Business Intelligence: The BI Portal

Web-enabling the data warehouse is one of the most important forces driving the BI/DW market.

Business Objects and Brio are successfully positioning themselves away from the crowded 60+ vendors touting EIPs.

This month, our data point assesses one of the most recently announced portals, We go on the bleeding edge of click stream data warehousing with NCR Corporation, which has made some serious moves lately in bolstering its position in the BI/DW market.

The latest and greatest acronym to emerge from the e-world is BIP, the business intelligence portal. The data presented in this month’s column is from a targeted sample of business intelligence technology influencers and includes corporate managers, business development managers, IT, customer service marketing, operations and human resource managers. I caution, however, that we have just begun the survey and the data is preliminary, but we are seeing some very interesting results.

EIP Stage of Development

The first question we asked was, "At what stage is your EIP?" Although its preliminary data representing 224 companies, the results indicate a little more than half of the companies are still in the conceptual stage, while 16 percent are considering, 7 percent are piloting, 8 percent are evaluating, 8 percent are deploying, and 9 percent have no portal.

Another question that we asked was, "What best describes an EIP solution?" The top definition reported is that an EIP solution acts as a single point of access to internal and external information. However, it would appear the management and administrative aspects of the solution portend a much more complicated scenario.

As part of our analysis, we asked respondents to evaluate the importance from a perspective of concept, consideration, evaluation, piloting and deployment. We asked respondents to rate the importance of each of the following capabilities of an EIP solution (on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the most important). What we have listed are the top three from each category.


• Access to structured/business intelligence data: 4.18

• Search across all organizational information sources: 3.98

• Workflow/business process support: 3.88


• Access to structured/business intelligence data: 4.72

• Application integration: 4.33

• Allow users to publish and share information: 4.28


• Access to structured/business intelligence data: 4.32

• Application integration: 4.21

• Allowing users to publish and share information: 4.05


• Access to structured/business intelligence data: 4.87

• Allow users to publish and share information: 4.47

• Control of user access to information: 4.47


• Allow users to publish and share information: 4.47

• Access to structured/business intelligence data: 4.41

• Personalization/filtering: 4.18

Although the data is from a targeted sample base and is biased toward the business intelligence crowd, it is interesting to see the difference from conceptual thinking to actual deployment. There appears to be strong conceptual preference for an enterprise search engine, however, for those deploying the EIP the mean rating for search drops significantly, indicating a B-to-B and B-to-Employee motivation.

EIP Business Application Importance

We asked the respondents to choose the three most important business application areas for implementing an EIP solution in an organization. The results, not surprisingly, represent the major application growth areas that are driving the BI/DW market.


• CRM: 46%

• Employee self service: 28%

• Finance/accounting: 26%


• Supply chain management/analysis: 47%

• Finance/accounting: 35%

• ERP, marketing, partner/vendor self- service: 29%


• CRM: 47%

• ERP: 42%

• Marketing, partner/vendor self-service, supply chain management/analysis: 26%


• CRM: 56%

• Employee self-service: 44%

• Marketing, sales force automation: 38%


• ERP: 44%

• HR applications, supply chain management/analysis: 38%

• CRM: 31%

About the Author: Peter J. Auditore is the Vice President at World Research Inc. (San Jose, Calif.).