Software is eating the world. Today's reality is Big Data, IoT, and SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics, and Cloud). On my general blog, I cover BI products such as R, Tableau, Information Builders (IBI) WebFOCUS, IBM Cognos, SAP Business Objects, Actuate, Microstrategy, SAS, QlikView, and others. Here, I give my personal opinions on WebFOCUS.
An independent adviser and Solutions Consultant, I help companies make better decisions through the effective use of BI/Analytics software and data.
Monday, February 14, 2011
BI Valentine Card
I asked the Partner Intelligence consultants what it was that they loved about the software product in which they had dedicated their careers.
Rob in Indiana, the very first BI consultant to join me at Partner Intelligence years ago, did not waste any time sharing his feelings:
I'm not one to profess love for inanimate things, but I did develop an extreme fondness for WebFOCUS when I was introduced to it over a decade ago. A network technician at the time, I had very little experience with any kind of application programming other than some batch scripting. I also had limited exposure to any database technologies. But here I was, tasked with learning a web-based BI product and support a higher education community of thirty users.
In less than a month, I accomplished this task. I was absolutely shocked at this powerful report tools' ease of use. Using WebFOCUS, we were able to deliver critical information for extremely important decisions such as Admissions and Financial Aid planning. My fondness grew into a passion and led me to learn as much as I possibly could about this "miracle" tool.
My fondness for WebFOCUS led to a career that has presented me with exciting challenges and opportunities that dwarf anything I would have ever experienced as a systems techie. And because of that.... I guess I do LOVE WebFOCUS.
And Marisa in Tennessee was quick to provide her thoughts:
I have seen a variety of companies use WebFOCUS for BI solutions, from the food industry to healthcare, financial to government. Dashboards, Adhoc reporting, you name it, firms have probably done it with WebFOCUS. Personally, I have used WebFOCUS for more years than I care to admit (back in the days when "Web" wasn't even part of its name).
Using this enterprise product, you can get to any kind of data you need: mainframe, SQL server, Oracle, ESSBASE, and the list just goes on. Luckily, when Information Builders added "Web" to the FOCUS 4GL, they didn't forget that many companies have legacy data and systems that still need to be run and accessed.
At one time, I worked for a major retail company that has been using Information Builders' products since the 1980s. Even today, this company still stores its financial data in legacy databases and both FOCUS and WebFOCUS work together to handle it. Good old FOCUS extracts the information and WebFOCUS produces pretty reports that decision-makers see.
In short, WebFOCUS is hard to beat if you want to be able to do it all.
On this Valentine's Day, tell your BI vendor what you love about their software products.
I am a project-based consultant, helping data-intensive firms use agile methods and automation tools to replace legacy reporting and bring in modern BI/Analytics to leverage Social, Cloud, Mobile, Big Data, Visualizations, and Predictive Analytics. For several world-class vendors, I led services teams specializing in providing software implementation and custom application development. Based on scores of successful engagements, I have assembled proven methodologies and automated software tools.
During twenty years of technical consulting, I have been blessed to work with smart people from some of the world's most respected organizations, including: 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, graduating summa cum laude. In 1990, I joined Information Builders, the vendor of WebFOCUS BI and iWay enterprise integration products, and for over a dozen years served in branch leadership roles. For several years, I also led technical teams within Cincom Systems' ERP software product group and the 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.