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Colin White

I like the various blogs associated with my many hobbies and even those to do with work. I find them very useful and I was excited when the Business Intelligence Network invited me to write my very own blog. At last I now have somewhere to park all the various tidbits that I know are useful, but I am not sure what to do with. I am interested in a wide range of information technologies and so you might find my thoughts will bounce around a bit. I hope these thoughts will provoke some interesting discussions.

About the author >

Colin White is the founder of BI Research and president of DataBase Associates Inc. As an analyst, educator and writer, he is well known for his in-depth knowledge of data management, information integration, and business intelligence technologies and how they can be used for building the smart and agile business. With many years of IT experience, he has consulted for dozens of companies throughout the world and is a frequent speaker at leading IT events. Colin has written numerous articles and papers on deploying new and evolving information technologies for business benefit and is a regular contributor to several leading print- and web-based industry journals. For ten years he was the conference chair of the Shared Insights Portals, Content Management, and Collaboration conference. He was also the conference director of the DB/EXPO trade show and conference.

Editor's Note: More articles and resources are available in Colin's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!

November 2006 Archives

The last few months has seen a lot of interest from both data warehousing and BI vendors in applying content management technologies and using unstructured data in decision making applications. In the content management technology area, for example, Business Objects, Cognos, and Information Builders have all announced support for search in their BI tools.

For accessing unstructured data, Composite Software and IBM have for some time supported federated data access to many different types of unstructured data. The data integration vendors are now also beginning to increase their support for extracting unstructured data, and transforming and loading it into a data warehouse. Informatica already offers a PowerCenter option for handling unstructured data based on technology from Itemfield. This option has been particularly popular with financial and healthcare companies for processing industry specific XML formatted data. Informatica announced this week its intent to acquire Itemfield for approximately $55 million.

There is considerable business value in unstructured data and we are likely to see increasing interest in bringing this type of data into the BI and data warehousing environment. This data will be used not only to improve the power of traditional BI analytical processing, but also to create new e-business intelligence applications for supporting business requirements such as e-pricing and e-discovery.

Posted November 29, 2006 7:42 PM
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The latest CIO spending survey from Merrill Lynch shows that BI is still number one on the list of software spending intentions by CIOs. Some 40 percent of CIOs listed BI as a top priority. Equal second were security and corporate portals where 34 percent of CIOs listed these technologies as a top spending priority. For more information about the study contact Merrill Lynch.

Posted November 29, 2006 7:30 PM
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