Tag Archives: david stodder

TDWI Webinar: Innovations and Evolutions in BI, Analytics, and Data Warehousing

TDWI held a webinar to announce their latest major report. While there are always a lot of intriguing numbers in the reports, it’s also important to remember the TDWI audience is self-selecting. People interested in the latest information lean towards the leading edge so their numbers should be taken as higher than would be in the general IT market place. Still, the numbers as they change over time are valuable and the views of the analysts are often worth hearing.

As the webinar was pushing a major report, the full tag team was in attendance: David Stodder, TDWI Director for BI, Fern Halper, TDWI Director for Analytics, and Philip Russom, TDWI Director for Data Management.

David Stodder presented his section first, and one important point he made had nothing to do with numbers. He briefly discussed one quote and user story and it was from a government employee. Companies using Hadoop to better understand internet business and relationships tend to get almost all the press, but David pointed out the importance of data and analytics in helping governments better address the needs of their citizens.

A very intriguing set of numbers David provided was on how many responders were on current versions of software versus older versions. While you can see that some areas are more quickly adopting the SaaS model, that’s not the key the he pointed out. Only 27% of respondents said they’re on the current version of their data security software. A later slide shows that security is one reason for hesitation in the move to mobile, but Mr. Stodder rightly points out that underlying all the information channels is the basis of data security. It’s not a question of if you’ll get hacked but when, so data security should be kept updated.

The presentation was then turned over to Fern Halper. I look a bit askance at the claim that the Internet of Things (IoT) is a “trend.” Her data shows only 18% taking advantage of it today and 40% might be using in within three years. We’ve been talking about IoT for a while, and it’s clearly being slowly integrated into business, I wouldn’t say it’s as fashionable as the word trend would imply.

On the more useful side is the table she showed that’s simply titles “Analytics hits mainstream.” It not only shows that massive adoption of the last decade’s focus on dashboards and BI tools, but around 30% of respondents are using many of the newer tools and techniques and the next three years indicate a doubling in usage.

Philip Russom gave the final segment of the presentation. His first slide on the adoption of newer technologies for data warehousing showed something that many have finally admitted in the last year or no: No-SQL is an excuse made by people who don’t understand how business technology works. While the numbers show 28% of respondents using Hadoop, it also shows 22% using SQL on Hadoop. The number over the next three years are even more interesting: 36% say they’ll be using Hadoop and 38% will be using SQL on Hadoop. That means existing No-SQL folks will be moving to SQL.

The presentation ended with the team of analysts presenting their list of ten priorities for those people interested in emerging technologies. To me, the first isn’t the first among equals, it is set far above all the rest: Adopt them for their business benefits. All the other nine items are how IT addresses the challenges of new technologies, but those things are useless unless you understand how technologies will support business. Without that, you can’t provide an ROI and you can’t get business stakeholders to support you for long. That’s strategy, all the other points are just tactics.

As usual, get the report and browse it.

TDWI Webinar and Best Practices Report: Real-Time Data, BI and Analytics

TDWI held a webinar this morning to promote their new Best Practices Report on real-time data, BI and analytics. It’s worth a glance.

The report and presentation were team efforts by Philip Russom, David Stodder, and Fern Halper. The report, as usual, was centered around a survey and was a survey of IT people rather than business users. The report relates, “The majority of survey respondents are IT professionals (63%), whereas the others are consultants (20%) and business sponsors or users (17%).” Not much room there for the opinions of the people who need to use BI. Still, for understanding the IT perspective, it’s interesting.

The most valuable pointer in the presentation was given by Dave Stodder, who pointed out what too many folks ignore: Much of the want for real-time data is bounded by the inability of the major operational systems, such as ERP and CRM, to move from batch to real-time support. While BI firms can prepare for that, it’s the other vendors providing and the users adopting systems that allow real-time extraction in an effective manner that is the big bottleneck to adoption.

One issue that the TDWI folks and many others in our industry have is a misconception around the phrase “operational systems.” Enterprise software folks have grown up thinking of operations as synonymous with business operations. That’s not the case. All three of the analysts made that error even while discussing the fact that the internet of things means more devices are becoming data sources.

Those people who provide manufacturing software understand that and have for years. There’s much that can be leveraged from that sector but I don’t hear much mentioned in our arena. Fern Halper did mention IT operations as an area already using basic analytics, but I think the message could be stronger. Network management companies have decades of experience in real time monitoring and analysis of performance issues and that could be leveraged.

Build, buy or borrow are options for software as well as other industries, but I only see people considering building. We should be looking more to other software sectors for inspiration and partnerships.

There was also a strange bifurcation that Dave Stodder and Fern Halper seem to be making, by splitting BI and analytics. Analytics are just one facet of BI. I don’t see a split being necessary.

At the end of the presentation, they reviewed their top ten priorities (page 43 of the report). Most are very standard but I’ll point to the second, “Don’t expect the new stuff to replace the old stuff.” It’s relevant to the discussion vendors seem to think that revolutionary trumps evolutionary. It doesn’t. Each step in new forms of BI, such as predictive analytics, extends the ability to help business users make better decisions. It’s layered on top of the rest of the analysis to build a more complete picture, it doesn’t replace it.