Does Current Financial Crisis Impact BI Investments?

Reuters reports that “Fear returned to Wall Street on Wednesday, sending the S&P 500 to another 4 percent decline, triggered by worries that Europe’s debt crisis could engulf French banks and spill onto the U.S. financial sector.”

Uncertainty is a common theme in economies worldwide at this time. Companies with Business Intelligence have a competitive advantage in ‘uncertain times.’ Business Intelligence and Predictive Analysis can forecast the future of the market, competition, and help with planning budgets and investments.

Although businesses intelligence provides a great way for organizations to view information as a strategic asset, available options in the market are either priced very high or require long implementation cycles. A struggling economy puts even more pressure on customers’ buying agendas. Stories of our customers validate this fact and shed new light into how businesses are coping with tough economic times:

  • After excessive maintenance and upgrade costs for an existing Oracle BI, Otto International looked to Pentaho for a BI solution that not only dramatically reduces ongoing costs, but is also a modern and scalable solution for their complex and time-consuming BI tasks.

“Working with BrainChild and Pentaho, we’ve been able to improve our BI capabilities and dramatically reduce our ongoing BI costs.” – Otto International, An International Trading Organization

  • London Oncology Clinic selected Pentaho over SAP Business Objects because SAP’s price per additional user created a large uplift, inhibiting their staff, senior management, and board to benefit from reports on treatment types and diagnoses.

“We entered negotiations with Business Objects, but the price-level limited our options.” – London Oncology Clinic, Europe’s Top Cancer Treatment Facility

  • After going through a cumbersome and manual process for creating and distributing reports manually, BNSF Logistics was able to build its data analysis and reporting in just 6 weeks after purchasing Pentaho.

“Not only did we deliver a powerful business intelligence tool set for our organization in short order, but were able to do so at a fraction of the cost of proprietary alternatives.” – BNSF Logistics, Leading Supply Chain Company 

As an alternative to reading the depressing headlines about the economy, I suggest a white paper that reveals low cost, high value alternatives to BI. Leading Industry Analyst, Mark Madsen compares open source BI pricing to other BI tools that carry a hefty price tag and long implementation cycles. Hopefully the results in this report will give you a glimmer of hope in the days of rising prices and falling economy.

–          Farnaz Erfan, Product Marketing, Pentaho

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The New School of BI: An Agile BI Practical Guide

According to The Data Warehousing Institute (TDWI), “Agile business intelligence addresses a broad need to enable flexibility by accelerating the time it takes to deliver value with BI projects.”

Essentially, TDWI’s definition of Agile BI is doing more in less time. Of course, that sounds very appealing, but the question is: How does Agile BI accomplish more in less time?

As a pioneer in Agile BI, Pentaho has interviewed several customers using our Agile BI solution and have found that the most effective approach to BI includes the following actions:

  • Creating smaller projects that add up to the big picture
  • Rapidly deploying the initial solution, focusing on a few reports or metrics at a time
  • Building on that foundation with frequent iterations and checkpoints
  • Facilitating constant collaboration between Business and IT  throughout the life of the project

By starting small and growing bigger through multiple iterations, Agile BI creates a rapid development environment for BI project teams and avoids keeping IT working in a vacuum. These projects stay on track and improve over time through constant collaboration between business and technical users.

Unfortunately, most of practitioners still approach BI the old-school way. This is due to the industry culture, outdated skills in the market and access to only traditional/proprietary BI tools that have dominated the market for the past 10 to 20 years.

The times have changed. The BI buyer now has several options such as: Data Discovery tools, Cloud-based and hosted solutions, and unified Data Integration and Visualization platforms. The new school rules have opened the playing field making it easier for BI practitioners to be more productive and get something up and running quickly.

Download the Agile BI Practical Guide – How to Lead your BI Project with a Brand New Approach which was developed from interviewing our customers who have previous experience with other BI tools before choosing Pentaho. The guide summarizes the top three major reasons that BI projects fail and describes a simple four-step process for solving these issues.

If you are attending TDWI World Conference in San Diego this week make sure to stop by our booth (#209) to learn more about Pentaho Agile BI.

– Farnaz Erfan, Pentaho, Product Marketing

This blog was originally posted on Business Intelligence from the Swamp.