Old BI and the Challenge of Analytics

April 26, 2011 by

Editor’s Note: While VISAGE rebranded to VERDAZO in April 2016, we haven’t changed the VISAGE name in our previous blog posts. We’re proud of our decade of work as VISAGE and that lives on within these blogs. Enjoy.

In 2007 the three giants of Business Intelligence were all bought in multi-billion dollar deals:

  • Oracle buys Hyperion for $3.3 billion
  • SAP buys Business Objects for $6.78 billion
  • IBM buys Cognos for $4.9 Billion

Since these giants made their big splash in the waters of BI, what’s changed?

Well, according to Stephen Few in his blog “Old BI and the Challenge of Analytics” we’re on a “faster trip to nowhere”. Stephen continues to demand more than infrastructure from the big BI vendors. “Big, old, traditional BI companies are good at producing technologies that enhance the infrastructure of business intelligence—more and faster—but not the actual use of data in ways that lead to greater intelligence. Being big, focused primarily on technology from an [software] engineering perspective, and devoutly sales driven makes it difficult for companies like SAP to develop useful tools for activities that support decision making: data exploration, sensemaking, and communication. To meet this challenge, they must shift their focus from technology to the humans who use it… Will SAP and other big vendors find their way into the analytics age? If so, will they do it in time, or will analytics become the exclusive realm of smaller and more agile vendors, leaving traditional BI companies in the back room to maintain the infrastructure (data collection, transformation, cleansing, warehousing, and production reporting)?”

At VISAGE, we strive to be one of those smaller and more agile vendors that Stephen speaks of who will rally the call for human focused technology that enables data exploration, sensemaking, and communication!