No Business Intelligence? No Business, Says IDC

LONDON, June 20, 2007 � As a major force driving innovation in the organization, business intelligence (BI) is proving a crucial tool in gaining competitive advantage over the opposition, according to Alys Woodward, program manager, European BI and Analytic Applications, IDC. Pervasive BI strategies need the support of first-rate business analytics and a keen focus on maximizing business performance potential. Effective use of BI will provide tangible benefits to departmental processes, operational efficiencies, and the bottom line.

BI is evolving very quickly in a number of different directions, and there are already some mature vendors in small pockets of certain industries. Speaking at IDC’s recent annual Business Intelligence conference, Woodward said, “What might be considered mature for one particular industry sector could still be conceived as cutting-edge and forward-thinking in another. Predictive analytics is one such example.”

As BI tools and implementations become more sophisticated, users are bombarded with messages from different sources and in different formats. The amount of information that users need to make sense of is growing more quickly than the amount of information contained in BI implementations. “Real-time reporting, high availability, and integration with business processes will all become paramount as BI is deployed outside its traditional audience in the finance department and is extended to operational users,” said Woodward. However, BI is currently not effectively distributed in organizations, and is typically only deployed to around a fifth of employees.

Woodward concluded by highlighting that the “cultural and organizational challenges presented by implementing BI haven’t changed in 15 years. However, these still represent the most significant challenges to BI initiatives. The key to achieving BI is to tie-in the ultimate needs of the business.”

The BI conference took place in London on June 14, 2007, and brought together almost 120 senior IT decision makers in addition to high-profile vendor sponsors including Business Objects, SAS, Avaya, BOARD MIT, SolStonePlus, Sybase, Rsinteract, and WNS. Media partners included Obis Omni,, and ZDNet UK.

The conference discussed issues such as BI case studies from Mitsubishi Electric Europe, Experian Integrated Marketing, and Inspired Gaming Group; communications-enabled business processes; using analytic solutions to optimize business process management; and “analysis at the speed of thought.”

About IDC

IDC is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 900 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 90 countries worldwide. For more than 43 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world’s leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting