The Current State of Business Intelligence and Analytics (VIDEO)

Video produced by Steve Nathans-Kelly

In a presentation at Data Summit 2019, Athena IT Solutions managing partner Richard Sherman discussed the four prevalent states of data analytics and BI today. For  many reasons, we're in these four states, said Sherman.

Silos: "One is we have lots of silos. Our organizations are set up as business functions. We have different business units. Our source systems, our ERP systems, et cetera, are all set up to handle functions because it's more efficient, but then we somehow have to get that data together and get people to agree to key performance indicators and key ways to look at the business so we're set up as silos and we implement data integration and BI and analytics in the silos architecture."

Queues: "Second, we have lots of queues for people trying to do analytics. Now this queue isn't just for IT. One, it's for the IT group. I contend that it's a bimodal distribution. The IT group that isn't successful has a queue but the one that is wildly successful has the bigger queue because people want more and more information from them. There is also the power user or the data analyst in each business function. That person is generating lots and lots of analytics through spreadsheet or data prep tools in order to solve and help their fellow peers in their organizations."

DBTA’s next Data Summit conference will be held May 19-20, 2020, in Boston, with pre-conference workshops on Monday, May 18.

Tools and Hype: "Three is we have lots and lots of tools, lots and lots of hype. Each new generation of BI tool—I have a clip, not here but I have a clip of advertisements from vendors where I take off their names, where they talk about delivering analytics in hours and minutes and seconds, instantly, not only data but information, not only information, now they're using insights. Now I'm also seeing data integration tools, specifically streaming tools, talk about instantly providing insights to your business. I'll contend to you that it's a lot more than just the tool in order for that to happen."

Lots of Money for Lots of Projects: "And finally we've been spending lots and lots and lots and lots of money and lots of projects throughout the years and we're still in the silos, and it's ever increasing," he said.

Many presenters have made their slide decks available on the Data Summit 2019 website at

To access Sherman's full presentation,  "Designing a Data Architecture for Modern Business Intelligence & Analytics," go to