Perfect storms need the right kind of converging systems to develop. They usually also take time to come to a full head.
How many out there know how long business intelligence was top-of-mind for CIOs? According to Gartner, it was more than five years. Between 2005 and 2009, BI was ranked four times as first, and once as second on the minds and in the budgets of CIOs. In 2010, BI yielded top ranking to virtualization and cloud computing, but still clocked in as important at 5th in the top 10.
That’s quite a run.
In terms of technology evolution, it’s a very long time. The technology landscape has not stood still to wait for the BI market to settle out. So many key things have happened in that time frame that the focus of BI has evolved, and BI overall has largely matured as a technology. It’s clearly still key, and its enduring importance and level of maturity make it system 1 of the converging systems that make up this perfect storm.
Looking back, though, some other pretty amazing things were happening just as BI was starting to keep CIOs awake at night.
Just prior to this “BI era”, a small company called Keyhole Inc. was building a little app that has since become Google Earth. Viewed as one of the “coolest” Web applications of its day, Google Earth has done many things, like enticing some retailers to paint their logos on the roof so you and I can see them in Google Earth. But the most important thing Google Earth did was bring to the forefront mapping visualizations with data. Maps are used by everyone today, for everything from mapping a running route to planning a vacation to simply getting to a destination.
How many people did you know in 2005 who owned a personal GPS device? How many people do you know now who don’t have one?
Businesses are likewise now using GIS to gain competitive advantage, to spatially analyze their key data.
And there we have converging system two of our perfect storm: GIS is mainstream.
The only missing ingredient in our set of converging systems is something that – oddly enough – is an essential ingredient in any storm.
It’s a cloud. Enter software as a service, with cloud-based delivery of GIS services, and we have the third and last of our converging systems.
With BI well along the road to maturity, the omnipresence of GIS, and hosted map services readily available, we’re experiencing the perfect storm in which to extend the world of BI data into the world of GIS. This is true for BI groups who don’t yet have in-place GIS resources, and for groups who do have them, but have not yet aligned their own internal resources to integrate and exploit them together.
How do you get started?
If you already have your IBM Cognos BI system in play, you can start with the SpotOn Vantage Maps Starter Kit for IBM Cognos. This game-changing new offering allows anyone with IBM Cognos BI to extend the value of their BI applications with geo-spatial analytics, with an optimized offering that combines award-winning SpotOn Vantage software with hosted ESRI map services. It’s by far the easiest and most cost-effective way to get maps integrated into your IBM Cognos BI reports.
To learn more about how you can take advantage of this geospatial business intelligence perfect storm, join us for a Webinar on Tuesday November 23, at 11 AM Eastern Standard Time.
If you have IBM Cognos BI and want maps, it'll be time well spent.