Make business intelligence “invisible”, Gartner advises

Business intelligence and analytics must be easier to use and better integrated into the business decision making process if employees are to use them, analyst company Gartner has warned.

Demand for real-time intelligence with which to take better decisions is growing, Gartner said. And yet, according to a survey by the company, only 30% of potential users within an organisation adopts the CIO-sponsored BI tools.

IT organisations must therefore seek to make BI more usable. "The friendlier, more transparent and therefore more 'invisible' the analytics are to users, the more broadly they will be adopted — particularly by users that have never used BI tools — and the greater the impact analytics can have on business activities," Gartner said in a statement.

This will not be easy, however. "Moving toward something that looks simple and invisible from the user's perspective will require a great deal of computing power, extended capabilities and skills, and potential complexity in information management systems.

"Business intelligence and analytics professionals should begin by identifying targeted data exploration and high-value decision-making opportunities where making analytics invisible, transparent, context-aware and accessible in real time to specific constituencies can add demonstrable value."

Gartner also advised that organisations build "real-time operational intelligence" systems to automate some of the low-level information work involved in reacting to real-time events. "Organisations should offload event data capture, filtering, mathematical calculations and pattern detection to real-time operational intelligence software, to provide better situation awareness to business people," it said.

"In the face of accelerating business processes and a myriad of distractions, real-time operational intelligence systems are moving from 'nice to have' to 'must have for survival'," said research vice-president Rita Sallam. "The more pervasively analytics can be deployed to business users, customers and consumers, the greater the impact will be in real time on business activities, competitiveness, innovation and productivity".

Ed Reeves

Ed Reeves co-founded Moneypenny with his sister Rachel Clacher in 2000. The company handles more than 9 million calls a year for 7,000 UK businesses and employs almost 400 members of staff. Reeves remains...

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