BI's New Breed - InformationWeek

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2/8/2006
11:27 AM
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BI's New Breed

A new category of business-intelligence tools is not designed to support strategic planning, but to gather and analyze operational BI and deliver this actionable information to front-line workers. Businesses are increasingly looking to vendors to deliver comprehensive operational BI systems.

In response to the pressure felt in many businesses to deliver more information more effectively, a new category of business-intelligence tools is emerging. It's not designed to support strategic planning, but to gather and analyze operational BI and deliver this actionable information to front-line workers. Operational BI enhances corporate performance by improving day-to-day, minute-by-minute decision making and the performance of critical business processes.

The challenge is that it's often addressed with a task-specific application to support a defined set of decisions. Unlike general-purpose BI tools used by business analysts, these point-solutions historically were created one at a time by in-house development teams, which often can't keep up with the organization's burgeoning need for information. To reduce dependence on internal IT resources, businesses are increasingly looking to vendors to deliver comprehensive operational BI systems. Vendor-developed BI applications are now being deployed as often as custom ones.

These are among the conclusions of a Ventana Research survey conducted in late 2005, whose sponsors include Siebel Systems and CMP Media. Of the 437 executives responding to the survey, 73% were in IT organizations and 27% had line-of-business roles.

Ninety percent of respondents have one or more vendor-developed BI applications. But only 39% are deploying these applications to support front-line workers. In most instances, these applications are for to midlevel business managers or business analysts.

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