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Claudia Imhoff

Welcome to my blog.

This is another means for me to communicate, educate and participate within the Business Intelligence industry. It is a perfect forum for airing opinions, thoughts, vendor and client updates, problems and questions. To maximize the blog's value, it must be a participative venue. This means I will look forward to hearing from you often, since your input is vital to the blog's success. All I ask is that you treat me, the blog, and everyone who uses it with respect.

So...check it out every week to see what is new and exciting in our ever changing BI world.

About the author >

A thought leader, visionary, and practitioner, Claudia Imhoff, Ph.D., is an internationally recognized expert on analytics, business intelligence, and the architectures to support these initiatives. Dr. Imhoff has co-authored five books on these subjects and writes articles (totaling more than 150) for technical and business magazines.

She is also the Founder of the Boulder BI Brain Trust, a consortium of independent analysts and consultants ( You can follow them on Twitter at #BBBT

Editor's Note:
More articles and resources are available in Claudia's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!


October 2006 Archives

OK -- I admit it is Halloween (yes, my face is green) and the day brings forth strange visions of ghosts and goblins.. But this day is also perfect for a scary bit of real information. As most of you know, I travel a LOT -- different cities and hotels just about every week of the year. So as a road warrior, the findings I am about to describe, really make me sick -- literally and figuratively...

If you have a weak stomach -- STOP NOW. If not, read on... especially if you plan to travel for the holidays... but remember I warned you.

Happy Halloween, all!

On October 1, 2006, the Chicago Tribune ran an article about a study of the viruses that live on in hotel rooms LOOOOOOONNNGGG after the germ-bearing guest has departed. And the locations of these bugs were not where you would think they'd be... like the sink or toilet...

The tests were run BEFORE housekeeping had cleaned the rooms so it is likely that the findings overstate the situation somewhat. However, given that most hotel room cleaning consists of changing the sheets and towels and wiping out the bath tub, you can bet these findings are not far off.

Researchers had 15 people with "lab-confirmed" rhinovirus (the virus responsible for the common cold and I really don't want to know how they did that) spend a night in a hotel. After they checked out, the researchers tested 10 common items in the room. Here's what the research turned up as contaminated with the nasty little buggers:

1. Seven of 14 door handles
2. six out of 14 pens
3. Six out of 15 light switches, TV Remotes, and bathroom faucets
4. Five out of 15 phones
5. A number of coffee makers and alarm clocks
6. AND only ONE out of 10 toilets....

Now here is the really gross part (my eyes... my eyes...)

Several months later, the researchers asked the 15 participants to return to the hotels and visit rooms where certain items had been deliberately contaminated with their own snot -- frozen to preserve its potency, shall we say. (I want the job of smearing snot on stuff.) Surprisingly, only 5 agreed to do this -- I can't imagine why...

Each volunteer (they had to be either married to the researcher, paid a lot of money, or a real glutton for punishment...) visited two rooms and then had their hands tested for the presence of the virus. Sixty percent were contaminated by mucus that had dried on stuff for 30 minutes and 33% were contaminated by snot that had been left to dry overnight. Who thinks of these things?

The real question is, of course, what hotels agreed to this study? None were mentioned in the study...

So there you have a real horror story. Makes you want to go out and buy gallon jugs of disinfectant to take with you, doesn't it? Spray down the hotel room the minute you walk into it? But then the airlines probably won't let you take it on board...

Lesson learned? Next time you check into a hotel room, DON'T TOUCH ANYTHING... well, except maybe the toilet.

Yours in BI and traveling success!


Posted October 31, 2006 11:06 AM
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Interesting... How does a company go from being the object of a nasty patent infringement suit to forming a warm and fuzzy partnership with the very company suing it? Apparently easily and rather quietly.

On October 10, 2006, Hyperion announced its plans to bring Hyperion System 9 together with technology from HyperRoll. And the good feelings toward HyperRoll didn't stop there...

This new partner agreement is only part of a mutual resolution of patent litigation between these two companies. The resolution also includes a technology cross-licensing arrangement, and an equity investment by Hyperion in HyperRoll to the tune of several million dollars! While not publicly disclosing the amount of this investment, according to an Israeli business news article, HyperRoll raised $10 million from Hyperion and venture capital funds.

