December 10, 2013
Oracle is in the business of acquisitions and upgrades lately. They are ramping up the headlines before 2014 and Rittman Mead Consulting reports that “Oracle Endeca Information Discovery 3.1 And Self-Service Data Mashup Capability.” The new Oracle Endeca Information Discovery (OEID) 3.1 moves Oracle toward providing its clients with better self-service discovery capabilities.
The article states:
“OEID 3.1 now enables its non-technical users to securely run agile business intelligence analysis on variety of data sources in much easier way and without need to IT. On the other hand the integration with Oracle Business Intelligence is now even more tight to the extend that Oracle announced OEID 3.1 as ‘the only complete data discovery platform for the enterprise.’ The product data sheet is accessible here and in the same way as older versions of OEID, this software is downloadable via Oracle e-Delivery website which is the Oracle Software Delivery Cloud where you can find downloads for all licensed Oracle products.”
The new version allows users to join data sources together, such as files, databases, and pre-built Endeca servers. Files no longer have to be solely in Excel format and the added geocode features allow users to map data. Users will not have to rely on IT to deliver enrichment for unstructured data, because there is a new option to find hidden entities, sentiment, and more. Managing data is easer with the application settings.
Oracle OEID 3.1 empowers the average user to become a data expert. The user-friendly UI and upgraded features are the software’s biggest selling features.
Whitney Grace, December 10, 2013
December 7, 2013
I read “Yellowfin Launches Yellowfin 7 Analytics Platform: Makes Enterprise-Wide Data Discovery Easy.” The company’s Web site asserts that Yellowfin is Ranked #1. The page explains that “global BI vendor surveys” attest to this stature. (Please, note that the company’s url is www.yellowfinbi.com, not www.yellowfin.com. The “yellowfin.com” name resolves to a previously owned boat vendor.)
The three reasons for Yellowfin’s stature, according to the company’s Web site, are:
- Ranked number 1 compared to world’s foremost BI vendors. I did not see any links to the referenced studies but I am tired from shoveling snow.
- Standout vendor in emerging, dashboard and innovation categories. I did not see how many other categories were used to rank innovative business intelligence vendors. The snow was heavy and wet. Tough to cut through.
- Challenging traditional BI vendors. I did not see any specifics about how Yellowfin is tackling IBM SPSS, SAS, Recorded Future, Palantir, or Talend, but my fatigue may be contributing to this oversight on my part.
The news I received via email quotes Glen Rabie, Yellowfin CEO, who says:
Yellowfin 7 “delivered beautiful, balanced and brilliant analytics software that makes stunningly simple enterprise-wide Data Discovery easy.”
I like “beautiful,” “brilliant,” and “stunningly simple” analytics. I assume the software alerts the user when the data are corrupted or the analytic method and the information fed into the numerical recipe are mismatched. In my experience, fiddling with numbers and different mathematical procedures can produce some interesting results.
Mr. Rabie continues:
You’ve heard people talk-up self-service BI because of its ability to circumvent the IT bottleneck. With Yellowfin 7, we’ve stepped it up again. We’ve completely redesigned and rebuilt the report authoring process, from the ground up, to enable independent Data Discovery….Yellowfin 7’s new interface for analysis lets you instantly understand the impact of your data selections on the content you’re creating, empowering users to achieve deeper understanding in less time and build the most insightful BI content possible – every time.
The company offers interactive dashboards, collaboration tools, mobile access, and exception reporting. Yellowfin is a “complete BI platform.” Based on the information in the news I received, Yellowfin seems to have overhauled its system rolled out a decade ago.
One observation: The tone and word choice used to describe what looks like an interesting product.
Stephen E Arnold, December 7, 2013
December 6, 2013
Microsoft Office Suite might not the same heavy-lifting data discovery solutions as specially designed software, but Database Journal reports in the article “Getting Started With Microsoft Power Query For Excel” that an equivalent solution is available. Power Query is a Microsoft Power BI Excel add-in that provides data discovery, data reshaping, and data combination from multiple sources. Power Query’s user interface is both interactive and intuitive and can be used for a variety of basic yet powerful functions: search, discover, acquire, combine, refine, transform and enrich the data.
The article explains how to download Power Query and covers elementary procedures to program it to your specific needs:
“Power Query (code name for this feature was “Data Explorer”) is a free Excel add-in (supported both in Excel 2010 and Excel 2013) which can be installed from the ‘Download Microsoft Power Query for Excel page. To install the Power Query add-in, you require Microsoft Office 2013 Professional Plus, Office 365 ProPlus, Excel 2013 Standalone or Microsoft Office 2010 Professional Plus with Software Assurance. You can find more information on this under the Software Requirements section of Microsoft Power Query for Excel.”
