Business Intelligence, Social Networking, and Mass Collaboration

Will social media inspire new ways to collaborate with business intelligence?

I was introduced to LinkedIn by one of my former co-workers and quickly adopted it. It seemed to be a great way to maintain my professional network and keep in touch with old friends. Although some would consider it boring in comparison to other social networking sites, I prefer to think of it as “MySpace for grownups”. According to a June 18, 2008 article in the Wall Street Journal, LinkedIn’s average user is 41 years old and has a household income of $109,000.

View Dallas Marks's profile on LinkedIn

What is most fascinating about the assent of sites such as MySpace and Facebook is how quickly AOL went from on-line powerhouse to irrelevance (moment of silence, please, for disgruntled Time Warner shareholders). From the demise of dial-up to the proliferation of non-AOL instant messenger clients, it’s core features (and reputation) have been supplanted by others. Will Monster and Dice similarly disintegrate by the disintermediation created by LinkedIn?

I’m currently experimenting with Facebook and Twitter, just to see what all of the buzz (or tweeting) is about. (If you’re on Facebook, be sure to look out for the Business Objects Board (BOB) fan page and the BOB Piece of Flair.) So far, I’ve shunned MySpace because I don’t have a band and somebody else named Dallas Marks has set up shop there.

I’ve already discovered that maintaining one’s on-line identity through all of these sites can be a challenge. Which is why I’m glad my good friend Josh Fletcher turned me on to Digsby. Digsby consolidates your IM, e-mail, and social networking into a single IM-like client. If you use more than one IM client (AOL, Microsoft, Yahoo, etc.), you should use Digsby for that reason alone.

Social networking has also come to Business Objects, first with the discussions feature in XI Release 2. But now, even companies like Antivia allow customers to “Unlock the true potential of your business intelligence community by bringing the most relevant aspects of social networking (think MySpace, Facebook, Wiki’s) to your BusinessObjects environment.” And that will be the real test, won’t it? Will these tools and technologies move from the personal realm to the enterprise?

As a Web Intelligence instructor, I teach people how to share documents with each other using the Business Objects BI Inbox and the discussions feature. However, it seems that organizations are reluctant to adopt these features. Management doesn’t want to log into anything – please push it to my e-mail… And most discussions about Business Objects reports also occur in Microsoft Outlook – not the best tool for threaded discussions or knowledge management. Realizing the gap between the tools and how users want to use (or not use) them, APOS Systems is taking the “if you can’t beat them, join them” approach with its new Integration Kit for Microsoft Outlook.

Perhaps the Facebook generation currently entering the workforce will bring with them new ideas to workplace collaboration and performance management?

Author: Dallas Marks

I am a business intelligence architect, author, and trainer. I help organizations harness the power of analytics, primarily with SAP BusinessObjects products. An active blogger, SAP Mentor and co-author of the SAP Press book SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence: The Comprehensive Guide, I prefer piano keyboards over computer keyboards when not blogging or tweeting about business intelligence.

5 thoughts on “Business Intelligence, Social Networking, and Mass Collaboration”

  1. I tried LinkedIn but couldn’t get into it. I couldn’t figure out what I was supposed to do with it? 🙂

    I’m happy with Twitter, I can follow other BI people throughout the world, Facebook still isn’t that useful for work stuff tho…

    – Josh

  2. Hi there…
    Hope you don’t mind my using this forum to solicit help…
    Tried installing BOXI R2 on windows 2003 server….all went well until I got to the tail end, when it asked for log in details for CMS…it just couldn’t accept anything I put in…tried Administrator and blank password..nothing…
    any ideas…

  3. Hey, Jazz,

    Normally the install is straightforward, but there are a lot of variables. The default user to the CMS is Administrator and the default password is blank/nothing.

    You didn’t mention which database platform… If you’re using SQL Server, the install works best if you install specifying sa or another SQL Server user, not a Windows user, to log into the database.

  4. Thanks for your response…very much appreciated…
    I’m using the default DB mySql….
    also worth mentioning I ticked the box for Tomcat as well as IIS (default mode basically) for the web server….
    Do I need to configure IIS or tomcat or web server before/after installation??

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