BI implementations are stuck in a rut. This rut has short-circuited many small to medium size businesses’ (SMB) new BI initiatives. And, it has thwarted existing BI applications at large enterprises that are trying to be responsive to new and changing business analytic requirements.
Business people at SMBs sometimes reject their BI projects before they even deploy because they have already decided that they are not responsive to their analytical needs. So, they revert to their old standby: spreadsheets. Large enterprises likely have one or more BI applications already in place, but they often face large work backlogs of business requests that business people just cannot wait for, so they also revert to spreadsheets. In both scenarios, enterprises are not reaping the business ROI they should have achieved from their BI initiatives.
BI vendors, of course, have easy answers to these problems: buy their products and this backlog will vanish because it only takes minutes to build a new dashboard, report or complete business analysis with their tool. Oh really? Currently the latest BI tools are pitched as self-service BI. It is tempting for enterprises to buy into the self-service BI hype. Business people feel that they can be freed from the IT bottleneck and IT feels that business folks will limit their requests if they have these tools.
Emerging technologies offered through each new generation of BI tools often do make it easier and faster for people to develop BI analytics, but that is only one ingredient of busting the BI backlog. And it may not even be the most important ingredient.
A few of the stumbling blocks to greater responsiveness and higher business ROI from BI: