Seriously Secure BI!!

Having travelled to San Francisco just over a week ago to speak at the Shared Insights (formerly DCI) Data Warehouse and Business Intelligence conference, the experience of going through Manchester and Heathrow Airport security was something I don’t think I’ll forget for a long time. I started on my travels on the Saturday morning just after the mid-week scare in the UK when everything went critical. It was the first time in my life that I have travelled on business without my laptop due to the policy of absolutely no hand baggage. I have to say I felt almost naked without my laptop, but I didn’t want to run the risk of losing it or having it crushed as it travelled through the checked baggage system given the fact that I have reached many a destination airport only to find that my luggage did not. So I took the safe route and took my presentation on EII In-Depth on a memory stick and packed that in my suitcase.

I have to say as an airline passenger I don’t think I have ever felt so safe given the fact that security searched everyone (and were fairly pleasant in the process) at Manchester and again at Heathrow. Belts, shoes, jackets, watches and just about everything else was x-rayed. Nothing other than your travel documents and prescribed medicine was allowed on the plane, and so I watched every video British Airways had on offer! Even when we got on board, there was a one-hour delay while details of everyone who boarded were sent to the U.S. for checking before we were allowed to take off. When I got to the U.S. and picked up my suitcase, I was relieved to know that I had retrieved my PowerPoint presentation on my memory stick that I packed in my suitcase and could fulfil my obligation of presenting at the conference. You might think I should have e-mailed the presentation in advance well, I did that too, but as many of you may agree, it is best to have a backup. Talk about secure having got through passport control, I was then selected at random to have another check by U.S. customs who looked through my luggage and asked me a few questions and then sent me on my way with “Welcome back to the U.S., sir.” By the time I got to my hotel, all I could think of was the seriously secure BI presentation that travelled with me through security on my memory stick. It was like I was being protected so well in order to get me safely to the conference to do my presentation. I dutifully then turned at the conference having requested a laptop in advance to present from which Shared Insights happily provided. Of course, I asked them if they had the presentation I emailed in advance, and the answer was NO! So the moral of this story is always take a backup, and thanks to airport security for looking after my memory stick!!

An article on EII In-Depth will be the feature article the UK Business Intelligence Network Newsletter. Be sure to subscribe (it is free!) so you can be one of the first to read all about EII. The newsletter will also feature a great article about the globalisation of business intelligence.

Let me know what you think and what you are doing with enterprise information integration (EII) and business intelligence here in the UK.


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