Ventana Research Analyst Perspectives

New Generation of Data and Analytics in Cloud

Posted by Ventana Research on Sep 3, 2014 8:57:34 PM

It’s widely agreed that cloud computing is a major technology innovation. Many companies use cloud-based systems for specific business functions such as customer service, sales, marketing, finance and human resources. More generally, however, analytics and business intelligence (BI) have not migrated to the cloud as quickly. But now cloud-based data and analytics products are becoming more common. This trend is most popular among technology companies, small and midsize businesses, and departments in larger ones, but there are examples of large companies moving their entire BI environments to the cloud. Our research into big data analytics shows that more than one-fourth of analytics initiatives for companies of all sizes are cloud-based.

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Topics: Big Data, SaaS, Sales Performance, Social Media, Governance, Statistics, cloud analytics, IT Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Data Integration, Financial Performance, Internet of Things, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), cloud business intelligence

The Next Generation of Predictive Analytics

Posted by Ventana Research on Aug 3, 2014 8:52:46 AM

Our benchmark research consistently shows that business analytics is the most significant technology trend in business today and acquiring effective predictive analytics is organizations’ top priority for analytics. It enables them to look forward rather than backward and, participate organizations reported, leads to competitive advantage and operational efficiencies.

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Topics: Big Data, Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance, Statistics, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Data Integration, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance

Teradata’s Fast Track to Big Data Analytics

Posted by Ventana Research on Jul 15, 2014 8:19:23 AM

At its annual industry analyst summit last month and in a more recent announcement of enterprise support for parallelizing the R language on its Aster Discovery Platform, Teradata showed that it is adapting to changes in database and analytics technologies. The presentations at the conference revealed a unified approach to data architectures and value propositions in a variety of uses including the Internet of Things, digital marketing and ETL offloading. In particular, the company provided updates on the state of its business as well as how the latest version of its database platform, Teradata 15.0, is addressing customers’ needs for big data. My colleague Mark Smith covered these announcements in depth. The introduction of scalable R support was discussed at the conference but not announced publicly until late last month.

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Topics: Big Data, Teradata, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Information Applications, Information Management, Internet of Things, Operational Intelligence, Teradata Aster

Information Builders Innovates in Data Visualization and Operational Intelligence

Posted by Ventana Research on Jun 30, 2014 6:18:42 AM

Information Builders announced two major new products at its recent annual user summit. The first was InfoDiscovery, a tool for ad hoc data analysis and visual discovery. The second was iWay Sentinel, which allows administrators to manage applications in a proactive and dynamic manner. Being a privately held company, Information Builders is not a household name, but it is a major provider of highly scalable business intelligence (BI) and information management software to companies around the world.

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Topics: Mobile, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Information Applications, Information Builders, Information Management, Internet of Things, Operational Intelligence, InfoDiscovery

Teradata Takes Bigger Approach to Big Data

Posted by Mark Smith on Jun 17, 2014 9:17:43 AM

Teradata continues to expand its information management and analytics technology for big data to meet growing demand. My analysis last year discussed Teradata’s approach to big data in the context of its distributed computing and data architecture. I recently got an update on the company’s strategy and products at the annual Teradata analyst summit. Our big data analytics research finds that a broad approach to big data is wise: Three-quarters of organizations want analytics to access data from all sources and not just one specific to big data. This inclusive approach is what Teradata as designed its architectural and technological approach in managing the access, storage and use of data and analytics.

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Topics: Big Data, Sales Performance, Supply Chain Performance, Teradata, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Information Applications, Information Management, NoSQL, Workforce Performance, JSON, UDA

Alteryx Analytics Brings Power of Predictive and Big Data to Market

Posted by Ventana Research on May 30, 2014 9:49:10 AM

Alteryx has released version 9.0 of Alteryx Analytics that provides a range of data to predictive analytics in advance of its annual user conference called Inspire 2014. I have covered the company for several years as it has emerged as a key player in providing a range of business analytics from predictive to big data analytics. The importance of this category of analytics is revealed by our latest benchmark research on big data analytics, which finds that predictive analytics is the most important type of big data analytics, ranked first by nearly half (47%) of research participants. The new version 9 includes new capabilities and integration with a range of new information sources including read and write capability to IBM SPSS and SAS for range of analytic needs.

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Topics: Big Data, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, alteryx, data blending, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence

Pitney Bowes Brings New Software for Better Business Insights

Posted by Mark Smith on May 19, 2014 10:17:43 AM

I recently attended the 2014 global analyst summit in San Francisco hosted by Pitney Bowes, an old technology company (now in business for 94 years) that has a new focus in its software along with an entirely new executive team. These leaders unveiled a business and technology strategy meant to demonstrate the company’s commitment to software. For many years it has been known mostly for mail services and postage metering, but Pitney Bowes also has made investments in software that can help companies change their business processes by optimizing their information assets. Over the past few years the company has had its ups and downs as regards its corporate mission, as I wrote in 2012. Most of the turmoil was due to conflicting agendas from past management, but other factors were the company was not as clear in communicating the value of its combined software portfolio and not capitalizing on the demand in lines of business and IT for information management and analytics software.

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Topics: Big Data, Sales Performance, Social Media, Pitney Bowes, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence

Big Data Analytics Require Best Practices in Using Technology

Posted by Ventana Research on Apr 18, 2014 8:22:28 AM

Organizations should consider multiple aspects of deploying big data analytics. These include the type of analytics to be deployed, how the analytics will be deployed technologically and who must be involved both internally and externally to enable success. Our recent big data analytics benchmark research assesses each of these areas. How an organization views these deployment considerations may depend on the expected benefits of the big data analytics program and the particular business case to be made, which I discussed recently.

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Topics: Big Data, Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance, Strata+Hadoop

SAP Supercharges Business Intelligence with Analytics

Posted by Ventana Research on Apr 9, 2014 9:50:37 AM

SAP recently presented its analytics and business intelligence roadmap and new innovations to about 1,700 customers and partners using SAP BusinessObjects at its SAP Insider event (#BI2014). SAP has one of the largest presences in business intelligence due to its installed base of SAP BusinessObjects customers. The company intends to defend its current position in the established business intelligence (BI) market while expanding in the areas of databases, discovery analytics and advanced analytics. As I discussed a year ago, SAP faces an innovator’s dilemma in parts of its portfolio, but it is working aggressively to get ahead of competitors.

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, SAP, Business Objects, IT Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, KXEN, Operational Intelligence, HANA, Lumira, SAP insider

SAS Innovates the Potential of Business Analytics

Posted by Ventana Research on Apr 3, 2014 12:57:28 AM

SAS Institute, a long-established provider analytics software, showed off its latest technology innovations and product road maps at its recent analyst conference. In a very competitive market, SAS is not standing still, and executives showed progress on the goals introduced at last year’s conference, which I covered. SAS’s Visual Analytics software, integrated with an in-memory analytics engine called LASR, remains the company’s flagship product in its modernized portfolio. CEO Jim Goodnight demonstrated Visual Analytics’ sophisticated integration with statistical capabilities, which is something the company sees as a differentiator going forward. The product already provides automated charting capabilities, forecasting and scenario analysis, and SAS probably has been doing user-experience testing, since the visual interactivity is better than what I saw last year. SAS has put Visual Analytics on a six-month release cadence, which is a fast pace but necessary to keep up with the industry.

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, IT Performance, LASR, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloudera, Customer & Contact Center, Hortonworks, IBM, Information Applications, SAS institute, Strata+Hadoop

Technology Makes a Difference for Location Analytics

Posted by Mark Smith on Apr 1, 2014 12:48:10 AM

Our latest benchmark research into the market for location analytics software finds significant demand for location-related technology that can improve business outcomes and generate relevant information for various types of users. (Location analytics is an extension of business analytics that can enhance the sophistication of data and processes by adding a geographic context.)  My last analyst perspective on this topic discussed the business value of insights based on geography and what organizations are doing to advance their efforts here. Our research also shows, however, that most still lack satisfaction and confidence in using the technology. Just 12 percent of all participants said they are very satisfied with the location information and analytics available in their organization. Further analysis shows that satisfaction increases with use of a dedicated application for location analytics: 71 percent of those are satisfied or very satisfied, substantially more than those using location analytics within a BI tool (22%); findings are similar for both B2B and B2C use. We find similar levels of confidence in the quality of location information: 15 percent of those using a dedicated application are very confident in their location analytics. Confidence in the reliability of such information is essential to more organizations adopting location analytics.

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Topics: Big Data, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, GIS, Location Analytics, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Data

Customer Analytics Research Reveals Required Capabilities for Software

Posted by Ventana Research on Mar 29, 2014 9:52:40 AM

Our recently released research into next-generation customer analytics shows that the most participants (52%) use spreadsheets as a customer analytics tool. I recently wrote that while these popular tools are adequate for some tasks, they are not suitable for analyzing large volumes and many types of customer data. So I think it is appropriate that one in four (26%) participants have adopted a dedicated customer analytics tool and a further 29 percent are planning to invest in such a tool in the next 24 months.

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Topics: Social Media, Customer Analytics, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, Desktop Analytics, Text Analytics

Big Data Analytics Research Reveals Benefits of Investment

Posted by Ventana Research on Mar 29, 2014 8:17:32 AM

We recently released our benchmark research on big data analytics, and it sheds light on many of the most important discussions occurring in business technology today. The study’s structure was based on the big data analytics framework that I laid out last year as well as the framework that my colleague Mark Smith put forth on the four types of discovery technology available. These frameworks view big data and analytics as part of a major change that includes a movement from designed data to organic data, the bringing together of analytics and data in a single system, and a corresponding move away from the technology-oriented three Vs of big data to the business-oriented three Ws of data. Our big data analytics research confirms these trends but also reveals some important subtleties and new findings with respect to this important emerging market. I want to share three of the most interesting and even surprising results and their implications for the big data analytics market.

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Topics: Big Data, Pentaho, Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance, Supply Chain Performance, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance, Datawatch

Cloudera Makes Hadoop a Big Player in Big Data

Posted by Mark Smith on Mar 24, 2014 9:16:06 PM

I had the pleasure of attending Cloudera’s recent analyst summit. Presenters reviewed the work the company has done since its founding six years ago and outlined its plans to use Hadoop to further empower big data technology to support what I call information optimization. Cloudera’s executive team has the co-founders of Hadoop who worked at Facebook, Oracle and Yahoo when they developed and used Hadoop. Last year they brought in CEO Tom Reilly, who led successful organizations at ArcSight, HP and IBM. Cloudera now has more than 500 employees, 800 partners and 40,000 users trained in its commercial version of Hadoop. The Hadoop technology has brought to the market an integration of computing, memory and disk storage; Cloudera has expanded the capabilities of this open source software for its customers through unique extension and commercialization of open source for enterprise use. The importance of big data is undisputed now: For example, our latest research in big data analytics finds it to be very important in 47 percent of organizations. However, we also find that only 14 percent are very satisfied with their use of big data, so there is plenty of room for improvement. How well Cloudera moves forward this year and next will determine its ability to compete in big data over the next five years.

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Topics: Big Data, Teradata, Zoomdata, IT Performance, Business Intelligence, Cloudera, Hortonworks, IBM, Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Oracle, Hive, Impala, Strata+Hadoop

Location Analytics Delivers Geographic Insights

Posted by Mark Smith on Mar 3, 2014 8:54:44 PM

Adding geographic and location context to business information enables organizations to develop fuller understanding and optimize the activities of people that use the information. We call this location intelligence, and to achieve it requires location analytics, which focus on that context where the processing and presentation of geography and spatial aspects of data are utilized. Analysis of geographic information can provide business insights that help organizations make better business decisions. I have written about this new generation of location analytics previously and noted that it can provide fresh analytic perspectives on information collected and integrated from in-house applications and across the Internet.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Supply Chain Performance, Customer Analytics, GIS, Location Analytics, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance

The Business Technology Challenge of 2014: Information Optimization

Posted by Ventana Research on Feb 11, 2014 10:05:05 AM

Our recently released benchmark research on information optimization shows that 97 percent of organizations find it important or very important to make information available to the business and customers, yet only 25 percent are satisfied with the technology they use to provide that access. This wide gap between importance and satisfaction reflects the complexity of preparing and presenting information in a world where users need to access many forms of data that exist across distributed systems.

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Topics: Big Data, IT Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Data Preparation, Information Applications, Information Management, Data Discovery, Datawatch, Information Optimization

Paxata Give Analysts Valuable Time Back for Analytics

Posted by Ventana Research on Jan 28, 2014 11:18:01 PM

Paxata, a new data and analytics software provider says it wants to address one of the most pressing challenges facing today’s analyst performing analytics: simplifying data preparation. This trend toward simplification is well aligned with the market’s desire for improving usability, which our benchmark research into Next-Generation Business Intelligence shows is a primary buying consideration in two-thirds (64%) of companies. This trend is driving significant adoption of business-friendly-front-end visual and data discovery tools and is part of my research agenda for 2014.

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Topics: Big Data, Paxata, IT Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Data Preparation, Information Applications, Information Management, Data Discovery

Big Data Offers Business Opportunity for Information Optimization in 2014

Posted by Mark Smith on Jan 27, 2014 9:09:29 AM

Businesses are always looking for ways to grow and to streamline their operations. These two goals can come into conflict because as organizations become larger it becomes more complicated to be agile and efficient. To help them understand and modify their processes, businesses can derive insights from analytics applied to their data. Today that data is available not only in the enterprise and cloud computing environments but also from the Internet. To collect, process and analyze it all is a challenge, one that an increasing number of organizations are meeting through the use of big data technologies. The resulting insights can help them make strategic business decisions such as where to focus efforts and how to engage with customers. At Ventana Research we have been working hard to understand the advancing technology that supports big data and its value through information optimization and bring clarity to the industry through our research and analysis of trends and products. There are many opinions about big data and fixation on the attributes of it through the V’s (volume, variety and velocity) and how to use it, often biased toward one technology or vendor; our research and analysis of the entire market cuts through the noise to provide not just facts but insights on best practices and methods to apply this technology to business problems.

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Topics: Big Data, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, CIO, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance, Information Optimization

Business Analytics in 2014: Trends and Possibilities

Posted by Ventana Research on Jan 23, 2014 8:41:23 AM

Our benchmark research shows that analytics is the top business technology innovation priority; 39% of organizations rank it first. This is no surprise as new information sources and new technologies in data processing, storage, networking, databases and analytic software are combining to offer capabilities for using information never before possible. For businesses, the analytic priority is heightened by intense competition on several fronts; they need to know as much as possible about pricing, strategies, customers and competitors. Within the organization, the IT department and the lines of business continue to debate issues around the analytic skills gap, information simplification, information governance and the rise of time-to-value metrics. Given this backdrop, I expect 2014 to be an exciting year for  studying analytic technologies and how they apply to business.

