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Richard Hackathorn

Welcome to my blog stream. I am focusing on the business value of low latency data, real-time business intelligence (BI), data warehouse (DW) appliances, use of virtual world technology, ethics of business intelligence and globalization of business intelligence. However, my blog entries may range widely depending on current industry events and personal life changes. So, readers beware!

Please comment on my blogs and share your opinions with the BI/DW community.

About the author >

Dr. Richard Hackathorn is founder and president of Bolder Technology, Inc. He has more than thirty years of experience in the information technology industry as a well-known industry analyst, technology innovator and international educator. He has pioneered many innovations in database management, decision support, client-server computing, database connectivity, associative link analysis, data warehousing, and web farming. Focus areas are: business value of timely data, real-time business intelligence (BI), data warehouse appliances, ethics of business intelligence and globalization of BI.

Richard has published numerous articles in trade and academic publications, presented regularly at leading industry conferences and conducted professional seminars in eighteen countries. He writes regularly for the BeyeNETWORK.com and has a channel for his blog, articles and research studies. He is a member of the IBM Gold Consultants since its inception, the Boulder BI Brain Trust and the Independent Analyst Platform.

Dr. Hackathorn has written three professional texts, entitled Enterprise Database Connectivity, Using the Data Warehouse (with William H. Inmon), and Web Farming for the Data Warehouse.

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

November 2006 Archives

The WSJ today carried an article on Second Life. The focus was how creative media/marketing companies were using this 3D environment for creative collaboration. The London-based ad agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty had a video produced on YouTube by the Electric Sheep Company (a system integrator specializing in SecondLife).

Technorati Tags: Second Life, Business Intelligence, creative collaboration,

Posted November 13, 2006 9:12 AM
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Today's WSJ on page B1 mentions a research study examining 1,100 business plans submitted to a second-tier venture capital firm during the bubble years (August 1995 to March 2000). The study concludes that the dominate business strategy was to 'get big fast'. No surprises there! This seems like the strategy for many Web 2.0 companies today.

However, the study found that the attrition rate for dot-com companies was roughly 20% per year, which is the same as other industries in their early boom periods. And, these survivors were not the large well-known companies (like Google and eBay), but they were smaller firms in niche markets sustained by web shopping. These niche businesses have provided decent returns to those involved.

So, the Dot-Com Bubble may not be as bad as we all think. Read the full research study when it is published in a future issue of the Journal of Financial Economics.

Technorati Tags: Business Intelligence, Dot-Com

Posted November 8, 2006 8:59 AM
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It is Monday. It must be the Business Objects Conference in San Francisco.

With a splash of Rhythm Extreme, the conference launched. At least, the actors were in synch. Will the company also be? There are 2,400 attendees, a 20% growth rate in attendance over the last several years. 150 sessions offered. Only one-twentieth the size of the Oracle Conference just two weeks ago, also in Moscone Center, but it is still impressive.

John Schwarz, CEO, spoke on the theme of BI being the enabler for transforming the way we work. He stated that BOBJ has 39,000 customers garnered over its 15 year history. He projecting annual revenue of $1.2B for 2006. Partnership program has grown to 3,000 companies. He emphasized the characteristics of High-Performance Organizations as having alignment, simplicity, trust, innovation in enterprise business intelligence. He also emphasized the industry specific solutions in financial services, telecommunications, government, healthcare and so on. A new product, The Productivity Suite, was announced for delivery early next year. To make it easier for smaller companies, their tools will be offered as a Software-As-A-Service. IBM was mentioned as a 'special' strategic partner. I wonder about the possibility of IBM acquiring Business Objects...

Bernard Liautaud, Founder, Chairman, Chief Strategy Officer, then spokes on his vision for BI 2.0. Like Web 2.0, Bernard feels that BI is undergoing a revolution in its usage and impacts on organizations, causing many constructive innovations and disruptive upheavals. Thus, he (like several others) is coining this phrase BI 2.0. Last year, Bernard listed five areas that he was focusing upon: users, platforms, networks, applications, community. My reaction was that his framework was to broad, needing to focus more on key issues. He predicted that ERP would evolve into an information-centric solution based upon BI. Bernard seemed current in his understand of Web 2.0, but he was still searching for the right formula relevant to Business Objects.

They announced a community aggregator The In-Site open to all conference attendees. I predict that this will be a standard part of trade conferences. Too bad that it starts after an event. It would to nice to use this as a planning/coordination mechanism prior to the event.

Posted November 6, 2006 10:00 AM
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I just started reading the book The Long Tail by Chris Anderson, editor in chief of Wired Magazine. The book comes highly recommended by several colleagues, including Sami Akbay, Vice President of Marketing for GoldenGate Software.

The introduction starts by focusing on top-seller lists of hit albums, books, TV shows, and so on. Top sellers rule! At least, they have in the past, through mass distribution channels that decided what got produced. It was the old 80-20 rule. 80% of the revenues come from 20% of the products. So, focus on the 20% (top sellers) and forget the rest.

Times they are a-changing... As society shifts to the global Internet with digital goods, that same behavior does not seem to be valid. That is the revelation that Anderson highlights. The moment of insight came in a question from the CEO of Ecast, a digital jukebox company offering 10,000 albums. What percentage of the 10,000 albums sold at least one tracks over the past quarter?

Normally, the answer would be 20% or a couple of thousand albums. The actual answer is 98%. Think about this!

So, as the company added more and more albums, that 98% held and their revenue continue to grow unbounded. This is a whole new perspective on expanding your market. I can't wait to get deeper into the book...

Posted November 3, 2006 4:07 PM
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Have you heard of SecondLife.com? Unless you are into multiple-player video games, you probably have not.

SecondLife is not a video game in the usual sense. It is a virtual reality environment where over a million people interact by roaming around in their custom avatars, conversing with other avatars, building unusual things (that can be scripted with equally unusual behaviors) and buying/selling virtual items (like clothing, houses and land). There are usually ten thousand people doing these activities at any time. And, close to a million REAL dollars are being exchanged every day! This is not your normal video game. Take a quick read of the feature article in BusinessWeek.

Why is SecondLife important to our BI/DW professional community? This technology for interactive virtual reality is maturing into several areas having potential benefits for corporate IT environments. Let me suggest a couple...

First, SecondLife can be used as an educational and collaborative environment. See the efforts of the New Media Consortium that are pooling the resources and intellect of hundreds of universities. The secret sauce of SecondLife is that groups can shared and interact with complex objects (prims). I predict that enterprise architectures could be designed and coordinate within SecondLife as if they were large buildings of smart Lego blocks. Think of a system management environment where you walk in full 3D around system components, not in a physical sense, but in a logical one. Status is indicated by movement, colors, sounds, and clouds.

Second, SecondLife is an ideal environment for data visualization. This would not be your normal table or chart, but a data forest where the information density is equivalent to that of a natural forest. In a few weeks, I will blog about the launch of NOAA Island for science outreach (which is headed by my son!).

Are there any IT professionals who are also on SecondLife? Please email me or comment on this blog. I will give you a personal (but virtual) tour of NOAA Island.

Posted November 3, 2006 10:11 AM
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