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Ron Powell

Thanks for visiting my blog. As co-founder of the BeyeNETWORK, acquired by TechTarget in 2010, I am privileged to participate in many industry-related activities as a BeyeNETWORK expert covering business intelligence and analytics. These events provide me with a unique insider perspective into the business intelligence ecosystem, its products and the vendors that provide those products. I'll be sharing that invaluable information with you through this blog, which will also be a reflection my business philosophy. And, just to make this interesting, I'll be sure to include my personal point of view on a wide range of topics and share some of the stories of people I meet in my travels.

About the author >

Ron, an independent analyst and consultant, has an extensive technology background in business intelligence, analytics and data warehousing. In 2005, Ron founded the BeyeNETWORK, which was acquired by Tech Target in 2010. Prior to the founding of the BeyeNETWORK, Ron was cofounder, publisher and editorial director of DM Review (now Information Management). Ron also has a wealth of consulting expertise in business intelligence, business management and marketing. He may be contacted by email at rpowell@wi.rr.com.

More articles and Ron's blog can be found in his BeyeNETWORK expert channel. Be sure to visit today!

Recently in Business Intelligence Category

I recently conducted an interview with Michael Corcoran, CMO, and Jake Freivald, VP of Marketing, for Information Builders. Information Builders was one of the early pioneers of BI. We discussed how the major trends around business intelligence, big data and analytics are impacting the operational needs of the end user. In this podcast, they share their insights regarding how their customers are effectively addressing key initiatives around these trends. Information Builders has continued to stay a step ahead with their BI offerings, which has greatly benefited their large customer base. Click here to listen to this podcast now or read it here.

Posted September 19, 2013 2:00 PM
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Actuate presented at the Boulder BI Brain Trust to a large group of analysts and experts. In summary, Actuate continues to focus on customer-facing applications (BIRT & BIRT iHUB), big data business analytics (BIRT Analytics) and output management for customer communications (BIRT for Composition and BIRT iHub Content Services). There are currently over 2.5 million developers using BIRT worldwide, and there are over 106,500 total registrations on BIRT Exchange.

Jeffrey Morris, vice president of product marketing, presented how Actuate is focusing on business analytics. Actuate will focus on a customer-centric strategy that will encompass application areas specific to  customer behavior and customer-centric big data analysis. Areas include customer acquisition, segmentation, retention, loyalty, churn, lifetime value, fraud prevention and analysis, and voice of the customer. Constraints for customers regarding big data and why the need for BIRT analytics include lack of resources, data integration and complexity and costs of change.

BIRT Analytics provides analysts and business users with advanced visual data discovery and predictive analytics to analyze big data. BIRT Analytics is driven by its own columnar database, which was acquired in the Quiterian acquisition. BIRT Analytics applies more rigor in data discovery utilizing assembly and a combination of analytic techniques to solve business problems.

Actuate's goal is to provide insights to operational users  via dashboards, KPIs, interactive and ad hoc reports on web or mobile to immediately impact your business. Mobile strategy provides native access to all the popular mobile devices. If you would like, you can download BIRT mobile to your mobile device and you only have to build it once.


Posted August 26, 2013 11:00 AM
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I recently spoke with Kevin Webster, BI Reporting Manager for Protrans, a third-party logistics provider. Protrans has utilized BI dashboards that have set up the essential KPI metrics to assist each department in meeting their goals. Protrans evaluated over 25 of the top BI companies against 100 individual metrics with customer service and functionality for growth as the most critical. Kevin also talked about how many of the current BI trends are being incorporated into the operational needs of the end user. In this podcast he shares his insights regarding how they are effectively addressing key initiatives around self-service and big data within the transportation industry. Protrans has successfully provided dashboards and reporting to their large network of customers. Click here to listen to this podcast now or read it here.

Posted August 12, 2013 9:00 AM
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As the big data database market continues to consolidate, one of the last independent analytic database companies ParAccel has been acquired by database vendor Actian. ParAccel, an analytic database company is an integral part of the Amazon Web Services Redshift data warehouse service. It also has a large customer base that includes MicroStrategy, one of the leaders in business intelligence.

Actian continues to add to its extensive database assets, which include the Ingres relational database, Vectorwise analytic database and the Versant object database. The significant benefit of this acquisition is that it allows Actian to address the needs of customers with databases exceeding 10 terabytes, which is considered the upper range for Vectorwise. It also allows it to compete with the larger players in the analytics market, including Teradata, Oracle, IBM and HP.

With ParAccel, Actian adds to its Hadoop capabilities gained through the acquisition of Pervasive Software with its DataRush platform. This enables faster and deeper analysis through its integration with Hadoop.

The acquisition, in my opinion, is very strategic for Actian and should place the company in the upper echelon of big data database players and provide an independent alternative to many of the larger companies in the market. The challenge for Actian will be how it differentiates and integrates all of its database offerings going forward. Only time will tell!


Posted April 25, 2013 11:00 AM
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You have probably read a lot of predictions and resolutions about analytics and business intelligence - some good, some questionable. But the 2012 BI predictions from Information Builders are right on the mark. Here's what I learned from Jake Freivald, Vice President of  Marketing at Information Builders, about their predictions for this year.

The first is that real-time is going to become much more mainstream. I agree because that's what everyone wants (historical data is important - but everyone is now realizing the value of real-time data), we now have the technologies to make real-time data capture and analysis a reality, and the benefits are too good to ignore.

Information Builders has long been focused on pervasive BI, and their second prediction is that operational employees are going to make a big push for BI capabilities so they can make smart decisions. I agree - provided these BI apps are easier to understand and use, and that certainly seems to be the direction of the industry.

According to Freivald, the third prediction relates to location intelligence. He indicated that they're seeing a surge in the number of people interested in using GIS in conjunction with BI technologies, particularly in retail, healthcare and law enforcement. And, thanks to mobile intelligence applications, location intelligence is more widely available and collectible.

The final prediction from Information Builders is a combination of the three I mentioned above. All of these will be working together to make BI more personal. This personalization will allow individuals to understand more about themselves, allow companies to better understand their customers, and even allow government organizations to personalize their interactions with citizens. I agree we're moving in that direction, but I feel it will be a number of years before we're really there. A couple of things, in my opinion, stand in the way: privacy concerns and the ability of organizations to integrate all of that information in real-time.

If you'd like to share what you think are the biggest BI trends for 2012, feel free to leave a comment on this blog.


Posted January 6, 2012 1:30 PM
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