Feeds

A holistic view of second generation BI

Houston, we have a problem

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

Comment I wrote a series of articles about second generation BI (which I refuse to refer to as Business Intelligence twodotoh) about six months ago. Why then I am returning to it? Because I think it is time to take a step back from the BI market and view it more holistically before we even consider what a next generation environment might look like.

The simple problem is this: there are too many BI tools (taking BI to have the broadest possible meaning) to get a clear picture of the market. There is OLAP, reporting, data mining, text mining, ad hoc query, report mining (a la DataWatch), report reuse (see my recent article about 90 Degree Software) and web mining, plus there are dashboards, analytical applications and the sort of complex analytics for which data warehouse appliances are suitable.

Then there is operational intelligence, process intelligence, BAM (business activity monitoring) and operational BI (if that is different from operational intelligence and/or process intelligence), which may or may not be event driven and may be in real-time, near real-time or right time.

And then there is the added complication of performance management and whether that is within the domain of BI or not; there is a spreadsheet management, which is a fraught enough subject in its own right; and I haven't even touched on the ways that you can implement OLAP or the whole subject of data warehousing and data marts, or the need to support new types of devices, technologies such as mash-ups, the requirement to support dynamic chart updating and so on and so forth.

Given that this is the mess that BI is in, I think that there needs to be some clear holistic thinking about how all of this can be structured and put together in some reasonably simple way, and that this is as much a part of second generation BI as broader and wider functionality that appeals to more people throughout the organisation. Indeed, arguably the provision of a platform that underpins these various technologies is what will enable what HP refers to as ubiquitous BI.

However, what we have today is, in effect, a siloed approach to BI: companies like SAS, Business Objects and Cognos do some of the things mentioned but not many others; the application vendors like Oracle and SAP do others; IBM has a different subset; and then there are various pure plays that are active in various sectors of the market. But the different solutions from different companies often do not work well with each other or only to a limited extent.

We all know that silos are not a good idea. It is, for example, gratifying that all, more or less, all of the vendors of MDM (master data management) recognise the dangers of siloism but this doesn't seem to apply in the BI space and I think it should.

To conclude, I don't think I have an answer for this: I am merely pointing out the problem and suggesting that it needs resolving. It needs an architecture if you like. I would welcome readers' comments and suggestions as to what this might look like.

Copyright © 2007, IT-Analysis.com

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
'People have forgotten just how late the first iPhone arrived ...'
Plus: 'Google's IDEALISM is an injudicious justification for inappropriate biz practices'
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.