Business intelligence: The tip of the iceberg

One of our UK sister sites, MyCustomer.com, has published a special supplement dedicated to the world of business intelligence. We feel that many of the articles are relevent to our U.S. audience.

BI market consolidation: What does it mean for you?
With application software developers from Sage to SAP struggling to maintain growth, industry analyst Gartner predicts that worldwide revenues for BI platforms will grow 11 percent+ to hit $5.8 billion this year. Chief information officers surveyed by Gartner cited BI as their number one technology priority for the third year in a row.

But the BI marketplace is in a state of considerable turmoil following last year's bout of consolidation that saw IBM, Oracle and SAP shell out $15bn to acquire Business Objects, Cognos and Hyperion Solutions respectively. Those deals will take some time to digest, but as MyCustomer.com news and analysis editor Stuart Lauchlan reports, the end result will see BI embedded into the CRM, ERP and financial systems the consolidators offer. New entrants to the market will have to focus much more on best-of-breed or niche market solutions.

Business intelligence: Only the tip of the iceberg
BI has been marked by successive waves of hype and inflated expectations, but Andy Honess of QlikTech, says that a new breed of "self-service" BI tools promise to cut implementation times and pricing models. These upstarts may threaten the hold IT maintains over business intelligence and extend the possibilities for managers to create their own BI mashups and to draw in insights from non-statistical sources and social networks. "Everyone’s invited to jump on the bandwagon!" says Honess.

Data: Unused, unanalyzed and undervalued?
Analysts, BI developers and users are all waking up to the value of information that exists outside of finance, CRM and ERP systems, explains SAS director of BI marketing Gaurav Verma. In most organizations 70 percent of data is unstructured, 25 percent is structured and 5 percent semi-structured. Structured data goes to one silo; unstructured data to another and once they are there, the information is managed by different systems. Keeping the information separate deprives companies of the opportunity to see patterns that emerge when the data is housed together. The next phase of BI will draw on enterprise content management (ECM) solutions that help users to manage unstructured and semi-structured data derived from web content, email and records management tools. Timo Elliott of Business Objects explores this theme too in Business intelligence + enterprise resource planning = competitive advantage.

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