Business Intelligence - Be Methodical and Trust Not the Dots
April 12, 2010

There's no debate about the importance of business intelligence (BI) as process and business tool; both the robustness of the technology for the business user and the timeliness of the information from it are essential to business operations today. There is a challenge associated with BI, though: The channels through which you get guidance about it have multiplied over time, requiring you to be as smart about your sources of market insight about BI as you are about the analytics you use for your organization. This is not always easy, but it's important; you need to be sure you're getting the most practical and timely insight available on vendors and products that you use today or might be examining for your future deployment.

I would encourage you to take a new look at your existing approach to ensure that it's still the best path forward. Ask yourself, are you really sure that dots in boxes that supposedly describe a vendors' usefulness are as good an approach as actually using a request for proposal (RFP) approach that can help save you time and money?

Over the last decade I have refined a new value-based approach that examines and scores a vendor for its efforts and its products and usefulness for your business and IT needs. The Value Index uses seven categories - usability, capability, manageability, reliability, adaptability, validation and TCO/ROI - and a detailed methodology to properly score a vendor and its products.

Doing effective evaluation of your BI deployments and ensuring their cost-effectiveness requires analysis, and using it well requires education. Given how today's businesses operate and the challenging environments they face, you want that analysis and education when you need it and without complex entanglements like long contracts or commitments to a single consulting or analyst firm provider. I recently noted the importance of the on-demand approach to advice, education and research which our firm announced recently and that was a part of my letter to challenge you to improve your knowledge on what you need to do for your organization and career.

The times have changed and are continuing to change, faster and more radically than many might have guessed. Social media is dramatically changing the ways in which you can engage and learn from others in the industry as I recently wrote (See: "The Social Media Revolution in Industry Analyst Community").  If you want to get a taste of the timely analysis and research that is available to you, just read some of the latest perspectives from my firm. I am sure you will enjoy them as you determine how to get research- and benchmark-based advice for your needs.

Actuate Goes Apple and Creates Information Platform for Cloud Computing
Advanced Analytics and Sustainability – Growing Opportunity for SAP
Business Analytics: It’s Imperative To Improve Promptly
HP Perseveres in Data Warehousing with Neoview
IBI’s Eye Popping New Performance Management Software -
IBM Fuses New Generation of Analytics for Deeper Business Optimization
IBM Advocates Information Governance with Products and Services
Information Applications are Fast and Simple with Endeca
Informatica Demonstrates the Value of Data for Every Organization IT Needs Analytics To Optimize Processes and Performance
Mark Logic Makes Information Applications a Simple Reality
MicroStrategy Brings Future Vision and Reality of Business Intelligence to Customers
MicroStrategy Has a Bounty of BI for Organizations Using SAP
Information Applications are Fast and Simple with Endeca
Oracle Taking BI into a New Set of Applications
Quantrix Gets Pushy with Plans
Pentaho Matures BI with Data Integration and Rapid Development
SAP Brings Business Intelligence and Business Analytics Advancements to Industry
SaaS Barriers Fall and Clouds Rise to Power
Spreadsheets – You’re Not as Smart as You Think  

Let me know your thoughts or come and collaborate with me on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.  


Mark Smith - CEO & EVP Research


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