Beth Gold Bernstein: Hello, everyone! And welcome to the ebizQ BI in Action Virtual Conference. I'm Beth Gold-Bernstein, director of the ebizQ Training Center and chair of the conference.

It's my great pleasure to welcome Bill Gassman, research director of Gartner. Welcome, Bill!

Bill GassmanBill Gassman: Thank you, Beth. And thanks everyone for attending this Webinar about business intelligence in driving business performance. I'm going to focus on how to achieve a successful BI program within your organization. Managing the performance of a business is a critical part of keeping a business competitive. In a robust business intelligence framework, decisions that impact the business in a positive way are going to be easier to make.

Business intelligence isn't new but it's an evolving area of information technology where many organizations struggle to achieve even a basic level of maturity. Without maturity, it's difficult to take advantage of the exciting new technologies that are coming down the pike.

I hope that after viewing this Webinar, you're able to come to a better understanding of what BI can offer and think about how your organization can improve its ability to deliver business intelligence to those that need it. In a Gartner survey of more than 1400 chief information officers -- this was published in February, 2007 -- we asked if the management of our company had the right information to run their business. Sixty-four percent said no and only 34 percent, 36 percent said yes. This is a bit scary! Each year, billions of dollars are spent on BI software and another few billion for the people and the hardware to run it.

So what's going on here? What are these people doing? We believe that the survey results are due to a number of things. First, while CIOs are usually responsible for the corporate data warehouse, only 40 percent are responsible for making sure the information is treated as a strategic asset and improving the knowledge worker productivity. In other words, corporate data is all dressed up, but there's nowhere to go. There's been a disconnect between the technical side of BI and the business side of BI.

Just look around your organization to see how many are using Excel with unqualified data to make decisions. And second, and this is a related point, with so much emphasis on building the data warehouse, there really hasn't been the time or the budget to build the business intelligence applications. But we do see that problem starting to be addressed.

More Resources:

BI in Action: Full Replays -- including slide shows -- of all our Webinars


Upcoming Webinars

1. Start Small; Think Big -- Driving BPM ROI featuring Pratt & Whitney
Guests: Robert O'Connor, Integrated Services Solutions - Business Process Solutions, Pratt & Whitney
Brandon Lackey, Global Solutions Director, BEA Systems

2. Navigating BPM Icebergs with Dynamic Business Applications
Guests: Jeff Shuey, Global Alliance Director, K2 Steve Yi, Senior Product Manager, Connected Systems Division, Microsoft

3. Event Processing: Competitive Advantage Through Situational Awareness
Guest: Roy Schulte, Vice President and Research Fellow, Gartner, Inc.

A Pertinent Podcast

Choosing Web-Based BI Applications
Guest: Lyndsay Wise, Technology Evaluation Centers
Hear Podcast | Read Full Transcript

Another question in the CIO survey was business intelligence -- what was going to be the top priority of technology in your organization? And business intelligence application emerged as the top.

The investments that organizations have made in their infrastructure over the past five years puts them in a position to have that investment pay off in delivering business value. There's a good chance that your competition is part of that 64 percent, where the information to make the best decisions is not available. This may be a good opportunity here if your organization has a good BI program in place. But the opportunity could turn into a threat if building BI applications doesn't remain a top priority. So those that have seen this and are starting to invest in catching up with business intelligence, we're seeing them invest more than 10 percent of their software project on BI applications alone. So there's some really good news here.

This presentation looks into three key issues around business intelligence. First, how do organizations leverage information for making decisions and improving business performance? I'll describe how the term "BI" is evolving and give a few examples of how companies are doing it well. And then we're going to look into some trends. And the second key issue: what are the cornerstones of a business intelligence and performance management strategy? I could spend all day on this topic, but since we have a limited amount of time, I'm going to give some of the highlights of what we think is important there. And third, what are the five-year trends that you should be looking for? I'll rate some of the BI technologies and because this is a Webinar that is leading up to Gartner's Event Processing conference coming September in Orlando, I'm going to give a glimpse on how event processing, business intelligence and business process management are all coming together to create a real-time enterprise. And then I'll close with some bottom-line thoughts and some recommendations.

