The BI World is small. Therefore, market news and opinions are dominated by software vendors and industry analysts. No surprise! There are, of course, many tech-savvy people who write about their software of choice and best practices associated with that technology. Technical communities around Microsoft SQL Server and related BI components, for example, are abound. The same is true for open source communities where information sharing is part of their members’ DNA.
However, it is very hard to find truly objective advice and opinions about the marketplace and available tools. On the one hand, this is caused by a wide selection of BI technologies still available today, even after the market consolidation of 2007-2008. You will be hard pressed to find so-called BI specialists who have a good grasp on a broad cross-section of the market segment. On the other hand, there are obvious commercial interests driving news and commentary from market analysts, at the same time providing the manpower to assess the capabilities of the majority of vendors.
How does one follow the trends in the Business Intelligence space? I guess by now everybody uses Google Alerts, RSS Feeds or other commercial intelligence tools to stay abreast on product and market developments. Joining groups on Linkedin or Yahoo are other ways of staying in touch with the BI community. When it comes to analyst blogs, I really enjoy reading the BIScorecard by Cindy Howson. While she apparently has deeper expertise in some technologies, her blog posts are written in an informative and balanced manner. Haven’t read any of her research yet, but that might change :-)
What is your approach to following business intelligence and what blogs do you recommend?