BI and BPM Are Performance Improvement Allies


Are business intelligence and business performance management the same thing?


We don't know the answer, but we do take some comfort in the fact that we are apparently not alone in our uncertainty.


In an interview with IT Business Edge, Hyperion's VP of corporate strategy says he thinks that any differences between the two are "artificial" and that "in reality they are the same." The BI term is more popular among IT types, while finance folks tend to refer more often to performance management.


An SAS executive interviewed by IT Week says BI tools are part of a business performance management system, along with budgeting, planning, financial forecasting and risk analysis software. The purpose of the BI tools is to access, analyze, cleanse and deliver data to various users, he says.


Vendors including Hyperion, Cognos and Business Objects seem bent on combining the two. In this Computer Business Review article, a Cognos executive says this approach makes perfect sense as business performance improvements are the ultimate aim of folks using BI tools. Performance management adds a business context to BI, says another exec interviewed in the same article.


Consolidating multiple BI and BPM applications within an organization makes sense not only from a strategic but also from a financial perspective, according to this B Eye Network article. Among the benefits: reduced software maintenance costs, less need for user training and simplified metadata management.