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TDWI's BI Executive Summit in San Diego

More than 70 business intelligence directors and sponsors gathered in San Diego this week for the TDWI’s semi-annual BI Executive Summit. The executives were enlightened by a mix of case studies (NetApp, Dell, Arizona State University, RBC Wealth Management, and ShareThis) and educational sessions on key areas of interest (BI in the Cloud, change management, cost estimating BI projects, Hadoop, visualization, BI mashups, social intelligence, pervasive BI, and the future of BI.)

The attendees also voted on technologies and programs that will be of key interest to them in the next three years. Topping the technology chart were predictive and in-database analytics, dashboards, visualization, the cloud, and operational BI. On the process side, key initiatives will be data quality and governance, business process management, and BI competency centers.

The event’s sponsors also chimed in during sessions and the future of BI panel. Teradata discussed active data warehousing, Information Builders showed how to integrate strategic, tactical, and operational BI, Birst discussed the benefits of cloud-based computing via its customer RBC Wealth, Sybase discussed in-database analytics via SQL-based plug-ins from Fuzzy Logix, and IBM discussed innovations in BI, such as search, collaboration, and mashups.

Most attendees valued the networking and collaboration that the event offers during lunch and breaks. In addition, hands-on workshops put the attendees in the drivers seat. During the Dell case study, attendees were given a real-life scenario of Dell’s data warehousing environment circa 2007 and then in groups had to decide how they would have approached the issues that Dell faced. After considerable discussion and debate, representatives from Dell—who were actively taking notes during the discussion phase—told the audience how they approached the situation. The workshop on change management also asked the attendees to work in small groups to discuss the implications of the FEE (fear, entitlement, earning.)

Quotable Quotes from the event:

- “You typically only need 12 metrics to run a company.” Tony Politano, consultant and author of Chief Performance Officer

- “Our dashboards, which are all built on the same platform and enterprise model, provide enterprise, functional, and role based views of information.” Dongyan Wang, NetApp

- “We designed the dashboard so that any user could get any information they want at any level of detail in three clicks.” Dongyan Wang, NetApp

- “A dashboard should provide more than composite views of information; they should allow users to create a personalized mashup via Web services and widgets so the environment caters to their needs.” Laura Edell Gibbons

- “Add a top 10 list to your portal to enhance usage and pay attention to principles of visual design.” John Rome, Arizona State University

- “We inventoried our spreadmarts and found we had about 40,000 around the world and that didn’t even count spreadsheets.” Rob Schmidt, Dell

- “It’s important to pick data governance decision makers at the right level; we had Michael Dell’s direct reports.” Mike Lampa, Dell

- “The initial response of the business units to the decision to shift analysts who spent most of their time creating reports into IT was ‘Go to hell!’ But quickly, the saw that the move would free up budget dollars and headcount for them and they bought into the decision.” Mike Lampa, Dell

- “One lesson learned [during the Dell DW renovation] was losing sight of the importance of delivering value while establishing and enforcing enterprise standards.” James Franklin, Dell

- “Our BI architectures are rooted in outdated assumptions of resource scarcity.” Mark Madsen, Third Nature

- “Because of advances in processing and storage power, we could now ship the data warehouse that I built in 1993 for $1.5 million on a laptop to every individual in the company.” Mark Madsen, Third Nature


Posted by Wayne Eckerson on August 7, 2009


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