Strategic Business Intelligence in Times of Economic Turmoil

Ideas for business intelligence practitioners to forge ahead with their BI initiatives in times of economic turmoil – To pursue best-in-class business intelligence and data management without incurring the wrath of the monolithic centralized platforms built when times were marked by economic growth in most revenue bearing verticals – Can this same race hold its pace with its same velocity and momentum when the economy shifts winds against the runners? In this, larger than life uber-BI applications race, marked in the last 13 – 24 months by a high rate of BI mergers and acquisitions, one has to wonder what will happen when the dust settles and the acquired folks realize they are no more a part of the organization that was the little guy you bought out way back when. Imagine how ProClarity felt when giant Microsoft came a callin’ – Or, when SAP acquired BusinessObjects; did it become: B-I-C ERP meet B-I-C, well, BI.

What about the true R & D exploratory labs like Google Labs, who churns out some interesting advancements in the technology space, offering APIs and SDKs for free to the bold and daring willing to take them up on their offer (oh, and that’s no wilting flower of a number folks…Google had a cap of 10000 invitations when their App Store went live in the Spring of 2008. Some of the cool new data warehousing appliances or the process changes that came about with Master Data Management came about from the die harder open source fans who wanted to bring some structure to the masses without the cost of enterprise platforms with their clunky deployment paths and costly upgrades. Let’s not forget, the Adobe flash-frenzied dashboard users now introduced to the presentation layer worthy interactive dashboard gauges that made mouths salivate the first through third time viewing it… As was expected, vendors tried to update their applications to mirror such interactivity and integration with the MS Office stacks, though Xcelsius still corners the presentation layer market by far. (Open source has some cool contenders especially when it comes to data visualizations) as the race to the dashboard 2.0 space moves into the collaborative world of social networks.

No, there really is a Santa Claus, and I, too, am still smitten with PerformancePoint Planning !! PPS truly rocks the product placement in this arena, much harder to appeal to that broad category of stuffy Financial Budgeting and Planning CFOs, and the likes.

So I ask, with the downturn in the economy, can such advancements be made in, as clearly demonstrated, a capitalized business intelligence software industry , whose recent growth spurts marked a growing sense of entitlement yet with subpar execution and results upon implementation, where services and solutions costs drove positive spikes in software sales, and vice versa? In fact, an interdisciplinary and while highly debated, interdependency exists between the BI, social network, collaboration and portals with custom embedded BI apps, web services and more all geared with one goal in mind: to optimize in a cost effective manner in an effort to drive better, more data driven decision making ? Or is this another blue skies and apple pie dream manifested by one girl’s love for business intelligence


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