Study: Businesses, IT Don’t Want BI Lip Service

Companies aren’t making decisions on a whim anymore. Instead, they’re banking on reliable, honest and timely information to organize their enterprise data and enhance analytics capabilities, according to recent survey by Knightsbridge Solutions.

For its “2005 BI Peer Review,” Knightsbridge queried more than 2,000 respondents among all levels of business and IT professionals and industries.

Singling out the most relevant information-centric issues in their workplaces this year, 65 percent selected actionable and operational business intelligence as their top or second-most important issue. Actionable business intelligence offers customers with access to tactical, time-sensitive business information to improve the speed and effectiveness of a company’s operations. Data quality followed, with 54 percent of respondents citing it as either their first or second most relevant concern.

According to Knightsbridge’s findings, the priority on actionable business intelligence and data quality highlights the information management challenges—too much data, inefficient access, data consistency and quality problems—large companies face.

As a result, corporations are starting to take action on these problems, rather than “paying more than lip service,” the Knightsbridge survey says. Seventy-eight percent of respondents say their company’s top information-centric priority this year is to invest in business intelligence, followed by enterprise data warehousing (51 percent) and implementation (27 percent). In addition, 46 percent say their company is now planning, developing, implementing or maintaining business intelligence or data warehouse strategy, although only 32 percent indicate their company is investigating these options.

The relationship between companies’ business and IT is improving, according to survey results. Seventy-seven percent rate business and IT collaboration is somewhat or very collaborative, but 5 percent say there isn’t any collaboration between business and IT.

For example, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Kansas City is close to wrapping up a seven-phase data warehouse initiative, offering one-stop access to critical data and support enterprise analytics and aligning business and IT under one organizational umbrella, according to Knightsbridge.

Despite this example and others, reaching an ideal state of enterprise data management is still troublesome. Many companies are facing roadblocks, including getting stuck in reactive modes and cycles; not building a compelling business case for projects; lack of executive sponsorship; and disconnection between business and IT departments.

The BI Peer Review found many business respondents are unfamiliar with their companies’ stage of business intelligence development. Knightsbridge cites two reasons for this lack of familiarity—business users are less involved in business intelligence and data warehousing projects on a daily basis, and IT and businesses must improve their communication with each other.

About the Author

Kathleen Ohlson is senior editor at Application Development Trends magazine.