Eighty-five percent of companies lack the IT infrastructure necessary to support the reporting requirements of business intelligence applications users, according to a survey conducted by Appfluent Technology, provider of infrastructure software to enable real-time business intelligence.

The survey was carried out in January 2003 via an online questionnaire completed by 189 U.S.-based companies across industry sectors. Three quarters of the respondents were from large or very large organizations. Participants held jobs in either business or IT management or were IT professionals. The survey's key findings include:

  • Only 15 percent of respondents felt that their company's technology department supported the organization's reporting requirements "very well." Twenty-eight percent of respondents felt their company was only "average" in this respect.
  • Companies mainly employ one of two remedies to reporting headaches. Thirty percent of respondents run reports at off-peak times; reports are run off data warehouse or data mart systems in 17 percent of companies. Other companies offer users no solutions whatsoever.
  • One in five companies base their most crucial reports on data that is a week or more old, while the majority of companies, 42 percent, base today's crucial reports on yesterday's data. This number rises to 60 percent among business users who tend to run financial reports as opposed to IT managers who tend to require production reports.
  • Almost half of respondents indicated that they need fresh data several times a day.
  • Three out of four respondents list reports as being very important or extremely important to their jobs. Less than four percent said reports had no importance. For business users (54 percent), reports are more often "extremely important" than those in IT management (40 percent).

"Appfluent's research confirms that people expect to access the freshest data to make the important decisions that are necessary to do their jobs well. But, because of concerns about the cost and complexity associated with business intelligence infrastructure, companies are unable to realize fully the promise of the real-time enterprise," said Frank Gelbart, president and CEO of Appfluent Technology. "Our aim is to help them dramatically simplify their infrastructure for timely business intelligence."
For an in-depth commentary on this report, see Frank Gelbart’s March BI Trends column on www.DMReview.com.

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