I recently got to listen to a presentation about using LinkedIn in the context of sales and marketing. LinkedIn is a wonderfully successful and rich professional/social network, where you can find co-workers, past colleagues, old school mates etc. The difference between LinkedIn and other social media sites is that most folks consider their Facebook or twitter accounts for non-work activity, as well as work occasionally. LinkedIn is focused primarily on work experience and expertise, and more of a “professionals” network. Well, the speaker was pointing out all the wonderful ways in which LinkedIn can help those in sales and marketing obtain leads and introductions into companies and individuals, and while he was speaking I started imagining how combining the power of the social network/media with the power of BI can produce some pretty powerful apps. So, as an example, I tried to see if I can create a simple BI app that will connect to, say, the corporate CRM system, pull names and stats of companies and contacts within the companies, and in parallel, search for the LinkedIn profiles of those companies or individuals. Neat, right?
Well, fortunately, LinkedIn has a simple url query string that is used for searching, so it was not hard to come up with the search convention. The app I created has two sections:
The top section illustrates the connectivity to the company CRM system. In this example, I hard coded some “test” data to demonstrate a use case, or navigation flow:
- Scroll through a list of companies (can add search of course as well).
- Click a company name to get stats from CRM system (some overall stats, sales + pipeline numbers)
- Review the contacts in the CRM system from that company
I am convinced that the two major trends that will influence the BI industry over the next few years are social media and mobile devices. I am hoping to continue exploring both and deliver new and exciting new ideas for converging the two worlds, as they come together.