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THE DATA DOWNLOAD

As leaders in Enterprise Data Management and Business Intelligence, we pride ourselves on being able to deliver successfully on our projects as well as provide high-quality content to our readers.

Amazon Redshift Tips & Tricks

Dec 20, 2016 10:20:00 AM   Chun Wu

Topics: Amazon Redshift, Data Warehousing, Blog, Cloud

Amazon Redshift Tips & Tricks:  Top 10 Tips & Tricks for Using Amazon Redshift


By: Chun Wu

Last month’s webinar, Working with Redshift: Amazon’s Affordable MPP Analytic Database in the Cloud, was well received and sparked a lot of interest from viewers.  Based on the feedback, interaction and questions received, Chun Wu was happy to create a more in depth level of Tips & Tricks for our Analytic Minute readers.

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Successful Business Intelligence First Requires Defining “Success”

Dec 20, 2016 10:19:31 AM   Steve Dine

Topics: Business Intelligence, Program Management, Blog, ROI

Business Intelligence: Perception and Reality


By: Steve Dine

How many times have you heard a statistic such as "42% of respondents rate their Business Intelligence (BI) program as moderately successful" or "more than 50% of all Business Intelligence projects fail"? When I read these types of statistics I often wonder what's behind these numbers. I'd love to be able to drill down directly to the respondents and ask them how they defined success or failure when answering the question. I recently met with a company that asked if I could come in and help make their Business Intelligence program more successful. Naturally, my first question was to ask them how they define success. Each person in the room defined success a bit differently and meeting turned into a healthy discussion on what constitutes a successful Business Intelligence program.

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Business Intelligence Tools

Dec 20, 2016 10:19:12 AM   David Crolene

Topics: Tool Selection, Business Intelligence, Blog

Business Intelligence Tools: 10 Steps to a Successful Tool Evaluation


By: Dave Crolene

Datasource recently completed a project where we helped a client evaluate and compare two business intelligence tools, both were data virtualization products.  As an objective facilitator, Datasource Consulting was called up on to ensure that both products had a fair and even playing field and to help discover the strengths and weaknesses of both tools to help drive a decision.  Whether you are evaluating Business Intelligence tools (BI) , Extract Transform Load tools (ETL), Relational Databases (RDBs), etc, this article provides a step-by-step approach that we use to compare and evaluate products.

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Business Intelligence Lifecycle Management

Dec 20, 2016 10:18:55 AM   Steve Dine

Topics: Program Management, Blog, BI Automation

An Introduction to Business Intelligence Lifecycle Management


By Steve Dine, Managing Partner - Datasource Consulting

It’s no secret that Business Intelligence* (BI) projects are both time consuming and resource intensive, often suffer from poor communication between the business and IT, and are usually inflexible to changes once development has started. This is due, in large part, to the method by which BI projects are traditionally implemented. Regardless of the methodology you employ, at the very least, a successful BI iteration requires:

  • Business requirements identification
  • Data analysis
  • Data architecture and modeling
  • Data integration (ETL, ELT, data virtualization, etc)
  • Front-end development
  • Testing and release management.


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Business Intelligence Projects Why They Fail (Part 1)

Dec 20, 2016 10:18:38 AM   Datasource Consulting

Topics: Business Intelligence, Program Management, Blog, Project Management

Business Intelligence Projects: Why They Fail (Part 1 of 5) - The Crumbling Foundation


For Business Intelligence projects (BI) to be successful, they must meet user requirements, be designed with strong user involvement, include a manageable scope, provide fast query response times, deliver the required reporting and analytic capabilities and provide value. Also, as nearly all experienced BI practitioners will attest, for business intelligence projects/programs to be successful, they must be built iteratively. In the trenches, that means sourcing, integrating, and developing front-end capabilities that target a subset of the enterprise data in each project. Sometimes the scope of an integration project is limited to a specific organizational process, such as invoicing, and other times by system, such as order-to-cash. Either way, subsequent business intelligence projects add to the scope and volume of data that is integrated and available for analysis. For initial business intelligence projects and subsequent iterations to be successful, the data architecture must be scalable, flexible, understandable and maintainable. However, most organizations put more thought and effort into their selection of BI tools than their data architecture. The end result is that they implement a data architecture that crumbles under the growing requirements of their users and data.

