Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Claudia on Operational BI

One of my recent posts reported that Michael Corcoran of Information Builders argued that Business Intelligence should not "be wed to data warehouses." Claudia Imhoff and Colin White seem to back him up with a similar point in their interesting article, "Full Circle: Decisions Intelligence (DSS 2.0)."

Writing for B-Eye Network, they say,
"The tight connection between business intelligence and the data warehouse has led to the assumption that data must be maintained in a data warehouse before it can be used for business intelligence. This assumption is wrong. There are an increasing number of BI applications that do not employ a data warehouse, either because there is no need to store the data in a data warehouse, or because it is not practical or cost effective to do so."

They are quick to point out, however, that "data warehouses are not going to go away."

Imhoff and White feel that the 'business intelligence' term has become confused and linked with just a subset of application usage. Instead, they propose that we bring back the terminology of 'decision support systems' and brand a new 'Decision Intelligence' for the present and future.

They suggest a Decision Intelligence architecture consisting of three conceptual BI subsystems: Data, Process, and Content. What they call the Business Data Intelligence component is basically our traditional BI features for strategic and tactical analytics using structured data, which is where data warehousing plays a role. The Business Process Intelligence component provides for real-time event analytics (BAM), while Business Content Intelligence analyzes unstructured data within the enterprise (e.g., social networks).

As we try to build a broader BI umbrella with which to cover business processes, human interactions, and unstructured content, in addition to our traditional BI structured data, we are perhaps moving not backwards into Decision Support but forward into the Knowledge Management space.

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I am a project-based software consultant, specializing in automating transitions from legacy reporting applications into modern BI/Analytics to leverage Social, Cloud, Mobile, Big Data, Visualizations, and Predictive Analytics using Information Builders' WebFOCUS. Based on scores of successful engagements, I have assembled proven Best Practice methodologies, software tools, and templates.

I have been blessed to work with innovators from firms such as: Ford, FedEx, Procter & Gamble, Nationwide, The Wendy's Company, The Kroger Co., JPMorgan Chase, MasterCard, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Siemens, American Express, and others.

I was educated at Valparaiso University and the University of Cincinnati, where I graduated summa cum laude. In 1990, I joined Information Builders and for over a dozen years served in regional pre- and post-sales technical leadership roles. Also, for several years I led the US technical services teams within Cincom Systems' ERP software product group and the Midwest custom software services arm of Xerox.

Since 2007, I have provided enterprise BI services such as: strategic advice; architecture, design, and software application development of intelligence systems (interactive dashboards and mobile); data warehousing; and automated modernization of legacy reporting. My experience with BI products include WebFOCUS (vendor certified expert), R, SAP Business Objects (WebI, Crystal Reports), Tableau, and others.