BI Wisdom Twitter Chat Recap: Collaborative BI

July 5, 2011
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biwisdomarchivist 300x182 photo (analytics and twitter)

Author: Amanda Brandon
Spotfire Blogging Team

biwisdomarchivist 300x182 photo (analytics and twitter)

Author: Amanda Brandon
Spotfire Blogging Team

It’s time for a Tweet chat recap that’s all about collaboration and the wisdom of some industry experts including host Howard Dresner. Each Friday at 1 p.m. Eastern, the #BIWisdom chat focuses on a specific BI topic. The past two chats centered on collaborative BI – a topic we blogged about last month in a post titled Social BI – Less About Social Data and More About Collaboration.

How to Follow the Entire Conversation

The Archivist transcript and visualization is available here. Another useful tool for generating a Twitter transcript is TweetReports.com. Just be sure to pull the transcript within three days to get the full conversation.

The Elite Eight (in percentage of Tweets)

  1. Howard Dresner – an independent analyst and moderator, 31.82%
  2. Mark Bradbourne – a BI architect for Forest City Enterprises in Cleveland, Ohio, 13.64%
  3. Kiran Oza – a business integration manager at the University of Dundee in the UK, 9.74%
  4. Suzanne Hoffman – VP of sales at Simba Technologies, a BI systems integration firm, 7.79%
  5. GenesisSAP – a BI consulting firm – 7.14%
  6. Jillene H. – a business analyst at FORUM Credit Union in Indianapolis, 4.55%
  7. Jeff Huckaby – supervisor of BI at Pilot Travel Centers in Knoxville, 4.55%
  8. Mike Ferguson – managing director at Intelligent Business Strategies Limited (an analysis and consulting firm), 4.55%

 Some Other Participants

Highlights

  • Most Retweeted – Ferguson’s: “Collaborative BI – I think you should integrate BI to enterprise collaboration and not just embed collaborative features into BI. 
  • Funniest Comment – Bradbourne’s: “#BIWisdom I don’t want to see a Fail Whale during my project.”
  • Best Insight – Dresner to Huckaby: “Mobile much easier – less process change. People hate change.”

The Recap

Dresner’s recent survey Wisdom of Crowds Business Intelligence Market Study that shows businesses are taking control of BI deployments was an underlying theme in the June 24th and July 1st chats on collaborative BI.

The June 24th chat focused on the “collaborative culture” of business being the foundation for collaborative BI and collaborative decision-making.

Some of the fodder on this topic:

  • Lou Jordano, Spotfire’s director of product marketing: “collaborative decision-making needs context because it goes beyond traditional BI.” He notes that “data needs to be in context and tied to events to be meaningful.”
  • Raden: “Collaboration is a natural activity among knowledge workers after they complete work.” And, he says that “collaborative decisioning needs a software gathering point for vetted discussion, replay analysis and closing loop evaluating results.”
  • Menninger: “The collaboration engine has to include a critical mass of collaborators and exist outside of BI.”
  • Stacey: “Collaborative decision making won’t necessarily include BI.”
  • Laskowski: “It seems the ‘collaborative’ aspects of decision-making and #BI are informal and haphazard. Suspect this will change.”

The bottom line agreement – technology is not the driver for collaboration, but it’s the human element that drives collaboration. And the collaboration tool of choice is still…email.

Collaborative BI vs. Collaborative Decisioning

The July 1 chat picked up with Dresner defining the general consensus that “collaborative BI and collaborative decision-making are different but important.” And they need a “complementary culture for it to work.”

A few interesting comments on complementary culture:

  • Bradbourne: “Corporate culture is everything with those two topics. Old, entrenched corporations seem to rally against forward thinking at times.”
  • Dresner: “Not sure how or if collaborative frameworks are being used in organizations.”
  • Ferguson: “Collaborative BI – I think you should integrate BI to enterprise collaboration and not just embed collaborative features into BI. And, collaborative BI needs to allow sharing of BI components to fuel faster self-service BI.”
  • Jillene H.: “I think part of it is breaking down the silos that exist in organizations.”
  • Huckaby: “Business taking over BI…leads to greater buy-in, agility and focus.”

Millennials: Collaboration Drivers?

A discussion ensued about how Millennials affect the collaborative culture. Hoffman surmised that it was more than the social sharing tools, but the entire Millennial POV is that “Millennials see themselves as a collaborative society and make decisions that are informed.” And, “Learning from multiple sources and bringing in new ideas is the main point of collaboration. Someone else may see things you miss.”

BI Tools – Collaboration Must Be Built In

The conversation moved toward the tools again with Bradbourne pointing out that if tools “don’t come collab ready, they [companies] will find themselves behind the adoptive curve.”

Huckaby took the discussion toward where to collaborate with his example: “Collaborative BI – I’m in a dashboard. I can see an exception. And, I see a stream of conscious around who/why/what remedy. Does anyone have one?”

Twitter hashtags were tossed around as one option, but as Hoffman says, “It lacks true business structure.”

Huckaby and Oza tossed around the idea of the new Google+ “collaboration circles with drag and drop and auto content versions/inline comments.”

The consensus here was that social tools may be great for ad hoc collaboration, but they lack the speed and formal business process to be widespread, as concluded by Genesis Consulting.

The chat wrapped up with Dresner calling for a future guest company that has “cracked the code on BI and collaboration.”

The Bottom Line

Collaboration is a huge business driver and advantage. Companies that embrace collaborative culture will be ahead of the game. And, there’s room for innovation within BI tools for embracing this culture.

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