BI Tools Let Users Tap Into Big Data - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Interop
News
5/5/2015
12:00 AM
Sean McGrath
Sean McGrath
Event Updates
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

BI Tools Let Users Tap Into Big Data

Business intelligence tools put more power in the hands of end users, but IT must still manage data integrity and security.

Dan Dickinson will be addressing the Digital Disruption of Business Intelligence at Interop London in June.

Interop London will take place June 16 - 18 at ExCeL London.

Find out more and register here.

Interop London

For decades, businesses have turned to their data to seek insight.

In the past, the process took weeks or even months and relied on a handful of data analysts who compiled static reports for executives and business users. And, for decades, this worked just fine.

However, in today's digital world, this approach to Business Intelligence (BI) can't keep pace with the need for timely, data-driven insights.

The sheer quantity of data being collected and the desire from business users for attractive, rapid information delivery overwhelms traditional systems.

In addition to the quantity of data and speed of analysis, another challenge is the variety of data types. Besides the data that fills relational databases, businesses must pore through semi-structured and unstructured information such as e-mail, video, social media feeds, and so on.

These problems can all be traced back to the 'three Vs' of big data: Volume, Variety and Velocity; and these three Vs have ushered in a new era of business intelligence.

The Back End

It's hard to talk about Big Data/BI and not mention Apache Hadoop. This open-source software framework, originally developed by Yahoo, has revolutionized data warehousing by moving away from the notion of a centralized database system and toward batch processing data across different servers.

This parallel form of data processing is no longer unique to Hadoop, but it has remolded the paradigm, making BI massively scalable.

The Front End

A range of new tools are surfacing to address the increasingly time-sensitive nature of insight-driven decision making. This moves the burden of reporting away from the IT department and gives the power directly to the business users who need it.

"The digital age has opened up a proliferation of Shadow IT environments," said Dan Dickinson, Business Intelligence & IS Demand Manager of Imperial Tobacco.

"Enterprise IS departments must learn how to harness the change and innovation these IT pop-ups deliver whilst maintaining the data integrity and security more traditional IS processes offer."

Some vendors are calling these tools self-service BI, while others prefer to call them visualization-based data discovery tools, or a variation on these two themes.

Regardless of the name, these tools offer straightforward, intuitive GUIs, allowing business users to interrogate data from disparate sources and display the results visually.

"The ability to spin up a cloud instance and start working with rapid data modeling that employs user-friendly end tools has massively disrupted the control of data, taking this away from IT and giving it back to the user," Dickenson noted.

While the benefits of these tools are impossible to ignore, it would be foolish to assume there aren’t concerns. Data quality, misinterpretation, and rogue data are genuine risks that must be considered by both vendor and business.

But they are not insurmountable and an increasing number of vendors are taking the necessary steps to ensure that their solutions offer data integrity. This gives IT a degree of centralized control, while giving business users the ability to access data in new and exciting ways.

Interop London logo (small)To learn more about how digital is disrupting traditional reporting and analysis of business intelligence, join Dan Dickinson at Interop London in June. Find out more here.

Sean McGrath is a freelance IT writer, researcher, and journalist. He has written for PC Pro, the BBC, and TechWeekEurope, and has produced content for a range of private organizations. Although he holds a first class degree in investigative journalism, his dreams of being a ... View Full Bio

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Doug_Laney
100%
0%
Doug_Laney,
User Rank: Strategist
5/5/2015 | 10:27:03 AM
great piece. good to see our 3Vs in action
Nice piece. Good to see others catching on to Gartner's "3Vs" of Big Data that we first posited over 15 years ago. For future reference and courtesy of a citation, here is a link to my original article on the 3Vs from 2001: goo.gl/wH3qG.

--Doug Laney, VP Research, Gartner, @doug_laney
State of the Cloud
State of the Cloud
Cloud has drastically changed how IT organizations consume and deploy services in the digital age. This research report will delve into public, private and hybrid cloud adoption trends, with a special focus on infrastructure as a service and its role in the enterprise. Find out the challenges organizations are experiencing, and the technologies and strategies they are using to manage and mitigate those challenges today.
Slideshows
7 Technologies You Need to Know for Artificial Intelligence
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  7/1/2019
Commentary
A Practical Guide to DevOps: It's Not that Scary
Cathleen Gagne, Managing Editor, InformationWeek,  7/5/2019
Commentary
Diversity in IT: The Business and Moral Reasons
James M. Connolly, Editorial Director, InformationWeek and Network Computing,  6/20/2019
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
A New World of IT Management in 2019
This IT Trend Report highlights how several years of developments in technology and business strategies have led to a subsequent wave of changes in the role of an IT organization, how CIOs and other IT leaders approach management, in addition to the jobs of many IT professionals up and down the org chart.
White Papers
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
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.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll