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Survey Follow Up: How Effectively Are Companies Using Business Analytics?

Originally published December 14, 2010

Thanks to everyone for your responses to the survey “Is BI Being Used Effectively?” Your responses helped provide some insight (or at the very least validation of what many of us have seen anecdotally) about the disconnect between the business intelligence (BI) side and the business sides of organizations.

Executive Summary

In our experience as business intelligence and business analytics consultants, we have seen a wide range of BI adoption and maturity. We’ve also seen a wide range in the perception of BI’s role among the clients we serve. Through this survey, we were able to look at some of the reasons why there is such a wide range, particularly in the perceptions of BI between IT and business professionals. Here are three key findings of the report:
  1. At a company level, there’s a widespread lack of maturity. Although BI adoption is widespread, it is often stuck at lower levels of BI maturity often seen as standard reports instead of mission-critical applications that executives can use to keep their fingers on the pulse of their day-to-day job functions.

  2. At a business function level, there’s a disconnect between BI need and current BI use. While BI is being used in most job functions (roles), there are important gaps in how effectively BI is being used to solve the day to day challenges. Business users want to be able to leverage more sophisticated business analytics, but since they don’t know what’s available, they struggle to articulate a more sophisticated solution.

  3. At an IT/BI management level, there’s a vicious cycle. There’s a vicious cycle occurring with the IT/BI team being deluged with requests for new applications, but business users thinking that the BI team isn’t able to get BI applications developed and deployed fast enough. This constant demand makes it difficult for the BI team to develop higher-impact applications with higher ROI; this perceived lack of responsiveness causes the business user side to overlook the BI program as a mission-critical tool.
Here is a link to the full report and also a link to the survey. If you did not participate in the survey and would like to do so now, please use the link. We will do a follow up report if results change with the additional responses.
  • Nancy WilliamsNancy Williams

    Nancy serves as Vice President for DecisionPath Consulting. Focusing her work on how business intelligence (BI) and data warehousing (DW) can be leveraged to improve business performance, Nancy is a well-known industry educator, author, and practitioner. Nancy’s experience includes more than 25 years of business management and technical experience. She has been involved in numerous consulting engagements, providing expertise in the areas of BI/DW assessments, BI/DW strategy, portfolio development and roadmaps, BI/DW requirements and data modeling, and BI/DW project and program management. Nancy is a regular speaker and keynote presenter at TDWI industry events,  co-hosts the BI impact channel on the BeyeNETWORK, and is co-author of the highly rated book The Profit Impact of Business Intelligence. She received her MBA from the Darden School at the University of Virginia. 

    Editor's Note: Visit Nancy and Steve Williams' BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel for more articles and resources as well as Nancy's blog.

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