In my February 2007 column, I wrote about putting the business back into business intelligence (BI). In that column, I talked about the need to shift the focus of BI initiatives from tactical to strategic to align BI efforts with corporate strategy. When the DM Review editors asked their columnists to write about what we see as shifting or emerging BI trends, I thought it would be a good idea to delve more deeply into that February discussion and talk about the reasons I think BI strategy should shift - and is shifting - from the tactical to the strategic.

The importance and value of information has become elevated in the C-suite. Now, many CXOs want to know the details behind business performance. They may not care about the numbers at a granular level, but they see the value of slicing and dicing information to gain insight into business performance on multiple levels and across multiple dimensions. In other words, they understand that BI at the tactical level rolls up to help achieve goals at the strategic level. Thus, BI is moving from a tactical tool to a strategic catalyst.

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