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Hoop Dancing Lessons for Optimizing Your Business Intelligence Deployment Feature Image

Hoop Dancing Lessons for Optimizing Your Business Intelligence Deployment

I got an amazing birthday gift from my wife this year. She bought tickets for the Annual World Championship Hoop Dancing competition in Phoenix. It was something I always wanted to see and I was not disappointed. I watched the entire 2 days live and enjoyed every minute of it.

We saw the overall winner of the adult category in the opening round and really liked him (and it wasn’t just because his brother was sitting next to us!). He had so much raw energy and enthusiasm and he won over the audience easily. In the final round, he tied with another dancer so there was a “dance off” between the two to decide the overall champion.

The other dancer went all out and used at least 15 hoops, which at one point he had in action all at the same time. But trying to set up 15 hoops around your body while dancing and staying in beat to the drums is not easy. It takes a lot of concentration and requires the dancer to slow down plus the risk of dropping a hoop is high. The winner kept up his energy and enthusiasm and went with just 7 hoops. This enabled him to keep a consistent tempo throughout the performance while not missing a beat on all the tricks. The crowd went wild, and he deservedly won.

Every day in the world of business intelligence I come across a lot of organizations doing the equivalent of hoop dancing. Unfortunately, many of them are following the dancer with too many hoops. They listen to advice from BI vendors and people who have never really implemented successful BI solutions and they try to do things that cause them to slow down and drop hoops.

The current classic example is that although most BusinessObjects customers run in a state of co-existence with PowerBI, Tableau or both, they still try to do everything new in PowerBI or Tableau instead of using the best tool for the job.

Need to create an operational or paginated report that you will often need to export to Excel? Do it in BusinessObjects. It will be fast, simple and you won’t miss a beat. Trying to do it in Tableau or PowerBI, that were never designed for this usage, is awkward, time-consuming and will often lead to you compromising on what you really want.

Tableau does not have a paginated report capability and PowerBI’s answer with Report Builder, which is a totally different tool to PowerBI and is a port of their old SSRS tool, is like taking a huge step backwards. There was a great SpeakBO PLUS webinar based on an actual customer case study that you can check out here.

Conversion from one BI tool to another has never been a good idea and you don’t really convert as much as you recreate in the new tool anyway. However, I do understand that sometimes it is necessary but, when it is, be sure to choose a “like for like” tool to replace what you have.

Switching out Tableau dashboards for PowerBI dashboards or vice-versa is fine, since the dashboarding capabilities of both tools is relatively equivalent. It will still be costly from a resource perspective and may be better to replace through attrition over time.

However, replacing Web Intelligence or Crystal Reports with Tableau or PowerBI makes no sense and will be costly in time, resources, and money with no return on investment and the prospect of doing it all again in a few years’ time.

Learn from the 2024 World Championship hoop dancer and choose the right number of hoops to jump through!

About Paul

Paul Grill, Co-Founder and CEO of Infosol Inc., is an information technology guru with more than 40 years’ experience in the IT industry. Recognized as an industry expert, Paul’s vision is to collaborate and develop long-term global relationships, resulting in the successful implementation of business intelligence solutions. Paul believes a company’s success with Business Intelligence is a combination of data and people’s insights and actions. He believes in the coexistence of technologies. With a strong portfolio of clients ranging from fortune 50 companies, start-ups, and middle market, Paul takes pride in his ability to deliver positive transformations impacting company’s productivity and profitability through the application of business intelligence. He is often heard saying that “data holds amazing nuggets that can be used to create limitless BI solutions that make a difference in people’s lives”. Throughout Paul’s career, he has been a speaker, lecturer, and writer sharing his passion for Information Technology and Business Intelligence. On a personal note, Paul is an avid runner, Tai Chi practitioner, and youth soccer coach. Paul’s curiosity for knowledge expands beyond technology with a passion for Ancient Egyptology and Gorillas.

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