Business Analytics Gets Collaborative and MobileApril 6, 2011 1 Comment
By David A. Kelly and Heather Ashton, Upside Research
The business analytics market is not immune to the rise in popularity of social networking for the enterprise. In fact, many proponents of business intelligence and decision management solutions see social networking as a way to extend business analytics to the masses. Enterprises have struggled with extending BI functionality beyond the dashboards that power users inhabit. New social networking and collaboration capabilities foster advanced analyses and better brainstorming among BI users, which may be just the antidote this segment needs.
Among the BI vendors, several have made recent announcements around their solutions’ new collaboration and social networking capabilities. IBM recently announced its Cognos 10 release, which embeds the collaboration capabilities from Lotus Connections right into Cognos 10. Users familiar with the Cognos interfaces can post messages, participate in discussions, add comments on data points, and access decision networks. The goal of Cognos 10 is to establish information hubs that span the enterprise, pulling in users around threaded discussions associated with BI content.
In similar fashion, last month SAP launched the 4.0 releases for business intelligence and enterprise information management solutions that are part of the SAP BusinessObjects portfolio. These releases leverage SAP’s acquisition of Sybase and its Sybase Unwired Platform to extend the rich BI functionality and provide mobile BI on any device, across platforms. The goal is real-time BI anywhere, giving users the ability to respond instantly to events as they occur. Social networking tools are present in these releases, providing the ability to collaborate on decision management and business intelligence. SAP StreamWork is also integrated into the updated BusinessObjects, enabling users to trigger a virtual conference among employees, using instant messaging, document sharing, and analyze data from enterprise applications with feeds into the StreamWork environment. In contrast to Cognos 10, which is only available on-premise, StreamWork is also available in the cloud, which has sparked its adoption by companies of all sizes.
Another company seeking to leverage the cloud and social networking for business analytics is Appian. This BPM solution provider is melding mobile access and social networking tools via the cloud in the 6.5 release of Appian, known as Appian Tempo. The goal with Tempo is to deliver BI to users in a collaborative user interface schema they are familiar with, one that models the ever-popular Facebook. Tempo enables users to subscribe to reports, receive notifications when thresholds are exceeded or other events occur, and collaborate on that report from the same interface. Similar to SAP BusinessObjects and StreamWork, providing mobile access is a key to delivering business analytic and decision management capabilities where workers need it, regardless of location.
We expect to see the BI vendors continue to fine-tune their offerings to reflect the popularity of social networking tools for the enterprise. The winners will be those that enable seamless integration of events and messages from various systems and platforms, delivering actionable BI to workers wherever they may be.Analyst Blog, News