August 11 - Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company, recently found that small to midsized companies globally are exploring business intelligence deployment to affect more functions within the organization as well as more job roles within each function.

The value of a well-conceived BI strategy is becoming more evident in all organizations but especially so in SMBs. With the emergence of software as a service, open source BI and other on-demand approaches, the analytical firepower that was once reserved for the Fortune 500 is now available to smaller and more resource-restricted organizations. The study, “BI for the SMB 2009,” found that 99 percent of top performing organizations were able to deliver BI to their employees in a self-service, non IT-assisted capacity, helping improve adoption of the tools and spread them throughout the organization. By leveraging a simultaneously tactical and strategic approach to BI, these SMBs were able to spread BI across their organizations in order to produce substantial revenue and profit growth.

The research shows that leading SMBs were able to implement their BI solutions in an average of 14 days, compared with 241 days for laggard SMBs. This shorter deployment time enables top performers to expend fewer resources to deploy and manage the BI solutions, and reduce the total cost of ownership of their BI strategy.

"Many companies, particularly smaller organizations, suffer from a lack of transparency when it comes to the key aspects of their business that drive performance. As a result, data shows that SMBs are turning to BI in order to improve visibility into these business processes," said Michael Lock, Research Analyst for Business Intelligence at Aberdeen Group in the announcement.

According to SMB industry expert Lyndsay Wise, "This report shows how mid-sized companies are starting to adopt BI more broadly and becoming more mature in terms of their use of BI solutions/applications. In addition, the implementation times identified (on average between 89 and 129 days) show that it is realistic for organizations to get BI up and running in three to four months as opposed to between six months to a year."

The survey collected data from 530 small to midsized organizations globally for the report, titled “BI for the SMB 2009: How to Slash Cost and Empower the Business User.” 

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