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Get to grips with business intelligence

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Despite all the money invested in IT systems over the years, a study by IBM reveals that two-thirds of UK mid-market businesses still rely on error-prone manual processes when it comes to dealing with data, the lifeblood of any effective 21st century business. It is a problem that business intelligence (BI) tools were supposed to have solved.

It is not just mid-market firms that have not yet come to grips with the issue. Enterprise-level organisations seem equally adrift. The conspicuous failure of risk assessment throughout the financial services sector in recent months is testament to that.

Research firm Gartner defines the BI lifecycle as three distinct stages:

  • organising, cleansing and collecting data;
  • delivering that data in a consistent and appropriate form; and
  • using that data for effective decision-making.

It is at the last stage where things are still falling down. Most companies still fail to link BI to “the last mile” of business decision-making, which means all that investment in BI technologies is going to waste. “Despite unprecedented information availability, several imperfect decisions were made in both public and private sectors in the past decade,” notes Gartner analyst Kurt Schlegel. “It is not enough to provide voluminous access to information and expect good decisions to be made as a result.”

Source: Computerweekly

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