February 17, 2012
/ by Jackie Kmetz
Transforming your company into a Social Enterprise to be as social as your customers are can reap huge rewards. But this change can come with some real challenges without the right tools and partners to help. Enterprises looking to accomplish this on their own face some intense hurdles. In part one of our Challenges of Social Data Integration Series we looked at the first challenge businesses face when looking at integrating social data into their current systems—dealing with the enormous volume of information and how easily that deluge of data can overwhelm existing business systems.
2. Unstructured Social Data is Hard to Manage
Enterprises have been dealing with data from multiple systems for years and are well equipped to integrate and process data from various databases for advanced Business Intelligence. But social media data is different. Data is disparate, formatted in a multitude of ways and usually lacking well-defined field names and types. The unstructured nature of social data makes the process of formatting and then integrating it with existing databases time consuming and expensive.
By choosing the right platform, businesses can remain focused on their core strengths and let the social media data experts manage the collection, structuring, validating and cleaning of data to make it useful, available and impactful to decision making. Visible® specializes in enterprise social media integrations, working with partners including Oracle for full social integration into client CRM systems like Siebel. Integrated solutions that enable customer service, sales and other teams to identify opportunities in social conversations and respond in real time while simultaneously creating service requests and leads into existing CRM systems for a true Social CRM system.
3. New Methods and Standards for Accessing Social Data
New media and new technology bring new methods and standards for accessing social data. Accessing Web services requires a programmatic understanding of how to connect to individual Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). This is usually a different skill set than what IT departments have on hand from working with existing databases. To be effective, they need to be fully versed in a host of social media APIs as well as Web standards including REST and HTTPS in order to successfully incorporate and integrate social data. They also need to dedicate resources to monitor the data feeds and perform regular updates.
Coming Up Next…
We’ve looked at 3 of the 5 challenges so far and one important fact is coming to light—to be successful, businesses need to spend the majority of their time focusing on their core competencies which usually do not include data collection, warehousing and complicated integration of social media APIs. If you aren’t in the printing business and you need a fancy brochure, you’re going to hire a printer. Social media isn’t any different. Particularly when it comes to the complex world of data collection and normalization. Stay tuned for the next post when we take a look at more challenges.
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