Is your Business Intelligence at The Tipping Point?
Delaney Turner 270002T14M firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  iodgc cognos10 baforum ibmsoftware
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We're now only one day away from the grand opening of Business Analytics Forum @ Information On Demand 2010 and before we all dive into the heady mix of breakouts, networking, demos and cocktails I wanted to present an idea that Harriet Fryman and I have been working on for a while.
Malcolm Gladwell was last year's keynote speaker. You're probably familiar with his 2000 book The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make A Big Difference. He calls the book "an investigation into how and why change happens" and identifies common attributes that must be in place for an idea, a disease or a piece of news to spread throughout a community to become pervasive.
These attributes are:
Gladwell cites Paul Revere's ride and the overnight popularity of Hush Puppies as examples. But it's also a great way to think about your business analytics deployment – because your deployment needs to demonstrate all three attributes to become pervasive.
Think about it this way:
Your Connectors are the people who can cross the IT-Business or the IT-Finance divide. They are comfortable in each others' worlds, they understand the goals and cultures of both sides and can act as mediator between them. Wayne Eckerson calls them “Purple People.”
Mavens make up your core BI team. These are your professional authors, analysts, data stewards and architects who configure your deployment to serve up insights into your business.
Salesmen are your early adopters and visionaries who see the project's potential and who can convince others of it too when there may very little to go on. Very few deployments get beyond their early stages without these folks.
So. When you look at the people on your team, who do you see? More importantly – who do you not see? Mavens without Connectors have no one to share information with. Connectors without Mavens have nothing to share. With neither of these in place, Salesmen will simply find something else to sell.
Gladwell views The Tipping Point as a way of making sense of the world. “Changes that happen really suddenly, on the strength of the most minor of input, can be deeply confusing,” he says. People who understand it have a way of decoding the world around them.
In business it's no different. We are in a time of tremendous economic upheaval but also of tremendous opportunity. And just as Gladwell sees hope in the message of The Tipping Point, over the next four days you will see how organizations use business analytics to decode the disruptions around them and move forward with confidence.
These are exciting times for business analytics and Business Analytics Forum is an exciting place to be. I'm looking forward to making the most of it. Whatever your goals over the next week, I hope you are able to do the same and I know we're here to help.