Delloite Analytics photo (business intelligence jobs)Consulting, auditing, and analytics giant Deloitte has combined two very contemporary technologies – business analytics and social media – in a newly launched website, Real Analytics, realanalyticsinsights.com.

As described in a Deloitte press release, via Reuters, the new site is intended for industry insiders to offer analytic insights, share knowledge and best practices, and problem resolution. The release goes on to describe the new site’s ultimate goal as solving “crunchy,” vexing problems.

A Business Perspective

As befits a firm with roots going back to the 19th century, Deloitte appears to be aiming Real Analytics primarily at the business dimensions of BI and business analytics, rather than the technological aspect of analytics. Its core target audience is executives and managers rather than engineers and mathematicians. (Although the engineers and mathematicians might be interested in seeing how the tools they build are being used in the field.) The articles so far have been written by Deloitte consulting principals, with Deloitte executives appearing as guest posters.

The site features deliberately provocative pieces, which the header menu calls Real Views. The next tab, Business Issues, offers articles, case studies, and insights into each of five types of analytics: customer, financial, risk, supply chain, and workforce.

The Real Views article currently featured is by Deloitte Consulting principal John Houston, entitled “Digging for the Next Great Employee.” Houston talks about the impact that online search and analytics have on the hiring process.

Until recently firms knew little about prospective hires – what they said on their resumés, a couple of phone calls to check references, and a search of legal records were about it. Now analytics can turn up applicants’ every online political rant or pop-culture snark, along with all too much about their personal as well as professional lives.

Joining The Discussion

Houston steps delicately over the potentially explosive social consequences of all this data entering into the hiring process. But the article’s 18 comments further draw out some of these issues. (Anyone can read posts and comments; a free site subscription is required in order to comment.) One commenter asks what happens to candidates with minimal social profiles? Are they protected from embarrassment, or do they end up looking like recluses? Or both?

These responses help to point out the power of social media. Comment threads fill in and expand on points made in the original post, and display the greater latitude of people who are representing only themselves, albeit in a professional context.

Twitter results for DeloitteBA are, at this writing, dominated by the site’s own tweets, but people do seem to be noticing, as the active comment thread also indicates.

Will Real Analytics catch on as a center of BI and analytics discussion? It is far too early to say how large and varied a community the site will draw. But for Deloitte, Real Analytics is an effective vehicle for highlighting its analysts’ insights, and a hum of discussion can only help.