Sunday, January 24, 2010

new partnership

hIghQ BI Consulting Services is excited to announce a partnership with Data Mining Tools Inc.

Data Mining Tools is a provider of a wealth of useful materials in the practice of a core function of business intelligence: data mining. Their website ( contains a variety of resources from tutorials, certification opportunities, instructional videos, and sample data sets.

Their services are subscription based, but well worth the small price paid. With the depth and breadth of resources available on the site, users receive valuable and cutting edge insights into best practices for data mining.

If you're interested in exploring how Data Mining Tools can assist you in learning and growing as a BI professional, please visit their website at:

hIghQ is currently analyzing sample data sets from Data Mining Tools and will provide examples of data mining techniques taught through their subscription service in the very near future.

Monday, January 11, 2010

partnership announcement

 Data Applied

hIghQ BI Consulting Services is pleased to announce a new partnership with Data Applied.

Data Applied is a small technology startup located in Western Washington State. They are passionate about distributed computing, data mining algorithms, applied statistics, and data visualization.

For years, large companies (ex: banks, insurers, retailers) have reaped the benefits of data mining to optimize their business. However, because of tremendous complexity and high costs, automated analysis has remained out of reach for small- and medium-sized businesses. Data Applied is changing the rules of the game by offering affordable, Web-based Data Mining and Business Intelligence solutions.

Data Applied revolutionizes data-driven decision making by integrating rich analytics, data mining, and information visualization capabilities - all using a zero footprint Web interface, collaboration features, and a secure XML Web API. By extracting valuable knowledge from data in domains as varied as Web Analytics, Sales, Marketing, Engineering, Social Sciences or Non-Profit, this fantastic software is helping organizations make better data-driven decisions and improve efficiency.

If you're interested in exploring how Data Applied's web-based software can help you take back the reins on your business performance, you can visit their website here:

hIghQ is rapidly developing their expertise within the Data Applied BI Suite, and will be ready to assist you with your implementation very soon.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

toyota's business intelligence

Just around the time of the bubble (i.e. 1999-2000), Toyota discovered that their business intelligence systems were, well, unintelligent. As is often said, garbage in, garbage out. While the company had set up a data warehouse intended to capture real-time, accurate data for decision making, they had failed to set up the controls required to eliminate human error, and as a result, they missed out on the true value of BI. While they had the right ideas in place, they had the wrong technology for the job.

When it comes to choosing a business intelligence platform, it's important to assess the robustness of the implementation. In many cases, being a "first-mover" is a positive characteristic, but when it comes to implementing a BI solution, it is often best to shop around and see what others are using. Talk to contacts, check the web, and take a look around. A costly BI system that doesn't work isn't worth the dollars you'll spend. While this might sound like an elementary lesson, Toyota learned the hard way.

Years after their failed BI implementation, they determined the wrong technology was in place. After a second costly reimplementation, their BI systems finally proved their value. Toyota uncovered an $800,000 billing error from a shipping company in the initial days after the implementation was completed. Over the next 4 years, they increased the volume of cars they handled by 40% while head count increased by a marginal 3%. Productivity gains such as these run rampant across firms who adopt business intelligence systems that work. In fact, the systems more than pay for themselves, and quite handsomely. Many case studies assess the ROI of such investments at the double digit percentage level, which is above the majority of firms' policy requirements.

So, in an attempt to make this blog more interesting, we'd like to ask for your feedback. What kind of information sources do you have at your disposal within your organization? Does each department have individual data sources? Or is everyone querying a centralized warehouse? Are key decision makers waiting unnecessarily for information? We'd love to hear your stories, so don't be shy.