Report: No Analysis for RFID Data

RFID is designed to make supply chains more efficient and sophisticated, but the torrent of new product data created by radio-frequency identification systems is overwhelming without the right business intelligence software to analyze it.

However, no business intelligence software companies are offering to do that, according to a new report from Forrester Research.

It’s conceivable that RFID is a market too young for business analytics to take hold, but Forrester’s Keith Gile doesn’t buy that excuse.

Gile, one of the report’s authors, said he is mystified that business intelligence vendors are leaving the money on the table.

Gile’s own customer survey shows almost half (46 percent) of end-user companies that are addressing RFID specifically said they have put money aside for analytics and business intelligence&#151money Gile says is unspent because no company has come forward to collect it.

BI executives say the market is too ill-defined for them to invest development resources, largely because they don’t know what relationships among the RFID data they should be analyzing, Gile said. “It truly is a lost opportunity for the BI vendors. They’re not even trying.”

The report concluded that “no BI or enterprise applications vendor has a legitimate roadmap for the analysis and reporting of RFID data.”

The report doesn’t see this problem being permanent, but it does expect this product hole to exist through the end of 2006.

”Until BI solutions emerge in 2007, product-driven enterprises should capture RFID data and model it for analysis themselves,” the report said.

Find out how much RFID operations will truly cost using CIO Insight’s RFID calculator. To try it, click here.

The report looked at specific vendors and found no concrete RFID BI plans among them.

”SAP is focused on operations, not BI. SAP clearly has the most mature RFID approach based on its strength in the supply chain and RFID middleware product strategy. However, this does not include BI,” the report said. “Forrester expects there will be analytic applications built on SAP BW InfoCubes and ODS, but that is still to be defined by SAP.”

Next Page: Waiting on the sidelines.

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