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Industry Knowledge for the Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing Community

August 2004
Athena IT Solutions

It hasn't been a great summer for BI vendor stock prices. This month in BI Marketplace Observations we discuss why sales have slipped, as well as some of the factors affecting the BI marketplace and how they are influencing customer behavior.

Our feature article introduces you to the concept of a data integration center of expertise (DICE). Establishing a DICE is the first step towards consolidating the data silos that proliferate across an enterprise.

BI Marketplace Observations<a href=

by Rick Sherman , Athena IT Solutions

Software sales slip for BI and ETL vendors

Did you see all the press about a software sales slump after Q2 2004 results were pre-announced last month? It’s really not as bad as they made it out to be. Let me explain.

Part of the slump was not really declining sales, but rather sales not meeting Wall Street and the software vendors’ expectations. Several software stocks took nosedives when they pre-announced or announced disappointing sales or earnings. Ascential Software and Embarcadero Technologies each had one-day declines of over 20% plus additional declines. Other firms that didn’t have such steep one-day declines still had 7-8% one-day drops with further sell-off in the accompanying days.

There has been much talk about the possible reasons for the disappointing sales. Much of the blame has been pinned on an inability to meet sales expectations, with many of the software vendors saying that anticipated deals in Q2 did not close and were postponed until Q3.

What are the reasons for the shortfall in expectations? Let’s look at three areas: overall economy, software spending, and issues specific to data warehousing (DW) and business intelligence (BI) software markets.

>>> Read the complete article, Software sales slip for BI and ETL vendors


Monthly DM Review Column, The Data Integration Advisor:

Do You Need a Data Integration Center of Expertise (DICE)? (July 2004)

Architecture Standards (May 2004)

DM Review article archive

Recent Press
Rick Sherman quoted in Business WeekBusiness Week

Recent Issues of Business Intelligence Briefs

BI vendors are now CPM vendors! (June 2004)

Shedding Light on Data Shadow Systems (May 2004)



Data Integration Advisor:
Do You Need a Data Integration Center of Expertise (DICE)?

Reining in the proliferation of expensive, redundant data silos requires a methodical approach that includes establishing a data integration center of expertise.

In their quest for a single version of the truth and a 360-degree view of the enterprise, businesses have invested in projects to improve efficiency, effectiveness and productivity. They have built IT systems for enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), supply chain management (SCM) and systems for budgeting, planning and forecasting. They attempted to integrate data with data warehouses, data marts and business intelligence (BI) projects. They relied on enterprise application integration (EAI) software to integrate all their applications, but it failed to integrate the data. They tried enterprise information integration (EII) software to create virtual data warehouses, but it too failed to provide the silver bullet for avoiding the hard work of data integration. Despite all the investments, data continues to be inconsistent across the enterprise.

>>> Read the complete article, Do You Need a DICE?

White Paper Download

We are now making the following white paper available for you to download:

Ten Principles for Increasing the Business Value of Your Data Warehouse and Business Intelligence Investments

>>>white paper abstract and order form

About Athena IT Solutions

Athena IT Solutions provides data warehousing and business intelligence consulting services to help businesses increase the return on investment of their corporate data. Athena IT Solutions founder Rick Sherman has more than 17 years of business intelligence and data warehousing experience, having worked on more than 50 implementations as an independent consultant and as a director/practice leader at a Big Five firm. He founded Athena IT Solutions, a Boston-based business intelligence and data warehousing consulting firm and is a published author, industry speaker, instructor and consultant. He can be reached at rsherman@athena-solutions.com or (617) 835-0546.

© 2004 Athena IT Solutions

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