BI Needs an Image (and Functionality) Adjustment

Ann All

Does business intelligence mean knowing more about your business or about the business of your competitors?


Well, both. But that isn't how BI vendors and companies using BI have seen it -- at least not until recently.


In a recent article, an Ovum analyst says that folks have done BI a disservice by reinforcing the idea that it simply pulls data from transactional systems like ERP and generates reports so complex that experts are required to decipher them.


But now vendors appear to be coming around and adding features that will most assuredly expand the traditional definition of BI.


Several vendors, including Cognos and Business Objects, have partnered with Google in order to use its interface as a central access point for information gathered throughout the enterprise and from outside sources.


Open source BI alternatives are gaining in popularity and, perhaps most significant, Microsoft is including BI functionality in a number of forthcoming Office applications.


BI embedded within applications is where the market needs to go, says the analyst, so that it becomes unseen -- yet indispensable -- to the user.

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