactive Business Intelligence solutions, offering SQL Server 2012 and Hadoop ready technologies tells AGBeat that “with the online world growing larger every second, we are faced with more and more big data.”
Panorama Software CTO, Rony Ross outlines the main differences between social business intelligence (BI) and regular business intelligence in her own words:
- In regular BI you are limited to the “plain ol’ metrics” that are built into your BI system. In social BI, other users of the same view / report can add their comments and annotations to the data – at the report / view/ graph/ grid / row / column or even data element level, – so you can see the insights that other people added to the data and these may contain explanations and illuminations to issues you could not know unless you started digging around.
- Regular BI systems give you the data – but they do not tell you who are the people in the organization who are relevant to that data and that may help you to resolve issues that your need to investigate. Social BI systems add a “social ribbon” to the data, displaying the people most relevant to the issue at hand, and lets you interact with these people.
- Regular BI systems give you reports, views, KPI’s and Dashboards. Social BI give you the same – and more ! Social BI provide you with the tools necessary for the next step of the data analysis – the collaboration with others on the issues that are found, the enablement of a process of insight generation. When you see an anomaly in the data, the system will suggest to you the people most likely to help you with the issue. You can drag them to the relevant issue, and open a discussion pane that is tied to the BI data. You can expand the discussion set up an ad-hoc team. Whenever a member of the team opens the discussion, the system will bring up not only the –full history of the process, but also the exact view / report that triggered the discussion. This way the team are all the time aware of the context in which they operate and the process becomes more efficient and more productive.
- Regular BI tracks only the “plain ol’ metrics.” The Social BI system generates an additional metadata layer on top of the BI data, where the collaboration process is saved and where the insights that were generated in the process can be found. So you can retrieve the process that took place, learn from experience and create a “best practice” process.
- In regular BI , there is no easy way for you to know what views / reports / dashboards other users find useful. In Social BI people indicate which views / reports they “liked,” and it helps you, the user, to decide whether to explore this view or not. So you can expand the usage of the BI system without additional training.
- Moreover, the Social BI system RECOMMENDS to you new views / reports, based on your areas of interest.
- Social BI systems let you become a follower of the more proficient users in the organization, and learn from their expertise how to better deploy the system and follow what they developed and discovered.
In essence, social BI is the evolution of traditional BI, adding the people layer, and bringing it to modernity – Panorama Software calls it business intelligence 3.0.