Business intelligence acceptance on the march

The modern corporate enterprise is a hospitable environment for business intelligence deployment and use. Leaders have become aware of the value data holds, and the IT solutions they need to turn that realization into action are widely available. Factors have converged for BI in its many forms, with the storage architecture that enables it becoming cheaper just as analytics processes themselves have grown more insightful. Soon, companies without any BI deployments may be considered the exception rather than the rule, as the old-fashioned structures that have determined corporate direction begin to show their relative lack of agility.

Opinions shift
Information Management contributor Steve Miller recently observed the movement he has seen in the BI and analytics environment. For instance, he compared economist Dan Airley's disappointment with a lack of experimental thinking in BI deployment with his own experience on user activity. While Airley found that companies still like to have their decisions made by leaders using their instincts rather than data-based answers, Miller stated that this feeling is changing. Further acceptance of information-derived insights would, of course, be a huge breakthrough for business intelligence as a field. Entrenched mentalities can hold back progress, and overcoming them is one of the challenges new process architects face.

Miller cited his personal anecdotes working in the BI field, explaining that he has seen a change of heart in several consultants. While these professionals were once eager to maintain the status quo, they have begun to accommodate business intelligence processes. This movement is not limited to a few individuals, either. Miller explained that major consulting firms have likewise begun to promote BI on a large scale, and that the prevailing wisdom has changed regarding prediction. Whereas leaders were once considered more accurate than algorithms, the general view has shifted. The reputation of BI processes is on the rise.

Modes of deployment
Now that BI has become an accepted part of business practices, it needs to take its rightful place on many corporate agendas. Firms do not have to content themselves with the most basic applications, either, as there are many options that go beyond the basics. For example, mobile BI deployments are based on putting data in the hands of employees wherever they may be. This could please both executives, who will be able to take dashboards into meetings on their iPads, and salespeople, who can check in on the latest data while on the road. BI can bring positive changes in direction.

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