Business intelligence practitioners doubting the value of social media data: the debate is open

Sorry for the long title. Remember that earlier this week I posted about a report, conducted by BI solutions provider Kognitio and Baseline Consulting, that many business intelligence practitioners seem to be unsure how social media can benefit them (if not, read this first). 

At the end of the post I called upon BI practitioners to share their thoughts. 

As a matter of fact, two did. Their view and input are very relevant and interesting, so I decided to share it via a follow-up post. Here’s what they think.

According to Seth Grimes, “Kognitio and Baseline Consulting are data warehousing solution providers, of software and services, respectively”. 

He suspects that the “BI practitioners” they surveyed were almost exclusively people who do BI on conventional data warehouses and data marts. Seth concludes: “If so, that methodology is akin to asking customers at a butcher shop what they think of vegetarianism”. Right, that’s clear.

Do BI practitioners distrust social media data because they don’t like change?

Now, this is what visitor ‘Markorlan’ wrote: “With a sample size of 125, I’m not sure how Kognito and Baseline can draw any conclusions…there’s a huge margin of error in the results”.

He continues: “if there was significance to their findings (if the sample size were up in the 400 to 1,500 person range), my experience, coming from the BI world, is that most BI practitioners are not very social media savvy to begin with. It’s just not their world – they don’t really understand it. They have a predetermined bias towards more traditional sources of data and would naturally place very low importance on data coming from the social sphere”.

Do you hear this, business intelligence practitioners? Might it be that you are biased and only trust good old traditional data sources and are a bit reluctant to change?

In that case, I would say: give it a try, your customers are out there, on social networking sites. 

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