The following is a short excerpt from The BI Survey 7. Look for Nigel Pendse's longer article on The BI Survey results in the July 2008 issue of DM Review.

The Business Application Research Center recently released the world’s largest independent business intelligence (BI) survey, The BI Survey 7. The BI Survey provides a detailed quantitative analysis of why customers buy BI tools, what they use them for, how successful they are and why they eventually abandon them. It is based on analysis of the real-world experience of 1,900 users around the world.

Of those already using BI today, 87 percent saw a business need to deploy the solutions more widely, and 38 percent said they plan to purchase more licenses of their current products (21 percent expect not to). The overall levels of satisfaction remain high, though slightly worse than previous years: almost 71 percent of respondents said that their projects had largely or completely met their business goals. But almost eight percent reported that the goals had not been met at all, though most of these projects were continuing.


Despite the apparent satisfaction with BI solutions, BI usage is still very limited: only 8.7 percent of the total employees of the typical organization make regular use of BI applications. The figure is slightly higher in the US than in Europe. Even three years after deployment, it only rises to about ten percent.


As always, slow query performance was the most widespread technical problem, suffered by 21 percent of respondents, and this seems to be becoming more common as time passes. Projects that used query performance as an explicit evaluation criterion tended to be more successful than those that did not. The Survey also found that the overall business success of projects is directly linked to query performance: the faster the query performance, the more business benefits are reported and the more likely it is that business goals will be achieved.


Not only was query performance the most often-reported technical problem, but as in the previous three years, it was also the most serious problem overall. Company politics, the worst people-related problem, declined further, having been reported less than in any of the first six editions. Data quality problems also fell in 2007, and are now well behind performance complaints.


Overall, software reliability was a major problem for only 10.3 percent of sites overall (slightly better than in 2006), but this figure was close to 20 percent for some products.





For more information on these results, go to


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