Why BI is in a Funk - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Software // Information Management
Commentary
1/30/2009
11:42 AM
Curt Monash
Curt Monash
Commentary
50%
50%
RELATED EVENTS
Ransomware: Latest Developments & How to Defend Against Them
Nov 01, 2017
Ransomware is one of the fastest growing types of malware, and new breeds that escalate quickly ar ...Read More>>

Why BI is in a Funk

I wrote recently that BI is in a "funk." Let me now offer a few ideas as to why that is so: 1. At its heart, BI is an application development technology. 2. Very few enterprises want to or can change the way they do business. 3. Large BI vendors aren't sure what business they're in. 4. The communication collaboration opportunity is being botched.

I wrote recently that BI is in a "funk." Let me now offer a few ideas as to why that is so.

1. At its heart, BI is an application development technology, and making money from innovating in development is hard. To quote myself:

Products are obsolete before they [are] mature. Products commonly do only part of what is necessary. Generally, a new tool will be developed to help with a new need... But these tools will often be weak at what came before... By the time the shiny new tools mature to do a good job at the older requirements, some other... shift comes along, with yet newer and shinier tools to handle the latest twists.

2. Very few enterprises want to or can change the way they do business to fully embrace analytic technologies. If you're old enough to recall those times, think back to the great fuss about adopting manufacturing/inventory control applications in the 1970s and 1980s. The number of "Class A" MRP users was in the low dozens for a very long time. And changing how your line workers do business is a much smaller challenge than enforcing procedural discipline on your decision-makers.

As I've noted, analytic business processes - or the areas of overlap between analytics and business process - are poorly understood. Continuous planning/budgeting? The surface has only been scratched. A numerate, "one-truth" enterprise culture? Hah. When we identify an enterprise that truly has a pervasive, numbers-oriented culture, it usually is one that winds up pathologically managing to a purely short-term set of goals. Indeed, I have considerable doubt as to whether the extreme form of the "analytic enterprise" is even desirable, let alone achievable.

3. Large BI vendors aren't sure what business they're in. Classical BI marketing is floundering. BI vendors don't know whether they're in the business of quick/easy information access, analytic apps, or better-enterprise-system-software.

This is the flip side of Point #1.

4. The communication collaboration opportunity is being botched. Communication/collaboration is as big a benefit of reporting as the numbers themselves are. I learned this in the 1980s, and it has never changed. But BI vendors have whiffed repeatedly at enhancing this benefit.I wrote recently that BI is in a "funk." Let me now offer a few ideas as to why that is so: 1. At its heart, BI is an application development technology. 2. Very few enterprises want to or can change the way they do business. 3. Large BI vendors aren't sure what business they're in. 4. The communication collaboration opportunity is being botched.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest 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 IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
Video
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.
Flash Poll