Monday, March 16

13% achieve BI objectives

I'm tired of reading posts about business intelligence needing "an army of consultants", concerns about "losing control over our BI system to a third party", and only 13% achieved their business intelligence objectives.

Or Boris Evelson's quote, "Business intelligence is still an art much more than a science."

Or Hound of the BI-skervilles stating that data is safer inside a company's firewall than outside in a professional data center.

Based on these comments, the way business intelligence is being done today just doesn't make the grade.   There are all kinds of statistics to support this.

So where will the change come from?  The generation of young people coming into the workforce has the power of change behind them.  They do things differently.  Chat, instant messenger, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter are their tools.  They are information consumers with search, investigation, collaboration skills.

So what about those people and companies wanting to keep and hold onto the status quo.

They say improve and maintain.
I say destroy what we know and reimagine!

They say, "BI needs an army of consultants."
I say, "your scope is too large and unrealistic."

They say, "you need control over our technology."
I say, "leverage the internet and don't reinvent the wheel."

They say that "BI is more an art than a science."
I say, "find repeatability and gain from economies of scale or be one of the 87% of unsuccessful projects."

They say, "we have people with years of experience in business intelligence."
I say, "I love smart, innovative, talented, internet saavy people wanting to turn BI upside down."

They say, "data is safer behind your company firewall."
I say, "what are they smoking. Data centers specialize in security."

They say, "users have a fear of the technology."
I say, "you're using the wrong technology for that audience."

They say, "radical change takes a decade."
I say, "radical change takes a minute.  Those hanging onto the past want it to take longer."

They say this is a rant.
I say this is our reality.

Thursday, March 12

The Net Generation

Don Tapscott is entertaining to watch.  He always is pitching his latest book.  An eternal salesperson.  Today it was Grown Up Digital.  Don is calling the Net Generation the generation of kids after Gen X.  These kids have grown up with the internet, Facebook, and Twitter.  Now that 80 million of them are coming into the workforce, they will have the power to change business and our way of life.

This will affect companies and governments in significant ways.  I was inspired to write about change in the healthcare industry.

More from Don's book.  In 1983, only 7% of households owned computers.  By 2004, the number had grown to 44% and a whopping 60% of those households had children.  Now 100% of American schools provide internet access.  75% of teenagers between 12 and 17 years old have mobile phones.

Technology is like the air for Net Gen children.  Technology has fostered a new way of communicating, accessing information, and entertaining oneself.  They are not obsessed with technology and in fact use it as we would use the tv.  It's just where you go for news and entertainment, except the internet is where they go for interactive fun, friends, and communication.

So where does this leave business intelligence?

Well, Net Gen kids have had to search for, rather than simply look at, information.  This forces them to develop thinking and investigative skills.  Unfortunately the tools they use are nothing like pivot tables, analytical cubes, reports, forecasting models, or statistical tools.  Their tools are collaborative.  The internet and its global reach is unique.  And the world is enabling global communication.

Maybe you will say BI 2.0 is the answer.  Although I'm not sure I have seen a truely collaborative platform for corporate data.  Sure, some products allow you to tag reports and provide comments.  However true collaboration in business intelligence I have yet to see.