April 3, 2007

Business intelligence — technology and vendor strategy

The most recent Monash Letter – exclusively for Monash Advantage members — spells out some ideas on BI technology and vendor strategy. Specifically, it argues that there are at least four major ways to think about BI and other decision support technologies, namely as:

  1. A specialized application development technology. That’s what BI is, after all. Selling app dev runtimes isn’t a bad business. Selling analytic apps hasn’t gone so well, however.
  2. An infrastructure upgrade. That’s what the BI vendors have been pushing for some years, as they try to win enterprise vendor-consolidation decisions. To a first approximation, it’s been a good move for them, but it also has helped defocus them from other things they need to be doing.
  3. A transparent window on information. As Google, Bloomberg, and Lexis/Westlaw all demonstrate, users want access to “all” the possible information. BI vendors and management theorists alike have erred hugely in crippling enterprise dashboards via dogmas such as “balanced scorecards” and “seven plus-or-minus two.”
  4. A communication and collaboration tool. Communication/collaboration is as big a benefit of reporting as the numbers themselves are. I learned this in the 1980s, and it’s never changed. But BI vendors have whiffed repeatedly at enhancing this benefit.

The Letter then goes on to suggest two areas of technical need and opportunity in BI, which may be summarized as:

Good launching points for my other research on these subjects are this recent post on analytic technology marketing strategies and two high-concept white papers available here.


3 Responses to “Business intelligence — technology and vendor strategy”

  1. DBMS2 — DataBase Management System Services»Blog Archive » Where the next query performance crunch may come from on April 3rd, 2007 12:02 pm

    […] To date the BI vendors still haven’t gotten the message … but suppose they did. Depending on the frequency of refresh, the result could be one hell of an analytic processing load. […]

  2. Shashank Garg on April 8th, 2007 5:58 pm

    “The most important categories of information identified in the BMR study are those in the market environment. Topping the list in this regard is direct customer feedback, which emphasises the importance of market research as a business intelligence tool,” says the Bureau of Market Research (BMR)at the University of South Africa

  3. The Monash Report»Blog Archive » Revolutionary trends in the analytics market on July 9th, 2007 8:53 am

    […] I just finished another Monash Letter. It was a follow-up to a previous one that discussed various strategic positioning possibilities in business intelligence. In the prior piece, I pointed out that most leading vendors were pursuing similar strategies — BI as enterprise infrastructure play. In this piece — for Monash Advantage members only — I point out how that sameness allowed for disruption and revolution, and highlight a few trends that are pointing in those directions. Specifically, the trends I cited included: […]

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