Communications over the world wide doesnt depend on sytax or eloquence or rethoric or articulation but on the emotional context in which the message is being heard.
People can only hear you when they are moving toward you and they are not likely to when your wordss are pursuing them
Even the choices words lose their powe when they are used to overpower.
Attitudes are the real figures of speech '-Friedman

Thursday, April 28, 2011

What Agile Business Intelligence Really Means By Wayne Kernochan

File:Business Intellgence Frame.jpg Jill Dyche, a long-time business intelligence consultant with a clear indication in her blogof diligence, savvy and experience in data warehousing, launched an attack on present-day enterprises attempting to do agile business intelligence (BI) "on the cheap," claiming that they were not performing the drudge work of developing data models and improving data quality and therefore were less likely to achieve agile business intelligence. In the process of critiquing these users, Dyche also seemed to imply that the methods she laid out were sufficient to achieve significant improvements in business agility.

By focusing on seeking out new data rather than improving performance on existing data, we end up improving overall performance.

Six Ways Business Intelligence Software Can Help Your Business

In an effort to pin down specific ways business intelligence software can help businesses work smarter, we recently spoke with Brian Gentile, the CEO of open source business intelligence vendor Jaspersoft. And while no two organizations are exactly the same, Gentile says just about every mid-sized and large organization has something to gain from deploying business intelligence throughout the organization.

Herewith is Gentile's list of six areas where BI can help your business.


"A marketing department needs to find ways to help the company grow the top line," explained Gentile. More specifically, it needs the ability to analyze campaign returns, promotional yields, and fine-tune spending to get the biggest ROI. And business intelligence software, with its analytical capabilities, can provide your marketing team with the insights it needs to determine where marketing dollars are best spent. "Not only can a marketing team use it [BI software] to find the most effective campaigns and promotions and website activity," said Gentile, "but they can also use it to find the least effective areas" and adjust their spending accordingly, saving the company money and helping to drive growth.


With sales, business intelligence is all about process improvement, Gentile said, "analyzing the steps, time length or duration inside a broad number of customer opportunities within the sales funnel, then finding the best path and best practices." Without business intelligence software, managers are left guessing which sales techniques were the most effective in closing a deal quickly — or the least effective in the case of losing a sale. With the analytical tools that BI software provides, however, managers can gain specific insight into the sales pipeline and make adjustments accordingly. Put another way, with BI, "you can see at every step what's working best and what's not, and you can retarget your energy and dollars to those areas where the best yield occurs," he said.

Finance and Accounting

For Finance and Accounting departments, BI is all about process improvement, stated Gentile. A good accounting or finance department manages something called quote to cash, which looks at the sales funnel, and reasons, "here's a customer who we've actually given a firm proposal, and they're going to accept it. How long and what steps are required to go from that proposal or quote all the way through to cash collection? How many days expired during that time frame — and what do we need to do inside of our company using that data to improve the process, so that it's easier for customers to move from a firm quote or proposal all the way through to cash collection?" BI software lets you do that, said Gentile.

Human Resources

While most organizations don't tend to think of BI in terms of HR, human resources is actually another department that can really benefit from it, argued Gentile. Specifically, business intelligence software (analytics) can help your HR department track and manage things like employee turnover (voluntary versus involuntary) and which candidate pools tend to yield the best candidates. You can also analyze compensation. "We have a couple of customers — commercial ISVs — who embedded us into their HR application, which they resell," said Gentile. "So now they can deliver specific analytic and reporting insight along with the HR data that's being captured in their HR system. It's a lesser talked about area, but a very valuable one."

Inventory and Fulfillment

Many businesses already use some form of BI to monitor and automatically adjust inventory levels, noted Gentile. "There's something called complex and intelligent event management software, which when inventory is low triggers automatic reorders," he said. "And that's pretty much standard nowadays in any supply chain or inventory system." But you can also use BI to figure out "how fast is that inventory turning? How many times did the reorder point get triggered in the last 30 days? And is that on track for what I would expect for this product at this time of year?"


As Gentile is quick to point out, BI "brings people together, at first argumentatively, then later collaboratively." What he means by that is that companies that are not driven by metrics or analytics often argue about where problems lie, who or what department is responsible, and how to resolve them — often casting blame where it may not be due. With BI, which provides objective metrics and analytical data, everyone can look at the data and see where the trouble really lies and work together to resolve issues and improve business processes, a process Gentile referred to as "forming, storming, norming, and then performing."

