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I'm here in Chicago at the Gartner BI Summit, but the opening keynote is still hours away. In the meantime, here are few tangential-but-nonetheless-interesting comments I edited out of my Q&A interview with Gartner's Kurt Schlegel.
I'm here in Chicago at the Gartner BI Summit, but the opening keynote is still hours away. In the meantime, here are few tangential-but-nonetheless-interesting comments I edited out of my Q&A interview with Gartner's Kurt Schlegel. On the combination of BI and Search, for example, Schlegel admits there's much more potential than real adoption at this point. And on consolidation, he says visualization and predictive analytics technologies will be next on the acquisition hit list.
There was plenty of hype last year about making BI analysis Google easy, but I just haven't come across a lot of customer success stories. "I don't think [Business Objects] Polestar has any customers yet," says Schlegel, "and between FAST and Endeca, they may have a dozen or two customers. If you compare that to what's out there, it's a tiny fraction of the market."Nonetheless, Schlegel is confident the combination will take off. While some vendors have paired search and BI products with the goal of finding existing reports, Business Objects, FAST and Endeca say their systems can actually query data sources and generate original results alongside existing reports. I've interviewed a FAST Radar customer, and Schlegel says Lexis Nexis, an Endeca customer, is speaking here in Chicago. Meanwhile, I was impressed that Progress Software has recently scored a handful of customers for its EasyAsk natural language query technology.
"Companies typically have thousands of reports, but they are hard to find with hierarchical navigation," says Schlegel. "Just applying search to make it easier to find reports that have already been created would be a step in the right direction."
On the topic of continued BI consolidation, Schlegel agrees with me that predictive analytics and visualization look like the next areas of consolidation. "I would not be surprised if [predictive analytics vendors] KXEN and SPSS got bought," he speculates. "I don't think SPSS wants to get bought, but I'm sure there are a lot of people who would like to go after SAS."
As I've observed, SPSS has already exploited this competitive dynamic by partnering with IBM and Cognos (separately) as well as with Business Objects. I think getting acquired, and presumably stuck in one camp, would do the company more harm than good.
Putting himself in the shoes of Oracle President Charles Philips, Schlegel says "I would go out and buy [data visualization vendor] Tableau. They already have a great relationship with it OEMed as Visual Explorer on top of Essbase. Oracle is a great platform, but they've been behind on some of these emerging technologies. They could catch up dramatically by buying Tableau."
From my perspective, that would be another shame. I hate to see small, focused companies with solid products get lost in the shuffle of mega portfolios.
In case you missed it, Howard Dresner returns to what he calls "the House that Howard built" with a keynote on performance management (along with Dr. David Norton) on Thursday. If you have to miss it, like I do, here's my Q&A interview with the former Gartner analyst.
Also FYI, Neil Raden made some important points in his blog taking Schlegel to task about this article, but having interviewed Schlegel after the article was published, I think he's probably on the same page as Raden on many of the same points. He even credits Raden and his partner, James Taylor, as "pioneers" in the area of decision management. Chalk the communication gap up to a press release lacking the nuance you pick up in an interview.I'm here in Chicago at the Gartner BI Summit, but the opening keynote is still hours away. In the meantime, here are few tangential-but-nonetheless-interesting comments I edited out of my Q&A interview with Gartner's Kurt Schlegel.
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