Channel: Education - Richard Herschel RSS Feed for Education - Richard Herschel

 

State of Business Intelligence: Results from Survey of BI Professionals

Originally published May 2, 2011

Everyone takes surveys. Whoever makes a statement about human behavior has engaged in a survey of some sort. - Andrew Greeley

I want to share with you the results of the first State of Business Intelligence survey conducted by the BeyeNETWORK and Saint Joseph’s University. The survey was conducted between November 2010 and January 2011, and 79 BI professionals responded. Participants were solicited from the BeyeNETWORK’s membership and from TDWI’s Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing Discussion Group on LinkedIn.

In this installment for my BeyeNetwork Education Channel, I will simply share the results. Then, in the next couple of articles, I will take a stab at what I think it all means for business intelligence (BI).
 
Fifty-nine percent of the survey responders were from North America, while most of the others were from the European Union (17%), Asia (11%), and Oceania (8%). Most of them worked in companies whose primary activity was technology (27%), education (15%), and banking (11%). Forty-two percent of the BI professionals had worked in the field for over 10 years, while the rest had worked in BI for 6-9 years, (17%), 3-5 years (21%), or less than 2 years (20%).

When asked, “What phrase best describes BI activity in your organization?” the responses from these participants were as follows:

  • Our BI team responds to most projects but business users also use BI tools to address their needs - 33%

  • Our BI team responds to all project requests and delivers the results to business contacts - 26%

  • Our BI team primarily mentors clients in the use of BI/analytic tools -11%

  • Our BI capabilities are fully automated within our operational systems - 2.8%

  • Our BI capabilities are inadequate - 25%

  • Other - 2.2%

When asked what BI technologies their organizations use (Note: respondents were asked to check all that applied):

  • 69.4% said that dashboards are used for process monitoring and highlighting exceptions

  • 65.3% said that decision support for drill down and what-if analysis is utilized in their work

  • 56.9% state that their firm employs data mining/analytics 

  • 19.4% say that automated agents are used to drive rule-based business strategy via integrated processes

Participants were then asked, “To what extent does management in your organization employ business intelligence as the basis for their decisions?” Their responses were:

  • Rarely, if at all - 7.1%

  • Just once in a while - 22.9%

  • About half of the time - 32.9%

  • Most of the time - 27.1%

  • All of the time - 10.0%

The survey then asked how business intelligence was used to support applications. The questions were designed to separate applications that were strategic, tactical, or operational in their focus. The results were as follows (Note: respondents were asked to check all that applied):

Strategic BI Applications:

  • Strategic planning - 60.6%

  • Product/market analytics - 63.4%

  • Market trends and intelligence - 53.5%

  • Supply chain analytics - 32.4%

  • Other -11.3%

  • None or don't know -12.7%

Tactical BI Applications:

  • Performance Management - 57.1%

  • Marketing - 52.9%

  • Forecasting - 48.6%

  • Operations Planning - 45.7%

  • Line-of-Business pricing and profitability - 44.3%

  • Other - 10.0%

  • None or don't know - 8.6%

 Operational BI Applications:

  • Financial analytics - 70.4%

  • Sales analytics - 66.2%

  • Operational analytics - 50.7%

  • Customer relationship management - 46.5%

  • Customer service - 35.2%

  • Quality analytics - 32.4%

  • Supplier analytics - 25.4%

  • Security/Fraud detection -16.9%

  • Other - 4.2%

  • None or don't know - 4.2%

Participants were then asked to rate items relative to how their organization found the following factors to be of importance in achieving success in BI efforts. Their responses were as follows:

 SUCCESS FACTORS

 Not Important

 Minimally Important

 Somewhat Important

 Very Important

 Extremely Important

Decision-maker exposure to and understanding of BI

 1.5%

 9.1%

 22.7%

 39.4%

 27.3% 

Flexibility of data architecture and design

 4.5%

 0%

 28.8%

 45.5%

21.2%

Combination of business analytics and technical skills within the BI team

 1.5%

 9.1%

 12.1%

 47%

30.3%

Involvement of business managers in reviewing business and data models

 3%

 12.1%

 36.4%

 31.8%

16.7%

Business-centric view of the data model to provide a framework for prioritizing and guiding the development of BI capabilities

 4.6%

 7.7%

 21.5%

 41.5%

24.6%

Data integration to maintain data integrity and timeliness

 1.6%

 3.1%

 15.6%

 50%

29.7%

The final questions addressed how BI professionals saw the field changing in the next 12 months. The results are shown below:

 TRENDS

 Dramatic Decline

 Slight Decline

 No Change

 Slight Increase

 Dramatic Increase

User demand for BI Services

 0%

 1.5%

 13.8%

 53.8%

 30.8%

Recruitment of BI talent

 1.5%

 6.2%

 35.4%

 44.6%

 12.3%

User demand for mobile BI

 0%

 1.5%

 36.9%

 40%

 21.5%

Outsourcing of BI

 0%

 13.6%

 60.6%

 24.2%

 1.5%

Demand for Web 2.0 collaborative BI

 0%

 1.5%

 61.5%

 26.2%

 10.8%

Integration of social media

 0%

 1.5%

 47.7%

 40%

 10.8%

Demand for Cloud-based BI

 1.6%

 1.6%

 62.5%

 21.9%

 12.5%

Demand for SaaS tools

 3.1%

 3.1%

 62.5%

 21.9%

 9.4%

User demand for advanced visualization tools

 0%

 0%

 28.1%

 48.4%

 23.4%

Demand for open source BI software

 1.6%

 10.9%

 67.2%

 15.6%

 4.7%

Demand for continuing BI education

 1.5%

 3.1%

 29.2%

 50.8%

 15.4%

Demand for unified information management platform for structured and unstructured data

 0%

 3.1%

 40.6%

 31.3%

 25%

Emphasis on data and BI program governance

 0%

 0%

 24.6%

 43.1%

 32.3%

Use of semantic technologies to define business terms

 0%

 3.1%

 58.5%

 33.8%

 4.6%

Development of intelligent decision management and support for automated systems

 0%

 1.6%

 51.6%

 37.5%

 9.4%

Integration of BI systems with organization's operations and information infrastructure

 0%

 0%

 31.3%

 54.7%

 14.1%

 

SOURCE: State of Business Intelligence: Results from Survey of BI Professionals

  • Richard HerschelRichard Herschel

    Richard is Chair of the Department of Decision & System Sciences at Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia. Before becoming an educator, he worked at Maryland National Bank, Schering-Plough Corporation, Johnson & Johnson, and Columbia Pictures as a systems analyst. He received his BA in journalism from Ohio Wesleyan University, his Master’s in Administrative Sciences from Johns Hopkins, and his Ph.D. from Indiana University in Management Information Systems. He has earned the Certified Systems Professional designation, and he has written extensively about both knowledge management and business intelligence. Dr. Herschel can be reached at herschel@sju.edu.

    Editor's Note: More articles and resources are available in Richard Herschel's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!

Recent articles by Richard Herschel



 

Comments

Want to post a comment? Login or become a member today!

Be the first to comment!