This was my fourth year attending the Information Builders Summit and I generally come away feeling positive about the organization, its products and general direction. Normally new releases are announced and centre on some additional capabilities to the product suite. This year, Information Builders went a little bit further by showing a greater commitment to data discovery, broader integration with big data platforms, ESRI (location intelligence and mapping), and connectors to a wider variety of information management platforms. All of these announcements address three key market challenges:
- “Big data”: How to manage data complexities and develop platforms that are flexible enough to meet ¬†both market demands and an organization’s needs. With iWay, Information Builders provides connectors for all types of platform requirements. Organizations have the flexibility to select the right data warehouse, or develop the right data integration processes to support broader analytics. SAP Hana, Teradata, Cloudera, MapR, and NoSQL were some of the new adapters announced to provide that added flexibility and the opportunity for organizations to adopt technologies that support their business challenges.
- Data management integrity: Leveraging iWay provides Information Builders customers with the ability to manage data and ensure quality, validity, and reliability throughout the data lifecycle. This expands beyond selecting the right adapter and making sure that data can be viewed properly. It also involves the processes required to make sure that users trust the information they are accessing it and are able to get value from their data.
- Data discovery and exploration: Information Builders is starting to focus more on this area to provide broader interactivity for their customers, with new solutions coming to market this year. Data discovery, coupled with information integrity, is the future of BI interactivity and access. Although a little late to the game, because customers can leverage iWay capabilities as well, they may actually have an advantage in the long-term by ensuring that what is analyzed is valid. The ability to explore data and provide self-service BI access is only effective when the data can be guaranteed to be reliable.
All of these themes provides the basis for a strong analytics framework. Leveraging data, sustaining integrity, and providing access to analytics to all those who need it are the goals of this level of integration.¬†In addition to those general themes, I also spent time speaking with current customers to get their insights. These were the most sited reasons for selecting Information Builders:
- Privately held company
- iWay enables organizations to manage their data more thoroughly without having to look for additional products through a “one-suite” approach (as opposed to looking at Informatica or other data integration products to move and manage information)
- A continued feeling of partnership with Information Builders, even long after implementation
- Easy to install upgrades
All customers were satisfied with their solutions. Some areas to take note of are:
- Professional services (PS) expertise with version 8.0 as it is a new product and the PS staff is still getting up to speed. If using this approach, it is important to make sure that adequate support is available with the PS team onsite
- What solutions ¬†to take advantage of that are not on the market yet, and what (if any) the implications of adding or switching products will be
- The data warehouse platform to select – guidance may be required to make sure that an organization chooses the right offerings to complement their business and not simply because of brand recognition, etc.
Although I came away from Summit feeling positive about the product and customer value associated with adoption, this year it seems as if Information Builders is starting to expand their market offerings to provide additional value by integrating broader trends in adoption within their products.
Posted June 16, 2014 2:26 PM
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