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Topics: Big Data, IT Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Financial Performance, Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Data

IBM Bets a Billion to Mobilize Watson Business Unit and Monetize Cognitive Computing

Posted by Mark Smith on Jan 13, 2014 8:04:28 AM

With much fanfare and a rarely seen introduction by CEO Ginni Rometty, IBM launched IBM Watson as a new business unit focused on cognitive computing technology and solutions, now being led by Senior Vice President Mike Rhodin. The announcement is summarized here:. Until now IBM Watson was important but had neither this stature in IBM’s organizational structure nor enough investment to support what the company proclaims is the third phase of computing. As IBM tells it, computing paradigms began with the century-old tabular computing, followed by the age of programmatic computing, in which IBM developed many products and advancements. The third phase is cognitive computing, an area in which the company has invested significantly to advance its technology. IBM has been on this journey for some time, long before the IBM Watson system beat humans on Jeopardy!. Its machine-learning efforts started with the IBM 704 and computer checkers in the 1950s, followed by decades of utilizing the computing power of the IBM 360 mainframe, the IBM AS/400, the IBM RS/6000 and even IBM XT computers in the 1980s. Now IBM Watson is focused on reaching the full potential of cognitive computing.

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Topics: Big Data, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, CIO, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance, Cognitive Computing, Discovery, Exploration, IBM Watson

Research Agendas for 2014: Optimizing the Use of Technology for Business

Posted by Mark Smith on Jan 10, 2014 8:37:34 AM

Greetings, everyone, and best wishes for a great start to 2014. In this new year, utilizing best practices and skills learned in 2013 will be critical for optimizing the use of efforts to support both business and IT. In 2013 many organizations made progress in balancing technology decisions across business and IT as the lines of business continued to take leading roles in investment and prioritization. Major investments were made in business applications using software as a service, business analytics and mobile computing applications. In some other areas of innovation, particularly big data and social collaboration, deployments are just beginning to happen and a significant amount of projects are in experimental and proof of concept than enterprise use.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Market Research, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, CIO, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance, CFO, COO, Technology

IBM Integrates Risk Management for Financial Services

Posted by Robert Kugel on Dec 18, 2013 9:47:52 AM

Integrated risk management (IRM) was a major theme at IBM’s recent Smarter Risk Management analyst summit in London. In the market context, IBM sees this topic as a means to differentiate its product and messaging from those of its competitors. IRM includes cloud-based offerings in operational risk analytics, IT risk analytics and financial crimes management designed for financial institutions and draws on component elements of software that IBM acquired over the past five years, notably from Algorithmics for risk-aware business decisions, Open Pages for compliance management, SPSS for sophisticated analytics, Cognos for reports, dashboards and scorecards, and Tivoli for managing all of this in a Web environment. Putting its software in the cloud enables IBM to streamline integration and maintenance, offer more flexible deployment and consumption options and potentially lower the total cost of ownership.

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Topics: Supply Chain Performance, GRC, Office of Finance, Chief Risk Officer, CRO, ERM, OpenPages, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Data Governance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), IBM, Information Applications, Information Management, Operational Intelligence, compliance, Data, Risk, Financial Services, FPM

IBM Brings New Innovation in Analytics for Business Insights

Posted by Ventana Research on Dec 18, 2013 8:50:48 AM

Like every large technology corporation today, IBM faces an innovator’s dilemma in at least some of its business. That phrase comes from Clayton Christensen’s seminal work, The Innovator’s Dilemma, originally published in 1997, which documents the dynamics of disruptive markets and their impacts on organizations. Christensen makes the key point that an innovative company can succeed or fail depending on what it does with the cash generated by continuing operations. In the case of IBM, it puts around US$6 billion a year into research and development; in recent years much of this investment has gone into research on big data and analytics, two of the hottest areas in 21st century business technology. At the company’s recent Information On Demand (IOD) conference in Las Vegas, presenters showed off much of this innovative portfolio.

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, IT Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, IBM, Information Applications, Data Discovery, Discovery, Information Discovery, SPSS

Teradata Establishes Trust in Big Data Technology

Posted by Ventana Research on Nov 26, 2013 8:22:23 AM

At its Teradata Partners conference in Dallas, a broader vision for big data and analytics was articulated clearly. Their pitch centered on three areas – data warehousing, big data analytics and integrated marketing – that to some degree reflect Teradata’s core market and acquisitions in the last few years of companies like Aprimo who provides integrated marketing technology and Aster in big data analytics. The keynote showcased the company’s leadership position in the increasingly complex world of open source database software, cloud computing and business analytics.

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Topics: Big Data, Teradata, IT Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Information Applications

Nuevora Takes Flexible Approach to Big Data Analytics

Posted by Ventana Research on Nov 6, 2013 8:34:53 AM

While covering providers of business analytics software, it is also interesting for me to look at some that focus on the people, process and implementation aspects in big data and analytics. One such company is Nuevora, which uses a flexible platform to provide customized analytic solutions. I recently met the company’s founder, Phani Nagarjuna, when we appeared on a panel at the Predictive Analytics World conference in San Diego.

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Topics: Big Data, Predictive Analytics, IT Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Information Applications, Strata+Hadoop

Natural Analytics Transforming QlikView

Posted by Ventana Research on Oct 28, 2013 6:05:49 AM

QlikTech executives unveiled the future of what I cover in business analytics at its recent industry analyst summit in what they framed as natural analytics and how it underlies the company’s next major release in 2014, and with what they call QlikView.Next which they have outlined publicly. Anthony Deighton, SVP Products and Donald Farmer, VP of Product Management, did most of the talking, but it is clear that the idea unifies the business and technology strategy for its future.

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Topics: QlikView, discovery tools, IT Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Information Applications, Qlik

Pentaho Doubles Down on Unifying Big Data and Business Analytics

Posted by Ventana Research on Sep 25, 2013 10:50:14 AM

Pentaho recently announced Pentaho 5.0 which represents a major advancement for this supplier of business analytics and data integration software as well as for the open source community to which it contributes and supports. In fact, with 250 new features and enhancements in the 5.0 release, it’s important not to lose the forest for the trees. Some of the highlights are a new user interface that caters to specific roles within the organization, tight integration with emerging databases such as Mongo, and enhanced extensibility. With a funding round of $60 million coming less than a year ago and the growing market momentum around big data and analytics and it appears that Pentaho has doubled down at the right time in its efforts to balance the needs of the enterprise with those of the end user.

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Topics: Big Data, Pentaho, IT Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Data Integration, Information Applications, Information Management

Tableau Continues its Visual Analytics Revolution

Posted by Ventana Research on Sep 21, 2013 8:14:51 AM

In his keynote speech at the sixth annual Tableau Customer Conference, company co-founder and CEO Christian Chabot borrowed from Steve Jobs’ famous quote that the computer “is the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds,” to suggest that his company software is such a new bicycle. He went on to build an argument about the nature of invention and Tableau’s place in it. The people who make great discoveries, Chabot said, start with both intuition and logic. This approach allows them to look at ideas and information from different perspectives and to see things that others don’t see. In a similar vein, he went on, Tableau allows us to look at things differently, understand patterns and generate new ideas that might not arise using traditional tools. Chabot key point was profound: New technologies such as Tableau with its visual analytics software can use new and big data sources of information are enablers and accelerators of human understanding.

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Topics: Sales Performance, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, CIO, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Visualization, Data

Ventana Research Technology Innovation Awards Are More Than Cool

Posted by Mark Smith on Aug 31, 2013 1:34:18 AM

In the realm of technology that matters for business and IT, our firm as part of our responsibility continually assesses the latest technology and how it can impact organizations’ efficiency and effectiveness. Our benchmark research in technology innovation found that 87% of participants indicated the importance of increasing the organization’s value through technology innovation. Every year we take our knowledge from research and technology briefings to focus on our Technology Innovation Awards and determine the vendors and products that have the potential to drive change in the market, the competitiveness of an organization’s business and sometimes just how efficiently a company operates. Our firm believes that Innovation can come from any size technology vendor from the smallest to the largest that are measured on a spectrum of attributes that contribute to the specific impact of the technology.

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Topics: Big Data, Datameer, Mobile, Sales, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Sustainability, Customer, ESRI, Globoforce, GRC, HCM, Kronos, Kyriba, Location Analytics, Marketing, NetBase, Office of Finance, Overall Operational Leadership, Peoplefluent, Planview, SQLstream, VMWare, VPI, IT Analytics & Performance, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, CIO, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Hortonworks, IBM, Informatica, Information Applications, Information Builders, Information Management, Information Technology, KXEN, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Oracle, Workforce Performance, Contact Center, Datawatch, Financial Management, Information Optimization, Johnson Controls Panoptix, Roambi, Service & Supply Chain, Upstream Works, Vertex, Xactly

The Personas that Matter the Most in Business Analytics

Posted by Ventana Research on Aug 30, 2013 10:30:56 AM

As a new generation of business professionals embraces a new generation of technology, the line between people and their tools begins to blur. This shift comes as organizations become flatter and leaner and roles, context and responsibilities become intertwined. These changes have introduced faster and easier ways to bring information to users, in a context that makes it quicker to collaborate, assess and act. Today we see this in the prominent buying patterns for business intelligence and analytics software and an increased focus on the user experience. Almost two-thirds (63%) of participants in our benchmark research on next-generation business intelligence say that usability is the top purchase consideration for business intelligence software. In fact, usability is the driving factor in evaluating and selecting technology across all application and technology areas, according to our benchmark research.

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Topics: Big Data, Data Scientist, Sales Performance, Supply Chain Performance, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, CIO, Customer & Contact Center, Data Management, Financial Performance, Information Applications, Information Management, Workforce Performance, Data

Rationalizing the Tyranny of Visual Anarchy

Posted by Mark Smith on Aug 28, 2013 9:41:50 AM

It has become evident from the advancements we’ve seen in the business analytics market that the use of visualization is now becoming mainstream. In my analysis of the market last year I wrote about the pathetic state of dashboards, where the assumption in the business intelligence software industry is that placing four to six charts or tables of data in a screen and publishing to business users can create business intelligence. That assumption has yet to be proven and is completely irrational, as presenting analytics in basic charts does little to provide context and a guide for taking actions and making decisions.

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Topics: IT Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Visualization

Hadoop Summit and Hortonworks Promise To Make Big Data More Engaging

Posted by Ventana Research on Jul 10, 2013 9:20:56 AM

Hadoop Summit is the biggest event on the West Coast centered on Hadoop, the open source technology for large-scale data processing. The conference organizers, Hortonworks, estimated that more than 2,400 people attended, which if true would be double-digit growth from last year. Growth on the supplier side was even larger, which indicates the opportunity this market represents. Held in Silicon Valley, the event attracts enterprise customers, industry innovators, thought leaders and venture capitalists. Many announcements were made – too many to cover here. But I want to comment on a few important ones and explain what they mean to the emerging Hadoop ecosystem and the broader market.

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Topics: Big Data, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Operational Intelligence, Strata+Hadoop

Cisco to Foster Smarter Network of Data by Acquiring Composite Software

Posted by Mark Smith on Jun 23, 2013 1:04:54 AM

Cisco Systems has announced its intent to acquire Composite Software, which provides data virtualization to help IT departments interconnect data and systems; the purchase is scheduled to complete in early August. Cisco of course is known for its ability to interconnect just about anything with its networking technology; this acquisition will help it connect data better across networks. Over the last decade Composite had been refining the science of virtualizing data but had reached the peak of what it could do by itself, struggling to grow enough to meet the expectations of its investors, board of directors, employees, the market and visionary CEO Jim Green, who is well-known for his long commitment to improving data and technology architectures. According to press reports on the Internet, Cisco paid $180 million for Composite, which if true would be a good reward for people who have worked at Composite for some time and who were substantive shareholders.

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Topics: Big Data, Networking, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Data Management, Information Applications, Information Management, Cisco, Composite Software, Data, Data Virtualization, Information Optimization, Internet of Everything, Strata+Hadoop

A Year Makes a Big Difference for Big Data Analytics

Posted by Ventana Research on Jun 23, 2013 12:10:00 AM

Users of big data analytics are finally going public. At the Hadoop Summit last June, many vendors were still speaking of a large retailer or a big bank as users but could not publically disclose their partnerships. Companies experimenting with big data analytics felt that their proof of concept was so innovative that once it moved into production, it would yield a competitive advantage to the early mover. Now many companies are speaking openly about what they have been up to in their business laboratories. I look forward to attending the 2013 Hadoop Summit in San Jose to see how much things have changed in just a single year for Hadoop centered big data analytics.

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Topics: Big Data, Datameer, Sales Performance, SAS, Supply Chain Performance, Teradata, alteryx, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), IBM, Information Applications, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance, Strata+Hadoop

Information Builders Advances Integration and Analytics for Business Intelligence

Posted by Ventana Research on Jun 14, 2013 11:50:35 AM

Information Builders  (IBI) was highest ranked vendor in Ventana Research’s Business Intelligence Value Index for 2012. The combination of data integration, business analytics, visual and data discovery and performance management software in a single framework allows the company to address a range of both IT and business user needs and gives it a measure of advantage in an intensely competitive market. At the same time, emerging trends are disrupting the BI category, which seemed mature not long ago. The 2013 IBI user conference in Orlando showed how the company is addressing these industry trends. (For analysis of last year’s event, see my colleague Mark Smith’s comments).

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Topics: Big Data, Social Media, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Builders, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence

Microsoft: Big Data Analytics and Mobile Challenges

Posted by Ventana Research on May 12, 2013 10:06:59 PM

Microsoft has been steadily pouring money into big data and business intelligence. The company of course owns the most widely used analytical tool in the world, Microsoft Excel, which our benchmark research into Spreadsheets in the Enterprise shows is not going away soon. User resistance (cited by 56% of participants) and lack of a business case (50%) are the most common reasons that spreadsheets are not being replaced in the enterprise.  The challenge is ensuring the spreadsheets are not just personally used but connected and secured into the enterprise for a range of consistency and potential errors that all add up to more work and maintenance as my colleague has pointed out recently.

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Topics: Big Data, Microsoft, Tableau, IT Performance, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Powerpoint, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, CIO, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Hortonworks, Information Applications, Location Intelligence, Microsoft Excel, azure, HDinsights

Teradata Addresses the Foundation of Big Data Analytics

Posted by Ventana Research on May 5, 2013 1:07:56 AM

Our benchmark research found in business technology innovation that analytics is the most important new technology for improving their organization’s performance; they ranked big data only fifth out of six choices. This and other findings indicate that the best way for big data to contribute value to today’s organizations is to be paired with analytics. Recently, I wrote about what I call the four pillars of big data analytics on which the technology must be built. These areas are the foundation of big data and information optimization, predictive analytics, right-time analytics and the discovery and visualization of analytics. These components gave me a framework for looking at Teradata’s approach to big data analytics during the company’s analyst conference last week in La Jolla, Calif.

