Do social media data have value for business intelligence purposes?

According to a worldwide survey, conducted by BI solutions provider Kognitio and Baseline Consulting, many business intelligence practitioners seem to be unsure how social media can benefit them.

This is strange since business intelligence is all about using data about customers, other corporate data, market trends, data about competitors and much more to have a global view and dashboards that enable businesses to take the right decisions.

If you ask me, social media are perfect to have more customer data, market trends and data about competitors. But that’s me. 

A quarter of business intelligence practitioners calls the value of social media overrated.

According to the survey, 63% of respondents said that they are ‘undecided’ about the value of analyzing data obtained from social media sites to help them understand more about their organization or customers.

So, it’s not about the social media as such then but about the value of these data or the way to analyze them? No idea.

Anyway, the survey further found that, besides the 63% that are ‘undecided’, another 23% called social media ‘overrated’. I quote: “there are not as many customer conversations (on social media) going on as the media would have us believe.”

Only 14% said they want to incorporate data from Twitter, Facebook and others.

Quite amazing if you ask me. By the way: the survey also found a steady growth for business intelligence in 2010.

If there are any business intelligence practitioners out there, please share with us why the value of social media data seems to be so disputed. Is it really because there are fewer conversations going on than the media claim?

You can read more data in the press release here

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2 thoughts on “Do social media data have value for business intelligence purposes?”

  1. Kognitio and Baseline Consulting are data warehousing solution providers, of software and services, respectively. I have to suspect that the “BI practitioners” they surveyed were almost exclusively people who do BI on conventional data warehouses and data marts. If so, that methodology is akin to asking customers at a butcher shop what they think of vegetarianism.

  2. 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.
    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.

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