Adding Analytics to Social Colloboration

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2012-01-16 Print this article Print


Moreover, now organizations can integrate and analyze massive amounts of data generated from people, devices and sensors and more easily align these insights to business processes to make faster, more accurate business decisions, IBM said. By gaining deeper insights in customer and market trends and employees' sentiment, businesses can uncover critical patterns to not only react swiftly to market shifts, but predict the effect of future actions.

"We're taking this a step further," Schick said. "It's not just for social collaboration. We're adding analytics so that we can gather critical metrics on just what is going on. We can see things like, what are the most vibrant communities out there and what are the apps people are leveraging most? We're leveraging analytics for all kinds of information."

"IBM's enterprise engagement model is very hard to replicate," said James Governor, co-founder of RedMonk, an industry research firm. "It's not clear that companies like Facebook would, or should, try to replicate that model. Essentially Facebook is just a tool, and IBM will position it as such. One of the concerns of enterprises and high-scale marketing departments is that Facebook will own the customer data-which is why IBM's analytics pitch is likely to be effective. It's more than analytics-it's really about data governance. Analytics plus data governance is certainly a differentiated approach to the market."

For example, said IBM, marketing professionals can now gain real-time access to data that highlights patterns and consumer sentiment related to marketing trends and services, allowing them to adjust campaigns on the fly. With one simple click, professionals can react to this insight by automatically creating a social network on the fly, bringing together experts across geographical and market intelligence.

The growing popularity of social networking is impacting the enterprise as the next-generation workforce expects more socially enabled applications at their fingertips, IBM said. According to Forrester Research, spending on social business software is expected to grow at a rate of 61 percent through 2016, when the market for these products will reach $6.4 billion, compared with $600 million in 2010. At the same time, organizations are embracing social capabilities to transform virtually every part of their business operations, but they lack the tools to gain insight into the enormous stream of information and use it in a meaningful way, IBM said.

Meanwhile, in support of IBM's Jan. 16 news, the company also announced new clients using its social software and cloud collaboration services, including Kraft, Electrolux, MIT Lincoln Labs, Caterpillar, 3M, BlueCross Blue Shield of Florida, Dutch Tax Office, Premier Healthcare, Prudential Financial, Schneider Electric, Avery Dennison, Newly Weds Foods and Canada's Schulich School of Business,

"There is boundless opportunity for social business to transform how we connect people and processes, and increase the speed and flexibility of business," IBM's Rennie said in a statement. "A successful social business can break down barriers to collaboration and put social networking in the context of everyday work, from the device or delivery vehicle of your choice, to improve productivity and speed decision-making."

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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