When we think of Business Intelligence (BI) we thing of answering user questions by querying some data to solve some business problem.
Most of that information has already been captured into a repository.
That information is based on fact (the past). What happened, when, by whom, where and how.
Who was my biggest customer from 2005-2010? What was my highest selling product in the NE USA? What month has the slowest sales volume?
All these questions can be answered with a SQL (Sequel) Query against a Relational Database. All that data can be dumped into a Data Warehouse Cubed database which pre-populates the aggregates into fast slicing information targeted towards the VIPs.
Taken another step, Google. A repository of information available to anyone, anywhere, with no account information, at no cost.
You ask, "nearest Ice Cream store in Tampa?", it returns pages and pages of results. So Google could be a user friendly Business Intelligence tool.
Benefit of traditional BI and the Google example is you can query on the information already captured in the past from a centralized repository/database. With any luck, you can use that data as a model to predict future events / occurrences / trends.
There is still limitation to this.
Google has to spend all their time and money to capture, store, provide their version of the data/truth. And for using their services which have advertisements, they receive revenue.
Google does not own all their information, but they spend a lot of money gathering and storing that info.
What if all that info were available to anyone, anytime from anywhere?
What if all that information was decentralized?
What if every company, school, university, or any existing website for that matter inherently exposed Information in a user friendly, open access, web service to anyone at anytime.
Sort of like an open ended database, where instead of having tables and rows all contained within a single or series of databases, the information was stored in millions of Websites/devices,server/computer silos, each exposing their own data through a Public Information Portal?
For example, a Florist shop would expose the location, industry, merchandise, volume, prices, quantities through a Public WSDL using open source standards. From a central utility/website/cell phone, when you search for the word "Florist" you could query all their information, etc. in addition to all other Portals containing the same WSDL information.
Kind of like a free, encyclopedia of dynamic information, owned by no-one, used by all, which could answer any question posed to it.
How many Florist companies exist in the US, the SE, in Florida, in Tampa, that are open on Saturdays, that sell begonias, who are minority owned and operated, etc. etc. etc. It would answer the big aggregate questions like how many, averages, sums, min, max, etc and it would also provide the granular detail information row by row.
The data would not be stored by a single company, (ie, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo).
The data would be stored on millions of websites, devices, etc. which exposed pertinent information through Public WSDL Web Services, accessible by anyone (permissions could be added with pay for info concept), dynamically search able from any device using a common web information language.
Every electronic piece of information would have to be identifiable through a self describing XML like language along with any other characteristics which would help describe the information contained within that unit of information.
Then the Public Web Service which exposes that information would have to divulge to the world what information is located on that device/web/computer through a Public WSDL and a SOAP like language could scan all information simultaneously until the information is found and returned to the querying user.
What do you think?