This month I am writing in the "postcard" format I first used in October 2003 , where each topic is covered briefly rather than in depth. Rationale? More people will take the time to read postcards than long letters. These postcards aren't from Fantasy Land or Tomorrow Land ­ they're from Business Intelligence (BI) Land! Enjoy!

While spending for IT in general has reflected the economic downturn, spending for BI has grown. BI is necessary in bad times as well as good. In fact, a case could be made for BI being even more necessary in bad times. When margins are tight, competition for customers is at an all-time high. Costs need to be controlled, and business managers need to have information at their fingertips to analyze trends, hone their customer acquisition strategies with pinpoint accuracy and tightly manage their supply chains. BI solutions don't cost that much and can have dramatic results in terms of making decisions that positively affect top- and bottom-line growth. Obviously, continued BI spending reflects IT management's realization of BI's worth to the organization to help it succeed through periods of economic uncertainty.

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