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BI Experts’ Perspective: Exploring Web 2.0

What are the major concerns or issues associated with using Web 2.0 technologies and how can they be addressed?

Business Intelligence Journal

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Rick Goodhue is the BI director at Fifth Financial, a regional bank in the southwest. The bank has a strong presence in a five-state area and offers a full complement of products and services for retail and commercial customers. Customer, product, and distribution data are maintained in a five-terabyte enterprise data warehouse. The warehouse supports most of the bank’s reporting applications.

Marketing and financial analysts use the warehouse to support their work, including performing customer segmentation, customer profitability, customer lifetime value, channel cost, and product profitability analyses. Rick enjoys a good reputation with the bank’s senior management and is considered to be a forward-looking director.

Recently, Rick has become interested in the potential of Web 2.0 technologies and how they might be used internally and with customers. Rick doesn’t have much experience with these technologies himself, but his daughter, a college sophomore, uses Facebook all the time. Through the Friends and Groups functionality, she is in close contact with friends and people who share similar interests.

Rick wonders if the bank’s BI users might share their experiences, needs, and concerns using Facebook’s Groups feature. His daughter also tells him about interesting videos on YouTube. Rick’s team helped develop the bank’s retirement planning application, and he wonders about the merits of placing an instructional or customer testimonial video on YouTube.

At lunch one day, a friend told Rick about his experiences on Second Life and how some people and organizations are using it for business purposes such as meetings. All of this has Rick wondering about what might be done at Fifth Financial to support his BI efforts, but he has questions that need answers before he goes very far. Hhe doesn’t want to squander his good reputation with management.


  1. Is Rick on to something? Are any of these new technologies potentially useful to business intelligence efforts at Fifth Financial? If so, which ones, and are they mature enough to be used now?
  2. What are the major concerns or issues associated with using these technologies and how can they be addressed?
  3. Are any companies using these technologies for serious business purposes, or for BI in particular?
  4. Are there any particular applications that Rick should consider at Fifth Financial?
  5. How should Rick use his staff to investigate the opportunities?
  6. How should Rick sell the most promising opportunities to management?

This article originally appeared in the issue of Transforming Data with Intelligence.

About the Authors

Scott Barnes is a principal in the business intelligence practice at Capgemini.

Richard D. Hackathorn, Ph.D., is president of Bolder Technology, Inc.

Dan Power is a professor of information systems at the Uuniversity of Nnorthern Iowa and the decision support expert at the Business Intelligence Network(

Tracy Ring is a senior manager in the business intelligence practice at Capgemini.

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