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Topics: Big Data, MicroStrategy, Tableau, Teradata, alteryx, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), IBM, Information Applications, Information Management, Operational Intelligence, Oracle

Oracle Aims To Simplify IT and Innovate Your Business

Posted by Mark Smith on May 2, 2013 10:21:23 AM

I was recently at Oracle Analyst World which is the vendor’s annual gathering of technology industry analysts. Its executives and others in the products organization deliver the latest news on where the titan is focusing efforts to expand its technology and markets. This year, against the background of the consumer and business markets embracing mobile and cloud computing, Oracle is working to sound like a more friendly supplier that can help remove legacy issues and inefficiencies that plague CIOs and data centers. Oracle also used this forum to attract IT departments to the technology advances it has made across its deep and broad portfolio of products. Oracle has more than 3,900 software products and more than 3,000 software patents that indicate its significant investment in R&D. Now the company is beginning to release improved products more frequently, which most customers now expect from technology vendors.

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Topics: Big Data, Mobile, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Social Collaboration, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, CIO, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Oracle, Workforce Performance, CFO, COO

Oracle Brings Enhancements to Business Intelligence

Posted by Ventana Research on May 1, 2013 8:58:59 AM

Responding to the trend that businesses now ask less sophisticated users to perform analysis and rely on software to help them, Oracle recently announced a new release  of its flagship Oracle BI Foundational Suite (OBIFS 11.1.1.7) as well as updates to Endeca, the discovery platform that Oracle bought in 2011. Endeca is part of a new class of tools that bring new capabilities in information discovery, self-service access and interactivity. Such approaches represent an important part of the evolution of business intelligence to business analytics as I have noted in my agenda for 2013.

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Topics: Big Data, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, endeca, IT Performance, OBIEE, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Exalytics, Financial Performance, Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Oracle, Workforce Performance

Infor Demonstrates Steady Stream of Advances to Customers

Posted by Robert Kugel on Apr 26, 2013 11:00:13 AM

At this year’s Inforum user group conference, Infor representatives showed the progress the organization has made since last year in transforming itself from a ragbag of mostly small, often obsolete software companies to a competitive vendor of a modern enterprise management software suite. Infor was created by private equity investors employing a “rollup” strategy, aimed at combining smaller companies within an industry to form a single larger company that could achieve economies of scale and greater market presence. Others have tried this in the software industry in the past and encountered difficulty in making it work for two primary reasons. One is the technical challenge of achieving economies of scale in enterprise applications by turning a set of similar but separately developed software pieces into a single offering. Computer Associates achieved economies of scale through acquisition in the 1990s in the IT infrastructure software segment. But it did this largely by forcing customers of the various acquired companies to migrate to its single offering in the specific category. This is not a practical approach for business and finance enterprise applications because customers are willing to go off maintenance and eventually look for another vendor. The second difficulty is that newer or larger competitors can focus on innovation and overtake the rollup company while its attention and resources are focused on stitching the pieces together.

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Topics: Big Data, Mobile, Planning, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, GRC, Office of Finance, Budgeting, closing, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Information Management, Workforce Performance, CFO, Infor, Risk, FPM, SEC

CIOs and the Business Intelligence Dilemma

Posted by Ventana Research on Apr 18, 2013 9:59:09 AM

Just about all the CIOs I speak with are at an inflection point in their careers. Some are just biding time before retirement, but many are emerging CIOs who are driven more by a business imperative than a technological one. Today, market and cultural pressures are forcing CIOs to move quickly and be flexible. In many ways, this is antithetical to the posture of IT, which can often be described as slow and methodical. This posture however is no longer sustainable in the era of the six forces of business technology innovation that Ventana Research tracks in our BTI benchmark research.

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Topics: Big Data, Sales Performance, cio callenges, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Technology Innovation

IBM’s Five Lenses for Big Data Analytics

Posted by Ventana Research on Apr 10, 2013 12:00:54 PM

Last week, IBM brought industry analysts to its famed Almaden Research Center, where the company outlined its big data analytics strategy and introduced a number of new innovations. Big data is no new topic to IBM, which has for decades helped organizations store and use data. But technology has changed over those decades, and IBM is working hard to ensure it is part of the future and not just the past. Our latest business technology innovation research into big data technology finds that retaining and analyzing more data is the first-ranked priority in 29 percent of organizations. From both an IT and a business perspective, big data is critical to IBM’s future success.

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Topics: Big Data, SAP, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), IBM, Information Applications, Operational Intelligence, Oracle

Businesses Can Turn to Scribe for Integration in the Cloud Anytime

Posted by Mark Smith on Apr 5, 2013 11:07:46 AM

Businesses continue to try to increase productivity and simplify tasks in order to use their time smarter. Our recent business technology innovation research found that, when it comes to analytics, 44 percent of organizations spend the most time on data-related tasks. With lack of resources being the largest issue impeding the adoption of technology, IT must operate efficiently while getting business the data it needs on a timely basis. Scribe Solutions has a business-centric data integration solution that operates in the cloud. Over the last 15 years Scribe has accumulated more than 12,000 customers worldwide that span from Fortune 500 to midsize to small organizations. Scribe enables business to access marketing and sales data (part of CRM) like that in Microsoft Dynamics. It has built a strong presence indirectly and through Microsoft partners; it claims to have more than 1,000 partners, and has been expanding efforts to broaden its position by supporting a range of data sources, including Salesforce.com.  Scribe focuses on what I call information optimization, providing value from information management investments, as I outlined in our research agenda.

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Topics: Microsoft, Sales Performance, Marketo, On24, SilverPop, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Data Integration, Information Applications, Information Management, FinancialForce, Information Optimization, Intuit Quicken, Scribe Software, Xactly

Vitria Brings Power of Big Data and Business Analytics to Operational Intelligence

Posted by Mark Smith on Mar 17, 2013 11:29:53 PM

For almost two decades, Vitria has been harvesting data across networks and systems and using events to drive operational intelligence using the science of complex event processing (CEP). The company won the 2012 Ventana Research Technology Innovation Award in the category of Operational Intelligence for KPI Builder, and in past years its customer TXU Energy won our Leadership Award. Last year my colleague Richard Snow assessed how Vitria uses big data from sources inside and outside the enterprise to enable timely action across the organization. Vitria can parse big data in motion across the network through its correlation, workflow and analytic architecture and compare it with historical data to provide insights for those responsible for taking action.

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Topics: Big Data, Sales Performance, Social Media, Mobile Technology, Vitria, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Complex Event Processing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence

Informatica Establishes Order from Information Chaos

Posted by Mark Smith on Mar 12, 2013 9:39:09 AM

I recently attended the annual Informatica analyst summit to get the latest on that company’s strategy and plans. The data integration provider offers a portfolio of information management software that supports today’s big data and information optimization needs. Informatica is busy making changes in its presentation to the market and its marketing and sales efforts. New executives, including new CMO Marge Breya, are working to communicate what is possible with Informatica’s product portfolio, and it’s more than just data integration.

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Topics: Big Data, Data Quality, Master Data Management, Salesforce.com, MDM, IT Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Data Governance, Data Integration, Data Management, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Informatica, Information Applications, Information Management, Operational Intelligence, CEP, Informatica Cloud, Strata+Hadoop

The Four Pillars of Big Data Analytics

Posted by Ventana Research on Mar 11, 2013 11:26:58 AM

Big data analytics is being offered as the key to addressing a wide array of management and operational needs across business and IT. But the label “big data analytics” is used in a variety of ways, confusing people about its usefulness and value and about how best to implement to drive business value. The uncertainty this causes poses a challenge for organizations that want to take advantage of big data in order to gain competitive advantage, comply with regulations, manage risk and improve profitability. Should organizations invest further into visual or deep data discovery on big data, or delve more deeply into statistics and predictive analytics, or find new ways to integrate big data into current operational systems?

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance, SAP, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, IBM, Information Applications, Information Management, Data Discovery, big analytics

LogiXML Capitalizes on Embedded Business Intelligence

Posted by Ventana Research on Feb 27, 2013 8:49:43 AM

LogiXML has been around for more than a decade, but has seen particularly robust growth in the past year. Recent announcements show the company with better than 100-percent year-over-year growth, driven by a 97 percent license renewal rate and new customer growth in SMB, departmental and OEM deployments. The 158-percent growth for the embedded analytics group for the fourth quarter on a year-over-year basis was particularly strong.

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Topics: Sales Performance, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Information Applications, agile, LogiXML

Big Data is Broken Without Integration

Posted by Mark Smith on Feb 21, 2013 2:34:42 PM

Big data involves interplay between different data management approaches and business intelligence and operational systems, which makes it imperative that all sources of business data be integrated efficiently and that organizations be able to easily adapt to new data types and sources. Our recent big data benchmark research confirmed that big data storage technologies continue to follow many approaches, including appliances, Hadoop, and in-memory and specialized DBMSes. With the variety, velocity and volume of big data being part of today’s information architecture, and the potential for big data to be a source to feed other systems, integration should be a top priority.

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Topics: Big Data, Data Quality, Master Data Management, Business Technology Innovation, IT Performance, IT Research, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Data Integration, Information Applications, Information Management, Operational Intelligence

Big Data Search is Getting Better with LucidWorks

Posted by Mark Smith on Feb 20, 2013 11:52:17 PM

LucidWorks addresses the growing volume of information now being stored in the enterprise and in big data with two products aimed at the enterprise with search technology. Though you may not be familiar with LucidWorks (previously known as Lucid Imagination), the company has for many years contributed to Apache Lucene, an open source search project, and commercialized and supported for it for business.

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Topics: Big Data, MapR, Sales Performance, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Cloudera, Customer & Contact Center, Hortonworks, Information Applications, Information Management, Operational Intelligence, Search, Strata+Hadoop

Why Business Intelligence Software is Failing Business

Posted by Mark Smith on Feb 15, 2013 4:11:24 PM

Business intelligence software is supposed to help businesses access and analyze data and communicate analytics and metrics. I have witnessed improvements to BI software over the years, from mobile and collaboration to interactive discovery and visualization, and our Value Index for Business Intelligence finds a mature set of technology vendors and products. But even as these products mature in capabilities, the majority lack features that would make them easy to use.  Our recent research on next-generation business intelligence found that usability is the most important evaluation criteria for BI technology, outpacing functionality (49%) and even manageability (47%). The pathetic state of dashboards and the stupidity of KPI illustrate some of the obvious ways the software needs to improve for businesses to gain the most value from it. We need smarter business intelligence, and that means not just more advanced sets of capabilities that are designed for the analysts, but software designed for those who need to use BI information.

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Topics: Big Data, Sales Performance, Supply Chain Performance, Mobile Technology, Natural Language, Business Technology Innovation, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance, Discovery

Pitney Bowes Advances Spectrum for Information Management

Posted by Mark Smith on Feb 12, 2013 8:22:59 AM

Managing data efficiently across the enterprise continues to be a large challenge for both business units and IT. Organizations need data supplied in a consistent format and timely manner to help manage their activities and processes, but some do not look beyond conventional approaches to improvement. Today’s large volumes of data make it more difficult to understand the relationships among data and the role of location-related data. Our 2012 benchmark research on information management found that most organizations need to advance their data initiatives and take steps to integrate them.

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Topics: Master Data Management, Sales Performance, Social Media, MDM, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Data Governance, Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence, DG

Splunk Provides Operational Intelligence in the Cloud

Posted by Mark Smith on Feb 9, 2013 9:20:08 AM

Splunk’s innovated ability to access and use machine data for targeted operational insights can help improve IT and enhance business operational efficiency. Its work to capitalize on big data was part of my last analysis, while my colleague Tony Cosentino looked at its focus on search and operational analytics. Splunk also was a recipient of the 2012 Ventana Research Technology Innovation Award for IT Performance for Splunk Enterprise.

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Topics: Big Data, Splunk, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Information Applications, Information Management, Machine data, Operational Intelligence

Technology Innovation in 2013 is a Business and IT Priority

Posted by Mark Smith on Jan 29, 2013 10:35:07 AM

The proper use of technology enables businesses to be more efficient. Our recent research into technology for business innovation found that 56 percent indicate innovative technology is very important, yet only 9 percent are very satisfied with theirs, showing plenty of room for improvement. As we enter 2013, businesses have more choices than ever for technology to improve business and IT. Our firm has identified six key technologies that give organizations significant competitive advantages: big data, business analytics, business and social collaboration, cloud computing, mobile technology and social media. Our research agenda for 2013 is designed to help organizations assess and analyze these technologies and make the best possible decisions.

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Topics: Big Data, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Mobile Technology, Social Collaboration, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, CIO, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance, CMO, COO, CTO

The Big Deal is in the 2013 Business Analytics Research Agenda

Posted by Ventana Research on Jan 16, 2013 4:53:04 AM

Did you catch all the big data analogies people used in 2012? There were many, like the refinement of oil analogy, or the spinning straw into gold analogy, and less useful but more entertaining ones, like big data is like a box of chocolates, or big data is like The Matrix (because “there’s no way Keanu Reeves learns Kung Fu in five seconds without using big data”).  I tend to like the water analogy, which I’ll use here to have a little fun and to briefly describe how I see the business analytics market in 2013.

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Topics: Big Data, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, CIO, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance, Data

Revolution Analytics Rides R Language into Mainstream Business

Posted by Ventana Research on Jan 8, 2013 11:06:08 AM

Revolution Analytics is a commercial provider of software and services related to enterprise implementations of the open source language R. At its base level, R is a programming language built by statisticians for statistical analysis, data mining and predictive analytics. In a broader sense, it is data analysis software used by data scientists to access data, develop and perform statistical modeling and visualize data. The R community has a growing user base of more than two million worldwide, and more than 4,000 available applications cover specific problem domains across industries. Both the R Project and Revolution Analytics have significant momentum in the enterprise and in academia.

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Topics: Big Data, SAS, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Information Management, Operational Intelligence, SPSS

Happy New Year: Build on Foundation of Lessons Learned in 2012

Posted by Mark Smith on Jan 5, 2013 10:01:34 AM

Happy New Year to all my readers and followers. I hope everyone has gotten some rest and is ready for a great 2013. 2012 was a busy year in which we saw a critical inflection point, where an elevated focus on new methods and innovative technological approaches such as big data, business analytics, business and social collaboration, cloud computing, mobile technology and social media become part of the mainstream business and IT dialogue. These technologies are beginning to be part of or embedded into enterprise software that will be available in 2013. This is a critical step forward that will help organizations become more efficient in their operations and use technology to its fullest. As we start the new year, I thought a reflection back on the some of the highlights from 2012 was in order.

