Web Intelligence Will Dwarf the Business Intelligence Industry as We’ve Known It

October 27, 2013 • Bernard Liautaud

Editor’s Note

The following interview is with Bernard Liautaud and is from our Web Intelligence Perspectives Series. Bernard is currently a partner at Balderton Capital and a member of the SAP Supervisory Board and its strategy committee.

What is it about Web intelligence that is such an important opportunity to you?

Web intelligence is the next big evolution after business intelligence. Over the past 25 years, companies like Business Objects have created a $25B industry aiming at getting insights from corporate structured data. Web intelligence now unlocks the power of a much larger pool of information inside and outside the four walls of the corporation.

This will dwarf the business intelligence industry as we have known it.

What drives the interest in Web intelligence in your community? What hole in your world does it fill?

Web intelligence is about providing an edge, providing competitive advantage by getting insights through in depth understanding of massive amounts of information. Figuring out how a market is going to evolve, how a new technology might be adopted, what competitors are working on, requires harnessing the power of Web data. Most of the information exists, but one needs sophisticated tools to deal with the enormous scale of the data, and to transform raw data into actionable intelligence.

What does a critical insight from Web intelligence look like?

An example could be in the customer insight area. Corporations usually have a good handle of the data they gather through their direct interactions with their customer (call centers, store interactions, etc.).

Web intelligence can give them the real-time understanding of their customer base outside of their traditional channels: what is being said in forums, in news, in social chats, … in brief all the information exchange in which the company is not involved.

What is your vision for how Web intelligence could be used?

It can be used in an infinite amount of ways, in enterprises, in government, in research, academia. Possibilities are limitless. Everyday, more data is being captured real-time, more content is being created by users, and therefore more intelligence can be drawn. With the rapid evolution of tools to mine the information, and the faster data processing time, Web intelligence will be used everywhere to understand and predict most events in the world.

Looking ahead, will Web intelligence become a standard piece of tradecraft in your community? Will it “go viral”?

I believe so. It will take time as it still new and needs to be dumbed down so anyone can use it.

However, organizations, which adopt Web intelligence first and master its power, will gain substantial competitive advantage over their competitors.

So if I were the CEO of a large corporation today, I would not wait!

Bernard Liautaud

Bernard Liautaud founded Business Objects in 1990 and was CEO for 15 years, then Chairman until January 2008 when it was acquired by SAP for $6.8 billion, making it the third largest software acquisition at the time. Bernard is currently a partner at Balderton Capital and a member of the SAP Supervisory Board and its strategy committee. He is also a member of Cap Gemini’s board and its strategy committee.