Monday, June 8, 2009

Summit 2009 - Day Two | Boris Evelson

Boris Evelson, Principal Analyst for Forrester Research, spoke today at the Information Builders' Summit 2009 in Nashville on the next-generation of Business Intelligence. Boris' studies show a continued uptick in BI software interest. In fact, out of the over 1000 IT decision makers surveyed, none were decreasing or stopping their BI initiatives. Over a quarter of the individuals expressed interest in BI and almost one-third indicated a "greenfield" where BI was not yet implemented within the organization.

Boris said that the number one question that people ask him is how to prove BI ROI. Boris admitted that few people know how to do BI and that calculating returns is difficult. He stressed that a big mistake is starting with technology. Instead, Boris recommended some best practices for addressing BI applications which focused on executive sponsorship, user types and their unique requirements, using industry-standard models if possible, and assessing current environment. Boris also recommended bringing in external expertise to up the odds of your BI initiative.

When discussing BI ROI, Boris covered general topics such as automating manual processes, consolidating, upgrading, and creating advanced BI usages. At the bottom of his list was enterprise BI solutions, whose scopes can be too large to justify a business case for moving forward.

While the next-generation BI solution may be a fairy tale today, Boris feels we are getting closer to reality. For next-gen BI, Boris lists 4 attributes: automated, pervasive, unified, and limitless. For more information, see the Forrester Research blog.

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I am a project-based software consultant, specializing in automating transitions from legacy reporting applications into modern BI/Analytics to leverage Social, Cloud, Mobile, Big Data, Visualizations, and Predictive Analytics using Information Builders' WebFOCUS. Based on scores of successful engagements, I have assembled proven Best Practice methodologies, software tools, and templates.

I have been blessed to work with innovators from firms such as: Ford, FedEx, Procter & Gamble, Nationwide, The Wendy's Company, The Kroger Co., JPMorgan Chase, MasterCard, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Siemens, American Express, and others.

I was educated at Valparaiso University and the University of Cincinnati, where I graduated summa cum laude. In 1990, I joined Information Builders and for over a dozen years served in regional pre- and post-sales technical leadership roles. Also, for several years I led the US technical services teams within Cincom Systems' ERP software product group and the Midwest custom software services arm of Xerox.

Since 2007, I have provided enterprise BI services such as: strategic advice; architecture, design, and software application development of intelligence systems (interactive dashboards and mobile); data warehousing; and automated modernization of legacy reporting. My experience with BI products include WebFOCUS (vendor certified expert), R, SAP Business Objects (WebI, Crystal Reports), Tableau, and others.