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Defining business intelligence in 140 characters
Delaney Turner 270002T14M firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  ibmsoftware iod_emea predictive_analytics smarter_planet business_intelligence many_eyes
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The debate over what business intelligence "is" and what business intelligence is "not" is alive and well.
How do I know? Because more than 65 tweeters (including Seth Grimes, Neil Raden and our own Don Campbell) turned out for Forrester's Tweet Jam yesterday to debate that very (and very vexing) question.
Forrester Analysts Boris Evelson and James Kobielus led the discussion. Questions on their minds included:
The discussion left behind a Twitter archive of 400 posts, which I promptly uploaded to Many Eyes to create this word cloud. The bigger the word, the more often it appeared:
Not surprisingly, "BI" was the most popular term, with "decision," "intelligence" and "structured" well-represented as well. But it was also good to see some new terms in there that haven't been part of the conversation until recently - for example, "analytics," "predictive," "social" and "unstructured."
Now, you could argue that the results look like that because the entire discussion happened on Twitter to begin with, so naturally you'd attract participants with a bent towards the new and the now. I'd agree, but I also wouldn't discount the findings because of that. Organizations of all shapes and sizes are indeed exploring the opportunities provided them in analyzing unstructured data. Just this week, for example, SPSS launched new data mining and text analytics software to analyze social networks and blogs to monitor changes in consumer, constituent and employee attitudes. Further, predictive capabilities are a core component of the IBM plan for growth as outlined by this week by CEO Sam Palmisano and are a recurring motif in our current lineup of Smarter Planet ads.
As I've mentioned before, these developments are why I'm pretty excited about where this industry is going. I'm also pretty excited about where I'm going next week, as I'll be attending both SPSS Directions and IOD EMEA in Rome to hear Rob Ashe present his vision for where he plans on leading us. I'll be blogging about it all, so I hope you'll follow along.
P.S. The data's still up there on Many Eyes. Feel free to access it, create your own visualizations and draw your own conclusions. I'd love to continue this conversation.