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Tom Breur

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Tom Breur, Principal with XLNT Consulting, has a background in database management and market research. For the past 10 years, he has specialized in how companies can make better use of their data. He is an accomplished teacher at universities, MBA programs and for the Certified Business Intelligence Professional (CBIP) program. He is a regular keynoter at international conferences.  Currently,he is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Targeting, the Journal of Financial Services Management and Banking Review. He acts as an advisor for The Council of Financial Competition and the Business Banking Board and was cited among others in Harvard Management Update about state-of-the-art data analytics. His company, XLNT Consulting, helps companies align their IT resources with corporate strategy, or in plain English, he helps companies make more money with their data. For more information you can email him at or call +31646346875.


PivotAt the last Microsoft BI conference in Seattle ¬†project “Gemini” was annouced. Gemini is now available as Powerpivot (see also Powerpivot (inspired by pivot table?) allows users to analyse the data within the comfort of their Excel 2010 interface. In my experience however 99% of the data contained in an Excel sheet is often a datadump from operational systems or a datawarehouse (like) environment. Nothing wrong with that by the way. It allows users to play around with the data. But my point is that the data comes from the companies own operational systems. As most of us know (except perhaps the deaf and blind) the majority of data is to be found outside our own organizations. If you can find some way to combine your own data with relevant information from the net your quickly on your way to making smart decisions. As Rick Mans and I wrote in our recent article Samen Spelen (We are working on a English translation) the challenge is first to find the right information and than to make it manageable. So we want the slicing and dicing we do in BI classic on the web as well in combination with search. Well, Microsoft must have read our minds because they are working on something called Pivot ( It uses collections of large groups of data with a similar item and uses visualizations to find hidden patterns. Take a look at some of the demo’s and in your mind replace datasets like dogs, cars and playing cards with mortgages, prepaid customers or dairy products. I think Microsoft has taken a first step in the direction of mixing structured and unstructured data. Too bad it is still in two seperate worlds. Who knows what can happen if you mix it together. This leaves one final question. How to call such a product? Power Pivot Plus?

Posted November 19, 2009 9:46 AM
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