Executive Decision-Makers Increasingly Hip to BI

Executives are increasingly hip to the importance of business intelligence as an aid to decision-making

According to a recent survey from professional services giant Knightsbridge Solutions, it’s a great time to be a BI pro.

According to Knightsbridge, executives are increasingly hip to the idea of making important business decisions on the basis of timely and accurate information. Want proof? Knightsbridge says they’re putting their money where their mouths are—in this case, investing in solutions to organize their enterprise data and enhance their analytics capabilities.

That’s one of the conclusions of Knightsbridge’s 2005 BI Peer Review, which is based on feedback from more than 2,000 respondents.

When asked to identify the most relevant information-centric issues in their organizations this year, nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of respondents cited actionable and/or operational business intelligence as their first or second most-relevant issues. For the record, Knightsbridge defines “actionable business intelligence” as the ability to provide users at various levels of an organization with access to “tactical, time-sensitive business information” that helps to improve the speed and effectiveness of operations.

Also noteworthy on the BI front, more than half of respondents cited data quality as the next most relevant issue, with 54 percent naming data-quality issues as either their first or second most-relevant concern.

Knightsbridge officials say the survey results amount to nothing less than a long-overdue, come-to-BI moment for corporate decision-makers. "For years, companies have talked about leveraging data to advance their goals, but didn't take a long-term, iterative approach to get there,” said Roderick Walker, president and CEO of Knightsbridge Solutions, in a statement. “Finally, we're seeing a great deal of momentum and success in major corporations becoming much more analytic as they seek to optimize their business operations.”

Knightsbridge researchers marshal a number of data points to help support this case. For example, 78 percent of respondents explicitly confirmed that their organizations' biggest information-centric priority for the year is to invest in a BI or enterprise data-warehousing strategy (51 percent) or implementation (27 percent). What’s more, nearly half (46 percent) say their organizations are planning, developing, implementing, or maintaining business-intelligence or data-warehousing initiatives right now.

All’s not wine and roses, however: About one -third say their organizations are still in the investigative stage.

Elsewhere, 77 percent of respondents rated the relationship between the line-of-business and IT as somewhat or very collaborative. Only five percent described the relationship as not collaborative at all.

For the record, Knightsbridge found that many line-of-business respondents don’t know for sure just where their organization is in terms of BI. Researchers suggest a couple of explanations for this. For one thing, business users are understandably less involved in BI and data-warehousing projects on a daily basis than their IT counterparts. Another reason, however, could be poor communication between IT and the line-of-business—and vice versa.

About the Author

Stephen Swoyer is a Nashville, TN-based freelance journalist who writes about technology.