IT Frustrated by BI Users and Their Demands

Loraine Lawson

There’s a lot of discussion these days about giving business users more access to BI tools and analytics. But actually delivering on that, say techies in the trenches, means dealing with end users who make their BI needs known by “screaming like banshees” or trying to communicate telepathically, according to a recent survey.

In other words: IT is pretty darned frustrated by BI projects.

LogiXML, which offers a Web-based BI software, surveyed 750 IT professionals across multiple industries about BI projects and users. The results are not pretty, and show a significant gap between this idea of a “data-driven enterprise” and the reality IT departments face.

For instance, 76 percent said “users made their BI needs known by loudly insisting, ‘screaming like banshees,’ or assuming IT had ‘telepathy.’”

I suppose we should find some relief, though, in the fact that more techies described BI at their company as like “PacMan,” traditional but entertaining (23 percent), than “Call of Duty,” which is cool and sophisticated, but hard to use and somewhat violent (20 percent).

Another finding: 50 percent said users never know exactly what they want or what they want until after the project is complete. Here, I have to take up for the user just a bit. After all, given data silos that exist thanks to legacy systems, applications and just the way things have evolved, it’s not hard to imagine how users might be confused or might not even know what’s available.

In fact, I would think it’s reasonable to assume that IT may be the only department in that unique position.

The survey also reveals some of that infamous IT arrogance and sharp wit. When asked what keeps IT from meeting users’ demands, respondents cited:

• Personnel


• Money

• “Smarter end users.”

Ouch.

The press release also includes this telling quote by LogiXML’s CMO, Ken Chow:

Our survey data suggests that most IT professionals believe that users of BI are or would be dead in the water without IT’s help on BI projects. This notion may be indicative of companies still employing traditional, old-school BI approaches and systems, or that certain desktop BI technologies and vendors simply aren’t delivering on their promise of easy-to-use, self-service BI. Whatever the reason, it appears that we aren’t yet at a time when BI users are not dependent on IT for their BI needs.

The survey also found that 46 percent of respondents said their organization is not using mobile BI, and only 17 percent said they are currently using Big Data sets. Twenty-seven percent said they are looking at using Big Data analytics in the future, while 26 percent said they’re actively pursuing it.



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