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Salesforce to unleash Wave - The Analytics Cloud

For all of you who were wondering if Salesforce was going to be left out of the "big data boom", Marc Benioff, a Salesforce co-founder and the company’s chief executive, has been tweeting about Wave. Here's more details from NYTimes (excerpt):

Wave is intended to create sales, service and marketing analytics, either in packaged or custom forms, which can be read on desktop and mobile devices. It is meant to stress the data within Salesforce products, but it is also possible to import third-party information from companies like Microsoft, SAP and Informatica, as well as machine-generated data.
. . . 
Right now, Tableau is one of the few notable companies making it easier to visualize data. Given the millions of customers using Salesforce, in other words, it is the kind of thing that could attract independent software developers to build products on it.
. . . 
"It’s been quite a while since we announced a new market this big,” Mr. Dayon [Alex Dayon, the president of products at Salesforce] said. “Analytics is a $42 billion industry, and people need a new cloud-based platform for it.”

#BigData   #Sales   #Analytics   #Cloud   #DataVisualisation   #GrowIncome  

Posted by +Dan Durrant with +David Pidsley 

Cause Analytics is here to help you navigate through Business Intelligence, understand today's challenges and tomorrow's technologies.

www.CauseAnalytics.com

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Data visualisation success hinges on solid storytelling skills

Excerpt:
Data by itself is fairly useless without solid storytelling and narrative skills, according to Jock Mackinlay. Mackinlay is director of visual analysis at Tableau. He's an alumnus of UC Berkeley and Stanford University and a veteran of Xerox PARC. He is also known for coining the term "information visualization" in his 1999 book Readings in Information Visualization: Using Vision to Think.

Accessible Storytelling
"Once you have some understanding of your data you have to tell another human. First there is analysis and then there is storytelling. And they blend back together. The classic way of doing this is traditional business intelligence (BI), but that is slow for organisations to do. There is the whole chain of data warehousing [and] getting IT to build reports. Business users should not have to find a statistician or programmer when data is becoming democratised within organisations -- who are increasingly encouraging employees at all levels to use and interpret data."
. . . 
"Data scientists are valuable but if you become dependent, then it is like being dependent on IT again. Our focus is on the data enthusiast, partly because of the nature of our technology. We want to empower the data enthusiasts so they can get along by themselves."

#Storytelling   #DataVisualisation     #SelfService     #BusinessIntelligence   #DataWarehouse   #InformationTechnology    

Posted by +Dan Durrant 

Cause Analytics is here to help you navigate through Business Intelligence, understand today's challenges and tomorrow's technologies.

www.CauseAnalytics.com

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How Can Embedded Business Intelligence Improve Business?

Well, it's more accessible and placed within applications that business users are already accustomed to. 

Citation: The problem with these stand-alone BI applications is that they are often complicated and carry a steep learning curve. The result of those issues is that often, organizations implement BI applications that then languish because users don’t want to learn how to use yet another application, even if it’s designed to help them work more efficiently.

One solution to this problem is to implement embedded BI. Embedded BI is BI that’s built into existing applications to help users effectively manage daily operations. Rather than introducing a whole new application that includes a learning curve and adds a step to the daily workflow, embedded BI makes accessing and using BI part of an existing workflow.
. . .
Users already know how the application works, and learning a new feature is easier—and faster—than learning a whole new application.

#Embedded   #BusinessIntelligence  

Posted by +Dan Durrant 

Cause Analytics is here to help you navigate through Business Intelligence, understand today's challenges and tomorrow's technologies.

www.CauseAnalytics.com

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Transparency inside Organisations

Here is another view of #Transparency  that has to do with opening lines of communication within an organisation. I tend to think of this more as "Visibility", but if the communication is also public facing, then it would be closer to what I think is truly Transparent.  In any case, this kind of visibility works well when different departments have access to shared #BusinessIntelligence   #Dashboards . I appreciate these four steps for building transparency (and #Collaboration ) within your organisation:
"
1. Identify what transparency means for your company.

Transparency can mean different things depending on your industry and company. Do you have a legal department that could be more communicative? Maybe there’s one department that drowns out everyone else. See where communication breaks down, and create a plan to fix it.  

2. Get your team on board.

If your team doesn’t understand what transparency is and why it’s important, it’s not going to work. Outline the benefits of transparency and how it can directly affect each department and employee. 

3. Put it into practice.

Don’t just give lip service. Once you “go transparent,” you need to develop strategies for keeping each department informed and connected. / #Executives  

4. Show results consistently.

When sharing information such as financial projects or results, don’t just broadcast the information once. You have to make a consistent effort to make information available to reap the benefits of an open culture. 
"

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Oracle delivers PRISM for business in the shape of cloud-based Data as a Service

Citation: In effect, Oracle appears to be offering a service similar to the US government's PRISM intelligence-gathering platform, but intended for business intelligence and marketing purposes. / #BusinessIntelligence #MarketIntelligence 

Speaking at Oracle's launch event, Ovum analyst Tom Pringle said that the timing is right for such DaaS offerings to come to market, but warned that it is early days for this kind of service and that potential pitfalls lay in the way, such as privacy concerns. / #Privacy  

"Data has moved out of the IT department and into the boardroom, so it is now front and centre for organisations around the world. As more and more business processes have shifted into becoming online services, DaaS becomes a natural extension of that," he said. / #InformationTechnology  

But privacy and legal rights are "growing in the public consciousness", Pringle said, and warned that any misstep over use of harvested public data could pose a "danger to the reputation" of the business involved. / #Security  

Posted by +Dan Durrant 

Cause Analytics is here to help you navigate through Business Intelligence, understand today's challenges and tomorrow's technologies.

www.CauseAnalytics.com

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What Can Business Intelligence Do For Higher Education?

