Business intelligence programmes should be viewed as a cultural transformation

By Dawinderpal Sahota
13 Dec 2010 View Comments

CIOs should use business intelligence (BI) programmes to transform a business's culture, rather than view them as just another IT project, said analyst firm Gartner.

Business intelligence programmes have always allowed decision modelling and support for good business decisions. However, Gartner said that organisations should reorganise to enable relevant data to be made available to staff members according to their information needs.

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Patrick Meehan, research vice president at Gartner, said: "Traditionally, BI has been used for performance reporting from historical data, and as a planning and forecasting tool for a relatively small number of people in an organisation.

"However, [the broader] modelling of future scenarios [incorporating all staff members] permits examination of new business models, new market opportunities and new products."

The research firm has highlighted three ways to best use BI in a report entitled From Business Intelligence to Intelligent Business:

1. Focus BI Efforts on delivering the right information to the right people

An organisation should apply efficient business processes across the business, meaning an IT department will know who holds what information and what the information requirements of each staff member are. It can then apply business intelligence to keep the business's strategy and execution on track.

2. Change the mindset to be more about having the right questions answered

Ultimately, a "relentless focus on a very limited set of burning business questions" will guide users toward BI-enabled decisions that have a maximum impact on business strategies and goals, says the research firm.

3. Create Project Teams Based on Information Needs

Gartner also advises CIOs to create project teams based not just on who owns the data, but also on departmental interest in the information that will be generated. Breaking down silos of data ownership will send information flows up and down management chains as well as across functions, which in turn will create decisions with higher impact.


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