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.

Besides, while this was indeed a differentiation a few years ago, today most of the top BI vendors do have OLAP and advanced analytics (see my upcoming 2010 BI Wave sometime in July) functionality, so it's really a commodity now. Instead, I prefer to write about REALLY new and game changing trends like self service,  agile BI, BI SaaS, in-memory analytics and many more. This is truly where vendors differentiate themselves and, much more importantly, what makes a true difference for the users of BI.  Another potential game changing trend that I see is that rather than fruitlessly trying align business and IT for BI, I say: let IT handle data prep and then let end users do their own BI and analytics.

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Information Management content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access