Gartner, and other IT industry analysts focus heavily on data-driven support for business decision making. Analyst findings indicate that only one quarter of CEOs are happy with the type and clarity of the information they receive and their confidence in the decisions they make based on that information. Furthermore, these same CEOs say that their ideal BI solution would consist of a central, integrated dashboard that would allow them the flexibility to find, analyze and report on information in an ad-hoc environment.
If you expand this research to include CTOs, CFOs, CIOs and other top management positions, you would, in all likelihood, see the same results. That’s because every top executive, manager, and employee needs good information to make business decisions and keep their company, division, department or team on track.
Traditional reporting packages, spreadsheets and database searches just aren’t good enough anymore. Market and customer environs change daily and the business that must wait for its information is not going to successfully address competitive issues, introduce the right products or services or satisfy current or prospective customers.
Good business intelligence must integrate data from every available data source in the company, and present that data in a way that is meaningful to every user – in other words, it must be personalized to the role and function of the users. BI solutions must provide high-performance, mobile tools and features like deep dive analysis, cross-tab OLAP and graphical OLAP, key performance indicators (KPIs), forecasting and predictive analysis and more.
Ease-of-use, mobility and solution performance are also key factors in user adoption and management confidence. If the solution is undependable, or inaccessible; if it does not provide seamless security and tools that are easy enough for any skill level, the business cannot access and analyze information easily and it will miss critical opportunities and possible competitive threats.
The enterprise that must depend on IT resources or business analysts to provide reports, and analyzed data, will experience critical delays in decision-making and will probably be using incomplete, inaccurate data to make decisions. Every business must optimize resources and investments in order to compete in markets that have slim profit margins and rapid changes in customer buying behavior and market competition.
To satisfy the needs of the new business paradigm, business intelligence solutions must understand that executives, managers and business users need access to fact-based, performance driven data with views that are meaningful and personalized and the ability to dive deep into data to find the information that will help them improve their bottom line. That’s the only way to make those CXOs (and their employees) happy and productive!