Notes from Tableau software engineer David Dunham (@radiofreelunch) on Howard Dresner's talk at #TCC11.

BI thought leader Howard Dresner spoke at the Tableau Customer Conference today. As @howarddresner he holds a weekly #BIWisdom tweet chat which you can check out on Fridays for more from him.


Howard began by saying that fewer BI systems are being deployed by IT. In North America, the majority are now user-deployed. People are now using more different tools and users are in the driver's seat. Governance is needed to ensure optimal value from BI investments. Basically, IT and business users need to get aligned!

On mobile: Mobile is probably increasing in priority, but "remember predictions aren't facts." Executives love the iPad and they actually get it (unlike the early days of PC). BI is the #3 use of tablets now, and mobile BI is not a fad. "Operational BI is low-hanging fruit" for mobile.

On collaboration: Do you have a collaborative culture? The best technology in the world won't help unless you do.

On usage across the enterprise: Human Resources gets the least amount of money for BI, which is why there are so many cloud solutions for HR surveys.

Howard recently did a big survey of BI users across 32 vendor dimensions. Tableau was in first place in the Emerging category. The spider chart showed that in just about every dimension, Tableau beat its peers. Customization & extensibility were weak areas.


Tableau's spider chart from Howard Desner's recent BI study.

Howard concluded that with the user in the driver's seat, BI is expanding. But companies need to elevate BI to strategic level within an organization. Establishing a BI competency center can help with that.

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