From Social Listening to the Prescriptive Enterprise


I find myself talking a lot lately about the slow evolution from basic social listening to a more robust use of analytics to truly gain actionable business insight. I have long felt the evolution was inevitable – of course I often think these things and they take years to materialize – a story for a different day. This Recent Forrester Blog Post touches on the notion of moving from social listening, to integrating social and customer data. It also presents a roadmap for how to move through the crawl-walk-run-fly stages.

I am sure the authors realize that although this is a piece of the evolution, there are other steps along the path to actionable business insight. I’m already seeing the movement from basic social media monitoring to the broader use of text analytic platforms. Companies that started their journey focused on brand mentions are evolving to new use cases that deliver considerable business value. One of the signs that we are reaching an inflection point can be found in a growing move towards evaluating text analytics software for a broader set of use cases.

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Where is Business Analytics Going and how do I take Advantage?


Business Analytics will continue to gain traction in every industry, and several key factors make this a foregone conclusion: 

  1. The expanding universe of data and the opportunity and risk that it represents
  2. The growth of social channels
  3. The growth in mobile interaction and resulting need for analytics
  4. The critical need for customer intimacy
  5. The growing need for differentiation through innovation
  6. The rapid escalation of complexity that surrounds business today
  7. An increasing focus on value creation, growth and revenue generation
  8. The critical need for smarter decision making
  9. A continued increase in computing power that makes real time analytics viable
  10. The continued delivery of new and improved advanced analytic capabilities
  11. The movement to make advanced analytics software business user friendly

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Disruption in the Retail Industry


In this report from The IBM Business Value Institute titled Meeting the Demands of the Smarter Consumer, it is easy to see the impact that the smarter consumer is having on the retail industry. This is a broader indicator of the challenges facing all businesses and governments and underscores the need for customer intimacy as a business imperative. This to me continues to highlight that our current social and data-rich state represents both tremendous opportunity and considerable challenge. I recommend this report for its insight into this growing phenomena.

The Value of Twitter


I highly recommend this article by Mark Suster titled The Power of Twitter in Information Discovery. This same author has written a piece on Twitter’s use cases, which is also a good read. For those that still think Twitter is about telling people what you had for breakfast, these are must reads. I agree completely with his perspective and use Twitter in a very similar manner.

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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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Realizing the Benefits of CRM


This Press Release from Verint continues the Social Media and customer service drum beat. The recurring themes are:

  1. A growing challenge to identify, collect and act upon data delivered through an expanding number of customer communications channels
  2. The need for an aggregated and unified view of customer data across all channels
  3. Analysis that delivers insight drives rapid and informed action
  4. Companies are not equipped to analyze the interactions that occur via email, chat, social media, forums, etc.
  5. There is a heightened need for text analytics. Solutions that mine interactions and feedback across multichannel customer communications – including email, chat, blogs, review sites, social media and other text-based channels – continue to emerge
  6. Workflow delivers insight to the people that are best equipped to manage issues, address specific customer service concerns, or get ahead of negative sentiments in social media

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Gartner’s Strategic Technologies for 2011


Earlier this week at the Gartner Symposium / ITxpo, Gartner presented their list of strategic technologies for 2011.  Four of the ten technologies fit squarely in the social technologies and business analytics space covered by this Blog.

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