Contests, BI And CRM

Our Great Tech Call-'Em-Like-You-See-'Em Contest draws your attention to hardware as we draw your attention to BI's roles in IT services and CRM.
Last week we introduced you to the Great Tech Call-'Em-Like-You-See-'Em Contest -- or the first part of it, at least -- which asked you to vote for your favorite software of the last ten years. They're giving away oodles of cool prizes in this four-week contest, and today I'd like to introduce Part Two: The Hardware Hall Of Fame.

They've pulled out all the stops on this one. Among the candidates are a personal audio device (I'm betting you can guess which one), a digital camera and a Japanese car.

And now to our recommendations on this week's more interesting BI-related stories. The first examines the role of business intelligence and BI-related expertise in improving your IT services. If IT priorities are going to link to business objectives -- and increasingly, that's what they're expected to do -- then data integration, real-time reporting, user-oriented metrics, KPIs and scorecards might play roles. Lisa Erickson-Harris of Enterprise Management Associates explains.

Similarly, more and more companies are taking advantage of BI to boost their CRM efforts. Rebecca Wetteman of Nucleus Research explains, among other things, how analytics investments are being used to add to the "canned" reports pre-built into some CRM packages. See her story and its other CRM recommendations here.

One last thing: Early this month, you might recall, I mentioned a story detailing BI's evolution from data collection to "business process transformation." A hunk of respondents to one poll in that article said training issues present the single largest barrier to enterprise-wide BI deployments -- more daunting than any other challenge in the poll.

Turns out the readers of Business Intelligence Pipeline don't much agree about the whole training issue. We're running a poll to test the premise, and our readers seem to think training isn't really that much of a problem at all -- at least not compared with some other whoppers. Can you guess what the real challenges are? Check out our poll -- it's still ongoing -- to find out.

Editor's Choice
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author
Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing