Intelligence for Everyone
Businesses decision makers need to have the latest and most relevant information to help their organization enhance processes and compete more effectively. So it's no surprise that demand for operational BI is rising.
In its operational BI benchmark survey, conducted in the fall of 2007, Ventana Research found that approximately two-thirds of the 314 organizations polled consider it "very important" to make BI technology accessible to all relevant functions in operations. Ventana found that 68 percent of the survey respondents have either deployed operational BI or have begun a deployment project.
The research shows that organizations want to increase the number of users working with BI software. "They want to push [BI] out to operational users who have been working primarily with spreadsheets or more primitive reporting and data access tools that are often part of departmental or vertical applications," says David Stodder, BI analyst at Ventana. Most organizations want to centralize the deployment of operational BI, so they can solve data integration, data quality and performance problems from a central hub, rather than through distributed and dissimilar applications.
Improving efficiency is a top expected benefit, according to 63 percent of the survey respondents. Organizations see improving the use and flow of information as an important aspect of extending the business advantages of using BI.
Also, organizations hope to be more efficient in how they deliver information to people. Ventana has found in its research that organizations waste time looking for information, rather than analyzing it. "Operational BI is intended to make it easier for users to access information," Stodder says.
Another key benefit of operational BI is that it can improve customer service. The users of BI in many organizations are customer-facing personnel, in areas such as call centers and sales. Operational BI should improve the quality of the information these workers use.
Organizations also hope to reduce costs with operational BI. They can do this through better use of information that will support managers' and users' insights into how to reduce costs in operations and business processes. They also want to reduce the cost and redundancy of having lots of disconnected silos of information, and multiple reporting and analysis tools.