In which Jill serves up dish from the chattering classes. (As in: there was a lot of chatter about the classes.)
Just putting the luggage away from TDWI's World Conference in San Diego and thought I'd fill you in on some of the highlights.
I taught BI from Both Sides: Aligning Business and IT on Sunday, which is a good-news/bad-news deal. The bad news is that attending a weekend workshop in San Diego is like being quarantined. (And yes, the weather was indeed lovely.) But the people who came on Sunday wanted to be there, and shared ideas for getting closer to the business via their business intelligence programs. Our Data Governance for BI Professionals class debuted the following day, and--although there were more vendors and consultants there--attendance blossomed throughout the day and we ran out of exercise sheets. So, as I've written elsewhere, data governance is a hot topic across industries, market segments, and lines of business--and at TDWI.
I caught up with Scott Davis, CEO of Lyzasoft, and learned a bit about the company's plans to enhance its peer-to-peer sharing model--high volumes of data can now be either local or remote via the company's new Lyza Commons functionality. I'm personally fond of this tool--Lyzasoft makes information easy to share, easy to interpret, and easy to trace--but if it were me I'd market it as a series of toolkits that focus on rules and compliance, reporting and visualization, and audit and trace, which tells you a bit about its breadth.
I also saw my old friend Val Rayzman. Val used to be in charge of corporate development for Informatica and can be credited with a lot of the data integration firm's acquisitions, including their prescient purchase of Similarity Systems. Val has turned his head toward the data validation market, and his new software tool, DataValidator, takes data validation from a labor-intensive and error-prone manual coding activity to a structured, disciplined activity. Val and I shared client stories of how data validation is most often an afterthought on projects. (Just ask your data administrators if they can show you a test plan, or whether they gather data specific requirements as part of business requirements gathering.) DVO may be the first company to automate data testing and validation. In fact--calling all Data Stewards!--you can bake validation steps into any workflow. Right now it works with Powercenter, natch, but it's extensible to other platforms too.
I brought Tamara, our Marketing V.P., with me for lunch with Bob Eve, V.P. of Marketing for Composite Software. Composite has always been a bit ahead of its time--shout out to founder, Jim Green, whom we ran into in the lobby--and Bob shared the company's evolution from departmental point-software to established enterprise solution. Evan talks about Composite in his Architectural Options for Data Integration class as an example of a way to broadly deploy data services. Stay tuned for more optimization in Release 5.1, coming this fall.
The appliance vendors were hot, heavy, and ubiquitous. I sat down with the team at Kognitio (they're also my tweeps on Twitter), and they were practically busting at the seams to fill me in on a new customer in the (very data-rich) on-line gaming industry. I saw old friends Bruce Armstrong and Walt Muntzenberger at the Kickfire booth, and they're taking the MySQL world--which could use a little BI education--by storm with their plug-and-play appliance. Netezza had a plus-sized booth showcasing its new TwinFin commodity-hardware appliance. Advertising $20,000 per terabyte sort of throws the gauntlet down for the other appliance vendors, and Netezza definitely raised the buzz-meter this week. But the folks at Paraccel didn't seem fazed in the least, having delivered their own whip-fast TPC-H results; a shiny new Series C round of funding; and a retail customer that will be named soon, foreshadowing my forthcoming white paper on operational BI in retail for another breakout appliance vendor (aka: Microsoft), and confirming my assertion that retailers will be leading the way on the BI 3.0 journey. Stay tuned.
I had a blast with the IBM team and customers like Red Bull, Cerner, and Southern California Edison at a private reception at Morton's where the Shiraz flowed and the talk turned to BI as strategy. No one ever got fired for having dinner with IBM, and this crowd was as forward-thinking as any. In my refreshingly-short speech I gave a tip of the hat to customer experience management as the driver for BI and all things InfoSphere.
BTW: Kimberly Nevala and I will be reprising Data Governance for BI Professionals in Orlando in October--and we promise to have enough exercises next time!
Posted August 7, 2009 9:33 AM
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