Branch Out to Increase BI Effectiveness

Susan Hall

My colleague Ann All has written recently that many IT jobs of the future will involve delving into data. And contributor Loraine Lawson says companies seem to be waking up to the fact that the benefits of business intelligence (BI) won't happen without the hard work of creating cleaner, more integrated data.


In a piece at TDWI, consultant Dave Wells warns that while BI has become a broad and complex field, there's danger for professionals who become too specialized. (Ann has written about that related to IT pros overall.)


He lists 14 disciplines involved in the field of information management and looks at the relationships between them:

Slide Show

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  • Business analytics
  • Business intelligence
  • Content management
  • Data governance
  • Data integration
  • Data mining
  • Data modeling
  • Data quality
  • Data warehousing
  • Enterprise information management
  • Master data management
  • Metadata management
  • Performance management
  • Predictive analytics


They're connected in significant ways, he says:

  • They all operate against the same collection of facts.
  • They have different roles in the same information-acquisition and distribution processes.
  • They involve many of the same stakeholders.
  • They share a common purpose and enterprise goals for information management.


Understanding the data (modeling and metadata) is the foundation, he says, with insight and foresight (BI, predictive analytics, etc.) at the top of the stack. He says that for BI pros to truly be effective, they need to become adept in several of the related disciplines.

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