The Death of Business Intelligence

Google Squared, SPARQL and Wave – a winning BI trio?

Posted in GOOG, Google, Google Wave, SPARQL by janmorath on June 5, 2009

Google is doing a lot these days. Google Squared is an interesting take on the semantic web (as usual – if you haven’t played with it – go there now! – “planets” is a good simple query to start out with).

We’ve been working for a while connecting and combining data coming from the semantic web with data from inside and outside the company firewalls which is a very exciting prospect. The W3C SPARQL query language is a great tool to query data off the web and combining it with other structured or semi-structured data inside the company. It’s easy to see that Google Squared is a way to create structured or semi-structured data out of unstructured data using Google search technologies. Combining these two makes perfect sense. Creating semantic web databases interactively using Squared and the enabling them to be accessed using SPARQL.

When we start to extract data from outside of company control it immediately raises multiple questions:

  • Can the data be trusted? How to QA data from the internet? Risk management?
  • In what way does it connect to internal data? Inferred joins?
  • How does this relate to Data Warehousing as we know it?
  • Should this be done by the IT department or Business?

All of these questions come together in one answer. It means several wise (hopefully) business persons have to put their heads together – what we call collaboration. Google Wave shows us the way forward for a federated collaboration user interface this creates exciting opportunities to resolve the above questions by more dynamically and directly handling the risks and complexities involved.

Seems complicated?

Let’s take it step by step again to understand how the different pieces fit together

  • Use Google Squared to create datasets matching your query needs based on web data. Use a Wave to do this working together with your colleagues.
  • Use SPARQL to query web datasets. Use a Wave to work with the risk and quality related issues of working with web data together with your colleagues insides and outside the company.
  • Use Performance Canvas to interactively create objects for Business People to work with. Use a Wave to do this working together with your colleagues.
  • Publish the resulting Canvas, Mashboard, Dashboard, Report, Analysis or whatever you would like to call it. Use Waves to collaborate and get feedback to improve.

Why Google & SPARQL?

Google is innovative right now. Have a look at other technologies as well. Whether it will be Squared and Wave that will win this game remains to be seen. SPARQL is a W3C query language which seems to be the current emerging standard. No matter what product will prevail in the end all three are very interesting technologies showing us the way into a world where BI is less constrained by slow-moving Data Warehouses and more inheriting the multi faceted agility and do-it-yourself spirit brought by the web.


After reading what I just wrote I think a disclaimer is in place. This is not a product. What is descibed above may never work for real. Google Squared is not ready for prime time. Google Wave is not here yet. SPARQL however is supported today in commercial products like Performance Canvas.

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Google Wave – The New Face of BI

Posted in GOOG, Google, Google Wave by janmorath on June 1, 2009

We’ve been waiting for it. Google Wave is here! As avid fans of in context communication, collaboration and business intelligence we welcome Google Wave. If you haven’t yet seen the video – spend your next 80 minutes doing so and you won’t regret it.

Why is Google Wave important to Business Intelligence?

Business Intelligence, Planning, Analytics and Reporting have all been sold as standalone applications only loosely integrated with the context of Business where the should be put to use. Defining and setting up the BI environment used to be the property of technically skilled BI professionals working off-line from the Business. The Canvas changed this, putting Business People in charge but still we’ve desperately missed the context of collaboration that would integrate BI to the rest of the world seamlessly.

Google Wave changes this. Just imagine…

  • Creating your business gems and mashboards in a Wave working with your colleagues. The old static BI will be forever gone and replaced with the dynamics of online collaboration.
  • Typing in a one-to-one or group conversation and while a robot constantly analyzes your discussion and searches the Business Intelligence both inside and outside the organization for relevant information annotating your discussion with gems of information, graphs and table easily available in the collaboration context.
  • Working with a planning assignment integrated in its business document. The numerical part of the planning automatically synchronized with the financial planning system, the associated report collaboratively authored and comments written and answered – all in the same context.
  • Collaboration and comments seamless between the published mashboard and the collaboration/ communication context editing of the Wave. BI publishing will no longer be a waterfall process but change to the agile round-trip authoring where we all want it to be. The death of Business Intelligence is here and will free us from the burdens of the old data-warehousing publishing methodologies.

Mashboards, Mashups and Waves

Products like Performance Canvas today deliver Mashboard functionality to be able to embed all kinds of content into what used to be a simple BI dashboard or scorecard. The reverse is true as well – by using BI Wiki technology non-programmers can create mashed applications in different contexts. Waves will be canvases for mashboards, dashboards and scorecards with unprecedented collboration and integrated mashup cababilities. Published Mashboards, Dashboards and Scorecards  will be Wave-driven to unleash the energy, creativity and power all to often buried in organizations.

Business Intelligence will be faster and more fun – Stay with us to experience it!

Some more reading: