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BI’s New Year’s Resolution : Less Hype, More Results

I used to make New Year’s resolutions but I usually forgot them within a week and never thought about them again until the next New Year. However, it is interesting to hear other people’s resolutions. My eldest daughter told me today that her 2013 resolution is to be less obsessive which she explained meant only re-reading her emails four times instead of twelve!

Now if Business Intelligence as a collective group could make a New Year’s resolution for 2013, I would suggest it would be something along the lines of “Less Hype, More Results”. We experienced a deluge of hype from the BI vendors and analysts in 2012 that will last us comfortably through the next decade. From big data, to BI in the Cloud to Mobile BI to next generation predictive analytics, it appeared as though there was a new BI product or technology being announced every week. The sad thing was that, for the most part, it was the same technology or product being packaged and announced in a different way. Part of the reason for this is that the technologies and products themselves were actually still being developed and evolving as the announcements were being made (a bit like building the plane as it is landing).

A good rule of thumb in the BI world today, is not to even consider adopting a new technology or product until at least three years after it has been announced. Unfortunately that will not stop the larger BI vendors from spending millions on marketing and sales hype to get you to buy it before it is ready for prime time.

What businesses and organizations want today out of BI is results. Most have already made substantial investments in BI tools and technologies and the last thing they need is to change these to something new when they have not realized the benefit of what they have already purchased. It is not the BI software that produces the results, it is the solution of which the BI software is a small part.

I recently came across a company that changed its entire BI product suite due to a lack of results. They then spent the next 3 years with the new BI suite creating new BI solutions in addition to converting the old ones. Months before they were about to roll out the new BI solutions, they changed BI product suites again, shelved all the new solutions about to go live and started developing yet another set of BI solutions. I know the hype from the BI vendors and analysts was a factor.

If most organizations decided to focus on results in 2013 for their BI solutions, the hype would diminish but I am still hopeful that the BI vendors themselves will resolve to do this on their own. Now that sounds more like a New Year’s wish but if we all start wishing for the same thing, it may just happen.

About Paul

Paul Grill started his career in Information Technology in the U.K. in 1978, as an Executive Data Processing Trainee for Honeywell. More than thirty years later, he still has a voracious appetite for learning as Information Technology continues to advance at an ever accelerating pace. He was first introduced to the world of Business Intelligence in 1991, in France, when he saw a demonstration of an early version of BusinessObjects on Windows 2.1. He returned to the U.S. to rave about this phenomenal product, but it was many years before BusinessObjects made it into the mainstream. Paul founded InfoSol in 1997, and made Business Intelligence one of the key solutions offered by the company. Today, InfoSol is a leading SAP BusinessObjects solutions partner, known for its expert consulting, education and innovative add-on solutions. Paul is well known within the SAP BusinessObjects community for his extensive knowledge of Business Intelligence, and he has lectured and written many articles on the subject. Paul enjoys writing, running and coaching kids soccer, and is passionate about Ancient Egyptology.

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