InetSoft Webinar: What will really impact how organizations are using BI?

Below is the trascript of a Webinar hosted by InetSoft in June 2010 on the topic of Next Generation Business Intelligence. The presenter is Mark Flaherty, Vice President of Marketing at InetSoft.

Mark Flaherty (MF): Next gen BI is going to be more automated, and it’s going to be more pervasive. It is going to be more unified because today an organization can have lots of different BI tools addressing different components of business intelligence. Lastly it is going to be limitless. Traditional BI tools have presented too many limitations. These are the changes that will make a big impact on BI adoption and penetration.

Speaking specifically about automation, all of those steps of preparing for BI up to creating a data warehouse, that’s typically eighty percent of the work. And 80% of that work is concentrated on just finding the data that is needed, before it can even be transformed, if necessary, before it can be integrated with other data sources. So if you take 80% of the 80%, that’s 64% of the entire effort that is completely un-automated.

That’s an area for BI vendors to help out with technologies that are very similarly to search technologies. Rather than relying on human knowledge of experienced people who just know where the customer table is, where the products table is, there will be technology that is similar to search technology which crawls all of the data out there to discover new bits in the enterprise that would be valuable to business users. But the problem is infinitely more complex than Internet search, because you need to know the context and relationships – this is a customer and this a product and a customer can have purchased multiple products, et cetera. So it’s a challenging problem, but one where I think you will see developments around.

iPad  dashboard screenshot



dashboard demo
View a 2-minute demonstration of InetSoft's easy, agile, and robust BI software.

The second area of automation advances will be in the context of all of the data preparation. If I change one step, I better automatically propagate those changes to all the next steps. That is called end-to-end lifecycle management of BI. That’s another feature that some vendors are working on.

Speaking about the trends toward pervasiveness, a lot of other BI vendors will say their software is pervasive because it integrates with the spreadsheets on your desktop, but that is not enough. There are several very important components of pervasive business intelligence that are only beginning to be addressed.

Number one. We don’t really live in the world that is data centric. The world is process-centric. We all run budgeting processes, forecasting processes, all sorts of management planning, strategic processes. Today, in most companies, business intelligence and data analysis is not really integrated well with processes. So integrating BI inside of the processes is an opportunity. So that you are proactively forced to look at a report, forced to look at a dashboard when something goes awry, when performance deviates from plan or historical trends, that is one thing that is going to make business intelligence more pervasive.

Something else that is interesting: a lot of BI vendors talk about how their software integrates with spreadsheets or word processing applications, but what about email? Email is the most mission-critical application in any enterprise. If email stops, we stop working. The enterprise stops working. Very few vendors, today, integrate business intelligence with email, like we do with automated triggers and email alerts, for instance.

Previous: Next Generation of Business Intelligence