Tragedy, tutorials and a talking, data crunching quiz show contestant – those were some of the top themes from stories that made 2011 another rousing year of online traffic and discussion at Behind the headlines, it was a mix of trending industry issues (predictive analytics, cloud computing) and traditional BI concerns (enterprise architecture development, IT spending and training) that caught and held our readership’s attention.

Here are the 10 most popular stories from 2011, in ascending order:

10.Will Triple Stores Replace Relational Databases?” by Jans Aasman
A high-level view of success with the flexible technology reported by Google, Microsoft and Yahoo!, and the near-term effect on RDBs.

9.By 2014, Shifts in Analytic Spending, BI Delivery” by Justin Kern
Gartner Research shaped its view for the next few years of IT investment, BI deployments and mobile adoption.

8.What is Enterprise Architecture?” by Jim Ericson
In a series of interviews, a panel with the Society for Information Management (SIM) outlined their definitions for EA – and how to make it work.

7.Big Data is Scaling BI and Analytics” by Shawn Rogers
A big-picture view on the disruption massive data sets are doing on information management.

6.Japan Earthquake Damages Tech Infrastructure” by Jim Ericson and Justin Kern
Along with the vast human cost and destruction from an earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan, less critical but important data center and cloud facilities were hampered, with temporary impact around the world.

5.Enterprise Data Modeling: 7 Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make” by Karen Lopez and Kamille Nixon
A primer on making a corporate asset of models and their underlying metadata.

4.40 Vendors We’re Watching in 2011” story/slide show by Information Management Staff
Intriguing startups and unique solutions made our annual rundown of 40 vendors hard to pick but high in interest.

3.Cramming for BI Jobs” by Justin Kern
The siloed nature of business intelligence programs at universities was put front-and-center in a report by the academic and IT industry think-tank group, Business Intelligence Congress II. (A follow-up slide show on cutting edge BI institutions also had traction.)

2.IBM Watson Challenge No Gimmick” by Jim Ericson
A feature on Big Blue’s processes and plans for Watson, its analytics churning data machine that routed the human competition on TV quiz show, “Jeopardy!”

1.25 Top Information Managers of 2011” story/slide show by Jim Ericson and Justin Kern
For the second-straight year, readers came to the site in droves throughout the year for our features and accompanying slide show on leaders in the industry (selected by our staff, contributors and trusted experts). It was an even more varied pool of honorees in 2011 – including fashion brand BI directors, federal data managers, transportation CIOs, and casino data leaders – expressing their path toward successful projects and insight on the work ahead for the entire field.

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