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Enterprise Data Management - Industry Terms

Dec 20, 2016 10:18:20 AM   Datasource Consulting

Topics: Business Intelligence, Program Management, Blog, Terms

Enterprise Data Management - Key Definitions of industry terms


At Datasource Consulting, it is fairly common that our friend and even some colleagues will ask us about some of the Enterprise Data Management terms we use on a regular basis.  It also seems that everyone is aware of how fast the Enterprise Data Management industry is moving and how quickly new terms pop up.

Below, you will find definitions to some of the Enterprise Data Management terms that we come across frequently and have a meaningful tie-in to the Business Intelligence and Data Integration space.

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Automating Cognos BI Usage Monitoring

Dec 20, 2016 10:17:45 AM   Matt Caton

Topics: Business Intelligence, Cognos, Blog, BI Automation

Why Monitoring the Cognos BI Usage Makes Sense.


By:  Matt Caton

At the heart of a strong BI practice is the automation of repetitive tasks, freeing up time to focus on deeper analytics and more advantageous architectures. Cognos BI equips architects with a number of tools for automating report delivery which is often overlooked and done manually. Below are a number of advantages to proactively monitor usage of your Cognos BI reporting system:

  • Staying ahead of audits and ensuring software license compliance
  • Saving pricey license seats for users who are actually taking advantage of (using) the system
  • Having a list of active users to help plan system updates and down-times
  • Providing colleagues and managers with important system usage feedback
  • System monitoring without even having to log into the system
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Business Intelligence Industry Review and Trends for 2014

Dec 20, 2016 10:17:24 AM   Steve Dine & David Crolene

Topics: Data Security, Agile, Big Data, Data Quality, Data Integration, Program Management, Blog, Cloud, Master Data Management

Business Intelligence Industry: 10 Considerations for 2014


By:  Steve Dine and David Crolene

Each year, we reflect upon the business intelligence industry and enterprise information management (EIM) industry and provide a review of the noteworthy trends that we encounter in the field.  Our review emanates from five sources: our customers, industry conferences, articles, social media, and software vendors. This year has proved to be an interesting one on many fronts.  Here is our business intelligence  industry review and observations for 2013 and predicted trends for the remainder of 2014.

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Business Intelligence Software: 6 Steps to Successful Installations

Dec 20, 2016 10:16:45 AM   Matthew Caton & David Crolene

Topics: Business Intelligence, Program Management, Blog

Business Intelligence Software


By:  Matthew Caton and David Crolene

Business Intelligence software comes in all shapes and sizes.  Some tools promise industry specific solutions with a relatively narrow set of functionality, while others provide a greater breadth of capabilities that can be tailored to the needs of more sophisticated BI organizations.  It is this latter class of business intelligence software – the enterprise class – that is not always easy to install and configure.  Tools like IBM Cognos, MicroStrategy, SAP Business Objects, Tableau and Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE) are representative of this class and consistently appear in the upper right-hand corner of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant as best in breed.

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Agile Business Intelligence – Increasing the Velocity of Reporting and Analytics

Dec 20, 2016 10:15:44 AM   David Crolene & Donnie Evans

Topics: Collaboration, Agile, Program Management, Data Virtualization, Blog

Agile Business Intelligence: Increasing the Velocity of Reporting and Analytics


By:  David Crolene and Donnie Evans

One of the biggest complaints we hear from business users is that it takes too long to develop reporting and analytics when working with IT. Some BI programs have turnaround times ranging from weeks and even months from the time a business unit requests a report. By that time, the business has often found a different source for the information, or the issue or no longer relevant.


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Collaborative BI: Is Collaboration the Key to BI in the Future?

Dec 20, 2016 10:15:29 AM   Steve Dine

Topics: Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Blog, Pervasive BI

Collaborative BI Unlocking the Future


By: Steve Dine

I was recently invited to the corporate offices of Lyzasoft for an inside look at their new 2.0 release.  Aside from the impressive advances in charting and visualizations, I was especially blown away by their augmentation of collaboration features to their shared portal, called Lyza Commons.  They provide a web environment that allows authorized users to search, bookmark, combine, create, tag, share, comment, rate, relate, and interact directly with intelligence content in the form of blogs, microblogs, charts, tables, dashboards, and collections.  More simply put, they enable the development and growth of analytic communities.


