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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!

Recently in 20091018 TD Partners Category

tdp logo.pngProf. Tom Davenport of Babson College began... We are at a historical inflection point! For 30-40 years of accumulating data that we should be using. Executives wonder whether they actually have better decision making. Why did we make this investment? But the time to realize better decision making has come! There is a shift of the key unit of analysis from transactions to decisions.

td-Tom.pngIs it the golden age of analytics?  Tom recommended Money Ball as an industry (professional sports) that is transformed from the use of analytics. Since 2005, there is now lots of discussion on analytics and its role in corporate IT. He is starting the International Institute of Analytics.

In tough times, analytics should provide precision answers to important questions, such as: prices that should be changed in specific situations, inventory levels that are absolutely essential, marketing promotions that are really working, and so on.

Answers does not come overnight, instead they require passionate advocacy, intuition, and creativity over the long term. Analytics is not sterile rigorous thinking for an elite few. Tom shared a number of corporate examples like Marriott, Royal Bank of Canada, UPS, Harrah's, J.C. Penny, Capital One and Netflix.  He continued with examples of analytics in professional sports He is a Red Sox fan!.
 
How do you compete with business analytics? Tom offered the DELTA model that has five factors: Data, Enterprise, Leadership, Targets and Analysts. Think about the out-of-the-box data that is worth gathering, such as measuring the frequency of smiling for customer service at Harrah's. We need to link the business value of better analytical information. Levels of analytics usage are: Data in Order, Key Targets, Differentiated Action, Predictive Action, Institutional Action, Real-Time Optimization. Analysts need to be Ph.D. with personality! Take the DELTA model and view it across the five stages... which is coming out in Tom's next book "Analytics at Work" in 2010. "If you have a great analytic, don't tell anyone about it because the market will adjust and remove that competitive advantage.." We need to evolve from the 'craft' to 'industrial' style of analytics.

Q&A... How do you train 'normal people' in analytical thinking and management? How do you teach being a good consumer of analytical information? Is 'analytical entrepreneur' an oxymoron?

My Take... Good message. Implications are deep. However, practical results depend on a transformation of thinking among managers and all others who are touched by analytics. And, that is tough!


Posted October 20, 2009 8:10 AM
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tdp logo.pngI hate concurrent sessions! It seems like all the sessions that I really wanted to attend are all scheduled for this time slot. So, this blog is composed of pieces from several...as I skip around rooms.

Dirk Anderson, Architect for the Bank of America, talked on In-Database SAS processing for their anti-money-laundering team. First, various limitations of doing traditional analytics of moving data from DW to SAS, processing in SAS, and moving data back to the DW.

Neil McGowan, CIO for J D Williams, and Chris Brierley, DW Manager, both of J D Williams talked on multi-channel targeted marketing. They experimented with Speed-Trap to capture key/mouse movements when browsing product pages.

Todd Papaioannou, Purveyor of Damn Cool Technologies (no kidding!) at Teradata, talked on how Teradata is using cloud computing. Todd described an elastic mart that uses the Teradata data warehouse. It is self-service by users to create their own private data marts within a managed environment. Todd then showed a 5-minute video of launching a Teradata system in the Amazon Elastic Cloud Environment. The video can be download at the Teradata Developer Exchange.

What are the business benefits? Dynamically provisioning of testing environment under multiple operating systems, porting application, backup of data, expanded market, faster POCs to reduce sales cycle, periodic DW for nightly batch load with report generation, cheaper testing systems, and so on. Impressive list!

What are the drawbacks? Performance cannot be guaranteed, security of trusting your data with someone else, service levels are tough to get, nervous about stability, security, and so on. Todd asserted that all corporations will build a private cloud eventually. Cloud computing is here to stay with some blend of private and public clouds. Virtualization is the mega trend of the next decade. Data is moving into the cloud. 

Posted October 19, 2009 9:03 PM
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tdp logo.pngRob Tuttle briefed the analysts on Teradata Relationship Manager (TRM), which is Teradata's CRM application. Rob gave examples of event-based marketing for making relevant and timely messages to customers, along with enterprise offer management for generating the appropriate offers to customers based on specific conditions.

td-tuttle.pngAn insight is that the boundary between marketing and sales becomes blurred with advanced CRM. With multi-stage marketing campaigns, later stages should link/merge into sales and even order-entry systems.

Customers are becoming in control of communications with your company. Rob argued that there are silos between the EDW and web analytics data. A big limitation is the proper tagging of pages so that customer interactions are logged. Teradata Integrated Web Intelligence merges online/offline data into Teradata Relationship Manager. Rob mentioned that we should see the demo of Speed-Trap in the exhibits. It records keystrokes and mouse movements while visiting your company's website.

Todd then described Teradata "River" which starts the conversation among Teradata customers with a collaborative online communities that are highly visual with extensive audio/video. It was organized by John McKean of the Center for Information-Based Competition.

Posted October 19, 2009 12:21 PM
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tdp logo.pngDave Schrader briefed the analysts on Active Enterprise Intelligence (AEI) using some of the 146 customer examples that he has collected. He had initially focused on customer intelligence usually in the context of customer call centers, and has recently moved into collecting examples of operational efficiency.

td-Schrader.pngAs Dave cited examples, there are amazing innovations in new business approaches exhibited by a diverse group of customers across many industries. The key is to align the operations with strategic directions and strategy with smart operations.

Posted October 19, 2009 11:36 AM
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tdp logo.pngClosing the opening keynote session is a old colleague Don Tapscott with his new research on the current digital generation. He summarized his book Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World.

A brief summary of Don's keynote is... We live in a Web 2.0 world that is becoming smart and interconnected. This isn't your daddy's Internet. People with ages 13-30 are called the Net Generation for they have been bathe in bits. They have become an authority with something significant. Their norms are defined as: freedom, customization, scrutiny, integrity, collaboration, entertainment, speed, and innovation.

td-tapscott.pngWhen this generation comes into the workforce, what should we expect? It is a new model for Talent Relationship Management. For example, take Best Buy, who is doing it right with the Net Generation. Work = collaboration = learning = fun. There are many new tools for collaboration, like blog, wiki, Facebook... So, many corporations take their new recruits, put them into cubicles, and ban these tools. However, Best Buy gets this! The CEO said, "My job is to unleash creativity" and created the Blue Shirt Nation as a way for younger employees to organize.

The new era is BI 2.0 as the rise of collective intelligence. Purpose should be for collective intelligence of strategic innovation engagement and relationships. Objective should be about growth. Interface is active visual intelligence. Nature of work is interactive and cognitive. Metrics should be top down using data to support strategy. Focus should be predictive on what will happen.

Bring the generations together to break down the generation firewall. There is a new door that is being opened by the younger generation. We should embrace the future, but we should respect the past because it was the only way possible back then.


Posted October 19, 2009 10:39 AM
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