Business intelligence use is more transformative than ever before. While the technology has existed in one form or another for a long time, recent developments, including the ability to use many new data types and the creation of expanded consumption options like mobile BI and self-service BI, have made it more central. Firms can now count on BI in a number of phases during the creation and execution of strategies. Rather than being a fringe technology limited to IT experts, BI has migrated to the heart of corporate operations, bringing exciting new decision-making capabilities.
Race to ROI
Consultancy principal and Information Management contributor Don Arendarczyk recently ran down the ways in which companies are currently deploying BI and what they want from the technology. He specified that users have become frustrated when adding new analytics projects takes a long time. The promises of the technology are great, meaning leaders want access to those benefits in a hurry. Rather than simply dismissing such wishes, Arendarczyk specified that it is possible to fulfill them, but to do so, companies need to rethink their adoption strategies. He noted that getting some type of positive return from a project while it is still small could help firms as they boost their BI investments to cover huge deployments.
"Agility" is one of the watchwords Arendarczyk suggested leaders keep an eye on. For example, he stated that BI implementation plans should be flexible. Perhaps an idea from the pre-deployment stage of a project is a failure in production. Companies should be able to change that faulty element of things without much trouble, switching on the fly to something tailored more to their unique needs and goals. Arendarczyk also had advice for buyers scouting the BI market: He urged these professionals to seek projects that deliver the fast ROI companies crave rather than falling for elaborate pitches for tools that don't suit their purposes.
Mobility and agility
How are IT leaders actually using BI today? Many of them have decided to go mobile. This could boost agility by placing data in the hands of those who need it, even when they are on the go. The approach suits the fast pace of modern business and, according to TechTarget editor Craig Stedman, it has caught on in a big way. He cited the results of two relevant surveys, one by Forrester and the other by Howard Dresner, both of which portended well for mobile development.