BI Scorecard’s 2012 Successful BI Survey

Twenty-year BI veteran Cindi Howson kicks off her sixth annual report on BI best practices with some compelling statements:

“In a difficult economy and fiercely competitive business environment, business intelligence has become an essential technology.  While the industry is awash with the buzz of big data and business analytics, many companies are still struggling with the basics of accessing data, unearthing insights amid ever-expanding data volumes.  Companies are forced to make smarter decisions, faster.  For some, it’s a matter of business survival. For others, it’s a matter of being the best and outperforming competitors.”

The report from BI Scorecard, “2012 Successful BI Survey: Best Practices in Business Intelligence for Greater Business Impact,” presents the results of a survey that included more than 600 respondents from mostly U.S. companies and was conducted from June through September 2012.  Overall, the report found that BI success rates and impact were flat from 2011 to 2012, with roughly 24 percent of the employees at a typical company using BI or analytics tools.  While there are some very successful BI deployments, the majority are stuck in the middle, experiencing only slight to moderate success and business impact.

The value of BI and its ability to contribute to positive business performance is influenced by a number of factors, the most significant being organizational and cultural.  A number of technical factors also contribute to (or hinder) stronger BI impact.  For the first time in the history of the report, flexible and easy-to-use BI tools have replaced data quality as the most important technical challenge.  Howson says: “That these issues have increased in the rankings reflects the growing need for central IT or BI teams to balance enterprise needs versus business agility.  Business users can no longer wait for all the data to be strictly modeled and stored in a data warehouse before it can be accessed and explored.”

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