Blog: Barry Devlin Subscribe to this blog's RSS feed!

Barry Devlin

As one of the founders of data warehousing back in the mid-1980s, a question I increasingly ask myself over 25 years later is: Are our prior architectural and design decisions still relevant in the light of today's business needs and technological advances? I'll pose this and related questions in this blog as I see industry announcements and changes in way businesses make decisions. I'd love to hear your answers and, indeed, questions in the same vein.

About the author >

Dr. Barry Devlin is among the foremost authorities in the world on business insight and data warehousing. He was responsible for the definition of IBM's data warehouse architecture in the mid '80s and authored the first paper on the topic in the IBM Systems Journal in 1988. He is a widely respected consultant and lecturer on this and related topics, and author of the comprehensive book Data Warehouse: From Architecture to Implementation.

Barry's interest today covers the wider field of a fully integrated business, covering informational, operational and collaborative environments and, in particular, how to present the end user with an holistic experience of the business through IT. These aims, and a growing conviction that the original data warehouse architecture struggles to meet modern business needs for near real-time business intelligence (BI) and support for big data, drove Barry’s latest book, Business unIntelligence: Insight and Innovation Beyond Analytics, now available in print and eBook editions.

Barry has worked in the IT industry for more than 30 years, mainly as a Distinguished Engineer for IBM in Dublin, Ireland. He is now founder and principal of 9sight Consulting, specializing in the human, organizational and IT implications and design of deep business insight solutions.

Editor's Note: Find more articles and resources in Barry's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel and blog. Be sure to visit today!

October 2010 Archives

Last month, I blogged about Predixion's predictive analytics product, Insight.  Despite being very impressed with its extensive and powerful function as well as its price point, I mentioned my concerns about unleashing such power in an uncontrolled BI environment where users share dirty data like junkies share needles.  And I pointed to two white papers I wrote in 2008 and 2009 sponsored by Lyzasoft, where I described their collaborative analytic environment as the type of control and management that would be needed.  I'd love to think that the announcement this week that Predixion and Lyzasoft are partnering in delivering some of Predixion's analytic function through Lyza Commons is a result of that, but I suspect otherwise...

In any case, the link-up is a step in exactly the right direction.  BI departments' reaction to spreadsheets over the years has ranged from trying to rein them in to ignoring them.  Neither approach works.  Users love and, indeed, need to have control of their data when they are experimenting and sandboxing.  PC-based data, particularly spreadsheets, gave them that control--and they are unlikely to relinquish it any time soon.  Data in the Cloud is just another phase of distributed data.  The old IT approach of ignoring it or damning it is not going to work here either.

It's wonderful to see two small BI software companies showing how to technologically address this rapidly growing data management/governance issue. 

Posted October 21, 2010 9:04 AM
Permalink | No Comments |