Envisioning and shaping the future of work and business.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Coming up: a (social) renaissance for Business Intelligence

I personally find the intersection between Business Intelligence and Collaboration / Web 2.0 as especially interesting, which I have discussed previously:

In the article "Future of BI: web 2.0, mashups and guided search", Danny Bradbury at silicon.com looks at the future of BI - and it looks as Business intelligence is due for a renaissance. Here are a few of the changes according to BI experts that Danny has inverviewed for his article:

Mashups - combining and enhancing data streams with web applications - will revolutionise BI interfaces, predicts Mark Whitehorn, founder of BI consulting firm Penguinsoft. "BI might say that a cluster of data is interesting but you can't visualise that unless you write a whole application for doing it," he says. "But if you send that to a mapping system, you can suddenly see why the BI software found that cluster interesting."

Combining mashups with collaborative technologies could make BI even more powerful. One person rarely makes decisions based on business intelligence data, points out says Richard Neale, director of CIO marketing at SAP. "Providing facilities for people to collaborate on the decision-making process will be an important feature of the BI environment," he says.

In addition to innovations in BI interfaces, there are some coming advances in the underlying analytic engines that crunch the data. Rob Rose, who directs the office of strategy in BI and performance management at IBM, says that analysing unstructured information will be a huge boon for BI users. "You just know that customer satisfaction information isn't in the customer database. It's probably in a call centre application, in a comments field somewhere, and the call centre personnel used all kinds of creative wording and abbreviations to capture those comments," he says. "Being able to parse lots of unstructured content and structure it according to 'buckets of relevance' is an important step to be able to then group, analyse, filter, explore and trend this information."


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