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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!

May 2009 Archives

Many years ago, I remember a visit to Execucom in Austin TX. Jerry Wagner, CEO, was our host for a demonstration of his war room for corporate financial analysis using their product IFPS. It was one of these 'a ha' moments when I realized that Business Intelligence (then Decision Support) was much more than an individual scanning printed reports. Beyond its military connotations, a war room was applicable to any corporation as an information-rich, high-bandwidth collaborative environment where real decisions were made and action plans were executed.

Today I had a ThinkBalm briefing by David Burden of Daden Limited. David pulled a Jerry! ...not in the real world, but in the 3D virtual world of Second Life. David and company created a large room (100m round) with large panels on three sides. In the center, the entire floor was a screen upon which to wander around.

David (or Corro Moseley in SL pic) proceeded to show us a variety of examples using public data sources, most with RSS feeds. First, he turned the floor into a full Google Maps display with good zoom/pan functions and excellent performance. Then, a series of examples followed:

  • current weather (with smart clouds like the NOAA weather map) pic
  • air traffic control of the LA basin pic
  • current traffic on global shipping lanes
  • disaster management showing Swine Flu occurrences
  • street level imaging of the city of Baghdad pic
  • current images from web cam feeds
  • city bus stops with current bus arrival data pic
  • trilogy of earthquakes, news, swine flu (clicking on color pins gave URL to specific news)
  • spherical visuals with RT satellite observations of water vapor, cloud cover pic
  • 3D plotting showing nearby stars and then nearby galaxies pic
  • Second Life world map searchable on regions pic
  • maps from the Traveler role-playing game pic
  • Open Street Map contrasting the Google Map images
  • general static webpages (but without the ability to click links)
  • chat bot who can answer questions using Wikipedia pic
(click here to see a slide show; show info to see captions)

The variety of data visualizations from open data feeds was amazing! David's secret sauce was the pre-formatting of this data within their proxy server. Once the limitations of the HTTP request function was accommodated, the transfer into SL was fairly efficient.

This is the emergence of new technology that will change the landscape of corporate business intelligence over the coming years. It is just a matter of incremental refinements in 3D virtual worlds before wide-spread adoption will occur.

Posted May 13, 2009 10:28 AM
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