Business Intelligence solutions have been a part of the software landscape for approximately 20 years. These solutions promised to transform business with better decision and greater profitability. Unfortunately, getting the most out of typically large and usually unwieldy implementations has been a challenge.
Often the problem is at “the back end”: companies use a variety of systems, across different departments and locations. The introduction of large CRM systems—another instance of yet another critical data set—has complicated matters. The situation is by now so dire that, according to Gartner, less than 30% of potential users of standard BI tools utilize them at their job—that is, if we don’t count good old Excel, the usage of which (yes, as a BI tool) continues to proliferate.
All this and more is recounted in an informative Information Age article by Ben Rossi, entitled 20 Years of False Business Intelligence Promises. Along with the many ailments associated with BI today, Rossi prescribes some solutions…many of which track what’s possible from PARIS Technologies most recent release, Olation. With Olation, the IT Department and end-users work together on the same data set, while using the tools they are most comfortable with—including Excel. Olation includes both a meta data management layer along with a mathematical calculation engine that makes business data modeling faster and smarter: the end result is that users are delivered aggregated, value-added data when they are preparing reports. Olation also allows for user contribution—for “what if” scenario creation—and thus can accommodate robust, collaborative budget and forecast planning applications. Spreadsheet users come into the fold…without ever having to work alone (in massive numbers!) in Excel.
Olation is a counterpoint to Rossi’s article, an example of how companies continue to develop and innovate the next generation of software—giving hope that in the future we will have all the tools necessary to make Business Intelligence truly intelligent.
See Original article here.