Tips for Successful BI

By Darrell Dunn  |  Posted 2007-10-30 Print this article Print

Major acquisitions and increased deployments are pushying bsiness intelligence to the forefront of IT strategy. Here's a look at what works—and what hurdles remain.


Tips for Successful BI Deployments

Organizations still struggle to make business intelligence an integral part of their IT strategies, but many are learning that careful planning can lead to success.

Make information a weapon. Businesses must reconsider how they treat the increasingly large amounts of data they collect, and use those assets to transform the relationship between technology resources and information.

They must understand that information is more than just numbers being shuffled around, says Gartner analyst Bill Hostmann. Instead, they should use data to manage efficiency and performance. "This is not a technology or an IT issue," he says.

Prepare to work. While out-of-the-box BI implementations can be beneficial, the most significant use of the tools results from hands-on tailoring of the platforms to meet specific usage requirements. A knowledgeable internal staff or the use of third-party services is sometimes necessary to enable full functionality, according to Steve Canter, CIO of Berlin Packaging. "There is still a lot of work that needs to be done with BI tools to ensure the right information gets into the hands of the right users," he says.

Gain acceptance. The broader the set of users in an organization that can use BI tools, the greater the chance a business will have in gaining maximum benefit. "Traditionally, predictive analysis has been something reserved for Ph.D.-level types," says Matt Schwartz, director of business analysis for Corporate Express.

"That's only the tip of the iceberg, and we're working to ensure that our BI effort can reach across the workforce."

Next Page: BI Goes Mainstream


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