Business Intelligence Through Social Networking

Businesses today know that information can be a genuine strategic advantage. The question then becomes how does one get information that has real value? Traditional methods, like those used in many IT departments are increasingly irrelevant in a fast paced, uncertain world. Many are “historically” based; others are often constructed around complex models that require careful and often lengthy interpretation. While you are still trying to “figure out” the data, your competition is moving ahead.

In this article from Bottom Line, Samuel Greengaard makes a case for Social Networking as a form of Business Intelligence. Social networking as defined here extends beyond LinkedIn and Twitter. For example, conventional search engines, such as Google, are remarkably good at gathering information from an existing data pool. But there's another data pool that's essentially untouched: the collective knowledge and problem solving skills of a group.

Many younger workers naturally gravitate to informal methods to solve problems in a more collaborative and iterative way. Unfortunately, most of these methods lie outside conventional corporate thinking. Business leaders should recognize that it's to their advantage to promote social networking and data collection tools and let evolution take its course.

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