Category Archives: Business Intelligence

the default category

Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for BI and Analytics

Gartner

Right from the name change of Gartner’s usual Magic Quadrant for BI to include analytics system, this year’s report has a lot to cheer about. There is more clear definitions on what makes up Business Intelligence and Analytics systems. Its broken down into 3 categories: Integration, Infomartion Delivery and Analysis.

The image is self descriptive and more info on each vendor is available as apart of this 35 page report.

Microsoft names SQL Server 2012 launch date

Microsoft’s SQL Server 2012 will be officially launched on 7 March. More from All about Microsoft.

Microsoft Server and Tools chief Satya Nadella revealed last fall that SQL Server 2012 (codenamed “Denali”) would launch in the early part of 2012. Microsoft delivered the final public test build of SQL Server 2012 in November 2011.

The March 7 launch event topic list includes everything from big data, to StreamInsight complex event processing, to the new data-visualization and analysis tools that are part of the SQL Server 2012 release.

Disclosure: I work at Microsoft.

Microsoft Gives the Cloud to Scientists

More in NYTimes

The software maker has started grafting popular scientific databases and analysis tools onto its Windows Azure cloud computing service. This basically means that researchers in various fields can get access to a fast supercomputer of their very own and pose queries to enormous data sets that Microsoft keeps up to date. For the time being, Microsoft will allow some research groups to perform their work free, while others will have to rent calculation time on Azure via a credit card.

These moves have turned Somsak Phattarasukol, a graduate student at the University of Washington in Seattle, into a big fan of Microsoft.

Mr. Phattarasukol, like many researchers, is accustomed to waiting in line for access to large, public computers and to twiddling his thumbs – sometimes for days – as the machines work on his requests. It’s a frustrating process only made worse as the databases the researchers deal with swell alongside the time it takes to perform the analysis.

Microsoft officially opened access to the scientific bits of Azure this week, but Mr. Phattarasukol got early access to the system. He’s part of a team that’s trying to create a biofuel from bacteria that produce hydrogen gas. The work has required the research team to compare the makeup of various bacterium strains against an extensive protein database, as they try to figure out which bits of genetic code can prompt higher hydrogen gas production.

Microsoft Unveils Database Products at PASS Conference

Microsoft released the first community technology preview (CTP) for the next-generation version of SQL Server, codenamed Denali, Nov. 9. But that is just one of several announcements to come out of the PASS Summit 2010 conference in Seattle this week. In addition to unveiling Denali, Microsoft also announced the release of SQL Server 2008 R2 Parallel Data Warehouse and the new Critical Advantage Program, which offers an end-to-end suite of pretested hardware and software configurations, services and support.

“SQL Server code-named Denali will help empower organizations to be more agile in today’s competitive market,” the SQL Server Team touted on its blog. “Customers will be able to efficiently deliver mission-critical solutions through a highly scalable and available platform. Industry-leading tools will help developers quickly build innovative applications while data integration and management tools help deliver credible data reliably to the right users and new user experiences expand the reach of BI to enable meaningful insights.”

More on EWeek

In Interview – Consider CloudHosting Your Business Intelligence

// Jaspersoft’s experience with more than 100 successful cloud BI deployments has made us realize that a partnership, best-of-breed approach to cloud BI is the best way to go. BI as a service through on-demand SaaS (News – Alert) deployments are generally singular offerings that are overstretched, offer limited flexibility, and generally need to be built from the ground-up, resulting in costly down-time and high implementation costs. One of the best practices that we’ve established from our multiple launches is that customers need to have a cloud hosting-enhanced BI solution with a lean framework. Jaspersoft’s lean architecture based on web-based open standards coupled with experts in cloud management and BI consulting results in a proven solution than can meet a myriad of business needs. ..

More from an interview with Karl Van den Bergh, vice president of product strategy at Jaspersoft.

Gartner – Worldwide BI and Analytics Market up 4%

“Even though growth was nowhere near the levels of 2008, and by no means immune to the recession, BI showed that it is not as cyclical as many other software areas, recording healthy growth in one of the toughest years recorded in software history,” said Dan Sommer, senior research analyst at Gartner. “The dominant vendors continued to put BI, analytics and PM front and center of their messaging. Organizations largely continued their BI projects, hoping that resulting transparency and insight would enable cost-cuts and improved productivity and agility. However, there is no doubt pressure has intensified on deal sizes and price points on new sales throughout the year.”

