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Data Warehouse Automation & Real-time Data – Reducing Time to Value in a Distributed Analytical Environment
Smart Infrastructure & Smart Applications for the Smart Business – Infrastructure & Application Performance Monitoring
Greetings all. I hope you have had a good holiday and I wish you all well for 2007. Given that it is this time of year I thought I would add some thoughts on trends in 2007 in the areas of business intelligence and performance management. So here goes!
- Performance management (PM) will continue to grow rapidly with more and more companies realising that PM software needs to break free from just being deployed in finance departments and start to be deployed across many different areas of the business to monitor performance.
- Companies will seek to integrate performance management scorecards and dashboards with enterprise portals, enterprise search and Office applications in order make it easier to get at personalised metrics, i.e. My KPIs, My Objectives, My Targets.
- Many companies are realising that Performance Management is not just a BI problem. Business performance can also be improved by integrating and optimising business processes. Therefore the worlds of Performance Management and Business Process Management have to come together. BI vendors will start this by introducing / shipping formally defined management processes (e.g. the Planning process, the budgeting process, etc.) that allow businesses to implement formal processes for managing their business by leveraging BI services. These ‘management’ processes will likely be modelled (diagrammed) using industry standard BPMN (Business Process Modelling Notation), stored in industry standard XPDL, run using BPEL (Business Process Execution Language) on industry standard BPEL process servers which are now being extended to support human tasks (BPEL4People). Alternatively they may run using document workflow such as Microsoft Windows Workflow Foundation or Adobe LiveCycle Workflow. BI vendors may add their own proprietary workflow capabilities to PM products but companies should insist upon industry standards for workflow being followed otherwise this will become a workflow quagmire of proprietary implementations that will not stitch together. This means that you may need business process management software from other vendors (e.g. BEA Systems, IDS Scheer, Intalio, IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, SAP, Tibco, WebMethods, etc.) to implement management processes shipped by BI vendors. As long as the standards are followed by the BI vendors you should be able to pick and chose whatever standards compliant process management software you want.
- Performance Management software vendors will start to partner with or acquire business activity monitoring (BAM) software vendors in order to integrate operational performance monitoring with strategic performance monitoring in order to offer both from a single management toolset.
- Activity based costing (also known as Activity Based Management) will continue to push it’s way into the PM space, Both SAS (ABC Technologies) and Business Objects(ALG) have made acquisitions in this area and other PM vendors will have to follow to compete. It is obvious that ABC/ABM is needed as part of performance management because companies want to monitor strategic performance AND operational performance. Operational performance management includes monitoring the efficiency of processes with BAM and monitoring the cost of processes with ABC. Both BAM and ABC are needed to monitor the performance of operational business processes.
- Performance Management Suites will emerge as a complete set of tools, applications and processes for managing the business at strategic, tactical and operational levels. These suites will include budgeting, planning, scorecards, alerting, on-demand recommendations, management rules, BAM, ABC/ABM, scorecards, dashboards and business processes. Performance Management Suites integrated with portals and processes will start to cause enterprise wide execution of business strategy (whereby everyone contributes) rather than just a few managers trying to execute the company strategy.
- Further consolidation will occur in the market and we may see the acquisition of Performance Management vendors by business integration vendors looking to push further into the PM space and looking to bring together the worlds of PM and Business Process Management.
- Packaged PM applications in vertical industries will start to be more prevalent and will be added to any packaged analytic applications to enrich solutions
- Integration of BI with Enterprise portals and in particular (Microsoft SharePoint) will become increasingly popular. I am continually asked about this. Also, recent presentations that I have given in this area have been heavily attended indicating that the need for personalised BI is upon us.
- Predictive analytics will be back on the agenda. In particular, scoring and real-time decisioning (either event-driven or on-demand) is growing rapidly. Data mining is alive and well and will enjoy a new lease of life in real-time operational business optimisation when companies realise the power of deployed predictive models that can be leveraged on-demand as services. The return on investment is not difficult when you realise that data mining is not just about very few seriously smart business analysts building of mining models. The real payback comes when you deploy the built models in mainstream operations so that deployed predictive and scoring models can be being leveraged as web services on-demand. Predictive analytics needs to be combined with rules engines to get maximum value from the deployed predictive models built by power user business analysts.
- Larger BI vendors that have no predictive analytics product may likely acquire smaller vendors that have been making hay in the world of operational performance management
- BI in a Service Oriented Architecture will continue to grow as companies integrate BI into mainstream operational business processes
- BI tools will continue to integrate with enterprise content management system (ECMS) to store reports in a managed environment as a managed document and/or as a managed record in a Records Management System. This allows BI to be combined with related unstructured content for greater knowledge and also BI compliance reports in particular to be formally managed.
- The use of search engines on BI will grow to try and make it easier to find and access metrics and reports through a familiar easy to use interface
- Text/Search analytics will be a hot growth area in 2007 to derive valuable intelligence from unstructured content.
- The battleground for Packaged Analytic applications has already shifted into vertical industries. This will continue to deepen.
- At least one major independent BI vendor may be acquired by a software giant (IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, SAP) in 2007. Speculation is already rife that IBM and Oracle are out ‘window shopping’!
- The price of BI platforms is being pushed downward by several forces including the Microsoft SQL Server 2005 impact, the open source BI vendors (e.g. Jaspersoft, Pentaho), and the DW appliance vendors, e.g. Data Allegro, GreenPlum, HP, IBM BCU, Kognitio, Netezza and others. BI vendors with high price points and ‘rental pricing’ may have to re-think their pricing strategy to compete otherwise customers may find cheaper equally good alternatives.
- Compliance is still a major issue and so reporting tools that leverage EII will be a differential to quickly producing the needed intelligence.
- Companies that fail to get their data under control (data quality, common data names and definitions, common data integration tools etc.) will likely suffer at the hands of competitors that have solved this problem
Well, that’s all folks! I would be most grateful for your comments. You can get me at +44 1625 520700 or at email@example.com