David Menninger's Analyst Perspectives

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

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

IBM Gets Big and Personal with Business Analytics

Posted by David Menninger on Nov 4, 2011 12:25:17 PM

IBM’s Information on Demand (IOD) event showcased its products for both information management and business intelligence. I’ve covered the information management aspects of IOD in a separate post. In this post I’ll look at the business intelligence aspects. Earlier this year IBM made predictive analytics a major focus of its Business Analytics analyst summit, an event that often foreshadows the IOD messages. In addition to predictive analytics, IBM emphasized both large-scale “big” data and a concept it calls “personal analytics” at the summit. Both of these received more attention at IOD.

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

IBM Intensifies Information Management Again at IOD

Posted by David Menninger on Nov 4, 2011 11:49:48 AM

IBM made more than two dozen announcements in conjunction with its recent Information on Demand (IOD) event. In this post I’ll address the impact of IOD from an information management perspective and in a separate post shortly from an analytics perspective. Trying to organize the mass of information IBM brought forth at IOD 2011, I group the announcements into three general categories of enhancements and extensions to InfoSphere, big data (which is technically part of InfoSphere) and databases.

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

Oracle Invests Into Information Applications by Acquiring Endeca

Posted by David Menninger on Oct 20, 2011 8:45:48 AM

In a move that may indicate the beginning of a new wave of activity in the business intelligence (BI) market, Oracle has announced its intention to acquire Endeca. Founded in 1999, Endeca originally focused on search capabilities for online commerce. Users selected a product attribute, and the software automatically revised the remaining selection criteria based on products matching the previous selection. We have been covering Endeca as part of the BI and information applications marketing. For instance, if the products only come in one color, the color attribute would be removed from the selection criteria and possibly replaced by other relevant criteria. Most of us take this behavior for granted as it has been adopted or imitated by many e-commerce sites and other Web properties.

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

Teradata: All in the Family of Appliances and Big Data

Posted by David Menninger on Oct 15, 2011 4:33:47 AM

Teradata recently held its Partners User Group meeting (Twitter hashtag #TDPUG11) in San Diego. Analysts were briefed previously on some of the announcements, which I covered in an earlier post.

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Topics: Big Data, Data Warehousing, Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance, Supply Chain Performance, Teradata, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Workforce Performance, Digital Technology

Karmasphere Makes Sense of Big Data

Posted by David Menninger on Sep 23, 2011 11:03:05 AM

Recently Karmasphere introduced version 1.5 of its Analyst product which helps organizations analyze “big data” stored in Hadoop, the open source large-scale data processing technology. An independent software vendor focused exclusively on the Hadoop market, Karmasphere made available a community edition of its developer product in September 2009 and launched the company in March 2010. Since then it has been active and visible in Hadoop-related events including Hadoop World, the IBM Big Data Symposium and others.

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

Splunk Makes Machine-Generated Big Data Serve Analytics

Posted by David Menninger on Sep 9, 2011 9:35:04 AM

Splunk may be one of the biggest software companies you’ve never heard of. I’ve been following the seven-year-old company for over six months now and recently attended its second annual user conference. Splunk focuses on analyzing large volumes of machine-generated data in underlying applications and systems, which includes application and system logs, network traffic, sensor data, click streams and other loosely structured information sources. Many of these “big data” sources are the same sources analyzed with Hadoop, according to our recently published benchmark research. However, Splunk takes a different approach that focuses on performing simple analyses on this data in real time rather than the batch-based advanced analytics we see as the most common use for Hadoop.

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Topics: Big Data, Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Machine data, Operational Intelligence, IT Performance Management (ITPM)

The Consumerization of Collaborative BI Has Arrived

Posted by David Menninger on Aug 24, 2011 9:45:16 AM

We cite collaboration as one of five key technology influences on the business intelligence (BI) market, and I get many questions about collaboration and BI from end users and vendors alike. The rise of social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter has raised awareness of collaborative platforms and created a critical mass of participants, which is a necessary ingredient for successful collaboration. However, I have to point out that consumer-oriented social media tools do not provide all the necessary components for collaborative BI. 

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

Opera Solutions Adds Science to Predictive Analytics

Posted by David Menninger on Aug 23, 2011 9:35:41 AM

In preparation for conducting a benchmark research study on predictive analytics, I’ve been speaking with vendors in this market segment to gather background. One of them is Opera Solutions, which I was not familiar with despite having worked in predictive analytics for more than 10 years. I was surprised to learn the company claims to be generating $100 million in revenue annually. Founded in 2004, Opera provides predictive analytics as a service, employing a staff of approximately 150 data scientists along with hundreds of other employees. It claims this is the largest private group of scientists outside IBM. (I’ve written previously about IBM’s significant efforts in the predictive analytics market.) 

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