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Jill Dyché

There you are! What took you so long? This is my blog and it's about YOU.

Yes, you. Or at least it's about your company. Or people you work with in your company. Or people at other companies that are a lot like you. Or people at other companies that you'd rather not resemble at all. Or it's about your competitors and what they're doing, and whether you're doing it better. You get the idea. There's a swarm of swamis, shrinks, and gurus out there already, but I'm just a consultant who works with lots of clients, and the dirty little secret - shhh! - is my clients share a lot of the same challenges around data management, data governance, and data integration. Many of their stories are universal, and that's where you come in.

I'm hoping you'll pour a cup of tea (if this were another Web site, it would be a tumbler of single-malt, but never mind), open the blog, read a little bit and go, "Jeez, that sounds just like me." Or not. Either way, welcome on in. It really is all about you.

About the author >

Jill is a partner co-founder of Baseline Consulting, a technology and management consulting firm specializing in data integration and business analytics. Jill is the author of three acclaimed business books, the latest of which is Customer Data Integration: Reaching a Single Version of the Truth, co-authored with Evan Levy. Her blog, Inside the Biz, focuses on the business value of IT.

Editor's Note: More articles and resources are available in Jill's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!

August 2008 Archives

In which Jill rolls (and rocks) with the experts.

When I lived in Paris in the 1990s I went to see Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers play Le Zenith de Paris. Le Zenith is a small auditorium on the far reaches of the Parisian suburbs, past the gentrifying 10th arrondissement near the end of the M5 line. At the time Tom Petty wasn't necessarily de rigueur among Parisian hipsters (tant mieux !!), which meant Le Zenith was sparsely filled with a small crowd of die-hard Petty fans, many of them American.

To call the concert intimate would be an understatement. Petty frequently scanned the crowd for friends, solicited requests, and changed his setlist on the fly ("Y'all ready for 'Breakdown' yet?"). Perched in the third-row I could see the sweat pool on the upper lip of keyboardist Benmont Tench. These were days before camera phones, so there is no documented record of the sly wink Petty shot my way before launching into a splendid rendition of "You Wreck Me."

Tom Petty at Le Zenith is the musical equivalent of going to The Comedy Store on a weeknight and--surprise!--out pops Robin Williams to test out 2 hours of new material. (Yes, this also happened to me.) Or sitting next to Jack Welch in first class and enjoying the champagne and the warm nuts he turns to you and asks, "So, what's new in your business?" (Still waiting for that one.)

I've thought about these experiences recently because I'm working with some very smart people. As consultants, we can't reasonably expect to learn anything new on our engagements. We've been engaged to teach, enlighten, and propel our clients forward. But on a few occasions recently I've worked on projects where my colleagues have taught me a thing or two. In the past year I've collaborated with a great technician who has colored in the landscape of service oriented architecture; a V.P. of Marketing who has colored in the promise of Web 2.0; a CIO who's shown me the impact of BI in healthcare; and a strategy consultant whose book proposal made me change my own firm's execution tactics.

Who would have thought I'd get the opportunity to sit at the feet of the master in more than one area, if at all? They were all great to work with, flat-smart, and none of them even broke a sweat.

Technorati tags: Web 2.0, SOA, service oriented architecture, BI in healthcare


Posted August 31, 2008 4:14 PM
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In which Jill--technically an introvert--parties at TDWI and makes some new friends.

I had a ball at the TDWI World Conference in San Diego this past week. The sessions were good, the presenters were smart, and the crowd was fun. How fun? I didn't have to buy my own drink once. However I fronted a couple rounds for some rowdy vendors and made some friends in the process.

What was new? Well, I did my usual round of podcasts for my friends at BI Network. I got to know some companies that had been on my radar if not in my rolodex, including Talend, eThority, InforSense, and Zettapoint. None of these is necessarily a household name in the BI space but keep watching. Each has a value prop that's hard to argue with, not to mention their interesting price points and hefty customer lists.

Since Baseline Consulting doesn't re-sell any software products, it's always good to meet new vendors. I have a bit of a backlog of vendors wanting briefings, and it seems to be getting longer as innovation in the BI space accelerates. With apologies to the vendors that didn't make it on the dance card this time round, next time drinks are on me! And since the next conference is in New Orleans, that'll be a no-brainer!

Technorati tags: TDWI, BI software, BI vendors, business intelligence


Posted August 22, 2008 3:48 PM
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In which Jill hobnobs with the SAP-Business Objects cognoscenti. (Yes, they let her in.)

Boston and Business Objects is a good combination, made even better with an eclectic audience of press and analysts eager to observe the gestalt of the SAP-BOBJ merger. Indeed at this week's Business Objects Influencer Summit the whole was greater than the sum of its parts, as SAP and BOBJ execs positioned their company as more than just a BI vendor.

