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Mike Ferguson

Welcome to my blog on the UK Business Intelligence Network. I hope to help you stay in touch with hot topics and reality on the ground in the UK and European business intelligence markets and to provide content, opinion and expertise on business intelligence (BI) and its related technologies. I also would relish it if you too can share your own valuable experiences. Let's hear what's going on in BI in the UK.

About the author >

Mike Ferguson is Managing Director of Intelligent Business Strategies Limited, a leading information technology analyst and consulting company. As lead analyst and consultant, he specializes in enterprise business intelligence, enterprise business integration, and enterprise portals. He can be contacted at +44 1625 520700 or via e-mail at

Everywhere I look at the moment I see my clients talking about needing to benchmark themselves against the market, to understand customer and prospect sentiment on social networking sites and to understand competitors in much more detail. It is not just me that has recognised this need. It also seems that new young startup companies have also seen this gap in the market. Over the last few days I have spent some time talking to Andrew Yates, CEO of Artesian and Christian Koestler, CEO of Lixto about their solutions in this area.

Artesian are are focused on monitoring media news, competitors intelligence and market intelligence that can be fed into front-office processes - in particular to sales force automation. Integration with is provided as is delivery to mobile devices for mobile salespeople on the road. Their intention on media intelligence for example is to track coverage across all media channels contextually matched to commercial triggers or specific areas of interest.  What I like about Artesian is the fact that they have looked at how to drive revenue from intelligence derived from web content by plugging it into front-office processes. Also by adopting social software attached to front-office systems like's new Chatter offering it becomes possible to collaborate over this intelligence. I would like to see this solution integrate with Microsoft SharePoint and IBM Lotus Connections for more use in large enterprises. However, seeing the need to focus attention on content that has real value in the front office is a real strength of this young startup.  

Lixto has a integrated development environment that allows you to build analytic applications pulling data from web sites such as competitor price information, new competitor marketing campaign data and other information that can be loaded into their customisable analytic applications to monitor competitors for example. 

Extracting insight from external data is definately on the increase with YellowBrix and Mark Logic also in on the act. IBM jumped into the market back in October with their announcement of IBM Cognos Content Analytics. This market is heating up. It seems to me that the start-ups are out there with competitive offerings.

Posted November 27, 2009 10:16 AM
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