Collective social intelligence – why information needs to be shared throughout the organisation

January 01, 1970

What is the information silo?

Different functions within the organisation are naturally concerned with specific aspects of the business.  While marketing departments may focus on all things 'social', using the information to establish key industry trends, customer perceptions of the company, and its place in the global marketplace, this information can be utilised across the business.

Departments like business development, business strategy, product development, and risk and compliance, are often unaware of the crucial insight social media data can provide if harnessed effectively.  By monitoring and tracking keywords and sentiment, social data can offer insight into public opinion, customer preferences, product vulnerabilities, market dynamics, and crucially, impending crisis.

Missed connections

In today's hyper connected world, there are often many missed connections between different data sources.  This risks information that one department sees as irrelevant being ignored to the detriment of the overall business.  If an organisation invests in an integrated social platform that enables everyone to access, review and share social data across the business, every department will benefit.

Rather than one individual searching for insight in a mass of unstructured data, a properly implemented media intelligence platform can track, compile, structure and present data in a simple and accessible format.  Finding relevant insight for any aspect of the business can be simple.

A shared intelligence hub

A unified media intelligence platform enables individual departments to source valuable and relevant data that they may not have previously had access to.  Decisions will be better informed immediately.  Multiple teams can log on simultaneously, search for relevant news, remove the clutter, and analyse the shared data.  The insight they find can be presented in charts and dashboards make data visual and interpretation easy.  

For example, new data could help customer support understand that a product issue or concern may be present in the marketplace that needs to be handled or escalated.  Even the smallest issue can deteriorate into a potential PR concern that could affect the reputation of an organisation if not dealt with effectively.  In large companies, this can even affect share value.  In July 2009, Canadian musician Dave Carroll and his band released a 'protest song' chronicling the experience of his guitar being broken during United Airlines flight in 2008.  The song and accompanying music video immediately went viral, amassing five million views in the first month, and was a significant PR embarrassment for the airline.

Laying the foundations for media intelligence

It is vital that a unified media intelligence platform is set up properly, simple to use, and customisable to the needs of each team.  Employees should also be given sufficient training and support to understand how to use the system, and how to get the best value out of the data.  Equally businesses need to ensure tools are in place to enable each member of the team to report any feedback – minimising the chance of technical problems, data integrity loss, or misinformation.

Many large organisations will be incorporating an enormous amount and variety of data, and must ensure that the network enables enough flexibility to accommodate a steady stream of this data and analyse it where necessary.

Escaping the information silo

Using analysis via charts and dashboards, departments can present information effectively to other areas of the business, making data highly visual, easy to interpret, and easier to share.  By encouraging all departments to store more data, analyse more data, and become more data-driven, it will enable the organisation to quickly and easily access key information and make much more informed and effective business decisions.
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