The current market slowdown has put increased pressure on margins for most organizations. Todays organizations are feeling the rising input costs, higher interest rates and tight money supply. Large companies may experience flat demand or even a decline from global oversupply in the next few years. The role of business intelligence (BI) to provide agile, adaptable and efficient business decision-making has become very important to meet these business challenges. Businesses will struggle to have the leading edge in the market if decision-makers cannot get the correct timely information to act upon. Most business users and decision-makers rely heavily on the IT department in order to get information and make day-to-day business decisions. This not only causes inordinate delays in decision-making, but also places dependency on IT. This increases the overall investment cost of BI for the organization. All these factors translate to higher operating costs, reduced productivity, customer dissatisfaction and, most importantly, higher levels of dissatisfaction among employees in organizations.
To gain an advantage over competition, organizations must innovate ways in which business users can quickly and easily get required information. This means a BI environment in which business users can get rich, accurate and real information at their fingertips as easily as we get information from a Google search. For this to happen, business and IT need to work together to create a self-service BI environment that enables business users to access information with minimum support from IT for their day-to-day operations, so as to increase the overall ROI on BI for the enterprise. The need for such self-service BI has become less of an aspiration and more of a requirement in todays competitive business scenario.
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