This is probably the best BI myth busting article we’ve read in a while. So much of what’s passing for "BI" these days is really just BS. There must be a dozen vendors popping up each and every day touting some new "BI / Analytics" solution that’s the software equivalent of those infomercials that promise to "melt the pounds away" if you just take their miracle diet supplement.
If actionable business insight, the stuff of BI legend, is the Mt. Everest summit, know this: There’s little point to building or buying a better ice pick if the climbing team has no arms.
The truth is, Business Intelligence, which the article’s author refers to as "the most ironically named sector of software," really isn’t that simple or easy. Knowing how to integrate data from systems that were never intended to work together, how to clean up user input errors, how to build analytics that actually mean something, and how to display it in a manner that even the most attention-addled, data illiterate employee will grasp isn’t something you just learn overnight. It’s a system developed over a long period of time, with strong skills in data management, a good understanding of what’s needed, a fair amount of trial and error, and an unlimited amount of patience with people who have none of the former.
Of course, in this day and age of micro-blogs, tweets, realtime analysis, and more-now-faster-business, these attributes are becoming less appreciated and harder to find, which is probably why more than 8-in-10 BI projects fail, and greater numbers of people are flocking back to silo-ized, self-serve analytics in an attempt to solve their problems. (Which, while it may seem they do in the short term, will just create a whole new raft of issues over the long haul and swing the pendulum back to full-scope BI.)
Anyway, a good read. All hail the IT guy who stands on his hind legs and takes these BI challenges to heart.
See on www.informationweek.com