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Topics: Big Data, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Market Research, Mobile Technology, Social Collaboration, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, CIO, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance, Technology

Like Big Data, Operational Intelligence is Evolving to Deliver Right Time Value

Posted by Ventana Research on Jan 2, 2013 11:32:12 AM

Ventana Research has been researching and advocating operational intelligence for the past 10 years, but not always with that name. From the use of events and analytics in business process management and the need for hourly and daily operational business intelligence, but its alignment with traditional BI architecture didn’t allow for a seamless system, so a few years later the discussion started to focus around business process management and the ability of companies to monitor and analyze BPM on top of their enterprise applications. Business activity monitoring became the vogue term, but that term did not denote the action orientation necessary to accurately describe this emerging area. Ventana Research had already defined a category of technology and approaches that allow both monitoring and management of operational activities and systems along with taking action on critical events. Today, Ventana Research defines Operational Intelligence as a set of event-centered information and analytics processes operating across the organization that enable people to take effective actions and make better decisions.

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Topics: Big Data, SOA, Supply Chain Performance, business activity monitoring, business process monitoring, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Complex Event Processing, Customer & Contact Center, Operational Intelligence, Service Cloud

IBM Watson Advances a New Category of Cognitive Computing

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 11, 2012 10:42:31 AM

IBM Watson blends existing and innovative technology into a new approach called cognitive computing. At the simplest operational level it is technology for asking natural language-based questions, getting answers and support appropriate action to be taken or provide information to make more informed decisions. The technology relies on massive processing power to yield probabilistic responses to user questions using sophisticated analytical algorithms. A cognitive system like Watson accesses structured and unstructured information within an associated knowledge base to return responses that are not simply data but contextualized information that can inform users’ actions and guide their decisions. This is a gigantic leap beyond human decision-making using experience based on random sources from the industry and internal sets of reports and data.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Supply Chain Performance, Machine Learning, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, IBM, Information Management, Workforce Performance, Cognitive Computing, Expert Systems, IBM Watson

The Big Deal in Big Data is a Big Opportunity

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 5, 2012 10:42:20 AM

Big data was big news in 2012 and probably in 2013 too. The Harvard Business Review talks about it as The Management Revolution. The Wall Street Journal says Meet the New Boss: Big Data, and Big Data is on the Rise, Bringing Big Questions. Given big data’s popularity in the press, you might think that the technology market is only about big data and how companies use the vast and growing amount of data now available to organizations. While this technology can provide a significant opportunity, the reality is that just having big data does not provide an organization with the intelligence to be more efficient or grow market share. It can provide the foundation on which organizations can assemble technologies and applications that can help realize these opportunities, but organizations need to focus on the big picture, which encompasses additional layers of technology that work together with big data. Our recent benchmark research on business technology innovation found that big data is not the top priority for business or IT; analytics, collaboration, mobile and cloud computing are all more important. Organizations do believe that big data is very important (25%), but if they were pushed to prioritize technologies, it would not top the list.

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Topics: Big Data, Data Warehousing, Predictive Analytics, Social Media, Harvard Business Review, Wall Street Journal, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, CIO, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Information Management, Technology Innovation, Strata+Hadoop

Social Media Stupidity in the Technology Industry

Posted by Mark Smith on Nov 18, 2012 6:24:20 AM

If you follow my writing, you’ve seen blog posts with titles such as Industry Exposé: Technology Vendors Skew Analysts and Influencers and Industry Analyst Art or Fiction: Questionable Technology Predictions, so it should be no surprise I can’t resist an opportunity to talk about a little bit of insanity on the part of technology suppliers and industry analysts about social media.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, CIO, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Twitter, Workforce Performance, CMO, COO, Industry Analyst, Technology Vendors

A Decade of Research at Ventana Research

Posted by Mark Smith on Nov 18, 2012 6:16:32 AM

I’m happy to say that Ventana Research celebrated its tenth anniversary at our recent Business Technology Innovation Summit in San Jose at the Tech Museum. This location was fitting, since at the event we introduced and presented our first-ever Technology Innovation Awards and seventh annual Leadership Awards. If you did not get a chance to attend, we have the live webstream available for replay at no cost; thanks to Splunk for sponsoring this to let everyone enjoy the sessions.

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Topics: Sales Performance, SAP, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Peoplefluent, Planview, Research, Splunk, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, CIO, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, IBM, Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance, Ceridian, CFO, CMO, COO, Datawatch, Saba, Technology

Can Business Trust Microsoft for Mobile Technology?

Posted by Mark Smith on Nov 15, 2012 11:40:04 AM

Mobile technology continues to advance weekly, with new software releases and new versions of devices. Though it has been in the headlines frequently in recent weeks, can Microsoft really change the mobile technology dynamics in the business world?

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Topics: Microsoft, Sales Performance, Google, Microsoft Windows Phone, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Information Applications, Information Management, Workforce Performance, Digital Technology

Using Maturity Assessments to Improve Performance

Posted by Robert Kugel on Oct 30, 2012 11:04:04 AM

The idea of devising and using maturity assessments to improve business performance has been a staple of management, functional and strategic consultants for decades. It’s based on two unassailable principles. One is the general assertion that companies differ in their ability to do anything along a range from nonexistent to advanced. The second is that at any time it’s possible for a knowledgeable individual to construct a scale of competence for some business function from least to most mature based on the important characteristics about how an organization designs and executes that function. Using maturity scales is a handy way for executives and managers to size up where they lie on a continuum of capabilities and an easy way to define the steps necessary for improvement. Maturity assessments have the advantage of being straightforward, but there’s the danger that they can be overly simplistic.

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Topics: Performance Management, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Customer Experience, Governance, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance, benchmark, FPM

The Big Data in Teradata

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 29, 2012 11:11:14 AM

At the recent Teradata’s annual Partners user conference, the company outlined its expanding role as a provider distributed information architecture technology. My colleague Tony Cosentino assessed Teradata’s business analytics and big data strategy, but there is more under the covers in regards to the company’s expanding role for big data and enterprise architectures. Over the last several decades Teradata has been known for providing enterprise data warehouse appliances, such as its unveiling of its new Teradata 2700 data warehouse appliance, which uses the latest multicore Intel processors. Now, as organizations continue to invest in distributed approaches in which they store and utilize data on a range of appliances and through Hadoop-based big data technology, Teradata has begun to provide integration with Hadoop, including a direct connector to it and commercialized versions of it in partnership with Cloudera and Hortonworks.  Earlier this year, for instance, Teradata formed a partnership with Hortonworks that provides a commercialized edition of the open source Hadoop that now is further integrated.

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Topics: Big Data, QlikView, SAS, alteryx, IT Performance, Business Analytics, Hortonworks, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Strata+Hadoop

The Red Hot Business Intelligence Vendors for 2012 Revealed in Value Index

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 25, 2012 12:27:53 PM

Ventana Research has just released the 2012 Value Index for Business Intelligence, in which we evaluate the competency and maturity of vendors and products. Our firm has been researching this software category for almost a decade. Our latest benchmark research in business intelligence found that new technology advancements in business intelligence are critical to its future; more than two-thirds of organizations will use BI on mobile technology in the next year, and more than a fifth will do so with collaboration technology. Our benchmark research on organizations using this software not only uncovers best practices and trends, but also highlights what business expects from business intelligence and where IT can support business needs more effectively across a range of roles and processes. Moving beyond the model where IT delivers BI to business, this Value Index assesses what those in business need from business intelligence, from executives and management to analysts and managers.

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Topics: Microsoft, MicroStrategy, Pentaho, QlikView, Sales Performance, SAP, SAS, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, IT Performance, Jaspersoft, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), IBM, InetSoft, Information Applications, Information Builders, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Oracle, Tibco, Workforce Performance, arcplan, LogiXML, Spago Solutions

Teradata’s Big Data and Analytics Strategy Unveiled

Posted by Ventana Research on Oct 24, 2012 12:33:39 PM

Unlike other recent conferences that seem to focus almost exclusively on cloud computing, this week’s Teradata Partners Conference emphasized big data and analytics. The vision that Teradata lays out is one in which new technologies such as Apache Hadoop live side by side with more traditional enterprise data warehouses (EDW) and companies have the flexibility to define their own approaches to BI tools. This approach, at least in the near and medium terms, makes a lot of sense, and is backed by our own research into big data, which shows relational databases are still the predominant tool for delivering big data analytics and solutions to the enterprise. Companies have spent a lot of money on their current infrastructures, and not many have the stomach for a rip-and-replace strategy. Nor do most organizations have the tools and the skillsets yet to take full advantage of all of the newer approaches coming into the market around big data analytics.

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Topics: Big Data, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Information Applications, Information Management, Operational Intelligence, Teradata Aster

Industry Exposé: Technology Vendors Skew Analysts and Influencers

Posted by Mark Smith on Oct 5, 2012 12:05:58 PM

In my more than a decade of writing on the trends and direction of the technology industry, occasionally I have talked about the dark side of technology industry analysts. In that vein, I wrote about the diminishing science of research in technology analyst firms, which has impacted the quality of the analysis and advice given by analysts. It built on my previous post on Why Bad Research Could Jeopardize Your Business. Unfortunately, the ethics and morals in the technology analyst industry have not gotten a lot better since I wrote those pieces, especially when it comes to the objectivity and independence of the research. Now it is time to provide shed light on the financial bias of written research and blogs by industry analysts and the firms they represent and publish under in coverage and rating of technology vendors.

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Topics: Big Data, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Market Research, Research, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, CIO, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance, CMO, Industry Analyst, Influencers, Technology Vendors

Encountering New Bottlenecks with Oracle’s Breakthrough Technology

Posted by Robert Kugel on Oct 3, 2012 11:43:23 AM

Two key themes that emerged from Larry Ellison’s Sunday night keynote at this year’s Oracle OpenWorld were faster processing speed and cheaper storage. An underlying purpose to these themes was to assert the importance of Oracle’s strategic vertical integration of hardware and software with the acquisitions of Sun. I try to view technology keynotes like this from the perspective of a practical business user. Advancements such of these are important because enhancing the performance and cost-effectiveness of IT infrastructure can drive substantially improved business capabilities. As I’ve noted in the past, the ability to rapidly process large amounts of data provides business users with significant new capabilities in areas such as complex event processing, social media analytics and the ability to analyze unstructured or semi-structured data. In planning, it has the potential to change how companies perform a wide range of analytics-driven processes, especially in areas such as planning, budgeting and forecasting. It makes it feasible to more fully explore the impact of different courses of action, because rather than having to wait hours or days for answers to questions that start with “What happens if we…” the answers come back in seconds. Review and planning sessions can focus more on what’s next rather than rehashing history.

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Topics: Big Data, Customer Experience, executive, IT Performance, Business Analytics, Business Performance, Data Management, Financial Performance, In-Memory Computing, Information Management, Business Process Management, Data, FPM

IBM’s SPSS Shows Chops in Predictive Analytics

Posted by Ventana Research on Oct 1, 2012 11:57:57 AM

IBM acquired SPSS in late 2009 and has been investing steadily in the business as a key component of its overall business analytics portfolio. Today, SPSS provides an integrated approach to predictive analytics through four software packages: SPSS Data Collection, SPSS Statistics, SPSS Modeler and SPSS Decision Management. SPSS is also integrated with Cognos Insight, IBM’s entry into the visual discovery arena.

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Social Media, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, IBM, Workforce Performance, SPSS

Plumbing the Salesforce Clouds is Your Business

Posted by Mark Smith on Sep 25, 2012 11:26:10 AM

Salesforce is a global software-as-a-service (SaaS) company to be reckoned with. The swarming crowds at its Dreamforce event last week were estimated to exceed 90,000. The company is rapidly growing an ecosystem that includes Sales, Service and Marketing Clouds; Force.com for building applications; and Data.com for storing data in the cloud centrally for use across Salesforce products. It is also focusing on social computing, as I outlined at the beginning of the event. Hundreds of Salesforce partners complement and in some cases compete with the company with a large range of applications and tools available on the Salesforce AppExchange.

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Topics: Master Data Management, Sales Performance, Salesforce.com, Social Media, SnapLogic, Zyme Solutions, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, CIO, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Data Governance, Data Integration, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Informatica, Information Builders, Information Management, Data, data integrity, database.com, Kapow

Salesforce Dreamforce Keynote: Social is Changing Industry Power Structures

Posted by Ventana Research on Sep 21, 2012 11:54:48 AM

With more than 90,000 attendees registered and 100,000 more expected to watch via live stream on Facebook, Salesforce.com’s Dreamforce is the biggest technology event of this year. The conference kicked off yesterday morning with MC Hammer letting the packed house know that it was “Chatter time” and leaving little doubt about the theme of the Marc Benioff’s keynote speech: Social. Citing numbers from McKinsey and IBM, Benioff suggested that social adds $1.3 trillion to the economy and that CEOs see social media as the second most important communication channel of the 21st century, just after the direct sales force. Our own sales benchmark research here at Ventana Research shows similar trends, with 63 percent finding that collaboration is a key trend in sales organizations.

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Topics: Big Data, Mobile, Sales Performance, Social Media, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Location Intelligence, Workforce Performance, Social

Splunk Bids to be King of Search and Operational Analytics

Posted by Ventana Research on Sep 14, 2012 12:21:33 PM

As I listened to the keynote address at, conf2012, the annual Splunk user conference, my initial impression was that the company was spreading itself too thin. The company highlighted four rather formidable areas of organizational focus: Enterprise 5.0, the company’s flagship data platform, which is now in beta; Development, which is support for building applications and integrating Splunk within the broader IT infrastructure; Content, the continued development of core applications and use cases in areas such as systems management and security; and Cloud, based on the recent Splunk Storm product, which targets a new class of customer – namely those developers who use services for everything. Is this broad-based vision a realistic goal, or merely an attempt to appease Wall Street pressure given the company’s relatively recent IPO?

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Topics: Big Data, Splunk, data fabric, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Operational Intelligence, Digital Technology

Look Who’s Hot in Data Integration for 2012

Posted by Mark Smith on Sep 7, 2012 11:52:53 AM

Ventana Research has just released the 2012 Value Index for Data Integration, in which we evaluate the competency and maturity of vendors and products. Our firm has been researching this software category for almost a decade. Our latest benchmark research in information management found that data integration is a critical component of information management strategies, according to 55 percent of organizations. Our benchmark research on organizations using this software not only uncovers best practices and trends, but it also highlights why IT is using data integration to advance its competencies across people and processes.

