Understanding an organization's business objectives and metrics is the essential cornerstone on which to build a successful business intelligence (BI) initiative, but too many organizations risk failure by focusing too much on the technology, according to Gartner, Inc."Through 2009, overcoming complex organizational dynamics and having the skills to use business intelligence more broadly will become the most significant challenge to the success of business intelligence initiatives and implementations," said Betsy Burton, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. "Best in class organizations focus on business objectives and use a business-driven approach to define and scope their people, process, application, technology and/or services strategy."

Business intelligence is more than just information dissemination - reporting, query and online analytical processing - for senior managers to make decisions. It is about driving broad business impact, positive change and higher performance across a diverse group of people, and supporting the processes, applications, organization and technology to make that possible.

Defining and supporting a business intelligence competency center (BICC) is the key to ensuring that an organization is gaining maximum business value from its investments. A BICC focuses on several key aspects, such as the justification, scope, budget and technologies/services that should be dedicated to creating a sustainable business intelligence initiative. In addition, the BICC helps evangelize the business value, and also educate and train users.

The BICC consists of business people throughout the company, business analysts and the company's IT "gurus" working together to drive and balance the appropriate business intelligence evolution. By 2009, more than 60 percent of global 2000 companies and government agencies with cross-enterprise, strategic business intelligence initiatives will have formed BICCs.

"Demands of the competitive environment mean that business intelligence will become more pervasive across business applications and processes, supporting an increasingly diverse set of users," Ms. Burton said.

Additional information is available in the Gartner report "Introducing Gartner for IT Leaders: Business Intelligence and Information Management." The report provides analysis examining why business intelligence is becoming more pervasive among a broader set of users, applications and business processes, making the business value of business intelligence more effective than ever before. The report is available on Gartner's Web site at http://www.gartner.com/DisplayDocument?ref=g_search&id=491191.

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