update (Oct 13): I just evaluated a few addtional vendors. For now see those scores in the comments below and I hope to do an updated graphic shortly. Additional suggestions and feedback welcome!
As a follow-up to my previous post on how socially active the leading CRM and SBS vendors are (are they walking the walk?), I recently did a similar analysis of the business intelligence (BI), analytics and search vendors. Unlike many CRM, community and social software providers whose business actually is selling the value of social channels and interaction, the connection between BI and social is less established. Yet, as the results show, as a group BI and analytics vendors are surprisingly active on social channels - even more so than many of the CRM vendors I examined.
Why should vendors care? It's where the buyers are! In fact, 91% of B2B technology buyer decision makers now use social media to gather information according to Forrester. And in high-tech software sales, where the channels for delivering and supporting products are increasingly the same as those used for marketing and selling them, the growing importance of social channels should not be ignored.
The methodology I used was the same as before to measure each vendor's ‘social activity.’ I evaluated the primary corporate Twitter accounts and blogs listed on the main homepage for each company. To evaluate social content, I looked at 3 months of blog posts (May-July) and total number of tweets from the corporate Twitter account. The score for this part was = number of posts + 0.05 x the number tweets (rule of thumb: 20 tweets = content value of 1 post).
To evaluate social discussions, I looked at blog comments during the same period (again, I counted trackbacks/pingbacks, but also did my best to take out clear spam comments) and level of ‘engagement’ on Twitter. The score for this part was = number of comments + Tweetlevel engage score as of mid-Sept. I combined and scaled these scores (in a couple cases capping sub-scores that were ‘off the charts’) so the top ranked vendor = 100. As before, I didn’t judge the quality of posts or tweets or comments, and view these 4 components as a decent proxy for the amount of content and level of discussions (activity) the vendors are generating overall on their social channels.
Finally, I again excluded vendors with no blog or one I could easily find. This excluded Autonomy and Information Builders from the analysis. And for disclosure, Evoke CRM/I have had relationships with a couple of the vendors included in this analysis – Actuate and Business Objects, and my prior company eVergance had a partner relationship with Endeca. However, no vendor sponsored this work or was aware I was conducting this research prior to the collection of data used in the analysis.
Overall the 15 BI and analytics vendors in this round have generated an average of 763 tweets from their corporate account and nearly 20 blog posts (CRM/SBS vendors averaged 13.5 posts) during May/June/July. BI and analytics vendors also averaged a LOT more comments - 18 vs. 5 by the CRM/SBS vendors. Using the same tiers from before – ‘Mavens’ (7 companies) ‘Climbers’ (7 companies) and ‘Late Arrivals’ (only 1 company) here's how the vendors stack up (in alphabetical order in each group):
Early Movers & Mavens (>60 pts):
Business Objects, Cognos, Kalido, QlikView, SAS, Tableau, Teradata
Social Climbers (>30 pts):
Actuate, Endeca, GoodData, JasperSoft, MicroStrategy, Netezza, Vivisimo
Late Arrivals (<30 pts): Arcplan
And here’s how all the scaled scores stack up:
As mentioned, its interesting to note that the BI and analytics vendors seem more engaged on social channels vs. the CRM/SBS vendors - but if you dig into the data a bit more it's really the CRM and KM subcategory that has most of the 'late arrivals' in the last analysis. A few other highlights:
- SAS, Teradata and QlikView had the most blog posts from May-July, while SAS, Tableau and Kalido had the most comments.
- Tableau also had the highest Tweetlevel engagement score (an impressive 62), while 5 other vendors had engagement scores over 40: Actuate, Business Objects, Jaspersoft, MicroStrategy and QlikView.
The bottom line
As a group, BI and analytics vendors are doing a good job not only pushing out content on their corporate blogs and Twitter accounts, but also listening and engaging in real discussions. In fact, compared to what many of the CRM, KM and even SBS vendors are doing, this group is surprisingly active on their social channels.
My last analysis generated some great feedback and requests to evalute additonal vendors, so if you are in the BI/analytics/search space but not in this initial cut, and want me to take a look at your company, I'm happy to do so. Or if you are one of the companies I evaluated and feel like I missed something - there's a good chance I did, but it's unlikely it would have changed the rankings a whole lot! In either case feel free to add a comment below or contact me here. I also encourage you to follow me on Twitter (@abonde) for updates to this analysis as well as frequent commentary on social marketing trends, news and events.