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Month: January 2008

Human benefits for BI itself in a slower economy

If this year’s economic slowdown lets BI-ready companies “kill the competition,” as one consultant I talked to last week expects them to, BI itself will win in not-so-obvious ways.

First, if BI really does show its stuff, projects will attract and keep good people more easily. “Every BI client have been people-short,” says Sid Adelman, “either with no headcount or unable to attract good people.”

Second, BI will finally get the attention of company “big guys,” as one guy puts it (who can be called only a senior ETL architect at a major BI vendor).

Mr. Anonymous says, “I find it astounding that people go into project wo looking at power dynamic in an organization. They just kind of do stuff without thinking who’s going to look at this….If we’re competing with Little League and seat-of-the-pants, no one’s going to look at BI unless the big guy does.”

People think that good data makes for good decisions, he says. Well, no. “What about that French bank [Société Générale]? Did they really now know?” And, “Take Enron. They knew the facts.”

It’s that nasty human side showing its inconvenient face again.

Throwing light on a power company’s data

I guess even the guys who live and breathe data get lost in it sometimes.

At one power company that enlisted the help of Houston-area Visual Numerics, there was so much data that no one knew how to start pulling it apart. Only when company analysts saw it visualized did they know what questions to ask.

Marketing director Alicia McGreevey said, “There’s such a difference looking over rows and rows of numbers versus a 3D picture with peaks and troughs.”