Monthly Archives: November 2009

So Much Data, So Little Encryption

If you go solely by top-level stats on encryption use, you’ll come away feeling pretty secure–86% of the the 499 business technology professionals responding to our InformationWeek Analytics State of Encryption Survey employ encryption of some type. But that finding doesn’t begin to tell the real story. Only 14% of respondents say encryption is pervasive in their organizations. Database table-level encryption is in use by just 26%, while just 38% encrypt data on mobile devices. And 31%–more than any other response–characterize the extent of their use as just enough to meet regulatory requirements.

The reasons for this dismal state of affairs range from cost and integration challenges to entrenched organizational resistance exacerbated by a lack of leadership. The compliance focus is particularly galling. Encrypting a subset of data amounts to a “get-out-of-jail-free card” because it may relieve companies from having to notify customers of a breach. But knowingly doing the bare minimum to check a compliance box isn’t security; it’s a cop-out.

From an interesting post.

SQL Server 2008 – from semi-relational to sublime

Microsoft has made much of the self-service Business Intelligence and integration with Office. In order to make best use of the BI features it is definitely worth upgrading to Office 2010, released to beta last week. A beta version is available for download here. Excel 2010 allows much better slicing and dicing of data, and through the SQL Server PowerPivot add-in for Excel that was known as Gemini, users can investigate data to reveal the information hidden therein.

The Report Builder is also much improved and looks much more like one of the Office 2010 family. It has become much easier to split out various components of a report: If you have a grid, a map and a logo in a report, these can be copied to a Report Part Gallery, effectively a library of elements that can be used time and time again.

A look at SQL Serrver 2008 R2 Preview.

Tableau Bags an award!

From the Press Release -

Tableau Software today announced that Tableau was named as a gold medal winner of the “2009 Editors’ Best Awards” in the Business Intelligence and Reporting Tool by Penton Media’s SQL Server Magazine.

Tableau’s BI suite brings dashboards and data visualization to organizations of all sizes. Award-winning Tableau Desktop lets people create interactive reports, dashboards and visualizations using an easy drag & drop interface. Tableau Server, also an award winner, is a complete web-based business intelligence solution.

“Our win as Best Business Intelligence tool is attributable to the fact that we are invading an industry dominated by complicated, expensive solutions and providing a fun, rapid-fire alternative,” said Christian Chabot, Tableau’s CEO and co-founder. “Now more than ever, companies need rapid access to business analytics. At the same time, few can afford traditional business intelligence platforms with high fees, complicated architectures and long roll-outs. Customers tell us that Tableau is a new kind of BI – rapid-fire BI – that gives people of all skill levels the power to build and share data visualizations and fast analytics in just minutes.”

Is IBM’s Blue Insight a model for your private BI cloud?

There’s been a general outcry lately about how vendor marketing organizations are abusing the cloud by force-fitting many new and existing products into the cloud computing mold.

Still, some cloud-like things actually do fit without the aid of a crow bar. A case in point is IBM’s Smart Analytics Cloud.

The Smart Analytics Cloud is a solution set and reference model based on an IBM-internal Business Intelligence (BI) project code-named Blue Insight, which IBM claims to be the largest private cloud built to date. Blue insight has allowed IBM to eliminate multiple BI systems that were all performing essentially the same extract-transform-load (ETL) processes for different user groups.

More here