Microsoft's Big BI Ads... and About Those Editors' Choice Awards - InformationWeek

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1/13/2009
11:44 AM
Cindi Howson
Cindi Howson
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Microsoft's Big BI Ads... and About Those Editors' Choice Awards

It seems Microsoft has launched a new advertising campaign where business intelligence gets top billing. You and your business users will be seeing the ads in print and TV. That's great for business people who need to be the driving force behind BI. It's also great news for IT people who need the business to care about BI. Take a look!

I know business intelligence is becoming mainstream when my husband asks me about it in the midst of a Giants' football game (note, we are in NJ, but my son has converted me to a Packer's fan, so our real misery was last week. Go figure). It seems Microsoft has launched a new advertising campaign where business intelligence gets top billing. You and your business users will be seeing the ads in print and TV. That's great for business people who need to be the driving force behind BI. It's also great news for IT people who needs the business to care about BI.

I applaud any efforts that raise the awareness of BI, particularly in this tough economy when making better decisions - based on facts - and operating efficiently is a matter of survival for many.Unfortunately, I don't think the ads are particularly inspiring. Maybe I have a thing against doodle figures in prime time TV. But you can be the judge (click the green arrow to see the video). Now, wouldn't it be cool if Microsoft launched a contest to see who can come up with a better BI ad, just as the NFL does?

On other fronts, no doubt the Intelligent Enterprise Editors' Choice Awards will make for much discussion, cheering, and complaining this week. I think Editor-in-Chief Doug Henschen has done a great job for what is a tough, short list. Indeed, he asks us contributors for input and then tells us absolutely nothing. Nothing, zip, zero! We have no idea which way he's leaning until we read the final choices online.

In asking for input on these, I suggested that these awards need revamping. Sometimes the most influential companies in the industry are simply the biggest. With so much industry consolidation, there are now fewer players. So isn't receiving an award for being influential merely stating the obvious? I was pleasantly surprised to find that "The Dozen" included some of the smaller vendors. I also lamented that the categories make picking vendors difficult: it's impossible to compare visualization vendors with text analytic vendors with general BI vendors, for example. Just because a vendor didn't make the cut doesn't mean I'm not watching them and that others shouldn't be watching them too. So I'd advocate for changing some categories and making all these lists smaller. Easy for me to say. Harder for Doug to do. Congratulations to this year's winners!

Sincerely, Cindi HowsonIt seems Microsoft has launched a new advertising campaign where business intelligence gets top billing. You and your business users will be seeing the ads in print and TV. That's great for business people who need to be the driving force behind BI. It's also great news for IT people who need the business to care about BI. Take a look!

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