Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The convergence of Business Intelligence and Collaboration software

Today, Search Data Management published an article, talking about the collaboration software convergence with business intelligence applications, called Collaboration software could unlock Business Intelligence's full potential, written by Jeff Kelly, Search Data Management's News Editor. In the article, he wrote that with the continued adoption of collaboration software in the enterprise, the trend is the convergence of Business Intelligence and collaboration software. "Web 2.0 tools like blogs and wikis, vendors and industry analysts agree, have the potential to dramatically expand the reach and effectiveness of BI and data analytics throughout the enterprise.", Jeff wrote.

According the article, "with BI embedded in collaboration portals, the thinking goes, workers will no longer have to email reports to dozens of people and then spend hours or days aggregating and analyzing their responses, which come at different times and could be spread out among different branches of an email chain. With collaboration software, they can share the same report on a blog or in a wiki and instantly see their colleagues' input."

He mentioned opinions of some highly regarded professionals, as Mani Gill, vice president of SAP's Business Objects OnDemand division; Guy Weismantel, director of business intelligence marketing at Microsoft and Rita Sallam, Gartner's analyst.

Mani Gill said: "We really think collaborative software can take business intelligence to the next level." SAP last week announced an OEM partnership with Jive Software in which Jive customers will have the ability to embed SAP Business Objects interactive reports, dashboards and search capabilities in their Jive collaboration portal.

Another potential benefit of converging BI and collaboration tools is increased transparency, according to Rita Sallam. She explained: "Right now, we don't really have a way to measure and link all the inputs that go into a decision. By combining BI and collaboration capabilities, we'll move a step in the right direction. Taking that a step further, you can identify successful decision makers and successful decision making patterns."

The convergence of BI and collaboration software can improve decision making by giving more power to the workers closest to the business problem, according to Guy Weismantel.

The convergence of BI and collaboration software also creates security and privacy concerns. Decisions must be made around which data different employees are authorized to see. IT must put controls in place to enforce those rules.

The convergence of BI and collaborative software promises to be a long and potentially complex process, however -- one that is just beginning. The good news is that many BI vendors – including Microsoft, SAP, Oracle, and even EMC and Google – have the pieces in place to create out-of-the-box BI/collaboration products, she said, but they still have a long way to go in terms of making the process seamless, Sallam said.

This is a good article, with the accelerated growing of the use of social networks and collaboration software; and also the use of collaboration software in the organizations, the trend is the convergence of Business Intelligence and collaboration software, allowing the employees to share information easily through the organization.

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