Welcome to rediscoveringBI, Radiant Advisors’s eMagazine featuring articles from leading names in today’s BI industry and others we’ve discovered innovating in the BI community.

Today’s BI environment is all about rethinking how we do BI and imagining new, innovative ways to approach BI. The goal of Rediscovering BI is to be a leading industry publication that challenges readers to rethink, reexamine, and rediscover the way they approach business intelligence. We publish pieces that provide thought leadership, foster innovation, challenge the status quo, and inspire you to rediscover BI.

Check out the issues below to see what we’re talking about in rediscoveringBI. Remember, you can easily subscribe to receive each issue via email!



Lindy Ryan

Editor in Chief, rediscoveringBI

Research Director, Data Discovery and Visualization, Radiant Advisors

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January 2013 | Your 2013 BI Program

January 2013

With contributions from Neil Raden, Stephen Swoyer, and Craig Jordan, this month’s issue of Rediscovering BI kicks off 2013 by exploring predictions for the next year of BI, including how to apply analytics in your organization, what’s in store for the data warehouse, and what potential lessons the U.S. Agricultural Extension could offer the BICC.

Analytics in Your Organization: What to Do | Neil Raden

Today most organizations have at least partially migrated to an integrated operational platform — such as ERP or CRM — which streamlines operations, therefore eliminating much redundancy in supporting business processes. However, these integrated operational platforms have failed, so far, to deliver much analytical insight into operations. Today, organizations are turning their attention to finding insight (not just efficiency) to get a better grip on what is happening, and what is likely to happen — they are learning to apply “analytics” to their operations.

Predictions: Goodbye to All That | Stephen Swoyer

Right now, the data warehouse (DW) is in its death throes; by the end of 2013, it will perish. Fear not: at some point in 2013, the data warehouse will be resurrected. Confusingly, its “resurrection” — or, its reanimation – must (and will) precede formal recognition of its “death”. The data warehouse wants and needs to be re-imagined: this year, data management (DM) practitioners will do just that. Conceptually, then, the DW will be reborn.

Should we Teach the BICC to Farm? | Craig Jordan

The analogy that information technology (IT) workers are architects, designers, and developers makes sense. Many software solutions — especially those that automate operational processes — are like buildings, with clean lines, clear entrances and exits, and things inside and outside of it. But, the analogy breaks down when it comes to business intelligence (BI) solutions, which are much more organic.

Editor’s Pick: Socrates Reloaded by Frank Buytendijk

In Case You Missed it: December 2012


Lindy RyanEditor-in-Chief

December 2012 | 2013 Predictions

December 2012

With contributions from Frank Buytendijk, Richard Hackathorn, Wayne Eckerson, and Stephen Swoyer, this month’s issue of Rediscovering BI sets its sights on 2013, exploring industry thought leader’s predictions for the next year of BI, and specifically, what to expect in the next year of analytics.

The Ethics of Analytics: A New Perspective? | Frank Buytendijk

From the moment you start thinking about it, analytics are full of ethical issues that range beyond privacy concerns and risk management. Like with most issues of philosophical nature, there are no definitive answers: it is hard to determine what knowledge will bring harm. However, it is the responsibility of business analysts to be aware of the moral impact of modern technology and to actively debate the ethical issues emerging in analytics.

Immersive Intelligence: Discovering Your Company Through the Eyes of Your Data Warehouse | Richard Hackathorn

While traditional business intelligence (BI) fragments the business into small pieces, the Immersive Intelligence approach starts with the entire context and then allows detailed analyses to occur within the context of the whole. The challenge for Immersive Intelligence is to drive meaningful business insights through advanced visualization and collaborative analysis within this immersive virtual space.

The Future of Analytics: An Excerpt from “Secrets of Analytical Leaders” | Wayne Eckerson

In the next decade, analytical leaders will adopt new thinking and approaches. They will break away from the “one size fits all” architecture of the past. To meet emerging business demands, they will manage multiple domains of intelligence and their associated architectures, each of which is optimized for different classes of users and workloads. With a flexible approach to data architecture, analytical leaders will be able to better meet the information requirements of all its business users.

