Democratizing Business Intelligence using Gemini

If you've not heard of Gemini yet you're in for a treat. I found these videos on youtube yesterday of the Gemini demo from the BI conference last year that you can view below.

Gemini is a new part of the MS BI stack that is an add-in for Excel that allows power-users the ability to essentially create their own cubes using virtually any data they can get their hands on.

Being the MS BI geek that I am, this opens up all sorts of new opportunities for prototyping solutions and enabling the business to build their own BI applications.

The key here, that I see, is that these solutions are not managed by IT. So, as soon as one of these Gemini cubes becomes business critical, it will need to be built using formal BI methods and tools so that the proper support procedures can be implemented. This is what scares me :-S

I can foresee smaller businesses that are resistant to change, or are scared of the term “Data Warehouse” from prior failed projects, that would want to implement Gemini solutions as business critical applications. Simply because it's cheaper to implement in the short term, ignoring the lack of sustainability that a more traditional BI solution yeilds.

Enough rambling for now, watch the videos and let me know what you think…


  1. Ben,
    I agree that Gemini hold promise for rapid-prototyping of BI. This will, of course, cause more prototype-BI apps to be built. The result, I believe, is that the significant time and expense of Data Warehouse / Business Intelligence development, aimed at solutions that scale to bigger data, more complex data relationships and more simultaneous users sending in frequent uber-queries is, fortunately, delayed until after the prototype get’s used and abused. So, a good Gemini prototype will not only delay the pain of formal DW/BI Dev, but potentially also reduce some of that pain, since a good prototype is, in the real-world, often the best business-requirements specification that a BI Developer will ever get.

    Daniel Upton
    President and Lead Bottle-Washer

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