I am beginning to hope that Howard Aiken was right when he said :-
“Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you’ll have to ram them down people’s throats.”
For a long time now (pretty much any of my other posts in this blog cover the idea in one way or another) I have been advocating the idea that ad-hoc / self-service is not the panacea for Business Intelligence which it is widely perceived. More recently this has evolved into the more constructive idea that interactive dashboards are the only form of BI needed for end-users.
There reason I hope Aiken is right is that these ideas seem pretty obvious to me but there seems to be quite a lot of resistance to them in the market. The interesting thing is that individual feedback on them seems pretty much universally positive. The following being representative :-
Interactive Dashboard Webinar feedback : “thought your positioning of dashboards was spot on. The weather example is a great one and may be one I need to borrow as I try and position dashboards and analytics here in my current job.”
Ad-hoc White paper feedback : “I read your white paper yesterday and wanted to say I agree 100% with the content/conclusions”
In addition whenever I present these topics in presentations the vast majority of heads nod knowingly in agreement at the key messages.
So why the general market resistance? Although I am not sure, my suspicions lie in three directions :-
- a desire to make things more complex than they need to be
- the need of the BI market to continually market newer, sexier ideas
- wishful thinking on the part of BI teams.
or possibly a combination of all three.
Whatever the reason I will continue to push interactive dashboards as the solutions to end-user BI in the hope that they gather more traction and momentum. As I say, I am convinced they are the BI way of the future. To use an analogy Steve Lucas is fond of, mis-quoting (ice) hockey great Wayne Gretsky,
Interactive Dashboards are where the BI puck is going to be.
The next place you can hear these ideas live are at the ASUG SAP Business Objects User Conference (SBOUC) 9-11 September in Anaheim. My two session are :-
Session Code*: 0114
Title*: Delivering leading-edge, interactive SAP Dashboards
Day and Time: Wednesday, September 11, 2013: 2:45 PM – 3:45 PM
Session Code*: 0103
Title*: Interactive Dashboards – The ultimate end-user BI
Day and Time: Monday, September 9th – 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
As well as trying to track the puck, we will also cover a range of more unusual BI topics :-
GIGWYNGOGO – what does it mean
See interactive dashboards hidden in plain sight on Google
What the BBC weather site has to do with interactive dashboards
Why you need to change how you think of dashboards
Why the difference between analysts and end-users is key for successful BI
Hopefully see you there…
P.S. I am also appearing as part of the SAP DataMania session on Tuesday, but i suspect you will hear more about that in other channels