In this article author Samuel Greengard discusses the challenges and benefits of Business Intelligence (BI) and Business Analytics (BA) within an organization. The article defines BI as the "mechanics of turning data into information" and BA as creating value from that information. He notes that while most large corporations use these tools over 35% fail to make effective use of what they have. Many of the challenges identified include, lack of access to key data, the inflexibility of BI tools, and simply a lack of understanding or strategy on how to approach BI/BA. Perhaps the biggest impediment is the rapidly changing nature of the data, which now includes increasingly unstructured data (audio and video), web 2.0, mobile applications, and the need to use Internet based data for mashups. Naturally this complexity is further encumbered by the growing cost and complexity of IT. Greengard offers one note of optimism for these problems...cloud computing. As companies are able to effectively move BI/BA data into the cloud it is possible that this will open up access, transparency, and lower cost.
Included in this article are examples of how BI/BA are being used by Hallmark, Kent County Council (in the U.K.), and Independent Health (using SPSS). Read the article.
Submitted by Walter Alvendia