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Colin White

I like the various blogs associated with my many hobbies and even those to do with work. I find them very useful and I was excited when the Business Intelligence Network invited me to write my very own blog. At last I now have somewhere to park all the various tidbits that I know are useful, but I am not sure what to do with. I am interested in a wide range of information technologies and so you might find my thoughts will bounce around a bit. I hope these thoughts will provoke some interesting discussions.

About the author >

Colin White is the founder of BI Research and president of DataBase Associates Inc. As an analyst, educator and writer, he is well known for his in-depth knowledge of data management, information integration, and business intelligence technologies and how they can be used for building the smart and agile business. With many years of IT experience, he has consulted for dozens of companies throughout the world and is a frequent speaker at leading IT events. Colin has written numerous articles and papers on deploying new and evolving information technologies for business benefit and is a regular contributor to several leading print- and web-based industry journals. For ten years he was the conference chair of the Shared Insights Portals, Content Management, and Collaboration conference. He was also the conference director of the DB/EXPO trade show and conference.

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

January 2007 Archives

For months now the industry has been talking about an HP data warehouse appliance. Appliance vendors even tell me they have been in competitive bids against it. Despite this HP has not announced the product. Rumor has it HP was close to an announcement, but it was pulled at the last moment.

Nevertheless, there is quite a lot of information about it on the HP web site. Just do a Google search on "HP Neoview" and you will find it. One thought is that instead of being aimed at the appliance vendors, NeoView is being targeted at Teradata instead. But then of course some people think of Teradata as an appliance. It depends on how you define the term appliance. Richard Hackathorn and I hope to help here with our upcoming BI Network research report on data warehouse appliances. Watch this space!

Posted January 31, 2007 7:12 PM
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Fast Search & Retrieval (FAST), a leading search technology provider, has introduced the adaptive information warehouse (AIW), which marries search, BI analysis, and dashboard/portal technologies.

The blending of search into BI has been gaining traction over the past year, but solutions to date focus primarily on using search techniques to access the results of BI processing such as reports and analytics. The FAST approach is different in that it offers an alternative approach to EII data federation and ETL data consolidation integration techniques.

The FAST solution has three main pieces. The first is constructing a full search index of the source data. Both unstructured and structured data can be indexed. The FAST index can be used instead of a data warehouse as a data source for BI processing. The second piece is the FAST Data Cleansing Solution, which uses linguistics to improve the quality of the information in the index. The third component is FAST Radar, which creates analytical dashboards from information in the index and also other data sources.

FAST AIW does not replace traditional data warehousing and BI approaches, but offers an attractive solution for certain types of BI application and data, especially in situations where there isn't the time or resources to construct a data warehouse using traditional methods.

Posted January 31, 2007 10:57 AM
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A happy New Year to everyone!

In my last blog I talked about how hi-tech folks like ourselves can help improve science and technology education through outreach programs. I have been following a number of these programs and I thought I would start the year with a quick overview of some of them.

The One Laptop Per Child (OLCP) association is a fascinating project that has the objective of mass producing low-cost laptops for educating children in developing countries. The target price for each laptop is $100. The project is really starting to make progress and as it rolls out it will need many trained installers to get the program working in each country. The user interface for this laptop, known as sugar, is quite different from that of Apple and Microsoft and is fun to play with.

The OLCP association is a spin-off from the MIT Media Lab. The MIT Lab was the creator of the Lego Mindstorms technology that uses Legos to teach children about robotics. It is also the place where PicoCrickets were created. PicoCrickets are tiny computers children can use to create musical sculptures, interactive jewelry, dancing creatures, and other playful inventions. I am currently working with our local science museum to introduce PicoCricket programs into schools with at risk children. The MIT Media Lab Lifelong Kindergarten group has many other projects that are designed to help children grow up as creative thinkers and its web site is worth a visit.

You you are interested in reading more about these programs you might find the following links useful:


Lego Mindstorms:


MIT Lifelong Kindergarten

Posted January 2, 2007 11:45 AM
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