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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 BI Marketplace Category

MStrat logo.pngMicroStrategy briefed analysts today about their decision to distribute free their rich-function enterprise-level Reporting Suite, limited only by a maximum of 100 user seats. Their motivation is for increased revenue coming from larger user bases, enhanced reporting functionality, and support options. There has been pressure from the open-source BI reporting competitors, like JasperSoft, which probably also motivates this offer.

When asked about the cost to MicroStrategy for the distribution and support of this 'free' software, especially since it is a complex product not for the faint-hearted tech-challenged users. The answer was that the majority of those costs are embedded in existing facilities to support their current customers. Also, these costs are in the range of "100's of thousands", which are very reasonable marketing costs for a $360M company to get increased market exposure.

A tech-savvy IT shop could receive good business value by adopting MicroStrategy's offer. But, they should realize that there are real costs to them for installation and maintenance of any enterprise software and for integration into their infrastructure. So, there is nothing that really is free with enterprise systems.

Posted October 8, 2009 9:32 AM
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Tony Rodriguez, Chairman and CTO of x88 Software, gave Jos van Dongen of Tholis Consulting and Mark Madsen of Third Nature, and me a demo of their new Panorama value-oriented database engine and Pandora data discovery/profiling tool.

Impressive demo! This product takes slicing and dicing of massive amounts of data to a new level. It has nice features for surfacing the formats or templates of data values, like street addresses, zip codes, etc. It also can search phonetically and probabilistically, so you can find 'loose' matches on a search phrase. And so on...

I wonder, however, about who would buy this product... A data modeling or data quality specialist would find this tool very useful. It certainly fits the requirements for an exploratory data warehouse. But, duplicating the terabytes from an enterprise data warehouse into this engine would not be feasible. If you target smaller companies as the platform for their primary data warehouse, will these companies have the sophistication to realize the business value inherent in this tool?

Take a look. What is your opinion?


Posted December 4, 2008 10:54 AM
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At the Boulder BI Brain Trust, we heard a presentation from Spotfire about their company background, product offering, and future directions. They offer advanced data analytics tool. See the complete blog here.


Posted October 10, 2008 12:09 PM
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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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