Large companies throughout the world rely on a wide variety of data being ingested then correlated to produce insights that guide business decisions, but many forget to realize that social media is often where news first breaks and trends can be spotted early on. Above and beyond that, there’s a galaxy of social media insights you never knew existed.

Imagine being a Fortune 100 company with a ridiculous amount of data coming in each day on all facets of the business ranging from marketing to shipping and logistics – there is simply no way humans can make sense of all of it. And on top of that, expertise to understand the data is often siloed by department making things even tougher.

In recent years artificial intelligence (AI), specifically machine and deep learning, have transformed business intelligence by automating processes and breaking down barriers while also producing better results. This success has led some to believe that AI will take over, but there’s one thing they’re missing.

Humans still play a critical role in business intelligence no matter how amazing machine learning can be because one of the best data points a business could have is social media — people conversing about everything from food to cars to life in general – and understanding how such conversations relate to all aspects one’s business.

As a perfect example, picture an internet provider with millions of customers, complex infrastructure, and fierce competition in a space where 3 key things are important to customers: speed, uptime and price.

In this scenario, having a robust business intelligence platform that integrates social media with every other feed will be critical and allow the company to spot both positives and negatives as people chat about what they’re experiencing. If there’s a hotspot of comments about very slow service and that correlates to specific infrastructure then the engineering team can be alerted. The possibilities are endless.

The point is, both AI and social media are going to play a big role in business intelligence in the future, and all organizations should be planning their strategies sooner rather than later.