Collaborative BI Unlocking the Future
By: Steve Dine
I was recently invited to the corporate offices of Lyzasoft for an inside look at their new 2.0 release. Aside from the impressive advances in charting and visualizations, I was especially blown away by their augmentation of collaboration features to their shared portal, called Lyza Commons. They provide a web environment that allows authorized users to search, bookmark, combine, create, tag, share, comment, rate, relate, and interact directly with intelligence content in the form of blogs, microblogs, charts, tables, dashboards, and collections. More simply put, they enable the development and growth of analytic communities.
The enterprise BI vendors have essentially ignored adding the collaborative capabilities that have permeated their way into nearly every organization via wikis, blogs, forums, instant messaging and podcasts. Why is collaborative BI so compelling? Up to this point, reporting and analysis has essentially been a single threaded activity. We've been unable to share our findings in a way that allows others to contribute their knowledge and insight to the overall analysis. If we begin to treat the development of a report or analysis as a starting point rather than an end point, we have the ability to actually share information (a.k.a. collaborative BI) through interaction instead of delivery. At the very least, it brings BI to the masses through interfaces they are already used to utilizing.
Is collaborative BI the next big thing in BI? I usually don't make predictions but I do think that the way we deliver BI will change drastically in the next 12 to 24 months. Instead of concentrating on dumbing down BI through flash based dashboards and bursted reports, we'll actually start to focus on the intelligence in BI through intuitive interfaces and shared insights.
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