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SA: Business Intelligence for everyone…but

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Business Intelligence (BI) is relevant and useful for businesses, irrespective of size, but there are pre-requisites claim ICT experts at the ICT Business Breakfast, hosted by ITNewsAfrica and sponsor Yellowfin.

Business executives have discussed the implications and realities of Business Intelligence. (Image source: File)

Although decision makers want the process optimisation benefits of BI, such as insight and a single version of truth for the business, there is a lack of understanding and appreciation for the need to have specifics in place for this technology to add value.

For example, there needs to be focus on data and collection thereof, as well as a culture of analysis within the company suggested presenter Liam Terblanche, CIO of Accsys.

“Business intelligence has to be infused into the culture of the company to be successful … you have to have a culture of analysis, it is a non-negotiable,” Terblanche explained.

Issues like data inaccuracies and the disconnect between IT and other stakeholders in business was raised as additional reasons behind failings in BI application.

Glen Rabie, CEO and joint founder of Yellowfin, believes that everyone in the organisation should have access to BI.

“When I started in BI it was seen as a dark art, there were few BI professionals and it was seen as super niche. That is ultimately changing and now, and for the future, BI is pervasive. Every organisation is concerned about the information they have and how to leverage off it. The skills sets of people are becoming analytic. One of the fundamental shifts over the last twenty years is people fundamental ability to use information,” he said.

Analytic expertise is being constantly developed and being brought into organisations, due to the convergence of several factors including mobility and the internet of things, as well as ways to access information Rabie continued.

“The i-Pad, to me, was the time when BI was truly launched… the amount of BI that was taking place was incredible. Changing the platform was a major influence,” he added.

The advent of the cloud and the speed at which people have access to data and the ability to utilise this data strategically were also mentioned as key drivers behind BI.

Chris Tredger, Online Editor

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