Posted by: Robert Eve
Best Practices, Big Data, Business Intelligence, Data Federation, Data Virtualization, Market Trends, Uncategorized
A Unique Industry Event
For the past twelve years, Humphrey Strategic Communications has hosted the Pacific Northwest BI Summit, a unique, invitation-only executive networking event brings together leading BI industry influencers, vendors and press in a low-key, relaxed setting to discuss the current and future directions of BI.
More Participants This Year
This is the sixth time I have joined in this event, with 2013 having the largest set of participants.
Industry Analysts participating this year included Claudia Imhoff, Colin White, William McKnight, Jill Dyche, and Shawn Rogers.
On the media side, well known journalists included Craig Stedman, Julie Langenkanp-Meunkel, Ted Cuzzillo and Stephen Swoyer.
Vendors included Composite (Cisco), DataStax , Dell, LyzaSoft , ParAccel (Actian) , Predixion, QlikView , Tableau , Talend, Teradata, Treasure Data, WhereScape,and Yellowfin.
Great Content Too
At the summit there are a series of formal sessions and well as a number of informal and impromptu discussions. Data virtualization comes up all the time as a key driver of business and IT advantage. Below are summaries of the formal sessions.
Big Data and the BI Consumer Session
Lots of chatter, lots of hype, lots of new technologies… Is BI getting too complex to design, implement and use? Perhaps it is time for simplification. Claudia Imhoff of Intelligent Solutions and Glen Rabie of Yellowfin have lived through all the twists and turns of BI over the past decade. Their discussion topics included the evolution of BI and analytics and how companies must move beyond simple reporting and analysis, the skill gap in today’s information workers and what we can do to close it, and how to make advanced analytics more consumable without creating chaos. Of particular interest were the factors required for successful self-service BI environments – all with an eye toward making BI results more understandable and functional.
Turning Information into a Strategic Asset Session
For a long time, data has been subordinated to applications that “own” it. As organizations embark onto efforts to assess, streamline and govern their application portfolio, data is too often left behind, hindering any ability to actually leverage it as an information asset. At the same time new technologies such as Hadoop are allowing companies to acquire and manage data more creatively, often without structure, data models or schemas, adding to the challenge. Shawn Rogers of Enterprise Management Associates and Yves de Montcheuil of Talend provided thought-provoking topics regarding governance, data quality, application data and data management in an attempt to address these changes and opportunities.
Return on Investment: Making Our Projects Make Sense Session
Information management plays a critical role in supporting strategic business initiatives. Despite the apparent value of providing the data infrastructure for these initiatives, many executives question the economic feasibility of information management. Most IT professionals lack the knowledge required to develop comprehensive cost-benefit analyses and return on investment (ROI) measurements. In this session, William McKnight of McKnight Consulting Group and Scott Davis of Five15 discussed how information projects should and do matriculate, with emphasis on adapting methodologies in information management programs that includes ROI attainment and measurement.
Does the Data Scientist Have Mojo? Session
Tom Davenport called it “the sexiest job of the 21st century.” While many executives claim to be searching high and low for the right candidates, others have decided that no one role can harness such disparate skill sets, or that data science is simply too expensive to formalize. Is the data scientist a business analyst? A statistician? A subject matter expert? In this session, Simon Arkell, CEO of Predixion Software, and Jill Dyche, Vice President of Best Practices at SAS, examined the evolution of the data scientist role, discussing the problems it addresses—and the new conundrums it introduces. They provided an on-the-ground perspective of the processes the data scientist role supports, the hiring and training challenges, and what successful data science looks like in the 21st century—and beyond.
The Business and Technology Benefits of In-Memory Computing Session
Over the past five decades there have been a few key technologies that have had a dramatic and disruptive impact on both IT and the business. These include OLTP systems in the 1960s, relational technology in the 1980s, data warehousing in the 1990s, and now, big data. Enabling these technologies has required significant new innovations not only in software, but also hardware. This session, led by Colin White of BI Research and Paul Clark of SAP, looked at how hardware has evolved over the years to provide the foundation for new software innovation. It focused specifically on how today’s large memory spaces and in-memory computing technologies are helping companies gain huge business benefits by being able to run models and analyses in seconds, whereas previously they took hours or days.
Experience the Summit Online
The webinar Going Rogue: Disruptive Solutions for Tomorrow’s Integration Challenges included Pacific Northwest BI Summit analysts participating in a roundtable discussion moderated by Information-Management.com’s Julie Langenkamp-Meunkel.
Additional podcasts and videos will soon be posted at the Pacific Northwest BI Summit website. And searching Twitter using #BISUM provides a history of participant reactions and insights.