This issue of DM Review focuses on BI trends. I decided to go straight to the source. I distributed a survey to clients and conference session attendees asking them what the future held for BI. One hundred and forty-six individuals took the survey. Most classified themselves as data warehousing or data management professionals and came from a cross-section of industries. The survey asked several questions about perceptions of BI's maturity and value. When asked, "How would you rate your company's BI maturity?" only two percent claimed that their BI environments were "mature." The majority - 52 percent - answered that they were "getting there" and another 26 percent classified themselves as "immature."

To the question, "Is your BI program branded internally so that everyone in the organization recognizes it?" 74 percent gave a "no" answer, suggesting that most BI efforts remain marginalized as run-of-the-mill IT projects and aren't distinguished by their business value. Across the board in both formal answers and informal conversations, companies say that there's more work to do to make BI robust and broaden its usage. In general, a bona fide BI best practice is: deploy either new data or new application functionality every 90 days. This recognizes the value of consistent delivery means keeping BI top of mind with knowledge workers.

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