I like weblogs from Vijay Vijayasankar. I really do. I am waiting for his every single blog, because in my opinion they are they only truly blogs on the BI topic on SDN. Vijay’s blogs always have interesting topics and have author’s thoughts. Not just another pseudo “How-to …” post or SDN/TechEd announcement, but really some thoughts! What I like as well about Vijay’s posts is that they provocative, and are causing discussions. Well, discussions (if merit 😉 are the only ways to discover or learn something.
The last one from Vijay is “And “Intelligence” said to BI – I want a divorce !“. When I first started reading it, my first though was that it is about IBM acquiring SPSS 🙂 But then I realized Vijay is discussing the issue of WHY-HAPPENED analysis, not yet WHAT-IS-GOING-TO-HAPPEN. Funny enough PA (Predictive Analytics) vendors are blaming BI vendors for answering just questions of WHAT and WHY, while Vijay is saying that even WHY is not answered by today’s BI! And I do agree with him.
It is just WHY analysis are not only dependent on BI tools, although they play a central role. On the input side of BI are all the source systems – the breadth and depth of information captured and loaded into BI for analysis. On the output side of the BI are we – humans – with our ability to digest and analyze information to produce some insights.
Way too often I see that we think that solution to the WHY question is in loading more information and in more detailed form into DW and then give business tools for Ad-hoc analysis. Let them do roll-up and drill down and drill across and slice and dice and find answers to all their questions themselves. Let them swim in this ocean of information without drowning in the big hope that they know where they are, where they are heading, where it is they are heading to and how to get there.
In my opinion it is HI, or Human Intelligence, where “I” is often missing. This statement might sound strong, but I do not mean here that we are brainless. No. What I mean is that way too often in real projects we are missing one important link: Business Analysts. Limited by budgets we assume too often, that business users are able to describe their world on an abstract level in mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive style, and that How many skills does BW consultant need? will be able to understand these descriptions and produce something that not only supports business, but as well optimizes the way business operates. Sorry, no bonus. You need true BAs with strong analytical skills who can help business and IT during implementation, and then can apply their business knowledge to use BI/DW solution for proper analysis that support business operations and management decision making.
This whole discussion initiated by Vijay leads to another interesting topic. So far we were talking about BI in general, while the follow-up should be how it is related to BI/DW solutions from SAP and SAP BusinessObjects that all SDN/BPX memebers are working with. But this is the topic for a separate blog.