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Blog: Claudia Imhoff Subscribe to this blog's RSS feed!

Claudia Imhoff

Welcome to my blog.

This is another means for me to communicate, educate and participate within the Business Intelligence industry. It is a perfect forum for airing opinions, thoughts, vendor and client updates, problems and questions. To maximize the blog's value, it must be a participative venue. This means I will look forward to hearing from you often, since your input is vital to the blog's success. All I ask is that you treat me, the blog, and everyone who uses it with respect.

So...check it out every week to see what is new and exciting in our ever changing BI world.

About the author >

A thought leader, visionary, and practitioner, Claudia Imhoff, Ph.D., is an internationally recognized expert on analytics, business intelligence, and the architectures to support these initiatives. Dr. Imhoff has co-authored five books on these subjects and writes articles (totaling more than 150) for technical and business magazines.

She is also the Founder of the Boulder BI Brain Trust, a consortium of independent analysts and consultants (www.BBBT.us). You can follow them on Twitter at #BBBT

Editor's Note:
More articles and resources are available in Claudia's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!


July 2005 Archives

On July 21, I got a surprising email from Stephanie Clark - IBM's Analyst Relations person. In it, she states that IBM and Hyperion are ending their OEM agreement and each company will go its merry way. Read on -- it gets even stranger.

Bottom line from the email? IBM will no longer offer new sales of DB2 OLAP Server (IBM's version of Hyperion's Essbase) to its customers. Current DB2 OLAP Server customers have the opportunity to migrate to Hyperion's version of Essbase as of July 21st.

And, in a strange twist, Hyperion just announced that it and IBM will work together to deliver new industry and technology solutions and services. The two companies will focus on joint solutions that integrate Hyperion’s financial applications and Business Intelligence software with IBM’s infrastructure software products and Business Consulting Services. A direct quote from IBM: "By working more closely together, Hyperion and IBM will offer clients flexible and more powerful methods to optimize business performance,” said Nancy Thomas, partner in IBM’s Business Consulting Services.

My, my -- Maybe Hyperion did not get the message or perhaps IBM is trying to figure out how to play nice with newly minted competitors given it now owns AlphaBlox. Hard to say...

I welcome your input on this conundrum.

Yours in BI Success,


Posted July 26, 2005 7:57 PM
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Wow -- when I started in the BI business 17 years ago, I never dreamed we would be able to store more than 100 GB of data. That seemed like an astonishingly large amount of data. In fact, my first warehouse project implemented a whopping 25 MB and we thought we were really pushing the envelope. To be honest, I didn't even know what a terabyte was back then. My, how times have changed.

This week, DATAllegro announced its newest product, the C25, a high capacity data warehouse appliance that can hold 25 TB at a cost of $20,000 per TB! Amazing, just amazing.

Between compliance issues, new technologies like RFID, and the insatiable desire to have all the data all the time from the business community, you will find that the capacity plan for your data warehouse is woefully underestimated really fast! The arbitrary limitations on data storage -- it costs too much, performance is really bad with so much data, no one would ever use that much data -- seem to be dissolving into thin air. These data warehouse appliances from DATAllegro, Netezza, Calpont , and Green Plum (formerly Metapa) may be just the ticket to inexpensive, high capacity data storage, retrieval and analysis.

Next up -- the 100 TB appliance!

Yours in BI Success!


Posted July 21, 2005 4:54 PM
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HP and IBM made big headlines today for very different reasons. In his first major move at HP's helm, Mark Hurd announced plans to remove 14,500 employees -- roughly a tenth of HP's workforce.

Not to be outdone, IBM announced major reshuffling in its executive ranks with the retirement of Janet Perna, long time head of IBM's information management solutions, and the departure of John Joyce, head of the company's Global Services consulting arm.

For HP's Mark Hurd, this move should seem familiar to Hurd followers. He had a very similar strategy when he was the head of NCR where he cut jobs. The good news -- the move is expected to save nearly $2 billion annually, starting in 2007. No chump change there. However, Hurd repeatedly refused to answer analysts' questions to provide more details -- in particular, which areas of HP would be hit hardest and what would be the effect of this massive layoff on the morale of his remaining troops. It seems obvious though that motivating employees after such a drastic event will be difficult and many questions will have to be answered.

For IBM, Joyce will be replaced by not one, not two, but three newly promoted senior VPs. Big shoes to fill, huh? IGS is being divided into IT services, enterprise business services (I assume BI consulting will fall there), and integrated operations. Joyce, meanwhile, goes on to head up venture capitalist, Silver Lake Partners.

Janet Perna is retiring after 31 years at IBM. She is well-respected by IBM partners and customers alike as a no-nonsense leader in driving the company's information integration strategy. I wish her well in her retirement.

Her replacement is Ambuj Goyal, formerly the Lotus general manager. What this means to the product side of IBM's house remains to be seen but given Goyal's role within IBM for developing collaboration tools, we may see a shift in emphasis to workflow, portals and other collaboration technologies.

Posted July 19, 2005 6:43 PM
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Visions of the past -- a Florida county is at odds with the state's Attorney General over voting machines. The county's Council claims that the proposed machines could be rigged for political advantage because the machines lack an audit trail... Well, at least there would be no hanging chad!

Yes, the Volusia County Council has voted 4 to 3 against authorizing the purchase of new touch-screen voting systems from Diebold Election Systems. Florida state law mandated that all counties must have at least one state-certified touch-screen machine in place by July 1. These new machines meet the handicap-access requirement to enable blind voters to receive verbal prompts to help them vote.

Volusia County Council refused to authorize the machines purchase because they do not generate a paper receipt of a person's vote thus permitting possible political rigging. What was Diebold thinking? Maybe it is just me but an auditing function should be an obvious feature for something as important as a person's vote.

To have no tangible audit trail capability built into these systems for the individual voter appears to be a major design oversight. Even ATMs give you a paper receipt.

Diebold claims that the touch-screen machines are "completely reliable" and that they provide an internal paper receipt that can print out all votes cast. Seems like they have all the mechanics in place to easily convert these machines to print an individual's receipt. So why don't they do this?

Meanwhile back in Florida, Ion Sancho, the supervisor of elections in Leon county (which uses optical scanning technology), is also holding out. He would like to get certification for these optical scan voting devices which do produce individual paper receipts. "Voters demand that we can account for every vote 100% accurately", says Sancho, "And my goal is to make sure the votes are counted as intended."

It is critical that we have confidence that each and every vote will be counted and counted correctly. Florida, indeed every state, must have systems in place that restore our voters' confidence in the electoral process. And this boils down the the voting equipment

I welcome your comments.

Yours In BI and audit trail success,


Posted July 12, 2005 8:24 AM
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I thought I would let you know that I will be on vacation from July 4 to July 12. I wish all of you a happy Fourth of July. Look for my next blog entry the week of July 11.

Yours in BI success,


Posted July 3, 2005 6:25 PM
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