Self-service business intelligence (BI) and data integration emerged from a recent year-long study as the two leading information management problems confronting IT and finance professionals.
The survey, carried out by self-service BI supplier Matillion, took in more than 10,000 managers in 150 countries and 18 sectors. IT professionals (1,972) made up almost 20% of the respondents, which also included 2,130 finance professionals and 1,217 CEOs.
Nearly 36% of respondents indicated that “delivering self-service reporting and analysis” was their top concern. As a second issue, 27.4% stated “reporting and analysing across multiple systems”.
Self-service BI has long been described as “the holy grail of business intelligence”, while the 2015 TechTarget IT Priorities Survey had data integration as a high priority, with 30% of 2,012 respondents citing it.
Some of the Matillion survey’s respondents also indicated a desire to “unlock data buried in systems” (16%) and a keenness to “reduce the cost of producing reports” (8.6%).
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The survey’s authors commented: “The results reveal frustration amongst executives, suggesting their existing management reporting systems aren’t delivering the functionality they really need. Added to this, the findings reveal the more senior the job role of the individual respondent, the more likely they were to regard the ability to carry out self-service reporting and analysis as their major challenge.”
Matthew Scullion, managing director at Matillion, said: “What real businesses really want from business intelligence isn’t at the ‘hi-tech, hype’ end of the spectrum, but is instead much more prosaic: self-serve reporting and analytics, ideally coupled to the ability to pull together and analyse information drawn from multiple systems.”
He added: “For all the talk of big data, mobile BI, predictive analytics and data visualisation, the evidence is that the real management information needs of most executives are far more down-to-earth: fast, easy, self-service access to data – for the people that need it and from whichever data sources are relevant.”
Respondents were, the survey’s authors said, drawn mostly from the US, UK, western Europe and Asia, across 18 industries.