What should be your BI strategy

by CXOtoday News Desk    Jul 19, 2013



There are pros and cons to for companies who adopt a Business Intelligence (BI) standardization approach. Some benefits gained are higher data quality, single version of the truth, lower cost of ownership, less complexity etc. At the same time this business mantra undertaken by BI managers may not be viable anymore. Rick Sherman, founder of US-based consulting company Athena IT Solutions, said during a podcast interview with SearchBusinessAnalytics, “The reality of the situation is that it may not be that easy of an issue or a realistic goal” for most companies.

Although there might be many advantages to standardizing BI, there are certain drawbacks a company might face. For example, self-service tools, data visualisation software and mobile BI applications have given a rise to great many BI options for business users. Consolidation of these BI systems takes time, money and resources, which could be devoted to projects providing higher-value. Sherman states that standardization may result in halting BI processes. This in turn may lead to loss of business opportunities. The end users may not even get improved data analysis capabilities.

A recent Gartner report suggested, that organizations should take a portfolio approach to BI rather than take a standardization approach. Some niche BI vendors are now advocating concepts like “opportunistic” or “end-user driven” BI. These concepts suggest the same thing that Sherman is trying to say. That specific tools need to be chosen for specific tasks to allow end-users to get on with things on their own.The best course of action lies somewhere in between standardization and the portfolio approach. An easier approach would be to standardize on a set of software to meet different BI needs for example, augmenting a traditional BI platform with specified data discovery and mobile BI tools.