Executives Doug Merritt, EVP and GM of Business User Global Sales; Marge Breya, EVP and GM of the BI Platform group; and Sanjay Poonen, SVP and GM of Performance Optimization Applications variously made the case that Business Objects is collapsing complex applications, data integration, analytical capabilities into a multi-disciplinary-yet-unified portfolio. Breya in particular highlighted the range of the company's analytics and reporting functionality, called Information Discovery and Delivery (IDD), which she adeptly propped up against BOBJ's EPM (Enterprise Performance Management) and GRC (Governance, Regulatory, and Compliance) capabilities.

Business Objects has accomplished what other BI and data integration vendors have failed to do, to wit: they've painted a broad landscape of business information deployment that colors in data integration rather than hastily sketching it. Notwithstanding whatever behind-the-scenes wrangling took place between SAP and Business Objects, the result is a deliberate, full-spectrum knowledge deployment strategy that highlights the role of integrated data in the overall solution platform.

The summit covered a lot of ground, from metadata to predictive analytics to data governance to master data management. While BOBJ couldn't resist the woeful me-tooist afterthought that is "Analytic MDM,"--me: If you're rigorous about operational MDM, your customers will reap the BI benefits and you needn't hang a separate shingle--its evolving MDM prowess was on display. The Jill Dyche /Philip Russom /Rob Karel salvos received return fire. Nice work, guys.

(A brief Honorable Mention interlude here to analytic MDM vendor Kalido, whose erstwhile partnership with BOBJ was, er, inadvertently omitted. Kalido deserves due props for pioneering so-called analytic MDM, which is really more about the business-driven modeling of sustained reference data and arguably ahead of its time.)

Having Microsoft speak as a customer reference can be seen as either a savvy marketing move or a disingenuous display of confidence, or both. (The software giant uses BOBJ's GRC BI to vet its customers against trade screening watch lists.) As analysts begin to poke the squishy center of Microsoft's commitment to enterprise BI, Business Objects, an SAP company, has solid moving-forward strategy.

Technorati tags: bobjsummit08, Business Objects Influencer Summit, SAP Business Intelligence, SAP MDM, Master Data Management


Posted August 13, 2008 1:42 PM
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In which Jill reminisces on another rousing week with the BI pros in Grant's Pass.

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I watch Microsoft executive Donald Farmer cast a line in the rolling Rogue River and I know I'm back in southern Oregon at the Pacific Northwest BI Summit, courtesy of my friend Scott Humphrey. Scott is President and CEO of Humphrey Strategic Communications, and the consigliore of the only event that marries the best of BI industry analysis with northwest-style recreation. (I'll get to the tequila in a minute.)

In addition to the standard roster of experts--Colin White, Claudia Imhoff, William McKnight, and yours truly--the Summit convenes luminary vendors who participate in the forward-thinking dialog, spend one-on-one time with the experts and each other, and get some jetboat spray in the bargain. And did I mention the tequila?

This year, the recidivism rate was high as vendors returned to catch up on the news and share their successes. Karen Steele from Xactly; Steve Smythe from IBM CognosNow!; Jeff Dandridge from Infocentricity; Scott Davis of Eyeris; Kim Dossey from Teradata; and Kim Stanick from Paraccel. And don't forget the aforementioned Donald Farmer from Microsoft, who not only casts an elegant line, but comes up with some poetic one-liners. (On software as a service: Is it 'on premise' or 'on promise?')

There were some new players at the event as well: Paul Clark from SAP/Business Objects; Dan Soceanu from DataFlux; Nan Froisland from Pivotlink; Rich Ghiossi from HP; and Composite Software's Bob Eve. They were seasoned and masterfully held their own (the same could be said about the tequila, but later...) and they all fit right in.

One of the highlights was our field trip to Wildlife Images Rehabilitation and Education center, which treats sick and injured wildlife with the aim of re-introducing its residents back into their native habitats. We met birds of prey, wild cats, and a bear with an unrivaled predilection for surf and turf (photo courtesy of Kim Dossey):

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A special shout-out to Kym Wootton and Mary Jo Nott from BeyeNetwork, who kept the podcasts nice and toasty and didn't back down on either the drinking or the poker. Nice job, ladies!

Now about the tequila: I had the Herradura Tequila Seleccion Suprema (since you asked: robust agave with a medium burn) shipped ahead. Shawn Rogers contributed the Harradura Anejo and Cabo Wabo and we had a Mexican version of a degustation. Saying hasta la vista to the Rogue for another year was tough, but the memories (and a little hair of the dog) will no doubt hold me over.

Technorati tag: Pacific Northwest BI Summit, business intelligence conference, Scott Humphrey


Posted August 5, 2008 2:58 PM
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