The Rebirth of Business Intelligence

Michael Vizard
Slide Show

10 Business Intelligence Pitfalls to Avoid in the New Decade

Avoid these common pitfalls associated with business intelligence 1.0.

The most disappointing thing about business intelligence (BI) applications has been the lack of adoption. Despite their potential value, these applications have yet to be widely used.

There are plenty of reasons, ranging from cost of application licenses to reliance on spreadsheets. But the biggest issue might be that using a BI application seems unnatural -- the data first has to be imported, then users have to leave the application environment in which they are working in to access BI.

According to JasperSoft CEO Brian Gentile, application developers are rapidly becoming more aware of this issue and increasingly embedding BI directly into their applications. Open source makes it easier and less expensive to do so without having to develop that functionality themselves. Gentile says BI capabilities are well on their way to becoming a standard component of other applications.


This doesn't necessarily mean the end of stand-alone BI applications. But the number of people accessing BI software within another application environment will dwarf the number using stand-alone BI software, who tend to be business analysts.


Of course, Microsoft has a vision that embeds BI functionality inside the spreadsheet environment. Whether BI functionality will be delivered via Microsoft application software or open source software embedded within other enterprise applications might not matter all that much in the end. Either way, BI software is coming to an enterprise application near you.

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Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Jul 6, 2010 5:41 PM Jake Freivald Jake Freivald  says:

I agree with Brian. Our biggest BI deployments (in the 10,000-to-2,000,000 user range) are all applications or are embedded in applications.

I suppose that means we should consider what we mean by "lack of adoption" -- you might have very few instances of BI adoption, but when it's done right, you get very high adoption for that instance.

Interestingly, just this morning I was reading something on B-Eye Network that describes dysfunctional BI teams. The "Five Dysfunctions of a BI Team" look suspiciously like dysfunctions of an application development team. Go figure.

Full disclosure: I work for Information Builders, a BI and Integration software company (products are WebFOCUS and iWay, respectively).

Jul 21, 2010 8:15 AM Phil Bowermaster Phil Bowermaster  says:

While I agree that the number of people accessing BI software from within applications is exploding, and may soon significantly outnumber those who access BI via dedicated environments, the number of users of those environments is also growing, along with the sophsitication of the users accessing such systems.

This post has kicked off some interesting discussion over on the Sybase Analytics blog, here:


and here:



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