Citation: In higher education, business intelligence tools perhaps should be referred to instead as systemwide intelligence. BI can provide institutions with a very clear understanding of any number of points of reference — student progress, budget performance, alumni snapshots; the list of possibilities and insights truly is limitless.

In the era of Big Data, the role and importance of the BI toolset grows even more important, as institutions begin to leverage more meaningful insights from the wide swath of data available through myriad portals — the classroom, the research lab, the library, and the financial aid and provost’s offices.

#BusinessIntelligence   #BigData   #Education  

Posted by +Dan Durrant 

Cause Analytics is here to help you navigate through Business Intelligence, understand today's challenges and tomorrow's technologies.

www.CauseAnalytics.com

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Starting a #BusinessIntelligence project? You should know...

Between 70% to 80% of corporate business intelligence projects fail, according to research by analyst firm Gartner.
Source: http://goo.gl/3QSjnC

Please don't contribute to the failure rate. Try before you buy.

http://www.causeanalytics.com/get-a-demo

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Agile Analytics: A Value-Driven Approach to Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing

Ken Collier, the Agile Analytics expert, shares three consistent truths that he has experienced during his time as a business intelligence consultant: "Building successful DW/BI systems is hard; DW/BI development projects fail very often; and it is better to fail fast and adapt than to fail late after the budget is spent." 

#BusinessIntelligence   #DataWarehouse   #OnDemand  

Posted by +Dan Durrant 

Cause Analytics is here to help you navigate through Business Intelligence, understand today's challenges and tomorrow's technologies.

www.CauseAnalytics.com

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Swim with the tides of change to visualize data -- and decisions

Citation mix:
Completing a three-part series on his blue ocean strategy for decision visualization, Lee Feinberg explains how you can take decision making to the next level by giving more people access to business intelligence and data visualization capabilities. / #DecisionMaking    #DataVisualisation   #BusinessIntelligence   
. . .
Have you heard of democratization of data, a trending term in business intelligence? To someone outside your company, it would seem unbelievable that data is being held captive by a central governing body. However, most organizations do, in fact, control the flow of data and provide access to it on a need-to-know basis only. But doesn't everyone in the company need to know about the business? / #Collaboration  
. . . 
Data openness is really about democratization of decision making. By allowing more people to have better and faster access to data, you foster better and faster decisions by more people -- a powerful concept that will transform organizations. A common argument against this idea is that people don't know how to use the data properly. If that's really the case, the organization needs to make significant investments to ensure that everyone properly understands their jobs and the business. / #BuildResilience  
 . . . 
Training is another key aspect of support. You might create an amazing dashboard, but don't assume that your customers will know how to use it to analyze data. It's likely that many of them have never done a true analysis; most are used to looking at a mix of charts and hoping an insight appears. Some training ideas: Make a video walking through an example analysis from the view of different users, hold lunch-and-learn sessions (everyone loves a free meal), form internal user groups. / #HumanResources  
. . . 
It's better to start with a simple set of requirements and build iteratively. By using Agile development techniques to rapidly create a product people can use to analyze and visualize data, new ideas will surface about what's most important to do next. And, by not going too far or deep with detailed specifications, it's much easier to move in a different direction and not have to defend a big investment. / #DriveInnovation   #SaveMoney

cc +David Pidsley 

Posted by +Dan Durrant 

Cause Analytics is here to help you navigate through Business Intelligence, understand today's challenges and tomorrow's technologies.

www.CauseAnalytics.com

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Treating Your BI Project Like an Entrepreneurial Startup

Citation Mix: 
As a proponent of agile data warehousing and business intelligence, I [Ken Collier] am constantly looking for new techniques for delivering value to customers faster, adapting to their feedback, and evolving toward the right business solutions (regardless of initial requirements). I recently read the new book, Lean Startup by Eric Ries (Ries, 2011) and it has rocked my world. In the short time since this book hit the shelves in September, 2011, it has exploded in popularity. Be forewarned, this book is about entrepreneurship and high-tech startups. It isn’t about data warehousing, BI, or analytics ... or is it? / #BusinessIntelligence #DataWarehouse    #Entrepreneurs  
. . . .
Ries points out that “The fundamental activity of a startup is to turn ideas into products, measure how customers respond, and then learn whether to pivot or persevere.” Lean Startup techniques follow a Build-Measure-Learn feedback cycle. This cycle begins with an idea or hypothesis immediately followed by building a minimal viable product (MVP). Customer response to this MVP is carefully measured and the resulting data provides the basis for learning and adjustment. The goal is to move through this cycle as fast as possible, and as many times as necessary to converge on the product that customers want.
. . . 
Two critical elements of this cycle are the MVP and the validated learning that is based on scientific testing of customer acceptance. The MVP is the very smallest, fastest thing you can introduce to your customers to gauge their response. For a business intelligence “product,” this might be a disposable prototype report or dashboard mockup populated with snapshot data. For analytics, it might be a mockup of a scoring algorithm based on a rudimentary predictive model. It is the simplest version of what we think customers want, so that we can find out if our assumptions are correct. / #Dashboards   #Analytics  
. . . 
Once we have correctly discovered what customers want, then we can use agile BI techniques to build, refine, and mature the solution. Ries describes this approach as “…killing things that don’t make sense fast and doubling down on the ones that do.” This theme makes as much sense for BI directors as for startup entrepreneurs. / #BuildResilience  
. . . 
Data warehouse and BI program leaders are entrepreneurs within the enterprise. It is the job of these entrepreneurs to quickly determine which efforts are value-creating and which are wasteful. / #GrowIncome   #SaveMoney  

Posted by +Dan Durrant 

Cause Analytics is here to help you navigate through Business Intelligence, understand today's challenges and tomorrow's technologies.

www.CauseAnalytics.com
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