Business Intelligence Beyond the Numbers

Michael Vizard

Business executives always lament not being able to harness the knowledge that already exists inside their companies. In fact, all the interest in business intelligence these days could be summed up as a quest to harness that information.

But most of what the company needs to know is locked up in the minds of the employees rather than applications. Finding a way to get employees to readily share the information is what's behind what Crowdcast chief scientist Leslie Fine calls social intelligence.

Crowdcast, which today announced an additional $6 million in funding, leverages gaming theory to get employees to bet on probable outcomes of various business scenarios. This creates a venue that allows an organization to start organizing the collective intelligence of its employees.

But what's potentially even more interesting longer term is that an organization can soon start to map out who knows what within their organization. This information could then be used to create an information graph that tells the organization which individual has the most expertise in any given area. Similar in concept to a social graph that social networks use to map relationships between individuals, this business information graph would finally allow companies to actually know what they know.

And knowing what you already know, is of course the first step to discovering what you don't know. Once you can identify that, you're finally on the brink of true business intelligence.

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