Monday, March 31, 2008

Dimensions in BI - where does customer figure?

IT innovation has done wonders to Business Intelligence (BI) utility. Once what used to be a process for increasing the competitive advantage of a business by intelligent data sourcing and analysis has now become an inevitable management tool that pervades every corner of enterprise.

The industry is rapidly moving away from thinking about BI as a set of technology tools, according to Bill Hostmann, Research V.P of Gartner Inc. While BI in 2004 focused on querying, reporting and multi-dimensional analysis on top of a data warehouse, today's dynamic and competitive business environment demands a different approach.

"It's a very dramatic shift," Hostmann said. "It's not just about building a data warehouse and putting some reporting tools on top of it. It's about putting a much larger framework together that includes a much larger piece of the organization, and delivering more of these different kinds of analysis capabilities than you've had in the past."

I am glad dimensions of BI are expanding to include every facet of enterprise. But why stop at enterprise? The real test of its utility is how it tempts companies to positively impact customer experience. The customer needs no machine fed data to realize who cheats him and who doesn’t. Look at HP gouging customers on cartridge sales, Gillette on shaving products, enterprise IT vendors on ERP/CRM software that have been depreciated over decades. The day when customer feels he got real value for money, I could say BI has scored its maiden goal.

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