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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!

Are you short on BI expertise? Stumped about how to maintain the right metrics for your business community? Tired of inconsistency and a lack of integrity in your BI metrics? Don't even know where to start in creating critical metrics?

Well, help is here -- It's called PROOF but I call it "a BI expert in a box"...

I rarely endorse products but I read a interesting press release recently about a new product developed by Symmetry Corporation called cleverly, "PROOF" for performance reporting framework. Not sure I understand the abbreviation but it is a catchy name.

More important to you is what PROOF does. According to the press release, PROOF is a server-based metrics platform that automatically generates standard metrics. Through its process it ensures that you get metrics integrity and BI best practices for performance management implementations like scorecards, dashboards, and reporting systems. I was fortunate to get a sneak peak at this Microsoft-centric product a few weeks ago and believe it is definitely worth blogging about. Here are the parts that make PROOF worthwhile:

1. Metrics integration - Once created, metrics are stored in a server so they can be centrally managed. You use these starter metrics over and over giving your BI performance management environment reusability and repeatability. Something BI implementers always strive for.

2. Metrics intelligence - This piece of the platform understands common business rules for specific calculations like Year-to-date, time , currency conversions, unit-of-measure conversions, and so on. These are the things that drive BI implementers crazy! No one seems to do these the same way twice. Now you not only have them stored but documented.

3. Metrics integrity - Because you reuse them and they are well documented, you can be sure that your metrics are interacting appropriately with each other through the correct business rules. They must stack up in the right order, especially for calculations like percent difference, period over period, etc. Apples cannot be compared to oranges...

Dan Bulos, the President of Symmetry, states, ""The information explosion has resulted in a proliferation of performance reporting solutions across companies. Often business logic is scattered in different systems or embedded in individual reports. Managers need consistent access to performance metrics and confidence that those metrics are accurate for effective decision-making."

Dan's company has over 20 years of experience in building BI systems, more than most other implementation companies, and has translated that expertise into this metrics platform. Now you can purchase their expertise to create your own performance reporting applications to highlight key targets, trends and typical rankings. Even non-experts can develop accurate, consistent metrics just like the pros. Interesting product, interesting solution. I hope you will look into it.

Yours in BI success,

Claudia


Posted April 17, 2006 9:59 AM
Permalink | 5 Comments |

5 Comments

Don't you think that "business intelligence" is truly an oxymoron at most companies - similar to all those WMDs that were found in Iraq?

Now, Stephen -- you of all people should know better than to think that... After all we have direct evidence that BI does really exist... I have a vial of it sitting on my desk. :-)

Claudia

Just a quick question: Not to doubt your integrity or anything, but what is your relationship to the company behind "PROOF"? The reason I ask, is that myself, and a couple of others in the BI community have been trying to get some more information on this "product" by sending inquisitive emails to Symmetry. All of these emails have AFAIK gone unanswered, which of course is odd, especially if you are selling a product.

Thank you, Peter, for your comment. To respond, I have no financial interests in Symmetry. As a matter of point, my company has never and will never receive any sort of financial revenues resulting from a vendor's sale into any of our client base.

I got an overview of their product and thought it was unique enough and interesting enough to write about. I am disappointed that you have not received any responses to your emails to them. That is certainly one strike...

I will send a note to Dan Bulos to that effect. Hopefully that will spur a quick response to you.

Dan, if you are monitoring these comments, please contact Peter and any others that may have sent you emails from this blog. Thanks!

I am president of Symmetry Corp, the authors of PROOF, and would like to apologize for any inconvenience anyone has had contacting us. You can contact me directly at bulos@symcorp.com with any questions or comments regarding Proof. This is embarrassing and we are taking corrective action to fix the problem.

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