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November 29, 2006

Reflecting on Andrew McAfee's article on the

I recently had the chance to read HBS Professor Andrew McAfee's blog entry on the trends underlying what people are talking about in terms of Enterprise 2.0, and emerging change sin the corporate IT landscape. I think he is pretty much right on the money.

He calls out three key themes "Simple, Free Platforms for Self-Expression", "Emergent Structures, Rather than Imposed Ones", and "Order from Chaos" - which very much are similar to the themes I think are behind Business Intelligence 2.0. Classic IT has been all about imposing Command and Control structures through good governance, and now we can build upon that good governance to enable similar freedom of expression (within boundaries of good governance!) of YouTubeand Facebook in Business Intelligence 2.0.

Read Andrew's article, very good!

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Posted by Christopher Ahlberg at 9:30 PM | Comments (0)

November 14, 2006

Why Business Intelligence 2.0 and why BI1.0 is the platform

I got some great feedback on my recent BI2.0 post. Thanks. From friends, colleauges, customers, and some good comments in the actual blog.

Not everybody was thrilled - "BI1.0 fan" wrote 'I think the last thing the world needs is something else slugged with "2.0" at the end of it.' Fair comment at some level - but you know what, I think the world of business intelligence is ready for something new [in an upcoming post I'll compare notes with some other definitions of what's to come]. Reporting and data warehousing is great, serves many purposes, and most importantly, has put in place the platform for us all to go to the next level. But we can do more than distribute reports.

Now, BI2.0 - people centric Business Intelligence - is only really possible once the infrastructure of warehouses, user modelling, and security is put in place. This also means that those who have built out that infrastructure - in many cases great IT departments out there - will be continue to be incredibly important going forward.

The great thing about BI2.0 is that it gives people the power to create and be creative while at the same time reduces the repetitive and time consuming constant changes to reports and OLAP cubes, that IT doesn't want to spend its scarce time and resources doing anyway. IT and the professionals they serve both win! IT information management resources can be more concentrated on ensuring information is correct, scalable, secure, and well-organized; and on enabling information workflows that are configured for specific people or business challenges; all of which are far more important than formatting reports and running them again when someone thinks of a question they didn't ask!

Think about it this way - other social/people oriented platforms - like YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, and SecondLife - which are all about user created content and experiences, *only* work because they run on great platforms that are carefully constructed and maintained.

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Posted by Christopher Ahlberg at 8:45 PM | Comments (1)

What really is this BI2.0 stuff?

Defining the 2nd generation of anything will by definition be controversial!

James Taylor talks about some nice angles on next generation BI in his enterprise decision management blog, similarly Charles Nichols has laid out some good ideas in
a recent article in DM Review.

Both James and Charles talks about the importance of events, real time, automation, and action without intervention. I think these points are all very important - and it signifies an interesting fork in the road for thinking about business intelligence and analytics.

Certainly it will be very important and compelling to build systems that takes action on streams of events and information in real time - no question.

Now - I [and for that sake Spotfire!] wanted to align next generation thinking in BI [BI2.0!] with the great ideas coming out of the whole Web2.0 wave

"Web 2.0, a phrase coined by O'Reilly Media in 2004[1], refers to a supposed second generation of Internet-based services—such as social networking sites, wikis, communication tools, and folksonomies—that emphasize online collaboration and sharing among users." (from Wikipedia definition.)

The focus is on people, communication, collaboration, sharing - rather than events and automation. The one is not better or more important than the other, that's not the point.

But - I think the most exciting idea for the millions of people out there in corporate world [and elsewhere!] who depend on information to make complex decisions that are beyond automation and process automation - is the very idea that they can create and be creative themselves around information - just like consumers can create and be creative in Facebook and SecondLife.

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Posted by Christopher Ahlberg at 8:45 PM | Comments (0)

November 10, 2006

Business Intelligence 2.0 - BI2.0

Why is that Business Intelligence is always about data and IT? It's certainly nice to see how we've been able to establish the "one version of the truth" - i.e. no more arguments about how much we sold in Q2 or what profits where for FY05. But is this the end point?

I would like to argue that this super focus on the data and ITs ability to deliver one version of the truth is getting in the way of letting people out there use their smarts (!) applied to company data to create new, clever, intelligent, creative approaches to how to solve business problems.

YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, and other user created spaces are great because they allow anybody to pull together their views, ideas, and creativity into content that can quickly be shared and disseminated, without (!) top down supervision. This has been so revolutionary that people call it Web2.0. Of course there are challenges in terms of copyright, etc. - but it certainly hasn't stopped major corporations like News Corp and Google from adopting the approaches. We just recently learned that the intelligence community now runs a Wikipedia version called Intellipedia, completely bottoms up created.

So - what does this mean for Business Intelligence?! Is it time to go beyond IT controlled and disseminated reports, data warehouses painstakingly put together, and predefined queries?

Is is time to declare BI2.0? A world of BI where the focus is on People not data! People not IT! It's about People being able to create and share! It's about People being able to talk to their data and have it talk back!

A new world with user driven creation and creativity (like MySpace, YouTube, and Facebook!) rather than IT driven information control and delivery.

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Posted by Christopher Ahlberg at 6:30 PM | Comments (28)