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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!

February 2006 Archives

When I was a kid at camp one summer, my parents sent me a telegram wishing me a happy birthday [stop] It made me feel important and special [stop] Last week, that staple of America communications quietly went the way of the dinosaur... [full stop]

Yes, it is true. Western Union, which for years brought us news of births, deaths, war, and peace, delivered its last telegram on January 27 -- another victim of changing times. From a peak of 200 million telegrams delivered in 1929, Western Union steadily (and rapidly in its final years) plunged into obscurity, delivering only 20,000 telegrams last year.

What caused this venerable institution's demise? Why, the very thing that is bringing you its news -- the Internet and its associated email service. Certainly, Western Union must have known its telegram days were numbered at least a decade ago -- the writing was on the wall. And it did manage to reinvent itself somewhat by focusing on other ways to use its infrastructure -- concentrating on financial services offerings like money orders, money transfers, prepaid credit cards, etc. The company handles more than 275 million money transfers each year through its more than 271,000 agent locations in 200 countries and territories.

But apparently this was not enough to keep it attractive to its parent company, First Data. They announced last week that Western Union's financial services business would be spun off as a separate, independent, publicly traded company. Ouch!

Seems like the original granddaddy of "instant messaging" should have been able to leverage its knowledge of this business and grand name to shift gears toward a newer version of itself. Ah, but it was not to be. I know in my heart of hearts I will miss being able to send my own daughter that well known yellow letter with strips of text glued to it for her birthday...

Yours in BI success,


Posted February 8, 2006 3:37 PM
Permalink | 2 Comments |

How much do you trust what Gartner, IDC, Forrester, and the rest of the IT research firms say? This is the topic of an upcoming (February 6) Information Week article as announced in a blog written by Larry Greenemeier. The magazine interviewed dozens of IT vendors, end users, and executives at the top analyst firms to answer the credibility question. The article promises to be a pistol to say the least.

According to Larry, the analyst industry has "tapped into an almost desperate need that businesses have to stay on top of emerging technology and a community of IT vendors even more desperate to make the sale". Not the most complimentary comments but you have to admit -- it is suspect when an analyst publishes a purportedly independent report on the state of the vendors in our industry, but the report is funded by the very vendors being reported upon.

Certainly we all have become enamored with the Magic Quadrant and the future predictions from these companies. We can't wait to see who's in and where they are positioned. But do the analysts actually work with the products? Is there testing done? How do they evaluate "vision" versus "ability to execute". These seem rather subjective to me (IMHO). In an age of data transparency and validity (a la Sarbanes-Oxley), perhaps these firms should publish all the criteria they use in these evaluations.

On the other hand, there can be no question that these firms do have significant influence in our industry. The fact that we are all reticent to question them speaks volumes. What vendor would consider criticizing these companies in public? What customer questions the research findings?

So -- I wait for the article with great anticipation. What will Information Week have to say about these companies? Will it be an expose or a white wash?

Meanwhile, what do you have to say? If you are more comfortable being anonymous, feel free to use a pseudonym for your name in the comment area. I would love to hear your opinions.

Yours in BI Success,


Posted February 1, 2006 4:32 PM
Permalink | 4 Comments |