VLDB And BI

by Boris Evelson.

I’ve recently conducted research on the issues of VLDB (very large databases) and how it affects BI, since the challenges of reporting and analyzing Gb data sets are very different from reporting and analyzing multi Tb data sets. Among many other interesting findings and conclusions I uncovered the following approaches to handling VLDB challenges as they relate to BI:

Generic solutions by DBMS vendors:

  • Partitioning
  • Share everything vs. share nothing architecture
  • Caching, in-memory databases
  • Materialized views
  • Specialized file systems
  • Indexing (bit-map vs. B-tree)
  • Compression

BI-specific solutions by BI and other vendors:

  • DW appliances
  • ROLAP and reporting tool specific SQL optimization
  • Alternate DBMS (such as search indexes and vector DBMS)

I’d like to hear about other approaches that are used out there. Also, please join me for my upcoming teleconference on the subject: http://www.forrester.com/Teleconference/Overview/1,5158,1854,00.html

Spreadsheets And BI

by Boris Evelson.

I predict that for the foreseeable future, spreadsheets will remain the most widely used enterprise application. The widespread adoption isn't hard to understand — spreadsheets are powerful and flexible, yet intuitive and easy to use and learn. Plus, ad hoc applications and spreadsheet models isolate users from constant reliance on IT and incur low costs. Since the early days of BI, spreadsheets have played a natural and major role in the BI process/architecture, including:

  • Data sources
  • Transformation mechanisms
  • Operational applications
  • Reporting and analysis mechanisms

I recently published a report on spreadsheets and BI, http://www.forrester.com/Research/Document/0,7211,41687,00.html, and would love to solicit everyone’s comments on the future of spreadsheets in BI.

Reemergence Of BI

by Boris Evelson.

I've been in the BI business for over 25 years so I've seen many ups and downs in the BI cycle. We are definitely in the "up" cycle these days. I see two main reasons for it:

  1. Enterprises can no longer stay competitive just by squeezing more efficiencies from operational applications – business intelligence applications are needed to become more effective.

     
  2. Digital data (structured and unstructured) volumes are growing at 30% a year, and will be reaching zetabyte sizes by year 2010 – that’s a number with 21 zeros! Solid BI implementations will be critical to successfully turn that data into useful information.

     

Does anyone have any comments on where we are in the BI cycle and what are some of the more recent key drivers?