After all the investments in business intelligence (BI) over the years, many companies are still data rich but information poor. While IT bragged about its multiterabyte data warehouse, the businesspeople were using Microsoft Excel like duct tape to patch together the information they needed. (I call that duct tape data shadow systems.)

Why the disconnect? Little has changed since my August 2005 column “Business Intelligence Goes Back to the Future, Part 2: Couples Therapy for IT and Business Users” when I said “Both sides are talking, but it seems like nobody is really listening or understanding. Does IT have a sense of what the business users really need? Do the business users really care how IT is going to deliver the data?”

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