We read a post to a Computerworld blog, BI and Analytics, posted on June 15th by Jaikumar Vijayan: IT-centric enterprise BI models unsustainable, says Forrester, that set us to thinking that, should Forrester’s conclusion be true, that business units will do much better to develop their own BI tools independent of IT, then there is, today, a very good market for workflow development tools like Microsoft’s InfoPath 2010.
We think that Forrester is right. Elsewhere in this blog we have voiced our skepticism of the usefulness of BI tools. To sum up our opinion, we think the type of BI tool set as commonly used at enterprise business, usually a dashboard presentation of collected metrics on business units, balanced scorecards, KPIs, etc, is fine for a historical review of past business performance, but poor as a means of predicting business performance over a long term look at the future. Forrester’s point, that business units themselves, in self service fashion, can make the best use of BI analytics to produce a set of data that approaches something useful as a means of predicting future business performance (which, after all, is where the rubber hits the road for any BI activity as we see it).
Further, the author of the Computerworld post summarized the opinion of the researcher at Forrester who put together opinion, Boris Evelson: “[t]o be really useful a self-service BI tool should enable casual users, technology savvy users and executives to self-serve for new queries, reports and dashboards” With reference to InfoPath 2010, we think this tool goes very far in the right direction, which is to provide business users with no-code options for systems development. Certainly there have been other approaches to building such systems, for example, Apple’s “Automator,” but we don’t think they work nearly as well as InfoPath 2010.
The bottom line for tech innovators is that the market for these self service tools for BI applications is a healthy spot in the world of enterprise IT computing, and one worth a look and possibly a product offering. We do not agree with Forrester’s Evelson’s conclusion that ” IT needs to retain control of complex, mission-critical BI applications” (we do not think these complex systems have proven to be very useful, either and, therefore, not the type of system that we would label ‘mission critical’); rather, we think there is much opportunity for further product development in this broader class of BI analytical tools, as well.
If you are considering a direction to pursue with regard to software development for enterprise computing for your business, we would like to speak with you. Telephone Ira Michael “Mike” Blonder at +1 631-673-2929 to further a discussion. You may also email Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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