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Topics: Big Data, Master Data Management, Microsoft, Pentaho, Sales Performance, SAP, SAS, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Talend, SnapLogic, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Data Governance, Data Integration, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), IBM, Informatica, Information Applications, Information Builders, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Oracle, Workforce Performance, Syncsort

What a Bugatti Can Teach Us About Information Management

Posted by Robert Kugel on Aug 29, 2012 11:37:21 AM

One of the community groups to which I donate my time is an organization that puts on a Concours d’Élegance – a vintage car show. Such Concours date back to seventeenth-century France, when wealthy aristocrats gathered to see who had the best carriages and most beaudacious horses. Our Concours serves as the centerpiece to a broader mission of raising money for several charities. There a many such events in the United States and elsewhere, but this one, which has been held every year since 1956, has the distinction of being the longest continuously running Concours in the United States.

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Topics: Big Data, GRC, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, CIO, Financial Performance, Information Management, Operational Intelligence, CFO, finance, Talent Management, FPM

Good Data Stewardship Is Critical for Business Analytics

Posted by Robert Kugel on Aug 24, 2012 12:28:56 PM

Our research consistently finds that defects in data are the root cause of a wide range of problems encountered by modern corporations. The magnitude of the problem correlates with the size of the company: Big companies have bigger headaches than midsize ones. Data issues diminish productivity in every part of a business as people struggle to correct errors or find workarounds. Issues with data are a man-made phenomenon, yet companies seem to treat bad data as some sort of force of nature like a tornado or earthquake – something that’s beyond their control to fix. At best they look for one-off workarounds and Band-Aids without tackling the root causes or recognizing the need to keep data issues in check. Data stewardship can and should be a part of a disciplined approach to management in the same way organizations implement quality control, cash management and legal compliance.

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Topics: Big Data, Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance, Supply Chain Performance, GRC, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, CIO, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Information Management, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance, CFO, finance, FPM

Closing the Analytics Skills Gap

Posted by Ventana Research on Aug 23, 2012 11:43:08 AM

A study by the McKinsey Global Institute published earlier this year suggests a coming shortage of more than 140,000 workers with deep analytical skills and a shortage of more than 1.5 million data-literate managers. I’m not sure how the study defined these roles, but I’d guess that those with deep analytic skills are those folks building the complex models, and the data-literate managers are those executives, middle managers and analysts who interpret the results and use the models to help drive business decisions. In other words, businesses are facing two skills gaps – one related to those producing the analytics, the other related to those using them in some type of discovery or review purpose.

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Topics: Big Data, Data Scientist, Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance

The Stupidity of KPIs in Business Analytics

Posted by Mark Smith on Aug 23, 2012 11:26:45 AM

In my last rant, on business analytics and the pathetic state of dashboards, I pointed out significant flaws in business intelligence software created by technology providers and in how it is being deployed by business and IT. Now I want to follow up with some insight on disconnects to a critical asset that is essential to the success of business analytics. I mean key performance indicators (KPIs), a term used in inaccurate ways that have diminished the value of the concept for business.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Sustainability, KPI, IT Performance, Key Performance Indicators, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance

Tibco Bets on Event-Driven Analytics

Posted by Ventana Research on Aug 20, 2012 11:29:44 AM

Over the years Tibco has provided infrastructure for enterprise data integration and has built a substantial installed base. Now the company positions itself as supplying next-generation analytics for big data through service-oriented architecture (SOA). SOA has been around for a while; Ventana Research has been tracking it since 2006 and conducted benchmark research on SOA. But it remains a vaguely understood technology. Our research shows that SOA is not clearly defined in the market and that interpretations vary across the software industry. The basic function of an SOA is to provide common components and a common implementation that enable programmers to plug in and share applications through open application programming interfaces (APIs). In recent years, SOA has morphed into more of a general approach than a fixed set of standards. SOA architectures (though not always called SOA) are at the heart of modern platforms such as salesforce.com, Facebook and Amazon Web Services. In SOA Tibco competes with IBM and Oracle, among others.

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Topics: Big Data, Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance, SOA, Spotfire, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Complex Event Processing, Customer & Contact Center, Information Management, Operational Intelligence, Tibco, CEP, Service Cloud

Making Sense of the Swirling World of Business Analytics

Posted by Ventana Research on Aug 9, 2012 10:08:08 AM

Our benchmark research on business analytics suggests that it is counterproductive to take a general approach to the topic. A better approach is to focus on particular use cases and lines of business (LOB). For this reason, in a series of upcoming articles, I will look at our business analytics research in the context of different industries and different functional areas of an organization, and illustrate how analytics are being applied to solve real business problems.

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Topics: Big Data, Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance

Karmasphere Addresses Big-Data Skills Gap with Collaboration and Analytics

Posted by Ventana Research on Aug 4, 2012 8:59:04 AM

Karmasphere has an interesting story to tell. Much like Datameer, which I recently blogged about, Karmasphere sits on top of the Hadoop distributed platform where companies such as ClouderaHortonworks and MapR compete. Karmasphere provides a collaborative environment and an analytical workbench that help companies write applications and workflows that run on top of Hadoop. The company’s business model looks to leverage legacy skill sets, such as SQL, which are already resident in most organizations, in order to ingest, analyze and act on big data.

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Topics: Big Data, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Collaboration, Customer & Contact Center, Information Applications, Information Management, Karmasphere, Strata+Hadoop

Microstrategy Provides Hadoop and Predictive Analytics with Version 9.3

Posted by Ventana Research on Jul 27, 2012 11:37:42 AM

MicroStrategy, announced version 9.3. The announcement came out of Amsterdam this month just in front of MicroStrategy World, the company’s annual conference for the European market. Release 9.3 delivers significant updates in four main areas: big data, advanced analytics, automated administration and visual data discovery.

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Topics: Big Data, MicroStrategy, Mobile, Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Visual Insight, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Information Applications, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance, Digital Technology

WorkForce Software Focuses on Effective and Efficient Workforces

Posted by Mark Smith on Jul 27, 2012 9:20:11 AM

Our research agenda for 2012 in human capital management outlined the importance of workforce management for all organizations. One provider, WorkForce Software, provides systems that support scheduling, time and attendance, leave and absence and fatigue management. As I noted in my last analysis on WorkForce Software, the company’s focus on the fatigue aspect of workforce management, especially in white-collar environments such as transportation, utilities and healthcare, has provided them both recognition and growth. I attended the company’s first technology analyst summit this week to get a deeper view into the company and its products and see how it is shaping up in light of our research on the key applications providers in this market.

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Topics: Big Data, Sales Performance, SAP, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Sustainability, Human Capital Management, SuccessFactors, Business Technology Innovation, IT Performance, IT Research, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance, HTML5, Time & Attendance, Workforce Management

Microstrategy’s Mobile Vision Mobilizes Business

Posted by Ventana Research on Jul 25, 2012 12:18:06 PM

On the heels of the release of his new book, The Mobile Wave, Microstrategy’s CEO Michael Saylor delivered an interesting keynote at Microstrategy World in Amsterdam this past week. Unlike other keynotes we’ve seen at various supplier conferences, the presentation was not a sales pitch. There was no reference to the fact that the company was simultaneously launching MicroStrategy 9.3, a major new release of its flagship offer. The presentation focused almost entirely on the rise of mobile computing and its ability to change the world. Saylor sees the Apple iPad at the heart of the mobile revolution, and notes that BI capabilities delivered through the device are displacing paper and people within organizations. The iPad’s 10-inch screen, which can display 90 percent of printed pages, is the key for companies to unlock the shackles of the physical office environment. Between the lines, it’s easy to read that Microstrategy is betting a lot on mobile and on the iPad.

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Topics: Microsoft, MicroStrategy, Mobile, Sales Performance, Google, IT Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Information Applications, Nexus 7, Surface, Digital Technology

Actuate Rides the Big-Data Wave

Posted by Ventana Research on Jul 19, 2012 1:58:26 PM

Actuate, the driving force behind the open source Eclipse Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools (BIRT) project, is positioning itself in the center of the big-data world through multiple partnerships with companies such as Cloudera, Hortonworks, KXEN, Pervasive and a number of OEMs. These agreements, following on its acquisition of Xenos a couple of years ago, help Actuate address some big issues in big data, involving enterprise integration and closed-loop operational systems that provide what my colleague Robert Kugel refers to as action-oriented information technology systems. Today, most initiatives in big data and Hadoop are still in the proof-of-concept stages or being implemented in organizational siloes. Actuate, with its enterprise orientation and federated architecture, is in a position to potentially advance these efforts in a variety of ways.

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Topics: Big Data, Pervasive, Eclipse, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Cloudera, Customer & Contact Center, Information Applications, Information Management, Operational Intelligence, Strata+Hadoop

Companies Need Unified Approach to GRC for IT

Posted by Robert Kugel on Jul 12, 2012 11:55:18 AM

One of the most important trends in business over the past 20 years has been the broadening use of information technology to manage and support activities. In the early decades of business computing, companies developed islands of automation for largely numeric functions such as billing, inventory management and accounting. Each ran on a proprietary system and engaged the time of a relative handful of employees. Today, just about everyone works with an IT system for at least some of their operational or administrative tasks. They rely on these systems to support many of their daily routines, from recording transactions to using analytics to provide alerts, insights and decision support.

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Topics: Big Data, Performance Management, Predictive Analytics, Customer Experience, Governance, GRC, Management, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), compliance, finance, Risk, financial risk management, IT Risk Management

Kognitio Brings Big Data Experience to Business Analytics

Posted by Mark Smith on Jul 6, 2012 11:55:49 AM

Kognitio has been serving the analytics and data needs of organizations for more than 20 years with an in-memory analytics platform that meets many of the big-data needs of today’s organizations. Kognitio Analytical Platform provides a unique massively parallel processing (MPP) in-memory database that can rapidly load data and calculate analytics; it is available both in an analytical software appliance and via cloud computing.

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Topics: Big Data, Data Warehousing, Social Media, alteryx, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Hortonworks, Information Management, Kognitio, Strata+Hadoop

Operational Risk Management Is a New Imperative

Posted by Robert Kugel on Jun 29, 2012 12:44:45 PM

Risk has always been an integral part of business, but our recent Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) benchmark research shows that companies deal with risk with varying degrees of effectiveness – especially operational risk. A majority of companies lag in their overall GRC maturity, as I covered in a recent blog post. Operational risk management should be of greater interest to executives today because they can have greater control of it than before. The expansion of IT systems to automate and support most business processes has made it easier than ever to measure, monitor and report on what’s going on in a company. It’s now practical to expand the scope of operational risk management and improve companies’ effectiveness in handling risk events when they occur.

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Topics: Big Data, Performance Management, Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance, Supply Chain Performance, Customer Experience, Governance, GRC, Management, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance, compliance, finance, Risk, financial risk management

The Mandate for Social Collaboration in Business

Posted by Mark Smith on Jun 28, 2012 12:32:15 PM

It is hard to avoid seeing the impact of social media on our daily work, from marketing and sales to customer service. Consumers and customers can interact on the Internet to share their experiences and opinions often and easily, but internally we in business are still operating in the era of electronic mail and phone calls. Fortunately, that archaic state is changing. A new generation of technologies called social collaboration has evolved from social media to adapt to business needs. These technologies include broadcasting like Twitter, posting to digital walls like Facebook, discussion forums and online communities, and chat-based interactions, all used in a secure manner by an organization’s workforce. Since social collaboration is about people interacting for a common purpose across processes, using it for human capital management makes a lot of sense.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, HCM, Human Capital Management, Social Collaboration, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Workforce Performance, HR, Talent Management

Globoforce Engages Employees with Social Recognition

Posted by Mark Smith on Jun 27, 2012 2:39:27 PM

The use of social collaboration to support human capital management is increasing as the need to engage talent becomes a higher priority in organizations. In particular, those that have a growing population of workers from the millennial generation see social media as a primary means of communication. Social collaboration is growing in acceptance – 58 percent of organizations now permit it, according to our benchmark research on social collaboration and human capital management (HCM). For many organizations, this opens up communication with employees that goes well beyond electronic mail.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Sustainability, Globoforce, Human Capital Management, Social Collaboration, Social Recognition, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance

Hortonworks Leads a Fast and Growing Herd of Hadoop

Posted by Mark Smith on Jun 22, 2012 12:04:20 PM

Hadoop, the big-data technology, has transformed businesses’ ability to cost-effectively store and process large volumes of data for analysis. Numerous companies have invested in supporting Hadoop, and some produce commercial versions of the open source technology. At last year’s Hadoop Summit Hortonworks had just started to establish itself as one of these providers. Now, at the 2012 Hadoop Summit, with a new CEO, Rob Bearden, a new head of marketing, John Kreisa, and other hires, it is moving fast to advance its Hadoop momentum.

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Topics: Big Data, Datameer, IT Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Hortonworks, Information Applications, Teradata Aster, Strata+Hadoop

Planview Helps Direct Business and IT Portfolios to Optimal Outcomes

Posted by Mark Smith on Jun 20, 2012 11:55:22 AM

Business has been getting smarter about using technology for analyzing processes and optimizing outcomes, but still has much room for improvement when it comes to operational management. Traditional project management has advanced to encompass financial and operational planning, including prioritization toward goals and expected outcomes, creating the concept of portfolio management. In essence, optimizing the use of people and processes associated with products and services along with supporting technology is what portfolio management is all about. Unfortunately, many organizations that use personal productivity tools do not realize that email, presentations and spreadsheets are not efficient or effective  tools for these purposes compared to adopting applications designed for them.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Supply Chain Performance, Portfolio Management, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, CIO, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Workforce Performance, CFO

Companies Are Lagging in GRC Maturity

Posted by Robert Kugel on Jun 7, 2012 10:51:45 AM

Ventana Research recently completed benchmark research on governance, risk and compliance (GRC), three business activities that are naturally linked. Although managing them requires separate and sometimes very different processes, on the whole these activities affect each other: Effective corporate governance ensures compliances with laws, regulations and company policies, and without governance, there’s no way to control risk. Separately or considered together, managing governance, risk and compliance is increasingly important.

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Topics: Big Data, Customer Experience, Governance, GRC, Management, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Performance, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Management, Workforce Performance, compliance, Risk, financial risk management

Information Builders Advances Business Analytics and Big Data

Posted by Mark Smith on Jun 6, 2012 1:14:50 PM

More than 1,000 people attended the 32nd annual Information Builders Summit conference this week to learn about the company’s advances in big data, business analytics, cloud computing, mobile technology and social media, which CEO and founder Gerald Cohen announced and demonstrated during his keynote address. With WebFOCUS version 8, Information Builders has made significant strides in a range of technology areas to support analytics and visualization since my analysis after last year’s conference.

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Topics: Big Data, Mobile, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Sustainability, Business Technology Innovation, IT Performance, IT Research, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance, Search

Glad to be Part of the Ventana Research Team

Posted by Ventana Research on Jun 1, 2012 9:14:16 AM

Hello! I’m excited to be the newest member of the Ventana Research leadership team to bring research insights and education to the business analytics and technology industry. I’d like to start by telling you a bit about who I am, why I’ve chosen to join this company and what I hope to contribute.