According to the same article, this multiyear cross-licensing agreement is expected to generate tens of millions of dollars for HyperRoll. Sounds like the mouse scared the elephant...

Not familiar with this story? Well, here is a recap of the last 22 months:

1. January 18, 2005 - HyperRoll launched its suit against Hyperion asserting claims of patent infringement, violation of the Lanham Act, and false patent marking. The company claimed that Hyperion's product, Essbase 7X which included their Aggregate Storage Option (ASO), infringed on two HyperRoll patents dealing with data aggregation. HyperRoll CEO, Michael Bealmear stated that his company had made a large investment in developing the data aggregation technologies and that the company will protect its intellectual property to prevent infringement.

2. October 18, 2005 - The US Patent Office completed its review of HyperRoll's Patents and upholds all 27 claims and approved an additional 96 claims. HyperRoll's CEO then states that " These 96 claims significantly strengthen HyperRoll's position in its dispute with Hyperion and enables HyperRoll to aggressively protect its intellectual property". Yeow -- things are getting nasty.

But a lot happens in a year...

3. According to an article by Stephen Swoyer yesterday, things were not looking good for HyperRoll. Hyperion's ASO product clearly spelled the end of HyperRoll's Essbase niche and their other niche -- Oracle's Express -- was being decommissioned by Oracle. The result? HyperRoll had to change its focus from data aggregation to its ability to improve query performance for relational data. Eric Rogge, HyperRoll's new VP of Marketing, is quoted in the article as saying his company's value proposition is the same as it ever was: "HyperRoll accelerates query response times and improves transactional performance for a number of different relational database platforms".

4. October 10, 2006 - All is sweetness and light. HyperRoll and Hyperion kiss and make up. Rogge says it's just water under the bridge. And what does HyperRoll's CEO say now? " We're delighted to join with Hyperion to see HyperRoll's powerful technology provide new benefits to users of Hyperion's System 9. And we are pleased to have them on board as an investor in our company". I'll bet you are... all the way to the bank.

Seems like this is not the best basis for a happy relationship. I could be wrong but statistics say that marriages based on this type of artificial and forced relationship don't last long. We can only hope that the kids (the customers of both companies) don't suffer if Mom and Dad fight.

I welcome your comments.

Yours in BI Success.


Posted October 19, 2006 8:16 AM
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The merger and acquisition activity continues unabated in the BI world! Today Oracle announced plans to enhance its Oracle Fusion middleware offerings through the acquisition of Sunopsis, a provider of heterogeneous data integration products.

Oracle said it plans to make Sunopsis an integral part of its service-oriented architecture, business intelligence, and master data management products. It is certainly a badly needed component in Oracle's push to compete with IBM and Microsoft as the "one stop shop".

Sunopsis is optimized for heterogeneous IT environments but Oracle has committed to continuing Sunopsis' ability to support Oracle and non-Oracle data sources and targets. I guess time will tell on that one.

"Real-time information access, next-generation architectures and more mixed IT environments are driving increased requirements for sophisticated, fast, heterogeneous data integration solutions," said Thomas Kurian, senior vice president, Oracle Server Technologies. "Oracle and Sunopsis have complementary products with a shared focused on delivering the very best data integration products to our customers."

Not much else is known at this time but according to the press release, Oracle will provide more information to the general public at Oracle OpenWorld conference in two weeks.

Sure does put a damper on Sunopsis' brand new partnership with Netezza though. The Sunopsis Open Connector for Netezza was redesigned to integrate the Netezza Performance Server® (NPS®) data warehouse appliance with the ETL platform Sunopsis Data Conductor. But then again, who knows -- maybe Oracle will buy Netezza next...

Yours in BI Success.


Posted October 9, 2006 8:00 AM
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OK -- I admit it... Every now and then, I do things other than BI. I was surfing YouTube and found this gem. Let me know what you think. And yes, these are two dimensional not three. Holy cow!

Click here to be amazed at an artist's talent. Your comments are welcome!

OK -- a number of people asked me who the artist is. He is a British guy whose sidewalk art appears throughout Great Britain and Europe. Click here to find out more about him.

Posted October 2, 2006 8:40 AM
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