The Truth's In The Analysis - InformationWeek
Software // Information Management
10:24 AM
Ted Kemp
Ted Kemp

The Truth's In The Analysis

You don't have to be studying for a doctorate in philosophical relativism to know that the truth can get a little squishy when it's reported different ways.

We hear a lot about getting a "single version of the truth" -- it's been a catchphrase of data warehousing for years. Usually, it's meant pulling together a pool of clean, consistently formatted and accurate data. That's no small task, for sure. But getting to the "truth" lies in the way data is analyzed as much as it resides in the data itself.

Big companies and other large organizations, many of which are awash in business intelligence tools from multiple vendors, are coming to understand that the "truth" can be thwarted when separate departments, analyzing the same data, lack consistency on the front end. You don't have to be studying for a doctorate in philosophical relativism to know that the truth can get a little squishy when it's reported different ways.

That was the message -- though not in so many words -- that Meta Group analyst Kurt Schlegel had for Business Intelligence Pipeline when he spoke with us about companies' ongoing and laborious efforts to standardize their BI front end. "You want a single version of the front end, analytic and reporting tools," he said. "Otherwise you can get people from different departments, who don't necessarily trust each other, sitting around the conference table with conflicting analyses."

Ask any major BI software manufacturer, and you're likely to hear that their sales efforts these days involve convincing existing customers to standardize on their BI tools, in addition to cold-calling new prospects. You can hear it in the words of BI vendor CEOs -- Information Builders' Gerry Cohen and Business Objects' Bernard Liautaud are two recent examples -- when they argue that their applications are the ideal standard around which to build a consolidated, integrated BI strategy.

Though their arguments conflict with each other, those CEOs are right to focus on standardization. Companies are consolidating the make and model of reporting and analysis applications they use. The inflated costs and inefficiencies created by too much application variability demand it. So does that need to get at the truth, which is useless when it's ambiguous, and a key to success when it's consistent.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of the Cloud Report
As the use of public cloud becomes a given, IT leaders must navigate the transition and advocate for management tools or architectures that allow them to realize the benefits they seek. Download this report to explore the issues and how to best leverage the cloud moving forward.
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on for the week of November 6, 2016. We'll be talking with the editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll