Web 2.0 and Business Intelligence

Image courtesy of Tim (O'reilly).

In the "Web 2.0 Meme Map" above, it summarizes the characteristics and some prominent examples that will best describe Web 2.0 technologies. The rich interface by Google Maps and Gmail, Wikipedia - the social encyclopedia, Blogs (like what you are reading now) are all examples of successful implementations of Web 2.0 principles.

The consumer world has been seeing a lot of emerging Web 2.0 companies, and it would not be long enough before it bridge through the enterprise world. Peter Rip has made a good analogy about the whole Web 2.0, or some might call it Enterprise 2.0.

Companies are communities. Supply chains are social networks. A customer base is a community, albeit often not interconnected, except by indirect methods like lawyers and analysts. Shareholders are a community, often interconnected the same ways.

Companies have known this for a while. Recruiting has been an exercise in social networking for a long time, both on the employer side ($500 referrals) and the job seeker side (the origin of the concept of “networking”).

But the difference between collaboration in the consumer and business worlds is one of purpose. Expression is the primary purpose is many Web 2.0 consumer sites. It may be expression for entertainment, expression for reputation enhancement, expression for contribution to collective knowledge, or something else.

Business Intelligence is among the first who will adapt this technology. Mash-ups represent a potentially powerful way to create new ad hoc Web applications out of existing enterprise data and web services. Using a single interface, Business Intelligence tools will integrate (mash-up) business process in a single interface.

Enterprises that harness this fountain of real-time and granular information will have a huge competitive edge - an edge equivalent to the first uses of data warehouses and data mining. They will find and react to opportunities the way that program traders find and react to market inefficiencies. This may well be the new Strategic IT. The strategic IT asset is not the software that automates the process. The asset is the embedded knowledge of all these enterprise communities and its integration into business processes.

Gilbert on Tuesday, May 09, 2006


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