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Barriers to Business Intelligence (BI)


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Sanjay Mehta, CEO of MAIA Intelligence, highlights
the barriers preventing IT managers from adopting business intelligence, while delving into its innovations and capabilities.

This is an excerpts from an interview taken by N. Geetha, Executive Editor, ITNext and published in October 2011 issue by 9Dot9 Media.

Published in: Technology, Business
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Barriers to Business Intelligence (BI)

  1. 1. BI | COVER STORYEnlighteningWITH Intelligence IT managers grapple with the challenges of empowering their organisations through business intelligence solutions BY N GEE TH A I MAGI NG BY ANI L T O C T O B E R 2 0 1 1 | ITNEXT 15
  2. 2. COVER STORY | BI Barriers to Sanjay Mehta, CEO of MAIA Intelligence, highlights the barriers preventing IT managers from adopting business intelligence, while delving into its innovations and capabilities What is the state of adoption of BI by IT heads? of skills internally in the line of business; and the fact that As Indian companies witness a yearly growth of 25 to 30 per existing cultures do not encourage sharing of information. cent, the need for business intelligence (BI) tools and ser- vices to create smarter, more agile and efficient businesses, Elaborate the steps involved in making environment is increasing. The BI software market is estimated to reach Business Intelligence ready. $65.4 mn in 2011, up by 15.7 per cent from 2010. There is The prerequisites for a BI deployment are ensuring that data increased adoption of BI tools across industry verticals, is clean; business users are effectively trained and shortlist- owing to increased competition and globalisation, which ing and selecting a BI tool which gets deployed quickly paves way for increased productivity. and is able to adjust as you go. IT managers should deploy BI with the clear idea that there What are the barriers to adoption of BI? are numbers out there that they need to find, Cost and complexity barriers restrict user adop- and know roughly where they might be. tion and deployment across the enterprise. Data Post-deployment, IT managers should migration and integration are also the most initially not spend a huge amount of time potent inhibiting factors to BI adoption. Other upfront developing the perfect reports challenges are departmental silos, data access, because needs will grow as the business clean data, employee resistance, lack of busi- evolves. While building a data warehouse, ness rules, etc. Getting the right data qual- IT managers need to take an integrated ity and one version of the truth and approach from the beginning also ineffective data governance and ensure that they are not are other obstacles to adoption. locking themselves into Additionally, the take an unworkable data up of BI is being hindered strategy further down by: employees resistant the road. to change; cultural resistance; lack of Elaborate on the understanding of BI capabilities of BI role in improving tools to address business; lack of vertical-specific bandwidth due needs. to competing There are two types priorities; lack of verticalisation24 ITNEXT | O C T O B E R 2 0 1 1
  3. 3. BI | COVER STORYhappening in the BI space. One “Dirty data should be business knowledge, improvedin consolidation, and the other in work processes and moreterms of industry segments. Both tackled before making effective relationships.are taking place on the established it ready for BI, as thisgrounds that BI verticalisation What steps need to be taken todoes not make sense for a few may drastically affect t manage workflow smartly?generics. Financial consolidation business profitability” t Organisations must understandis seeing many knitted BI solutions and address critical challengescoming its way. Due to heavy M&A —Sanjay Mehta, CEO, MAIA Intelligence to manage workflow smartly inactivity and a stricter regulatory a BI environment. The BI proj-environment, all branches, subsidiaries and sister concerns ect has to be recognised as a cross-organisational businessof organisations have to have some common financial bind- initiative and it needs to be understood that, as such, it dif-ing. That is where BI is capturing the screen space. The other fers from typical standalone solutions. The project shouldarea is amongst industries such as BFSI, pharmaceuticals and follow a breakdown structure and a methodology. Businesstelcos, and a few others where templates are generated. Indus- requirements should be analysed and business activitiestries like manufacturing, BFSI, pharma and healthcare, logis- standardised. Dirty data should be tackled before makingtics and retail are some of the early adopters of BI in India. it ready for BI, as this may drastically affect business profit- ability. The necessity for and the use of meta-data shouldWhat kind of profit opportunities and productivity gains also be understood well.has this created for IT managers?BI resolves reporting challenges such as creating one ver- Is consumerisation of BI for real? How?sion of the truth, enables information self-service and cre- BI is still too elitist and growing too slow. Currently, it isates meaningful data rollups for users. It also seamlessly in the corporate arena and needs to move to the consumerintegrates changes to business and consolidates multiple arena. How can we change this paradigm? How can BIsystems across the enterprise. affect consumers’ daily lives and affect decision-making as it does with internet searches or in the way Web 2.0 isWhat are the top trends that you see in the BI space? doing? How can BI become a utility for decision-makingQuite a few trends like self-service, real-time analytics, on- with consumer BI applications being developed? Currently,the-go data visualisation and business intelligence through our decisions are based on opinions, recommendations,mobile platforms are shaping up in BI space. All types of advertisements and surveys and not actual data, which iscritical decisions – buying, selling, monitoring and optimis- measured or analysed. BI can drive consumerisation if seg-ing – are being made on the fly. BI on rich internet appli- ments across the enterprise rely on their own internal datacation (RIA) technology is evolving; mobility will be an to set goals.important trend to deliver information on PDAs. The toolhas the capability to send the report figures through What innovations do you observe in BI?an SMS gateway. We have already started exploring the Web 2.0- based technology wave of RIA-based BI. Busi-What kind of business benefits have you ness users had never experienced this kindobserved using BI tools? of intuitive GUI before. They loved thisSome of the business benefits gained by kind of sexy-looking dashboard dancingour customers include regulatory and to their whims and fancies.compliance adherence, enhanced salesrevenue by identifying cross-sell and What are your plans for BI?up-sell opportunities, better and clearer up in 2011 in Our effort is to create something that is:assessment of non-financial revenue and BI market over • Simple: The right interfaces for the rightcosts and an increase in IT and business people at the right timeprocess productivity. IT managers have saved 2010 • Seamless: Tightly integrated with data –Gartnercosts through building reports into the core sources, applications and business processesbusiness application (transaction reporting) and • Social: Allows people to collaborate aroundfocussing more on the core development of other analysing information and making decisionsproductive applications rather than allotting time • Strategic: Closes the loop between strategy andto the frequent report requests from the business executionusers across their organisations. The roadmap for the future is on-demand BI and Intangible benefits accrued through BI are embedded Business Intelligence.performance improvement, time savings, greater O C T O B E R 2 0 1 1 | ITNEXT 25