Business Intelligence Blog from arcplan
26Oct/120

Teradata PARTNERS User Group Conference 2012 Recap

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I just got back from the Teradata PARTNERS Conference in Washington D.C. – once again a a great event for learning from experts in the industry, listening to real-world examples on challenges with managing and leveraging huge data volumes, and networking with our fellow Teradata partners and customers alike.

It was my second consecutive year at the event, and what struck me most this year was that the topics have clearly shifted from managing big data to leveraging big data. Obviously, data volumes are exploding due to social media and clickstream data, sensor data and other sources and will only continue to grow. This year’s conference, however, was all about Analytics – how to use those data to drive business benefits. And there were great examples given at the conference.

In one of his presentations, Stephen Brobst, CTO of Teradata, described the benefits of collecting weather data around retail stores to determine whether conditions have a significant impact on food consumption in the store (e.g. the deli section). He said combining external weather forecasts with internal operational data and analytical information allows stores to adjust staffing and supplies for a huge impact on the bottom line.

Shaun Connolly, Program Director of Global Industry Solution at Teradata, described an example of how FedEx was able to save $60 million in staffing per year…

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24Oct/120

Cloud BI: The Data Integration Challenge

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In recent weeks, I came across a handful of articles and research reports about the public’s perception of cloud computing and how many Americans don’t seem to understand the concept, yet already use and depend on the cloud despite this lack of understanding. The good news is that business leaders generally have a better understanding of what the cloud has to offer, including the untapped potential of cloud computing to create an integrated picture of business content. Organizations are starting to develop cloud computing strategies to provide context to business operations.

Despite the hype around cloud computing and cloud BI, the real adoption of cloud BI systems is relatively low, according to Howard Dresner’s 2012 Wisdom of Crowds Cloud BI Market Study and a Gartner report earlier this year on the major drivers of BI revenue. The delay in adoption isn’t because business managers fail to see the value of the cloud; simply put, the barriers to cloud BI adoption are very practical ones – data integration and security being the most frequently cited. arcplan has addressed these concerns previously in our webinar, A Roadmap for BI Cloud Computing, but in this post, I’ll explore how businesses are proactively addressing cloud BI data integration concerns.

Business leaders who have implemented cloud BI give positive feedback, naming process efficiency, effectiveness, and gaining a competitive advantage as some of the benefits. But what takes cloud BI to the next level is uniting data from multiple data sources within their organization and leveraging external data resources to get comparable benchmarks. This last piece is only possible in a cloud environment.

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19Oct/120

How Metro/Windows 8 Design is Transforming Mobile BI Apps: Part II

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In my last article, I wrote about why arcplan advocates Metro design for business intelligence apps. I discussed how Metro design is great for mobile BI, with speed, intuitive navigation, and motion built in. Today I’d like to address another reason why Metro (or Modern UI) design is ideal for BI apps, like dashboards, scorecards and mobile reports.

Information prioritization. It’s a concept important to every busy person. Wouldn’t it be nice if your phone or tablet would just tell you what’s important?! Now it can thanks to the Metro/Windows 8 concept of “live tiles.”

The fact is that all legacy BI today is infrastructure to manage our stuff. Organizations track thousands of KPIs – so many that we’re unable to keep track of the KPIs themselves. We’ve lost control of the “BI animal” to the point where it’s very common for designers to create new BI content like reports and dashboards, publish them, and forget what happened to them. Then the same reports get created again and again. In many cases, that new content may never be utilized because no one can find it. The result is that BI systems are simply organizing and managing “BI hoarding.”

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16Oct/120

Meet arcplan at the Teradata PARTNERS User Group Conference

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If you’re planning to attend the Teradata PARTNERS User Group Conference in Washington D.C. next week, we invite you to stop by booth #309 to meet a few members of the arcplan team – our CEO Roland Hӧlscher, our Director of Strategic Alliances Jan Panthel, our Director of Sales Pete Flagella, and our Senior Pre-Sales Engineer Wayne Chambliss.

It’s our second appearance at the conference, where we’re Silver Sponsors. We’ll also be highlighting our Teradata OLAP connectivity at a reception on Tuesday, October 23rd (registration ends TODAY, so sign up now!). This event is hosted by our partner Simba Technologies. Stop by for to see how arcplan uses the OLAP Connector and enjoy appetizers, refreshments, networking with Teradata subject matter experts, and the chance to win great prizes (like an iPad and a Samsung Galaxy Tab).

arcplan is one of the few partners in the Teradata partner ecosystem to leverage the Teradata OLAP connector, which, along with arcplan’s data input and write-back capabilities, allows us to enable CPM solutions on top of Teradata. This ability was featured in this month’s issue of Teradata Magazine.

The Teradata PARTNERS User Group Conference gathers executives, business analysts, data scientists and technologists to showcase innovative and world-class methodologies for data integration, big data analytics, operations, integrated marketing management, and more.

Hope to see you there!

12Oct/120

How Metro/Windows 8 Design is Transforming Mobile BI Apps: Part I

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Last year on this blog, our SVP of Global Marketing Tiemo Winterkamp said that 2012 would be the year that mobile design standards emerge. In the same article, he predicted that Microsoft would be back in a big way with a new design language called Metro that would make mobile apps friendlier than ever. He was right on both counts, except that now Metro is called “Windows 8 design” or “Modern UI Design,” rumored to be because of possible infringement on the name of a company called Metro AG. Either way, Windows 8 is influencing mobile interface design well beyond Microsoft products. In fact, it’s transforming the way we design mobile BI apps − for the better.

Why do mobile apps need special design rules? A parallel is how nearly every company has a mobile version of their website. It’s the same content but it adapts to the user’s device, incorporating larger buttons, bigger fonts, etc. This idea is known as Responsive Design (depending on the target device, a completely adapted layout will be launched). Mobile traffic is currently only 10% of all global web traffic, yet we’ve created a set of design standards for experiencing websites on mobile devices. In the same way, mobile BI use is a small percentage of overall business intelligence usage, but it’s growing and it demands to be accommodated.

So why does arcplan advocate the Windows 8 design style for mobile apps?

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