It’s not the volume of data that makes good BI: Expert

Business intelligence isn’t just gathering as much data as possible, but more about learning to “expect, inspect and respect information,” Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft’s director of business insights told a crowd of Canadian CIOs.

Bruno Aziza, co-author of “Drive Business Performance: Enabling A Culture of Intelligent Execution,” spoke as part of CIO Canada’s Frankly Speaking breakfast series of lectures, titled “The Best Approach to Business Intelligence,” this Wednesday. 

His message was clear:  He spoke not only to the slow adoption of BI practices but also to the disconnect between the gathering of BI data and the interpretation of it.

“There’s a huge disconnect and a lot of friction on two points (about BI); one is on the adoption side and two is on the infrastructure side,” Aziza said.

It comes down to having a C-level executive make BI a priority instead of a project. As Aziza explained, “what we’ve seen is the organizations who really win with business intelligence performance management … don’t actually have a sponsorship, they have a mandate.”

In a study ComputerWorld covered last month, CIOs were found to be losing their grasp on IT. John Van Decker, an analyst at Gartner Inc. said “there is a message in the study that IT needs to get much closer to business.”

This mirrors Aziza’s statement that BI has to be accessible to everyone, including CIOs, at a company. He added that “there’s so much data that the issue is really not the data anymore but it’s the speed at which we can process information across multiple nodes and return the results.”

”We used to say that the difficult thing for an organization to do is get their hands on the data, and as you’re realizing, that’s not the problem anymore … the problem is how do I correlate the data,” He said.  “If you can’t get your hands on data faster than the competition, you lose,” he added.

Aziza also promoted the importance of company-wide adoption and value of BI and the data it provides. He said that “to be successful (in BI adoption), you have to be a great marketer.” Aziza referenced success stories like Germany-based Siemens AG (with its Cobra BI strategy) and Denmark-based Lego Group (with its Voice).

By branding data that has been verified with a logo, he said companies can market BI strategy more easily and impress its importance upon employees.

Aziza also drew together some of his knowledge into a simple set of tenets for BI implementation. He called them the four (and eventually five) Ps of business intelligence. Watch the video below to hear him explain them.

–With files from Patrick Thibodeau

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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