I find myself talking a lot lately about the slow evolution from basic social listening to a more robust use of analytics to truly gain actionable business insight. I have long felt the evolution was inevitable – of course I often think these things and they take years to materialize – a story for a different day. This Recent Forrester Blog Post touches on the notion of moving from social listening, to integrating social and customer data. It also presents a roadmap for how to move through the crawl-walk-run-fly stages.
I am sure the authors realize that although this is a piece of the evolution, there are other steps along the path to actionable business insight. I’m already seeing the movement from basic social media monitoring to the broader use of text analytic platforms. Companies that started their journey focused on brand mentions are evolving to new use cases that deliver considerable business value. One of the signs that we are reaching an inflection point can be found in a growing move towards evaluating text analytics software for a broader set of use cases.
I can see at least two paths emerging: 1) niche text analytic software gets embedded in analytic applications that help solve business problems 2) major platform vendors provide text analytic platforms that address multiple application areas 3) Some hybrid. In each of these scenarios, there is a common denominator that I believe is still in its infant stages: the use of domain-specific taxonomies that speed the path to actionable business insight (e.g., fraud mitigation, eDiscovery, Voice of the Customer, etc.).
If we use the same crawl-walk-run-fly metaphor used by Forrester, we will evolve from current listening to delivering taxonomy-enable insight and predicting possible outcomes using all data. This evolution creates a prescriptive enterprise that is positioned to create sustained competitive advantage in very complex environment – and yes, integrating social and customer data is a step along the way.