As many of my readers know, for years I’ve been quite skeptical about non-mainstream BI solutions, such as BI SaaS. Security, control, operational risk, data, metadata and application integration are just some of the requirements for enterprise BI that are still on my watch list as potential reasons to be weary about BI SaaS. However, I am also a very pragmatic analyst and truly believe that nothing but supply and demand drive the markets. And I am now, slowly but surely, beginning to believe there couldn’t be a better case for demand for BI SaaS especially after findings from one of the project that I am currently conducting.
I recently talked to a few dozen non-IT professionals (specifically in front office roles, such as sales and marketing) across multiple industries, regions and company sizes. Guess how many of them fully or partially relied on IT for their day to day operational and strategic information needs? BIG FAT ZERO!!! This finding was a huge surprise to me – yes, I did expect to find something like less then 50% reliance on IT, but I surely did not expect to find 0%.
Strategic partnerships are a dime a dozen in the data management industry. Vendors announce partnership deals so often that it’s a challenge to distinguish the mundane from the noteworthy. Case in point: Earlier this week, HP and Informatica entered into a partnership that is not entirely new—after all, their relationship long predates this announcement—but could be the start of a relationship of considerable strategic importance to both partners.
What the two vendors announced was a multipronged joint approach to the data integration (DI) and data warehousing (DW) markets. First, they announced that HP “will sell and deliver a set of data integration solutions with embedded Informatica technology,” including the latter’s flagship data integration, data quality (DQ), and identity resolution software solutions. Also, the partners plan to develop solutions that combine Informatica’s software with HP Neoview, a high-end, massively parallel data warehousing (DW) appliance. Furthermore, HP and Informatica will develop horizontal and vertical solution accelerators through industry-specific data models drawn from their respective consulting ecosystems, with principal reliance on HP’s BI consulting organization, the foundation of which came from HP’s 2006 acquisition of Knightsbridge Consulting.
I get many requests from Forrester clients to describe job requirements for a head of BI team, department, solutions center, etc. While Forrester does not have a formal description of such requirements, if I map such requirements to all BI best practices that I write about, here’s what I come up with:
Champion and rally the organization around BI. Educate senior non-IT executives on the value of BI: without measurement, there’s no management. Be able to argue that business, not IT, should own BI.
Build and support BI business cases (BI ROI)
Understand Key Performance Measures and Indicators that drive company measurement, reporting and analytics across functions like
Compliance and Risk Management
Understand how these metrics and measures align and track against overall business strategies, goals and objectives.
Be proficient in all aspects of BI and Information Management processes, technologies and architectures such as
BI delivery mechanisms: portals, thin/thick clients, email/mobile phone alerts, etc
I just finished a Webinar on Medical Information Management sponsored by Kofax, a process automation firm whose core expertise is paper capture and elimination. It is available on their site www.kofax.com. We are entering an interesting period here, and may experience a tech bubble in medical or at least a somewhat less desperate Y2K experience. Clearly there is energy and investment around medical information management that increases each month, and that has not been seen in a quite a while. Concepts like “results-based medicine” that will open up a new market for analytics in medicine — see my colleague Boris Evelson’s open letter for Information Week.