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Does BI Really Help Businesses Get Smarter?

By Allan Alter  |  Posted 10-15-2007 Print
Mid-tier firms make extensive use of business intelligence to improve processes and analyze financial and customer data.

In our October 2005 Business Intelligence survey, more than 90 percent of IT executives at mid-tier firms told us they planned to increase their efforts to apply IT to business intelligence. Two years later, our 2007 BI study shows these firms are avid BI users.

While they don't use as many different kinds of BI tools and they don't pursue BI for quite as many reasons, small and midsize businesses are close behind larger companies in their use of BI.

Mid-market firms invest in business intelligence systems for three main reasons: to improve business processes, compile financial results and gather and analyze customer information. (Compliance and competitive intelligence aren't as high a priority.) They are more likely than larger companies to use open source BI tools. In addition, they are more satisfied with the quality of their BI data than larger companies, although it's still frequently a problem.

Finding 1: Mid-Tier Firms Lag in BI, But Not By Much

Finding 2: SMBs Open Door to Open Source BI

Finding 3: How Good Is BI Data at Midsize Firms?


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