The Breathtaking Promise of Next-Gen Analytics | Stephen Swoyer

This year, the industry became intoxicated with the power of analytics as a sales and marketing tool — chiefly, as a boon to its own sales and marketing efforts. In the process, “analytics” became a placeholder — an effective deus ex machina – for the intractable or prohibitively difficult. Thanks to the “power” of analytics, the once-insoluble can be – will be – soon-and-inevitably solved. The truth, as often happens, is something of a mixed bag.

Editor’s Pick: Secrets of Analytical Leaders by Wayne Eckerson


Lindy RyanEditor-in-Chief

November 2012 | Information Delivery

November 2012

In this month’s issue of Rediscovering BI we sought out topics examining Information Delivery to explore the other side of the last month’s issue on Information Discovery, with contributions from Gian Di Loreto Ph.D, W. H. Inmon, Craig Jordan, and Dr. Barbara Wixom. We’re also debuting an Editor’s Pick column that highlights a new industry publication every month, and this month we’re talking to Lyndsay Wise about her new book Using Open Source Platforms for Business Intelligence.

Over the past several months since our initial launch of Rediscovering BI we’ve seen a 5x growth in subscribers, exceeding our own expectations! We’ve received many positive comments and reinforcing feedback, and we continue to enjoy engaging with the BI community on this mission. And, we’re happy to say that the next several issues of Rediscovering BI continue to have top thought-leading contributors and innovation planned! If you’ve been as happy as we’ve heard so far, we strongly encourage you to engage, participate, contribute, and – most important – encourage others to join our subscription as we continue to grow and evolve.

Support BI Research: To support research for the BI industry, employers are encouraged to participate in this brief survey from University of Virginia’s Dr. Barbara Wixom.

Data Quality, Standards, and Italian Olive Oil | Gian Di Loreto, Ph.D.

When it comes to data quality, we have no standard measurement. We have, over the years, collectively amassed a huge amount of literature, talks, courses, webinars, books, tools, and articles addressing data quality, but we still have no way to compare the data quality of one database, client, or project with another. We need a universally agreed upon method for measuring data quality that is blind to the underlying data structure, data type, technology, and industry. This is a tall order, but I believe we have the tools already to create such a measurement – we just need to agree upon it. And, we need it soon.

BI: Whither Thou Goest? | W. H. Inmon

First there were simple applications, and from these simple applications programmers wrote simple reports. Then, applications became more sophisticated, and with these more sophisticated applications we produced much more sophisticated information. Now, there is new technology merging into the marketplace: Textual ETL. Once raw text can be placed into a standard data base management system, the world of analysis – and the world of BI – will expand as never before.

Wanted: BI Storyboard Artist | Craig Jordan

Developed for the film industry as a quick way to visually depict a movie, storyboards enable directors to ensure that movie scenes connect together to convey the right actions, create desired emotions, and achieve a climax worthy of creating the film in the first place. Today’s business intelligence (BI) programs need a tool like the storyboard.

Universities Need Help Building the Next-Gen Workforce | Dr. Barbara Wixom

Following its previous efforts to understand the state of business intelligence (BI) in university curricula, the University of Virginia’s (UVA) McIntire School of Commerce has launched a new survey to capture the progress being made by universities in building BI programs. UVA is asking for help from people who hire, interview, train, or work closely with university students, and wants to hear your thoughts on what BI/BA competencies employers need to build the next-gen workforce.

Editor’s Pick: Using Open Source Platforms for Business Intelligence by Lyndsay Wise


Lindy RyanEditor-in-Chief

October 2012 | Information Discovery

October 2012

This month’s issue of Rediscovering BI focuses on one of the hottest topics in BI today: information discovery. With another great list of contributors, including Stephen Swoyer, Dr. Patricia Klauer, Cj Applequist, and John O’Brien, this month’s issue examines everything from the new challenges of information discovery, to today’s discovery tools and expert opinions, to the approaches we can take to realize the full value of our data through discovery.

