At least weekly, I am granted the opportunity to meet and work alongside experienced professionals who serve in a corporate business intelligence (BI) leadership function. When they describe their role upon introduction, there is a common thread to the scope of influence and control which usually intersects one or more of these domains: Read more

Well in advance of the IBM acquisition of Cognos, the Cognos name was synonymous with powerful, trusted enterprise business intelligence and managed reporting. Between its ability to scale to meet the needs of the largest enterprises, its robust, governed metadata layer that made it possible to report against a vast array of different data sources, powerful reporting capabilities churning out highly complex managed BI reporting solutions, and ad-hoc reporting and analysis against those governed data sources, IBM Cognos was the answer for almost all enterprise reporting needs. Until it wasn’t. Read more

We’re often asked how “our methodology” helps drive better user adoption. The key to user adoption is satisfying users’ needs, within the context of their environment. This sounds obvious, but it’s surprisingly easy to miss the mark. And all too often, projects are doomed from the beginning…with the requirements. Read more

The last several years have represented an interesting journey for organizations and teams leveraging Cognos for analytics. During that time, visual data discovery tools have made a significant impact. However, as of late, we have seen the pendulum swing back to concepts introduced by enterprise BI tools long ago.¹ What’s old is new again.

When these new tools arrived, they challenged both the status quo and what many of us saw as an ideal solution to the localized, ungoverned, manually-intensive, and often error-prone data manipulation (i.e. “shadow analytics”) processes of the past. If we think back to the dawn of the modern business intelligence age in the mid 1990’s, we realize that these challenges are what tools like Cognos were developed to solve. Read more

If your organization is seeking to better manage its information as a corporate asset that is to be valued and capitalized, you’re likely focused on implementing programs that will catalyze measurable business results from mountains of business information that may be the product of the last decade or more of digital transformation initiatives. Read more

One size does not fit all. Try as they might, there is not a single BI platform that can offer every capability that users require. With organizational complexity increasing, and the growing demand for self-service analytics, it has become commonplace, even recommended, for organizations to maintain multiple BI platforms to meet the needs of people in diverse roles with differing needs across the organization. Read more

Governance is the ongoing process of creating and managing processes, policies, and information. This includes strategies, processes, activities, skills, organizations, and technologies for the purpose of accelerating business outcomes. It also involves creating organizations, roles and responsibilities to perform this management. In our experience, many organizations address governance once and often without completing the necessary tasks. Organizations that excel in data and analytics governance continuously manage the process on an ongoing basis. Read more

You walk down the long hall, and tentatively knock on the side of a cubicle, just loud enough to be heard over the din of keyboard clicking. The occupant of the chair slowly spins around. “Yes?”

“So, um, I was wondering about that report I requested…”

“Yes I remember” comes a flat reply. “We’re still looking into it, I’ll let you know in a week, OK?”

The chair spins back around, keyboard sounds resume. Read more

Last week, Ironside’s partner Pitney Bowes, issued a press release announcing the global launch of its new Software & Data Marketplace.  We believe that accessibility to Pitney Bowes data will be valuable to our clients as they will be able to source and process data from multiple providers in the same applications, leading to easier analysis and collaboration of data points. Read more

It seems like data and analytics is on the top of everyone’s agenda these days. If you are accountable for providing any type of reporting, business analytics, or predictive analytics, then you are aware of the demands being placed on your time, data, and systems. If you are an executive, you are probably asking questions about your business and waiting for answers and insights.

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We refer to this cycle as the ‘speed to business insights’. One of our key principles at Ironside is helping clients to reduce the cost to innovate. How do you know that your cost to innovate is too high? Here are a few simple questions that are strong indicators: Read more