According to Forrester Research, "...the number and diversity of BI [business intelligence] users will continue increasing steadily throughout the decade, achieving a penetration of between 25 percent and 40 percent of all enterprise users."1 We simply must get our BI environments beyond the "personal touch" that is possible with small user communities. Yet, there are challenges in achieving this vision. Not surprisingly, the biggest challenge is query performance. What is surprising is that many organizations manage their query performance issues by actually limiting user queries to a predefined list or predetermined times!
How is the vendor marketplace responding? It has been an acquisition race to extend functionality and provide end-to-end "one stop" shopping among the elite BI vendors. This includes players such as IBM, Oracle, Microsoft and SAP, among others. Fortunately, one need addressed in these "stacks" is data quality. Performance, however, is still relegated to minor, incremental improvements in the base technologies, such as database management systems. Smaller, less established vendors with important technology are not included as part of these functional stacks if they lack market share. It is hard for these smaller vendors to get noticed when the major vendors provide the one-stop shop. Tracking the array of offerings from just one prime vendor can be bewildering and time-consuming.
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