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The Future of BI Education Initiatives

Thursday, August 13, 2009

After returning from TDWI and seeing overall industry participation and attendance drop in relation to conferences and educational seminars focused on technology in general, It becomes interesting to evaluate the future of BI education and general changes that need to occur to provide added value to organizations. Tighter budgets and the general economic downturn have created an environment where organizations are less likely to spend money on external education based events and conference attendance. Coupling this with the increasing ability to attain interactive Web-based training and access to classes and information online, the future of education-focused conferences may become less valuable when looking at the overall value of workforce training.

Although the ability to network broadly and gain insights into a wider variety of topics exist by attending a conference, do these benefits really outweigh the ability of end users of BI to get the most out of their time and to get the most relevant information required for them to perform their jobs better?  Or do targeted online or on-site training initiatives balance the ability for organizations to speak to vendors and industry leaders directly? The answer to these questions resides in the goals of the organizations and the value placed on overall education and the business intelligence environment within the organization.

With the increasing ability to interact more broadly using social networking tools, organizations are starting to get the same types of benefits learning online as they would by attending live events.  Therefore, it remains interesting to see whether once the market picks up organizations will return to their spending on sending employees to larger industry conferences, or look at alternative solutions to gaining knowledge. The possibility for more interactive approaches to learning already exists through courses that provide the ability to engage other participants as well as the instructor.  With newer options it seems like alternative solutions will become more mainstream.  And although online classes exist that target specific solutions, the ability exists for end users to access more general courses as well. As these options increase and the ability to access trade shows and connect with vendors online expands, the role of traditional conferences and educational platforms will desist from becoming the main way to access industry related information.   

About the Author

Lyndsay Wise is an industry analyst for business intelligence. For over seven years, she has assisted clients in business systems analysis, software selection and implementation of enterprise applications. Lyndsay is the channel expert for BI for the Mid-Market at B-eye-Network and conducts research of leading technologies, products and vendors in business intelligence, marketing performance management, master data management, and unstructured data. She can be reached at lwise@wiseanalytics.com. And please visit Lyndsay's blog at myblog.wiseanalytics.com.


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