We added a number of featured bloggers in the past year (including Jim Harris from OCDQ Blog, David Menninger from Ventana, and, just recently, five analysts from Saugatuck Technology) and watched our readers become more involved in voicing their opinions. The diverse range of expertise from all of our writers touches on cutting edge industry trends (Hadoop and big data), long-standing BI issues (dealing with reporting, visualization and metadata) and expectations of vendor strategies (moves by HP, SAS and Oracle). Here are our 10 most popular posts from 2011 with choice post quotes in ascending order.

10) “Data Governance Star Wars: Give Yourself to the Bureaucracy” by Rob Karel, Forrester Research
“Hi there – Rob ‘Darth’ Karel here. I’m Chief Terror Officer of Galactic Empire Operations (and active member of the ‘Dark Side Leadership Council’) and here’s my position: In order for data governance to succeed, organizations must define, implement, and comply with strict cross-enterprise guidelines, policies, and standards ...”

9) “Business Analysts, Take Control of Your Analytic Destiny” by Mark A. Smith, Ventana Research
“The time has come for business analysts to lead the fight to improve business analytics to ensure their organizations have the information they need. Instead of having silos of reports, dashboards, spreadsheets and other data points, organizations need unified analytics and planning capabilities built into a common set of technology using a sophisticated modeling for representing the business and integrating data efficiently …”

8) “Oracle Unveils the BI Appliance Called Exalytics” by David Menninger, Ventana Research
“Not only is [Oracle’s Exalytics] competing with hardware vendors, the visualization and in-memory capabilities making their debut in this product are designed to compete with offerings from QlikView, Tableau and Tibco Spotfire. But while these features may help Oracle catch up to these competitors, they are not differentiated enough to give Oracle a significant advantage over them …”

7) “Culture Eats Strategy For Lunch” by Connie Moore, Forrester Research
“You can set a strategic direction, envision a new future, transform your processes, and so forth, but your existing culture can completely eat your new strategy for lunch. To overcome this very real problem, you have to take concrete actions to change the culture. And that’s a tall order for any business process executive …”

6) “The Rise of Ungoverned Data” by Jim Ericson, Information Management Editorial Director
“There is a reason for IT and business to view their stakes and lean across the aisle for help, because things just aren't what they once were. Where it doesn't involve financial reporting, many are at a point now where their relationships are damaged and there's avoidance and denial on both sides we need to get past ...”

5) “The Metadata Crisis” by Jim Harris, Obsessive-Compulsive Data Quality
“Metadata – among its many other uses – often plays an integral role in determining your data usage. Although it’s often overlooked, there is a strong relationship between metadata and data quality, and by extension, between metadata and data-driven decision making, since a business intelligence report’s metadata often provides the framing effect for its data …”

4) “MDM – No Roots, No Fruits” by Jim Ericson, Information Management Editorial Director
“When you watch experienced master data management adopters explain how they dig into deployment models or the nuances of registries, it’s easy to forget that most companies – by far – are only kicking the tires on MDM …”

3) “Hadoop: What is it Good For? Absolutely … Something” by James Kobielus, Forrester Research
“Hadoop is not a religion, any more than traditional EDWs are a religion (though some people seem to hold the latter in similar regard, aligning themselves with this or that EDW architectural school). In order to promote itself into the enterprise primetime, the Hadoop industry needs to focus on what their up-and-coming approach does better than EDWs, or does best within the context of a traditional EDW architecture ...”

2) “Top 10 Predictions for 2012” by Boris Evelson, Forrester Research
“First, it’s all about getting things done. Standards, a single version of the truth, and enterprise-grade platforms continue to be important, but individual BI tools with the functionality to get things done trumps standards ...”

1) “LinkedIn Advances Business Analytics – SAS vs. R” by Steve Miller, OpenBI
“The obsession with big data and the emergence of data science as a ‘competitor’ to traditional business intelligence/analytics … favors R. Big data software innovators, such as Google, Amazon, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, et. al., prefer open source components, including R, in the platforms they build. They also increasingly choose Hadoop instead of relational databases to address their big data challenges. In the short run, with its huge lead, SAS will continue to rule the business predictive analytics landscape. But look for that dominance to erode ...”

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