Colin White, president of Intelligent Business Strategies presented a broad overview of the business intelligence (BI) Market at TDWI World Conference to a packed opening session on Tuesday morning in Orlando, Florida. His first and main point was to note the movement of BI from technology-focused to business- driven. Recapping the theme sounded by Louis Barton at the BI Strategies program on Monday evening, White said that using BI to drive the business especially in the day-to-day operations can escalate the integration into all phases of the organization. The second trend is the reduction in time to value; it is the very proactive response to that information in near real time. Another trend is putting BI into the hands of the people who can leverage it, not just the power users. This results in on-demand access to all types of business content and ultimately improves data quality.

White firmly believes that "gathering information is not enough. You must deploy it to the grass roots" end-user to drive the action. According to White, the question is not: "Are you using your BI/DW?" but "How do we use our DW/BI more effectively to drive business?"

There are limits to traditional BI; namely, BI is not currently driving business initiatives, but is regarded as a standalone application. White recommends improved feedback to close the loop on operational processing and to deliver that information to core business users based on business objectives and responsibilities.

White closed with a discussion on how analytic applications can drive actional business. Not only are they are an outgrowth of BI, he stated, but they are tools that deliver to a wide audience, rapidly (real time) with underlying database/data warehouse/BI technology which the makes the systems even more powerful.

Build, buy or integrate with a BI infrastructure – these are all ways to incorporate analytics into your environment, according to White.

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