What is Collaborative BI?

Collaborative BI (collaborative business intelligence) is a convergence of a Business Intelligence system with functionality for persisting knowledge and making better decisions using collective intelligence and social networking capabilities. In a top-down enterprise BI implementation, Collaborative BI allows end-users of the BI system to provide feedback into the traditionally read-only dashboarding solution. In advanced Collaborative BI solutions such as BITeamwork, the feedback created through comments and annotations, are especially point-of-view aware so that context of data perspectives when the feedback was authored will always be persisted with the comment or annotation. Collaborative BI has an emphasis on group problem solving, reducing knowledge silos, and increasing user adoption of the BI system.

Some Collaborative BI solutions such as BITeamwork provide a contextual framework for linking the BI system and an enterprise social network such as Salesforce.com’s Chatter and Microsoft’s Yammer. Collaborative BI tools do not seek to replace either a BI system or an enterprise social network. Collaborative BI fulfills a need as a framework for teaching companies how to technically expand traditional BI functionality by allowing users to tell the whole story about an organization’s data which is already surfaced through the BI tool, and it provides conversation-like functionality traditionally seen in a social network.

Often, Collaborative BI frameworks will include other ancillary functionality such as splash pages, notifications, and management utilities for the Collaborative BI aspects embedded within the BI system.