Friday, April 30, 2010

Wisdom of Crowds BI Market Study (TM) Webinar Takes Place On May 24th

Dear Friends,

I am pleased to announce that the Wisdom of Crowds Business Intelligence Market Study ™ Live Webinar, is scheduled for May 24th at 12:00 Noon EDT.

As you know, we published the findings from the Wis
dom of Crowds Business Intelligence Market Study ™ on April 5th.

This highly successful, groundbreaking study™ was created as a way to give a voice to those actually using BI solutions (i.e., “crowds sourcing”), creating a new and different perspective for measuring BI vendors and products in the market.

Now, on May 24, 2010 at 12:00 Noon Eastern time, I will host a live webinar - where I‘ll personally discuss the findings from this important study and answer key questions, such as …
  • Which vendors are a best fit – based on size, geography and vertical industry?
  • Which products excel in what areas (e.g., usability, scalability, ease of administration, etc)?
  • Which vendors will offer the best value and overall experience – long and short term (e.g., buying experience, technical support, consulting services)?
  • Which vendors offer the greatest viability (e.g., which are best established, growing, etc.)?
  • And, much, much more …


You’ll also have an opportunity to submit questions – directly to me – that will be addressed in the Webinar.

For those that have already purchased the full study, this event is free. For all others, the webinar can be purchased for a modest $295.


Looking forward to having you join me on the 24th for what promises to be a most valuable event!



Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Gartner BI Summit Message: Users and IT must align?

In the lead keynote presentation at the recent Gartner Business Intelligence Summit, a point was made to underscore the fundamental (and troublesome) differences between the IT function and end users - e.g., culture, language, perspective. This was done through a series of video vignettes with two analysts role-playing IT and Finance.

To some long-time Gartner followers, it was reminiscent of a presentation/skit that Frank Buytendijk and I delivered while at Gartner (circa 2002) called the "BI Paradox". In it Frank played the business user and I played the "IT guy" (that's me with the propeller hat on the left!) Eight years ago we confronted those same issues - with Frank requesting the latest user tool (a "magic 8 ball") and me offering a more "robust" solution
(a Radio Shack electronics kit - remember the ones with the web of color coded wires?)

The point being, IT (~90% of conference attendees) and end users still have very different perspectives when it comes to Business Intelligence. While some conference presentations surfaced this issue and offered some potential solutions - elsewhere the term "rogue user" was heard as a way to describe unruly business users who attempt to forge their own BI destiny. Granted, some users aren't cooperative, but most just want BI their way and they want it quickly. So while the "rogue" rhetoric may offer some comfort to beleaguered IT people, it doesn't help to solve the problem. Instead it encourages an unproductive divisiveness.

This issue is underscored by the chart (below), which comes from my recent Wisdom of Crowds Business Intelligence Market Study (TM), indicating that user-driven BI initiatives are on the rise - indicating an ongoing struggle between IT and the business for ownership of BI.

(click on image to enlarge)

In my keynote at Gartner's event, I presented content from my latest book, Profiles in Performance - Business Intelligence Journeys and the Roadmap for Change, where I attempted to tackle these same issues - using my Performance Culture Maturity Model (TM). I discussed what I call the "four essential forces", which must be present to create a performance-directed culture - an important precursor to real BI success. Two of these forces include "organizational activism" and "business advocacy". Sadly, users representing these forces are often misunderstood by IT and labeled as "rogues".

I am reminded of Cleveland Clinic, one of the case studies in my latest book. Their BI initiative (and early performance-directed culture) was driven by Medical Operations and Finance - great examples of both business advocacy and organizational activism. Branded an "alien application" (aka "rogues") and isolated by the IT Department, they had to "go it alone". This persisted until new leadership emerged with a new vision and renewed common purpose - which included performance-directed culture and BI as centerpieces. Now their very successful enterprise BI program is jointly owned by the business and IT .

In my opinion these user "rogues" should not be feared, rejected, isolated or controlled. They should be celebrated, embraced and partnered with. This is not to say that the path forward is an easy one. It is not. The average time it took the case study organizations in my book to approach a performance-directed culture was 8 years!

My recommendation: take a "rogue" to lunch this week and begin the process towards performance-directed culture and strategic success with Business Intelligence!

As always, I welcome your comments!


About The Wisdom of Crowds BI Market Study (TM):

The “Wisdom of Crowds” Business Intelligence Market Study was created as a way to give a voice to those actually using BI solutions (i.e., “crowds sourcing”), creating a new and different perspective for measuring BI vendors and products in the market.

The Wisdom of Crowds BI Market Study Findings and Analysis Report includes 68 pages of in-depth market and vendor analysis including over 25 pages of detailed vendor and product analysis, comparisons and rankings.

Order and download your copy today by visiting the official Wisdom of Crowds BI Market Study website at