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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 is an independent analyst, consultant and editorial expert with extensive knowledge and experience in business intelligence, big data, analytics and data warehousing. Currently president of Powell Interactive Media, which specializes in consulting and podcast services, he is also Executive Producer of The World Transformed Fast Forward series. In 2004, 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). He maintains an expert channel and blog on the BeyeNETWORK and may be contacted by email at rpowell@powellinteractivemedia.com. 

More articles and Ron's blog can be found in his BeyeNETWORK expert channel.

Recently in Business Intelligence Category

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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I'm sure you're reading lots of New Year's Resolutions -- I know I am. Some are personal -- stick to the diet, exercise more, travel more, etc. But the ones I consider more important are the resolutions that will help your company achieve greater success in 2012.

I don't usually share press releases in my blog, but I think the resolutions suggested by arcplan in their recent press release are sound suggestions that you should consider. Their press release lists 5 top BI resolutions, but I want to focus on two of them.

Mobilizing Business Intelligence. This is going to become even more strategic as use of smartphones and tablets continues to increase. You're going to have to be sure you have the plans and infrastructure in place to deliver BI via these devices -- safely and securely. If you haven't already made those plans,  now is the time to do so!

Collaboration Tools - the Key to Success. I think this is definitely an idea whose time has come. Think of the hours that some of you spend trying to come up with the right information -- never realizing that someone else in your organization had already tackled a very similar problem. Incorporating collaborative capabilities into your BI solution is a great goal for 2012!

I'd love to hear any BI-related resolutions you have for 2012. You can add them as comments to this blog post or you can email me at rpowell@techtarget.com. (And if you'd like to read the other 3 top BI resolutions from arcplan, click here.)

Happy New Year to all of you!

Posted December 20, 2011 5:00 PM
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How often can you get real value for free? I'm happy to tell you about how one of the BeyeNetwork experts is providing a resource for SMBs to learn about business intelligence and analytics and even identify approaches that really work.

Lyndsay Wise, BeyeNetwork expert on BI for the Mid-Market and President of WiseAnalytics, has developed an interactive community - BI4SMB - where you can find BI industry information that matches the reality of what smaller enterprises face on a daily basis, including how to optimize business visibility and metrics management.

According to Lyndsay, the goal over time of the BI4SMB community is to:
  1. Provide a set of analyst services developed specifically for SMBs and driven by SMB-related needs
  2. Provide a community for SMBs to discuss BI related challenges and projects
  3. Deliver regular research, events, best practices, and BI insights based on the issues being faced by community members
This community is just for the SMBs - to share thoughts, challenges, collaborate with other companies facing the same issues. If you're part of an SMB, be sure to check out this community today.

Posted December 8, 2011 10:30 AM
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