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With the approach of the Fourth of July, business executives, middle managers, information technology and knowledge workers in both large and small organizations have specific information needs. Retail industry personnel might want to know how many people made specific purchases of top-selling retail products during last year's holiday weekend. Manufacturers will want to understand the buying trends behind purchases of specific brands of beer, wine or food products to help predict impact on production requirements. Services industry managers might want to better understand historical travel patterns in certain geographies to adjust staffing or tailor promotional offers.

Business intelligence (BI) and performance management (PM) solutions help these companies strategically increase their competitive edge and grow their business by answering three basic business questions:

  • How am I doing?
  • Why?
  • What should I or can I be doing about it?

However, BI/PM solutions are only as good as the data that drives them. If the underlying data that feeds the business information is inconsistent, any retail, manufacturing or services organization that wants to widen the gap between them and the competition on a holiday weekend, or any other pertinent market milestone, will find themselves at a distinct disadvantage.

In the continuous battle to outperform the competition, leading organizations realize that adding data quality to their BI and PM initiatives is one of the ways to widen the competitive gap. Today, there is a growing movement for organizations to implement their BI/PM solution alongside a data quality solution.

BI and PM implementations are quickly becoming the focal point for the most strategic use of business information. The implementations are maturing and involving more people, more departments and more data, and are stretching beyond IT to deeply engage the business community within an organization.

Trend #1: BI and performance management is fast becoming the focal point for the most strategic use of information.

In this world of data, a world growing exponentially, one of the ways organizations can significantly differentiate themselves with a BI/PM solution is to track how they are doing, why their business is tracking in a particular way, and what they should actually be doing to grow revenue and beat the competition. Yet, according to a 2006 DecisionROI report, "Business Traction from Better Decision Action," many organizations attribute poor decision making to a lack of timely, reliable business information.


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