BI Sometimes Opens Can of IT/Business Worms

Ann All

While business intelligence is much in demand, results do not always live up to expectations -- based on recent research that indicates that 87 percent of BI projectsfail to meet their original objectives and nearly 25 percent cost more than budgeted.


Fifty-four percent of British tech execs surveyed by the National Computing Centre reported that end-user satisfaction levels met or exceeded expectations, reports Computerworld UK. Nearly a third of respondents categorized BI as "slow," and more than a fifth said data did not reveal important insights.


Despite this, two-thirds of the respondents said that BI improved business performance, and 54 percent intended to expand their company's use of BI.


Sounds like a case of overly heightened expectations, which is a problem with any heavily hyped technology.


The managing director of the National Computing Centre stresses user education, noting that "like most process changes, cultural issues around deployment can be a significant barrier."


BI sometimes seems to bring festering "us vs. them" issues between IT departments and business folks to a head. As discussed on accountingWEB, some accounting professionals resort to circumventing IT, using workarounds to get data into their desired state. What comes through clearly in the back-and-forth debate over whether accountants should take IT matters into their own hands is the need for both sides to try to meet halfway.


Many experts agree that business should own BI initiatives. With such ownership, though, comes the responsibility for making IT aware of its needs. IT's job is to listen, and to do what it takes to fulfill those needs.

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Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Jul 3, 2007 2:39 PM Ted Waz Ted Waz  says:
Business Intelligence is a misnomer - although intended to provide business leaders key critical insights, unless there is well defined workflow, and a solid understanding of the data elements, hype and disappointment are the likely end results. The best projects BI projects follow a simple format - Validation of Workflow decomposition, Master data synchronization, and well understood operational definitions. When combined with business acumen the potential is powerful. Reply
Jul 3, 2007 7:43 PM Donna Kelly Donna Kelly  says:
Goodness! But this is so (unfortunately) true. The most common reason is that although BI is a strategic /business/ initiative, the responsibility for making work is usually that of IT. Hence, ownership falls by default into IT's hands. Often, they will then disappear, and eventually come up with something that is either quite inappropriate, or frequently, something that no longer addresses business needs because requirements have moved on. One solution is the use of an outside consultant, an 'evangelist' who can bridge the business and IT divide, and who has no internal political axe to grind. Education and ongoing communication are then the keys to success. Reply

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