TIME TO THINK

Flipping the BI Model

Pundits who focus on BI and Big Data consistently estimate that roughly two-thirds of any BI initiative is spent profiling and identifying the data that will be used for analysis.  As a recovering data analyst – “Hi, my name is Lee.  I’m a statistician” – I appreciate their focus on the most time-consuming element in living the quantitative dream. 

But the statistic reminded me of another situation where advances in technology are changing the way things traditionally happen.  In educational circles, the latest technology-induced change is termed “flipping the classroom”.  Flipping reverses the focus of classroom and out-of-classroom activity – students use technology to master core material before each class and (precious) classroom time is spent applying and discussing what they’ve learned.

This set me thinking about the application of accessible technology that could ‘flip the BI model’ – by shifting analyst time from finding data to analyzing and communicating their insights to others. All of which led me to the following observations.

As easy as ‘1-2-3’

In my last post, I took the position that investments in data lakes and data warehouses - absent tools for analysts and data managers to identify and connect to specific, contextually appropriate data elements – create data friction, which causes real pain.  Unmentioned was the corresponding factor on the ‘demand’ side that’s making that friction real and pervasive – the explosive growth of accessible, elegant, and interactive BI tools like Tableau.

Arguably one of the easiest to use, most ubiquitous software applications to arise since Lotus popularized the spreadsheet in the mid-80’s, Tableau is leading a revolution in data-driven management and decision-making.  This week’s Tableau Conference 2015 in Las Vegas will attract close to 10,000 customer organizations making the leap from building formulas to visualizing information.  Just as the spreadsheet offered analysts unrivalled ability to create models of behavior, Tableau offers a new generation exceptional ability to discern trends and patterns in data.

But, like every other tool for BI /Big Data investigation, Tableau’s value is tied to the data supply chain.  Making it easier to find the information that needs analysis represents a real and certain way to increase the business value of an investment in tools like Tableau.  Technology pioneers like Lotus, Microsoft, and Borland each invested substantially to create technology that could provision data quickly and seamlessly into their spreadsheets. 

Who’s solving the most time-consuming, difficult, and productivity-sapping task for today’s analysts?

Attivio.  (<-- If you’re a Tableau user, this one’s for you)

Finding Data Should Be Simple …

… Like, buying a book.  For Tableau users, Attivio has just made it possible.

Our core technology for finding things is DNA-deep.  Automatically analyzing and organizing information is at the heart of enterprise-grade solutions we’ve delivered for more than eight years.  By turning technology’s focus to profiling and rapidly discovering the structure of data, Attivio is offering Tableau users the ability to ‘flip the BI model’ – by flipping the amount of time spent on data preparation and data analysis. 

This brief, three-minute video summarizes the Attivio semantic data catalog for Tableau – a new solution we’ll be showcasing in Las Vegas this week.  It delivers a compact, comprehensive solution for getting immediate visibility into and for provisioning the right data to Tableau.

WARNING: This video could change your life … or, possibly, enable one.

Get Your Tableau Motor Running

No Pain = Your Gain

The Attivio semantic data catalog for Tableau makes one of your favorite analytic tools easier to use and more productive – by reducing the friction that taxes your Big Data initiatives.  Specifically, it

  • Automates profiling and identification
  • Unifies isolated sources with a single, comprehensive catalog and
  • Provisions both the data model and data access directly to Tableau

Finding the right data is as easy as it should be … (see above) – self-service, free, and ‘virtual’ (so no data gets moved or harmed).

The results – you’ll arrive at insights sooner, with greater certainty and confidence; your analytic productivity will be transformed; and you’ll crush your project deadlines like never before.

Go ahead.  ‘Flip the BI model’ in your organization and expand its potential for better, data-driven decisions.  Do the analysis; you’ll love the upside.

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