Business tools are only as good as user

Are organisations wasting money on business intelligence (BI) and adopting complex tools simply to produce prettier reports with lots of graphs?

The power of today’s BI tools is immense, enabling a business to analyse data and combine business attributes to provide unprecedented insight into performance trends, customer behaviour and operational efficiencies [as done by the Royal Bank of Scotland (Personnel Today, 14 December, 2004)].
Yet if an individual has no idea why this process is happening, the exercise is a waste of time and money. This simply reinforces the existing view of BI – that it’s an in depth process of self-justification and congratulation.

The whole point of BI is to challenge the set view of the business; to look for exceptions and trends that may indicate business problems or opportunities. And the results may not be pretty. But if organisations are not going to use the power of business data to make changes and challenge assumptions, the value of the BI investment is completely wasted.

Yes, BI does enable the distribution of tailored reports to key management personnel, easing the process of discovery of key business information. But the real value of BI can only be achieved through proactive analysis of business performance that is backed up by insight led innovation and strategic change.

Andrew Watkinson
Sales and marketing director, CPiO

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