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Dresner Survey Shows 'Above Average' Take on BI

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Posted March 29, 2011 By Ann All     Feedback

In a post I wrote as 2010 was drawing to a close, I noted that a year-end wrap-up piece on TDWI named "insurgent" business intelligence, an approach that minimizes IT involvement, as one of the five top BI trends for the year.

In a post I wrote as 2010 was drawing to a close, I noted that a year-end wrap-up piece on TDWI named "insurgent" business intelligence, an approach that minimizes IT involvement, as one of the five top BI trends for the year.

Another of the top five was stagnant adoption rates. The article cited research from the Business Application Research Council (BARC), that just 10 percent of enterprises have deployed BI to a majority of their users.

Given that, I was a little surprised to see what looks like a pretty positive take on BI in Howard Dresner's Wisdom of Crowds Business Intelligence Market Study. Dresner is still working on the study and encouraging folks to contribute by taking his survey.

But on Friday Dresner hosted a Twitter discussion based on his initial findings and he just published a blog post sharing five BI trends pulled from the preliminary data.

The trends:

  • The area of top overall customer satisfaction is "robustness/sophistication of technology."
  • Conversely, the area of lowest customer satisfaction is "online training, forums and documentation."
  • 94.5 percent of respondents would recommend their BI vendor.
  • 69 percent of respondents consider their current BI vendor "strategic."
  • The top mandate for BI technology is operational integration. This desire for better operational integration is a trend that's been picking up steam for quite some time. It'll continue to do so, especially if mobile BI becomes as big of a deal as Dresner and other experts are saying it will be.

At least three, and arguably four, of these trends seem to indicate all is largely well with enterprise BI. It's "sophisticated" and "strategic."

I have to wonder whether Dresner's survey respondents were largely practitioners rather than users. I fear they may be suffering from Lake Wobegone effect, which leads folks to assume things are better than they really are.

But wait, not so fast. I thought the Twitter discussion might offer a clue. When @BizIntelAnalyst asked @howarddresner whether IT was "less of a prime-time player in BI," Dresner responded that "they remain dominant," though he added that "users are having an increasing impact." However, Dresner tells me his respondents are a mix of IT practitioners and business users, with roughly equal amounts of both.

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