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BI strategy: What Holy Grail are you seeking?

Gartner’s BI Summit is just around the corner, and I’m eager to see how attendees’ business intelligence strategies and priorities have changed.

When I went to the show last year, a big topic of conversation was the disconnect between IT and the business, and an overall lack of governance over the business intelligence strategy.

Attendees were trying to figure out how and if they should consolidate business intelligence software, how to get the business side to stop using Excel — or keep Excel as a front end and tack it onto a central BI platform.

Later in the year, I attended BI software vendor Information Builders Inc.’s user show, in which attendees had a very different set of BI strategy priorities: real-time data analysis and predictive analysis.

I think all of those topics will still be areas that CIOs are tackling, but if the Gartner BI Summit agenda is any indication, BI strategies are shifting yet again.

One session, “Turning BI from a cost center into a revenue generator,” is somewhat of a Holy Grail of BI for the business and IT. How Gartner advises getting there will be interesting to hear.

Then again, one speaker planned for the Gartner show, Rita Salam, research director at Gartner, is pointing to collaborative decision making as the Holy Grail of BI.

Another topic sure to gain attention, as it did at last year’s show, is Gartner’s take on where the big BI vendors need to improve and where they excel. Check out what Gartner analysts had to say about the major BI players last year in “Business Intelligence vendor comparison: Gartner analyzes the big four.”

I’ll be sure to lay out the big BI vendors’ pros and cons as Gartner sees it this time around, and go on a search of my own for what attendees believe is the Holy Grail of BI.

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