On Monday morning, hundreds of IT and line of business professionals attended the opening remarks and keynote address for the Gartner BI Summit in Los Angeles, which touched on how the industry has changed and how businesses need to change right along with it.
Bill Gassman, analyst and conference chairman, provided the opening remarks, telling his own data story. This year's event attracted 1,000 attendees, a 30% growth over last year, Gassman said, bringing attendance levels up to pre-2008 numbers.
But attendance isn't the only thing growing. When Gassman asked members of the audience to indicate whether they were members of IT or the line of business, both groups appear to be well represented.
Nice mix of IT and non-IT delegates at #GartnerBI! Maybe 60-40 split. Seeing the non-IT numbers go up each year.— Ted Friedman (@ted_friedman) April 2, 2012
This year also marks Gartner's 10th annual BI summit. To acknowledge the milestone, Gassman welcomed to the stage Howard Dresner, a former Gartner analyst and the "proverbial father" of BI. Dresner, who went on to found Dresner Advisory Services, coined the term business intelligence in 1993.
We must forge a new and improved business intelligence roadmap - Howard Dresner #gartnerbi— Teradata (@Teradata) April 2, 2012
Gassman then introduced fellow analyst Bill Hostmann to deliver the keynote address, which focused on the importance of the three R's: Relevance, resources and renovation.
Hostmann keynote: Back to Basics: Relevance, Resources and Renovation. #gartnerBI Solid advice - innovate,stay focused on objectives— Information Builders (@infobldrs) April 2, 2012
The first R -- or relevance -- seemed to receive the most Twitter attention. Hostmann began by contrasting two distinct situations: The Costa Concordia, which crashed just outside of Italy in January, and US Airways flight 1549, which crashed in the Hudson River in 2009. One had a plan, Hostmann said, the other didn't.
Both Captains Schettino and Sullenberger made a decision and ended up in the water. Not the same thing says Bill Hostmann at #GartnerBI— Andy Bitterer (@bitterer) April 2, 2012
Hostmann said businesses should think about roles in terms of relevance, especially for those who sit close to or inside the decision-making process.
#gartnerbi think about relevance of your role and the resources required to make information the powerhouse it needs to be— Peter Evans (@EvansBI) April 2, 2012
"Rethink your role. Rethink your relevance!" -Bill Hostmann #GartnerBI— MarinoMartin ☁ (@MarinoMartin) April 2, 2012
Hostmann showed a schematic of how information inspires analysis, which creates more information. It's cyclical, he said, and iterative.
Resources, the second of the three Rs, focused on teamwork, alignment and creating a common blueprint.
Hostmann recommended businesses think about their framework -- or how to align people and processes.
When putting the framework together, Hostmann said, start at the top.
It shouldn't be "data looking for decisions", but "decisions looking for data". Bill Hostmann at #GartnerBI— Andy Bitterer (@bitterer) April 2, 2012
Finally, Hostmann talked about renovation or the future of BI, which requires consumerization; new tools and technologies; and making analytics more central to the process.
AHA! #GartnerBI We are moving from application centered to Analytics-centered technology! I love this!— John Santaferraro (@santaferraro) April 2, 2012