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Some TDWI Takeaways - Practical Considerations Based On BI Industry Trends

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Last week I attended TDWI in Las Vegas with the goal of getting caught up on new vendor developments.  Aside from catching up with colleagues and speaking with vendors to hear about updates in their offerings and expansions to their products and partnerships, the following areas seemed to stick out in terms of industry trends and areas to be aware of when looking at your own BI platforms or alternatively considering business intelligence for the first time:

1. There are many more vendors looking at companies that are new to BI

What does this mean for your organization? For the past several years, solution providers have been focusing on large enterprise accounts, up-selling current customers, and expanding their reach into the upper mid-market. For companies new to BI, this left them out in the dark without a way to decipher the best solutions for their environment.  Now, more solution providers are looking at targeting green field accounts and enabling organizations to jump start their use of BI.  The benefit of this strategy for companies new to BI is the ability to develop solutions that are self-service with lower price points and quicker implementation times.  This way, initial entry points involve less risk, enabling businesses to expand their offerings once they are comfortable without a large initial investment.

2. Data warehouse appliance market

With the recent HP acquisition of Vertica and more probably in the works, the data warehousing appliance market is going through a similar stage as the major BI players did a few years ago - acquisitions by mega vendors. In general, what this means for the market is a lot of confusion until roadmaps are announced in relation to product goals and integration requirements.  For current customers this brings up issues of long-term support and product viability. And for future consumers, organizations should identify whether the acquiring vendor will truly benefit from the new technology in a way that provides better data warehousing for the organization. For companies considering an appliance, looking at viability and what the acquisition means for the future of an independent analytics appliance/platform is important.

3. Data warehousing partnerships and analytics expansion

Some of the other areas within BI that were prominent at TDWI included the expansion of in-memory analytics within both data warehousing and dashboarding environments and some new partnership announcements.  These new partnerships (such as Teradata and Kalido or Wherescape within MSFT FastTrack’s program) will enable organizations to develop combined solutions within a data warehouse framework - for instance integrating master data management within a data warehouse or by automating the overall development of a data warehouse. Expanding this to in-memory means that companies can get insights more quickly as well as more dynamically.  Now that more maturity exists in relation to how organizations interact with analytics there is a push towards a more agile approach to answering business questions.

Takeaways

The ability to automate processes, centralize multiple data management initiatives, and diversify and expand access to ad-hoc analyses allows businesses to change the way they look at BI in general.  The marketing hype related to agile BI and advanced analytics are being transformed into a reality for companies ready to tackle the next phase of analytics. With more partnerships and the ability to look at analytics independently of difficult data models, organizations are more prepared to look outside of the box and take advantage of more dynamic technologies.

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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