The Role of Social Computing and Business Analytics


After some very bad and well-publicized business decisions drove a subprime mortgage meltdown and the near collapse of the auto industry, many would agree that methods for enhancing decision making are greatly needed. Findings in a recent MIT Sloan special report support this notion. Senior executives want their businesses run by data-driven decisions. They want to understand optimal solutions and take action quickly; but as the authors point out, this is no small task. They suggest that in order for insight to drive action, the insight must be closely linked to business strategy, easy for end users to understand, and embedded into organizational processes.

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A look at 2011


As 2010 winds down, it is time to look ahead to 2011. I have high expectations as the calendar turns, and I believe 2011 will be the year of adoption. I believe we’ve reached a point where cash will come off the sidelines and I expect to see technology investments focused on revenue generation and value creation. With that as a backdrop, I’ll Label 2011 as the year of collaboration and intelligence – the two areas that I believe align very well with pressing business priorities. So here are my thoughts on 2011.

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Reinventing Customer Relationships


CEOs believe that the time has come to reinvent customer relationships. That’s one of the key findings in IBM’s 2010 CEO Study titled “Capitalizing on Complexity”. This belief is based on the following observations: 

  1. The world is massively interconnected, thereby making customer intimacy a priority
  2. Customers have more options due to globalization and dramatic increases in available information
  3. Differentiation will come from innovation and co-creation with customers
  4. The information explosion presents a great opportunity to develop deep customer insights 

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Hype Cycle Report from Gartner


In the recent Gartner Hype Cycle Report issued in August, Gartner had the following to say about predictive analytics:

“The quantity and variety of digital data continue to explode, along with the opportunities to analyze and gain insight from new sources such as location information and social media. The techniques themselves, such as predictive analytics, are relatively well established in many cases; the value resides in applying them in new applications such as social analytics and sentiment analysis”

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Social Technologies and Innovation


I have long believed that social technologies would usher in a new era of innovation. Terms like crowd sourcing, the wisdom of crowds and collective Intelligence, all speak to the notion that innovation is not an organizational function, but the ideas of an organization, community, or society. Social technologies and new emerging forms of analytics allow us to create an environment for idea creation, and an ability to quickly capture the resulting insight. User generated content has long existed in the world of social media – and new ways to capture relevant insight are evolving. What’s exciting is the growing use of social technologies inside the enterprise. Once the environment for collaboration and idea generation is established, the next step us harnessing all of the insight available both inside the enterprise and out. This article on Social Technologies and Innovation does a good job of describing the growing role of social technology inside the enterprise.