Treat Business Intelligence Initiatives as Cultural Transformation: Gartner

According to a recent Gartner report – From Business Intelligence to Intelligent Business – CIOs must ensure that Business Intelligence (BI) programs are treated as a cultural transformation of the business, instead of just another IT project.

“Traditionally, BI has been used for performance reporting from historical data, and as a planning and forecasting tool for a relatively small number of people in an organization,” said Patrick Meehan, research vice president at Gartner.

The cultural impact of collaborative decision-making software

However, Gartner notes that with the continued emergence of collaborative decision-making (CDM) abilities within BI solutions, this situation is beginning to change. By implementing CDM technology, organizations are simultaneously requesting that employees alter their behavioral patterns.

The report highlights three initiatives that can be implemented when using BI to best achieve cultural change. They are:

1. Focus BI efforts on delivering the right information to the right people


Apply a business process orientation to BI that connects horizontally across functional areas and outwardly to partners, customers and partners. To keep strategy execution on track, BI must address all staff and management levels in the organization.

2. Change the mind-set from more information to answering the right questions


Champion the value of decision impact. Ultimately, a relentless focus on a very limited set of burning business questions will guide users toward BI-enabled decisions that have maximum impact on business strategies and goals.

3. Create project teams based on information needs


Create project teams based not just on who owns the data, but also on departmental interest in the information that will be generated. Breaking down silos of data ownership will send information flows up and down management chains as well as across functions, which in turn will create decisions with higher impact. Unless business decisions exploit organizations’ interdependencies in this manner, their impact will fall short. The business decisions with the biggest impact never exist in isolation.

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