Roadkill at the Corner of Search and BI
A client who regularly generates large numbers of reports that "sit within a data warehouse system, run off Business Objects/Cognos against one source or another." The client envisions "something like the Amazon site that allows search, and when someone selects a report, it lists other reports, noting 'people who looked at this report also looked at... '"
JasperSoft Adds ETL Tool To BI Suite
JasperSoft, a maker of open-source business intelligence tools, unveils software for extracting data from multiple sources and loading it into a BI data warehouse
Gartner Insight on BI Platforms Revealed
Whenever Gartner cranks out another of its famous Magic Quadrants, we inevitably see the vendors in that prized top-right quartile cranking out press releases announcing their success. Sometimes they even purchase reprint rights to the Quadrant itself, which gives us all a peek at the outcome.
The BS in Business Intelligence
In the last year, corporate management seems to have gained a better understanding of what business intelligence (BI) means to organizations. Executives finally are realizing that information about performance and the metrics that measure it are keys to improving their bottom line. Yet even so, they have invested far less in efforts to support BI than in other areas of information technology.
Avoiding Failure: The Better Part of IT Valor?
It felt confessional to explain to a friend the other day that typically my greatest value as a consultant comes from helping enterprises avoid making a big mistake. Usually the looming mistake is selecting the wrong software for their needs. That just doesn't sound as triumphant as "restored them to profitability," or "instituted a fabulously successful publishing regimen."
Three New BI-Style Tools for Investment Managers
The business intelligence movement rolls on and one of its benefactors is Wall Street. It's a good fit -- after all, what asset manager wouldn't want the most insightful views of the right data? I was recently briefed on three new or updated data analysis tools: one for analyzing the blogosphere for stock tips, one for analyzing SEC data, and one for portfolio backtesting. Here's what I found interesting.
Simulation Part III: Activity Based Costing
Activity Based Costing is not just determining the cost of each process activity from its active labor costs, or even its total direct costs. ABC is about allocating the indirect costs, both labor -- management/supervisory, plus ancillary functions -- and fixed overhead, like plant and equipment. You can't get that from the simulation model!
Or can you?
Linking Insight to Action: The Next Big Goal
I've had a number of conversations in recent days around the theme of linking analysis to action. There's lots of frustration out there, understandably, because managers and executives increasingly have plenty of tools that spot problems -- reports, alerts, dashboards, KPIs, scorecards, etc. -- but they're not connected to levers that enable them to take action.
Enterprise Search Is Not Dead
Someone tell the vendors. Two fine blog entries point out that search vendors miss the point when they reposition themselves as business intelligence or business processing suppliers. Gilbane's Lynda Moulton finds vendors attempting to "stave off their own boredom" with enterprise search. MarkLogic CEO Dave Kellogg sees search vendors as "distracted with a strategic vision."
Mind the Gaps in Decision-Making Data, Processes
A new study shows that at least 40 percent of execs aren't happy with their companies' decision-making abilities. The DecisionROI Institute launched the "Business Traction From Better Decision Action" initiative in Q2 2006 to explore the state of decision-making and come up with suggestions for best practices. Based on interviews with more than 300 executives, the institute's "Business Traction" report found that...
Simulation Part II: Better Resource Utilization
Continuing my recent post re simulation analysis and BPMN… In Use Case 2, the problem is process "bottlenecks." Usually static analysis gives you a rough idea of staffing requirement even without simulation. For example, if you create 100 instances an hour, and Task A takes 1 hour, you need around 100 people to perform Task A to keep up. But what if instead of creating 100 instances an hour, you are getting 800 instances overnight and your resource for Task A also is responsible for Task B
Cognos Acquires Celequest: A Smart Move!
Dashboards are the face of BI for a very important user constituency: managers and executives. Given the importance of this aspect of a total BI solution, it came as little surprise to me that Cognos nabbed Celequest, a small player with a powerful dashboard solution.
Until now, Cognos' own dashboard solution has been limited to that of a single Report Studio document. While Cognos 8 brought some improved visualizations embedded in Report Studio documents, it misses the mark for one essential d
A Long-Term View on the Cognos/Celequest Deal
Everyone agrees that Cognos' purchase of Celequest, announced yesterday, will broaden the BI vendor's footprint. Celequest gives Cognos a real-time, operational BI/performance management play it lacked. That will bring Cognos into settings in which insight is only of value if it's immediate. But the true value of the deal will hinge on how transferable and how integrated Celequest's real-time technology and hybrid appliance/SaaS model will be with the Cognos 8 BI platform.
Cognos Buys Dashboard Specialist Celequest
Cognos acquires dashboard software specialist Celequest, which also brings to the business intelligence vendor a BI appliance and a software-as-a-service platform. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Top Ten Reasons Your ECM System Runs Slowly
1. The average size of electronic documents has grown to a point where current network bandwidth is insufficient to deliver documents to the user in a sensible time frame
2. You are running your ECM system on old hardware and operating systems that need upgrading
3. You are delivering native format files to end users rather than making use of rendering functionality
4. You have allowed your users to dump content into your repository without concern for process, rules or structure, and now it's
EnterpriseDB's Open (Source) Deception
Andy Astor, CEO of EnterpriseDB, stated in November, "Our offering is
unique among open source databases." That's blatant, open deception; a cynical attempt to exploit the open-source label. How does EnterpriseDB see it? CEO Astor, in an April 2006 interview, said that "the extensions that we've done [to the open source PostgreSQL that EnterpriseDB is based on]... is code that we share with customers who subscribe to our service." That's open source?!
Will Your SaaS Provider be a Survivor?
In the heady, pre-dot-bomb buzz of early 2000, I edited a feature on "21 ASPs and What They Can Do For You." They were called "Application Service Providers" back then, but that term was displaced, first by "hosted," then by "on-demand" and most recently by "Software as a Service" (SaaS). I was surprised when a quick Web tour turned up only about a third of these vendors still very visibly in the hosted/on-demand business. That should give you pause -- and reason to do thorough due diligence --
Teoco Discovers the Good, the Hidden Costs and the Challenges of Data Warehouse Appliances
What are the pros and cons of using a data warehouse appliance versus a more traditional data warehouse? We asked John Devolites, general manager, communications and entertainment solutions at Teoco, to share with us his experiences with three data warehouse appliances. The bottom line: he's very happy with the price and his new, fast query rates, but don't call these appliances -- they're a far cry from the simple, plug-and-play boxes that the word "appliance" conjures up.
Deeper Into Process Simulation: Part I
A couple months ago I wrote about the deficient simulation capabilities of most process modeling tools. More recently I've been working with ITP Commerce, the tool provider for my upcoming BPMN training, on enhancing its simulation features to address the use cases that figure most prominently in process analysis. I've come up with three, and I'm building my BPMN training around the particular modeling and simulation patterns associated with each one.
Tibco Rolls Out Support For BPEL In BusinessWorks
Tibco launches a BusinessWorks upgrade that implements the Web Services Business Process Execution Language specification to provide better orchestration of services within a service-oriented architecture.
Pegasystems Improves User Interface OF BPM Suite
Pegasystems has improved the user interface of the SmartBPM Suite, adding richer graphics and other visual metrics to make the business process management system less daunting to non-developers and business analysts.
Humans and Avatars: The Ghost in the Machine
The January 10 New York Times ran an intriguing article, "Computers Join Actors in Hybrids On Screen." It describes a new James Cameron film, "Avatar," in which the movie's alien characters will be designed by computer but played by human actors "filmed using the latest evolution of motion-capture technology -- markers placed on the actor and tracked by a camera." This description says as much about the limits of high-performance computing as it does about HPC's leading-edge capabilities.
We Haven't Heard the Last Word on Teradata
Monday's announcement by NCR that it will spin off its Teradata Data Warehousing business comes as the latter faces new competition from HP and increased competition from established rivals including IBM, Oracle, SAS and appliance players Netezza and DATAAllegro. Teradata executives are sticking to the script about an independent path forward, but I won't be surprised to see Teradata snatched up by a larger rival.
Insight at the Speed of Thought… Sometimes
The Internet has raised the bar for BI expectations. We want to click a report and get an answer now. Complex query? Millions of records? Full table scan? Those are details that users really don't care about. People can view stock prices in near-real time, voting results, sport scores, even traffic. So why can't access to corporate data be equally instantaneous?
Guinness Brought to You Faster By Real-Time BI
It's Friday evening -- a perfect time for a cold pint of Guinness. Did you know that 10 million pints of Guinness are drunk around the world every day, four million of them in the U.S.? Getting all that alcohol shipped from the Dublin brewery to North American warehouses is a supply chain challenge is being met with the help of real-time business intelligence software.
New Year's Resolutions for Vendors and Buyers
When I talk to vendors about customer projects that were seriously delayed or that failed outright, the response is invariably: "implementation problem." That's code-speak for the customer or integrator (or both) screwing up. Sometimes customers are blissfully ignorant of their unreadiness to implement new technology, but I suspect more commonly implementation troubles result from a poor product fit.
webMethods Tops Forrester Wave Report
webMethods, which at the beginning of 2006 couldn't even break into the BPM analysts' magic circle/wave/whatever, ended the year taking top honors in the Forrester Wave for Integration-Centric Business Process Management. webMethods has put a lot into its new version of the offering. In addition to a real SOA platform under the covers, webMethods has included some BPM features that will knock your socks off.
Mainstream BI May Bring Failed Apprentices
I once had the pleasure of hearing Louis Rossetto, co-founder and then editor of Wired Magazine, talk about the impact the Internet would have on more-established media. It won't kill older media, he said, but it will have an indelible impact. I'm now reminded of those comments as once-specialized software vendors eye mainstream deployments.
2007: Change is the Constant
It's that time when everyone reveals their predictions, from the staid to the outlandish. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal can't decide whether inflation is a threat, but a psychic interviewed on "Coast to Coast" is certain that radio personality Dr. Laura Schlessinger will discover that she's a remarkable singer.