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Cloud Business Intelligence: Addressing the Critics

Dec 20, 2016 10:15:08 AM   Datasource Consulting

Topics: Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Blog, Pervasive BI

Cloud Business Intelligence: Is it a Good Tool for All Projects?


In recent months, I've read numerous blog postings, tweets, articles and interviews from business intelligence pundits that have denounced the viability of BI in the cloud or cloud business intelligence.  They point to data volumes, security concerns, lack of control, network reliability and bandwidth as factors that deem the concept unfathomable.  While each one of these issues can be a show stopper for a BI project, they are not roadblocks for all business intelligence projects.  What's most baffling to me is that I've reached out to many of these critics and I've yet to find one that has any actual experience working in the cloud.



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Enterprise Business Intelligence and The SMB Market: Small Fish in a Big Pond

Dec 20, 2016 10:14:54 AM   Datasource Consulting

Topics: Tool Selection, Business Intelligence, Blog

Enterprise Business Intelligence vendors tend to look over the SMB market.


By: Steve Dine

I recently led a Enterprise Business Intelligence tool selection project for one of our customers that is classified in the small and mid-sized business (SMB) market.  A business with 100 or fewer employees is generally considered small, while one with 100-999 employees is considered to be mid-sized (by this definition, our customer would be mid-sized).  Having recently heard a number of the enterprise business intelligence vendors state that they are now targeting this market, I figured that they would be prepared for the differences that these customers require with regard to the sales process.  Unfortunately, in most cases I didn't find this to be true.



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Are we any Closer to Pervasive BI?

Dec 20, 2016 10:14:37 AM   Datasource Consulting

Topics: Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Blog, Pervasive BI

Pervasive BI. Are we closer than we were 10 years ago?


By: Steve Dine

One of the topics that still seems to garner a great deal of attention is "pervasive BI".  Just like Henry Ford's vision of a car in every driveway, the BI vendors envision a license for every employee.  Don't get me wrong, I'm at the front of the parade when it comes to increasing the BI footprint in today's organizations.  However, I think that we still have a long way to go in large part because it seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same.  For example, we learned a long time ago that data without context is just data.  Yet, it seems that most of today's BI applications lack all but the most rudimentary metadata capabilities.  It is a challenge to import the business and technical metadata, maintain it and expose it to the users.  How will BI become pervasive if we can't enable users to become more self-service?



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BI in the Cloud. Is it a Viable Option?

Dec 20, 2016 10:14:22 AM   Datasource Consulting

Topics: Tool Selection, Business Intelligence, Blog, Cloud

BI in the Cloud: A Viable Option in the Future?


A few weeks ago I presented a full day course on BI in the cloud at the TDWI conference in Orlando. I was pleasantly surprised by the number of attendees and the overall interest in BI in the cloud from both vendors and BI practitioners.  Having spent the better part of the past year working in the Amazon cloud, I took for granted the general confusion that still exists over how the cloud is defined and how it relates to BI. I believe that this is due in large part to the fact that the cloud is still taking shape, especially when it comes to BI.  As an industry, we look at the expectation of large data volumes, a seemingly endless desire for faster response times and concerns over data security and wonder how BI infrastructures could possibly exist in the cloud.  Given the fact that we are at the early adopter phase of the consumer lifecycle, these concerns are expected.  However, these concerns may not be reality for as many BI programs as some might think.


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Purchasing Business Intelligence Software: Tips From the Trenches

Dec 20, 2016 10:14:06 AM   Steve Dine

Topics: Tool Selection, Business Intelligence, Blog

Business Intelligence Software: How to avoid purchasing shelfware


By: Steve Dine

A colleague of mine recently asked me to chime in on discussion thread about some business intelligence software, and specifically, ETL tools.  Like many discussion board threads, it had drifted significantly from the original topic.  As a general rule, I tend to spend little time on these boards, not because I don't think that they have value, but between Twitter, Blogs and instant messaging, I can't seem to find much time left for additional on-line interaction.  I read through the thread and was immediately struck by the number of comments about the business intelligence software that were phrased as facts but were either based on outdated information, innuendo or rumor.

