Business Intelligence Skills

Boris Evelson

So you have gone through the Discover and Plan of your Business Intelligence (BI) strategy and are ready to staff your BI support organization. What skills, experience, expertise and qualifications should you be looking for?

  • Since the term BI is often used to also include data management processes and technologies, let's assume that in your case you are only looking for expertise required to build reports and dashboards and it does not include
    • Data integration (ETL, etc) expertise
    • Data governance (master data management, data quality, etc) expertise
    • Data modelling (relational and multidimensional) expertise
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Want To Create Action From Big Data? Look At Enterprise Insight Platform Suites

Brian  Hopkins

By now firms are deep into their big data investments — and frustrated. Too many new and rapidly evolving technologies are built on an open source and named after a bunch of zoo animals. The term insight platform has struck a chord with technology buyers exactly because it offers a path out of this mess. In fact, insight platform was the number-one emerging technology in terms of investment and interest in Forrester’s Q3 2016 Global State Of Enterprise Architecture And Portfolio Management Online Survey.

What exactly is an insight platform though? I introduced the term in my May blog post Insight Platforms Have Arrived and then refined it and explained the vendor landscape in my August post Tame The Beast: Forrester’s Insight Platform Vendor Landscape. Over the last few months, we have been conducting a Forrester Wave™ evaluation of the most mature segment of the market, enterprise insight platform suites, which are:

“…Integrated or partially integrated suites of data management, analytics, and insight execution components that require some integration and configuration to form a platform.”

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Velocity with quality mandates a model based approach to ARA tools and DevOps

Robert Stroud

DevOps velocity mandates change velocity

Enterprises today are focusing on delivering applications faster to drive customer experiences and drive business transformation to meet rising expectations. For some, faster delivery is simply faster time to disappointment where the delivery process is shoddy and speed is the only metric. Speed without quality in an oxymoron – and extremely dangerous. The automation of the process known as Application Release Automation (ARA) is one of the critical impediments in the DevOps journey for I&O organizations today. ARA tools are designed to remove errors from manual processes by standardizing and automating the movement of applications with middleware and infrastructure – the critical final step in the delivery pipeline of applications to deliver customer value.

Continuous delivery is the goal; ARA tools are the vehicles to get there

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Amazon Go Ushers In A New Era In Retail Technology

Nigel Fenwick

Amazon's new Amazon Go store ushers in a new era in brick and mortar grocery and convenience shopping. In the early 80's, electronic point of sale (POS) dramatically changed the checkout experience in grocery stores, speeding up checkout lines. Today, a checkout without POS is unthinkable unless it's a farm stand on the side of the road … and even here we're likely to see Square hooked up to a smartphone. But even with POS, the checkout has always been the big time waster in any grocery shopping experience. Until this week.

Six years ago, "The Ultimate Grocery Shopping App" described a future in which the grocery shopping experience was radically different from what existed in 2010. This week, Amazon has brought part of that vision to life by opening its first Amazon Go brick and mortar convenience store for Amazon employees in Seattle. A convenience store with no checkout lines … with no checkout.

Gone are the POS systems. Welcome to the era of automatic checkout. Amazon has used new technologies like image recognition and machine learning to go beyond at least some of the experience predicted back in 2010. Instead of shoppers having to scan items into their shopping cart, Amazon uses this advanced technology to track what shoppers pick up and add to their cart and what they put back on the shelf. No scanning, no checkout … just walk out and pay.

Why will this take off? Becuase it gives shoppers back significant time savings and it gives retailers potentially enormous costs savings.

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APM Is Hot. Don't Laugh, I'm Serious.

I cover the APM market for I&O professionals, and it seems that every week I am briefed by yet another vendor entering the APM market. I wonder “What’s the attraction? Why is APM so hot?” Maybe it’s the mess.

I’m weird. I like cleaning up after Thanksgiving dinner. Why? Because it’s a huge mess. A little effort produces the dramatic result of a clean kitchen, ready for the next attack:  leftovers.

In September Forrester published The Forrester Wave™: Application Performance Management, Q3 2016. For vendors entering the APM market, it’s your guide to be a contender. For clients seeking an APM solution, it’s your guide to what’s available.

The Wave evaluates fourteen vendors on twenty-eight criteria.  We selected these fourteen as key players based on their functionality, market presence and the fact that they are most frequently mentioned in our conversations with clients.  Of course there are more than fourteen APM vendors in the market.   

