Technology Crowdsourcing: What do you think?

I’ve recently found a few good product comparison sites and have written a few posts/reviews for them.  This type of crowdsourcing  will become the future of the initial phases of procurement, but it will not replace the expertise of organizations like Gartner and Forrester.  Not only are these sites a brilliant idea, but it keeps the vendors honest.  Think of your personal life.  Do you use YelpAngies ListTripAdvisor?  I do – and I can only imagine that technology crowdsourcing sites will continue to grow.  What do you think?

Here are a few that I’ve recently discovered.  I hope that you find them as helpful as I did!

 

URLs:

Real-time Data Collaboration by Qlikview

Qlikview

Yesterday, I had a very nice meeting with the folks at Qlikview (thanks, @DHurd11 & Andy for making the trip).  They partnered with a local DC consulting firm by the name of Tandem Conglomerate.  I had the pleasure of working with Ben Nah from Tandem Conglomerate last year – and I can vouch that their talent is top-notch.  Qlikview is smart to find partners of this caliber – and utilize them to better serve their customers.

As a technologist, I always have my eyes open to exploring new technology.  This is always challenging with long term contracts, university politics, and an ever-changing IT landscape.  However, for me, vendors have to prove why they should remain at the top.  Competition is healthy for everyone as it makes us constantly improve.  I should also say that as long as we have a defined data model, the reporting tools that we use on top of that data model are fluid.  The point is not to constantly change and rip out what you’ve done just for the sake of redoing it, but it is important to keep an eye on the latest technology, experiment, and find what is best for your organization.  This can be done gradually with small pilot projects to prove value.  We’re actually in the process of doing one of these pilot projects with Hadoop.

Ok – so you’re probably wondering why I titled this post ‘real-time data collaboration’?  During the Qlikview presentation yesterday, I saw something that really resonated with me.  And, that was the ability to collaborate, in real-time, on the same Qlikview dashboard.

This capability is a market differentiator for Qlikview.  As many of you may have seen from Gartner and in my previous post regarding Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for BI, this is one of the reasons that Qlikview remains ahead of competitors such as Tableau.  Other dashboard vendors may provide the ability to ‘share’ with others, or embed the dashboard into a web page or part.  Don’t misunderstand.  This is NOT the same.

During their product demonstration, Qlikview demonstrated the ability in real-time to share dashboards.  This means that you can select the filters/parameters that you would like to analyze, hone in on the particular area of interest, and share it in real-time.  The recipient can then see that selection, modify it, and as they modify the shared dashboard, it will update your dashboard.  You can modify and send changes back to the recipient as well.  VERY COOL!  Kudos to Qlikview on this feature.  Below are a few screen shots to show how it works:

Click ‘Share Session’

Click ‘Start Sharing’

Choose if you want to cut/paste the link, email it, or even expire the shared session.  By the way, recipients don’t have to have any sort of Qlikview license to be able to provide feedback in real-time.

Try it out in the demo below:

 

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Gartner releases 2013 Business Intelligence & Analytics Magic Quadrant

Last month, Gartner released the 2013 version of their Business Intelligence & Analytics Platform Magic Quadrant.  I always look forward to the release of Gartner’s magic quadrants as they are tremendously helpful in understanding the landscape of specific technology tools.

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence & Analytics - Comparison of 2012 to 2013

This year, I was pleased to observe the following:

  • Microsoft has improved its overall ability to execute.  Overall, it seems that Microsoft is moving in the right direction with their SQL Server 2012 product.  I’m excited about the enhancements to Master Data Services and I like where they are headed with PowerPivot and Power Views.  A full list of new features can be found at Microsoft’s website.  I’m a big Microsoft fan and I’m excited about Office 2013 and the impact that it will have on BI.
  • IBM has maintained, and slightly increased, its market position.  IBM continues to expand upon the features of their key acquisitions (Cognos, SPSS).  They have done a nice job of migrating customers from the old Cognos 8 platform to IBM Cognos 10.x.  This has increased customer satisfaction.  I also really like their Analytic Answers offering.  In my opinion, BI will continue to become more service oriented – so a big applause for IBM’s analytics as a service offering.
  • Tableau has moved into the top right square.  Tableau deserves to be here and I’m excited to see this movement.  Tableau’s customer support and product quality has been consistently high.  They have also set a benchmark in terms of how straightforward it is to move to their platform and upgrade to the latest version release.
  • There is plenty of competition at the bottom of the market.  Niche players like Jaspersoft and Pentaho are at each others heels.  Competition is healthy!

The only thing that surprised me is that I didn’t see Pyramid Analytics on this list.  Microsoft acquired ProClarity back in 2006.  Extended support for ProClarity will soon end in 2017.  Given that Microsoft has not migrated all of the ProClarity features to PerformancePoint, I am speaking to many users that are jumping ship on the ProClarity front and moving toward Pyramid Analytics.  Pyramid Analytics has done a nice job to aid customers moving from ProClarity.  Keep an eye out.  We might see them on the list next year.

If you are interested in reading the full 2013 report, you may preview the online version here.