David Menninger's Analyst Perspectives

Business Intelligence Revolution and Research Agenda for 2012

Posted by David Menninger on Mar 15, 2012 11:43:40 AM

For most people involved with business intelligence (BI), these are exciting times. Using BI to improve business processes continues to motivate organizations to invest in BI. The focus on BI also empowers business analytics and can be rented in the cloud computing model of accessing software. New technologies are adding dimensions to BI and creating both excitement and confusion for enterprises implementing them. We offer a variety of accomplished research that can help organizations overcome the hype and understand how to use these technologies to improve business decision-making, and we’re planning new research in 2012 on these topics.

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Topics: Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Information Management, Mobile Business Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Workforce Performance, Collaboration

Informatica Expands Data Footprint for Business and IT

Posted by David Menninger on Mar 14, 2012 10:07:12 AM

My colleague Mark Smith and I recently attended data integration vendor Informatica’s annual industry analyst event. The company offered some impressive numbers regarding growth and profitability over the years, with 30 consecutive quarters of growth even during the recent recession. Through acquisition and its own research and development activities Informatica now has a broad portfolio of products. It includes data integration and supporting migration, replication and synchronization needs, master data management, complex event processing and other elements of the information management spectrum. As at last year’s event, the company retains a sharp focus on the data integration related portfolio, and its product roadmap addresses four key themes impacting that market: big data, cloud computing, social media and mobile technology. We also see these themes as significant technology trends, and our approach is outlined in our 2012 research agendas for information management and in the larger business technology innovation agenda. Thus it was interesting to hear Informatica’s take on them.

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Topics: Big Data, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Data Integration, Financial Performance, Informatica, Information Management, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Workforce Performance, Cloud Computing

Revolution Analytics Hosts Contest on Business Predicting the Future

Posted by David Menninger on Feb 1, 2012 8:34:46 AM

Revolution Analytics recently announced the winners of its “Applications of R in Business” contest. Revolution Analytics has built a business around supporting R, an open source statistical software package, and extending it with features it licenses to customers. I served as a judge in the contest. Since I was in the midst of analyzing the data for our predictive analytics benchmark research, I was interested to see how the contestants applied predictive analytics techniques to specific business problems.

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Topics: Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Workforce Performance

Technology Terminology: What’s in a Name?

Posted by David Menninger on Feb 1, 2012 8:22:48 AM

When it comes to technology, debates about whether a particular name suits its category are rampant. Here is a link to one such argument about the term “big data” from Curt Monash, an analyst whom I respect a great deal. This debate rages in the Twittersphere also, as in this comment from Neil Raden, another analyst I respect, suggesting that “big data is a marketing term … imprecise by design.”  Another term I’ve encountered resistance to recently is “predictive analytics.” See: (“Revolution Analytics Hosts Contest on Business Predicting the Future“).

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Topics: Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Workforce Performance, Cloud Computing

The Big, Cloudy, Mobile and Social World of MicroStrategy

Posted by David Menninger on Jan 31, 2012 7:38:21 AM

MicroStrategy, one of the largest independent vendors of business intelligence (BI) software, recently held its annual user conference, which I attended with some of my colleagues and more than 2,000 other attendees. At this year’s event, the company emphasized four key themes: mobility, cloud computing, big data and social media. In this post, I’ll assess what MicroStrategy is doing in each of the first three areas. My colleague, Mark Smith, covered MicroStrategy’s social intelligence efforts in his blog. I’ll also share some opinions on what might be missing from the company’s vision.

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Topics: Big Data, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, MicroStrategy, Mobile, Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Workforce Performance, Strata+Hadoop, Cloud Computing

Big Data Is More than Hadoop

Posted by David Menninger on Jan 25, 2012 10:44:47 AM

We recently published the results of our benchmark research on Big Data to complement the previously published benchmark research on Hadoop and Information Management. Ventana Research undertook this research to acquire real-world information about levels of maturity, trends and best practices in organizations’ use of large-scale data management systems now commonly called Big Data. The results are illuminating.

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Topics: Big Data, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, In-memory, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Workforce Performance

What Enterprises Can Learn from Major Events and Surprises in 2011

Posted by David Menninger on Dec 28, 2011 11:49:27 AM

Rather than make predictions for 2012, which are everywhere right now, I want to look back at some of the surprising events of 2011. I think it’s worth considering what happened that wasn’t expected and what these things might tell us about the information technology market. Here, in no particular order, are the most important ones I see.

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Topics: Big Data, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Mobile, Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Workforce Performance

Yellowfin 6 Advances Collaboration and Mobility Capabilities

Posted by David Menninger on Dec 20, 2011 3:56:24 AM

Collaborative and mobile technologies continue to influence business intelligence (BI) software products. The recent release of Yellowfin 6 embraces these innovations in a visually appealing, end-user-oriented BI product. Yellowfin is an independent BI software vendor based in Australia that was recently recognized, along with its customer Macquarie University, as a Ventana Leadership Award winner for the use of location–based aspects of its technology for effective planning and student acquisition initiatives.

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Topics: Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Workforce Performance, Yellowfin, Mobile, Collaboration

Spotfire 4.0 is Socially Collaborative and Interactive

Posted by David Menninger on Nov 17, 2011 7:54:31 AM

Tibco recently introduced Spotfire 4.0, the most recent version of its interactive discovery and business intelligence (BI) tool. Spotfire comes at BI through visualization. It uses in-memory processing and good user interface design to develop highly interactive displays of data. Version 4.0 attempts to enhance Spotfire’s dashboard capabilities and offers integration with enterprise collaboration tools. The former capabilities are necessary to broaden Spotfire’s appeal and applicability for more BI projects, but the latter capabilities are more interesting since they represent a fundamental shift in the way enterprises use business intelligence.

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Topics: Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Chatter, Collaboration, Customer & Contact Center, Dashboards, Financial Performance, Sales Performance, Social Media, Spotfire, Supply Chain Performance, Tibco, Twitter, Workforce Performance, Sales

The World of Big Data Gets Even Bigger at Hadoop World

Posted by David Menninger on Nov 15, 2011 11:06:29 AM

Cloudera’s recent Hadoop World 2011 event confirmed that the world of big data is getting even bigger. As I wrote of last year’s event, Hadoop, the open source large-scale data processing technology, has gone mainstream. And while 75% of the audience attended this year for the first time and so may not have realized the breadth of Hadoop’s acceptance, statistics announced in the opening keynote show widespread use of it. Mike Olson, Cloudera CEO, reported that the event was sold out, with 1,400 attendees from 580 organizations and 27 countries. In independent confirmation, our benchmark research shows that 54% of organizations are either using or evaluating Hadoop for their big-data needs.

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Topics: Big Data, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloudera, Customer & Contact Center, Datameer, Financial Performance, Hortonworks, Informatica HParser, Karmasphere, MapR, NetApp, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Workforce Performance, Strata+Hadoop