Software // Information Management
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11/20/2006
09:58 AM
Cindi Howson
Cindi Howson
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BI on Steroids Reaches the Extended Enterprise

I want you to start thinking about BI on steroids -- the innovations that will take BI to the point of becoming a must-have office tool for 110 percent of employees. These are not just the technical innovations, but also innovations in how you think about BI and view information processes. 110 percent? Am I crazy? Sometimes. Is that a typo? Nope.

Yes, I too have finally caved to the blogging phenomenon, and although blogging and discipline are somewhat incongruous, I fear I will give blog readers yet another diversion to real work if I don't stick to some sort of schedule. So look for blogs from me each week or as industry events unfold.

What's on my mind this week? I want you to start thinking about BI on steroids -- the innovations that will take BI to the point of becoming a must-have office tool for 110 percent of employees. These are not just the technical innovations, but also innovations in how you think about BI and view information processes.110 percent? Am I crazy? Sometimes. Is that a typo? Nope. I'm thinking of all employees and extranet business partners. Consider this: do you have a cell phone? Do each of your children? Did everyone have one 10 years ago? Clearly not. And 15 years ago, did you imagine just how small, sophisticated, simple and prevalent cell phones would have become? Neither did I.

The same is true of BI. None of us have fully imagined where BI will go, but recently, I've caught glimpses of it. There are several cultural and technical innovations that make me think of BI on steroids that I'll highlight in the next few blogs. Here is just one: BI & Search. I cannot envision an executive spending the time to learn a query tool to create his or her own charts. What I can envision is an executive who is about to meet an important client quickly Googling the customer name to get a snapshot of recent sales and critical call-center events -- and doing all this from a Blackberry. Many leading BI vendors are in beta with such powerful capabilities that go beyond searching content of existing reports to building reports on the fly.

Still think BI adoption will never get to 110 percent within your company? Consider this 30-year-old quote from Ken Olson, founder of DEC, in 1977. "There's no reason anyone would want a computer in their home." Chuckle, chuckle, ah the clarity of hind sight. Business intelligence is only about 15 years old. I'm telling you, start thinking of your user base as 110 percent of your employees.

Cindi Howson is the author of BIScorecard product reviews. Write her at cindihowson@askcindi.com.I want you to start thinking about BI on steroids -- the innovations that will take BI to the point of becoming a must-have office tool for 110 percent of employees. These are not just the technical innovations, but also innovations in how you think about BI and view information processes. 110 percent? Am I crazy? Sometimes. Is that a typo? Nope.

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