Will Business Intelligence embrace the Social Media?
According to The Nielsen Company, global consumers spent more than five and half hours on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter in December 2009, an 82% increase from the same time last year when users were spending just over three hours on social networking sites. In addition, the overall traffic to social networking sites has grown over the last three years.
Globally, social networks and blogs are the most popular online category when ranked by average time spent in December, followed by online games and instant messaging. With 206.9 million unique visitors, Facebook was the No. 1 global social networking destination in December 2009 and 67% of global social media users visited the site during the month. Time on site for Facebook has also been on the rise, with global users spending nearly six hours per month on the site.
So with all these consumers out there potentially making buying decisions, what is BI doing about it ?
Growing numbers of SMBs will begin using social media to monitor, measure, and manage its image at the brand, product and services levels.
Businesses will continue to adopt digital marketing media (e.g., Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, email marketing, blogs, forums, etc.) to reach customers, and as usage of social media grows so will the advantages and opportunities for SMBs to capture valuable competitive feedback. Although the number of SMBs using social media as a source for business intelligence is small it will grow significantly in 2010 as the value of the tool becomes more obvious.
In 2010 SMBs will continue to find new ways to gain visibility in day-to-day operations in a non-technical, non-IT assisted manner. Business intelligence (BI) has been traditionally under-utilized by SMBs compared with large enterprises, and with massive amounts of data assets lying around in these smaller companies, organizations are realizing that they can use existing data resources better to gain clear line of sight into their business and customers for timely decision making. BI tools are now being used by SMBs to focus more on business growth and results, and not just internal efficiency and cost control.
To gain SMBs' mind and wallet share, SMB vendors will have to ensure their offerings leverage the power of these "social conversations" and provide useful marketing and decision making insights.