BI’s Next Challenge: Adoption Beyond the Management Layer

Loraine Lawson
Slide Show

Six Big Business Intelligence Mistakes

Integration with third parties is still a sticking point for companies adopting business intelligence tools, according to a recent report by the independent research firm Dresner Advisory Services.

The firm takes a bit of an unusual approach to its annual “Wisdom of Crowds Business Intelligence Market Study,” which is available for free download with basic user information. As the title suggests, responses are collected using social media and crowdsourcing techniques.

BI thought leader and author Howard Dresner is the president, founder and chief research officer for the firm. Jim Ericson, a veteran consultant and journalist in the data management space, also works for the firm and assisted with the report.


This year’s survey included responses from 1,283 participants. The firm promises it verifies that the responses come from qualified participants, although the introduction doesn’t specify what that means. Still, it looks like a worthwhile sampling with the participants dividing relatively evenly between small (100 or fewer), midsize and larger (more than 1,001 employees) organizations.

It turns out, smaller organizations are more likely to view themselves as “completely successful” with BI, while large organizations were more likely to say their BI efforts are “somewhat unsuccessful” or outright “unsuccessful.” I guess it’s true what they say: More data, more problems.

At 128 pages, the report is a dense read, although most of it is presented graphically. One item that really stood out to me is that BI really isn’t adopted very deeply at most organizations. In fact, more than one third of organizations say less than 10 percent of their employees are using BI. For the most part, usage is still stuck at the management or executive level, with other users targeted less than 30 percent of the time, the report notes.

Another noteworthy section begins on page 57, under the heading “Business Intelligence and the State of Data.” This shows only 30 percent describe their companies as having highly fragmented data practices.

The section continues to look at the state of data in BI by geography, function, vertical industry and organizational size. One thing that particularly caught my eye here is that marketing is most likely to report concerns about the consistency of its data.

If you want to learn more about the vendors, Dresner does score them across their “peer” group.



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