Hurdles for New Business Intelligence Systems
Decision-making in both old and new business intelligence environments is collaborative. However, the decision latency that prevails in old BI environments was unacceptable in environments where decisions may affect business operations on the day they are made. That means that the decision-making process supported by new business intelligence has to keep moving at a fast, steady pace. To do that, new BI systems have to assemble a huge volume of data, analyze it and present it in accessible ways to many users.
Not only do the types of data presentation and analysis used in business intelligence have to be geared toward large numbers of people; few of those users have the advanced technical and analytical skills of those using old BI systems. And even if the skill levels are comparable, those users do not have the luxury of time because they need to make operational decisions immediately. They need quickly to access, absorb and act on information and analytical results.
The lack of timely access to information – latency – is one of the most difficult challenges to using business intelligence systems successfully. In one business intelligence study, for example, nearly three-quarters of respondents said that reducing the time it takes to update their data was somewhat important or very important. In addition, nearly one-quarter of the respondents said that adequate business intelligence analysis requires real-time data, and more than one-third said they require daily or more frequent updates.
Collaborative decision-making in a BI environment depends on shared data, but data access often is confined to those who use it regularly. It is critical to share information to be able to improve the quality of decisions. But many organizations do not enable collaboration or understand it to be important; this business intelligence study found only a small percentage of users who rated collaboration as a high priority.