Tuesday, August 16, 2011

BI and Car Wrecks

This is the 120th anniversary of an amazing event: the very first automobile accident.

If you do not know about this, be sure to read my earlier post titled "Hitting Stumps." Of course, wrecking cars is just a lead-in to argue that large companies often wrestle away good ideas from innovators and stomp the life out of them.

As an illustrative hands-on example, type in the old URL for Cognos (http://www.cognos.com) or Business Objects (http://www.businessobjects.com).

That's okay, I'll wait for you.

Welcome back. When you tried to go to those product websites, you were instead redirected deep into the bowels of the mega-vendors which years ago acquired those two leading BI firms. Since then, neither brand has displayed much innovation. Both have been too busy being assimilated into their respective 800-pound gorilla corporate cultures.

Few pure-play BI software vendors remain in the industry: Information Builders and MicroStrategy are two that come to mind. It is probably not surprising that these independent vendors have been remarkably innovative lately, jumping into emerging markets such as mobile BI and social media analytics.

But enough about today's BI software, read about the first car wreck that happened 120 years ago. 

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About Me

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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.