Leveraging information and improving performance

So, okay -- let's get on here to the first key issue. Business intelligence is not just a particular technology or product. And it's not about insights or a single version of the truth. It's an umbrella term that defines a broad range of applications, technologies and methodologies. The purpose of BI is to give users access to information and to analyze information so that users can make better decisions and manage the company's performance.

In order for business intelligence to be viewed as a success, the information and the analysis that is actually used must be actionable, it must be auditable, and the associated decisions that are made must have an impact on the performance of the company that's in line with the plans and the objections. In other words, just having a data warehouse isn't good enough. The supply and the use of BI has to become a core business competency that drives the business from the strategic level down to the process level.

The idea that business intelligence is a task for the IT department alone is just wrong! Leading companies have figured this out and have married information and strategy to achieve top business performance. Every year, the magazine Business Week selects its top performers. Each company is evaluated on a broad range of criteria. For example, the one and three year total return. The sales growth, profit, and so forth. We look a look at the annual report and the SEC financial statements from some of Business Week's leading companies and we found clear evidence that BI is part of their strategy from the top down.

So, for example: from the hardware store Lowe's annual reports. I'm quoting directly here. "We are continuously assessing and upgrading our information systems to support growth of our new sales initiatives, control costs and enable better decision making." The investments in BI are being done with a purpose. That is to manage the performance of the company, and as clearly stated, right to the company's investors.

Here is another example. WellPoint is a healthcare provider. And in its 10K annual report files at SEC, they stated "our business depends significantly on effective information, our ability to correlate pharmacy data and medical management data allows us to provide important information to our members, physicians and other providers which enable them to more effectively manage these conditions." So, we all know that there are many opportunities to improve the quality and the cost of healthcare and with the use of business intelligence, WellPoint knows that their business depends on it, so they use it. They even go as far as delivering BI to their customers.

To read the entire Webinar transcript, just a few ebizQ Gold Club membership is necessary..."/> Full Transcript: Gartner's Bill Gassman on How BI Drives Business Performance
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About this feature:

Beth Gold-BernsteinBeth Gold Bernstein: Hello, everyone! And welcome to the ebizQ BI in Action Virtual Conference. I'm Beth Gold-Bernstein, director of the ebizQ Training Center and chair of the conference.

It's my great pleasure to welcome Bill Gassman, research director of Gartner. Welcome, Bill!

Bill GassmanBill Gassman: Thank you, Beth. And thanks everyone for attending this Webinar about business intelligence in driving business performance. I'm going to focus on how to achieve a successful BI program within your organization. Managing the performance of a business is a critical part of keeping a business competitive. In a robust business intelligence framework, decisions that impact the business in a positive way are going to be easier to make.

Business intelligence isn't new but it's an evolving area of information technology where many organizations struggle to achieve even a basic level of maturity. Without maturity, it's difficult to take advantage of the exciting new technologies that are coming down the pike.

I hope that after viewing this Webinar, you're able to come to a better understanding of what BI can offer and think about how your organization can improve its ability to deliver business intelligence to those that need it. In a Gartner survey of more than 1400 chief information officers -- this was published in February, 2007 -- we asked if the management of our company had the right information to run their business. Sixty-four percent said no and only 34 percent, 36 percent said yes. This is a bit scary! Each year, billions of dollars are spent on BI software and another few billion for the people and the hardware to run it.

So what's going on here? What are these people doing? We believe that the survey results are due to a number of things. First, while CIOs are usually responsible for the corporate data warehouse, only 40 percent are responsible for making sure the information is treated as a strategic asset and improving the knowledge worker productivity. In other words, corporate data is all dressed up, but there's nowhere to go. There's been a disconnect between the technical side of BI and the business side of BI.

Just look around your organization to see how many are using Excel with unqualified data to make decisions. And second, and this is a related point, with so much emphasis on building the data warehouse, there really hasn't been the time or the budget to build the business intelligence applications. But we do see that problem starting to be addressed.