For a bigger list of vendors, see the Forrester report Vendor Landscape: Application Performance Management, Including Mobile APM, Q2 2016.It includes twenty-six vendors, and even that isn’t all of them -- more vendors enter the APM market every week.

The “mess” that attracts vendors to this market is that I&O teams face an eternal battle to deliver…

  • faster service
  • to more users
  • by improving monitoring and management
  • of software, hardware, virtual-ware, and cloud
  • that grows more complex daily through:
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Developers: Will AI Run You Out Of Your Job?

Diego Lo Giudice

Much has been written about how artificial intelligence (AI) will put white-collar workers out of a job eventually. Will robots soon be able to do what programmers do best — i.e., write software programs? Actually, if you are or were a developer, you’ve probably already written or used software programs that can generate other software programs. That’s called code generation; in the past, it was done through “next” generation programming languages (such as a second-, third-, fourth-, or even fifth-generation languages), today are called low code IDEs. But also Java, C and C++ geeks have been turning high level graphical models like UML or BPML into code. But that’s not what I am talking about: I am talking about a robot (or bot) or AI software system that, if given a business requirement in natural language, can write the code to implement it — or even come up with its own idea and write a program for it.

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Another Agency Gets Gobbled Up: Accenture Announces The Acquisition Of Karmarama

Anjali Yakkundi

Over the past few years, we’ve seen a flurry of consultancies acquiring agencies. Acquity, BGT Partners, Lunar, and Cynergy  are just some of the agencies that have been scooped up. The agencies and consultancy convergence has radically altered the conversation for marketers looking to purchase marketing services. They now have a new category of provider to consider and new capabilities to assess across the board. And marketers are paying attention: 73% of marketers told us in a recent survey that they were somewhat open, open, or very open to using consultancies for digital marketing work.

 
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Take a Pragmatic Approach To Personalization

Anjali Yakkundi

Co-authored by Allison Cazalet 

Has the topic of personalization come up within your organization recently? Chances are that personalization not only comes up, it’s also a foremost priority: 68% of the firms we surveyed in our Q1 2016 Digital Experience Delivery Online Survey said personalization was one of the most important initiatives for their business today. Why? Because personalization is one of the best ways to contextually engage with customers across a variety of touch points. But many organizations we speak with today struggle to get initiatives off the ground and struggle to prove the business value of personalization.

To help organizations get started on their personalization program, my colleague Ted Schadler and I researched how best-in-class organizations today have operationalized personalization. The most successful firms we spoke with created a four-pronged personalization program that Forrester calls POST:

People – Before doing anything else, successful firms ask and answer this question: Which customers am I trying to reach and serve? In order to implement a successful personalization program, you will need to do the same by researching your customers in their context so that you know which ones to prioritize.  

Objectives – The next step to a successful personalization program is to make sure you and your personalization team have an in depth understanding of what you are trying to accomplish. You must keep this simple. Determine what business outcome you are optimizing, the experiences you will personalize, and what data you need to make it all happen.

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Is Data Visualization A Separate Market Or Just A Feature Of Business Intelligence Platforms?

Boris Evelson

Lots of my clients are confused. They start a Forrester inquiry with a question about data visualization capabilities, but when I lead them into discussion about business intelligence (BI) platforms, they say "but we already have a BI platform. All we really want is an ability to create and share data visualizations". Is there a separate market for that? If there is, I am not aware of one. Here's my take on it:

  • If what you are looking for includes requirements for data visualization administration, security, data management, version control, collaboration, etc, you really need a BI platform with data visualization capabilities.
    • The last time Forrester looked at Data Visualization as a separate capability was in 2012 and even then, as you will see from the URL, we ended up evaluated BI platforms.
    • In our last (and going forward) Wave on the topic we grouped data visualization and self service BI capabilities together as we see them inseparable.
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AI Is The Sincerest Form of Flattery ... And Fear

Mike Gualtieri

Pure AI is true intelligence that can mimic or exceed the intelligence of human beings. It is still a long way off, if it can even ever be achieved. But what if AI became pure — could perceive, think, act, and even replicate as we do? Look to humanity for the answer. Humanity has been both beautiful and brutal:

  • The beauty of ingenuity, survival, exploration, art, and kindness.
  • The brutality of crime, war, and pettiness.
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