Bytes Universal Systems (BUS), the exclusive southern African distributor for global analytic data platforms, marketing and analytic applications company Teradata, hosted an Innovation Forum in Johannesburg, titled “Data changes everything”.
“The forum provided an ideal opportunity for our customers and prospects to hear about the latest data warehousing and analytics initiatives, solutions and programs, and how Teradata customers around the world are adopting these,” says Hendrik Blignaut, strategic business unit lead, enterprise intelligence solutions (EIS) at Bytes Universal Systems. “Our guests had the opportunity to listen to data-driven success stories about the convergence of big data analytics and discovery, data warehousing, and business intelligence.”
Speakers included James Hunt, senior finance industry consultant, Teradata International, whose presentation looked at maximising the value from integrated data and analytics, in a world where the value density of data is decreasing, while the volume of data is increasing. Hunt focused on the fact that many organisations make a considerable investment in developing an integrated data warehouse, and analytical environment, but few take full advantage of the capabilities they have worked hard to put in place. He also noted that the BI Competency Centre (BICC) owns the drivers of business value and is responsible for helping the organisation move up the BI and analytics maturity curve.
“The session highlighted some of the challenges, and explored examples of organisations which have really made data and analytics work, driving both revenue and cost-savings as a result,” says Blignaut.
Teradata’s chief technology officer Dr Stephen Brobst presented on the topic, “Driving success with a business intelligence competency centre”. He noted that great architecture is not driven by technology, but rather by strategy. Brobst pointed out that only one-fifth of knowledge workers are capable of creating their own reports, while power users are often frustrated by the limitations of conventional BI tools. He explored the best practices in constructing BICC, paying attention to the needs of both power users and operational consumers of information, because, he said, “the BICC is the marketing organisation for your data warehouse and analytics capability”.
Dr Frank Säuberlich, director of data science at Teradata, spoke on the importance of starting small when it comes to big data, and described a general framework for agile analytics, involving business users and analysts, and based on a fail fast approach. He noted that agile is a cultural change for the entire enterprise, and cautioned that well governed agile works better than “anarchy” agile.
“BUS and Teradata have a longstanding partnership in southern Africa,” says Blignaut. “Globally, Teradata prides itself on a strong and active user group, as well as its vast number of customer reference sites. In South Africa, BUS has strived to have a similar level of customer engagement and we are proud of the fact that the innovation forum, which we hold annually, continues to attract an ever-increasing number of local Teradata customers and prospects who want to engage and exchange ideas. It’s an event where people can meet, learn and network with peers from other Teradata users and experts and hear about trends and developments from leading international Teradata specialists.”