Survey Reveals BI's Potential and Its Problems

Ann All

A recent CIO Insight story breaking out results regarding business intelligence from a broader IT spending survey offers some interesting takeaways. Nearly 90 percent of respondents say they are using BI and 72 percent say that it has yielded a major and measurable impact on their companies' financial performance.


The top five areas in which companies could improve the value they gain from their BI investments: better alignment of BI with business strategy, mentioned by 50 percent of respondents; improved data quality (47 percent); better integration of BI systems with other systems such as CRM or ERP (41 percent); better understanding of user needs and requirements (39 percent); and improved user training (27 percent).


Speaking directly to the alignment issue, a worrisome 40 percent of respondents say they enter into initiatives not knowing what they want to achieve and how they plan to use BI. In yet another troubling statistic, 58 percent of respondents say users don't know how to interpret or analyze BI data. One suggestion for making BI tools more relevant to users: Establish a competency center.


Despite these issues, respondents report general satisfaction with BI. They give the highest marks to its ability to analyze financial data and internal operations. BI does not appear to be as effective in increasing sales to customers -- despite companies' increasing desire to employ it for this purpose.

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