A recent VentureBeat article written by Frank Bien, chief executive of Looker, talks about a few “bad habits” IT and business professionals have developed amongst all of the innovation in Business Intelligence (BI) solutions in the recent years. We think that the underlying message in Bien’s piece is that in order to realize the full value of an organization’s data there needs to be a shift how they utilizing that data rather than using the same processes within all the new and innovative solutions coming out today. It seems like the bad habits Bien talks about have been developed through new solutions not aligning with organization’s old processes and business environments.
The first habit Bien says that we need to break is “the dumbing down of BI”. He writes that the “common view of the past five years is that users are stupid and that data needs to be spoon-fed to them via pretty pictures.” Well a few things have changed in recent years that should steer us away from the idea of dumbing down BI.
First, the work force is starting to change. Technology is no longer as scary as it once from for the end user and business professional outside of IT. More and more end users are embracing detailed data that can help them make a decision on the spot and affect their everyday business processes. “While BI continues to serve a 1990s mentality, younger tech-savvy data folks have broken free of dated tools and have started to manipulate data in SQL.” Secondly, new enhancements and innovations in BI solutions are starting to be developed for these end users. Less clunky and technical solutions are being put into the hands of the end users allowing them to curate, manipulate and analyze the data and information they need with latency from IT requests. We agree, break the habit and stop dumbing down BI.
The second habit Bien says needs to be broken is the “Fixation on big data”. Yes, big data is a big buzz word these days. Companies are scrambling to collect every bit of data and information they can to be stored, analyzed and change how they operate. It is as if there is too much focus on gathering everything rather than really optimizing and understanding the data and information that will really have in impact on business processes. Bien writes that despite the big data push, “Getting business data into the hands of end users in order to conduct analysis that leads to business insights hasn’t changed. In many ways, the industry has over-focused on the management of machine-generated event data, rather than delivering actual value from core business data.”
Lastly Bien suggests that we should avoid “The same crap shoveled into the cloud”. Of the cloud as it relates to BI he writes, “On the surface, these solutions are much simpler for IT to deploy, but underneath, they’re still implementing the same old traditional (and inflexible) approaches to data. Organizations are pushing their data into the cloud, only to find that issues around ETL, integration, and user adoption have moved upstream, with no improvement in time to insight. What needs to be simplified is the stack itself, not just where it lives.”
Click here to read more on these three bad habits from Frank Bien