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Lyndsay Wise

Hi and welcome to my blog! I look forward to bringing you weekly posts about what is happening in the world of BI, CDI and marketing performance management.

About the author >

Lyndsay is the President and Founder of WiseAnalytics, an independent analyst firm specializing in business intelligence, master data management and unstructured data. For more than seven years, she has assisted clients in business systems analysis, software selection and implementation of enterprise applications. Lyndsay conducts regular research studies, consults, writes articles and speaks about improving the value of business intelligence within organizations. She can be reached at lwise@wiseanalytics.com.

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

June 2011 Archives

Earlier this week was the first time I attended an Information Builders Summit. I have to admit that based on my experiences at some other end user summits, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised on the business focus and tone of the summit.

In the general BI market place, I usually get the feeling that vendors are jockeying for the first spot in the market – mobile, in-memory, big data, advanced analytics, and the buzz words keep going. Taking advantage of these to state that they can be everything to everyone and continuously announcing improvements to their products without mentioning the cost related to upgrades and changes that customers constantly face. And even though this represents one of the reasons that makes BI an exciting market from a technology standpoint, I sometimes feel that customers get lost in the shuffle.

On the other hand, I always wondered why out of all of the vendors I speak to regularly, Information Builders was never one to follow the pack.  Throughout my history of meetings with IBi, I always come away feeling that the meeting was productive, but not with that same drive that other vendors have of marketing their wares.  Part of me was actually beginning to wonder what the deal was! After attending the summit, however, I understand. This was the first time I saw Information Builders as a company differently and with a unique value proposition within an already crowded market. Aside from being the most business focused end user event I’ve ever attended within business intelligence (as mentioned above), customers were probably some of the most engaged I’ve seen – excited about technology, the new features and functions, roadmap, ease of use, and wanting to share their stories.

Although within different industries and doing different things with business intelligence, the customer benefits seem to be consistent across Information Builders customers. These include:

  1. Best value for software costs – with the three customers I spoke with formally, each had different goals with BI and evaluated multiple vendors – some just 2 or 3 and one actually evaluated 15 BI vendors. In each case, these customers felt that Information Builders provided the best cost in relation to the products they received.
  2. A strong focus on business intelligence as a driver of information visibility, decision making, and corporate strategy. Information Builders sees itself as the enabler of business intelligence and data visibility as opposed to a point solution and this shows in terms of the value they provide to customers through helping them define the business value they hope to achieve through WebFOCUS adoption.
  3. And finally, the ability to make organizations feel like a special customer. Many SMBs desire a more personal connection to the vendor regarding implementation and services.

And in addition to vendor satisfaction, Information Builders is focusing their efforts on building technology that addresses industry trends, while ensuring ease of use and high levels of interactivity. For instance, WebFOCUS is enabled for mobile devices with automatic device recognition, meaning that developers can create what they need to once, without having to change code to account for different devices. Or their new partnership with Teradata to address the increasing focus on the data warehousing appliance market and the ability to provide customers with an end-to-end BI offering through the use of a data warehouse appliance. Overall, any vendor and solution offering will have their challenges, but overall I came away from the summit feeling that Information Builders is headed in the right direction with a high value proposition for customers.

 


Posted June 16, 2011 10:08 PM
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On Friday morning I had a briefing with Endeca to discuss their upcoming release of Latitude 2 that is being announced this week. It seems like the time of year when many new releases are announced with vendors jockeying for positioning within the market. Many are hoping to announce the next best thing to BI. And although there are many interesting developments within mobile, advanced analytics, and big data, the reality is that it takes more than new product enhancements to really make a dent in the market. The problem with product releases is that even when beta tested, it can take several months to really see whether implementations are successful and what companies are actually doing with the solution.

One thing I like about Endeca is that they do BI a little bit different than other solution providers. With their goal being to make business intelligence easier for organizations by combining search and analytics within a single engine. They also act as a complementary offering that can be used as an expansion to other BI infrastructures. As well as providing the traditional data integration and dashboard features, their goal is to empower their users by enabling broader access to data.  And although many solution providers state they do that, their offerings exist within a narrow spectrum in relation to what organizations really need.

In all honesty, it remains to be seen how effective Latitude 2 will become and whether adoption will take off....but they were one of my few briefings lately that provided a different take on BI to the extent that I am interested enough to pay attention.

Posted June 10, 2011 12:56 PM
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