The top five vendors continued to make up most of the market with 71 percent market share. “The large vendors held their own. As IT is consolidating, BI spending often went to a few strategic vendors. However, the application-centric vendors didn’t have the same up-selling momentum as they did in 2008,” said Mr. Sommer.

More here and the full paper can be reached here.

101 Ways to Sabotage Your Predictive Analytics Project

And there is the first five here. Interesting Read, I liked it.

The strategic approach and project design for predictive analytics is substantially different than the other areas of business intelligence. Unlike a data warehouse design, which is similar to an engineering project, predictive analytics and data mining are a discovery process. And while several consortiums have standardized formal processes to accommodate discovery and iterative process, the practice remains riddled with common pitfalls.

Those who make the effort to educate themselves on the industry-standard approach to predictive analytics are nearly assured to reap residual returns – long before their counterparts who typically rush to acquire a tool and dive headlong into the data.

Investing in the Cloud

Satish Dharmaraj, former founder and CEO of Zimbra talks about the trends he is looking at in his role at Redpoint Ventures, a Silicon Valley venture firm.

There are two areas Redpoint is looking at for cloud computing and virtualization.

Taking applications that used to run behind firewall and moving them to the cloud. This as a big trend for SMB and emerging for enterprise-class applications. SMBs are enjoying this trend now because they don’t have large IT departments already in place. In some cases, Redpoint also thinks that large enterprises will adopt these. It gives them more freedom of choice.

The second thing Redpoint is looking at is where large enterprises have data centers that are becoming a private cloud, and running vendor software on your own infrastructure that has been packaged for virtualization footprint. The new data center is an on-demand set of services that supports elastic computing. In the future, there will be similar advantages the public cloud offers, but for internal departments. They will be able to order computing services with a Web form and expect their delivery in hours, rather than weeks or months. With this will come applications for billing, provisioning and configuration management. Redpoint ahs invested in one company already in this space, VMOps, which is considered a IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) company.

Additionally, there is a big trend in service providers with Web hosting operations (like 1&1 and Savvis). They are finding that they can cut costs by 1/10th by moving dedicated server business to virtual server business. Most of dedicated servers are running at 10% of the time and it makes sense for them – and for their customers – to reduce the data center footprint and cost infrastructure.

BI the Answer to Supplier/Supply Chain Management?

Short and Interesting Post by Jason Busch -

There are a few reasons why the nirvana of BI supplier and supply chain visibility is most certainly a noble objective, but one that is unlikely to ever fully take hold outside of a few very expensive, highly customized implementations. For one, BI tools (especially those we think of, which are tied to an underlying data warehouse) mimic the inflexible characteristics of the ERP systems, which generate the data that we need to analyze. In other words, once you “pour the enterprise-data concrete” so to speak, such systems become rigid and unbending and make it difficult to rapidly adopt new data sources into an analysis. Perhaps there’s a new third-party data enrichment that you want to add (one not supported or resold by your BI vendor), or maybe you’ve acquired a new facility from a supplier that is running a different ERP environment. Good luck rapidly adding these new data sources into any BI model.

How to Move KM and BI from Margin to Mainstream

From BEye Networ article on Knowledge Management/Business Intelligence

If you’re a KM or BI champion looking for ways to boost your discipline’s visibility, take a cue from the communication masters: politicians. Campaign platforms are based on three principles: clarity, consistency and frequency. Every stump speech, every sound bite, every public conversation is rigorously “on message,” and yours should be too.

There’s usually a flabby communication strategy behind any really good idea that doesn’t quite get off the ground. KM and BI evangelists often focus so intently on the business case that they fizzle out on the “hearts and minds” part; namely, communicating with key constituents before, during and after the launch.

And which are the key constituencies for knowledge management and business intelligence? In the government, you must address at least the principal users of the tools, the funders of your initiative and those who will benefit from it.