Enemy at the Gates: Information Discovery and the Challenge to BI | Stephen Swoyer

“Discovery!” It’s become a rallying cry for disenchanted business people everywhere. Fed up with slow, monolithic, or ineffective business intelligence (BI) tools, they’re hungry for something else. Dissatisfied with the red, yellow, and green banality of dashboards, they desperately want to get back to the data but they’re finding themselves blocked at every turn by IT. They can’t and won’t be denied, however: they’ll take matters into their own hands. They’ll embrace a new kind of BI: information discovery (ID). It says it can supercharge BI adoption by making it easier for people to explore, collaborate, and discover.

Information Discovery 101| Stephen Swoyer

Information discovery (ID) tools come in a variety of packages and form-factors. There are best-of-breed data visualization tools; discovery-focused business intelligence (BI) tools; collaborative discovery offerings, which can’t easily be slotted into any single category; and full-blown software-as-a-service (SaaS) BI and analytic discovery platforms.

Front End First: A Fresh Approach for Delivering BI Solutions | Dr. Patricia Klauer

While IT focuses on acquiring the latest technology to serve up Big Data for performing Big Analytics, within every organization there remains a subset of business people who rely on MS Access and Excel applications for mission critical decisions. Taking a Front End First approach acknowledges the business users perspective with data they need upfront and establishes collaboration that fosters an atmosphere of mutual understanding, respect, and trust. As a result, IT is able to offer BI solutions that are resilient and cost-effective, that support business objectives within the context of a framework, and that manage data as an organizational asset.

Data in the Pile: Discovering the Other 80 Percent| Cj Applequist

For decades, business intelligence (BI) pros have focused on getting “the answer” out of our corporate systems – systems that were arguably designed to provide that answer! However, these systems typically capture only about 20% of a corporation’s data: the remaining 80% is squirreled away in files and scattered across file shares. What options do we have for mining this huge and largely untapped information resource and making sense of it all? Can we even hope to bridge the chasm between our documents and our data?

Look Before You Leap with Information Discovery | John O’Brien 

Information discovery (ID) is not a new term to business intelligence (BI) professionals, though it is definitely a term that has crystallized like no other in recent years. The ability for people to effortlessly access data from anywhere, and quickly explore relationships and visualize information, has forever changed BI. Fueled by slick intuitive user interfaces, fast in-memory, compressed, and associative databases — and Moore’s Law that provides users with desktops with more capacity, horsepower, and higher resolution graphics than ever before – the opportunity has emerged for companies to enable BI at the individual level. Let’s explore some of the critical conversations that BI teams are having today — and those that you should carefully consider at some point in your adoption.


Lindy Ryan


September 2012 | Data Management

September 2012

This month Radiant Advisors is excited to release the first issue of Redisovering BI, our new monthly eMagazine featuring articles from leading names in today’s BI industry and others we’ve discovered innovating in the BI community.

We decided to kick off Rediscovering BI with an issue on Data Management, and dive straight into some of the hottest topics in BI today: transparency, governance, Big Data, and metadata.

Driving Business Value with Big Data | Krish Krishnan 

The world of data is abuzz with the tsunami called “Big Data”. If you are a CxO this is a topic that likely haunts you at work, home, and even in social gatherings. Perhaps the biggest question you keep asking yourself is “what is the business value from this mass of data called Big Data?”

How to Build a Transparent Data Warehouse | Gian Di Loreto, Ph.D 

Several years ago, my consulting company embarked on a project to create a relatively low budget, short implementation time data warehouse. Not to keep you in suspense; we managed to pull it off. In fact, as the product we created enters its fifth year online, it continues to be among the most valuable tools we have produced for any of our clients. In the process we came up a few tips and techniques we thought worth sharing.

Data Warehousing is All About the Metadata | Leslie Echelberger 

Whether organizations and data warehouse practitioners realize it or not, metadata is inherently present in every vertical of data warehousing and is a key enabler for tracking its success.

New Frontiers for Data Governance | John O’Brien 

Data governance (DG) programs have gained reputable traction in business intelligence (BI) programs over the past few years. This has been largely due to a rise in the need for controls in compliance, context, and quality in data. However, no matter what the drivers are, there are good frameworks and processes available for companies to execute in order to develop and enforce data management policies and procedures and achieve data governance program goals.


Lindy Ryan



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