Collective Intelligence for Business Intelligence (or: Why Kids with Big Feet have Better Handwriting) – from recent Timo Elliott Interview

Is this all the proof we need this child got an A+ in penmanship?!

Is this all the proof we need this child got an A+ in Handwriting?! Photo: A Taridona  (Flickr CC)

I came across a great interview of Timo Elliott, Senior Product Director for SAP Business Objects by Ajay Ohri (DecisionStats). Timo Elliot was employee number 8 for (SAP) Business Objects!

Timo Elliott weighs in thoughtfully on a number of different BI topics and future BI challenges, but the part of the interview that stood out for me was Timo Elliott’s comments when asked about BI and social media. Social media facilitates communication between lots of people, which could be used to enable large teams to collectively interpret business intelligence results; in other words, using collective intelligence as an aid for effective business intelligence:

Conversations and collaboration are an essential part of effective business intelligence … (W)hile it’s vital to try to give everybody access to the same data, there will always be plenty of room for interpretation and discussion. BI platforms need to support this collaborative decision-making.

In particular, there are many, many studies that show up our all-too-human limitations when it comes to analyzing data. For example, did you know that children with bigger feet have better handwriting?

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