BI State of the Market Report

IT departments rarely know as much about a business as the business people themselves. But business people rarely take action on numbers alone: they share the information with others, soliciting their feedback and performing external research before taking action. Business users still depend on IT to deliver answers related to the information that they receive. Business intelligence (BI) 2.0—also known as collaborative BI—uses the collective intelligence of the user community to enrich existing information. Learn how business intelligence (BI) 2.0 is helping business users create and modify their own reports, share and enrich information, and provide feedback to each other and to information producers.

When the community helps itself, information is turned into actionable information more quickly than when using purely “traditional” methods of community support, such as meetings, phone calls, and e-mail. And when actions are taken more quickly, the entire organization becomes more nimble and ultimately more competitive. This overview discusses how BI 2.0 can provide real benefits within your organization and what product features to look for in a BI solution in order to realize those benefits.

We hope you’ll find this guide a useful tool in determining which BI solution is best suited to your company’s business model and particular needs.

Table of Contents

Executive Overview
Using BI 2.0 to Increase your Competitive Advantage

Case Study
LogiXML Helps to Power its Real-Estate Reporting and Analysis

Thought Leadership
How Smart Marketers Succeed Online

Market Insight
Mashups and Pervasive BI

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Using BI 2.0 to Increase Your Competitive Advantage

Business users know their data better than IT does. They know the meaning of the data, its history, and its relationship with other data. Yet traditional BI solutions have business users referring to IT for assistance with their data. Also, they are forced to work in silos. Sure, they can create their own reports and maybe even share them with other business users, but when it comes to sharing their own knowledge about the data, they have to rely on e-mail, telephone, and face-to-face meetings. By enabling the sharing of data-related knowledge through the BI system itself, business users become more self-sufficient and actions can be taken more quickly.

The raison d’être of BI is to provide business users with information that enables them to take action. Even if business users are self-sufficient when it comes to creating and sharing data, data on its own is rarely sufficient to take action. Identifying an opportunity in the market through numbers alone is not sufficient to justify investment in a new product or geography. Identifying a bottleneck in a business process is not sufficient to justify changes in the business process. Information about a business issue or opportunity is merely a part of the overall “solution domain.” Action is usually only taken after considering a number of factors in addition to the data, such as human knowledge and experience, the economic environment, and the competitive environment.

In this section, we lay out the capabilities to look for in a BI solution—and specific functional requirements needed to support these capabilities—that contribute to the goal of “harnessing collective intelligence.” In general, the more recent entrants into the BI market are paying the most attention to BI 2.0. Some vendors, such as Good Data, have it as a central component of their solution offerings.

The following are key capabilities of BI 2.0:

  • Collaboration
    Business users are able to share information within the user community and create discussion threads relating to the information.

  • Identification of useful information
    Business users can flag information that is likely to be of use to others within the community.

  • Enriching of Information
    Business users can enrich the information through their knowledge and experience in addition to other external information sources in order to explain trends and generally assist other consumers of that information.

The community of “business users” needn’t be restricted to internal users. User collaboration is already mature within the Web space, under the guise of Web 2.0. With Web 2.0, collective intelligence is harnessed through comments on blog posts; contributions to wikis such as Wikipedia; and tagging of content, such as photos on Flickr. BI 2.0 takes these methods and applies them in the BI space by making data the focus of user collaboration.

The following sections take the capabilities above and list the functional requirements that support them. Bear in mind that each of these functional requirements is a business user requirement and not an IT or development requirement.

Download the full copy of the TEC 2009 BI Buyer’s Guide for businesses.

Featured Software Research:

Best Practices for a BI and Analytics Strategy

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A growing number of organizations are moving toward having more pervasive business intelligence (BI) by turning to evidence-based decision making supported by a range of BI and analytics technology and processes that enable decision makers to have the best possible intelligence about customers, finances, operations, suppliers, and the market. This white paper addresses several questions that BI customers are facing. Read More

Self Service Business Intelligence

Self service BI is technology that provides non-technical individuals who need data with the ability to gather and display meaningful information. The technical and business complexities of identifying data sources, transforming and integrating data sets, enhancing data quality, and providing a data repository are necessarily addressed before a self service BI application is made available. Read this white paper to learn more about how the technical framework and infrastructure for supporting self... Read More

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