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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!

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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