 

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Tableau - Multiple Dimensions

Dec 20, 2016 10:13:44 AM   Yelena McElwain

Topics: Tableau, Tool Selection, Business Intelligence, Blog

By: Yelena McElwain, BI Consultant

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A Business Intelligence Solution: What is "Successful" BI?

Dec 20, 2016 10:12:17 AM   Datasource Consulting

Topics: Tool Selection, Business Intelligence, Cognos, Blog, Cloud

Business Intelligence Solution: Success or Failure?

 

How many times have you heard a statistic such as "42 percent of respondents rate a business intelligence solution as moderately successful" or "more than 50 percent of all business intelligence solutions fail"?  When I read these types of statistics I often wonder what's behind these numbers.  I'd love to be able to drill down directly to the respondents and ask them how they defined success or failure when answering the question.  I recently met with a company that asked if I could come in and help make their business intelligence solution more successful.  Naturally, my first question was to ask them how they define success.  Each person in the room defined success a bit differently and meeting turned into a healthy discussion on what constitutes a successful business intelligence solution.

 

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Cloud BI: Something to get Excited About?

Dec 20, 2016 10:11:56 AM   Steve Dine

Topics: Tool Selection, Business Intelligence, Cognos, Blog, Cloud

Cloud BI: Five Areas That Can Be Leveraged


In a few weeks I will be presenting 'BI in the Cloud' for Executive Summit at the TDWI Conference in Las Vegas.  Based on my research during the creation of my presentation, I may be one of only a handful of BI practitioners that are excited about the prospects of leveraging the Cloud for Business Intelligence programs (Cloud BI).  I am not sure whether this is because there are still formidable challenges with leveraging Cloud BI or because I spoke to the wrong people.

 

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Tableau - Dashboard Design

Dec 20, 2016 10:11:36 AM   Yelena McElwain

Topics: Tableau, Tool Selection, Business Intelligence, Blog

By: Yelena McElwain, BI Consultant

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Tableau - Context filters

Dec 20, 2016 10:11:17 AM   Yelena McElwain

Topics: Tableau, Tool Selection, Business Intelligence, Blog

By: Yelena McElwain, BI Consultant

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Informatica Linux on SQL Server 2012

Dec 20, 2016 10:10:44 AM   Tom Nats

Topics: Tool Selection, Informatica, Blog, Informatica PowerCenter

By: Tom Nats

With SQL Server 2012, Microsoft has included a much needed ODBC driver for Linux.


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Business Intelligence Review from the Trenches - 2013

Dec 20, 2016 10:07:48 AM   Steve Dine & David Crolene

Topics: Tool Selection, Informatica, Blog, Informatica PowerCenter

Business Intelligence Review of 2013


By:  Steve Dine and David Crolene

Each year, we reflect upon the business intelligence (BI) and data integration (DI) industry and provide a Business Intelligence Review of the noteworthy trends that we encounter in the trenches.  Our Business Intelligence Review emanates from five sources: our customers, industry conferences, articles, social media, and BI software vendors.  This years Business Intelligence Review has proved to be an interesting one, on many fronts.  Here are our observations for 2012 and our expectations about 2013.


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PowerCenter - Disable Repository Logging

Dec 20, 2016 10:05:29 AM   Tom Nats

Topics: Tool Selection, Informatica, Blog, Informatica PowerCenter

By Tom Nats, Sr ETL Developer - Datasource Consulting

In Informatica 9.5 and prior, if you are running a workflow or a set of workflows continuously, you will fill up your repository very quickly. To avoid this, set this at at the integration service or at the session level under custom property.


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How Partnerships Between IT and the Business Breed Success

Dec 13, 2016 2:25:00 PM   Nancy Couture

Topics: Program Management, Blog

The stakes are high in the world of analytics and reporting.  According to Gartner: through 2016, only 10 percent of self-service business intelligence initiatives will be sufficiently well governed to prevent inconsistencies that adversely affect the business.  Without appropriate processes and governance, self-service capabilities can introduce multiple versions of the truth, increase errors in reporting, and leave companies exposed to inconsistent information.  So how can an organization find the right balance between the traditional IT development process and more innovative data discovery in the business?

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