What it Takes to


What will it take to improve? Ensuring data quality is a necessity. And aligning systems with strategy shouldn't be overlooked; it's the most effective way to improve the value of BI, according to our respondents. Defining intelligence goals—a step fewer than half of our respondents are good or excellent at—seems a necessary start.

But increasing the value of BI will take yet more effort. Thomas Davenport and the other authors of a May 2005 study of 32 organizations that enjoy strong business performance and success with business analytics learned that these companies "go well beyond basic statistics" and use predictive modeling and other sophisticated analytical techniques.

If more companies are to have success using BI to increase sales, says Gartner Inc.'s Simon Hayward, they "need some theory or model of why people behave a certain way, so you know what to do with the data. If I lower the price of A, will I sell more B? Or is it the other way around?" CIOs must find a way to make BI both easy to use and understandable, even while providing sophisticated capabilities—and the know-how to use these decision-making tools intelligently. Scouting Report on BI in Corporate America:

Finding 1
Over 80 percent of companies that use business intelligence systems are generating business value from them.

Finding 2
Companies already using business intelligence are expanding their investment.

Finding 3
Satisfaction with BI information has not improved in the past two years.

Finding 4
BI's record for boosting sales is mixed.

Finding 5
Alignment with strategy and with user needs is the best way to get more bang from the business intelligence buck.

Finding 6
Expect trouble if data quality and integration problems dog your BI systems.

Finding 7
Business user satisfaction requires help with collaboration and interpretation.

Finding 8
Despite advances in displaying BI data, users still love to use spreadsheets.

To download the survey results, click here.

This article was originally published on 10-05-2005
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