Scanning through the past few months of ZDNet’s Tech archives, I came across this commentary by Sid Probstein, CTO of Attivio, one of the many companies popping up in the “semantic web” and “enterprise search” spaces that is likely a competitor to Endeca, a company you’ve probably read about on Spend Matters. While I’m not going to comment on either solution, both of which appear to me to be a merger of traditional OLAP BI engines with better rules engines (which give the user more flexibility in both the definition and application of business rules for data segmentation and reporting), I definitely agree with the premise of the commentary, that IT’s involvement in Business Intelligence (BI) will diminish in time as business users adopt new technologies to quench their thirst for information, and believe that it will happen as these users adopt more and more B2B 3.0 technologies.
I really liked how the article got straight to the point.
Today’s mainstay BI tools are extremely good at tracking raw transactional numbers like sales figures and profit margins. What they fail to adequately address are the root causes, or drivers, of trends in those numbers. Moreover, they are typically able to tell what happened — but not explain why (unless it is evident in some other numeric data), let alone alert the business as a change emerges. … Answering these types of questions with the average BI tool is challenging: at best, it takes a great deal of time to gain even one additional level of insight.
The cost of these investigations is often high. Large numbers of IT staff must collaborate to extract, transform and load the data into a warehouse, update data dictionaries and then reconfigure the layers of OLAP, summarization, reporting and dashboarding. Despite these efforts and a slew of recent corporate acquisitions, many questions remain beyond the reach of such systems.
To provide greater value, BI tools must evolve in two ways. They must enable users to answer deeper … questions about the enterprise. Then they must make it possible for general business users to easily obtain information.
Hear, hear! I couldn’t have said it better myself!
Real BI allows you to aggregate all of the relevant information that you need to make a decision into a single coherent view, just like Vinimaya does for procurement professionals who need a single integrated catalog; real BI allows you to build the spend cube you need, on the fly, with derived dimensions, on multiple data sources, in real time, just like you can with BIQ; real BI gives you access to the global trade rules and global trade systems in real time, like Integration Point; and real BI lets you inspect, classify, and take actions on your transactions in real time based on rules you define, which the new search-based BI engines like Attivio allow you to do.
And finally, B2B 3.0 Simplifies B2B for Suppliers and this enables buyers!