It’s 11:45 PM on a Friday night. Hopefully, you know where your kids are but, do you know where your delivery shipments are? Do you have enough inventory on hand to meet your promise dates? Regardless of the industry, all enterprises need access to timely and accurate information to operate effectively. For many organizations, this information is locked up in siloed applications or in the minds of key employees. But, more and more, there is a growing awareness of the need to release this information to those who can best make use of it. We like to call this, Business Intelligence (BI).
Of course, BI is by no means new to the business community. I work with many IT professionals who have been “doing BI” for over a decade. However, there seems to be an increased urgency across all lines of business suggesting that the long cold Winter of disconnected data is over and the Spring of Business Intelligence is finally here. Perhaps your company has already embraced this paradigm shift, adopting standard dimensions for Master Data and developing performance metrics to gauge customer value and operational efficiency. I know that for many of our customers from industries as diverse as the Devereux Foundation, Royal Bank of Scotland and Teva Pharmaceuticals, Business Intelligence has become an integral part of the corporate culture of “managing by fact”. For those companies still new to BI, the prospect of sifting through years of stove pipe development may seem daunting at first (because it is) but one of the benefits of BI is that organizations can implement one subject area at a time, gaining real business value and momentum with each new BI application.