“Nobody wants BI at a lower level in an organisation”

by Priyanka Bhattacharya    Nov 08, 2011

Vineet Arora, Managing Director, Aditi Technologies talks about how Business Intelligence solutions have become even more relevant for organisations today as they deal with a market slowdown, and try to be ahead of competition. He gives tips on how CIOs can best adopt business intelligence solutions for overall business growth.Vineet Arora

Business Intelligence (BI) as a technology and solution has been around for a while, but why is it relevant now?
With recession looming large, companies have realised that investments must be tracked on a real time basis, they need to be trending on a regular basis. That is where Business Intelligence becomes relevant. Data is sitting in the system but most of them are not being used because most of them do not know how best to make use that for high level of business decision making. That is where we come. We are there to create a business intelligence dashboard that gives a higher level of view and better decision making.

Today some companies have certain level of BI tools deployed, but they are unable to see value in that because the BI reports generated do not give the actual information that a business manager or a CIO is looking for.

What is the current state of BI market in India?
According to Gartner, the market for Business Intelligence software in India is forecast to reach revenue of $65.4 million in 2011. As such, the market for BI platforms will remain one of the fastest growing software markets despite sluggish economic growth in most regions.

Till now in India companies have had implementation of BI in an adhoc manner rather than a structured one, but now that is changing because with remote workforce becoming a reality, and remote connectivity a norm within organisations, BI is playing a big role.

So where does Aditi fit in all this?
Business intelligence cannot be a packaged solution. It needs a highly customised approach, as companies today are different maturity levels. That is where we come in. What we do is help an enterprise in its BI journey. We start with consulting as a first step. This helps us understand the level at which an organisation is and what it needs, and it helps the enterprise assess their needs and state of deployment of BI if any.

We have a very well developed framework which helps us assess the maturity level of an organisation in terms of business intelligence and the company’s need. Based on that framework we create the solution and then implement it. We do look at BI not as a technology solution but as a tool for any organisation’s agile functioning. We develop this through a Microsoft based BI platform to help drive key organizational decisions across finance and cost management, operational improvement and sales and marketing.

What is your suggestion to CIOs looking at BI for business transformation?
The CIOs today who are looking at deploying business intelligence should not look at it as an IT project but as a long term business improvement tool.

Before deploying this a CIO has to look at how Business Intelligence fits into the workflow, and map it into the work culture and work flow of the company. Nobody wants BI at a lower level within an organisation. So it becomes a task for a CIO but when it is brought in as a work culture then it is easy for the lower level executives to adopt.

What kinds of businesses will benefit most from BI implementation?
It is not the size of the company but the growth rate of the organisation that decides the level at which it needs BI solutions. While large enterprises across India already have certain amount of BI implementation that they are now waiting to optimise, it is the mid segment businesses that can benefit most from BI.

These are the companies that are growing at a faster pace. They need BI to become more agile and competitive in this fast changing market. However this is also the segment that is more difficult to be convinced about trying out BI, as mid-sized companies are often family run and businessmen are not open to trying out BI.

They need to see quick value in their investments. The large corporate is more open and ready to implement, but deployment can be a challenge due to sheer size and scope. Industry segments like FIs, healthcare, manufacturing, and retail today stand to gain most from BI solutions.