Queries running against multi-billion row tables; data warehouses managing hundreds of terabytes and adding more every day; thousands of users dependent on information and analysis for daily operational decisions: Clearly, BI is something that organizations can't afford to take lightly. Yet, many organizations fly blind when it comes to managing workloads and setting priorities for improving performance. Research finds that while many IT database managers meet regularly with business users to solve performance problems, they often lack hard information to aid decisions about tuning existing systems and deploying new technology. Thus, a final megatrend is that we will see more implementation of BI to improve BI. Appfluent is a leading vendor of workload analysis and tuning tools that are being applied to BI performance management; Teleran is another.
Tighter budgets and a critical need for better alignment between business priorities and technology decisions mean that BI and data warehouse systems must be effectively and efficiently managed. New technology deployments and upgrades to existing systems must be carefully chosen to provide the greatest return on investment. Fortunately, thanks to a torrent of innovation in recent years, organizations have many technology options in front of them. While data security and availability concerns must be addressed, organizations are likely to see SaaS and cloud computing alternatives as part of the mix for BI, analytics and data warehousing as we progress into 2009.
The megatrends presented in this article show that BI is hardly a settled domain; there's too much at stake for organizations to stand pat when it comes to using information to improve decisions and take action. Failure is not an option when it comes to BI. It will take smarts to ride out a tough economy and identify where opportunities for growth lie. Fortunately, the BI market is responding to demand.
David Stodder is an analyst and writer focused on business intelligence, analytics and information management. He is a research fellow with Ventana Research, where he was previously vice president and research director with a concentration on information management, operational intelligence and IT performance management. He was the founding chief editor of Intelligent Enterprise. He can be reached at [email protected].