A Two- or Three-day Seminar and Workshop

Beyond Business Intelligence— Cognitive Decision Making

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Business is transforming, rapidly and dramatically. Retailers and supply chains react in real-time to changes in the market, even to changes in the weather. Logistics companies change routes in response to real-time traffic patterns. Insurance premiums are calculated based on driving behaviour as reported by sensors in your car. Such changed and reinvented business processes offer cost savings, increased profits and exciting new opportunities.

Modern technology is everywhere driving all this change. It generates enormous quantities of data —Big Data, Social Media and now, most importantly, from the Internet of Things. We now record and track events, messages and measures on a scale never before imagined. And business must respond, react and anticipate. In such a time of change, decision making becomes both automated and data-driven at one extreme and deeply intuitive at the other.

We are now at another cross-roads—cognitive decision making, where all the data we are collecting from every connectable device and every contactable person is contributing to a vast effort to augment and automate decision making in every aspect of business… and human society.

The rise of these and other advanced technologies over the past half-decade has utterly changed the landscape for business intelligence and data warehousing. We need a new business vision and architecture to reap the very real business benefits promised by new technologies. Business and IT must work closely together in a tightly-integrated approach that I call the “biz-tech ecosystem”. IT needs a new architecture that reintegrates all decision making and action taking into the overall processes of the business. This workshop describes the new, comprehensive architecture required for modern businesses, as well as directly addressing how you can evolve from your current business intelligence environment to benefit from big data, the Internet of Things, cognitive computing and related technologies.

Learning Objectives

  • Business  drivers and technical rationale for a new architectural approach
  • Structure and components of the new architecture
  • The possibilities and challenges of new database and data management technologies, including Hadoop, NoSQL, column stores and other analytic appliances
  • Using data virtualization and ETL as tools for integration of all types of content and data
  • Positioning and using Web and collaboration tools in support of decision-making
  • The importance of user context and roles in decision processes
  • The emerging role of cognitive computing, deep learning and algorithms in decision making
  • Practical steps to grow and improve your current data warehouse to the new architecture

Seminar & Workshop Outline

The why and how of a new architecture

  • Historical overview of data warehousing
  • Prior assumptions about business and technology
  • New, future-proof hypotheses for the biz-tech ecosystem
  • The emergence and impact of the Internet of Things
  • Business examples, drivers and justification
  • A new layering approach—Information, Process and People
  • The pillars of a new architecture that supports multiple storage technologies

The Information Resource—the Foundation for Everything

  • New classes of information—human-sourced and machine-generated—and how they enter the traditional process-mediated data stores of the business
  • Big data—hype and reality, sources and types, implications for business and IT
  • Formal and informal information—gathering the wisdom of meetings and more
  • A new conceptual architecture for all information, including Big Data and the Internet of Things
  • Timeliness—from in-flight data to historical information, the life cycle of information
  • Structure—much more than structured vs. unstructured, a continuum of data types
  • Metadata as context-setting information—sources and stores, tools and techniques
  • Reliability—enabling innovation, and the need for certified and uncertified information
  • Logical architecture and the move from layers to pillars
  • Relational database  evolution—column, row and hybrid stores, in-memory databases, analytic appliances
  • Uses, pros and cons of NoSQL databases, Hadoop and Hadoop-based databases, XML, JSON-based and other semi-structured data stores
  • Loosely structured information and content stores
  • Positioning Master Data Management (MDM), Operational Data Store (ODS), Data Marts, and other common constructs

The Business Processes—Getting from Decisions to Actions

  • The dimensions of process: Business Effect, Active Scope and Time Span
  • How pervasive Mobile connectivity, processing and storage combine with the Cloud to reinvent business processes
  • The new role of users in “application development”—mashups are only the beginning
  • Service Oriented Architecture, Business Process Management, Enterprise Service Bus and Enterprise Application Integration
  • Understanding adaptive, closed-loop business processes
  • A model for decision making and action taking—the adaptive decision cycle
  • Data Integration, ETL and ELT, and the growing role of the DBMS in data integration
  • Federation, Data Virtualisation, Enterprise Information Integration

The People—Understanding Needs and Engaging Innovation

  • The axes of people: Motivation, Attitude and Role
  • Where Business Intelligence misses the mark—for users and business
  • Understanding motivation and the workings of the human mind in business systems
  • Business Activity Monitoring, Scorecards and Dashboards, Enterprise Portals
  • Query, reporting and other decision support tools
  • Business, process and application modelling
  • Decision-making and action-taking in a closed-loop, real-time environment
  • Cognitive computing, deep learning and algorithms to augment or automatg decision making
  • Automating user knowledge and activities
  • Business, Predictive and Operational Analytics and how they differ from BI
  • Enterprise 2.0 and the central role of collaboration and informal information in innovation
  • Information modelling considerations in a rapidly changing environment
  • Loosely structured content – tagging, ontologies and taxonomies

Planning and implementation

  • A new logical architecture to replace the 1980’s layered data warehouse model
  • Evolution—not revolution
  • Planning and implementing Cloud solutions
  • Supporting fully Mobile operation and BYOD
  • The Staged Implementation Roadmap
  • Organisational considerations; changes in IT culture and responsibilities
  • Tackling the “spreadmart” problem
  • From query and reporting to enabling deep analytics
  • Executive decision support and how it must evolve
  • Bridging the operational-informational boundary—the promise and reality of in-memory databases

Ethical, social and economic aspects

  • Privacy concerns in customer interactions
  • Ethical issues in workplace performance monitoring and improvement
  • Policies and procedures to address ethical and privacy concerns
  • Impacts on the economy and labour in general
  • Social impacts


  • Enterprise, systems, solutions and data warehouse architects
  • Systems, strategy and business intelligence managers
  • Data warehouse and systems designers and developers
  • Data and database administrators
  • Tech-savvy business analysts

Speaker Biography

Barry Devlin

Dr. Barry Devlin, Founder and Principal, 9sight Consulting  
Dr. Barry Devlin is among the foremost authorities on business insight and one of the founders of data warehousing, having published the first architectural paper on the topic in 1988.  With over 30 years of IT experience, including 20 years with IBM as a Distinguished Engineer, he is a widely respected analyst, consultant, lecturer and author of the seminal book, “Data Warehouse—from Architecture to Implementation” and numerous White Papers.  His 2013 book, “Business unIntelligence—Insight and Innovation beyond Analytics and Big Data” is available in both hardcopy and e-book formats.

Barry is founder and principal of 9sight Consulting. He specializes in the human, organizational and IT implications of deep business insight solutions that combine operational, informational and collaborative environments. A regular contributor to journals, blogs and Twitter on the topic of decision making support and business intelligence, Barry is based in Cape Town, South Africa and operates worldwide.

In-House Training
If you require a quote for running this course in-house, please contact us with the following details:

  • Subject matter and/or speaker required
  • Estimated number of delegates
  • Location (town, country)
  • Number of days required (if different from the public course)
  • Preferred date

Please contact:
Jeanette Hall
E-mail: jeanette.hall@irmuk.co.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)20 8866 8366
Fax: +44 (0) 2036 277202

Speaker: Barry Devlin
Barry Devlin



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