When Business Intelligence and Social Networking Unite

By Phil Simon

With a new decade upon us, exciting new technologies are both changing the very definition of work and  engendering a wide array of new possibilities. I would put these possibilities into two broad categories:

  1. Things not possible even five years ago that are now possible
  2. Things previously possible but now augmented by the first category

My second book, The Next Wave of Technologies, strikes a nice balance between the two. The possibilities of improving existing technologies via new ones just make me giddy.

For example, check out this short video by Rob Ashe, former CEO of Cognos before IBM acquired the company. Ashe discusses an excellent example of the confluence between a relatively new technology (social networking) and a more established one (BI).  (Incidentally, there are chapters on both topics in The Next Wave.) This is a perfect example of the whole exceeding the sum of its parts.

IBM: Sketching The Future of Business Intelligence and Social Interaction from ReadWriteWeb on Vimeo.

How one technology extends another

I first worked with BI tools back in 1998, in particular Cognos PowerPlay and Impromptu. I was impressed way back then and these tools are a far cry from what they are today. There was always the opportunity for someone to “share” feedback with IT and other end-users. To this end, social networking changes nothing.

Except that it changes everything. As Ashe correctly points out, social networking vastly improves the ease with which data can be exchanged, synthesized, and even improved. By allowing for much greater collaboration, social networking enables better BI. It is for this reason that I consider both technologies part of Enterprise 2.0.


About Andy Painter

A passionate Information and Data Architect with experience of the financial services industry, Andy’s background spans pharmaceuticals, publishing, e-commerce, retail banking and insurance, but always with a focus on data. One of Andy’s principle philosophies is that data is a key business asset.
This entry was posted in Business Intelligence, Data 2.0, Data Sharing, Intelligent planet, Open Data and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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