Users are playing an increasing role in determining the direction and usage of technology within their organizations. The development of business intelligence (BI) applications has fostered the change in users’ roles in technology by providing them with the ability to access information that was previously held and controlled by the information systems group. In addition, as users have become more technology savvy, they are voicing their opinions on how information is reported and what information they want to see. Understanding their information requirements is critical to a successful implementation of BI applications to meet the enterprise query and reporting needs.

Each user’s information requirements are typically correlated with his/her role within the organization. The information requirements of a chief financial officer (CFO) are different from a business analyst working in the sales group of an organization. Typically, a CFO does not have the time to perform research on transactions. Conversely, the business analyst must have that ability to obtain and analyze transactional data. In addition, other factors need to be considered for each user such as the content of the data that they need to access, the level of detail (e.g., summarized or detailed transactions) and the manner in which the data is presented. Considering these requirements, most users can be classified in one of the four categories shown in Figure 1.

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