Just this Tuesday, February 16th 2010, the Bipartisan Policy Center hosted a mock cyber attack called Cyber Shockwave. The aim of this simulation was to understand the impacts of a cyber attack and assess infrastructure capability during such an incident. There are many articles explaining the motive and results of this simulation, and post mortem is still coming as we speak.
So, what did the simulation entail? It depicted a war game taking place in 2011 – basically an application installed on smart phones during ‘March Madness’ thatturned out to be a malware. This hypothetical malware affected telecom and IT infrastructure throughout the country, with the result actually bringing down the nation’s cellular network...but there is more. According to an article from ‘The Atlantic Wire’:
“Later, two bombs disabled the country's electricity network and destroyed gas pipelines... Soon 60 million cellphones were dead. The Internet crashed, finance and commerce collapsed, and most of the nation's electric grid went dark. White House aides discussed putting the Army in American cities.”
When a user of a BI application complains about the application not being useful - something that I hear way too often - what does that really mean? I can count at least 11 possible meanings, and potential reasons:
1. The data is not there, because
It's not in any operational sources, in which case the organization needs to implement a new app, a new process or get that data from an outside source
It is in an operational source, but not accessible via the BI application.
The data is there, but
2. It's not usable as is, because
There are no common definitions, common metadata
The data is of poor quality
The data model is wrong, or out of date
3. I can't find it, because I
Can't find the right report
Can't find the right metadata
Can't find the data
I don't have access rights to the data I am looking for
4. I don't know how to use my application, because I
Was not trained
Was trained, but the application is not intuitive, user friendly enough
5. I can't/don'thave time do it myself - because I just need to run my business, not do BI !!! - and
I’m developing a return on investment (ROI) calculator for data warehousing (DW) appliances, using the Forrester Total Economic Impact methodology.
At the heart of that is a conceptual ROI model that can be applied to any decision support infrastructure, not just DW appliances (though indeed high-quality decision support is the raison d’etre for DW appliances).
That said, and not wanting to bog down forthcoming syndicated TEI study with a lot of this conceptual material, here are the core principles of this conceptual model , plus a discussion of how, net-net, they map to the key benefits of a DW appliance: