Tag Archives: business user
Maybe the word “death” is a bit strong, so let’s say “demise” instead. Recently I read an article in the Harvard Business Review around how Big Data and Data Scientists will rule the world of the 21st century corporation and how they have to operate for maximum value. The thing I found rather disturbing was that it takes a PhD – probably a few of them – in a variety of math areas to give executives the necessary insight to make better decisions ranging from what product to develop next to who to sell it to and where.
Don’t get me wrong – this is mixed news for any enterprise software firm helping businesses locate, acquire, contextually link, understand and distribute high-quality data. The existence of such a high-value role validates product development but it also limits adoption. It is also great news that data has finally gathered the attention it deserves. But I am starting to ask myself why it always takes individuals with a “one-in-a-million” skill set to add value. What happened to the democratization of software? Why is the design starting point for enterprise software not always similar to B2C applications, like an iPhone app, i.e. simpler is better? Why is it always such a gradual “Cold War” evolution instead of a near-instant French Revolution?
Why do development environments for Big Data not accommodate limited or existing skills but always accommodate the most complex scenarios? Well, the answer could be that the first customers will be very large, very complex organizations with super complex problems, which they were unable to solve so far. If analytical apps have become a self-service proposition for business users, data integration should be as well. So why does access to a lot of fast moving and diverse data require scarce PIG or Cassandra developers to get the data into an analyzable shape and a PhD to query and interpret patterns?
I realize new technologies start with a foundation and as they spread supply will attempt to catch up to create an equilibrium. However, this is about a problem, which has existed for decades in many industries, such as the oil & gas, telecommunication, public and retail sector. Whenever I talk to architects and business leaders in these industries, they chuckle at “Big Data” and tell me “yes, we got that – and by the way, we have been dealing with this reality for a long time”. By now I would have expected that the skill (cost) side of turning data into a meaningful insight would have been driven down more significantly.
Informatica has made a tremendous push in this regard with its “Map Once, Deploy Anywhere” paradigm. I cannot wait to see what’s next – and I just saw something recently that got me very excited. Why you ask? Because at some point I would like to have at least a business-super user pummel terabytes of transaction and interaction data into an environment (Hadoop cluster, in memory DB…) and massage it so that his self-created dashboard gets him/her where (s)he needs to go. This should include concepts like; “where is the data I need for this insight?’, “what is missing and how do I get to that piece in the best way?”, “how do I want it to look to share it?” All that is required should be a semi-experienced knowledge of Excel and PowerPoint to get your hands on advanced Big Data analytics. Don’t you think? Do you believe that this role will disappear as quickly as it has surfaced?
As companies increasingly explore master data management (MDM), we often hear inquiries about the usability of master data by business users.
Common questions include: Do business users need to learn and use a separate MDM application? Do they need support from IT to access master data? Can master data fit into the everyday business applications they use for CRM, SFA, ERP, supply chain management, and so forth?
A few months ago we blogged MDM for the Business Masses, where we speculated that custom data governance applications for MDM would be the next step to enable business users to directly create and consume master data. We saw further evidence of this through Dan Power’s white paper detailing how proactive data governance – MDM hub as a system of entry – would be the next wave to benefit organizations looking to take the next step in their MDM journey.
It is exactly with this in mind that we released Siperian Business Data Director (BDD), a configurable data governance application that provides an intuitive, business-user focused, and easy-to-use interface by leveraging the Siperian MDM Hub services and MDM solution components. Since then our customers and partners have been busy using BDD in a variety of ways such as integrating with custom widgets and bringing in data from sources outside of the hub so that business users can view everything from within a single user interface through the BDD.
At the upcoming Siperian Masters User Conference scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, October 20-21 at the Hyatt Regency, Princeton, New Jersey, there will be a session where some of the most innovative BDD configurations and integrations will be showcased. The best, as voted on by a panel of judges and the audience, will receive the first ever coveted Gooey Award.
This contest, apart from being fun and interesting, highlights the fact that the most successful implementations for MDM come from adaptable and configurable platforms that allow an organization to gradually extend their MDM deployments as their business needs change. Throughout their MDM journey, they can also learn and benefit from best practices encapsulated as MDM solution components (BDD specific or otherwise) thereby ensuring their success.