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What's Killing BI in the Enterprise?

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This question comes from David Linthicum, and relates directly to a recent blog of his, 3 Things that are Killing Business Intelligence.  And the question is: what's killing BI in the enterprise?

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  • BI is not dead within companies. It just exists in Excel spreadsheets and not in the big, expensive data warehouses that they have put together!

    BI is needed now more than ever but they are not getting it where you expect them to!

  • I agree with David's blog about the three areas that are killing BI. A common theme seems to be the gap between business and IT. Although, IT departments are maintaining large BI solutions and data warehouses, the fact is that the way organizations look at data is changing. This means that business users need access to up-to-date information and the ability to change things on the fly. In a sense, this is why Software as a Service is becoming so popular. Some IT departments and processes they are tied to create an unappealing environment for the business - and more importantly, make BI difficult to interact with and get benefit out of.

  • The enterprise is moving to a 3rd wave of BI usage (Wave 1 = simple reporting, Wave 2 = Data Warehousing) that requires a more integrated (operational BI) approach. Business users are moving too quickly and with less funding to rely on Wave 2 DW techniques and require richer analytics than Wave 1 Reporting enabled. Enterprise applications must now deliver true BI as part of the user experience. And, ideally they do so using the best of the Web: ubiquitous access, elegant presentation, end-user customization, and integrated collaboration. Delivery can be on-premise or SaaS, but either way, that's new enterprise BI worth dying for.

  • My answer to this question is one that would apply equally to many other enterprise level initiatives such as SOA -- an obsessive focus on technology. Yes, technology is ultimately the vehicle through which the initiative such as SOA or BI is delivered and made available but it is certainly not the end goal. In fact, I would contend that BI and SOA are not end goals either! Rather, the end goal driving at the need for BI is the ability of an organization to be more responsive, proactive, and agile in an ever more competitive marketplace. Having said that, I have seen many an organization where BI and SOA initiatives are driven by technologists, who are much more focused on tools and technologies (and the related concerns of scalability, availabilty, etc.). The end goals are almost forgotten and the desired benefits never materialize. So, technology-based "tunnel vision" is what I think is the leading cause of death for BI projects in the Enterprise.

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