Lauren McKay’s recent article on, “Mashups Make You Smarter” , hits on a lot of interesting and important points for the future of Business Intelligence (BI) technology. McKay based much of her post off a recent research report titled “Mighty Mashups: Do-It-Yourself Business Intelligence For The New Economy,” written by Jim Kobielus, senior analyst with Forrester Research. The report details some of the ways that BI mashups are improving busy professionals’ ability to get the information they need faster and in the way they want it. Kobelius notes in the post “People want the power to get all the intelligence they need, and they want it all ASAP.”

It’s great to see this type of attention being given to the convergence of Web 2.0 and professional intelligence technology. We routinely see our users improving their workflow and performance through the speed, accuracy and relevance of the information delivered through our own Sales Intelligence mashup, SalesView, and certainly agree with Kobelius’ observations about the benefits of intelligence mashups. Some of the key advantages that Kobelius recognizes from mashup BI technologies are:

  • Unclog the BI bottleneck: Delivering traditional analytical applications is expensive and takes time — both for IT and for end users.
  • Cut BI costs: Self-service BI reduces the need for report requests and for maintenance. Also, it provides a less expensive option for small companies without a lot of IT resources. Users can tweak pre-existing report templates that come bundled within BI environment
  • Enhance BI decision support: “Drag-and-drop visualization tools to allow users and build new reports and make modifications from data already there within the corporate data warehouse,” Kobielus says. “Basically the user can have what he or she needs with very little muss or fuss and extremely low costs.”

There are some great real-world examples of how Web 2.0 can be leveraged to improve business prospects in Barney Beal’s recent article “Social sales emerging as an opportunity within social CRM”. The article references Jellyvision Labs, who uses SalesView to find business opportunities from across the social media hemisphere. One particular example that Josh Braun, vice president of business development for Jellyvision, gave was when a CMO at one Fortune 500 company was blogging and tweeting about some demand generation ideas he was considering, which then popped up in Josh’s SalesView account.

“We started a campaign, said ‘hey we noticed you were working on these initiatives, here are some thoughts, and a taste of what we do,'” Braun said. “He wrote back immediately within 15 minutes. We’re in the door, so to speak.”

It’s clear that how information is being distributed, consumed and utilized is changing drastically with the advent of social media. This is an exciting time for professionals who have ever craved better, faster information. There are some amazing ways that companies are now figuring out how the constantly increasing amount of information on Web can best be identified, filtered and delivered to the right people at the right time.