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Topics: Social Media, Market Research, IT Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence

Opera Solutions Orchestrates Intelligent Applications using Big Data and Predictive Analytics

Posted by Mark Smith on May 23, 2012 11:08:41 AM

Predictive analytics has the potential to help businesses increase the impacts of their actions by creating indicators that represent future outcomes based on existing behavior. This process becomes more complicated when they have to apply predictive analytics to what we call big data environments. As yet only 13 percent of organizations are using predictive analytics according to our business analytics benchmark research, although 37 percent indicated that predictive capabilities are very important to their business analytics efforts. Opera Solutions is one of the larger vendors of dedicated predictive analytics software, having more than 650 employees, more than 200 of them data scientists, who help organizations turn their data into actionable intelligence. There is opportunity for the company, as predictive analytics and visualization of data are two capabilities not available in four out of every five organizations according to our big-data benchmark research. Beyond creating indicators, Opera Solutions’ applications can generate signals that present results not only visually but also in English sentences that integrate the analytics and provide guidance for determining next steps. This sophisticated capability can help improve business processes and refine decision-making and truly interact with the application.

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Topics: Big Data, Predictive Analytics, Opera Solutions, IT Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Business Technology, CIO, Cloud Computing, Information Applications, Information Management, Information Technology, Operational Intelligence

Splunk Provides Intelligence for Customer Analytics

Posted by Ventana Research on May 22, 2012 1:08:30 PM

Recently my colleague Mark Smith wrote about Splunk and its latest technology supporting analytics for IT on machine data and providing operational intelligence. I wasn’t familiar with the company, which has focused on IT users and improving the performance of a company’s networks and IT systems. From a customer management perspective, these are of little interest unless they impact the customer experience; for example, if the website is down or the online banking system is unavailable. But in a follow-up briefing I learned that Splunk is increasingly playing in the business analytics market and has several user cases that relate directly to customers.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Customer Experience, Social CRM, Splunk, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Service, Information Applications, Information Management, Workforce Performance, Call Center, Contact Center, CRM

Informatica 9.5 Supports New Generation of Big Data and Cloud Computing

Posted by Mark Smith on May 18, 2012 1:25:19 PM

Informatica has announced a major release, version 9.5, of its software platform, which will be generally available in June. The company’s data integration technologies will support the new generation of computing that includes big data, cloud computing, mobile and social media. These computing environments, which our firm has defined as key business technology drivers for this decade, have a compelling impact on the data that enterprises create and use. Being smart about integrating and utilizing significant volumes of data is essential; continuously copying and storing duplicate versions of data is not the best path forward.

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Topics: Big Data, Supply Chain Performance, Mobile Technology, IT Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Business Technology, CIO, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Informatica, Information Applications, Information Management, Information Technology, Strata+Hadoop

Pentaho Business Analytics Brings Visual Discovery and More Big Data Support

Posted by Mark Smith on May 10, 2012 8:54:52 AM

With the release of Business Analytics version 4.5, Pentaho has expanded its platform and tools to address the needs of business and IT. The product has come a long way since the version 4 release less than a year ago, which broke ground in ease of use and support for big-data sources. Advancing beyond its roots in business intelligence, Pentaho Business Analytics 4.5 addresses data discovery, data integration and data mining and provides visual discovery and analytics that operate against stores of big data.

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Topics: Big Data, Pentaho, Supply Chain Performance, Mobile Technology, IT Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Business Technology, CIO, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Information Technology, Strata+Hadoop

Kapow Software Harvests and Virtualizes Information and Applications for Business

Posted by Mark Smith on May 8, 2012 11:08:53 AM

Making business use of the vast amount of information on the Web and Internet along with a company’s intranet is no easy task. Kapow Software aims to help by providing tools to define and virtualize access to information, integrate it with other information, such as that in databases, and present it in a useful format. The tool can supply access to data from legacy applications such as PeopleSoft and Siebel, newer applications from Oracle and SAP and applications in cloud computing environments, such as Salesforce.com’s. And Kapow Software not only accesses and integrates information from applications but also enriches it.

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Topics: Big Data, Supply Chain Performance, Mobile Technology, IT Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Business Technology, CIO, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Information Technology, Kapow, Strata+Hadoop

InetSoft Empowers Organizations To Mobilize Business Analytics

Posted by Mark Smith on May 7, 2012 11:15:08 AM

Business intelligence software is increasingly mobile, becoming available via smartphones and tablets and now enabling planning and what-if scenarios to determine the impacts of changes that might be made to improve performance. InetSoft, which has been providing business intelligence tools for more than 15 years, has advanced its technologies to address these trends. The company recently announced version 11.2 of InetSoft Style Intelligence, adding many new capabilities. Among them, the software now allows users to modify data within its Viewsheet data worksheet and provides database write-back to support a range of needs. It also lets users export and manipulate data within Microsoft Excel and then import it back into Style Intelligence for further use.

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Topics: Sales Performance, IT Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Business Technology, CIO, Cloud Computing, Financial Performance, InetSoft, Information Applications, Information Management, Information Technology

Customer Engagement Day Reveals New Issues and Opportunity

Posted by Ventana Research on May 1, 2012 11:15:43 AM

I recently attended the second in the series of customer engagement days organized by the Directors Club (GB & NI). The format of the event was the same as the first day that I wrote about and included three keynote presentations and three roundtable sessions where attendees discussed how organizations should engage with customers. As for the first event I chaired the roundtable on perfecting multichannel customer engagement in the contact center and gave a keynote on how social media is impacting the contact center.

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Sustainability, Customer Analytics, Customer Data Management, Customer Experience, Customer Feedback Management, NICE Systems, Social CRM, Speech Analytics, Voice of the Customer, Genesys, InContact, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Customer Service, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance, Call Center, Contact Center, Contact Center Analytics, CRM, Desktop Analytics, Interactive Intelligence, Text Analytics, Unified Communications, Workforce Management, Noble Systems, Verint

Datawatch Enables Business Analytics through Data Discovery and Virtualization

Posted by Mark Smith on May 1, 2012 12:50:36 AM

Thanks to Datawatch, businesses may find themselves buying and deploying fewer new business analytics and business intelligence tools. As I noted in my analysis last year, the company’s new management has begun to transition it to a more appealing market position in which it helps enterprises use analytics to improve operational efficiency and decision-making. The Datawatch products focus on data virtualization – that is, accessing data from multiple sources not usually seen as accessible for analysis, such as reports and documents in Adobe Acrobat format, production systems, streams coming from cloud computing or print output, or even legacy systems. The value of this lies in reducing the time it takes to access such data and integrate it with other data to create enriched information and analytics.

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Topics: Supply Chain Performance, IT Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Business Technology, CIO, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Information Technology, Datawatch

Infor Presents Itself as a Large Software Startup

Posted by Robert Kugel on Apr 30, 2012 11:28:24 AM

Infor described this year’s Inforum user group meeting as a coming-out party for a large startup company. Such a debut was necessary because Infor had been operating in something of a stealth mode for the past three years: a limited marketing presence, no unified message and a weak, sometimes inconsistent brand identity. It also needed to formally introduce Infor to customers of Lawson, the ERP supplier it acquired last year. The “startup” designation is meant to signal that Infor has been able to render a decade-long consolidation of dozens of smaller companies into one cohesive entity.

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Topics: Performance Management, Sales Performance, Salesforce.com, SAP, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Sustainability, ERP, Human Capital Management, Marketing, Epiphany, expense management, Lawson, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), IBM, Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Oracle, Workforce Performance, CRM, finance, Infor, Supply Chain, Financial Performance Management

Splunk: Big Data Machine for Operational Intelligence

Posted by Mark Smith on Apr 27, 2012 11:37:25 AM

Splunk recently entered the financial markets as a publicly traded company (NASDAQ: SPLK) and also entered a new phase in its corporate growth. Splunk combines the power of search and discovery with analytics on data generated by IT systems, that they call machine data, and provide insight for a new generation of operational intelligence that helps everyone in IT including the CIO determine the efficiency of its systems that support business. The company has built a platform that can index data on a large scale (“big data”) for rapid analysis and search. They also through its analytics provide the ability to perform visual and data discovery which is critical to reduce the time to determining unknown issues in existing IT systems. This helps IT staff ascertain not just the performance but the efficiency of systems that operate on a 24-by-7 basis. Splunk’s software operates in real time, surpassing the traditional methods of applying business intelligence against a data warehouse – a practice that’s ineffective for use in IT, where time is not the CIO’s friend when it comes to understanding issues or opportunities for improvement. Splunk has grown rapidly, partly because it’s simple to download and try, and then to license for use in production. It has more than 3,300 licensed customers in 75 countries. The management team is led by CEO Godfrey Sullivan, who has experience and a track record at companies such as Hyperion.

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Topics: Big Data, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Splunk, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Business Technology, CIO, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Information Technology, IT Analytics, Location Intelligence, Machine data, Operational Intelligence, Strata+Hadoop

IBM Makes Big Data Deal for Vivisimo and Supports Cloudera Hadoop

Posted by Mark Smith on Apr 26, 2012 12:29:08 PM

Through a series of acquisitions and organic development over the last five years, IBM has established itself as a leader in enterprise big data for business analytics. I recently wrote about IBM Smarter Analytics, which brings together the company’s portfolio of software, systems and services from analytics to big data. But supporting big data requires the ability to access many sources of information; our benchmark research on big data found that more than half of organizations require information from external sources, and that requires some software flexibility.

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Topics: Big Data, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Sustainability, Vivisimo, IT Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Business Technology, CIO, Cloud Computing, Cloudera, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), IBM, Information Applications, Information Management, Information Technology, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance, Strata+Hadoop

Datameer Advances Big-Data Analytics on Hadoop

Posted by Mark Smith on Apr 26, 2012 10:25:26 AM

The increasing pressure to store, retrieve and process data on an unprecedented scale in the enterprise has created a market for processes and tools to support it. Big data, as it’s widely known, is one of the six business technology innovations of the decade outlined in our research agenda, and it has created a renaissance in data management. Our benchmark research on big data finds the top benefits of it to be the ability to retain and analyze more data (74%) and to increase the speed of analysis (70%). In this context a vendor named Datameer comes in.

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Topics: Big Data, Datameer, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Sustainability, IT Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Business Technology, CIO, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Information Technology, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance, Strata+Hadoop

BizNet Enables Enterprise Spreadsheet-Based Reporting

Posted by Robert Kugel on Apr 19, 2012 10:39:20 AM

I’ve been advocating more intelligent use of spreadsheets for the better part of a decade. Ventana Research coined the term “enterprise spreadsheet” in 2004 to describe software applications that marry a Microsoft Excel user interface with a business rules server and a relational or multidimensional data store. This approach offers the best of both worlds in the sense of taking advantage of widespread familiarity and training with Excel while substantially reducing issues stemming from the desktop spreadsheet’s lack of data integrity, referential integrity and limited dimensionality as well as limited auditability and control. One example of the enterprise spreadsheet is data consolidation and data reporting software offered by BizNet Software. It enables business users to work within an Excel environment to assemble, manage and deliver periodic reports from enterprise data sources. It offers greater efficiency than stand-alone spreadsheets while effectively addressing the above-mentioned core issues.

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Topics: Planning, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Sustainability, Reporting, Budgeting, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Workforce Performance, Data, Financial Performance Management, Microsoft Excel, Spreadsheets

Cambridge Semantics Makes Intelligent Use of Information

Posted by Mark Smith on Apr 12, 2012 8:57:53 AM

The increasing volume of information within enterprises and on the Internet requires businesses to be smarter and more efficient in how they use it. One large challenge is navigating through information and access to the data underlying key business documents in a way that people actually think and operate. The traditional technology approach is defining a data model with a database and then mapping the data to it and is not capable of dealing with data from diverse unstructured information sources and do not provide navigation or discovery on the information. Fortunately, information technology has advanced to provide ways to build a semantic information framework over a company’s unstructured information assets in the enterprise and on the Internet.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Sustainability, IT Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Business Technology, CIO, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Information Technology, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance, Cambridge Semantics, Data Virtualization, Informatics, Information Discovery

Research Uncovers Keys to Using Predictive Analytics

Posted by Ventana Research on Mar 27, 2012 11:55:55 AM

As a technology, predictive analytics has existed for years, but adoption has not been widespread among businesses. In our recent benchmark research on business analytics among more than 2,600 organizations, predictive analytics ranked only 10th among technologies they use to gene­rate analytics, and only one in eight of those companies use it. Predictive analytics has been costly to acquire, and while enterprises in a few vertical industries and specific lines of business have been willing to invest large sums in it, they constitute only a fraction of the organizations that could benefit from them. Ventana Research has just completed a benchmark re­search project to learn about how the organizations that have adopted predictive analytics are using it and to ac­quire real-world information about their levels of maturity, trends and best practices. In this post I want to share some of the key findings from our research.

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Topics: Data Scientist, Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, IT Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Customer & Contact Center, Workforce Performance

IBM Launches Smarter Analytics: Ready to Get Smart?

Posted by Mark Smith on Mar 23, 2012 9:29:54 AM

IBM this week launched a business initiative called Smarter Analytics to showcase the value of its technology and professional services in this area. The event, led by Steve Mills, head of IBM’s software and systems business, highlighted the company’s ability to solve analytic challenges at all levels of complexity. At the event IBM highlighted Watson, the learning and expert systems technology that in 2011 beat human champions on Jeopardy. IBM also introduced a collection of case studies exemplifying its customers’ success. 

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Topics: IT Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Business Technology, CIO, Cloud Computing, Information Applications, Information Management, Information Technology, Operational Intelligence

Information Management Technology Revolution and Research Agenda for 2012

Posted by Ventana Research on Mar 16, 2012 10:50:44 AM

In our definition, information management encompasses the acquisition, organization, dissemination and use of information by organizations to create and enhance business value. Effective information management ensures optimal access, relevance, timeliness, quality and security of this data with the aim to improve organizational performance. This goal is not easily met, especially as organizations acquire ever more data at an ever faster pace. In our business analytics benchmark research of more than 2,600 organizations, almost half (45%) have to integrate six or more types of data in their analyses. More than two-thirds reported that they spend more time preparing data than analyzing it. To assist in dealing with these sorts of issues and others, we’ve laid out an ambitious information management research agenda for 2012.

