The profit impact of BI
The Profit Impact of Business Intelligence. By Steve Williams and Nancy Williams. Published by Morgan Kaufman. Price: £22.99. ISBN: 0123724996.
Business Intelligence is currently a hot topic in business – indeed, it recently supplanted information security at the top of the Gartner list of CIO concerns. But there is a problem: research shows that a big proportion of BI projects – some surveys say 40% – fail to fulfil their business objectives.
That makes the publication of The Profit Impact of Business Intelligence very timely. As the co-authors Steve and Nancy Williams, the co-founders of DecisionPath Consulting, explain, “We’ve observed a variety of challenges that can derail even the most promising BI opportunities. Most of these challenges are business challenges”.
For this reason, this book is intended for business managers – not BI practitioners or IT specialists. It sets out to explain, rather painstakingly for those with some knowledge of the subject, what BI is, how it can be aligned to business goals, how it relates to other technologies, and how it can be made to work. A useful section identifies common mistakes and how to avoid them.
The step by step and cautious approach outlined in this book will almost certainly work if properly applied. But that is a fairly big “if”. The writers admit that some managers do not have the patience to undertake methodical BI programmes, and, unfortunately, it is also unlikely that many target readers outside the world of BI will have the patience to read a detailed, practical but sometimes dry book either.