Stealing the Show

Reporting is the hottest thing in the BI market. Careful thought will make your investment a success.

The Next Step

So with all these interesting market developments, what do you do now? It's clear that there's an overabundance of IT options. Building user and information requirements may not be enough to pick the right product. You must map out a strategy for improving the effectiveness of people to drive more efficiency in day-to-day business processes. This requires a larger context to compare and contrast the options in front of you based on more than just stating or measuring historical performance. You must have a platform that can help you understand, optimize, and align performance systematically throughout your organization. Ventana Research sees vendors such as SAP, Siebel Systems, and SymphonyRPM concentrating on platforms and suites for performance improvement and, for now at least, staying out of the reporting battle.

The question you should be asking yourself is how reporting can help improve the operational and overall business performance of your organization. Building and deploying reports in the past didn't guarantee usage or always have the impact desired. Do not repeat past mistakes. Take a position that will bring your business the value it demands and align IT investments to improve management of the business. As you assess your requirements, look for the business differentiators that will accelerate performance improvements. If you don't, your company will be playing catch-up with its competitors.

Mark Smith [[email protected]] is the CEO and senior vice president of research at Ventana Research, an advisory services and research firm providing insight and education on best practices and technology in performance management.



Business Objects:


Crystal Decisions:


Information Builders:



Siebel Systems:


Additional columns at

"Ventana Research Product Assessment Guide for Performance Management," Oct. 1, 2003

"The BI Consolidation Conundrum," Oct. 30, 2003

"Spanning Duality," October 10, 2003

"The Bigger Picture," July 18, 2003

"Back to Basics," June 17, 2003

"Microsoft Reports Future Reporting Services," March 9, 2003

"Actuate Moves Beyond Information Delivery to Application Platform," April 3, 2003

"Siebel Adds to Robust Customer Analytics Applications"

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