Social Data Blooming into Social Intelligence
Social media sites are spinning off huge amounts of data that companies are eagerly attempting to integrate into their own systems. All that information is now being combined into what’s known as social intelligence, a recent Altimeter report has found.

Social Data Informing Business Outcomes

No matter what industry a business operates in, data is now being used more than ever before to gain an advantage. Social is only one of the newest layers in this big data bonanza, and some companies that were early adopters are starting to mature their models, the Social Data Intelligence: Integrating Social and Enterprise Data for Competitive Advantage report from Altimeter found.

Enterprises have an average of 178 social media accounts, the report found, and an array of departments and executives are increasingly active there. However, when it comes to things like customer relationship management, analytics and market research, social data is mostly isolated. This leads to disjointed efforts across a company, and doesn’t allow for a strategic, holistic view to be put into place. 

It’s becoming a roadblock as companies seek to really tap into social data insights, so companies need to develop a common framework for social data collection and integration. Not doing so could result in poorer customer experiences, and of course, missed opportunities.

Altimeter collected input from 34 enterprise organizations on how to integrate social data, and how to build holistic systems that scale for its report.

Detect, Take Action, Understand

Altimeter defines social intelligence as:

Insight derived from social data that organizations can use confidently, at scale, and in conjunction with other data sources to make strategic decisions.

Organizations need to make social data actionable to build data driven businesses, and that means recognizing social content types, defining core social metrics and prioritizing them. Altimeter has produced a handy score card to help businesses decide which areas to focus on, priority wise, and from there, process integration is the focus.

When companies move from an ad hoc social data implementation to a formalized one, the project’s scope may widen, and benchmarks may begin to be mapped to business outcomes, for example. The Social Data Maturity Map in the introduction includes the stages of maturity across six dimensions. This is helpful because needed steps can be identified across those dimensions in order for companies to mature their social data use.

Some dimensions may be further ahead than others, the report noted, so it’s important to look at them all together to get a proper idea of how social may be maturing in a particular business. Social data holds the promise of transforming companies into customer centric businesses, and is the precursor to actual big data integration, the report found.

Learning Opportunities

Social Data Blooming into Social Intelligence

As we move closer to real time businesses, every part of an organization could realize gains from social intelligence.

Real Time Business + Predictive Intelligence

Real time enterprises will continue to see a flood of data from devices, social media and even sensors, and so learning to deal with better, faster, and more transparent social data now acts as a good bridge.

Recently, we took a closer look at one company that is closely following this model of social integration. We don’t know if SDL actually is consulting with Altimeter, but we do know SDL’s social intelligence tools are advancing past most other enterprise vendors.

Once SDL fully integrates its Tridion CMS with its SM2 social intelligence layer, the technology could be in place to help drive actual predictive results from social media. This is exactly the kind of thing Altimeter alludes to in this report. Most companies don’t have the technology to be as advanced at this point as SDL, but with frameworks like the one from Altimeter, they can use the tools they have today to get started on the business and process side of things.

It’s hard to believe we are only just a few years into the social era, so the next 3-5 years should be every bit the roller coaster ride we’ve been on recently.