Jennifer Lonoff Schiff is a regular contributor to eCRM Guide and runs a marketing communications firm focused on helping small and mid-sized businesses.

Silicon quantum computer a possibility

squiggly linesAchieving entanglement in silicon is another step down the road to quantum computers.Alamy

Ambitions to build a solid-state quantum computer received a boost this week from a team of researchers based at the University of Oxford, UK, who reported the simultaneous entanglement of 10 billion pairs of quantum bits, or qubits, in a highly purified crystal of silicon1.

Qubits are analogous to the bits used for programming in today's computers, but are more useful because they can be placed in a 'superposition' of several quantum states at the same time. It has been shown theoretically that by running calculations in parallel, using many quantum states in superposition, a quantum computer could solve problems that would take a classical computer an infinite amount of time, for example, running Shor's algorithm, which factors large numbers into primes and could be used, for example, to crack the most powerful encryption algorithms on the Internet.

Building a useful quantum computer will involve creating more than 1 million such qubits and entangling them together, so that the states of any one qubit are intrinsically linked with the states of others. The current record for the number of qubits all entangled together is 12.

The authors' next step — which they have yet to undertake — will be to entangle the pairs of qubits with one another, forming a massive-scale quantum computer. By working with billions of qubits at once, "we're trying to hopscotch the middle ground that is holding up a lot of groups", says PhD student Stephanie Simmons, an author on the paper.

With her supervisor, John Morton, and other colleagues, Simmons entangled the pairs of qubits by passing a sequence of radio and microwave pulses into a silicon crystal embedded with 10 billion phosphorus atoms and cooled to less than three degrees above absolute zero. The sequence of pulses flipped the magnetic orientation, or spin, of each phosphorus nucleus and one of its electrons until the pair became entangled with each other, forming a two-qubit system. Simmons and her colleagues confirmed the entangled state by detecting a microwave signal emitted from the crystal.

A sure start

Frank Wilhelm, who works on the theory of quantum-computing devices at the Institute for Quantum Computing in Waterloo, Canada, says that the work represents an advance over the more common method of qubit creation — the use of liquid nuclear magnetic resonance, which entangles the spins on molecules in fluids using a magnetic field. This method holds the current record of 12 for the largest number of entangled spins, but because the starting state of each spin is random, there has been debate among researchers over whether calculations done using the bits are genuine quantum algorithms or just simulations, he says. By contrast, Morton and his colleagues' method means that the starting state of each spin is known to be in either the up or the down orientation.

Wilhelm adds that the work represents progress towards a goal outlined in Nature more than a decade ago by Bruce Kane, then at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, of one day building a quantum computer using phosphorus-doped silicon2. "The promise is that because it's silicon technology and the semiconductor industry has worked on this, progress will accelerate," he says.

Although the work does move researchers closer to this goal, Morton cautions that the type of silicon used the experiment was not standard commercial-grade; the sample is an extra-pure crystal of the isotope silicon-28, from which atoms of silicon-29 have been removed. Silicon-29 is magnetic and would interfere with the entanglement procedure.

"It's nice, impressive work," says Jeremy O'Brien, a quantum-computing specialist at the University of Bristol, UK. But what is really needed, he says, is the ability to do the additional nanofabrication to put electrodes on the silicon chip to address each individual nucleus and electron pair, a technology that will be needed to get more than two spins entangled together in silicon. "That would be really impressive," he says.

Morton says that recent work by Andrea Morello at the University of New South Wales and his colleagues shows that it will be possible to address individual phosphorus nuclei as O'Brien suggests3. However, he estimates that it may take three to five years to reach the next step of persuading electrons in the crystal to hop from one site to the next, extending the entanglement to many bits. "That will be the real test for getting this scheme to work," says Morton.

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Alan Boyle Science editor
As's science editor, Alan Boyle runs a virtual curiosity shop of the physical sciences and space exploration, plus paleontology, archaeology and other ologies that strike his fancy. Since joining in 1996, Boyle has won awards from the National Academies, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Association of Science Writers, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Space Frontier Foundation, the Pirelli Relativity Challenge and the CMU Cybersecurity Journalism Awards program. He is the author of "The Case for Pluto," a contributor to "A Field Guide for Science Writers," the blogger behind Cosmic Log: Bacteria can walk on 'legs' — and an occasional talking head on the MSNBC cable channel. During his 33 years of daily journalism in Cincinnati, Spokane and Seattle, he’s survived a hurricane, a volcanic eruption, a total solar eclipse and an earthquake. He has faith he'll survive the Internet as well.

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