February 9, 2010 – The results of business intelligence initiatives are lagging behind expectations, according to a new study from technology service provider and consulting firm Ness Technologies.

More than half of respondents reported that BI results were less than expected results in 14 of 16 categories, according to the report titled “The Ness Technologies Market Pulse Study.”
The largest gaps are in business agility, data integration and new revenue opportunities.
The 140 IT and business executives surveyed identified top pain points related to the status of company data. Almost half of respondents put data silos (47 percent) at the top of their lists, closely followed by data integration (35 percent), mapping data and data cleansing/modeling (31 percent).

Generally, information organization in the enterprise and BI projects present the largest challenge for companies, according Larry Scott, President of Ness Global Industries. A strong indicator of how well they are meeting those challenges is strategy alignment – how well business strategy is aligned with technology domains.

Scott has observed a stark contrast between the success of businesses closely aligned with their technology partners and those seemingly apart. “What’s fascinating is that, in the two [industry] dinners we have had, we’ve had a circumstance at each event where the business sponsor and their technology partner attended,” said Scott. “It became very clear that the folks that did not have their sponsor/partner were typically grappling with the types of problems we saw in the survey.”

Companies with frequent communication around BI strategy are less likely to experience the most common BI pain points, according to the report.

So, what are firms are doing about these challenges or what should they be doing? Scott recommends starting with foundation projects that include a narrow set of objectives, recognizing that there are challenges around information integration. “Make sure that you have what you need to ask the right type of questions in order to support the right data,” he said.

Check out “The New Packaged-BI Paradigm: 5 Strategies to Ride the Transformation” for five strategies to help lay the foundation for a successful and seamless transition to newer packaged BI paradigms.

Also, read “Data Quality for Operational BI” for more insight into quality expectations and communication with the business community.

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