My Week At the TDWI Conference (2008) – I

On from Web Analytics

I continue my series of republished The Big Integration blog posts. As I said previously, I will close that blog soon, and want to keep some of those posts available for Google, and of course for you dear readers. I was going over my daily comments when I spent a week in Chicago at the TDWI Conference. That was my first true BI event, and dear! did I learn a lot!

I just got back from this first day very happy that I came here this week. We spent the whole day listening and interacting with Jill Dyché of Baseline Consulting. I knew Jill from two books I read a couple of years ago: e-Data: Turning Data Into Information With Data Warehousing, and The CRM Handbook: A Business Guide to Customer Relationship Management.

It was quite a fascinating day. Not only was it the very first session I have ever attended in BI, but I realized how much that world has in common with Web Analytics. The difficulties we often face (executive buy in, problems with planning, human resources, over-focus on tools, etc.) seem to be daily challenges in BI. Actually, I thought that field had left to prove than us, but I guess that, like any other practices that demand culture change, there is no easy path to success.

Jill’s session was called “BI from Both Sides: Aligning Business and IT”. You see? This could easily be the title of a Web Analytics presentation! She shared with us 11 techniques for aligning business and IT around BI. We could tell that all that information was coming from someone who has been at it for years. Besides having to deal with systems far more complex than Web Analytics, BI faces the same high-level challenge as WA. The human factor, i.e. champions, steering committee, executive sponsorship (which, to tell the truth, Web Analytics does not always enjoy), etc., is at the heart of the success of BI. One of the most important things to do, is to map the corporate strategy to the BI Portfolio (i.e. applications, systems, and data). Sounds familiar?

Another tip? Get quick wins. Gosh, don’t we know that!

So, you will excuse me if I don’t write more about today. I’m beat… and it’s only the first day!!

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