Employee Ability Shapes Business Intelligence - InformationWeek

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Software // Enterprise Applications
10:20 AM
Peter Weiss
Peter Weiss

Employee Ability Shapes Business Intelligence

Businesses have come a long way from having to wait overnight or longer for batch-processed reports, thanks to business-intelligence software. Payoffs from investing in business-intelligence tools include the ability to monitor business performance, better planning, and improved information sharing, according to an InformationWeek Research survey of 300 business-technology professionals involved in determining the need for, recommending, specifying, or approving the purchase of business intelligence, data analytics, and statistical-analysis software for their companies.

What Counts, bar chartHowever, businesses need to make a big effort to determine the right metrics and make sure that the data feeding the metrics is clean and correctly formatted. Nearly half of survey participants cite data-quality issues as a barrier to using business-intelligence tools companywide. Half of respondents say that compatibility and integration problems have held back business-intelligence progress at their companies.

The most frequently reported barrier to the widespread use of business-intelligence tools is ease-of-use problems that hinder less technically savvy employees. So it isn't a surprise then that ease of use is cited as the product feature that companies most-frequently seek when purchasing business-intelligence software or in selecting a business-intelligence vendor.

If configured to do so, business-intelligence tools can provide valuable insight into the functioning and efficiency of business processes and shed light on opportunities for improvements. Hundreds of IT professionals will explore these possibilities at the 2005 InformationWeek Fall Conference, at the Westin Mission Hills Resort & Spa in Rancho Mirage, Calif., Sept. 18 to 21. Register to attend or learn more at informationweek.com/events.

Peter Weiss
Senior Managing Editor, Events
[email protected]

Problem Areas, bar chart
Problem Areas
What barriers stand in the way of adopting business-intelligence tools companywide?

Ease of use is the biggest challenge that companies face when considering the adoption of business-intelligence tools. Businesses also struggle to provide adequate staff training. Instruction is described as too time-intensive and costly, impeding the use of business-intelligence tools companywide.

Minor Impact, bar chartMinor Impact
Has your company encountered regulatory issues regarding the geographic location of data used in its business-intelligence efforts?

Compliance and regulatory requirements are behind the adoption of business-intelligence tools at two in five of sites surveyed by InformationWeek Research. However, few companies report having encountered regulatory issues pertaining to the geographic location of data used in their business-intelligence efforts--only 5% of 182 companies surveyed with annual revenue less than $1 billion and 14% of 106 sites with annual of $1 billion or more.

Funding Source, bar chartFunding Source
How are business-intelligence tools, products, and services funded?

As companies strive to improve and optimize their business processes, investment in business-intelligence systems is expected to rise. Only 10% of surveyed businesses anticipate a decline in spending this year. Costs associated with business-intelligence efforts often are funded through a combination of sources. The most frequent: capital budgets for new technology and IT budgets. Costs are occasionally allocated to the business-unit budget.

Few Audits
Has your company had a third-party audit of its business-intelligence customer data?

As business-intelligence tools are made available to a wider range of workers, companies will need to take measures to ensure that the information shared is adequately protected. Few businesses surveyed have undergone third-party auditing of business-intelligence customer data. Only one in 10 has taken this step to make sure customer data is being correctly managed.

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