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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!

September 2008 Archives

At the Boulder BI Brain Trust, we heard a presentation from InfoNow about their company background, product offering, and future directions. They offer SaaS for the management of the demand chain (manufacturer to distributor to retailer). See the complete blog here.

Posted September 26, 2008 1:49 PM
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Kickfire%20logo.jpgI went to the TPC-H benchmarks recently and found that Kickfire was at the top of the price/performance list for 100GB and 300GB systems. Using a 3-year system cost, they were under a dollar per query while averaging around 50 thousand queries per hour! Who is Kickfire, I asked myself?

I was briefed by Steve Dille, VP of Marketing, and Beverley Bird, Director of Marketing Communications, for Kickfire. They were founded in 2006, have 50 employees, closed $30M in VC funding, and have been very busy.

As a new vendor in the increasingly crowded data warehouse appliance (DWA) marketplace, the ability to distinguish themselves is critical. The non-distinguishing features are twofold:

First, their product is column-oriented with data compression. Second, they are a 'true' appliance by offering an integrated hardware/software package.

The distinguishing features of Kickfire are twofold:

First, they are the only DWA built upon (underneath?) the open source database MySQL. I am increasingly impressed with the technology and community of MySQL. It is gaining creditability within enterprise circles; however, MySQL is not known for its ability to process large data sets and complex queries. Kickfire feels that they have solved those problems and are offering a unique solution to the growing MySQL community.

Second, they process SQL using a proprietary co-processor (like a graphics co-processor) whose machine language is SQL operations (like relational algebra operators). With their aggressive data compression, those SQL operations can be performed in memory. Further, the SQL operations are performed on the compressed data, avoiding the compression/decompression overhead.

A disadvantage is that the data volume is limited to 3 TB with the current nonclustered product. They plan to scale to higher data volumes with an array of similar processor units. On the other hand, I believe that there is huge demand for sub-TB warehouses that are inexpensive and convenient.

The product is in beta with two customers. Availability is mid October. I am going to watch the initial customer reactions on this one!

Posted September 12, 2008 4:35 PM
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At the Boulder BI Brain Trust, we heard a presentation from LyzaSoft about their company background, product offering, and future directions. They offer an analysis tool for the desktop. See the complete blog here.

Posted September 12, 2008 1:24 PM
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A webcast from IBM describes the integration of the Optim product from Princeton Softech, acquired in September 2007. The focus is on the set of tools and procedures for managing the IT architecture across a wide scope of functions. The figure below show this scope as 14 sectors. I was impressed with the breath of functions that much be considered as a whole if a company is to manage properly its enterprise data asset.

Posted September 12, 2008 8:00 AM
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Tom Redman, better known as the 'Data Doc', has published a new book Data Driven: Profiting from Your Most Important Business Asset through Harvard Business Press.

In contrast to several recent books on the importance of managing with data analytics, Data Driven starts with the IT infrastructure required to maintain consistent data, then focuses on data quality from the executive perspective of the hidden costs of poor data, and finally, explores how to make better decisions through proper data management.

A nice twist is a chapter on content providers who bring packaged data to the marketplace. This is a growing segment that is applicable to every business, since every business collects data that has value to companies in its ecosystem.

There is a chapter on Social Issues, which is great in intent but weak in content. Sad...

The book ends with "what to do over the next one hundred days" advice. If managers are serious about treating data as a business asset, then this chapter lays out the essentials of what to do.

I recommend this book for business executives to orient their thinking about data as a business asset and to realize what tangible actions must be done to make that a reality in their companies. I know that these are old old themes for the IT profession. However, these fundamental themes are oldies but goodies!

Posted September 3, 2008 9:15 AM
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