Making Real-Time Connections With Social BI

Social BI at SXSWYou didn’t have to be in Austin, Texas to join in the hubbub at the South by Southwest Music + Film Interactive.  Its focus on emerging technology has earned the festival a reputation as a breeding ground for new ideas and creative technologies.  Webcast music shows, a constant stream of calls, blog posts, Tweets and check-ins mean people worldwide were sharing advice, ideas or conversing in real-time with the estimated 200,000 visitors. First-timers to the music, film and technology events were asking for hotel, restaurant and transportation advice. They were also posting photos and news as it unfolded.  Analytics and mapping software showed the ebb and flow of people, messages and the massive amounts of images, videos and announcements from companies large and small.

SXSW is described as “spring break for marketers and nerds” so this real-time, worldwide interactive gathering is a hotspot for social networking monitoring and analysis (Social BI). Telling stories with photos, video and mash-ups of other data sources is at the heart of how analytics is changing the advertising and marketing practice.

Cloud technologies are forcing dramatic shifts in BI as collaborative experiences get faster, easier and require no specialized training. Sharing photos on twitter, Facebook, Flickr, FourSquare and SCVNGR — among plenty of other sites — are accelerating the shift as smart phones and tablet computers merge analytics applications easily with social media data.

TIBCO Spotfire is moving self-service BI into the mainstream, challenging the traditional BI ‘publish-consume’ model.  Using new approaches for knowledge-sharing, decisions are both data-backed and faster.  James Kobielus, lead Forrester advanced analytics analyst, explores this emerging discipline in greater detail in a webcast titled BI in the Cloud: A self-service alternative to “Big BI”.  From customer service to online reputation, you can’t afford to overlook the impact of social media on your bottom line. BI and social ties empower anyone to create and share customized dashboards and business applications, then share that information to get expert feedback when it matters most.

Do you have a favorite restaurant in Austin or music venue?  It’s possible even if you’ve never set foot in the Lone Star State. Now your expert advice is available to anyone willing to ask the question.  Sharing your knowledge has never been easier and your network has never been so well connected. Consider this column from the American Express OPEN Forum on How To Profit From SXSW — without being there.  Amex and FourSquare announced a new deal before the event and saw location-based check-ins spike when thousands of people arrived.

David Wallace
Spotfire Blogging Team