Is Your People Pillar Structurally Sound?

Challenges in Balancing People, Process and Technology – Part 1:

There must be a critical flaw in the implementation of People, Process and Technology. If not, why are there so many projects that fail or fall short of objectives? Projects are more expensive, the rate of failure is concerning, and the timeliness of delivery is generally unacceptable. Is this why the perception of IT is so negative these days? Perhaps the problem is isolated to just one of these pillars, or maybe it persists across all three. Or possibly, the problem lies in the balance within and between these Pillars.

Regardless, it bothers me to think that despite the numerous advances in all three areas, it still pains organizations to work on projects due to the unnecessarily high cost, riskiness, or slow time-to-market. I believe the topic warrants a closer look, starting with the People Pillar.

[ Full Story – – William Gardner, Jan 2015]

BI Today: Who is enabled?

Recently, I posted my theory that current Business Intelligence (BI) solutions are lacking a key element: enablement of business users to fully address BI and the data management stack. (Click here for article).

While there is always a need to focus on the elements of People, Process, and Technology to address the current woes in IT tools and solutions, I think our attention today should focus on the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) behavioral model that has propelled Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets to mass appeal – a group of users that need “enablement tools.”

But what does this really mean and how do we achieve it? Rather than posit theories and definitions, I’d like to share a personal example.


[ Full Story – – William Gardner, Jan 2015 ]

Contradictions in BI?

Over the past few weeks I have read several posts and Tweets covering a number of ideas regarding business intelligence (BI), many of which seemed to contradict each other. For example, one article claimed BI will solve business challenges simply by installing a BI tool on top of data, while another claimed BI solutions require a new process and skilled people to analyze and interpret the data regardless of BI tool. A third article claimed the ability to automate the generation of analytical information via BI tools, while a fourth identified various challenges in managing the quality of the input data and relationships thus making automation impossible. To complicate this further, additional articles challenged the use of Excel as a BI tool while others defended it.

[ Full Story – – by William Gardner – January 7, 2014 ]

Who Owns Big Data?

Aggregate data and decision making are being hoarded by a few technology companies with powerful data infrastructure. Does it have to be this way? Or could we create a future in which this data infrastructure is available for use by anyone in the world?

Since the early days of modern computing, science-fiction authors and other visionaries have been fantasizing about a database that could contain all of the world’s knowledge. This idea is now moving out of the realm of fantasy. A small number of technology companies are engaged in serious efforts to build databases that really will contain much of human knowledge. Facebook, for example, has mapped out the social connections among more than a billion people, and Google aspires to digitize all the books in the world.

It has become profitable to build a database containing the entire world’s knowledge. The few for-profit companies that own the data and the tools to mine it – the data infrastructure – possess great power to understand and predict the world. But could we create a similarly powerful public data infrastructure, a Big Data for the masses, that anyone in the world could access?

[ Full Story – MIT Technology Review – By Michael Nielsen – January 5, 2015 ]

Big Data Knows When You’re Going to Quit Your Job Before You Do

Good bosses have an uncanny ability to sense when employees are unhappy and work with them to fix problems in the office before it’s too late. At VMware in Silicon Valley, they let the machines figure it out.

VMware has been testing a new prediction technology from Workday, which makes software for human resources departments. The system delivers notifications about when employees might be getting ready to quit, and allows managers to intervene before it’s too late. It looks for trends within employee activity, when promotions were last handed out, regional factors, changes in the industry and other data to make its predictions. The recommendations can improve over time as employers train the system.

[ Full Story – by Jack Clark: – December 30, 2014 ]