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70 Canadian IT execs answer three critical BI questions

Saturday, September 24, 2011

ComputerWorld Canada recently did a survey on executives and their experiences with BI.

I don't like being snarky but I thought the questions that were asked to the 70 Canadian IT execs were not the right questions to ask. Here they are:

  • Do you have a standard BI platform across the organization?
  • Is BI critical to your organization?
  • Does IT spend a lot of time preparing BI data?

I think the first question is irrelevant. Does it really matter if an organization uses several tools? My answer is no, as long as they get the job done and it's not a maintenance nightmare for IT. In fact, some of the vendors that provide the entire suite don't usually live up to their claims, anyways. I.e. organizations are looking for additional tools such as data visualization software to complement an SAP or Cognos implementation.

The second question is important but too vague. If the respondent is unfamiliar with the concepts of BI, then the answer would be no. In fact, I would argue that everyone who took the survey does ask for data and analyzes it to some degree to make decisions. Maybe a better question would be, "Do you work with data to make decisions that affect the bottom line?"

The final question, which I think the question needs to be reworded, as well. What would be more interesting to know is how many of these respondents scrapped a BI project because of the latency in getting data to them.

Surveys are hard to design but to say that these are the 3 critical questions to ask is bold.

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