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Posts tagged ‘BI’

Best-of-breed vs Integrated Portfolio

Best-of-breed vs Integrated Portfolio: The building blocks of success

There is one question I get asked more than any other: Should I invest in best-of-breed products or an integrated portfolio?

Technology essentially provides the building blocks on which we can build solutions to deliver value to the business.  Each of the individual building blocks needs to meet the design brief.  However, key to project success is the ability for those building blocks to work together.  So how do you choose?

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Theres plenty of fish in the Sea

There’s plenty of fish in the Sea (of Cognos)

There’s plenty of fish in the Sea…and no, this is not a dating blog!

Quite literally, with the help of IBM Cognos, MG Kailis spend more time fishing for seafood and less time fishing for insight.

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Ask The Right Questions Get The Report Right

Ask the Right Question, Get the Report Right

Considered an “expert” in the realm of Business Analytics, I like to think my customers learn a thing or two from me.  Equally so, I learn a lot from them.

“When I sit down with the business I don’t ask them what report they want me to write. I ask them what decision they want to make.”

Honest words spoken by an IT manager across the other side of the world – so profound the ripple effect has travelled across the Pacific Ocean to the land of Oz.  Words that entirely make sense, and yet it got me thinking – how many of us are asking the right questions when it comes to analysing data?

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Congnos 10 minute challenge

Instant Insight: My 10 minute Cognos challenge

Today I set myself a challenge: How much insight could I get from a data set that is foreign to me in under 10 minutes?

Would it be enough time to evaluate the physical data file, understand structures, formats, columns, names etc? Would it be enough time to rank, sort, group, slice?  But most importantly, would I be able to not only understand the data, but draw conclusions about what it represents?

Armed with a phantom data set and IBM Cognos Insight, I started the clock!

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IBM Vehicle for Success

IBM’s Vehicle for Success

Imagine sitting behind the wheel of a car, blind-folded, and being asked to “just drive“.  Which way do you turn?  Do you drive forwards or put the vehicle in reverse?  Whether you’re driving a racing car or tractor, the risk of driving straight into the path of oncoming traffic or down a ditch is equally daunting.

And yet that is how many companies still expect their decision makers to operate. Whether steering a vehicle or an organisation, the importance of having clear insight into everything around you is imperative to making the right decision.

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Puzzling Context: The importance of seeing the whole picture

The skies are blue, the sun is shining, and if that isn’t enough to make your smile, it also happens to be a public holiday today.  In celebration of The Queen’s birthday, I am….cleaning the house?!

In a flurry of washing, tidying, organising, cleaning, wiping, toilet training (my two year old, not me), I stumbled across something which filled me with fear – the dreaded lone jigsaw puzzle piece!  This is not just a single piece of a jigsaw puzzle, it’s the determining factor as to whether a quiet rainy afternoon spent indoors will end in giggles or tears, and therefore it must find a way back to its rightful location.

Herein lies the problem, what jigsaw puzzle does it belong to?

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Yin Yang of BI

The Yin Yang of BI

If my customers were to describe me using a single word it would be: “passionate“. And there is nothing that brings out the fire more so than hearing comments like: “It doesn’t matter what BI tool we choose, just get the data right.” or “The data warehouse is taking too long to build, just give them access to what you have.” The former is more common amongst IT and consultants, and the latter, a common view of business groups.

It was 10 years ago when I was first introduced the importance of balancing quality information with useful visualisation, which is why I’m amazed companies today still work with unbalanced solutions. It’s what I call the “Yin yang of BI”. Contrary to popular belief, Yin yang are not opposing forces like good and evil, but complementary opposites that interact within a greater whole, as part of a dynamic system.

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