But today, with data stored not only on premise but increasingly in the cloud too (e.g. Salesforce, Marketo, Eloqua, Google Analytics), how do you access all of this data to create a consolidated view of your business?
We live at a time where there is vastly more information available than ever before. Tech trends like the Internet of Things are taking us into a world of connectedness, and everyone from Gartner to IDC are predicting big stuff for “the Things” in 2015.
In fact there is already far too much information out there for us to be able to meaningfully take it all in. However it is increasingly important that we use as much of this data as we can to avoid being left behind in both our work and our personal lives.
One of the most important things to do with information is to make it accessible right across your organisation in a way that allows users to “just use it”.
It feels like we are moving towards a “BI for analysts only” culture, so I feel compelled to ask: Is analysis just for analysts?
Petr Podrouzek wrote the first in a series of thirteen articles about agile business intelligence (BI) a few days ago. In this first article, Agile for BI is recommended by the experts, but is it used in the real world?, Petr points out that through his six years of working on BI projects he has never seen agile BI in use. To further his argument he says that many BI projects start out with an agile approach but that this is quickly abandoned in favor of the traditional waterfall model, where requirements are collected and a data model is developed followed by data sourcing and development of ETLs.
As Petr points out, this slow and excruciating process takes up precious time from everyone involved. And at the end of the day the customers, the ones who depend on your dashboards and reports, are left disappointed.
Thanks to a tweet last week from Cindi Howson, I discovered The Battle of Business Intelligence: Data Discovery vs. Traditional BI written by Southard Jones from Birst. The article provides a nice overview of how Data Discovery evolved and moved into the BI mainstream but most interestingly it argues that “Data Discovery remains one small piece of the larger pie that is business intelligence” !
Thank goodness for that, finally someone else saying that Data Discovery is not the be all and end all of BI. We were beginning to think we were the only ones Continue reading
A few weeks ago, @startupvitamins tweeted a great quote :-
And no-where is this more true than end-user Business Intelligence (BI). It makes sense for analysts to carve out the time to sit down and learn generic data analysis tools as they form a central part of their jobs. But for the rest of us, with operational responsibilities, things are different, we need BI which we can just use, without explanation.
Here at Antivia we have been championing this for the last few years, (read pretty much any of our other blog posts to see what I mean). Our product DecisionPoint does exactly this, it allows you to quickly and easily create easy-to-use, no-training-required BI apps and dashboards that you don’t have to explain to end-users. Continue reading
The Big Data / Data Science storm seems to be reaching new heights. One of the articles sitting in my inbox awaiting my return from vacation upped the ante from the usual refrain of “everyone is an analyst these days” to a new level of: “We’re all data scientists now”.
To be fair to @juliakking who wrote the piece, she has a number of sensible things to say in the article and the headline may not have been hers, but nonetheless, I worry that exaggerating the level of data analysis expertise we should expect from non-data specialists often does more harm than good. After all, the fact that we can now all file our own tax returns on-line does not mean that we’re all tax accountants now. Continue reading
I love Dave Cherry’s equation “Gut + Data > Gut” in his article where he argues that gut feel is always better when complemented by data.
I would take it a step further and add that :-
Gut + Data = Better Gut
After all, gut feel comes from experience and what is experience if not the collection of data (often informally) about a particular business or organization? Continue reading