Reports from research firms are always great fodder for research, particularly when you're trying to compare solutions from different vendors. But they're also very expensive, and while the prices may be a drop in the bucket for many enterprises, for many companies or those of us who are just curious, the fees can be prohibitive.
On top of all that, I resent that no one's ever paid me that much to write seven pages, which is why I always try to hook you up when I find free copies of these reports.
This week, I located two free research reports, one each from Gartner and Forrester.
The Gartner report, in particular, is spot-on for this blog's audience. It's the 2009 Data Management and Integration Vendor Guide, which was published in April. Syncsort, a data integration software company, is sponsoring the free download, which is interesting to me because it's mentioned only once in a list.
The report doesn't actually compare vendors-that information's in Gartner's Magic Quadrant reports. But it does give you an overview of the market, an explanation of what the tools generally offer, a look at how companies are using these technologies and lists of the vendors to consider in each of four areas-data quality, data integration, data warehousing and database management systems.
One caveat: The report is only available through Monday, Aug. 31, so don't dally about downloading it.
If you're more interested in business intelligence right now, you might want to check out The Forrester Wave: Enterprise Business Intelligence Platforms. It's from the third quarter of 2008, which is the most recent version of this Wave.
I actually mentioned this report in passing during yesterday's health care integration post, because it's linked at the end of the InformationWeek article. Look for "click here." If you don't already have one, you'll need to sign up for a guest account with Forrester. It's a bit tricky, because once you're signed in, you don't go straight to the report. It will be linked under the "Complimentary Research" on the left side of the screen.
In fact, I'm 95 percent sure I had a guest account, but the site couldn't remember my e-mail, so I still had to go through the registration page.
This report is a lot more thorough than the Gartner report, providing an assessment of where the BI market is moving and critiques of specific vendors. You can even download some of the charts as a spreadsheet or PowerPoint slide. It's a must-read if you're evaluating BI tools-especially since it's free.
The last free resource on managing enterprise information that I found this week is a promising Information Week webcast on metadata. Strictly speaking, this isn't about integration, but as I've noted previously, metadata can play an important role in integration.
The webcast features Rob Karel, a principal analyst with Forrester, and Ian Rowlands, the senior director of strategy at ASG, which sponsored the event. Karel and Rowlands will discuss how you can use metadata to separate useful information from useless data noise.
The event is scheduled for next Tuesday, Aug. 25, at 8 a.m. PT (11 a.m. ET) and will last one hour.