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Despite the rapid pace of technology innovation, Business Intelligence (BI) has remained much the same over the past three decades. Analytics and BI systems are still the unapproachable domain of trained data analysts and statisticians because high costs, lengthy deployment timelines, and extensive, complex systems have meant that integrating BI is realistic for only the largest and wealthiest of companies. Even with newer on-demand deployments that overcome cost and infrastructure challenges, BI is still out of reach for the average person on the front lines of business.



Worldwide, there is an estimated $50+ billion market for BI, yet the benefits only extend to about 20 percent of the enterprise. An astounding 80 percent of an average company's employees have zero access to BI. How "intelligent" can a company be if only twenty percent of it is tapped into the real value of data?

BI has remained out of reach for too many people for too long, and the result is that many managers are left sifting through spreadsheets for information that may help them guide their business. At the same time, IT professionals are investing millions of dollars uncovering insights helpful to only the highest levels of the executive ranks. Software innovation has failed to address the issue of BI availability in a meaningful way, until now.

Recently, a new generation of BI, role-based BI, has shown the power to unlock the value of BI with applications that anyone can use without advanced analytical skills or special training. Role-based BI, as the name suggests, focuses on addressing the needs and challenges of specific roles within the enterprise. These next-generation applications anticipate the specific types of data and insights each user needs and packages them in a way that fits perfectly with the way the user does his or her job. The secret here is "solve, don't enable," meaning end-users need real solutions to business problems, not just tools that claim to enable improvement. Further, when served up via the on-demand Software-as-a-Service model, role-based BI eliminates the high costs and long time-to-value associated with the traditional approach.

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