Lee Bryant Keynote: Social Business Intelligence – The Future of Listening [#e2conf]

Lee Bryant (HeadShift, Dachis Group) discusses how to motivate and manage people by using open data within the enterprise. For him, the next stage of social business is listening — and then using the resulting data to change the way our businesses work.

[These are my notes from the Enterprise 2.0 Conference 2011 in Boston.  Since I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error.  Please excuse those. To the extent I’ve made any editorial comments, I’ve shown those in brackets.]


  • Social Business is not just about collaboration. It’s also about weak ties and dynamic signals to enable change based on ambient information inside and outside the enterprise. He points to the work of Dave Gray regarding pods within companies and the use of customer data and analytics to transform companies like Amazon. These companies are listening carefully to their customers and then taking that information to change the way the company works. The data is taken from a wide source and applied in small focused ways by “two-pizza” teams.
  • What can we learn from Big Data? Google has the data now to determine if a couple will divorce in two years’ time based on their spending patterns alone. Until now, however, we have used customer data in a rather narcissistic way — do you like me? How am I doing? What’s the sentiment about my company? Instead, we should be sharing the insights gathered from customer analytics beyond the marketing department. Equally, we should be gathering data within the enterprise and sharing the insights internally.
  • Focus on the Right Data. With a nod to the home town crowd, Lee referred to the recent victories of Boston sports teams and the transformative impact of data on performance — at least with respect to the Red Sox, as reported in the Michael Lewis book, Moneyball. The key to reaching these insights is to immerse yourself in the entirety of the data. Until you do this, you can’t really understand the rhythm and logic of that data — what it is telling you. For this reason, he is skeptical of hired-gun quants who swoop in with targeted analysis.
  • Get Beyond the Rear View Mirror. Analytics without change are nothing more than a rear view mirror. To move beyond, we need to get that data into the hands of people within the enterprise who can make a difference. However, the worst possible way to do this is to deliver the data via a report. By contrast, there is no better way to motivate people and trigger change than to provide them with relevant feedback via realtime data. The best way to do this is via activity streams (rather than reports) that can be shared throughout the organization and within the flow of daily activity. Using tags and filters, people within the organization can subscribe to the data streams that have the most relevance to their work, thereby ensuring constant access to a wide-range of pertinent, diverse real-time data.
  • The Next Stage for Social BusinessSocial Business tools allow widespread sharing. To really leverage these tools, use them to spread internal and external data. To ensure the insights gathered from the data gets into the right hands and result in useful action, spread the data via activity streams that can permeate the day-to-day workflow of the people who can take action.
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2 thoughts on “Lee Bryant Keynote: Social Business Intelligence – The Future of Listening [#e2conf]

  1. Great summary, Mary. Thanks for keeping it short :-). Wish I had caught the real presentation.

    1. My pleasure, Chris. Lee’s presentations are always worth attending in person. That said, I understand that there is video of the keynotes so you might take a look at that.

      – Mary

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