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Hot IT Trends for 2008 – The BI Buzz

SearchCIO-midmarket.com has a list of five hot IT trends for 2008, and surprise, surprise, business intelligence is on the list. Business intelligence (BI) is so hot, I’m actually speaking twice on the topic in the coming weeks and months.

BI is the Web 2.0 of 2008. It’s all the buzz. My clients have been asking me why BI is suddenly so hot. And some of them are even asking what BI is.

Here are three reasons I think BI is getting so much attention:

  1. The technology tools for mining data are becoming more affordable for the small and medium-sized business market. So the vendors are pushing this hard as a new product for a new market.
  2. It’s “sexy.” At least, what the vendors show is sexy, because you get to see all of these dials, gauges, dashboards, and charts that display all kinds of information, in real-time. For geeks like me, that’s pretty cool stuff.
  3. It’s the logical next step. That is, one reason you should pay so much attention to your data management is that there is value in the data you are collecting, beyond just the transactional aspect of it (i.e., just tracking purchases so you can send products). Data mining and business intelligence will help you find what that value is.

Having said all that, in a recent unscientific survey of nearly 100 association executives, fully 2/3 of them either have no plans for a business intelligence initiative in 2008, or have no idea what BI is in the first place. So yeah, it’s all buzz right now.

I’ll be writing a lot more about business intelligence in the coming year, so stay tuned. And if you come across some exciting BI issues, or your organization is embarking on a BI initiative, I’d love to hear from you.

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“Wes was able to come in and offer tangible, relevant advice that made us more productive immediately. I value his understanding of databases but more so, his understanding of how nonprofits work. There was no lost time educating him about how membership organizations are “different.” Wes recommended changes in processes as well as tips and tricks that were easy to implement made an immediate positive impact.”

Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
International Registration Plan

“We came to Wes because we were very frustrated with our existing AMS and we wanted to improve our capabilities as soon as practicable. Wes very quickly helped us through a process of identifying our needs, identifying potential vendors, and selecting a new system that we’ll be able to move into very quickly. I especially appreciated Wes’s candor about our processes as well as the systems we were looking at. He was a great resource to have in a period of high anxiety for our organization. I would highly recommend Wes for any similar project.”

Jack Chiasson, CMP Executive Director
National Association of Life Brokerage Agencies

“Wes was able to come in and offer tangible, relevant advice that made us more productive immediately. I value his understanding of databases but more so, his understanding of how nonprofits work. There was no lost time educating him about how membership organizations are “different.” Wes recommended changes in processes as well as tips and tricks that were easy to implement made an immediate positive impact.”

Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
International Registration Plan

Mary Pat Paris
International Registration Plan

“This is the second database implementation we’ve done since I have been at Western Arts Alliance (WAA). The first I did on my own. This time we engaged Wes Trochlil as our database planning consultant. Let me tell you, this process is a whole lot easier having Wes on your team! For a small association like WAA, it’s tempting for board and EDs to question the justification and expense of a database planning consultant. But it’s the small associations that need Effective Database Management the most. Wes strengthened our planning process, clarified our needs requirements, helped us steer around solutions that couldn’t meet our objectives, and saved us money in the long haul.”

Tim Wilson, Executive Director
Western Arts Alliance

Tim Wilson
Western Arts Alliance
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