Thursday, June 28, 2012

Going Post-Digital - Deloitte Tech Trends 2012

The Deloitte Tech Trends 2012 report's theme is "elevating IT" in a post-digital business environment, so its focus is on how IT can make an impact, and how the described trends present "an opportunity for IT to truly help elevate business performance" (Preface).

Will these technological trends be disruptors or enablers? Essentially, the way each trend affects your organization is up to IT leadership. The degree to which each technology trend will be disruptive or enabling within your organization depends on how proactive/progressive you are in implementing it.

BYOD and BYOT are two trends not mentioned in the report, but which are related to the status of IT within organizations in a so-called "post-digital" age. (The "post" prefix is somewhat ironic in that it denotes not a lessening of digital technology's impact, but an amplification of its effect within an organization ‑ to the point where it manifests as a paradigm shift.)

The post-digital organization is one in which the role of IT is lessened, because more technology is embedded, more devices are personal, and more networks are outsourced. The technology trends delineated in the Deloitte report present an opportunity for IT to re-assert itself as a progressive voice within the enterprise, but to do so, IT leaders must understand how these trends work individually and together to transform the enterprise.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Crowdsourcing Artificial Intelligence

Via Bonnie Hohhof (@hohhof)

This story brings a whole new meaning to the phrase "gaming the system."

DARPA, the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is using online gamers as part of its strategy to develop the behavioral intelligence needed by unmanned submarine hunting vessels, according to a post by Stewart Baines on the Connecting Technology blog.

DARPA has released a gaming combat simulator called Dangerous Waters. With the permission of the gamers, the simulator returns information back to DARPA for analysis and application to their unmanned vessel control algorithms. They are, in essence, assimilating the wisdom of crowds.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What's New in APOS Location Intelligence - Webinar Reminder

Tomorrow's webinar: What's New in APOS Location Intelligence. I'm personally looking forward to this one, because there's so much that' new and exciting in the APOS Location Intelligence Solution.
You're probably already familiar with the Xcelsius/Dashboards support we announced some time ago. There's lots more including:
  • Enhanced Xcelsius support and other BI content support
  • Mobile LI applications
  • Esri Web Map availability update
  • Big Data query handling
  • HTML5, Silverlight & Flex support update
  • Visualizing points from tabular & spatial sources
  • WMS maps and FME integration
  • Location Intelligence roadmap update
Tune in at 10am ET or 4pm ET tomorrow, June 21, 2012.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

APOS Presentation at Esri PUG 2012

APOS Sales Manager Jay Murdoch presenting at the Esri Petroleum GIS conference (PUG) in Houston, Texas.

Big Data's Fourth "V"

Volume, Variety, and Velocity are the three "Vs" of Big Data. @RobertKugel tweeting on a talk by IBM's Brenda Dietrich reveals a fourth: Veracity. Here's an IBM presentation slide (PDF) that shows the relationship:

The Fourth Big Data V stands for Veracity

Monday, June 18, 2012

Friday, June 15, 2012

Location Intelligence: Disruptive or Enabling?

The Deloitte Technology Trends 2012 Report is out and it's a great read. The report groups 2012 trends into 2 categories, Disruptors and Enablers.

  • Disruptive innovation tends to be revolutionary ‑ it changes your workflows. Included in this category are Social Business practices, Enterprise Mobility and Cloud technology.
  • Enabling innovation tends to be evolutionary ‑ it improves existing workflows. Included in this category are Big Data and Geospatial Visualization.

The report makes the case that Geospatial Visualization (e.g., Location Intelligence) is enabling rather than disruptive, and thus that its implementation within an enterprise is evolutionary rather than revolutionary. It is perhaps a small distinction, but one that might have a significant effect on implementation decisions, so let's delve into the report's methodology:

Our 2012 report shares ten trends grouped into two categories. Disruptors are technologies that can create sustainable positive disruption in IT capabilities, business operations and sometimes even business models. Enablers are technologies in which many CIOs have already invested time and effort, but which warrant another look this year because of new developments. Enablers may be more evolutionary than revolutionary, but the potential is there to elevate the business game with technology. (Preface)

Can we judge from these definitions whether Location Intelligence is disruptive or enabling, revolutionary or evolutionary?

