Standardizing BI Improves Performance - InformationWeek
Software // Information Management
08:24 PM
Building Security for the IoT
Nov 09, 2017
In this webcast, experts discuss the most effective approaches to securing Internet-enabled system ...Read More>>

Standardizing BI Improves Performance

Cost reduction and improved organizational effectiveness top the list of latest CIO initiatives.


After a decade of companies acquiring and deploying Business Intelligence (BI) software across their organization, Ventana Research is beginning to see these same companies trying to rationalize and consolidate their BI investments. CIOs grapple with reducing costs and simplifying the IT infrastructure while business users dread giving up their favorite BI tools. At the same time, BI vendors are positioning themselves as the market leader, trying to be the new BI standard within the company.

BI standardization/consolidation has become a hot IT issue for two main reasons: cost reduction and simplification of the IT portfolio. But Ventana Research is advising our clients to consider BI standardization/consolidation for another, more important reason: to improve business and operational performance to create lasting value for the company.


BI is an essential information technology component for companies with performance improvement initiatives. At its core, business intelligence is the extraction and transformation of data from disparate internal and external sources to information that is used to make decisions in the organization.

Today, business intelligence tools access, analyze, and deliver information in the form of KPIs or metrics to business users through applications like dashboards, reports, or portals. Complete business intelligence solutions have evolved to facilitate collaborative decision making that fits the needs of business users in various departments and at various levels. BI technology has become a highly integrated and visible component of both the IT infrastructure and business operations in successful companies.

The problem for most companies is that individual departments and regional units have implemented their own BI solutions and nearly every software application (ERP, CRM, e-commerce, financial) the company has procured has its own BI tools. Factor in solutions inherited through mergers and acquisitions and you are easily into dozens of BI tools within an organization. Over time, as these deployments became larger and more entrenched, they began to accentuate a silo-ed view of information that created challenges for users trying to obtain both consistent and quality business metrics. CIOs are trying to rationalize all this information and reduce redundancies in their enterprise. This is the primary driver for consolidating and selecting a new standard for BI within their enterprise.

The other problem is the wasted money associated with direct costs attributed to each BI tool deployed: software costs, installation, maintenance, training, integration costs, duplicate hardware, and the risk of obsolescence. Most IT and business managers would look at these costs and think this is acceptable for deploying a new software solution. But this will hurt the company's bottom-line when this is done dozens — if not hundreds — of times needlessly, simply because there isn't a coordinated BI standard.

While costs involved with disparate BI systems are somewhat obvious, Ventana Research points out that the real damage to a company with a mess of BI tools comes from the costs that are hard to assign a dollar figure to, but could be devastating to the competitiveness of the company — an unnecessary risk:

Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll