The world of decision support only provides business value when organizations find ways to close the loop by incorporating analytical insights into operational processes. This requires integration of technologies and data, as well as of people and processes. That, says Forrester Analyst Boris Evelson, poses some real challenges.
 
First, the technologies are disjointed: from the search engines used to find information, to the structured world of data warehouses and OLAP cubes, to the process management components of today’s enterprises. “It’s a very disconnected market, so when we talk about the maturity level, we’re getting there, but we’re still very, very far away,” said Evelson.

There is hope, however, provided companies stick first to principles of business optimization. Said Evelson: “There are two basic components to business optimization: Business needs to be efficient and effective. In order for us to be efficient, we need to automate. Automation is about processes, workflows and making rules. Effectiveness, on the other hand, is about making better decisions, perhaps using the same data and information that my competitors may have. But if I can cleanse the data better, if I can segment my customers better; even if I can make the same decision but I can make it faster than my competitor, then I’m much more effective.”

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