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Wayne Eckerson

Welcome to Wayne's World, my blog that illuminates the latest thinking about how to deliver insights from business data and celebrates out-of-the-box thinkers and doers in the business intelligence (BI), performance management and data warehousing (DW) fields. Tune in here if you want to keep abreast of the latest trends, techniques, and technologies in this dynamic industry.

About the author >

Wayne has been a thought leader in the business intelligence field since the early 1990s. He has conducted numerous research studies and is a noted speaker, blogger, and consultant. He is the author of two widely read books: Performance Dashboards: Measuring, Monitoring, and Managing Your Business (2005, 2010) and The Secrets of Analytical Leaders: Insights from Information Insiders (2012).

Wayne is founder and principal consultant at Eckerson Group,a research and consulting company focused on business intelligence, analytics and big data.

This is my first week as a director of research at TechTarget. I've been asked by quite a few folks why I made the move. The answer is simple: I believe TechTarget is best positioned to help me take my coverage of business intelligence to the next level.

TechTarget's business model is geared to "targeting" high growth segments in the information technology industry. It supports these markets with dedicated, content-rich Web sites that serve up news, expert opinion, and "how to" advice. Several years ago, it started SearchDataManagement.com to target the data warehousing and data integration markets, and earlier this year, it launched SearchBusinessAnalytics.com to create a community around business intelligence and analytics. Six months ago, it purchased BeyeNetwork to add a community of experts and thought leaders to its BI portfolio.

I've been associated with the BI industry since 1995 and have watched it grow from infancy to adulthood. Today, it's clear that BI has gone mainstream. (As evidence, see the article about BI published last week in USA Today.) As I look in my crystal ball, I believe the future growth for education, training, and information about BI will occur in niche or micro-markets, that is the "long tail" of BI. Increasingly, BI professionals want to learn about BI in the context of their vertical industry or functional department. Also, there is already sizable interest in BI within the small-and-medium sized business (SMB) market, and I expect significant growth in less developed regions around the world (e.g. China, Eastern Europe, Latin and South America.) I believe TechTarget is best positioned to nurture and capitalize on the growth in these niche segments.

TechTarget took a first step in this direction earlier this year with its purchase of BeyeNetwork, which was founded in 2005 by Ron Powell. Back then, Ron's vision was to deliver BI content largely through vertical channels. Looking back, it's clear that Ron was ahead of his time. The good news is that the market is ready for BI verticalization. Ron has put together a strong framework to pursue this strategy, and I'm eager to help him realize his vision.

I'm also eager to join TechTarget because they are giving me the opportunity to offer consulting services to user and vendor organizations through my own company, BI Leader Consulting. (The Web site, www.bileader.com, will be up and running soon.) I believe that any respectable BI thought leader needs to spend time working in the trenches with users to truly understand the challenges facing BI professionals. Although I've performed consulting work in the past, this new arrangement gives me the opportunity to do so more consistently.

I applaud TechTarget's flexibility, and whether they know it or not, my consulting work will play to their advantage. TechTarget is a highly disciplined media company that focuses on delivering high quality and objective content to its online communities. Armed with insights from my hands-on work, I'll contribute more insightful content valued by TechTarget readers than I would locked up in an ivory research tower. Let the fun begin!

Posted November 20, 2010 1:21 PM
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