The very notion of data silos seems to be turning upside down and sideways and shaken all around. A whole new generation of applications are infiltrating the enterprise and bringing out a new dimension of intelligence not previously explored.
Socialcast is a prime example of this new trend. Today the company launched Social Business Intelligence (SBI), an analytics platform for activity streams in the enterprise.
Socialcast provides a way for people to participate in conversations much like how they interact on a social network like Facebook. This has been part of its offering for a while but now it is taking it to the next level with an analytics platform that looks at the enterprise and its social graph.
Socialcast CEO Tim Young says the activity stream does what "Facebook did to profiles." With SBI, the activity stream is aggregated and then analyzed by management to better understand community dynamics.
Take a product manager who is looking for a virtual team for a new project. By looking at SBI, she can see who is best for the project, what conversations they participate in and a number of other data points that give her a complete picture of the individual.
She can look at trending information to see the most popular messages and topics that the workforce is discussing.
The data is analyzed in real time. Socialcast is built on XMPP, so there is less than a quarter second lag time.
Here are more ways that Socialcast analyzes the information:
- Socialcast uses organizational theory to identify the informal connections between individuals and groups.
- Posting, commenting and "liking" activity over time can be analyzed for insights into response behaviors and the ways conversations are initiated.
- The analytics show lurking and listening activity as compared to active posting.
- SBI illustrates interactivity patterns between users. The analytics offers insights into proactive- and reactive-type relationships in the social graph.
- SBI looks at moments of transition from passive to active usage, allowing companies to find people and topics that ignite conversations.
- Cool graphics provide interactive visualization of all community discussions.
The amount of information that is aggregated for us in our everyday world can be overwhelming, which is why we see consumer applications offering better filters. They simply help you get better information.
The same is essentially true for the enterprise. With an activity stream, all kinds of information can pass you by very quickly. Analytics are needed to better understand trends, interactions and behaviors in the social graph at the enterprise level.
We hear a lot about knowledge management: how it has failed before, and how it may fail those new enterprises that adopt technologies that are real time and leverage the social graph.
Nonsense. Data silos are dying. SBI and other applications are breaking up these silos into millions of little pieces that are then aggregated and analyzed. That information can then be acted on quickly to make smart and profitable business decisions.
This is not email. As my friend Bill French says, "Email is where knowledge goes to die." This is the era of the social graph, where conversations live in a place that is far more relevant than any compartmentalized IT silo.