Category Archives: Business

world of business.

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

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.

Developer of Mass Opinion BI, Creates New Computational Framework

From the Press Release:

WiseWindow, developer of Mass Opinion Business Intelligence, the next generation of web measurement, today announced that company founder and chief technology officer, Rajiv Dulepet, has been named advisor and architect for a new project funded by the National Institute of Health and executed by Caltech. The open-source project will develop a web-based bio-computational tool that allows bio-scientists and bio-computation engineers to “crunch data in the cloud” for large-scale tasks such as processing gene sequence data sets on a large cluster of computers. The new tool allows scientists to save considerable time that’s now spent waiting for computations on their desktops by moving these operations to the cloud, thereby freeing up their computers for other work.

“Working as a lead advisor to Caltech on cloud computing is both a privilege and passion for me,” said Dulepet. “It allows me to exercise skills in Internet data gathering and analysis as well as computational framework development.”

What Is So Different about BI Today?

The days have changed forever as far as the user interfaces are concerned. In the past, instead of developing user-friendly systems, the technologists had to look for “system-friendly” users. Because of new “consumer-friendly” interfaces, many more people are using computers not only in their workplaces, but also in their personal lives, day in and day out. Since the interfaces developed for the consumers by Lands’ End, L.L Bean, Costco, WebMD and the like are much friendlier, the same consumers – when they function as employees in their jobs – have come to expect similar ease of use and interactivity.

The businesses are aware of it, and if they are not, they should be. They have to not only provide friendly interfaces, but they also have to provide access to information to the right people, at the right time and at the right price so that the employees can make sound business decisions. That is business intelligence in a nutshell.

From a well thought about article on B-Eye Network by Shaku Atre.

LogiXML Adds ETL Tool To BI Platform

From Intelligent Enterprise -

Logi ETL is a Web-based data integration application that can transfer data from diverse sources directly to multiple destinations, be invoked by predefined processes, including scheduling; or be triggered by application actions, the company said.

“The new Logi ETL product is comprehensive and rich in functionality, easy-to-use and integrate,” Arman Eshraghi, chief executive and founder of LogiXML, said in a statement. “The product embraces XML technologies and is operationally more Web-oriented than any other ETL product in the market.”

Are you the Best-in-class company on “Time-to-Information” ?

That’s really a great news to the BI world during these dull days of business. I’m sure other companies will start becoming confident on the never understood phenomenon of ROI. Makes a day !!

According to research presented in a new report, “Data Management for Business Intelligence,” 77% of Best-in-Class companies are able to automate the integration of data from multiple sources, compared to 54% of Industry Average companies, and only 22% of Laggards. This capability was identified by respondents as being critical for solving the top business pressure — the need to reduce the time-to-information for non-technical end-users.

Best-in-Class companies are making investments in technology enablers to alleviate this pressure. 82% of Best-in-Class companies are currently utilizing data warehousing software solutions, versus 56% of all other respondents. 80% of Best-in-Class companies are currently deploying Business Intelligence query and reporting tools, versus 47% of all other respondents. Finally, 68% of Best-in-Class companies are currently implementing data warehouse appliance technology (packaged hardware and software solutions) versus only half that number (34%) of all other respondents.

@ctive Data Warehousing aka Closed Loop Processing

Active Data Warehousing isn’t really a buzzword. Its been in the industry for a while. Thanks to Teradata who made this buzzword popular. They called it @ctive Data Warehousing and branded the spelling.

The reason to bring back this term is because -

Teradata Corporation (NYSE: TDC), the global leader in enterprise data warehousing, announced today that Highmark Inc., the largest health insurer in Pennsylvania and one of the largest in the U.S., continues to expand its Teradata Warehouse and its multiple-terabyte information assets. The large-scale analytics expansion increases the company’s production environment and supports the shift to active data warehousing (ADW).

For newbies, here’s more about ACtive Data Warehousing from DM Review of April 2004(yep, its 4 years old enough) -

Active data warehousing is a process, not a specific technology. Teradata has popularized the term “active data warehousing,” tried to brand the spelling “@ctive data warehousing” and deserves credit for providing examples of some big, successful active data warehouses. However, if a more generic term is preferred, then “closed-loop processing” is a useful synonym, though it only partially captures the concept. Your data warehouse (DW) is active if

It represents a single, canonical state of the business (version of the truth). Too often, companies put data into a data warehouse and also store it in a plethora of other data stores. If a data warehouse must be match-merged with dependent data marts to provide needed information, then it is a potentially useful data store, but it is not active.

