Sunday, December 14, 2014

2014 BI Leadership Summit

by Brenda J. Christie

This year's BI Leadership Summit, hosted by TechTarget at the New York Hilton, was an event not to miss.  As fate would have it, New York City was in the midst of its first Nor'Easter, and I was among hundreds who trudged on through the raw cold and rain to attend the summit.  I am glad I did as it was certainly worth it.  

I arrived to hear Wayne Eckerson, the keynote speaker, delivering a thorough explanation of the components comprising business intelligence (BI) and the often opposing stakeholders involved in BI's development/delivery and use. Mr. Eckerson's address included a discussion of the organizational architecture surrounding BI from a historical perspective.  The BI organizational architecture sub-topic lead into the notion of a "BI Center for Excellence" which includes a BI Framework.  (See Oracle's whitepaper on BI Competency).  With regards to BI architecture, both the conceptional and logical components were illuminated where, consistent with the tenets of Hardoop, the conceptual architecture maintains data coupled with business intelligence in a staging area from which data can be extracted to meet the requirements of various BI tools and provide maximum flexibility.

PowerPoint slides from Mr. Eckerson's address can be found at the bottom of this post.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Success Means Being Willing to See Reality

by Brenda J. Christie

Resisting Organizational Change Leading to Why Companies Fail

I've written a few posts about Leadership, having happy productive, engaged employees, engaging stakeholders and tools to ensure successful projects.  Obviously, these are subjects near and dear to my heart.  And I am always looking for ways to improve.

So I was delighted to come across another great article, "Leading Change:  Why Transformation Efforts Fail," which I will now add to my career toolbox, and which I will also share with you. Written by John P. Kotter and appearing in the Harvard Business Review, Dr.Kotter outlines eight critical phases which need to be followed in order to make organizational change.  He discusses the people who need to be involved and the effect at each of the eight stages of not adequately following a step on the overall attainment of a goal, whether that be to improve revenue flow, improve stock price, change a corporate culture.  The overarching goal, however, is to stay in business and be able to take advantage of change and challenging market conditions.

Below is a screen shot of the eight success factors which Dr. Kotter discusses in the Harvard Business Review article.

COBOL Development Environments

by Brenda J. Christie

3270 Terminal Emulator

In an earlier post, I wrote about IDEs for web development.  Today's discussion extends to COBOL. The environment in which COBOL programs are developed today has changed a lot from the monochromatic days of Wylbur, Roscoe and TSO.  No longer are programmers necessarily writing their programs on paper and then typing them into a 3270 terminal emulator using Wylbur, Roscoe and TSO.  All three tools, or editors, are still in use, but the menu of what is available has improved and advanced.

Today there are Interactive Development Environments, or IDEs available to mainframe programmers similar to the tools available to web and mobile developers.  IDEs are similar to the familiar GUI interfaces complete with scroll bars, buttons, check boxes and the like.  And, they tend to be colorful.  They are often also more powerful, often allowing in-line syntax checks, COBOL syntax auto completion similar to that found on a smartphone email agent.  And for those more comfortable on a 3270 terminal emulator, there are COBOL IDEs which provide a 3270 emulator-like environment.