Emerging BI trends – Social Intelligence (SI)

Posted by Ravishwaran Pattabi
Comments (3)
May 1st, 2011

One of the pain areas in traditional Business Intelligence is when the significance of unstructured data is underestimated or discounted.

Business Intelligence 3.0 is all about bringing unstructured data from different formats and collaborating it with structured data.

With increasing awareness, corporates are tapping social media information and are making a noticeable difference in the way Business Intelligence is leaning towards innovation. While a traditional Enterprise BI solution has the capability to extract internal organizational data and transform it into useful information, it however, ignores the importance of data available in social media.

“Social Intelligence” is now the buzz word in organisations and is an enabler in rethinking their decisions and strategies, even re-coining their vision statements. Social Intelligence comes from bringing unstructured data into the decision making process. Unstructured data can be bucketed into three categories:

1. Audio / Video / Image files – files from YouTube, audios forums and Image forums.

2. User-generated content – The data source includes the full range of published product ratings and reviews;blogs and other publications, market research reports and partners, suppliers, customers’ or competitor websites.

3. Secured-access applications – Data that resides behind password-protected websites that are not under an organization’s direct control and do not conform to its structured data standards. Examples: Orkut, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

The category mentioned above on the unstructured data is usually very broad and encompasses many types of information.It may be challenging for organizations to identify the actual importance of utilizing unstructured data to help drive organizational performance. The use of unstructured data goes beyond the ability to search for reports, documents, PowerPoint presentations and e-mail. Identifying customer complains, benchmarking marketing campaigns and identifying insurance claim fraud, are just a few of the areas that can steer the analysis of unstructured data towards organizational profit. There is enough organizational intelligence built using social media data; of these, here are four important intelligence areas that organizations could adopt for better growth right away.

Brand Intelligence Understanding public perception about a brand is a key enabler for any business. The electronic media is emerging as the largest community for understanding brand perceptions; it is key to tap information about the brand from various social media. A corporation must build solutions based on Brand Intelligence which would enhance their understanding of how their brand is perceived in the marketplace – and make better decisions as a result. Brand Intelligence is more than sentiment analysis: it hasto be a complete picture of how a brand is perceived in social media.

Competitor Intelligence Understanding how competitors are engaging with their audience is a key input for corporate decision making. The way the public perceives a company and its competitors can change very quickly and be affected by very subtle changes in the conversational landscape – and a company that is tracking these changes over time has a clear advantage in the marketplace. SI approach to Competitor Intelligence will not only provide information about how competitors are perceived, but practical strategies to take advantage of this intelligence.

Influencer IntelligenceOne of the most important approaches in the communications toolkit has always been the development of key influencer campaigns. This approach is one of the pillars behind both product launch and crisis management strategies, among others. The age of social media provides an unprecedented opportunity to identify possible influencers – but only if the analysis is done correctly. Influence only exists in context, and a ‘Social Intelligence’ approach to Influencer Intelligence gives clients the best tools ever, to identify and reach out to these people in a responsible, effective manner.

Issue IntelligenceEvery company has social, policy, or sustainability issues, that affect them on a daily basis. Understanding these issues and how they affect a client and its activities provides a critical advantage, both in terms of the time it takes to respond to new challenges and the overall understanding of the issue and how it affects them. Social media represents the largest pool of opinion and analysis ever assembled about companies and the issues they face – and a ‘Social Intelligence’ approach is uniquely able to analyze the numerous opinions on any subject to help our clients navigate the complex environment in which they operate.

Interestingly, Hexaware is actively leveraging Social Intelligence to build solutions that cater to its existing customer base and to adding new customers.

The writer is the Pre Sales Head – Europe for Business Intelligence, Hexaware Technologies.

Comments (3)

Dilipkumar B.S - July 5th, 2011

This sounds interesting. I have a question will all data that we get from social media be a valid one to be considered?

Pradeep - May 16th, 2011

Ravish, Interesting article. However, aren't categories 2 & 3 (User generated content and secured access apps) the same? The data in the secured access apps is user generated but is not accesible to the rest of the world, while all data in category 2 would usually come from web 2.0 platforms within each organization. While we are talking of this, companies like Y! and Facebook have already started mining the phenomenal amount of data they have. (You should have heard of Yahoo's multiple petabyte EDW). Interesting times ahead.

Deepti - May 6th, 2011

Hey Raveesh, This is an interesting topic to cover, your post is quite informative and we might be able to utilize Social analytics internally as well as Hexaware has gone social!

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