Friday, November 21, 2008

Information 2.0 and OpenI

I have been hearing so much about Web 2.0, Business Intelligence 2.0 etc. But very little has been heard about Information. I have been hearing problems from Business people saying they never get the information or reports they want, and the BI Team and the Analysts feel otherwise. They feel business people don't understand what to expect and what NOT. The issue here is about not understanding each other and the missing link between the two sides.

BI 2.0 has brought huge advantage on it own, but it has forced companies to invest heavily in IT Systems and Software too. This couples with the Salary expenses. But still the systems are not solving the business problems.

These days people have power to send huge information to the mass (by Youtube, blogs, Knol etc), and most people are taking the advantage of it. While few people use it effectively, most are not. People are confused to choose the right medium, and the right information to pass.

The problem in all such is common. It is the non-evolution of Information 2.0. A framework needs to be worked out now for standardization of the Information so that everyone knows what Information they can expect. If not the frame-work, people should start thinking about using BI and Web (or other channels) to directly attack the business issues.

OpenI has made an attempt to rightly address this issue. It is not the platform to build report like JasperSoft or Pentahoo, but it is the solution. OpenI directly delivers the required reports to the end user.
OpenI is Open Source Project and is cheap to implement and use. It has coupled the low cost with good sales and after-sales service. Believe me Sandeep Giri, Lead of OpenI, is a fantastic guy with open mind. Just reach him if you want the service.

Good follow up by Deep Sherchan.


Sandeep Giri said...

Thanks for the publicity Bhupendra, much appreciated. May OpenI karma come back to you thousand-fold :-)

Software industry, not unlike any other, contains a lot of hype and probably sometimes more with all this 2.0 buzz, which probably seems cool to the industry insiders, but is definitely confusing to the market.

Take BI 2.0 (or Information 2.0) for example - what in the world does it mean? Well, turns out, at the end of the day, to most BI vendors, it means more fancy charts and graphs and dashboards, except this time they'll have rounded corners, larger fonts with brighter colors, and maybe a fit of Flash and/or Ajax thrown in for a good measure to demonstrate live interactivity.

All this is fine and well, but all this is also pure BS if you are not helping your user make better decisions, or informing them of something new.

If BI 2.0 or Information 2.0 is to be seen as the "next generation" (it seems you cant' escape these cliches), then it needs to go beyond charts/graphs/dashboard paradigm. BI applications and tools need to be rooted in the knowledge worker's workflow - and should be cognizant of the types of decisions that need supporting. BI needs to be aware of the domain context - i.e. which industry are you supporting? which area - marketing, finance, operations, research..? Because without this, the best BI can do is to provide nice visuals and hope and pray that the user knows how to translates them into intelligence and action.

But software can be better than that if is stops being lazy. And that's my hope with our work in OpenI. We certainly started in the charts/graphs/dashboards paradigm, so we are as guilty as anybody. But as they say in any 12-step plan, "acceptance" is the first step -- and now, we are moving towards a future of BI software that caters to the root need for intelligence -- i.e. not only that you see your data clearly, but you also see it in your specific business context, and get immediate option to act upon it.

For e.g. a marketing analytics BI application - once it incorporates the data about customers and marketing campaigns and resulting purchases -- should not wait for a user to define dashboards and reports, but rather already provide a suite of analyses that answer the most typical marketer's questions - i.e. how effective are my campaigns , who are my best customers/prospects, and what tactics work the best for individual customer segments? And don't stop there btw -- if you have identified some new and interesting customer segments - it should integrate with an online campaign manager tool to immediately launch new campaigns; or publish the list of your most valuable customers to your e-commerce engine or call center platform which know how to treat them in a special way; etc. etc.

Similar scenarios can be applied to other industries and domains too. We just need to imagine differently. And that's what 2.0, new version, or next generation is all about - next level of imagination.

Bhupendra said...

Well said Sandeep. You touched my heart now!!
Information 2.0 is about imagination and effectiveness to the business, than to investment and software. Hats-off to OpenI Team for starting the movement.

-- Bhupendra

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