Editor’s Note: Below is an informative guest blog post by Bharat Adodra, Director at Macro Define Ltd. Bharat is a Senior Project Manager with extensive experience and a vast knowledge base in helping users bridge IT and Business. In his guest post, Bharat shares his thoughts on what TimeXtender calls: “The Data Discovery Hub” and what Bharat has coined the “BIO” or Business Intelligence Orchestration. We hope you enjoy this insightful article.

BIOHub is simply a phrase to describe what I see as the emergent, next-generation data discovery technology that powers the modern Business Intelligence solutions for enterprises and that provides speed and agility of deployment and rapid responsiveness to change. The old construct of a “central” Enterprise Data Warehouse has long proven to be costly and time consuming and that does not meet the demands of the modern business enterprise where speed and agility are crucial when it comes to decision making based on gaining insights from its core business data.  

We have been in the midst of the rise of data discovery and data visualization technologies such as Qlik, which is the result of the business “backlash” to the costly, time consuming, IT-led data warehouse deployments of the past.   These technologies have empowered the business users to discover and access data directly from sources with speed and ease of analysis. It comes with its own set of problems though:

  • Buildup of a spaghetti-like population of environments leading to escalating costs
  • Limits to the ability of the business users in understanding and interpreting direct source data on their own and consequent contradictions in reporting
  • The above limits leading to errors in analysis

The concept of governed data discovery has now emerged, which emphasizes the creation of an intermediate store of data where data quality and consistency can be ensured, and governance can be applied. It requires the creation of a Data Discovery Hub, which is the intermediate data source and orchestration hub for all core business data drawn from the source systems.

Eckerson report: Governed Data Discovery

While this seems like the old Enterprise Data Warehouse construct with all its problems, I’m alluding to something quite different and modern. This brings me to what I like to think as the Business Intelligence Orchestration Hub – BIOHub – technology that is more than a mere data store.  

What I would look for in a BIO is:

  • Automation of the design and build of data feeds from the source systems or even an existing data warehouse – enables speed and agility in build, as well as ease of long-term maintenance and change.
  • Integration and automation of outbound feeds to the data visualization layer, which the business users will use to access data from the intermediate store for all reporting and analytics; preserving democratized data discovery is crucial
  • Adaptability and agility to changes, as source systems and source data structures will inevitably undergo changes; or, altogether new sources will be added
  • BIO, along with principles of governed data discovery in my view, is the next-generation solution for Business Intelligence. And in choosing a solution, I would look for evidence of the BIO attributes defined above, at a minimum; which makes the combination of Qlik in democratised data discovery and TimeXtender as the backbone or indeed the business intelligence orchestration hub with full lifecycle automation, an exciting solution for any organisation considering to enhance its data analytics practice.

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