Q&A: BI Visionary Howard Dresner

Confused about how to make business performance management work? Stumped by what people mean when they talk about operational BI? The man who invented the term "business intelligence" has some answers.

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

March 8, 2006

2 Min Read

A question about your own career: Why go to the vendor side after working for Gartner for so long?

I basically had a great run at Gartner -- it was a great success story and Gartner is a great organization with many talented people. But I wanted to try something new; I needed to be challenged. After 13 years at Gartner, I had proven fairly successfully that I could do that job. It was simply time to do something different, and do something that was expanding the envelope. In looking at all the opportunities out there, it seemed like it was time to climb down from the mountain and get back down into the valley, where all the excitement and action was.

And Hyperion was a natural. Because philosophically, we're aligned. If you've had a chance to meet our CEO, you know that he's what Jim Collins [the author and business management guru] might consider a "level 5 leader." He really is at the top of his game, and I've been learning a tremendous amount from him. The organization is really in the right place at the right time, and I really wanted the opportunity to be a part of this team, to make it happen -- to achieve what I call the BPM [performance management] revolution. Because this is where the market is headed -- I firmly believe that.

What are your duties as Hyperion's chief strategy officer?

I've got my fingers in everything. I'm working very closely with customers, doing a lot of market-facing activities. I'm also very actively involved in working with our CMO, the field, our chief development officer, M&A activities with our VP of corporate development, as well as some new initiatives that I'm driving.

But working with customers is the really fun part of the job, because they're actually doing stuff with our products. They're solving real problems. A lot of the companies I've been meeting with are pretty forward-thinking. They're really trying to step back and figure out: How do we run our business better? Not: How do we implement these tools? That's a very exciting discussion to have, because you really get a sense of the inner workings of their business. It's a great opportunity to learn. It's a great way to try to figure out what's really a "best practice." And I love organizations that make things happen.

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