I think the problem with these definitions is that they are relative to the particular enterprise. You cannot say absolutely that Location Intelligence is an enabling or disruptive technology if the designation depends on work already done by the CIO within individual enterprises. So, Location Intelligence may be revolutionary in some contexts, and evolutionary in others.

It's important to note that there are no value judgments attached to these labels. Just because a technology is labeled disruptive, that is no reason not to implement it. While implementing a disruptive technology may be more capital-, time- and labor-intensive, and present a higher risk, the implementation may be fully justified by return on investment and competitive advantage. Only diligent cost-benefit analysis will tell you for sure.

Geospatial Visualization will be an enabler if you integrate it with current enterprise information workflows ‑ with the existing technology and practices within your enterprise. Your information consumers will realize the benefits much more quickly.

The APOS Location Intelligence Solution (LIS) integrates SAP BusinessObjects with Esri ArcGIS technology, letting you introduce Geospatial Visualization within existing enterprise infrastructure and workflows. If you already have SAP BusinessObjects, APOS LIS is most definitely an enabling technology.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Facebook IPO: Data Rich, Information Poor, Analysis Absent?

Michael Rappa's analysis of the circumstances surrounding the Facebook IPO reveals just how easy it is for a large and seemingly bulletproof enterprise to fail miserably at Business Intelligence, Business Analytics, and Big Data:

Facebook has mountains of data on a scale few companies have ever seen before. Shouldn't it have unparalleled insights into its users and their value to advertisers? Reading the prospectus, I was surprised to see the IPO rested as heavily as it did on the weight of a single trend line ‑ growth in active users over time ‑ and not on data-driven insights into its user community. If Facebook is making good use of its data, it’s not evident to investors.

It seems to be a classic case of selling the sizzle rather than the steak, and the market figured it out pretty quickly, though not quickly enough to prevent a lot of people losing a lot of money. Has the dot-com bubblereally faded from our collective memory that quickly?

It's already hard to remember what we did before social media, but the question about social media, as with the dot-com ventures, has always been how to monetize its great wealth of community and data.

But the Facebook story is now also a Big Data story, because the information Facebook has about each of us is vast, and comes in many formats. It has volume and variety, two of the three defining qualities for Big Data.

The third defining quality for Big Data is velocity: It's not enough to analyze the available data; the analysis has to be as close to immediate as possible. If Big Data offers competitive advantage, it is in the velocity with which insight can be delivered and monetized.

Risk management, management by strategic objective, and public company governance find common cause in Big Data. Jill Dyché says as much in her Harvard Business Review article, "Data: One Antidote to Risky Behavior":

Savvy managers understand that weaving data-driven decisions into the fabric of corporate governance can obviate organizational infighting and drive progress. By establishing clear accountability measures, managers can determine whether and how corporate goals are being achieved, and hold people accountable for how they are achieving those goals. This motivates business people to rely less on hunches and more on hard data.

When we apply what we know, when we know it, to the realization of strategic objectives, we mitigate risk, and increase shareholder value. The attraction of managing by "gut feelings" has always been its immediacy. Providing the hard data to support or counter gut feelings with the same kind of immediacy is the Business Intelligence/Business Analytics/Big Data challenge.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

APOS Insight Baseline Scan

APOS Insight is our enhanced audit and metadata management solution for SAP BusinessObjects. During today's Well Managed Migration webinar, Blair Pzytula noted that APOS offers a service based on APOS Insight called the APOS Insight Baseline Scan. 

The APOS Insight Baseline Scan uses Insight's incomparable audit and metadata management capabilities to identify the objects in your system (Crystal Reports, Webis, Deskis, Universes, Folders) and their structures and dependencies. This information is invaluable for planning migration, or even for system sizing excercises.

The Baseline Scan is offered as a free, limited service to qualified customers. if you want to know whether you qualify, contact your APOS Account Manager.


Monday, June 4, 2012

Webinar Reminder: Well Managed Migration

June 5, 10am ET and 4pm ET.
  • Before Migration – Clean up and back up before you move
  • During Migration – Test, evaluate and tweak
  • After Migration – Maintain your well managed BI