Business Intelligence Skills

Boris Evelson

So you have gone through the Discover and Plan of your Business Intelligence (BI) strategy and are ready to staff your BI support organization. What skills, experience, expertise and qualifications should you be looking for?

  • Since the term BI is often used to also include data management processes and technologies, let's assume that in your case you are only looking for expertise required to build reports and dashboards and it does not include
    • Data integration (ETL, etc) expertise
    • Data governance (master data management, data quality, etc) expertise
    • Data modelling (relational and multidimensional) expertise
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Want To Create Action From Big Data? Look At Enterprise Insight Platform Suites

Brian  Hopkins

By now firms are deep into their big data investments — and frustrated. Too many new and rapidly evolving technologies are built on an open source and named after a bunch of zoo animals. The term insight platform has struck a chord with technology buyers exactly because it offers a path out of this mess. In fact, insight platform was the number-one emerging technology in terms of investment and interest in Forrester’s Q3 2016 Global State Of Enterprise Architecture And Portfolio Management Online Survey.

What exactly is an insight platform though? I introduced the term in my May blog post Insight Platforms Have Arrived and then refined it and explained the vendor landscape in my August post Tame The Beast: Forrester’s Insight Platform Vendor Landscape. Over the last few months, we have been conducting a Forrester Wave™ evaluation of the most mature segment of the market, enterprise insight platform suites, which are:

“…Integrated or partially integrated suites of data management, analytics, and insight execution components that require some integration and configuration to form a platform.”

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Velocity with quality mandates a model based approach to ARA tools and DevOps

Robert Stroud

DevOps velocity mandates change velocity

Enterprises today are focusing on delivering applications faster to drive customer experiences and drive business transformation to meet rising expectations. For some, faster delivery is simply faster time to disappointment where the delivery process is shoddy and speed is the only metric. Speed without quality in an oxymoron – and extremely dangerous. The automation of the process known as Application Release Automation (ARA) is one of the critical impediments in the DevOps journey for I&O organizations today. ARA tools are designed to remove errors from manual processes by standardizing and automating the movement of applications with middleware and infrastructure – the critical final step in the delivery pipeline of applications to deliver customer value.

Continuous delivery is the goal; ARA tools are the vehicles to get there

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Amazon Go Ushers In A New Era In Retail Technology

Nigel Fenwick

Amazon's new Amazon Go store ushers in a new era in brick and mortar grocery and convenience shopping. In the early 80's, electronic point of sale (POS) dramatically changed the checkout experience in grocery stores, speeding up checkout lines. Today, a checkout without POS is unthinkable unless it's a farm stand on the side of the road … and even here we're likely to see Square hooked up to a smartphone. But even with POS, the checkout has always been the big time waster in any grocery shopping experience. Until this week.

Six years ago, "The Ultimate Grocery Shopping App" described a future in which the grocery shopping experience was radically different from what existed in 2010. This week, Amazon has brought part of that vision to life by opening its first Amazon Go brick and mortar convenience store for Amazon employees in Seattle. A convenience store with no checkout lines … with no checkout.

Gone are the POS systems. Welcome to the era of automatic checkout. Amazon has used new technologies like image recognition and machine learning to go beyond at least some of the experience predicted back in 2010. Instead of shoppers having to scan items into their shopping cart, Amazon uses this advanced technology to track what shoppers pick up and add to their cart and what they put back on the shelf. No scanning, no checkout … just walk out and pay.

Why will this take off? Becuase it gives shoppers back significant time savings and it gives retailers potentially enormous costs savings.

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APM Is Hot. Don't Laugh, I'm Serious.

I cover the APM market for I&O professionals, and it seems that every week I am briefed by yet another vendor entering the APM market. I wonder “What’s the attraction? Why is APM so hot?” Maybe it’s the mess.

I’m weird. I like cleaning up after Thanksgiving dinner. Why? Because it’s a huge mess. A little effort produces the dramatic result of a clean kitchen, ready for the next attack:  leftovers.

In September Forrester published The Forrester Wave™: Application Performance Management, Q3 2016. For vendors entering the APM market, it’s your guide to be a contender. For clients seeking an APM solution, it’s your guide to what’s available.

The Wave evaluates fourteen vendors on twenty-eight criteria.  We selected these fourteen as key players based on their functionality, market presence and the fact that they are most frequently mentioned in our conversations with clients.  Of course there are more than fourteen APM vendors in the market.   

For a bigger list of vendors, see the Forrester report Vendor Landscape: Application Performance Management, Including Mobile APM, Q2 2016.It includes twenty-six vendors, and even that isn’t all of them -- more vendors enter the APM market every week.

The “mess” that attracts vendors to this market is that I&O teams face an eternal battle to deliver…

  • faster service
  • to more users
  • by improving monitoring and management
  • of software, hardware, virtual-ware, and cloud
  • that grows more complex daily through:
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Developers: Will AI Run You Out Of Your Job?

