As a new year approaches, it’s the season for lists, forecasts and general look-ahead. Press interviews of that nature have already begun. And so I’m working on a trilogy of related posts, all based on an inquiry about hot analytic trends for 2012.
This post is a moderately edited form of an actual interview. Two other posts cover analytic trends to watch (planned) and analytic vendor execution challenges to watch (already up).
Question: What do you think will happen next year with the Tableaus of the world?
- I think adoption of flexible-visualization business intelligence tools will continue to be rapid.
- I think enterprise-friendly features will be increasingly important as a basis of competition.
Question: What do you mean by “enterprise-friendly”?
Answer: An example would be QlikTech no longer forcing you to use their native ETL, but rather working with Informatica and soon other third-party products. Also important can be:
- Database size.
- A full-featured development cycle for analytic applications.
Question: What does HP have to do to be relevant in analytics/data warehousing?
Answer: Avoid stupidity. HP Vertica is already relevant.
Question: OK. But what can HP do to build on Vertica?
Answer: HP — which botched Exadata 1 hardware — could do a good job with SAP HANA or other kinds of appliance products.
- I don’t think trying to force Vertica beyond its natural growth — the way EMC is with Greenplum — is necessarily a good idea. Natural growth in Vertica’s case is plenty fast anyway.
- Obviously, making good Vertica hardware would be nice. But being hardware-independent is crucial to Vertica, not least because of cloud deployment, an option many buyers want to at least have in their hip pockets.
Question: You expressed some skepticism toward mobile BI/use cases. Why so?
Answer: The form factor hurts functionality a lot, so it’s only worthwhile in cases where timeliness is key.
And without more refined alert-setting functionality, it’s hard to think of that many cases.
Note: My views on mobile BI haven’t changed much since July, 2010.
Question: What about the idea of an enterprise being able to pay-per-drink to run jobs on an analytic cluster. Do you expect that concept to have any legs in 2012?
Answer: While other kinds of SaaS (Software as a Service) BI might make sense, remote computing BI that focuses on hardware cost sharing is problematic. Moving data in and out of the cluster is a big part of the overall cost, at least if you plan to process it only occasionally once it gets there. I haven’t seen a plan yet that gets around that point.