RESEARCH & RESOURCES

From the Editor

There’s no question that BI answers ad hoc queries and provides timely input to end users’ decisions. In this issue of the Journal, we take one giant step back. Instead of focusing on the answers, we look at some tough questions.

As Tony Fisher points out, when the White Rabbit (in a chaotic courtroom scene in Alice in Wonderland) asks the King of Hearts where to begin, he’s told to begin at the beginning. The King’s answer is equally appropriate for BI professionals: we must begin at the beginning when we tackle data quality issues by asking questions.

Jesse Fountain offers the questions you need to ask when evaluating a data warehouse appliance. From return on investment to risks the appliances may introduce into your environment, Fountain takes a close, hard look at trends, ownership costs, and best practices. Arthur G. Ritchie is also full of questions about near line versus archived storage; he explains the differences, examines three types of storage based on data classes, and discusses how each affects your data warehouse.

Questions (and answers) are at the heart of a column we’re introducing to the Business Intelligence Journal: Q&A. In this issue, I ask director of TDWI Research Wayne W. Eckerson about his latest Best Practices report on operational BI.

Our Experts’ Perspective columnists have to answer an important question this month: How should our subject develop a strategy to expand the use (and realize the benefits) of a technically successful data warehouse installation that hasn’t caught on with end users?

Also in this issue, senior editor Hugh J. Watson and Barbara H. Wixom discuss how BI helps ensure an enterprise becomes or remains agile. Watson and coauthors Mohammed R. Behrangi and Ahmad Fattolahi explain how asking questions can help you build the best set of information requirements, a key component of a successful BI project. Michael L. Gonzales explores how integration is key to maximizing BI architectures and frameworks so they meet the analytic needs of a wide variety of users.

One of our case studies examines how a new procurement system in Virginia can benefit buyers (state agencies, higher-education institutions, local governments, and state-affiliated groups) and sellers alike by using an Oracle data warehouse to pool orders and achieve higher discounts. The second looks at how a new and popular trend, software as a service, helped a car equipment seller reduce its BI costs.

As always, I’m interested in your comments. Please send me your feedback: jpowell@1105media.com.

This article originally appeared in the issue of Transforming Data with Intelligence.

About the Author

James E. Powell is the editorial director of the Business Intelligence Journal and BI This Week newsletter. You can contact him here.


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