In a way, Power Query is a mini-big data machine in Excel. Microsoft may want to trademark that idea. Excel is the basis for most data storage and collection in organizations. Viable business intelligence solutions usually do not come this cheap and it is worth investigating to make use of data sitting on a server.
Whitney Grace, December 06, 2013
November 25, 2013
With Google becoming more difficult to use, many professionals need a way to locate, filter, and obtain high value information that works. Silobreaker is an online service and system that delivers actionable information.
The co-founder of Silobreaker said in an exclusive interview for Search Wizards Speaks says:
I learned that in most of the organizations, information was locked in separate silos. The information in those silos was usually kept under close control by the silo manager. My insight was that if software could make available to employees the information in different silos, the organization would reap an enormous gain in productivity. So the idea was to “break” down the the information and knowledge silos that exists within companies, organizations and mindsets.
And knock down barriers the system has. Silobreaker’s popularity is surging. The most enthusiastic supporters of the system come from the intelligence community, law enforcement, analysts, and business intelligence professionals. A user’s query retrieves up-to-the-minute information from Web sources, commercial services, and open source content. The results are available as a series of summaries, full text documents, relationship maps among entities, and other report formats. The user does not have to figure out which item is an advertisement. The Silobreaker system delivers muscle, not fatty tissue.
Mr. Bjore, a former intelligence officer, adds:
Silobreaker is an Internet and a technology company that offers products and services which aggregate, analyze, contextualize and bring meaning to the ever-increasing amount of digital information.
Underscoring the difference between Silobreaker and other online systems, Mr. Bjore points out:
What sets us apart is not only the Silobreaker technology and our commitment to constant innovation. Silobreaker embodies the long term and active experience of having a team of users and developers who can understand the end user environment and challenges. Also, I want to emphasize that our technology is one integrated technology that combines access, content, and actionable outputs.
The ArnoldIT team uses Silobreaker in our intelligence-related work. We include a profile of the system in our lectures about next-generation information gathering and processing systems.
Stephen E Arnold, November 25, 2013
November 21, 2013
Directions Magazine notes that “Tableau Continues Its Visual Analytics Revolution” by using location analytics to improve business processes. How is Tableau making this possible? The company’s visual analytics software is the main key to advancing how users access and understand information.
“Tableau represents a new class of business intelligence (BI) software that is designed for business analytics allowing users to visualize and interact on data in new ways and does not mandate that relationships in the data be predefined. This business analytics focus is critical as it is the top ranked technology innovation in business today as identified by 39 percent of organizations as found in our research.”
Tableau wants data usage and understanding to be seamless without having to configure it to preset niches. The problem is that Tableau’s software is a dream for data scientists, but there is still a barrier for average user interaction. Tableau is making analytics software the equivalent of Microsoft Office, however. Business analysts are noting that Tableau’s software is a business intelligence solution that curb’s IT’s involvement by keeping it down to a minimum as well as demonstrating the quick value of data.
Tableau is making data software for the average user akin to what Microsoft did with Windows 95. What the company is doing needs to be monitored, not because it is alarming, but because it is going to be big.
Whitney Grace, November 21, 2013
October 26, 2013
Discontent about business intelligence is at hand. EnterpriseAppsToday reports, “Big Business Intelligence Vendors Not Satisfying Users.” Search by any other name still creates dissatisfaction among some, it seems. The assertion is based on research from Gartner which indicates that users care more about the user interface than what ‘s under the hood. Writer Drew Robb tells us:
“Much of Gartner’s business intelligence (BI) research focuses on customer satisfaction and usability. Two of the biggest takeaways from several Gartner reports released over the past few months are the poor satisfaction rating mobile BI received in the face of its high popularity and the poor performance of big vendors compared to their smaller counterparts.
“Users apparently are overly enamored with the latest display-type bells and whistles, while not paying enough attention to product integration. Is this a sign that BI purchasers fall into the same trap as many car buyers? That is, paying too much attention to cup holders and music systems and not enough to vehicle fundamentals?”
Robb points out that one key challenge for BI makers is to impress upon users the value of strong integration capabilities. Since integration takes place behind the scenes, users unfamiliar with the details may not understand how important it is, let alone how to discern which company is better at it. It is no surprise, then, that they judge a product’s value based on what they can see. This gives some smaller players, who focus on their UI, an advantage over larger companies that have invested years in building strong integration components. Robb makes an apt comparison:
“[Integration] is essentially plumbing, and like the pipes in one’s own home, you really don’t care about them as long as it all works correctly. The only time this comes to your attention is when a sink clogs or a pipe bursts. Similarly, vendors that focus on integration can expect little thanks from their customer base.”
Check out the article for its take on several specific companies and how their approaches have helped or hurt them. The takeaway is this: platforms that actually perform the best, by far, are getting passed over for ones that look pretty. Robb points out that many of these solutions from what he calls the “little guys” meet their real tests when faced with deployment in large enterprise environments. How much trial and error will it take for users to grasp the importance of strong integration?
