In a finite world, individuals specialize, but organizations don't have the same limitations. Given enough specialists, you can do it all. The challenge is in managing them. Somebody has to get on top of all these silos.
In my ten-minute pretend-keynote at last year's Defrag conference, I asked people to look beyond the existing silos of data and analytics to consider what more we could do. I challenged them with this simple idea:
Analytics + Intelligence –> Strategic Value of Information
What I'm doing is applying and not or to analytics and intelligence. Applying math when that works and finding facts when that works. Around here, the starting point for data is social media, but that's another boundary that turns out to be arbitrary. The same reasoning applies to other data sources.
We use labels like intelligence and analytics to divide the analysis of social media data into closely related specialties. In the process, we risk losing sight of the bigger goal, which all of these specialties support:
Uncover the information in the available data in order to develop insights that support the business.
We're all looking for useful information in data. In the social media realm, some of the data is unstructured content, and some of it is structured data generated by our activities. That distinction is driving some segmentation among the vendors, but it's worth remembering that intelligence vs. analytics isn't an or question; it's an and question—you need to consider both.
In the next post, I'll show you the model that applies intelligence and analytics to expand what we might find in what people say online. There's more to it than the usual summary of opinions.
Photo by Pablo David Flores.