Leveraging cloud-based analytics for crowdsourced intelligence

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. The value of cloud-based BI
  3. The emergence of the BI-services host
  4. Information franchising
  5. Developing the information franchise environment
  6. The future of crowdsourced intelligence
  7. Case study: ServiceChannel
  8. Case Study: Zendesk
  9. Key takeaways
  10. About David Loshin

1. Summary

There is an emerging type of service provider that leverages the business intelligence (BI) platform-as-a-service (PaaS) model to give clients rapid access to their own transaction data. It does so by acting as a trusted broker in both its own operational business model and in the accumulation, management, and analysis of data.

The cloud-based model has changed BI economics. Reduced expenses and freedom from acquisition, management, and maintenance lower the barriers to entry, so small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) can now benefit from analytics. Over the last twenty years, BI, analytics, and the data warehousing (DW) environments that drive those capabilities have all matured significantly. The stereotypical BI/DW architecture is largely stabilized, creating an opportunity for well-positioned companies to develop and market cloud-based, hosted BI environments.

While some service-provider organizations host their own proprietary tools, a growing number of these companies manage their services on cloud-based BI PaaS. This model is appealing because the service provider can easily develop portals that give its client communities visibility and access to their own reporting information. The centralization of data and computational power provides another benefit that a select number of services providers are recognizing: It enables “information franchising,” which is an opportunity for service providers hosting BI and reporting environments to present “collaborative” analyses based on the data drawn from a community of clients.

Because the service provider manages all of the data in a single location, it can act as a trusted third party for clients willing to franchise their data. It can analyze the combined, crowdsourced data and generate benchmark analyses and comparative performance reports. Each participating client gains insights that it could not otherwise access, and each benefits from the service-host provider’s ability to slice and dice the aggregated data and share the results that are relevant to each client.

The report will help service providers understand the specific benefits of adopting a BI PaaS model as well as the people, governance, and technical requirements for developing an environment for information franchising.

Key findings include:

  • Companies engaging other specialty cloud-based services are particularly interested in hosted BI, reporting, and analytics based in the cloud.
  • Service providers are using data accumulated from their client communities to provide information franchising, aggregated analytics, and competitive benchmarks.
  • Third-party brokers with good relationships in a broad client community can take advantage of information franchising, especially when employing a cloud-based BI environment for data centralization, aggregation, analysis, and benchmarking.
  • Before crowdsourced intelligence can become mainstream, service providers must engage a sufficient number of participating clients, communicate the value proposition, and develop monetization models that provide a mutual win-win for themselves and their client communities.

Thumbnail image courtesy of flickr user Flazingo Photos.

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