Match the Tools to the User
Although the number of decision makers increases in an operational business intelligence environment, these individuals are likely not to be experts in data analysis or the use of specific business intelligence application.
As a result, the interface of an operational BI solution must either closely match the existing operational solution of the user or be exposed through such a solution.
Alternatively, the operational business intelligence solution must exhibit the features of common online information sites that combine intuitive interfaces with links to reports and alerts, as well as promote a collaborative environment.
This can be accomplished through the use of interactive, graphical interfaces as well as support for workflow (or guided analytics) and collaboration (e.g., annotations, embedded email, and extended data accessibility).
On the IT infrastructure side, operational business intelligence solutions must be able to handle more people potentially launching queries and putting higher workload demands on the system, where availability and scalability requirements are approaching those of operational systems. If business intelligence is going to be truly operational, then it can't be down or otherwise unavailable.
Such solutions must also utilize business activity monitoring or real-time data integration that supports access to not only transactional but also subtransactional information while complementing an existing data warehouse with its historical data.
Traditional business intelligence applications aren't appropriate for this task because they have too much built-in latency. Too much time passes from the collection of data from operational systems, to the building or updating of the data warehouse, to the analysis of the data, to when the final results are made available to end users.
By the time the data is ready, it's either irrelevant or just too outdated to be used for decision making.