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Business intelligence remains top priority for CIOs, says analyst

Cliff Saran

Businesses will spend £1bn on business intelligence software during 2007, Gartner has predicted.

Research by the analyst firm has found that CIOs see business intelligence as the number-one technology priority in 2007 – for the second year running. But consolidation of business intelligence tools will also be a big focus for IT directors this year.

Gartner said that until recently many firms have bought business intelligence systems at a departmental level, resulting in myriad different tools being used across many businesses.

But for 2007 Gartner said firms were looking to use a single system across the business to ensure a consistent, standardised approach to analysing and measuring data that should also boost operational efficiency.
 
Speaking at the Gartner Business Intelligence Summit in London yesterday, Andreas Bitterer, research vice president at Gartner, said, “BI has become a strategic initiative and is now recognised by CIOs and business leaders as instrumental in driving business effectiveness and innovation.”
 
But Bitterer also warned that BI is not well understood by many firms’ employees, which meant an increased focus on training would be crucial in 2007.
 
A survey conducted at Gartner’s 2006 BI summit found that large organisations who already invest in BI spend an average of £760,000 per year purchasing BI software. For many of these organisations, Gartner said there was now a significant shift towards bringing BI to the masses by making the tools available to increasing numbers of employees, as well as customers, business partners and suppliers.
 
Nigel Rayner, research vice president at Gartner, said that businesses that have implemented ERP systems are now looking at BI to extract value from the massive amount of data they are storing as a result of ERP.
 
Rayner said, “Once people know what factors impact business performance, they can change what they are doing. ERP helps you do things better, but BI helps you do better things.”

BI suppliers move towards performance management

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