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BI System Design incorporating Wiki and other Web 2.0 Components January 10, 2007

Posted by Cyril Brookes in General, Issues in building BI reporting systems, Tacit (soft) information for BI.
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Suddenly collaboration is flavor of the month, or year anyway. Customers are re-designing products, buyers are guiding the choice of other buyers, repair and service people are specifying work procedures, those with spare time collaborate in wikis-everything; and maybe the lunatics are running the asylum? But what of Business Intelligence systems, what is their place in all this?

I’ve been preaching the utility of collaboration an essential element of BI for 20 years now. Maybe it’s going to happen at last?

But, even with the current enthusiasm, it won’t happen at Youtube speed. Collaborative BI is more complex than just loading some videos or other data into a category for others to retrieve. And, supposedly, corporate people don’t have time to surf the Intranet, let alone the Web, looking for relevant stuff.

Therefore, it will take time; and remember the old timer’s adage: “You can tell the pioneers; they’re the ones with the arrows in their backs!”

Here’s a set of axioms that I believe are relevant if we are to succeed in this collaborative endeavor, all of which raise barriers, some large, some not, it depends on the business environment:

  • Corporate people who come across Web 2.0 style intelligence often don’t know its value, and whom to tell
  • They usually only have part of the story anyway
  • They often lack the background to be able to assess implications
  • Supplying intelligence to Web 2.0 style repositories or applications is time consuming, and may not be at all rewarding to the author, only to others
  • Intelligence can’t be searched for, or be subject to push messaging and alerting, if it’s not categorized
  • Categorization must conform to a corporate standard vocabulary, or it will not facilitate sharing and collaboration
  • All BI items indexed by a category are not of equal significance or value; some may be critical to the business, others routine news that’s already well known
  • The high value items ought be separated from the dross and given wider audience, or personalization will be ineffective; but how to do this?
  • BI is useless unless the recipient can assess its implications, and often this requires additional input of BI, or experience, from other people or sources – the collaboration imperative
  • Corporate collaboration raises infinitely more cultural and behavioral red-flags than Web 2.0 practitioners could dream of; see earlier post.

Nonetheless, I’m sure that we’ll see increasingly effective means for accommodating the issues raised by the above points. I have suggested some design principles in another earlier post, but the rapid evolution of wiki style knowledge creation, with the attendant blog explosion, is opening up new opportunities.

I believe that the issue of bringing new knowledge to the attention of the right people, personalized distribution as the knowledge is created, will remain a substantial BI issue. My ideas on this will be the subject of a later post.

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1. John Gunning » Is there willingness to Collaborate on Enterprise Data? - January 23, 2007

[…] BI System Design incorporating Wiki and other Web 2.0 Components […]

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3. Bill Bartmann PomeTrierry - August 29, 2009

As Bad Debt Continues to Rise, the Country’s Foremost Authority on Debt Collection, Bill Bartmann, is Back!

With a New Book Coming Out in May 2009 and Sold-Out Seminars on How to Buy Bad Debt, a Defiant Billionaire Is in High Demand AGAIN

In June of 1999, the Justice Department brought the largest, best-trained and most efficient debt-collection operation in the world, Commercial Financial Services, Inc. (CFS), founded by Bill Bartmann, to its demise. However, although Bill Bartmann had lost his company, he had not lost his faith. As Wall Street panicked, lawsuits and allegations rained down on Bartmann, the man who Inc. magazine once said had “remade one of the ugliest industries” and who Fortune magazine said had put a “seedy and inefficient industry on the road to respectability.” In December 2003, after eight weeks of testimony from 53 prosecution witnesses, Bartmann was acquitted of the 57-count indictment brought against him in the post-Enron era by former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft. There was no evidence of wrongdoing found.

CFS had made its name on its ability to buy delinquent credit card accounts for pennies on the dollar, and then produce nickels, dimes and quarters—an ability the firm eventually took to Wall Street. The accolades and praise for the company never seemed to end: BusinessWeek named it “One of the Top Ten Family Oriented Businesses in the U.S.” while Working Woman said it was one of the “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers.” Inc. magazine called it one of the “500 Fastest Growing Companies in America” for four straight years and the Better Business Bureau gave it the Torch Award for Ethics in the Marketplace.

Besides amassing a personal fortune, estimated by Inc. to be as high as $3.5 billion, Bartmann was named as one of Forbes’ “400 Wealthiest People in America,” and the National Entrepreneur of the Year by NASDAQ. He was also awarded a permanent place in the Smithsonian Institute’s Museum of American History, for “Visionary Use of Information Technology” that produces positive social, economic and educational change.

Ironically, 17 months after Bartmann’s acquittal and six-and-a-half years after his company was liquidated, the federal bankruptcy trustee (appointed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to liquidate the company, forcing Bartmann into personal bankruptcy) issued a report that publicly acknowledged for the first time that, “CFS was not a fraud.” Four independent expert witnesses hired by the trustee in the civil proceedings later confirmed this report.
Today, Bartmann just shrugs off the experience that would have embittered most people, and instead is thrilled to have a second opportunity to buy bad debt. This time, however, he is also teaching others what he learned from turning CFS into an empire. (CFS was the first firm of its kind and, to date, remains the most successful debt-collection agency on record).

As Bartmann says, “I have seen this movie before and I know how to write the ending. Not only was it incredibly profitable, but we changed the way debt was collected in this country. Compassion was never a part of the equation before. While the process of debt collection is obviously more complicated than simply being nice to those suffering, the business model can be extremely lucrative for those who know how to buy the debt.”

He adds, “The market was terribly inefficient then and it still is now, and there’s a giant spread to be made.” History has documented that he was correct: CFS typically collected more than three times what it paid for a bad loan, pocketing an average of 35¢ on every dollar of debt. Those numbers had never been hit before in the history of the industry—nor have they since.

Now Bartmann is prepared to do it again, teaching others along the way.

For more information and a seminar schedule, go to http://www.billbartmann.com

About Bill Bartmann:
Bill Bartmann is the “Billionaire Business Coach.” He is the only self-made billionaire who has devoted his life exclusively to teaching others, and is the leading authority on entrepreneurship in America. He has created seven successful businesses in seven different industries, including a $3.5-billion, 3,900-employee international company that he started from his kitchen table with a $13,000 loan. He has been named National Entrepreneur of the Year by NASDAQ, USA Today, Merrill Lynch and the Kauffman Foundation. One of his companies was named in Inc. magazine’s “500 Fastest-Growing Companies in America” for four years in a row. He has been awarded a permanent place in the Smithsonian Institute’s Museum of American History and has also been awarded the American Academy of Achievement’s Golden Plate Award for being one of the Outstanding Achievers of the 20th Century.

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