Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Pervasive BI by TDWI

pervasive (pər-vā'sĭv) adj.
  1. spreading or spread throughout
  2. having the quality or tendency to become spread throughout all parts of
When pervasive is used as a modifier with BI, it is always this second definition. Often it is also just wishful thinking more than reality.

Wayne Eckerson of TDWI just published a new report: Pervasive Business Intelligence - Techniques and Technologies to Deploy BI on an Enterprise Scale. Along with the 35 page report, he also gave a webinar today highlighting some of the key ideas and points he raised.

One of the main ideas he put forward, as a way of expanding usage of BI tools, was that of information sandboxes. In these interactive dashboards, users can explore and analyze data, without performing traditional ad hoc report creation. I feel that Wayne is playing catch up, because Boris Evelson at Forrester published his research on BI Workspaces (he initially called them "analytical sandboxes") last month, and vendors have been providing this capability for over a year. Better late than never.

Also, to my pleasant surprise Wayne, Mr. Data Warehouse, acknowledged that the advent of new technologies can make a data warehouse optional. I am paraphrasing, but I am glad some of these BI traditionalists are no longer in denial.

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