From the BA/BI Blogosphere: Spring Refresh

Spring has finally sprung! Celebrate the new season and warm up your analytics learning with these fresh posts from top BA/BI community bloggers.

Who Are the Power Users?

By Chris Webb
Director, Crossjoin Consulting Limited

Nowadays, some people would have you think that the business intelligence world (BI) is divided between the dinosaurs in the IT department on one hand and the hot-shot power users from the business side on the other. The distinction between these groups is supposedly mirrored by the types of software they use: The IT guys use old, expensive, slow, ugly, “corporate” BI tools, while the power users are agile and responsive and create beautiful data visualisations with the fancy new breed of self-service BI tools.

This separation is convenient from a marketing point of view because it draws a line between the past, with all its harsh realities, failures and compromises, and a new generation of software, which like every new generation of software will magically solve all your problems and allow you to be hundreds of times more productive. The problem is I don't believe any of this stands up to scrutiny.

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Occupy BACON: Let’s Do This. (Sessions & Discount)

By Rob Collie
(Cross-posted from PowerPivotPro)

Year One Was Great, So I’m Speaking Again – San Jose CA, May 7-9
I really enjoyed the inaugural PASS Business Analytics Conference, aka PASS BACON, last year. Before that, I’d never been to a conference that was even remotely aimed at “my kind of people.” That all changed for me last year. I think we have found our home.

THIS is the kind of conference we need – one that’s accessible without heavy technology expertise. One where Business Impact take center stage, and the only prerequisite is that you enjoy working with data. (And it helps if you don’t flinch at the word “Microsoft.”)

Which suits us Excel folks to a tee, doesn’t it? They might as well put us on the front page. But an explicit mention of Excel would scare off those other people – the non-Excel people (that we outnumber 100 to 1). Honestly, I think we should just take this thing over. You know, like… Occupy BACON. (Brief pause while I replace the previously-bland title of this post with precisely that.)

Putting my time where my mouth is, this year I am “doubling down” and presenting two sessions– a full-day “pre-con” and a “regular” session – see below for details. AND I’m in discussions about presenting a third session as well, stay tuned on that.

Last Year’s Referral Champion Wants to Repeat!
A little bird told us that last year, more people signed up for PASS BACON using the PowerPivotPro discount code than any other discount code.

Pretty cool, eh? Anyway, there’s a discount code again this year, but I’ve been slow to share it. Let’s pretend we did that to give all those “non-Excel” websites a head start, given that whole “100 to 1 outnumber” thing (in reality I have just been swamped). All righty then, here’s the code:

$150 Off When You Register With This Code: BASB5O

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From the BA/BI Blogosphere: March 7 Update

It's been a busy week! Catch your breath and catch up on what's happening in the business analytics and business intelligence world with top community bloggers:


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BI and Analytics in 2014

By Carlos Bossy
(cross-posted from Carlos Bossy's Blog)

It’s become a tradition at the end of the year for bloggers and industry pundits to make predictions about their fields of interest, and business intelligence is not spared this annual ritual. While I’ve avoided (or forgotten about) making my own predictions, it seems that the future always comes up when I’m speaking at an event. People want to know what’s coming so they can prepare.

Four Areas to Explore
With the PASS BA Conference coming up in May in San Jose, CA, the question of future direction will certainly come up again. The field of business intelligence is undergoing a shift in how it’s delivered to users and the way it’s developed. After a period of having established common data architectures and practices, including Star Schema models, ETL processes, and cubes for what-if analysis, we are seeing new technologies driving us in different directions.

In my opinion, BI architects and practitioners should start thinking about the following.

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