Gartner: You have the BI tools, now tackle the skills

Business intelligence is the top concern of CIOs, but they need to go beyond basic investment in IT, according to Gartner.

Business intelligence is the top concern of CIOs, but they need to go beyond basic investment in IT and invest in skills, according to Gartner.

At the analyst's Business Intelligence Summit 2012, Gartner warned delegates that most organisations understand the technology for business intelligence (BI) but lack the soft skills to engage it with business effectively.

During the opening keynote presentation at the conference, Gartner research director Neil Chandler said: “We have competing forces between people in IT and the business. In these difficult economic times we have to professionalise our approach to business analytics, to allow the business to make better decisions to drive more innovation.”

Gartner research director James Richardson added: “BI is about putting the I in CIO. Information will electrify your organisation."

Gartner recommended that CIOs develop a business analytics team, comprising IT and business people. The team's role should be to engage, drive requirements, and train individuals to use available tools.

Just because IT provides tools and standards for data analytics, there is no guarantee the business will use them. For instance, Richardson said he came across one organisation did a report amnesty and found there were 10,000 reports the IT department did not know about. “Excel is still the number one reporting tool.”

He said not all analytics tools need to be developed centrally by IT, and going forward business users will want to use cloud-based business analytics and mobile data analytics.

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