Gartner BI Summit Focuses on Uniting Technology Evangelist and Skeptic
LAS VEGAS, NV—Business intelligence is moving "from internal support to sellable asset," noted Gartner Research Vice President Kurt Schlegel in his opening remarks to the crowd gathered at the Gartner Business Intelligence and Analytics Summit in Las Vegas, NV, Monday. According to Schlegel, there are three technology personas: the evangelist, the skeptic, and the pragmatist. Combining the enthusiasm of the evangelist with the cautions of the skeptic is key to a pragmatic, forward-looking approach to business intelligence.
Consider these issues raised by various skeptics. "People can't handle the data they have now," noted Jon Pilkington, vice president of products at Datawatch, pointing to a shortage of data scientists that put rigorous, well-considered analysis at a premium. With the rise of data visualization, more information can be in the hands of more people in the organization than ever. Most of the time, that's good, doing things like introducing performance metrics to people who have never been able to receive data-driven feedback. With software from Information Builders, Ford mechanics were able to compare their performance to others at the brand's dealerships. Other times, the need for in-depth understanding by end users prevails. "There are a lot of bad decisions being made using cute visualizations," cautioned Michael Corcoran, CMO and senior vice president of Information Builders. "It's getting a little dangerous."
There are also issues with trust and security. According to one Gartner estimate, 25 percent of companies using consumer data will face reputational damage due to a lack of understanding of consumer trust issues through 2016. At another session, Merv Adrian, a Gartner IT analyst, warned that Hadoop was never designed to be a secure platform, a fact that companies are now scurrying to fix.
Business intelligence is also moving to respond to the fact that is has access to more data than ever before in order to make decisions. Hadoop has made it easier to store data from sources that don't fit well in relational databases, such as social media. Wearable technology and connected devices are creating more information about things that had no data before, such as steps taken a day or a pattern to when someone turns on a light. The future is "not about businesses collecting data about their customers, but customers collecting data about themselves," Schlegel told the crowd, creating a new category: personal analytics.
The insights gained from analyzing the vast reams of data have made people like Gartner Research Vice President Rita Sallam think about information in terms of its value.
"Treating information as an asset means you should be able to measure the value of information, but it's not on the balance sheet," Sallam said. "An asset is owned and controlled by the organization, can be exchanged for cash, and generates future benefit," and information can be all of those things. "Just think, what does it cost to replace information that's been destroyed or compromised? Do you sell more of a product if it has more information attached to it? How do you create added value? This is the role of analytics."
Corcoran underscored the importance of information, not just as an asset, but as a strategic tool with the power to shape business. "What you do with information, how you share it—it's how companies compete in the future."
Data and Customers Are Top CEO Investment Priorities
19 Mar 2013
Executives are most concerned about revenue growth, reducing costs.
Deriving Value from Big Data
20 Mar 2013
Diverse data sets add to complexity but present new insights.
Gartner BI Summit: Data Discovery and the Cloud Reaching a Tipping Point
02 Apr 2014
Intent and adoption of these BI features are high.
Big Data Is Bringing Big Changes, Speakers at DBTA Data Summit Agree
14 May 2014
Traditional processing and modeling approaches 'just don't cut it anymore.'
Looker Improves Visualizations, In-Browser App Development
19 May 2014
BI product update will help move Looker upmarket.
Salesforce.com Enters the Wearables Market with Salesforce Wear
10 Jun 2014
The set of six open-source applications enables developers to build custom enterprise apps.
CMOs See Analytics, Real-Time Campaigns, and Mobile Investments Ahead
20 Jun 2014
Seventy-nine percent don't see their companies as ready to make the digital shift.
Accenture Partners with Hortonworks to Expand Big Data Capabilities
09 Jul 2014
The companies will collaborate on making structured and unstructured databases more accessible.
Datawatch Releases Managed Analytics Platform
30 Mar 2015
Datawatch's new platform is an enterprise solution for self-service data preparation and visual data discovery.
Analysts at Gartner Business Intelligence Summit Talk Top BI 'Dilemmas' and How to Solve Them (Video Presentation)
31 Mar 2015
The future of IT calls for boldness and a bimodal approach.
On Day Two of the Gartner BI Summit, Analysts Call for 'More Synthesis'
01 Apr 2015
Business intelligence professionals must become agile change agents.
Information Builders Releases WebFOCUS Business User Edition
15 Jun 2016
At its annual user conference, the business intelligence vendor introduces self-service tools to help non-technical users "harmonize, visualize, operationalize, and monetize" their data.