Cynthia Murrell, October 26, 2013
October 14, 2013
SharePoint 2013 has arrived with a bundle of additional add-ons and trinkets, so to speak. However, some may say that these small pieces are in many ways more impressive than SharePoint itself. TechRepublic covers the story in their article, “SharePoint 2013 Adds Better In-memory Analytics.”
“In its quest to never be outdone in the features wars, Microsoft has drifted into the habit of bundling its most impressive new capabilities as peripheral trinkets. But in the case of SharePoint 2013, they’ve set a new record for understatement. Yes, SharePoint 2013 is feature-rich almost to a fault, and yes, most of the new stuff is big-banner game-changing (Social computing! SharePoint-in-the-cloud!). But some of the most powerful items are geeky little widgets that barely get a mention on TechNet, and when it comes to SharePoint 2013, the In-Memory BI Engine tops the list.”
But while the business intelligence add-on might be noteworthy, many are saying that SharePoint 2013 is not. Most organizations still have to customize their way into efficiency, using multiple add-ons to compile a complete solution. Stephen E. Arnold, of ArnoldIT, is a longtime expert in search and a longstanding critic of SharePoint. In a recent article, Arnold finds that the latest version of SharePoint is structurally sound, but relatively ineffective, particularly for its search components. Microsoft continues to innovate, yet seems to keep missing the mark with basic features.
Emily Rae Aldridge, October 14, 2013
October 7, 2013
According to the recent PR Web news release “Centrifuge Systems Names Stan Dushko as Chief Product Officer” the business intelligence software provider known as Centrifuge has announced that Stan Dushko, an industry veteran, will join their team as Chief Product Officer.
Dushko brings over 20 years of experience managing and marketing innovative software solutions that will make him an excellent asset to the company.
The article states:
“We are excited to have Stan join the Centrifuge Systems management team,” said Simita Bose, CEO of Centrifuge Systems. “Stan’s extensive product experience in the areas of enterprise software, business intelligence and performance management solutions across industries will be a great compliment to our team. His depth of expertise will help Centrifuge expand the presence of our groundbreaking technology in the data analytics market space.”
We are looking forward to seeing what new and exciting ideas Dushko brings to the Centrifuge team.
Jasmine Ashton, October 07, 2013
October 1, 2013
Most movies these days are full of special effects with very little story, but sometimes a movie will defy the current trends and actually teach the viewers something. Clear CI learned not one, but many lessons from the new movie Jobs staring Ashton Kutcher. They discuss their findings in the article, “Four Competitive Intelligence Tips Learned From the Movie ‘JOBS.’” Frankly, I have never heard much about competitive intelligence until reading this post, but it is used to predict future consumer trends and what products they will want. This leads into tip number one about figuring out what people want before they know they want it.
Tip number two advises to do something new and original. Competitive intelligence gives people the edge they need top figure out what that “something new is.” Number three corresponds with the previous tip, because it deals with solving problems. New ideas are usually inspired to solve a problem, but other companies may have the same idea. Using competitive intelligence gives a company the opportunity to gather insights about rivals and get their message into the market.
The last tip is about changing the future and whatnot:
“Peter Drucker once said, ‘The best way to predict the future is to create it’” Who wants to copy or react based on information from the past, when organizations can use competitive intelligence software to disrupt markets and potentially change the world with revolutionary products. In the movie, Jobs was taken by surprised when Woz, his friend and partner, told him he had created an operating system. Job saw it as the “’industrial revolution.’ He said: ‘This changes everything…Your big, evolved brain wanted something that didn’t exist, so you just willed it into existence.’ Competitive intelligence provides valuable information for organizations to develop revolutionary products.”
Whitney Grace, October 01, 2013
September 10, 2013
The article Using Social Analytics and BI to be a Smarter Social Business on Don’t Mind Rick builds an elaborate metaphor between Social Analytics and Alice in Wonderland. The Red Queen Effect, as the article discusses, refers to those companies that are simply running to keep in the same place. The article encourages companies to avoid this.
“If you are using Social Media data just for history based predictions you are doing yourself a disservice. You now can know what your customer is thinking since they share their thoughts on social media. What your customer is doing, since they share their activities on social media. And you can know what your customer wants, since he is also sharing this on social media”
Of course, this dredges up the inevitable fear of being creepy. For example, Target sending out catalogues to a pregnant woman based on purchase patterns before the woman even told her family. The article also brings up the buzzword web care, or companies responding mainly to negative feedback on social media. Instead of this, the article suggests allowing trial runs of products, since what is a better test of whether you like something than trying it out yourself? At the least, the article is a remarkable collection of social media and business buzzwords.
Chelsea Kerwin, September 10, 2013