Shining Some Light on Collaborative BI

August 1, 2011
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collaborative bi photo (collaborative bi 2)

Linda Rosencrance
Spotfire Blogging Team

collaborative bi photo (collaborative bi 2)

Linda Rosencrance
Spotfire Blogging Team

Sharing and exchanging information among all company decision makers is becoming part of the modern company’s business intelligence strategy. But the question is how to do it?

Enter collaborative BI.

Simply put, collaborative BI (aka social BI) makes it easier for people in a company—and sometimes outside a company—to work together to analyze data and share their analyses.

A growing trend, collaborative BI combines business intelligence and social media tools so business users can determine and share the most valuable and relevant company data to ultimately make the best business decisions.

In a blog post, Mike Ferguson (@mikeferguson1) says collaborative and social networking environments like MySpace and Facebook demonstrated that it’s very natural to publish content to collaborative workspaces, to get feedback and to share the content with people who are interested in it.

Ferguson believes there’s a place for collaboration in BI outside the typical uses. His opinion is that collaboration can also be used by innovative business users who want to share “experimental” information in a sandbox environment and elicit feedback from others to determine new ways to improve the performance of the business.

According to Gartner Inc., by 2013, 15% of BI deployments will combine BI, collaboration and social software to produce better analytics-based decision-making environments so they can operate more efficiently. To meet enterprise demand for collaborative BI, vendors are already developing new BI and analytic applications that link collaboration and social networking.

Julie Hunt (@juliebhunt), a software industry analyst and business technology strategist says collaboration is much more than distributing and sharing documents. It involves bringing in different people to analyze and prove the relevancy and accuracy of the data.

Hunt points to the Gartner survey, saying Gartner found that social venues and collaboration help businesses track and capture the outcomes of the decisions made based on BI/analytics.

Hunt says Gartner’s user survey shows that solutions are emerging that tie BI with social software and collaborative tools for higher-quality, more transparent decisions to increase the value organizations get from BI applications.

She also points out that the future of BI will come from more non-traditional BI solutions and that companies like Spotfire are embracing collaboration as an essential part of BI/analytics.

Next Steps:

For more insight check out our Q & A on Cloud BI with Shawn Rogers (@shawnrog), Vice President Research for Business Intelligence at Enterprise Management Associates. And don’t forget to register for tomorrow’s webcast “Cloud Analytics and the Consumer” at 1 p.m. Eastern featuring Rogers.