InetSoft Webinar: Consumerization of BI for More Intuitive Data Analysis

This is the continuation of the transcript of DM Radio’s program titled “The Consumerization of Business Intelligence: How and Why,”recorded on April 18, 2013.

healthcare mortality cause analysis graphByron Igoe:  Sure.  Well, so I think that that is fundamental to this whole question, right? I mean everybody wants the device that they use or the apps that they use to be intuitive.  But the problem is that there isn’t really native intuition when it comes to software; there is just familiarity.  And this software behaves similar to what I have been exposed to in the past, and that sort of replaces innate intuition.  And so I think that brings the difference between training and education to the forefront.  With training, I know what I want to do, I just have to figure out how I do it with this tool.  Education is really teaching people what the right things are to do. 

So again, the push and pull with the consumers.  The pull from consumers is I want to be able to do something and I want to be able to do it easily.  The push from the vendor side of things should really be more about let me teach you the best practices, let me teach you the right way to look at this data, the right way to analyze your business and to be able to make different decisions.  So I am all in favor of removing manuals, but those are the manuals that teach you which button to click. I am all for textbooks that train people on data analysis and statistics and how to run a business.

Eric Kavanagh:  Yeah.  No, that’s exactly right.

Tracie Kambies:  I think those are all a solid foundation.  But I think that that is an education which comes not from a manual, but from sitting and learning, it's actual hard core learning of foundational capabilities that our education system needs, and we can get in a whole discussion about that.  But when you change our education system, then you should be able to start changing our generational thinking and building on those learning aspects.  And so it is not the manual, to your point Byron, I think it is about teaching people how to think better, how to use statistics in a different way and how to really create those building blocks, versus having to read the manual on where to find my settings and where to go to get to this one particular type of menu option.

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Eric Kavanagh:  Yeah.  And one thing I will say too, and we haven’t really talked about this at all so maybe we can dig into it during the roundtable, but there is of course the whole data layer underneath the surface layer, the UI, that feeds and enables the true consumerization of deep BI, of drill-down capabilities and so on and so forth.  It doesn’t just get there; you can’t just get there by throwing a nice UI on something.  You have got to have some kind of a data layer underneath.  I know obviously Tableau has got an In-Memory database underneath there now. 

Byron, I know that you guys have done a lot of work around enabling people to access different data sources and make that sort of last mile much easier and really enable companies to lean into the data, because you have to have some kind of architecture underneath.  I will throw this out to you Byron and then we will go to the roundtable in a minute, you have to really have thought about all the complexity underneath in order to enable the simplicity on top, right?

Byron Igoe:  Certainly of course.  I mean some of it is IT’s doing in the old style, building data warehouses and such.  We have added a new approach that helps to complement that of data mashup, so really pushing more self-service.  And as for Tracie’s point earlier, with the do-it-yourself attitude that people take to analyzing information, they want to be the one controlling.  They don’t want to send a request down to the modern day typing pool and then wait for the answer to come back from IT. They want to be able to analyze the data, ask those iterative questions that Francois was mentioning before, and for that you need the strong back-end to handle Big Data, to handle data that’s outside of the system, to be able to mash-up information coming from various sources.  It's all critical for this whole process to work.

Justin Kern:  Ownership too, though. I mean, obviously, you want your people who are interested in data and are able to tap into different aspects, different types of reporting or remote access, you want them to be able to do that.  But IT has its governance mandates and those types of things as well.  I don’t know if Byron or someone else wants to chime in maybe on some challenges or suggestions on dealing with the ownership side of the consumerization equation.

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