Business intelligence – still an oxymoron?
Tell us what’s really going on
Reg reader study It’s been a while since we’ve asked any questions about business intelligence.
To the infoliterati, it’s a specialist domain that needs many years’ experience before it even starts to make sense. To outsiders however, it’s about whether or not the right information is there at the right time – and quite frequently, often it's not.
The ultimate irony of IT is that we talk about technology far more than we talk about the information it’s supposed to maintain and deliver. Now’s your chance to change all that by letting us know just how information is seen, and what capabilities you’re putting in place to deal with it. We know you’re busy people so we’ve kept things as short as we can while still giving us – and therefore you – a thorough picture of the BI landscape today.
So put down your complex metadata systems for dummies guides and pick up your pens, and we’ll pull it all together again.
"We are going to be using the term "business intelligence" (BI) in the remainder of this questionnaire"
Wouldn't BS be more appropriate?
The trouble with industry (mine included sadly) is that it's peppered with gobbledegook and meaningless jargon designed to give the users of such jargon an inflated sense of their own importance. It's about time they all climbed down from up their collective arses and started to speak/write in plain English.
"Business Intelligence" when distilled down to its essence is nothing more than understanding your processes. In that sense, its something that every mid or lower level manager needs to understand. Not just the specialists.
The application of software to managing work flow has forced some of the inefficiencies of said flow out into the open. You can't code something until you understand it (in spite of many attempts to the contrary). That said, BI isn't exclusive to the IT department. Even if your work process remains better suited to a clipboard than a server, understanding its inputs and outputs is still the responsibility of its practitioners, not some consultant or unrelated department. Once its understood, that's when its time to do the paper vs computer trade study.
The general subject has been a joke for years. Take a look at this very old Dilbert cartoon:
A few of us tried it during a series of meetings; it certainly encouraged us to pay attention for fear of missing something.