The greatest untapped potential of Social Business is…

Business Analytics & Optimization presents the single greatest opportunity for measurable return on investment from social business. The combination of social and analytics integrated into business processes and decision making will allow us to realize an analytics-driven business that leverages insight from both traditional transactional data (systems of record) and the new social data (systems of engagement).

Now I appreciate that being a bit of an analytics-head I am probably a wee bit biased, as the old saying goes “If all you have is a hammer, then everything is a nail“, however in this case I firmly believe that social business is most definitely a nail that isn’t going to go anywhere without the analytics hammer. I have many reasons for taking this position, but for the purpose of keeping this article short and (hopefully) sweet, I am going to touch on one of the more obvious ones… Information Overload

If you already feel overwhelmed by the volume of information that is coming at you on a daily basis, just wait until social business really takes off and the enterprise social stream starts coming at you faster than you can take a breath. We’ve already seen this happening with Internet social media where the growth in volume of information, types of interactions being pushed to the network, and number/complexity of networks, is making engagement difficult if not impossible. We increasingly rely on Social Analytics & Reporting tools to help us better understand what is happening across the network, how to most effectively engage with people and content, and to maximize the value that can be derived from the network.

Now if you think that the scale and complexity challenge is limited to external social media, then you couldn’t be more wrong. Even in a medium sized company, the volume of information that could get pushed around the enterprise social network will make twitter look like a walk in the park. Maybe not from a raw volume perspective, however unlike Twitter which is conservatively 99% noise, the enterprise stream will be 99% business relevant and therefore you can’t just dump most of it which is what we do with Twitter.

On top of that the enterprise social network comprises a much more diverse set of interactions where (I anticipate) the social platform will ultimately facilitate the capture of every human action & interaction that represents their average day in the office (reads, writes, tags, comments, updates, buys, sells, orders, clicks, calls, likes, meets, travels, acquires, partners, joins, leaves, …). And finally this enterprise network will ultimately need to facilitate the integration of select external social media interactions of our customers, partners, or competitors which we will also likely want to bring into our enterprise stream of consiousness.

So we’ve massive scale streams of important business interactions moving around the enterprise at the speed of thought and all jostling for attention, with Analytics transforming what could become a blinding headache into a blinding flash of inspiration :-)


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3 Responses to “The greatest untapped potential of Social Business is…”

  1. Great post as usual. When we are out talking to organizations it amazes me that they don’t see how the internal communications of an organization are going to evolve quickly and get way more complex. If marketers are the people who are trying to deal with the “big data” problem of external networks people in the HR department (among others) better watch how their colleagues are dealing with this because the issue is coming in house quickly. You make a great point that the volume may be less overall but the data is much richer.



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