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Trends and Outliers

TIBCO Spotfire's Business Intelligence Blog

Category Archives: BI Ease of Use


Data Analytics To Evaluate the Environmental Impact of ‘Fracking’

The US is poised to surpass Saudi Arabia and Russia to become the world’s largest oil producer by 2016, according to the International Energy Agency.

images4 150x150 Data Analytics To Evaluate the Environmental Impact of FrackingMeanwhile, natural gas production in the US has risen tenfold since 2006, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

One of the chief reasons the US has been able to achieve such dramatic gains in the exploration and recovery of both shale oil and natural gas deposits is due to the technique known as hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”).

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Not All Big Data is Created Equal – Best Practices for Taking Action

The volume of data that’s now available to decision makers is mind-boggling. In fact, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data is being collected every day and the growth in data is simply astounding: 90% of all of the data that’s ever been created has been generated in just the past two years.

shutterstock 1519206711 300x271 Not All Big Data is Created Equal – Best Practices for Taking ActionHowever, experts warn that more data doesn’t necessarily result in better decision making.

“Even the best data doesn’t lead to the right decisions if you don’t know how to look at it,” says Rachel Kennedy, associate professor and director of the not-for-profit Ehrenberg-Bass Institute.

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Insights into “Big Opportunities with Big Data & Analytics for Consumer Packaged Goods Manufacturers”

Packaging goods is no secret to the consumer goods market, but unpacking the insights from the deluge of data this sector brings is a challenge for many companies.

shutterstock 69081949 300x201 Insights into “Big Opportunities with Big Data & Analytics for Consumer Packaged Goods Manufacturers”However, big data analytics can help consumer goods organizations derive value from past, present and future data and solve big business problems such as how to:

  • Manufacture products with fewer steps.
  • Deliver new products to market with more efficiency and lower startup costs.
  • Perform customer service more effectively.

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5 Tips for Managing Multiple Business Intelligence Installs

bi tools 150x150 5 Tips for Managing Multiple Business Intelligence InstallsIn the world of data warehousing the concept of “one version of the truth” has been around for a long time. And it continues to be central to the architectural philosophy of any enterprise data warehousing system.

In fact, in a recent InformationWeek commentary, the editor, Chris Murphy, says, “Employees need one data source they can trust.” Murphy acknowledges that the concept of one data source is difficult to establish.

And he quotes a number of executives who suggest that an enterprise should create one version of the truth by simply declaring it as such. The declaration will be a motivating factor to get the data right and “more accurate,” according to the executives quoted.

But what if the declaration doesn’t work? And what if the organization’s decision makers require a slow, managed transition process from multiple versions of the truth to a single version?

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Top BI Resolutions and Trends for 2012 from Industry Experts

Top BI and Analytics Resolutions in 2012 300x150 Top BI Resolutions and Trends for 2012 from Industry ExpertsWe pulled three BI industry pundits away from their cork-popping and horn-blowing just after midnight on January 1st to get their takes on the top BI resolutions and trends for this new year.

Here’s what they had to say through all that noise and hoopla:

Our Panel of Experts

  • Julie B. Hunt (@juliebhunt) - Julie B. Hunt is a 25+-year software industry solution strategist and analyst with experience ranging from the very technical side to customer-centric work in solutions consulting, sales and marketing. Julie shares her takes on the software industry via her blog Highly Competitive.
  • Gregory Piatetsky-Shapiro, PhD (@kdnuggets) – Piatetsky-Shapiro is the founder of KDD (data mining and knowledge discovery conferences) and is one of the leading experts in the field. He is also editor of
  • Marcus Borba (@marcusborba) – Borba is a 27-year BI and performance management consulting veteran from Brazil and shares his insights on the Business Intelligence News blog.

Top BI Resolutions for Companies

Hunt: Stop data hoarding in your company and turn your entire business into an intelligence-rich organization. Make sure everyone understands the value of data, has access to analytics tools and results, is open to sharing data across departments and teams (as appropriate) to make sure everyone has the data assets that they need for decision-making, planning, innovation and so on. Read more on this here.

Piatetsky-Shapiro: More coverage of big data – Hadoop, companies, tools, and the big data ecosystem. I also plan to have more personal experience with cloud analytics.

Borba: Take advantage of the emerging BI trends to make organizations actually become a democracy of information, with business intelligence being used for everyone, anywhere, anytime.

Top 3 Trends for Industry


  1. BI and analytics on mobile devices – the momentum continues to build; everyone wants business anything and everything on mobile devices. The two big questions continue to be: what kind of analytics should be on mobile devices, and is there sufficient security when delivering certain sorts of analytics results?
  2. More BI and analytics software offerings tailored for the specific needs of e-commerce and marketing activities, in a more “real-time” mode. Most current offerings seem to be failing the needs of professionals in these areas, which means new opportunities for agile vendors.
  3. Increasing interest in data virtualization as an alternative or a complementary play to traditional data integration/enterprise data warehousing as the “back end” for more enterprise business intelligence and analytics processes, as well as improved decision-management systems. There has been a great deal of buzz about data virtualization over the past couple of years and top vendors for [data virtualization] have solid customer cases to prove the value.


  1. Mobile – not so much mobile consumption as using location data for new services.
  2. Social is still a big trend.
  3. Data and analytics in the cloud.

I also see that big data is approaching the hype peak, and expect to see the bursting of the big data bubble in the next two years. See my recent presentation at the SuperData Conference that looks at the history and current state of analytics and data mining and examines the effects of big data here.


  1. Mobile BI – The proliferation of smartphones and tablets in the enterprise, and the need to make decisions anywhere/anytime accessing real-time analytics make mobile BI remain a hot topic. There are several companies that specialize in developing mobile BI applications and most BI vendors also have developed a mobile version. Howard Dresner, who recently published the latest version of the Mobile Business Intelligence Market Study, considers that mobile BI becomes fundamentally the new platform for business intelligence.
  2. Cloud BI – The cloud-based BI will boost the use of BI. The cloud model allows the companies to save money, with faster implementation without substantial investments. It is also ease of use. Although there are many concerns about implementing BI on the cloud (mainly security), the vendors and the market as a whole have matured. It is important to remember that it’s necessary to have a well-defined data integration strategy to implement a successful cloud-based BI.
  3. Big Data – The amount of data in our world has been growing exponentially, and the uses of big data in the BI scenario will allow companies to put data to work more efficiently. They could really turn into data-driven enterprises.
Next Steps:  Share your thoughts on the top BI trends of 2012 in the comments, be sure to subscribe to our blog and brace yourself for an explosive year in business intelligence!

Amanda Brandon
Spotfire Blogging Team

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Top 10 Business Intelligence Posts of 2011 from Spotfire’s Blog

top 10 spotfire blog posts of 2011 300x141 Top 10 Business Intelligence Posts of 2011 from Spotfires BlogOn the Trends and Outliers blog, we’re into recaps of all the latest news, trends and research around BI and data analytics. We even bring you a recap of what’s happened in this space on Twitter each month. Today, we’re bringing you a recap of the top 10 posts from the Spotfire blog in 2011. Let’s rewind as this year winds down.

Number 10 – In-Memory Analytics and the Future of Business From Booz & Co.

In this post, we discussed several resources that support the importance of in-memory analytics. The key takeaway is “better business intelligence, at a lower cost, delivered in real-time to in-office and remote site workers is a powerful change in doing our daily work.”

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Ease-of-Use Key to Consumerization of BI

ease of use BI software1 300x225 Ease of Use Key to Consumerization of BIConventional BI, it seems, has a New Year’s resolution problem. As with eating better and working out more, everyone agrees that BI is a great idea, and resolves to put it to work. But the resolutions don’t last past January, or even past the first week.

According to Gartner Research, even when organizations have standard BI platforms of choice, only 28% of the potential users of these tools are actually employing them. Gartner identifies three main reasons for this non-use: they are hard to use, slow-running, or they don’t produce relevant results.

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Spotfire Leads Primary BI Objective – Ease of Use in Gartner Report

Gartner BI Magic Quadrant 2011 Spotfire Leads Primary BI Objective   Ease of Use in Gartner ReportLast week, Gartner released their 2011 Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and moved “ease of use” past “functionality” as the primary reason for choosing a particular BI platform. Another key finding of this report is that business users are “driving BI purchasing decisions,” and they are turning to “easier to use data discovery tools over traditional BI platforms.” And, they aren’t always involving IT. In fact, Timo Elliot tweeted from the 2011 Gartner Business Intelligence Summit that the real opportunity for “Predictive Analytics” is ease of use.

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