It supports a mixed workload. The workload of an active data warehouse will typically consist of tactical inquires executing concurrently with complex business intelligence (BI) queries and trickle updates. If the DW is used only for operational queries such as customer transactions or product inventory, it is not active.

Operational processing is driven by the DW. Active data warehouses do not exist in a vacuum. They exist in a processing loop.
The “outbound” activity goes from the data warehouse to the operational system by means of automated system mechanisms including triggers, special purpose programming interfaces, a message broker and an extract, transform and load (ETL) tool – though the ETL tool is not often used for outbound activities. If the data warehouse doesn’t deliver information automatically to operational systems, then it is not active. Manual intervention gets the job done, but the DW is not active.

It represents a closed-loop process. In particular, the data warehouse is used to optimize processing in the upstream operational or transactional system. The operational systems feed the data warehouse which, in turn, feeds back to the operational system to optimize the relevant transactional processing. The interfaces go in both directions. The data warehouse provides operational intelligence and, as active, can properly be described as driving operational processing.

Papa Gino’s uses Business Intelligence on Pizza Delivery

Not a suprising story for a BI professional but certainly very interesting read. Good to see BI spreading to all types of businesses.

Read the story at Computer World -

Valle says Papa Gino’s began considering BI tools about two years ago. Early last year, the chain chose the Cognos 8 product line and began installing the software.

Customer satisfaction levels improve, he says, if pizza buyers are given more accurate delivery times, even if the time window they’re given is longer — maybe 30 minutes as opposed to 20. He adds that Papa Gino’s could already tell from the point-of-sale system at a restaurant what time an individual order was received, when the customer was promised delivery, when the employee making the delivery left the store and when he or she returned. But before the BI tools became available, that information was stored in spreadsheets and was hard to access.

Papa Gino’s executives now use Cognos 8 to analyse the data and look for exceptions, both positive and negative, in an effort to improve delivery-time estimates. Valle says he thinks the analysis results will help show restaurant managers how to ensure that customer expectations are set correctly, and possibly how to speed up deliveries.

Sun acquires MySQL

my sql

Having used MySQL extensively for my personal blog and also on other pet projects that I have done, I’m perfectly sure that MySQL just like SQLite is certainly a cost-effective(!!) replacement for costly RDBMS systems. Having said that, MySQL isn’t perfect already. It certainly needs a good GUI front-end and needs some streamlining on the licenses, which is turning out to be a crazy affair these days.

Its interesting to see that Sun picked MySQL than the PostgreSQL that has become popular offlate. The industry would certainly be interested to see how Sun will turn this Open Source Platform into a business model. Interesting days ahead but MySQL Developer should drink an extra beer this weekend.

From Sun Ceo, Jonathan Schwartz’s Blog -

Both sets of customers confirmed what we’ve known for years – that MySQL is by far the most popular platform on which modern developers are creating network services. From Facebook, Google and Sina.com to banks and telecommunications companies, architects looking for performance, productivity and innovation have turned to MySQL. In high schools and college campuses, at startups, at high performance computing labs and in the Global 2000. The adoption of MySQL across the globe is nothing short of breathtaking. They are the root stock from which an enormous portion of the web economy springs.

The good news is Sun is already committed to the business model at the heart of MySQL’s success – first investing to grow communities of users and developers, and only then creating commercial services that attract (rather than lock in) paying customers. Over the past few years, we’ve distributed hundreds of millions of licenses and invested to build some of the free software world’s largest communities. From Java to ZFS, Lustre to Glassfish, NetBeans to OpenOffice.org and OpenSolaris, we’ve been patient investors and contributors, both. Free and open software has become a way of life at Sun. MySQL’s has similarly driven extraordinary adoption of their community platform, with more than 100 million downloads over the past 10 years. Their users, as with Sun’s, run MySQL across every major operating system – Linux, Windows, Solaris and the Mac; and every major system platform, from IBM, Intel, AMD, Dell, Sun and HP.

Putting Business back in BI Initiatives

Aligning BI initiatives with the corporate strategy will probably not prove to be an easy task. It’s like trying to hit a moving target using an off-target sight. However, companies should consider ways to make the process easier. To start, take frank looks at which BI systems work and which don’t, in your present information-needs environment. Bringing the appropriate resources to the task and using a collaborative approach to getting the job done will also help. In the end, though, it will still take a lot of work and difficult decisions. Just rest assured that the end result will likely be well worth the effort.

A good read, in two parts [1 and 2]