Envisioning and shaping the future of work and business.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Using blogs and RSS-feeds for better decision making

Here's a train of thought and I hope you will be able to follow it.

On a high level, business intelligence can be defined as initiatives that use various forms of IT-resources to support better business decision making. But the most commonly definition narrows it down to using facts (= data) to support decisions, a fact being "something that is the case, something that actually exists, or something that can be verified according to an established standard of evaluation". (Wikipedia)

Facts can be good, especially aggregated facts that provide a highly informative context for decision making. However, I would argue that most business decisions are based on some kind of intuition and that this is not necessarily something bad. A decision might be the right decision even if it is is made in a split second and not based on facts or a rational process. Sometimes (often?) intuitive decisions are even better than fact based. Personal experiences and implicit and subjective information and knowledge might be just as important for decision making as hard explicit facts represented as data.

Intuition is about your previous experiences and lessons learned. It is about passive consuming and digesting information, information which is then processed by your sub-consciousness. It puts the active process of trying to figure out an answer aside and is based on effortless awarenesses. These awarenesses can create insights and solutions to problems that you are directly or indirectly working with.

In my mind, Enterprise 2.0 is not about creating gigantic data warehouses with numbers and figures from which management can get aggregated reports about how the enterprise performs from a hard fact-based perspective. No, Enterprise 2.0 has much more to do with enabling information to flow between people and making it easy to passively tap into these information flows to support intuitive decision making. This requires creating and fostering an environment where employees readily share their information and knowledge. In such an environment, tools such as blogs and wikis have their natural uses. When the information that is locked into departmental information silos and peoples' heads is eventually unlocked, we can all tap into relevant blogs, wikis and other tools and information sources with the use of push technologies such as RSS and passively and almost effortlessly consume and digest information. We will know a lot more about what is happening in the business and we will, as our sub-consciousness is constantly processing this information, become better at making intuitive decisions that actually turn out to be the right ones.

That's enough of thinking for today.


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