What Do Lego and BI Platforms Have in Common?
This weekend we took my girls to a birthday party. These kid’s parties have become significantly less fun since the day I was deemed too tall for the ball pit and too heavy for the inflatable bouncy houses. But this party was different because I brought The Lego Movie to entertain a dozen boys and girls – and it was a big hit. For someone like me who has spent a good portion of his childhood building spaceships and moon cities, this was a very welcome departure from the standard party format of pizza, cake, and mass confusion.
On the drive home, I had time to reflect on what has made Lego a timeless success: unlimited possibilities. Whether you purchased a kit to build a pirate ship or a space station, a race car or a castle, all of the pieces were designed to work together and could be used to create whatever you could imagine. This is pretty much the same as the quality that has driven success for Information Builders customers over the years. Our solutions for business intelligence, integration, and data integrity follow the same principle -- all of the capabilities of the platform have been designed to work together. That can’t be said for a lot of technology companies who tend to grow through acquisition and create “Frankenstacks” that can be difficult to deal with.
Just as Lego adds new kits as new trends emerge, such as Lord of the Rings or Disney Princesses, Information Builders adds new capabilities to make sure our customers can get maximum value out of their information capital. The core WebFOCUS business intelligence and analytics platform has been extended over the years to include things like predictive and text analytics, device-responsive mobile capabilities, enterprise search capabilities, data discovery tooling, and more. Our customers don’t live in a one size fits all world. They all face different challenges, have different business models, different corporate cultures, different ideas on how they can best leverage their information assets to differentiate themselves from their peers. The interoperability and reusability of the platform components creates significant value. Some of our customers’ most valued and successful applications leverage multiple pieces of the platform in combination to create interactive InfoApps that are deployed to thousands, even millions, of users.
For example, InfoApps can embed the results of predictive algorithms inside of operational applications to notify call center representatives of the appropriate promotional offers for a given customer. They can provide investment advisors access to portfolio information on mobile devices to help enable fact- based conversations with their clients. They can provide your customers with self-service capabilities through secure online portals. They can combine search-based applications with advanced sentiment and word frequency analysis to collect and analyze customer feedback coming from multiple channels, including social media.
What kept me playing with Legos for hours on end as a kid is what has kept me at Information Builders for the last 15 years: the ability to use my imagination and create. The platform we offer continues to evolve to include access to more data sources and analytic capabilities and our customers keep inspiring us with what they achieve with our software.
I may be too big for the ball pit, but I’m happy to say I can still build.