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Welcome to my BeyeNETWORK blog! Please join me often to share your thoughts and observations on new analytic platforms, BI and data management. I maintain a vendor-focused practice that uses primary research, briefings, case studies, events and other activities that stimulate ideas as a source for commentary on strategy and execution in the marketplace. I believe the emergence of a new class of analytic platforms, and emerging data management and advanced tools herald a next step in the maturity of information technology, and I'm excited to be present for its emergence. I hope my blog entries will stimulate ideas that will serve both the vendors creating these new solutions and the companies that will improve their business prospects as a result of applying them. Please share your thoughts and input on the topics.

 

 

July 2010 Archives

Last time I mentioned GoodData, it was in passing, as I discussed YouCalc and other SaaS BI players. In the ensuing year, many other toes have been dipped into the water. I sat down with GoodData CEO and founder Roman Stanek and Marketing VP Sam Boonin this week to catch up on how it's all going, and from where they sit, the news seems to look pretty good. With 40 employees, 25 customers since last November, and a funding round from the likes of Marc Andreesen and Tim O'Reilly, GoodData seems to be off to a GoodStart. And now it has a new initiative: free analytics for other SaaS players to expand its presence.

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Posted July 29, 2010 8:28 AM
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One of the more philosophical questions analysts like to ask is "What is Big Data?" It's relative - it begs the question, "what's big?" And that is a constantly moving number, and always assessed by comparison to the ridiculous amounts some companies work with. But Big Data as a concept in IT parlance today tends to mean something fairly specific, not just about size but also about composition and the nature of the processing. So I considered a serious attempt at a fairly rigorous discussion about the nature of the workload, structure of the data and the kinds of analytics that comprise what people think of as Big Data....and then I thought of Steve Martin, who would have considered this carefully and then looked into the camera and said "Naaaahh." So I determined to emulate him and have a bit of fun instead, by crowdsourcing some help completing the sentence "You know you have Big Data when..." Here's what some Twitter folks said. Some are funny, some more serious ...

You know you have Big Data when....

... you get a call from the utility company asking you not to run 'that brownout query' again. (@aristippus303 at Datawatch)

... your IT spends more time purchasing storage capacity than making sure the business has the data they need - @judyiko (Informatica)

.,. EMC name a new product after you (@aristippus303 at Datawatch)

...  it piles up so high that it disappears into the clouds (@evertlammerts - I assume pun was intended?)

...  the SAN undergoes gravitational collapse and you get cited by OSHA for an unlicensed singularity. (@datamartist)

...  a query is long enough to require a couple of DBA generations to see it returning first data. (@Stray_Cat)

...  your datacenter manager divides time between installing a new NAS in the kitchen and googling for vacant aircraft hangars. (@alanjharrison)

And a few of mine:

...  you conduct an audit, including external files, and add more in to the databases than you take out.

...  you think Flomax is a new ETL product.

...  the first item on your bucket list is "finish data model."

...  you've never gotten to the "Reduce" part.

...  your Dad won't let you have the keys to the table you want to join to because he's still doing the schema update he started on your birthday. No, your BIRTH day.

OK - that's way more than enough. Don't you have a schema to update? Get back to work. If you get bored, send me some more.


Posted July 26, 2010 2:39 PM
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Oracle's newest BI release is massive, spans multiple product categories, and raises the bar for competitors in dramatic fashion. In my prior post I focused on its rollout and competitive posture. The market has waited a long time as the reconciliation of many moving parts was accomplished - most notably the convergence of the Hyperion Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) offering and Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE). Hyperion integration with its Essbase acquisition was not complete. In 2007, OBI's newest release (10.1.3) was most notable in many eyes for its new Microsoft Office support. PeopleSoft and Siebel had been acquired some two years before that, and Master Data Management was already a topic of discussion then (2005). There was a long way to go. And analysts? Well, think of us as the kids in the back: "Are we there yet?"

More - warning - it's quite long.

Posted July 20, 2010 12:06 PM
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Tibco, fresh from a Q2 with license revenue up 23% over last year's, continuing a two year run of beating consensus earnings estimates, has stepped up and out ahead to pursue the long-coveted mid-market customers who don't use BI but find that spreadsheets don't do enough.  Tibco believes, like Microsoft, that many are social technology users: they have blogs and use other channels available to them, and they will build and share reports given the chance. So, says Tibco, here it is: building on the Silver cloud platform it's had in beta for about a year, Tibco is introducing Silver Spotfire, with an offer tuned to the cloud user - a no-cost, no-obligation, no-risk 1-year trial of a Spotfire play in the cloud requiring no IT involvement. "All you need is a browser," is the pitch, and this is not from a new company you don't know, but an established  player with a sizable roster of enterprise BI customers.
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Posted July 14, 2010 8:16 AM
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Oracle is not first in BI, and wants to change that - that was the clear message of a well executed, multi-site "real plus virtual" event with top executives showing off the result of a multi-year effort to rationalize and integrate a set of leading but overlapping components into a seamless suite. Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition 11g (OBIEE) deserves the accolades it has already received from analysts who welcomed its announcement - it makes bold and serious bets on effective centralized metadata administration, data integration/ unification and optimized analytic architecture, collaboration, globalization, mobile device support, and a powerful link to action that will be most effective (unsurprisingly) with its own business applications. While it misses some pieces - fully integrated in-memory processing, SaaS and cloud support among them - these will be forthcoming, and Oracle is clearly committed to a quicker release cycle now that the thorny internal politics around legacy products seem to be resolved. But its competitive focus may be misdirected; while SAP is still ahead in market share, IBM is the bigger threat in the marketplace.

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Posted July 13, 2010 4:30 PM
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