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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!

December 2007 Archives

It was a pleasant surprise to receive the new book by Cindi Howson entitled Successful Business Intelligence. She has always impressed me as a thoughtful and knowledgeable professional who has contributed greatly to the BI field by living in the trenches, digging into the details, and teaching others about her experiences.

It is hard to find a comprehensive book on BI that is written without an impenetrable cloud of technical concepts. Ten years ago, successful BI depended on the expert execution of those technical concepts. However, BI has matured, increasing the importance of nontechnical factors for successful BI.

This book tracks this trend by clarifying the current success factors for successful BI projects. Oldies and goodies are covered, such as the necessity of executive support, data quality, and business-IT partnership. However, the real contribution lies in highlighting some of the new success factors, such as:

- Measuring Success: If you can not measure BI, you will not be successful. The book suggests numerous ways to measuring your BI effort.

- Role of Luck, Opportunity, Frustration and Threat: We hate to admit it, but BI projects are often successful (or not) for reasons beyond our control or even our imagination. Get over it! The book suggests ways of maximizing your success by making you aware of this dynamic.

- Agile Development: Do not build BI systems in the old traditional way. We all know this. But do we know a good alternative? The book outlines the Agile Manifesto to deliver early and continuous versions, embrace requirements changes, intensify person interactions, etc.

- Organizational Culture: Experienced BI professionals realize that some company cultures are so messed up that there is no way to have a successful BI project. Sad but true! This book suggests the essential cultural characteristics based on the research of Jim Collins.

I highly recommend this book to both BI professionals who have some experience and business executives who are new to BI. The old timers can refocus and sync with the new trends. And, the executives can focus on the real business issues, avoiding paralysis over technical details. In fact, buy several copies to pass along to your colleagues. Maybe, just maybe, this will reduce the frequency that you are asked, "Now what do you really do with this BI stuff?"

Posted December 21, 2007 12:47 PM
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