Diego Lo Giudice

Much has been written about how artificial intelligence (AI) will put white-collar workers out of a job eventually. Will robots soon be able to do what programmers do best — i.e., write software programs? Actually, if you are or were a developer, you’ve probably already written or used software programs that can generate other software programs. That’s called code generation; in the past, it was done through “next” generation programming languages (such as a second-, third-, fourth-, or even fifth-generation languages), today are called low code IDEs. But also Java, C and C++ geeks have been turning high level graphical models like UML or BPML into code. But that’s not what I am talking about: I am talking about a robot (or bot) or AI software system that, if given a business requirement in natural language, can write the code to implement it — or even come up with its own idea and write a program for it.

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Another Agency Gets Gobbled Up: Accenture Announces The Acquisition Of Karmarama

Anjali Yakkundi

Over the past few years, we’ve seen a flurry of consultancies acquiring agencies. Acquity, BGT Partners, Lunar, and Cynergy  are just some of the agencies that have been scooped up. The agencies and consultancy convergence has radically altered the conversation for marketers looking to purchase marketing services. They now have a new category of provider to consider and new capabilities to assess across the board. And marketers are paying attention: 73% of marketers told us in a recent survey that they were somewhat open, open, or very open to using consultancies for digital marketing work.

 
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North American Life Insurers Are In Digital Denial

Ellen Carney

Are you feeling wistful about what online insurance experiences used to be?  Can’t remember how to get back to the Wayback Machine?  You can indulge that nostalgia by simply shopping online for life insurance.

 Beginning in Q3, we looked at 13 websites—nine carriers, two online agencies, and one aggregator—in the US and Canada to get a sense of how easy it was for someone who was interested in buying a basic term life policy to use digital channels learn about coverage options, get an estimate, find and connect with an agent or advisor, and apply (up to the binding process).[i]

What prompted us to explore the digital buying experience for American and Canadian life insurance shoppers?  Our data showed that when considering life insurance, shoppers:

  • Turn to personal connections. The financial dynamics of the family and social networks play an important role in the insurance research process, especially for younger buyers. Nearly 4 in 10 Americans said that they had used friends and family to research life insurance, while 13% of Canadians said that they had spoken with family or friends about the coverage.  These personal connections are manifest through comments like, “I bought my life insurance from Company X (or Agent Y). You should check them out”, whereupon the dutiful relation goes to the life insurer’ or agent’s website.
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How Can You Define The Right Social Approach And Tactics In Asia Pacific?

Xiaofeng Wang

Marketers in Asia Pacific are increasingly investing in social marketing — and they expect great returns on their investments. Our latest report tells how to Understand Social Consumers To Achieve Marketing Success In Asia Pacific and uses Forrester’s Social Technographics® model to better define the right social approach and tactics in the region in three steps:

  • First, study whether your audience uses social media to interact with brands. Based on social savvy, we categorize audiences into four groups: Social Stars, Social Savvies, Social Snackers, and Social Skippers.

Highlights: Metro Indian (Social Stars) and metro Chinese consumers (just three points shy of being Social Stars) are the most social-savvy and demand social interactions with brands.

  • Second, find the phase of the customer life cycle in which your audience uses social media. To succeed, focus your social strategies on the life cycle stages where your customers are most likely to use social tools: when discovering, exploring, buying, using, asking, or engaging.

Highlights: China and India are also the two markets where social commerce may have the best chance; each has an extremely high social buy score.

  • Third, see which social behaviors and sites your audience prefers. The Social Technographics Intensity Matrix reveals the social behaviors your customers engage in and the types of sites where they engage in those behaviors to decide your social tactics.
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The Hidden Power Of Mobile

Thomas Husson

Most marketers agree that mobile is a strategic priority. However, they fail to appreciate the true power of mobile: its ability to radically improve their entire marketing plan by linking consumer online and offline behaviors.

While consumers use mobile as a sixth sense to digitize the offline world, marketers still think of mobile as a subdigital channel.

Marketers must reconsider mobile’s role in their entire marketing plan. They should:

  • Link Mobile To Offline To Unlock Its Full Potential

To bridge digital and offline marketing, marketers must rethink the total impact of mobile ads, use mobile to augment traditional marketing campaigns, and apply mobile data to improve overall marketing effectiveness. Mobile data is the new customer gold mine, providing both personal data on individuals and the world they live in as well as contextual data combining offline and online behaviors in real time.

  • Start Measuring Offline Attribution Now

Marketers must put mobile at the heart of their identity resolution plan and work with data partners to make the most of emerging mobile offline attribution solutions. Given the importance of sales in physical stores, it matters to understand not just if mobile drives traffic to store but the extent to which it increases total sales.

Clients willing to know more, “The Hidden Power of Mobile” Report is available here.

According to Forrester’s mobile maturity framework, less than 20% of brands leverage mobile to transform the entire offline experience. If you want to benchmark your own mobile maturity, take about 20 minutes to answer our questionnaire. We will share back with you the aggregated topline results.