Big Data: From Understanding to Usability

Everyone is talking about big data. Some technology experts call it the “new oil,” the most valuable resource a business owns. Others see it as a stumbling block if companies can't find ways to analyze and then capitalize on this information. For many businesses, however, big data is little more than a confusing buzzword — what exactly is big data, and what's the big deal for your company?

Big data doesn't discriminate — industries from manufacturing to retail and hospitality can benefit from this influx of information. When it comes to healthcare, however, there's huge potential not just for better decision making but significant cost reduction; here's how big data could save healthcare billions over the next few years.

regulatory-complianceIn the modern IT environment, there is a seemingly endless number of business processes being supported by IT. As these processes mount, it becomes necessary to implement and meet a veritable mountain of internal and external regulatory compliance requirements in an effective manner that is both efficient and sustainable. In addition, both internal policies and external regulations require an IT environment that has verifiable integrity. These are not small tasks, and should not be addressed lightly. Automating Configuration Compliance is one way to greatly increase business efficiency and reduce risk.

2016 is around the corner, and many companies are cleaning house, deciding where they should invest IT budgets to maximize security, performance and profitability. While this year was dominated by the rise of hybird cloud and a “shift” toward big data — Datacomony notes that 83 percent of companies had big data investments at the start of 2015 — expect 2016 to feature a much more mature and diversified data market. Here are three trends to watch:

With such a high level of interest and hype surrounding Big Data, analytics, and business intelligence (BI) we’ve seen an accelerated growth rate for BI related software and services. Today, there are multiple BI tools in the industry to choose from, but with so many choices one constant remains—the need to train your end-users.

To ensure user adoption at all levels and a successful roll-out of new BI software, training and education is critical. In this article we will look at educating employees who are new to the popular and rapidly growing BI platform we work with, Tibco Jaspersoft. If your end-users are new to the product, consider the following training points:

First off, consider training around Jaspersoft Studio. Jaspersoft Studio is a report development environment used to create sophisticated pixel-perfect reports for operations teams. Because this is an Eclipse-based report designer, it takes some time to learn. Give your team the opportunity to ramp up, even if they are experienced. Few groups within your organization will use Studio due to some pre-requisites, such as SQL and Java.

Second, train your personnel on the JasperReports Server. The JasperReports Server is a stand-alone reporting server that is used to house reports and the resources that powering reports. The product includes a standard, intuitive user layout, therefore, it is easy to use. That said, there are still some things that you will need to teach your technical personnel and non-technical users:

  • Administrators – Administrator will have to stand up, integrate, and configure the environment, as well as maintain it. This effort can be significant. A permissions model will have to be created and deployed as well, which can require additional training.
  • Data analysts – Data analysts (familiar with the organization’s data) will need to be comfortable with building and deploying reports and dashboards. They will also need training around data-driven features such as topics and domains.
  • The user community – Users will need to know how the environment has been structured and organized for them. Training on how to use the scheduler, Ad Hoc Editor and Dashboard features will be essential in extending usability and increasing workload efficiencies.

Finally, enlist the help of a Tibco Jaspersoft training partner. When it comes to technical training in areas like Jaspersoft ETL and Jaspersoft OLAP, working with a seasoned veteran of the platform can help you deploy business intelligence capabilities more quickly and inexpensively. Often times a Jaspersoft training partner can also customize training to meet your exact needs, and your own organization's use of the software, ensuring you realize the true power of your data.

As you can see, there are a number of training points to consider when implementing a new BI system, such as Tibco Jaspersoft. Making sure that your personnel get the right training, at the right time is critical. Training not only helps you increase business productivity in the long run, but also helps you execute your project plans at a much more rapid pace. All of this leads to an increased, positive business outcome for the organization and its stakeholders.

Article by

Hugo Mendoza, PMP, Senior Business Intelligence Trainer and Consultant for Column Technologies

Hugo Mendoza is an IT professional with almost two decades of industry experience, and his background ranges from software development to authoring online training course-ware to overall project delivery. He is familiar with the many aspects of the software development life-cycle and is comfortable handling both small- and large-scale implementations for clients across different industries within both the commercial and government sectors. Additionally, Hugo has a strong background with the Tibco Jaspersoft Business Intelligence Platform, which includes the following core components: JasperReports Server, iReport Designer and Jaspersoft Studio, Jaspersoft ETL, and Jaspersoft OLAP.