Monday, March 10, 2008

Business Intelligence 2.0 - Overview

After doing some initial research on the Internet it became readily apparent that a good deal of the concepts I had in my mind were captured under the heading of "BI 2.0". This seems to be taking the Web 2.0 social networking concepts and bringing it into the Business Intelligence world. Business Intelligence really is the perfect implementation of the Web 2.0 technologies, the core business process of people looking at information from different perspectives and collaborating on what they see to make business decisions is really what Business Intelligence is all about. There are many other aspects of the next wave of Business Intelligence innovation outside of the Web 2.0 realm, but for now I'll focus on the impact to the user experience. In the end our client's needs rule!

Before digging in to any one topic in depth, thought it would be best to provide a brief overview of what each area is at a high level.

Intelligent Search

Searching all relevant information (structured of unstructured) to return results in the context of what is contained within the documents. Very similar to web search engines, but focused on enterprise information assets. Idea is to search on a topic and return back both flat reports, dashboards, business process documentation, social network (discussions, blogs, groups, etc.) information and anything else relevant. This information can be easily bookmarked into our portal views to enhance and build on information exchange relationships.


Adding context to information through the subjective experiences of end users. Would work in the same way web sites like flickr allow all viewers to tag their images, interpreting pictures in ways that computers can't. This is key to enabling Intelligent Search. Users would be able to rank information to make relevant content known to larger groups.


Enabling discussion board style functionality within information portals. Common discussion can build more cross-functional relationships amongst users, building the informal networks so crucial in today's fast paced business environment. I can picture people annotating and highlighting sections of reports / dashboards right on the portal and being able to share this with their network.

RSS Feeds

Integrating Business Intelligence content into RSS readers would truly bring control over how users information is categorized by putting it right into their email clients. All the features of RSS readers will be available including refresh frequency, archival and labelling. Anything we can do to help organize the information avalanche will make our users that much more efficient.


Allowing users to take more control of how they work with information is key to mashups. Rather than having to open multiple reports and try to come up with how they all correlate, imagine being able to pull pieces of these reports together on one dashboard and having it all just work? Add in visuals like placing performance metrics on a diagram of a business process to see analytically and cognitively how everything fits together. The possibilities are limitless here!


Provide trusted Subject Matter Experts with a forum to share their knowledge. If you think about it, there is someone in every team that is the guru and has great expertise tempered by experience. These people and other holders of specialized knowledge like to be recognized for their area of experitse, give them a forum to share this with the larger community will increase their engagement and their value to the team.


Now wikis, at first thought I'm not sure how this applies (might be my control freak nature), but having content able to be edited by anyone gives me the shivers! Nevertheless, there could be something here. When we have such great tools such as blogs and discussion forums, a great deal of knowledge is hidden in those threads of conversation. This is great for collaboration but maybe not so great for other people searching for this knowledge. If you can convince your business users to do it, using Wikis as the ultimate source of authority on one topic can assist with best practices and findings from Business Intelligence projects. Capturing all that great knowledge capital into an asset that is of value to the company and helps share that knowledge.

This is just my first pass at what is out there, will continue to dig!


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This is a personal weblog, and does not represent the thoughts, intentions, plans or strategies of my employer.