InetSoft Podcast: BI Analytics Trends - Big Data

This is the transcript of a podcast hosted by InetSoft on the topic of "BI Analytics Trends: Big Data." The speaker is Abhishek Gupta, product manager at InetSoft.

First, as background, for those of you who aren’t familiar with InetSoft, what we really do is help businesses get access to data so they can make better operational decisions. We are a software maker that’s 100% focused on business intelligence and analytics in a variety of industries.

And our number one goal is to help companies do everything from building a strategic roadmap of how they can get access to data and how they can get it into the hands of the people who need it. We do the hardcore reporting development so business users can actually visualize that data.

What’s interesting is even with the economic downturn we are seeing a lot more companies really focusing on using data as a corporate asset. We are seeing financial firms, manufacturing and retail being really big drivers of modernizing information management. For the first time they are saying, hey I have all these data silos. How can I get access to all of that siloed data, so I can create a comprehensive view of my business?

Especially for manufacturing, where the industry has been hit pretty hard, to see them actually doing a lot with outside consulting is something that’s newer. I think there was some retrenchment. We are seeing some of those firms come back, and you see it starting with specific departments like R&D who wants to do better market analysis.

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Business intelligence has been around a long time, but there’s always something new. What are some current trends in BI? I have been in this business for long time, and it's fascinating to see what's happening in the marketplace. We‘re really starting to see business units start driving BI demand. That’s really refreshing in our view because it’s no longer sitting in IT.

The business users are saying hey we want access. We need access to this data so we can actually do our jobs better. And with tools such as InetSoft and other visualization tools getting that data into their hands is actually becoming easier for us. Now we are working with them so they can drive business value.

For instance, if you are looking at the iPad, you know how good it is for mobile business intelligence. You know getting that data not just limited to when I am sitting at my keyboard in my office, but now wherever I am at I can get that access. I could be a store ops manager in some regional district of a retailer. I can now sit there on my iPad and pull out what's happening in my district in terms of store performance.

Some people ask us who our BI platform integrates with data warehouses We working very well with data warehouses and OLAP cubes. We are bringing industry consultants into some of our BI platform projects as well. So we have a very tight working relationship with BI consultants that we enjoyed for three and half years now.

What do I see for the future in analytics? I see it going to the masses. I really see for the first time that BI is now really getting outside of the power users to a wider audiences, and that’s where we are helping a lot of our clients today. Building that strategic roadmap and figuring out how you can get that data to the marketing, or to the finance departments.

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And we just see it in becoming more mobile. I mean now everyone has a phone that they can get access to data immediately. They get that instant gratification from being able to get data on the run.

What about big data? You know it's interesting I was having breakfast with a client this morning who asked me this question, and I think that some people are looking at it just as it's a unstructured data. But actually it could be XML files. It could be every kind data out there including unstructured.

But for the first time they are taking about what data might they analyze that’s not in my corporate data warehouse. How can I bring the social media aspects into it so you can get actually more of a holistic view of your customers and operations. So that is where I see people really looking at it. How can I integrate different types of data with my warehouse to get a better better competitive advantage.

But when it comes to big data analytics, are there companies really doing it? I think there are some early adapters that are starting to look at it, but I think that a lot of people are testing the waters a little bit, trying to understand what is this and what is it not? Eighty percent of corporate data is unstructured outside of their own data warehouses.

How can they get access of. That’s the first step we’re trying to have them look at it is. What do you have is in terms of unstructured data? Then you can look at bringing additional data sets from outside.