Corporate BI and Self-Service BI - One Size Does Not Fit All

Data.  Analytics.  Business Intelligence.  Every company, large or small, needs it.  The depth of analytics required will vary wildly from company to company though.  As an organization grows in size, we start differentiating its needs for Corporate BI and Self-Service BI.  Does a mid to large size company need both?  Probably.  Are Corporate BI and Self-Service BI somewhat at odds with each other?  Sometimes, but not always.

The following charts depict one way of viewing levels of Business Intelligence within an organization.




Where the organization wants to plot itself on the above axes depends on many things. The top right is not necessarily the “ideal” or “best” for every company. The bottom left is not always “bad.” Ultimately, the desired level of maturity depends on what the company needs and wants in terms of analytic capabilities. It also depends on the individual business units.  Perhaps the Purchasing Department gets by quite nicely with Corporate BI capabilities; however, the Competitive Pricing Department may have significant need for advanced Self-Service BI tools and techniques.

This is one situation where Corporate BI and Self-Service BI can co-exist quite nicely within an individual organization.  Different business units have unique and evolving needs; therefore, each unit’s level of BI capabilities can and should adapt accordingly.  Put another way: one size doesn’t fit all.

If you like this topic, then be sure to attend the April meeting of the Charlotte BI Group so we can continue the conversation.  Javier Guillén (Blog | LinkedIn) and I will be facilitating a roundtable conversation titled “Corporate BI + Self-Service BI:  Friends or Foes?”  Hint: Javier doesn't always share the same viewpoint I have, so this will be fun!  Please join us if you can - we would love to hear your thoughts on this subject.


New Charlotte Business Intelligence User Group

imageI’m quite thrilled we’ve nearly reached the time for the first meeting of the Charlotte BI Group (CBIG).  The first CBIG meeting is on January 8, 2013.  Our website has more information, and a link to RSVP to January’s meeting.  If you fill out the Join Page, you’ll automatically receive meeting invitations.  If you are interested, there’s two things for you to do:  (1) RSVP to January’s meeting, and (2) Join so you continue to hear about meetings.

Javier, Rafael, Jason and I have had tons of fun the last few months planning the recent SQL Saturday as well as the Charlotte BI Group.  Below are a few pictures to show you just how much fun!  (Hint: I’ll have my camera with me at meetings…no grumbling at me if I want to take your picture!)

imageSince we organizers are all Microsoft BI professionals, the Microsoft toolset is where much emphasis will be.  However, there’s nothing keeping us from presenting on any aspect of BI, or any BI tool.  What we end up presenting over time will depend on you.  Yes, I said you!  This is your user group.  We want to hear what you need to do your job better and to grow professionally.  There’s 3 main things we wish to provide:  Education about BI, Information about local happenings & product news, and Networking.  We’ll be successful if every regular CBIG member knows each other by name.

Anyone is welcome who is interested in BI – this includes analysts, administrators who “inherited” BI systems, developers of all levels, project managers, students, or if you’re just interested in learning about BI.  There’s many facets to a mature BI environment, so we encourage you to join the group & get involved.

The format will vary from time to time.  Often we’ll have a single featured presentation.  Sometimes we’ll have multiple shorter presentations.  Once in a while we will have the meeting in a social place.  We could have a roundtable discussion if that’s something you like.  See a theme here?  We want to know what you enjoy and find useful.  If you’re going to spend some of your valuable after-work time with us, we want to make sure you’re having fun and learning what's relevant to you.

You are welcome to present any time.  Just come & talk to one of us organizers, or send us an email, and we'll get you on the schedule.  We want to give newer presenters the chance to practice & get more comfortable presenting, so if you’d like to start with a short presentation on something you just did at work, that’d be great! 

See you soon!

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Announcing SQL Saturday and BI User Group in Charlotte

For a while now, we’ve been having a bit of fun on Twitter with the #BeersAndBI hashtag.  For the past few months several of us have been getting together for some fun conversation & to make “plans.”  Now we’re ready to make a couple of very exciting announcements.

SQL Saturday BI Edition is Coming to Charlotte

We are thrilled to announce that SQL Saturday – BI Edition – is scheduled for October 27th in Charlotte.  It’s going to be held at CPCC, a local community college in South Charlotte (the Levine Campus in Matthews).  This is an excellent venue where the Carolina Code Camp is held annually.

Got some great info to share?  Submit a session!  The call for speakers is open until Friday September 14th (and we’ll be sure to announce the schedule very quickly after that).

Want to help?  Check the “Would you like to volunteer to help conduct the event?” when you register.  We’d love to have ya!  And we won’t work ya too hard.  Well, probably not.  <grin>

Ready to learn some new stuff?  Be sure to register soon!  And please pass the word to your friends & colleagues about the event!

New BI User Group Coming to Charlotte

In January 2013 we will hold the first meeting of a new BI User Group in Charlotte.  It will be a Local PASS Chapter.  As details become available, we’ll announce them.  Although I don’t have a lot of specifics yet, I’d like to share what our vision is for the group:

Free education about Microsoft BI

Useful info about Microsoft BI, PASS, local happenings

Networking & socialization

You got it - the “fun” element is part of our charter.  We think that if you choose to spend an evening with us, we should make it fun, as well as informative, and help you get to know other IT pros in the area. 

Who Are the Crazy Kids Behind All This?

From left: Javier, Rafael, Melissa, JasonYou probably caught that I said “we” a few times above.  I am a very, very, very lucky girl to have 3 good friends to cook up SQL Saturday and User Group adventures with (and partake in a few beers, of course, as well as a lot of laughs).  So now you know the real meaning of the #BeersAndBI hashtag.

Our group of organizers includes the following BI professionals:

    Rafael Salas     | Blog | LinkedIn | Twitter

    Javier Guillen  | Blog | LinkedIn | Twitter

    Jason Thomas | Blog | LinkedIn | Twitter

    Melissa Coates | Blog | LinkedIn | Twitter




We hope to see you at SQL Saturday #174 and the BI User Group very soon!