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Barney Finucane

Welcome to my BeyeNETWORK blog. My main goal here is to address hype issues that come up in the Internet, not to provide any overview of the BI market itself. I look forward to any questions or comments you may have.

About the author >

Barney Finucane has extensive experience in the BI industry. As a consultant, he has supported companies in the chemical, energy and manufacturing sector with the introduction of BI software. As product manager for the company MIS, he was responsible for the front-end products Plain and onVision, and kept a keen eye on projects and tools from other vendors. His areas of speciality include tool selection, quality assurance for BI, data warehouse strategies and their architectures.

My blog is including on the Alltop business intelligence page, and at the time of writing I display their badge on the blog.

According to the site 'The purpose of Alltop is to help you answer the question, ”What’s happening?”' Alltop is a 1990's style Web registry maintained by human editors.

But Alltop's business intelligence page has several problems that make it less useful than it could be. The page has fallen victim to a semantic Web style gotcha. Like many other phrases, business intelligence means different things to different people. If you don't disambiguate somehow, a web registry based on a phrase may make no sense.

There are three distinct meanings of the phrase "business intelligence". The first is something about software for analyzing business data -- like my blog. The second is news about businesses, which is interesting but unrelated. These are some of those blogs:

MEED NEWS, EMARKETS.DE, B2B TRADE, DEALBOOK, ARUNDEL BUSINESS NEWS, FOREX TRADING INFO, THE FINANCE KID, ARBITRAGE MAGAZINE, SMALL BUSINESS SUPPORT

The third meaning is based on a completely different meaning of intelligence -- intelligence as in IQ, as opposed to intelligence as in information for analysis. In the sense business intelligence just means being smart about business, which could men just about anything.

So Alltop's business intelligence page contain sites that are not at all related to the #businessintelligence tag on Twitter. A lot of these seem to be advice about sales and entrepreneurship or general management consulting blogs. A few are just political blogs, or blogs about general market or marketing trends. They're fine in their way, I guess, just misplaced. Here's a list:

STATSPOTTING!, WSJ: THE NUMBERS GUY, MANAGE BY WALKING AROUND, BUILDING BUSINESS VALUE, CORPORATE MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES, KNOWLEDGE WORKS, HUSTLEKNOCKIN', THE THINK HERE BLOG, LEAD VIEWS, THE SOLOPRENEUR LIFE, SMEDIO, INTERCALL BLOG, GLOBAL INSTITUTE FOR INSPIRATION, SMALL BUSINESS SUPPORT, RED WING SOFTWARE BLOG, FRED67 B2B REFERRAL CLUB, RESULTS.COM BUSINESS GROWTH TIPS

I'm not criticizing any of these guys, just saying they seem to be improperly categorized.

Also Alltop is syndicating advertising material thinly disguised as blogs. Of course, maybe they're getting paid, what do I know? If not they should be. The following are BI vendors, which may or may not be problem:

RED WING SOFTWARE BLOG, LOGIXML, BIME - SAAS BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE (BI), BLOG.JINFONET.COM, MICROSTRATEGY 101, PANORAMA BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE

In addition, there are several aggregators -- Yahoo, and Beyenetwork twice. These guys can be seen as comptetitors, I guess.

In the end I think that the lack of careful stewardship reduces the usefulness of the site. The problem is that business intelligence is a vague term and needs a semantic Web to be useful. Manual editing in a web registry is a workaround, but it is not being used here to much effect.

Posted July 17, 2011 9:50 AM
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