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What's at the Top of Your BI Wish List?

by Maroushka Kanywani, Editor, Dashboard InsightTuesday, September 9, 2008

By Doug Henschen, Intelligent Enterprise

"Better, easier, lower-cost" and "more flexible." These were the adjectives respondents to a recent InformationWeek / IntelligentEnterprise survey used most often when asked "what's at the top of your business intelligence wish list?" The survey was conducted this summer and is behind this week's in-depth feature "Special Report: BI Gets Smart," as well as a full report with the complete survey results. The words "better, lower-cost," and "more flexible" applied to a range of wishes, but here are the top "must haves":

Better user interfaces: Readers say most BI interfaces need to improve, whether it's the query and analysis tools tapped by power users or the dashboards and reports intended for more casual users. Survey respondents asked for simplicity and more intuitive navigation.

Easier deployment: "Integration" came up a lot, with faster, easier and standards-based connections desired to both infrastructure and applications. Readers also asked for "canned data warehouse models" as well as dashboard and reporting "frameworks" aimed at faster deployment.

Easier customization: One size definitely does not fit all. Respondents want easy ways to customize interfaces, dashboards, reports and analytic applications.

Lower-cost licensing: If vendors think "pervasive BI" is a good idea, they have to come up with friendlier licensing terms, particularly in extranet deployments touching thousands or hundreds of thousands of potential users.

More flexible data modeling: There has to be an easier way to get data into the BI system. One respondent asked for "user-mapped data integration of dimensions and hierarchies," while another said "put analysis and information consumption first, letting the deep technical considerations fade into the background where they belong."

Vendors aren't the only ones on the wish-list hook. Many survey respondents admit they have to get their own house in order, hoping for improvements such as "a larger IT staff with BI experience," "BI-savvy executive sponsorship," "better understanding from end users," and "willingness to think beyond traditional reporting to leverage advanced analytic and scorecarding capabilities."

About the Author

Doug Henschen joined Intelligent Enterprise as Editor in 2004 and was named Editor-in-Chief in January 2007. He has specialized in covering the intersection of business intelligence, performance management, business process management and rules management technologies within enterprise applications and architectures.

Source: Intelligent Enterprise

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