JUN 8, 2010 5:38am ET

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BI vs. Analytics


I know many of you already know my position on this, but I thought I'd get it out in the open and challenge all of you with a controversial discussion. In my definition – and believe it, I am fighting and defending it every day – analytics has always been, and will always be part of BI. What many of the vendors and analysts describe as "the new age of analytics," I built at Citibank in the early 80s and then built in about 50+ enterprises in 90’s at PwC. I think the effort of trying to differentiate analytics from BI is a vendor invented hype, since many BI vendors are running out of ways to differentiate themselves (and incorrectly so, see the next paragraph, and many other next gen BI trends). I also disagree with the “old BI = bad,” “new analytics = good” premise that I see in many analysts papers. You and I know that you can’t build analytics (OLAP, advanced analytics, etc) without basic ETL, data warehousing, MDM, etc. So nothing’s really changed as far as I am concerned: we are still fighting the same battles – silos, data quality, etc.

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Comments (18)
Boris, Very very good article... Before read it I thought for myself... "another guy writing about analytics and killing the term BI"... well... I've the same opinion like you... Analytic (more Business perspective) is inside BI, also like Data Warehousing (more tech)

SAS started last year with this ideia... to make teh idea that they are different and they have the knowledge and new way for do "things"...

Thanks! Pedro www.pedrocgd.blogspot.com

Posted by Pedro P | Wednesday, June 09 2010 at 12:18PM ET
Boris, I agree that marketing often skews reality. Also, I completely agree with democratizing BI. The vendors need to make it very easy indeed to create reports for BI to be truly pervasive. Too many bells and whistles get in the way.


Posted by Justin H | Wednesday, June 09 2010 at 1:38PM ET
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