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Business Intelligence Journal | Vol. 20, No. 2

June 15, 2015

When most enterprises face a problem, they can choose from many possible options or approaches. It’s rare to be faced with a black or white, either/or choice. So it is, too, in this issue of the Business Intelligence Journal’s Experts’ Perspective column.

We asked our panel if calculating a return on an analytics investment is practical given such projects have so many uncertain costs (especially given how often new technology is used for the first time) or unquantifiable, intangible benefits. For those of our experts recommending such calculations, we also wondered about the best way to derive that ROI. We queried seven BI practitioners and analysts and received just as many approaches to the problem. It’s fascinating reading.

Those aren’t the only questions posed in this issue. Senior editor Hugh J. Watson examines the role of a BI director and asks: how do you become one, how can you succeed, and how do you know when it’s time to move on?

Big data is a big topic today, and Norman T. Kutemperor sorts out several approaches you must evaluate before designing a data warehouse for big data, with an emphasis on price/performance considerations. Big data is also the subject of a discussion by Kurt Stockinger, Frank van Lingen, and Marco Valente. They discuss the challenges and opportunities of several big data analytics use cases, with a special focus on the Internet of things and how to choose the most appropriate technology for your environment.

Speaking of options, with ever-more data being produced and analyzed, traditional BI architectures may no longer serve your enterprise well. Barry Devlin takes an in-depth look at conceptual- and logical-level architectures driven by our need for processing more (and more diverse) data. He examines three distinct types of data and presents an architecture suitable for today’s demanding enterprises.

Our case study looks at how a non-profit put BI to work to help underserved youth in Philadelphia. James Purchase looks at a different kind of expansion—one in which we learn to shift our view of data analytics to combine historic data with current events and unstructured data to create a new Big Picture of our enterprise.

As always, we welcome your comments about the decisions you’re making and how these articles may have helped you. Please send them to

James E. Powell
Editorial Director
Business Intelligence Journal


  • BI Director: How to Become One, Succeed, and Know When to Leave
    Hugh J. Watson
  • Price/Performance Considerations in Building Data Warehouses for Big Data
    Norman T. Kutemperor
  • From Layers to Pillars—A Logical Architecture for BI and Beyond
    Barry Devlin
  • BI Case Study: Non-Profit Uses Power of BI to Help Under-Served Youth
    Linda L. Briggs
  • Fundamental Mind Shifts for the Future of Data Analytics
    James Purchase
  • BI Experts’ Perspective: Projecting ROI for Analytics
    Jane Griffin, Troy Hiltbrand, Paul G. Johnson, Arthur E. McDonald, Srinivas Varanasi, Steve Williams, and Coy Yonce
  • Big Data Analytics in a Connected World
    Kurt Stockinger, Frank van Lingen, and Marco Valente