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With more organizations investing in analytics, it was only a matter of time before the industry started talking about the rise of a chief analytics officer.
A survey of 317 business and IT executives from the International Institute of Analytics, created at the behest of Dell, found that organizations with a high degree of analytical maturity are more likely to have a chief analytics officer, or someone with a similar title charged with collecting and managing an organization’s analytics efforts. The survey also found that organizations are investing more to achieve that maturity, with two-thirds of mid-market organizations devoting more than $100,000 to analytics in 2014; a similarly large portion of enterprise organizations invested $500,000 or more.
But what’s not clear is whether the role of “chief analytics officer” will become a widespread one, in the manner of CFO, CMO, or even CEO. There’s always the possibility that the appearance of chief analytics officers is a temporary response to a perceived need by organizations to have someone capable of wrangling an ever-increasing amount of data, rather than continuing to rely on the gut instincts of executives who, while experienced, don’t necessarily possess the necessary analytics background.
Howard Dresner, principal for Dresner Advisory Services, suggested that, while there is no doubt that organizations which build formal “centers of analytics excellence” (whether people or divisions) generally perform better than those that don’t, creating a chief analytics officer position might prove counterproductive. “I think that may be asking too much of one person,” he said. “What you want is for the responsibility for analytics to be pushed down into the entire organization.”
Salesforce.com today announced AppExchange Store Builder, a set of tools through which organizations can build their own customizable app stores on Salesforce. Using the same tools that Salesforce used to build AppExchange, organizations can create a similar environment around a select group of applications, says Jim Sinai, senior director of AppExchange and platform marketing.
Of course, there is no shortage of app stores these days. Apple and Google clearly dominate when it comes to being the place that most organizations gain access to applications. But a survey of 275 business and IT professionals published by Dresner Advisory Services suggests that organizations are more willing to purchase applications via other app stores. In 36 months, the survey found that about half the respondents would either like to have their own enterprise app store or be able to use a third-party enterprise app store. A big driver of that interest is having more control over what applications can be deployed inside their organizations.
Hortonworks Inc., a major distributor for Apache Hadoop, the open source distributed computing framework used in big data, announced last week that it was going public. The initial public offering comes just three years after the company was spun out of Yahoo. It’s an ambitious — if not unexpected — move for Hortonworks, analysts said. It may spur more initial public offerings from close competitors, MapR and Cloudera, but what does it say about the status of big data?
If the IPO signals anything about enterprise technology, it is that open source continues to gain momentum. “People are starting to understand what the open source model is, what the community is, and they are investing,” said Howard Dresner, chief research officer of Dresner Advisory Services LLC in Nashua, N.H. A few years ago, participants in Dresner’s surveys reported that Hadoop was dead last in terms of priorities. That isn’t the case anymore. “For better or worse, it’s taking hold,” he said. “And it’s something CIOs have to pay attention to. There’s going to be too much pressure for them not to.”
Editor’s note: What is the purpose of a Business Intelligence Competence Center (BICC) and what value can a BICC produce? Many enterprises of all sizes are already using BICCs and many more plan to invest in establishing BICCs next year, according to the findings in Dresner Advisory Services’ “Business Intelligence Competency Center Market Study” in the Wisdom of Crowds® series. I spoke with Howard Dresner, chief research officer at Dresner Advisory Services about the trends in BICCs. In this interview, he discusses how companies fund, staff and structure BICCs, the role of technology in a BICC, plans for 2015 and much more.
The past few weeks have been big ones for analytics and business intelligence vendors moving to the cloud, with new product or partnership announcements from Oracle, SAP, IBM’s Watson group and even Salesforce.com. So is now the right time for businesses to start thinking about doing analytics and BI in the cloud?
“People are starting to get through what’s novel and are seeing that it actually works,” said Howard Dresner, founder and chief research officer at consultancy Dresner Advisory Services LLC in Nashua, N.H. “There are cost advantages, you don’t have to have the same staffing levels [and] you can include a whole host of users.”