My question is: how many of these predictions about BI 2012 are based on the use of predictive analytics? My hunch is... none. Perhaps I'm being unfair? Is it predictive analytics to use all those surveys of buying intentions as input? What about using trend numbers for market share over the past few years?
So, here is the Wikipedia definition: "Predictive analytics is an area of statistical analysis that deals with extracting information from data and using it to predict future trends and behavior patterns. The core of predictive analytics relies on capturing relationships between explanatory variables and the predicted variables from past occurrences, and exploiting it to predict future outcomes." What do you think? How is the fit?
Am I saying that BI is useless? No, not at all. Simply, that like every other tool, it's good for some things but not for others. And if you can accept that, it follows that we need to expand the scope of what we do in decision making support. The name "business intelligence" seems far too rational and limited for what the type of support that most decision makers need when making decisions. For me, one of the most important trends in the past year or two has been the focus on the social aspect of decision making, as pioneered by Lyza, but now promoted by pretty much every BI vendor. However, social networking support means a lot more than allowing comments or discussions on reports, dashboards and various visualizations. It actually means providing a comprehensive, coherent environment where all interactions around a particular decision are recorded and tracked. And, the last time I checked, much of that interaction occurs before the data crunching starts, and another chunk long after the BI tool has been shut down. Decision making support needs to go far wider than the majority of BI vendors even imagine.
So, am I predicting that 2012 will be the year when BI tools finally "get it" that they are not the center of the decision maker's universe? When BI vendors stop adding social networking bells and whistles to their tools and instead figure out how to be part of a larger Enterprise 2.0 effort unifying all social interactions around conversations, documents, analyses and more within the organization?
No, I don't think I can predict the future. What I can say is that it's up to you to make your future, and one area where technology, both hardware and software, is rapidly improving is social networking support. It would therefore be valuable to give some serious thought and focus in 2012 to how you could support collaborative decision making in the coming few years.
Posted December 19, 2011 10:15 AM
Permalink | 2 Comments |