During the past 12 months, I have been contacted by readers and have spoken to other individuals who work for organizations that do not have a business intelligence (BI) application. Instead, the organization has a large staff of information technology professionals who provide the data to their users. These organizations could benefit by using BI applications in several ways, including:

As these organizations' managers read and understand more about the benefits that other organizations have achieved through BI applications, they will become more inclined to embrace the technology and champion users' more direct access to information within their organizations. One book that is strategically focused on demonstrating the value of BI is E-Business Intelligence — Turning Information into Knowledge into Profit, published this year by McGraw-Hill. I recently met with the author, Bernard Liautaud, chief executive officer of Business Objects, to discuss the book and the field of BI. This column includes excerpts from the book and is the first of a three-part series that addresses the value of BI.

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