Thursday, September 13, 2012

Gerry Cohen talks of Starting Information Builders

In a recent interview, Gerry Cohen talked about the driving force for starting Information Builders in 1975.

Basically, he and his co-founders saw a business need to enable non-programmers to build BI reporting applications without the assistance of IT professionals.

Three decades ago, that was the FOCUS 4GL, where the 4GL was to be a replacement for 3GL programming languages such as COBOL. Today, the BI product for non-programmers is WebFOCUS.

That makes me wonder, is that why Information Builders is changing the name of their WebFOCUS IDE "Developer Studio" to become "Application Studio?" Do they want to get rid of the inference that "developers" are needed to build WebFOCUS BI solutions?

Having worked with IBI since 1983, I see a natural progression to have their intelligence products become more and more friendly to the power user community and less of an offering to IT professionals.

IBI may have been one of the first vendors to recognize that BI is in a strange boundary region situated somewhere between IT and business. People who specialize in Business Intelligence have to straddle the regions of technology and business, with no real place to call home.

To read the entire article, click here.

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About Me

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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.