Podcast: BI tools vs. Microsoft Excel Spreadsheets
January 12, 2009
DM Radio – The Business Side of Data Integration
January 28, 2009
Podcast: BI tools vs. Microsoft Excel Spreadsheets
January 12, 2009
DM Radio – The Business Side of Data Integration
January 28, 2009

Business Intelligence & Data Warehousing Fizzles (Too Much Hype): 9 for ’09

Break out the hype translation dictionary! Google the new term you just heard from your fellow colleague or consultant and you will see the industry PR machines have propagated it all over the industry press.

What is it? You're about to learn how this new thing solves everything that has been inhibiting IT systems for decades! Get onboard, the hype machine is leaving the station. 

When reading the 2009 predictions by pundits, analysts, columnists and some vendors, one is struck by the hype and blatant product (or services) promotion. There needs to be a counterweight to the hype. But when you suggest the “emperor has no clothes” those promoting the hype will say that you just can’t see how their product is the answer to information nirvana. If you do not buy into the hype then you must be a dinosaur who just is clinging to yesterday’s technology.

I do feel that the technology and product trends being hyped are often valuable tools for some customers, for some projects, for some business users and for some data.

However, I don't see any of them “solving world hunger.” None are THE solution to everyone’s information problems. In fact, I don’t feel any of them are a solution unto themselves, but are just enabling technologies that, coupled with data governance, meeting business requirements, business and IT working together, following good software engineering practices and utilizing proven project management techniques (to name just a few non-product oriented ingredients) may help businesses leverage information better than they do today. I’ll confess I am a nerd (my undergraduate degree is engineering) and love to play with new technology, but that is not enough.

The hype cycle begins with initial successful (exaggerated?) projects by companies who are innovators; then a lot of articles, podcasts, webinars and white papers; followed by a large growth rate (from a small customer base); and, then the analysts and pundits extrapolate these high growth rates out forever until the trend becomes pervasive. And the pressure is on to jump onboard the hype machine because the train is leaving the station. 

Then reality hits!

Sometimes the growth happens but most times it does not. But even when it happens it usually takes much longer than anticipated. Remember, we are dealing with the real world of limited or declining IT budgets, installed applications and business people who are trying to run the business (to make the profit that then will support salaries and the IT budgets.)

Even if the technology is terrific it takes companies a while to catch on and then implement. With a recession and IT budget pressures, innovation progresses at a slow pace regardless of how terrific it is..

The 9 for ’09 trends where PR and Hype outstrip their actual impact in our industry:

  1. Cloud computing
  2. SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) with a business ROI (return on investment)
  3. Pervasive business intelligence (BI)
  4. Managed data integration 
  5. The next Excel-killer
  6. MDM (Master Data Management) and CDI (Customer Data Integration) software goes mainstream
  7. Data quality becomes easier
  8. Real-time business intelligence (BI) 
  9. Data warehousing is no longer needed

All of my Hype 8 for ‘08 proved to be correct. The hype machine kept churning but each of the items on my list remained more hype than reality. This year’s list has four repeats from last year because the hype just will not quit for these items.

An aside prediction, many of these hyped items will be renamed in the future so that the hype machines can try again.


  1. I agree with you, BI on the cloud is being massively hyped but I can think of a lot of applications other than BI that will benefit more from this architecture. Pervasive BI or the Excel killer will not happen until the main vendors remove the license stumbling blocks. Open source BI might help if it keeps getting better.

  2. Rick Sherman says:

    Thanks for the feedback. I agree that there are other applications that are better suited for the Cloud.
    My guess is you agree that the next DW killer is not yet on the horizon?

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