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Topics: Data Quality, Master Data Management, Social Media, IT Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Complex Event Processing, Data Governance, Data Integration, Information Applications, Information Life Cycle Management, Information Management, Operational Intelligence

Ventana Research’s Business Technology Innovation Research Agenda for 2012

Posted by Mark Smith on Feb 24, 2012 8:08:19 AM

Now finishing our first decade of providing research and education for business and IT professionals, we at Ventana Research have learned what it takes to improve the value of processes and performance in many industries. This is no easy task; it requires thorough and wide-ranging research on the best (and worst) practices that organizations need to understand as they try to increase their competency and effectiveness – and our firm is committed to that work. For 2012 we are moving forward from the business technology revolution agenda we outlined at this time last year, including business analytics, business collaboration, cloud computing, mobile technology and social media. We have added a focus on big data, a trend that has reinvigorated the dialog about managing large volumes of data and how to use it effectively. Our research framework spans a diverse set of research agendas and practices from the viewpoints of the lines of business, IT and specific industries and knits together the necessary strategies and best practices across the four critical aspects of people, processes, information and technology.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Sustainability, Market Research, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Business Technology, CIO, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Information Technology, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance, Industry Analyst

Top Ten Best Practices Learned from 2011 Technology Market Chaos and Stupidity

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 31, 2011 8:58:16 AM

While we will wait until January to publish our recommendations for the new year, we can digest the lessons learned in 2011 within the technology markets and with Ventana Research right now. That’s appropriate, since we at Ventana Research are committed to helping you with solid information and education. We help thousands of organizations make a better, faster, safer, smarter and more cost-effective environment for leveraging technology to its fullest extent. Our benchmark research worldwide across thousands of organizations of all sizes and vertical industries has found there is a lot more room for improvement than most realize or are addressing.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Sustainability, Market Research, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Business Technology, CIO, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Enterprise Software, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Information Technology, Location Intelligence, Mobility, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance, CFO, Industry Analyst, Technology

SAP Aims to be More Cloudy and Mobile in 2012 and Beyond

Posted by Mark Smith on Dec 20, 2011 8:20:33 AM

I attended the annual SAP Influencer Summit (Twitter #SAPSummit), at which executives from SAP meet with analysts and customers from around the world to discuss the company’s direction. Pointing out that in 2012 SAP will reach its 40th anniversary of operations, chief communications officer Hubertus Kulpus and chief marketing officer Jonathan Becher kicked off the summit, then passed the microphones to co-CEO Jim Hagemann-Snabe and CTO Vishal Sikka for overviews of the business and technology strategies. They presented a well-rehearsed dialogue on SAP’s definition of its software business as being in two areas, the “system of record” and “system of engagement”; the first term describes its transactional applications and the second its portfolio of business analytics.

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Topics: Mobile, Sales, Sales Performance, SAP, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Sustainability, Human Capital Management, Smart Phones, Business Technology Innovation, IT Performance, IT Research, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Business Technology, CIO, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Information Technology, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance, Business Applications, CFO, COO, CRM, HR, Sybase, Tablets, Talent Management, Digital Technology

Splunk Makes Machine-Generated Big Data Serve Analytics

Posted by Ventana Research on Sep 9, 2011 9:31:43 AM

Splunk may be one of the biggest software companies you’ve never heard of. I’ve been following the seven-year-old company for over six months now and recently attended its second annual user conference. Splunk focuses on analyzing large volumes of machine-generated data in underlying applications and systems, which includes application and system logs, network traffic, sensor data, click streams and other loosely structured information sources. Many of these “big data” sources are the same sources analyzed with Hadoop, according to our recently published benchmark research. However, Splunk takes a different approach that focuses on performing simple analyses on this data in real time rather than the batch-based advanced analytics we see as the most common use for Hadoop.

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Topics: Big Data, Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Machine data, Operational Intelligence, IT Performance Management (ITPM)

Can We Trust Hewlett- Packard?

Posted by Mark Smith on Aug 20, 2011 9:10:55 AM

Just when it seemed that Hewlett-Packard’s new management team led by CEO Leo Apotheker had a growing and solidifying technology agenda that included mobile computing, yesterday it all changed.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Sustainability, Google, Business Technology Innovation, IT Performance, IT Research, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, CIO, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer & Contact Center, Enterprise Software, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), HP, Information Applications, Information Management, Information Technology, Location Intelligence, Mobility, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance, HP Touchpad, Digital Technology

Business Analysts, Take Control of Your Analytic Destiny

Posted by Mark Smith on Jun 24, 2011 11:35:43 AM

The recent buzz around business analytics has generated resurgent conversation about what businesses need from their data to optimize business processes and make better decisions. Our benchmark research on business analytics in more than 2,500 organizations produced unprecedented information about business and IT usage and competency with analytics. It confirmed that effective use of business analytics requires a balance of people and skills, processes, information and technology not just to provide capabilities but also to engage business analysts and users across the organization. The research also identified significant challenges facing organizations in terms of inefficient analytics processes and ineffective technology. 

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Topics: Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Sustainability, Business Technology Innovation, IT Performance, IT Research, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, CIO, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Uncategorized, Workforce Performance, Business Planning, CFO

Information Builders Advances Business Intelligence for Smartphones and Tablets

Posted by Mark Smith on Jun 17, 2011 3:30:47 PM

At this year’s Information Builders Summit, the company’s annual conference for users and analysts (Twitter: #Summit2011) in Dallas, the long-time supplier of business intelligence and information management software showed how it has been able to sustain double-digit revenue growth thanks to highly accessible and scalable software that operates on a variety of platforms and data sources. Its recent expansion into information management, master data management and integration helps organizations link data to business analytics quickly – something our benchmark research has found to be essential. It also is continuing to advance BI on mobile devices.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Sustainability, Google, Playbook, RIM, Business Technology Innovation, IT Performance, IT Research, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, CIO, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Builders, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Mobility, Operational Intelligence, Uncategorized, Workforce Performance, Digital Technology

SAP’s Opens Road for HANA and Big Data at SAPPHIRE NOW

Posted by Ventana Research on May 27, 2011 7:53:32 AM

At this year’s SAPPHIRE NOW conference (Twitter: #SAPPHIRENOW) SAP demonstrated its in-memory computing technology and applications. SAP’s High Performance Analytic Application (HANA), which I think of as a high-availability network appliance, is part of the technology industry movement to increase the performance and scalability across a range of applications, from analytics to transactions, to drive timely insights on data or real-time interactions across a business value chain that includes everyone from customers to suppliers. As part of the in-memory computing initiative, SAP demonstrated its in-memory database, which uses a columnar data store that employs technology SAP acquired with the Sybase IQ product. As I noted before the conference, in-memory technology is part of a major new focus for this global business applications company.

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Topics: Sales Performance, SAP, Supply Chain Performance, Sustainability, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Business Technology, CIO, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Information Technology, Workforce Performance, CFO, COO

RIM Has a BlackBerry and PlayBook for Business

Posted by Ventana Research on May 25, 2011 5:46:14 AM

At its BlackBerry World conference earlier this month, RIM promoted its own tablet computer to challenge other providers’ tablet offerings. The BlackBerry PlayBook, which was unveiled at the beginning of 2011, addresses the growing demand for business mobility – a factor I noted as one of the five key business technology innovations of this year.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Sustainability, Google, Playbook, RIM, Smart Phones, IT Performance, IT Research, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, CIO, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Location Intelligence, Mobility, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance, Sybase. Mobile Industry, Tablets, Digital Technology

Roambi Innovates Mobile Industry with Simpler Information and Analytics

Posted by Mark Smith on May 21, 2011 3:21:43 PM

To maintain a productive workforce, businesses need to be able to put information in front of users at every level, from executives to front-line managers. Mobile technologies such as smartphones and tablets can provide analytics and business intelligence (BI), but so far this market niche has been dominated by publishing dashboards and reports that conform to the limits of mobile platforms. Analytics and BI software developers usually opt to publish charts and tables to Web pages on a smartphone or tablet. However, the usability of mobile-based Web browsers leaves a lot to be desired, which is particularly unfortunate in light of our recent benchmark research in business analytics, which found that usability was the number one consideration in 57 percent of organizations, while 89 percent said mobile applications need to be simpler to understand and use. A company called MeLLmo appears poised to capitalize on the demand for accessible mobile BI information.

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Topics: Sales Performance, SAP, Supply Chain Performance, Sustainability, Google, Smart Phones, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, CIO, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Mobility, Workforce Performance, Roambi, Sybase. Mobile Industry, Tablets, Digital Technology

The New Mobile SAP Evolves Stronger from Sybase Investment

Posted by Mark Smith on May 20, 2011 11:45:15 PM

At the SAPPHIRE NOW annual conference, (Twitter: #SAPPHIRENOW) the advantage of the mobile technology SAP gained through its acquisition of Sybase is becoming evident. In a blog before the conference I touched on the importance of mobility to the company’s future. From walking around, assessing keynotes and sessions and talking to companies using SAP, it seems that the big bet that SAP made on mobility is paying off.

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Topics: Sales Performance, SAP, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Google, Smart Phones, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, CIO, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Mobility, Workforce Performance, Sybase. Mobile Industry, Tablets, Digital Technology

SAP’s New Management and Products Faces the Future at SAPPHIRE NOW

Posted by Mark Smith on May 13, 2011 1:22:58 PM

It is no easy task to change the culture of a global technology company, especially one that has a very demanding customer base with high expectations for advancing its widespread product lines. This is the challenge that SAP faces as it transitions from a company of three-letter-acronym collections of applications including CRM, SCM and ERP to one that focuses on specific business processes and needs. (My colleague recently discussed the problems in forklift migrations of ERP.)  This transition is necessitated by the shift of purchasing power and influence for applications back to business after over a decade of IT control. This alone might not seem like a drastic change, but reframing its entire dialogue and sales approach is not simple for a company the size of SAP. It must continue to grow through new applications and substantive upgrades of existing ones and cannot rely just on maintenance fees from the installed base. Over the last several months we’ve kept an eye on SAP as it builds up of its annual SAPPHIRE NOW conference, investigating changes in products and management. I’d like to share some of our firm’s analysis with those of you who have invested with or are looking to invest in SAP.

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Topics: Sales Performance, SAP, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Sustainability, Business Technology Innovation, IT Performance, IT Research, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Business Technology, CIO, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Information Technology, Location Intelligence, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance, CFO, COO

Disaster, Risk Management and the Lean Supply Chain

Posted by Ventana Research on May 12, 2011 2:40:20 PM

The earthquake, tsunami and nuclear plant trifecta that devastated Japan has had a negative impact also on companies that embraced the concept of managing a lean supply chain – one that minimizes inventories at each stage. If news accounts are to be believed, there seem to be legions regretting that decision as disruptions caused by the disasters have a ripple impact, hampering manufacturers’ ability to deliver goods worldwide. But although current events are a wake-up call highlighting the risks inherent in a lean supply chain approach, a worse danger is that some companies may overreact, especially those where blame for bad outcomes – not bad decisions – are the focal point of damaging reviews and assessments.

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Topics: Performance Management, Sales Performance, Supply Chain Performance, Sustainability, Human Capital Management, Marketing, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Workforce Performance, Supply Chain

Analytics for IT: Cobbler’s Children Need Shoes

Posted by Ventana Research on May 12, 2011 2:38:09 PM

As part of our largest-ever research study on business analytics, which surveyed more than 2,600 organizations covering the maturity and competency of business, IT and vertical industries, we looked at how IT is applying analytics to support their own business activities. One of the things we found is that, charged with enabling business units to use information systems as effectively as possible, the IT department, like the shoemaker’s barefoot children in the old tale, typically stands last in line for resources to manage its own performance. In trying to understand and tune the collection of networking and operating systems, middleware and applications an enterprise needs to operate, IT professionals usually have to make do with small sets of historical data stored in spreadsheets and data warehouses and marts that are not as well managed as the systems they maintain to support the business. In most cases IT cannot apply the same level of analytics to its own operations that it provides to business units. This also has effects beyond IT itself: To the extent that the result is subpar performance of its core information systems, the business will suffer.

To break out of this frustrating cycle, IT needs to make the rest of the organization aware of the role it actually performs, of course, and it needs metrics and measurements, which require analytics to standardize and routinely generate them. IT needs to be able to analyze both historical and real-time events involving data and processes so managers can determine the right level of automation and efficiency to demand from the technology. And IT needs the capability delivered by predictive analytics  to anticipate situations and outcomes so it can prepare properly for them. In short, the CIO and IT staff need to manage their portfolio as a business asset, not merely a collection of technologies.

Metrics about its own operations and systems also enable IT to determine priorities for improvement. To fully understand the state of their existing investments and processes, IT organizations should not just measure them but analyze them to develop insights on future outcomes of their systems. This more sophisticated approach to analytics can help IT determine where to focus resources and what to do with legacy systems. Knowing this, it is possible to prioritize precious budget dollars and justify IT investments more convincingly.

Our research found that IT’s concerns currently center on cost and operational efficiency. The most important financial metrics are return on investment, cost per project, budget utilization and adherence to budget. The most important process metrics address timeliness in IT’s core function of service to the business: delivery of projects on time, speed of technology implementation and help desk response time.

In our research, which we presented in this webinar on IT analytics, of the participants’ perceptions of which metrics are most important for executives and managers, two loomed large: business user satisfaction and compliance with service level agreements (SLAs). The executives themselves rated the two metrics nearly equal in importance, but their management reports (vice presidents) by a slight margin most often named adherence to governance and risk management requirements rather than either of those. These responses suggest that people may work somewhat at cross-purposes in pursuing IT analytics.

The research also finds strong suggestions that organizations ought to involve more people in the process of establishing requirements for defining analytics. Research participants asserted overwhelmingly that they and the head of their business unit are involved in establishing requirements important to their jobs, but percentages drop for heads of other business units and business analysts in other business units. This disparity takes on more weight when we recall that business user satisfaction and SLA compliance are important metrics for leaders.

For analytics to deliver value, they must be available to those who need them; the research shows that this is an issue for many organizations. No more than half have analytics generally available to address any of seven major IT management tasks, and only for budget analysis are analytics completely available in even one-fourth of organizations. In a related finding, more than half said it is very important to make it simpler to provide analytics and metrics; less than 10 percent said that is only somewhat important or not important. As well, over a third said they can significantly improve their use of analytics and performance indicators, and over a third are not satisfied with the process currently used to create analytics.

The process of applying analytics also impacts IT’s effectiveness. The IT Analytics benchmark research found that users in nearly two-thirds of all organizations spend most of their time in unproductive chores that precede analyzing their data: preparing it for analysis, reviewing it for quality and consistency and waiting for it. And before that, issues in collecting the data raise another roadblock. In more than half of organizations, doing that is very difficult or a challenge that impedes creating metrics and performance indicators.

These functional barriers also can get in the way of analysts performing important tasks. Among capabilities they need in order to work effectively with analytics and metrics, 42 percent said access to source data is the most important, and at least one-third identified as most important the abilities to search for existing data and analytics, to take action based on analytics and to design and maintain both business models and metrics for analytics. Applying predictive analytics to project future outcomes, a hallmark of advanced maturity in the use of IT analytics, was cited by 31 percent.

