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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.

While a number of established BI vendors are showing signs of duress due to the market shift from reporting to analytics and the onslaught of sexy, new visual discovery products, one old-time BI vendor that is bucking the trend is Datawatch, a public company whose stock price has skyrocketed from 11 to 33 in the past nine months.

Founded in 1985, Datawatch has toiled out of the limelight for many years, selling decidedly unsexy "report mining" tools, which enable customers to extract and integrate data from print spools, ASCII files, EDI feeds, XBRL and PDF documents and just about any other formatted document or report as well as relational sources and output the results to BI tools, Excel, HTML, and other interactive environments.

Along with its low profile, Datawatch had flat revenues. The problem, according to president and CEO Michael Morrison, who was brought in three years ago to turn around the company, is that Datawatch left a lot of money on the table because it didn't offer a front-end BI or visualization tool. A former IBM Cognos executive, Morrison moved quickly to restructure the company's operations and hire industry veterans from Cognos, Applix, Hyperion and other leading BI vendors to rewrite the company's strategy and execute it.

The move that catapulted Datawatch's stock this summer was its acquisition of Panopticon, a real-time visualization vendor founded by a Swedish banker that targeted capital markets. Investors quickly recognized that in the era of big data and visualization, the combination of Datawatch's report mining technology--which it now calls "information optimization"--and Panapoticon's real-time visual discovery tools make a potent combination.

Datawatch now bundles both technologies in its Datawatch Desktop and Server products, which compete directly against Tableau, Qliktech, Tibco Spotfire, and other vendors in the red-hot visual discovery market. Unlike those vendors, Datawatch handles streaming and multi-structured data, giving it a decisive advantage in many customer accounts. It has also sealed partnerships with Streambase, Splunk and other data management vendors to deliver real-time streaming analytics against multi-structured data.

With high expectations from investors and others, Datawatch is now the one to watch. Datawatch is based in Chelmsford, MA with stock symbol DWCH. For more information, go to: www.datawatch.com.

Posted January 27, 2014 4:10 PM
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