BI success is dependent upon organization-wide data management. The proper identification and use of data translates into actionable information that can be used to manage performance throughout the organization and to develop long-term strategy. In many cases, organizations implement data integration practices at a departmental level, thereby creating silos of data that are used to address business problems within that department. These initiatives, however, do not address an organization's overall performance challenges or how the use of that data will create enhanced competitive advantage. Data management is an integral part in tying business intelligence activities to profit generation. However, many organizations' data management activities exist in silos due to incremental business intelligence or master data management initiatives. This creates duplicate work as each initiative is developed in silos independent of collaborative efforts.
Competitive advantage requires strong data management. Due to the incremental cycle of BI deployments across the organization, data management is relegated to the monitoring of data across individual departments. Generally, organizations identify subsets of information for analysis within one area of business to address a specific pain point, but do not consider the implications to the organization or how that information may be used to enhance operations throughout the organization as a whole. The definition of "customer" within organizations highlights why the identification and management of data across silos are counterproductive to organization-wide success. For example, within IT, the customer is considered to be other departments within the organization; whereas, within the call center, customers are consumers. Centralized definitions of organizational terms help create one view of the customer, product, etc. which act as a starting point when organizations move toward analysis and performance management.
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