IT professionals need appropriate tools to facilitate these and other analytics-related activities. In more than half of these organizations, business intelligence technologies for query, reporting, analysis are the most important of these tools. Yet even in this technologically astute environment, desktop spreadsheets are often used to generate analytics and are an important information source for building IT. But spreadsheets require manual effort to populate the data and are prone to error, and thus are not appropriate for collaborative and enterprise-wide activities. We think their widespread use is a factor in half of organizations being only somewhat satisfied or not satisfied with their organization’s current technology for creating and applying analytics.

As part of our benchmark research methodology, Ventana Research has developed a model for assessing maturity that classifies organizations at four maturity levels (from bottom to top, Tactical, Advanced, Strategic and Innovative) in each of four categories: People, Process, Information and Technology. With respect to their use of and plans for IT analytics, our Maturity Index analysis found only 15 percent whose responses place them at the highest Innovative level of maturity. One important finding reflecting on organizations’ maturity is that two-thirds said the data used in preparing metrics and performance indicators is only somewhat accurate or somewhat inaccurate. As well, it takes 35 percent of organizations more than one week to provide updated metrics and performance indicators to people and nearly as many up to a week to provide them.

It is a positive sign that improvements, if made, will be done most often to improve business processes or decision-making rather than for operational efficiency and cost savings. The first two motivations are more likely to produce better business results. Similarly, maximizing IT effectiveness and improving the value of IT to business managers are more important than issues involving resources, costs and budget.

However, these opinions come from organizations that plan to change the way they generate and apply analytics in the next 12 to 18 months, and they comprise only 28 percent of the total; another 36 percent said changes are needed but are not currently a priority. The primary barriers to such an initiative are both fiscal (lack of resources and budget) and perceptual (lack of awareness and a sense that the business case is not strong enough). Recognizing a problem but not being willing or able to remedy it is another sign of immaturity.

To maximize its value, IT should use analytics and metrics to help set its own goals and objectives and to ensure they serve the business strategies of the organization. This innovative path is embracing IT performance management. Few organizations have taken the necessary steps to actually manage performance and align, optimize and understand the range of their IT processes and resources. We believe, and this benchmark research confirms, that it is time for them to take those steps, supported by executive management in providing resources.

Regards,

Ventana Research

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Topics: Predictive Analytics, IT Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Information Applications, Information Management, Information Technology, IT Analytics, IT Service Management, ITIL, ITSM, IT Performance Management (ITPM)

MarkLogic Revs Up Information Applications with New Energy and Leadership

Posted by Ventana Research on May 12, 2011 2:30:54 PM

At this year’s user conference, it was clear that change is afoot at MarkLogic, whose technology platform enables users to access information more easily accessible within applications and devices. Last month the board of directors appointed a new CEO, Ken Bado, created the new position of chief marketing officer (CMO) and named a head of global services and alliances, all within three weeks. The Silicon Valley software company has been growing in the last several years but appears not fast enough for its board members. There have been a lot of advancements since my in-depth analysis in 2010 and at last years conference.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Supply Chain Performance, MarkLogic, Reporting, XML, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Workforce Performance, Content Management, Document Management, Information Platform, Search

Datawatch Offers Shorter Path from Data to Information

Posted by Ventana Research on May 12, 2011 2:23:08 PM

Turning data into information for taking actions and making decisions has bedeviled businesses throughout the computer age. Many organizations have data in dozens of applications and legacy systems along with many reports in various business intelligence systems. The challenge is to get data from each of the reports and assemble it into contextualized views of information for particular business needs. In our benchmark research on what we call information applications, only 11 percent of organizations said they are satisfied with their existing efforts to do this; more than half of organizations see the current process as too slow and not adaptable to the changes that necessarily occur in assembling actionable information.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Sustainability, Reporting, Business Technology Innovation, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Cloud Computing, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Workforce Performance, Datawatch, Document Management

Datawatch Offers Shorter Path from Data to Information

Posted by Mark Smith on Apr 22, 2011 6:23:26 AM

Turning data into information for taking actions and making decisions has bedeviled businesses throughout the computer age. Many organizations have data in dozens of applications and legacy systems along with many reports in various business intelligence systems. The challenge is to get data from each of the reports and assemble it into contextualized views of information for particular business needs. In our benchmark research on what we call information applications, only 11 percent of organizations said they are satisfied with their existing efforts to do this; more than half of organizations see the current process as too slow and not adaptable to the changes that necessarily occur in assembling actionable information.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Supply Chain Performance, Reporting, IT Performance, IT Research, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), Information Applications, Information Management, Workforce Performance, Datawatch, Document Management

OpenPages 6.0 Enhances GRC by Integrating Data and Text

Posted by Robert Kugel on Apr 20, 2011 7:44:43 AM

Although I continue to believe that governance, risk and compliance (GRC) is not a firm software category, software vendors continue to add depth and breadth to their offerings that support corporate governance, help manage risks systemically in business and IT and provide greater visibility into compliance efforts. For example, with its release of OpenPages 6.0 IBM had made an important enhancement by marrying the document management capabilities of its OpenPages acquisition with Cognos’s Analysis Studio. Although automating documentation of regulatory compliance and risk management functions has value (in the sense of lowering the cost and increasing the probability of full compliance), incorporating analytics and the ability to perform contingency planning in concert with document-driven processes potentially multiplies the business value of such automation.

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Topics: Governance, GRC, Office of Finance, Chief Risk Officer, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Financial Performance, compliance, Risk, Internal Audit

The Information Management Technology Revolution in 2011

Posted by Ventana Research on Apr 5, 2011 10:58:24 AM

The information management (IM) technology market is undergoing a revolution similar to the one in the business intelligence (BI) market. We define information management as the acquisition, organization, control and use of information to create and enhance business value. It is a necessary ingredient of successful BI implementations, and while some vendors such as IBM, Information Builders, Pentaho and SAP are in addition integrating their BI and IM offerings, each discipline involves different aspects of the use of information and will require it sometimes integrated and sometimes separate.

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Topics: Data Quality, Social Media, IT Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Technology, CIO, Complex Event Processing, Data Governance, Data Integration, Information Management, Information Technology, Operational Intelligence

HP’s New World Order according to Leo Apotheker

Posted by Ventana Research on Mar 23, 2011 9:00:23 PM

The new CEO of Hewlett-Packard, Leo Apotheker, has unveiled his vision of the future in the consumer and enterprise markets. His announcement carried some suspense after interviews in which he said “HP has lost its soul” and added that he will “get rid of cynics” inside HP who try to undercut his mission. Now Leo has defined what his company calls Everybody On, which is described as “seamless, secure, context-aware experiences for a connected world.” He intends that HP will reposition itself in providing a new generation of cloud services to interconnect its software and technology assets. HP of course is no small technology provider, with over $125 billion in revenue and a predominantly legacy and acquired software business worth over $6 billion. I want to provide some analysis of HP’s announcements in the context of what I see as the coming business technology innovations of this decade. My view overlaps with the HP vision. HP is expanding the territory of its business,  focusing less on the enterprise software business of database, middleware and applications and more on the management and security of cloud services and software.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Sustainability, Business Technology Innovation, IT Performance, IT Research, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, CIO, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer & Contact Center, Enterprise Software, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), HP, Information Applications, Information Management, Information Technology, Location Intelligence, Mobility, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance

The Business Intelligence Technology Revolution in 2011

Posted by Ventana Research on Mar 20, 2011 8:31:57 PM

The business intelligence (BI) technology market is undergoing a revolution. I’ve been working in this segment for 20 years, and it is and has been an exciting market in which to work, but its dynamic nature can be daunting to organizations trying to evaluate, purchase and deploy BI to improve their business processes. And despite the advances our benchmark research shows high levels of dissatisfaction with and immaturity in BI capabilities within organizations.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Business Technology Innovation, IT Performance, IT Research, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Business Technology, CIO, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer & Contact Center, Enterprise Software, Financial Performance, Information Management, Information Technology, Mobility, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance

With IT Departments, Companies Get What They Deserve

Posted by Robert Kugel on Mar 20, 2011 8:19:58 PM

One of the many interesting findings that came out of Ventana Research’s comprehensive benchmark research on business analytics was partly buried in an analysis of maturity groups. The Maturity Index of our research benchmarks classifies organizations at four maturity levels (from bottom to top, Tactical, Advanced, Strategic and Innovative) in each of four categories: People, Process, Information and Technology. We’ve conducted more than 100 benchmarks during the past seven years, covering thousands of organizations and gauging their maturity in performing important operations. We’ve consistently found an interrelationship among the people, process, information and technology dimensions in every major business issue. That is, companies that fall short in one dimension tend to fall short in others, and usually to the same degree, precisely because corporate pathologies are self-reinforcing.

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Topics: Sales Performance, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Business Technology Innovation, IT Performance, IT Research, Operational Performance, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Mobility, Business Performance, Business Technology, CIO, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, Customer & Contact Center, Enterprise Software, Information Applications, Information Management, Information Technology, Mobility, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance

SAS and its Business Intelligence & Information Management Direction

Posted by Ventana Research on Mar 17, 2011 7:36:39 PM

I recently attended SAS Institute’s annual analyst conference. My colleague covered the multibillion-dollar company’s strategy and the event. Now I want to look into some of the details of SAS’s products for business analytics and how they are supported with business intelligence (BI), and information management. Although SAS is not a publicly traded company and therefore is not required to make the financial disclosures that others are, the company revealed numerous financial statistics. Business intelligence represents over $200 million in license revenue to SAS. That’s a significant figure, larger than publicly traded BI vendors QlikTech (NASDAQ: QLIK) and Actuate (NASDAQ: BIRT) have and smaller than but still in the same order of magnitude as MicroStrategy (NASDAQ: MSTR) and Information Builders. These figures are consistent with results in our benchmark research on business intelligence and performance management: 18% of our research respondents reported using SAS products, which places it in the middle of the pack.

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Topics: SAS, Social Media, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Business Technology, CIO, Collaboration, Enterprise Software, Information Management, Information Technology, Mobility, Operational Intelligence

SAS Institute: The Multi-Billion Dollar Business Analytics Supplier

Posted by Ventana Research on Mar 15, 2011 9:15:06 PM

The just-concluded SAS Institute analyst summit (Twitter: #SASSB) provided the annual update on the company’s performance, strategy, products and customers. My analysis of last year’s event talked about its continuation of its product roadmap to new customer acquisition and the broadening of its underlying platform, applications and vertical solutions. SAS is no small-time mover and shaker when it comes to the analytics industry; it extends from technology to tools and applications across industries, which adds up to $2.4 billion in revenue. SAS’s growth was worldwide, with Canada and Asia-Pacific delivering the largest percentage revenue growth and Europe, Middle East and Africa representing the largest revenue for the company at more than $1 billion in revenue; U.S. revenue came in slightly lower.

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Topics: Sales Performance, SAS, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Fraud, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Business Technology, CIO, Collaboration, Customer & Contact Center, Enterprise Software, Financial Performance, Information Management, Information Technology, Mobility, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance, Risk

SAP Enterprise Information Management 4.0: A Technology Secret

Posted by Ventana Research on Mar 13, 2011 9:58:33 PM

SAP has launched its Enterprise Information Management (EIM) 4.0 release as part of its “Run Better Tour.”  It includes a broad range of information management components spanning data integration, data quality, data profiling, metadata management and more. The launch was done in conjunction with SAP Business Intelligence (BI) 4.0, which got much bigger billing at the event –to the point where one might call this a stealth marketing campaign. However, the event did identify three themes intended to highlight EIM capabilities: event insight, trusted data and text processing. The goal here was to communicate the integration SAP has achieved within and between its BI and EIM products. IBM announced a similar advance with its InfoSphere products and Informatica has also invested heavily in integrating its information management products. Our Information Management benchmark research validates this approach, finding that incompatible tools create a significant obstacle to organizations’ quest for consistent sets of data.

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Topics: Data Quality, SAP, Social Media, IT Performance, Analytics, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Technology, CIO, Complex Event Processing, Data Governance, Data Integration, Information Management, Information Technology, Operational Intelligence

When It Rains, …

Posted by Ventana Research on Mar 13, 2011 9:36:12 PM

A colleague had written a piece about disaster recovery and business continuity – motivated not by the horrors that exploded over the television last night after an 8.9 earthquake off the coast of Japan triggered  a tsunami, but by unexpectedly heavy rain and snow in the northeast. Should he hold off publishing it, he asked, so as not to be seen as exploiting the disaster?

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Topics: Business Continuity, Disaster Recovery, IT Performance, CIO

SAS Institute: The Multi-Billion Dollar Business Analytics Supplier

Posted by Mark Smith on Mar 9, 2011 8:52:31 PM

The just-concluded SAS Institute analyst summit (Twitter: #SASSB) provided the annual update on the company’s performance, strategy, products and customers. My analysis of last year’s event talked about its continuation of its product roadmap to new customer acquisition and the broadening of its underlying platform, applications and vertical solutions. SAS is no small-time mover and shaker when it comes to the analytics industry; it extends from technology to tools and applications across industries, which adds up to $2.4 billion in revenue. SAS’s growth was worldwide, with Canada and Asia-Pacific delivering the largest percentage revenue growth and Europe, Middle East and Africa representing the largest revenue for the company at more than $1 billion in revenue; U.S. revenue came in slightly lower.

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Topics: Sales Performance, SAS, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Fraud, IT Performance, Operational Performance, Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, Business Technology, CIO, Collaboration, Enterprise Software, Financial Performance, Information Management, Information Technology, Mobility, Operational Intelligence, Workforce Performance, Risk

Aster Data is Now Part of the New Teradata

Posted by Ventana Research on Mar 4, 2011 7:51:21 PM

There has been a spate of acquisitions in the data warehousing and business analytics market in recent months. In May 2010 SAP announced an agreement to acquire Sybase, primarily for its mobility technology and had already been advancing its efforts with SAP HANA and BI. In July 2010 EMC agreed to acquire data warehouse appliance vendor Greenplum. In September 2010 IBM countered by acquiring Netezza, a competitor of Greenplum. In February 2011 HP announced after giving up on its original focus with HP Neoview and now has acquired analytics vendor Vertica that had been advancing its efforts efficiently. Even Microsoft shipped in 2010 its new release of SQL Server database and appliance efforts. Now, less than one month later, Teradata has announced its intent to acquire Aster Data for analytics and data management. Teradata bought an 11% stake in Aster Data in September, so its purchase of the rest of the company shouldn’t come as a complete surprise. My colleague had raised the question if Aster Data could be the new Teradata but now is part of them.

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Topics: Data Warehousing, Microsoft, RDBMS, SAS, Teradata, IT Performance, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Data Management, HP, IBM,