More Resources:

BI in Action: Full Replays -- including slide shows -- of all our Webinars


Upcoming Webinars

1. Start Small; Think Big -- Driving BPM ROI featuring Pratt & Whitney
Guests: Robert O'Connor, Integrated Services Solutions - Business Process Solutions, Pratt & Whitney
Brandon Lackey, Global Solutions Director, BEA Systems

2. Navigating BPM Icebergs with Dynamic Business Applications
Guests: Jeff Shuey, Global Alliance Director, K2 Steve Yi, Senior Product Manager, Connected Systems Division, Microsoft

3. Event Processing: Competitive Advantage Through Situational Awareness
Guest: Roy Schulte, Vice President and Research Fellow, Gartner, Inc.

A Pertinent Podcast

Choosing Web-Based BI Applications
Guest: Lyndsay Wise, Technology Evaluation Centers
Hear Podcast | Read Full Transcript

Another question in the CIO survey was business intelligence -- what was going to be the top priority of technology in your organization? And business intelligence application emerged as the top.

The investments that organizations have made in their infrastructure over the past five years puts them in a position to have that investment pay off in delivering business value. There's a good chance that your competition is part of that 64 percent, where the information to make the best decisions is not available. This may be a good opportunity here if your organization has a good BI program in place. But the opportunity could turn into a threat if building BI applications doesn't remain a top priority. So those that have seen this and are starting to invest in catching up with business intelligence, we're seeing them invest more than 10 percent of their software project on BI applications alone. So there's some really good news here.

This presentation looks into three key issues around business intelligence. First, how do organizations leverage information for making decisions and improving business performance? I'll describe how the term "BI" is evolving and give a few examples of how companies are doing it well. And then we're going to look into some trends. And the second key issue: what are the cornerstones of a business intelligence and performance management strategy? I could spend all day on this topic, but since we have a limited amount of time, I'm going to give some of the highlights of what we think is important there. And third, what are the five-year trends that you should be looking for? I'll rate some of the BI technologies and because this is a Webinar that is leading up to Gartner's Event Processing conference coming September in Orlando, I'm going to give a glimpse on how event processing, business intelligence and business process management are all coming together to create a real-time enterprise. And then I'll close with some bottom-line thoughts and some recommendations.

Leveraging information and improving performance

So, okay -- let's get on here to the first key issue. Business intelligence is not just a particular technology or product. And it's not about insights or a single version of the truth. It's an umbrella term that defines a broad range of applications, technologies and methodologies. The purpose of BI is to give users access to information and to analyze information so that users can make better decisions and manage the company's performance.

In order for business intelligence to be viewed as a success, the information and the analysis that is actually used must be actionable, it must be auditable, and the associated decisions that are made must have an impact on the performance of the company that's in line with the plans and the objections. In other words, just having a data warehouse isn't good enough. The supply and the use of BI has to become a core business competency that drives the business from the strategic level down to the process level.

The idea that business intelligence is a task for the IT department alone is just wrong! Leading companies have figured this out and have married information and strategy to achieve top business performance. Every year, the magazine Business Week selects its top performers. Each company is evaluated on a broad range of criteria. For example, the one and three year total return. The sales growth, profit, and so forth. We look a look at the annual report and the SEC financial statements from some of Business Week's leading companies and we found clear evidence that BI is part of their strategy from the top down.

So, for example: from the hardware store Lowe's annual reports. I'm quoting directly here. "We are continuously assessing and upgrading our information systems to support growth of our new sales initiatives, control costs and enable better decision making." The investments in BI are being done with a purpose. That is to manage the performance of the company, and as clearly stated, right to the company's investors.

Here is another example. WellPoint is a healthcare provider. And in its 10K annual report files at SEC, they stated "our business depends significantly on effective information, our ability to correlate pharmacy data and medical management data allows us to provide important information to our members, physicians and other providers which enable them to more effectively manage these conditions." So, we all know that there are many opportunities to improve the quality and the cost of healthcare and with the use of business intelligence, WellPoint knows that their business depends on it, so they use it. They even go as far as delivering BI to their customers.

To read the entire Webinar transcript, just a few ebizQ Gold Club membership is necessary...


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