How Business Intelligence is used worldwide?

By : |November 11, 2008 0


BANGALORE, INDIA: Thomas Friedman, author of the book The World is Flat describes the banishment of trade barriers and the digital revolution as forces that are leveling the playing field, enabling billions of people across the planet, whether from a rich or poor nation, to do business with each other instantaneously.  The competitiveness raised by this phenomenon, coined Globalization 3.0, has transformed the way companies react to their customers’ demands.


To remain ahead of the game, organizations are seeking critical intelligence to quickly identify inefficiencies, opportunities and threats and ultimately make better decisions.  With this in mind, it’s no surprise that Business Intelligence (BI) was ranked by CIOs worldwide as the top technology priority, according to Gartner’s Executive Programs survey 2008.

This article examines trends in each region that are driving major corporations, governments and innovative startups across the world to adopt BI in order to keep pace with the most complex global developments. 

* Corporate Governance Drives BI in America
The U.S. continues to reign as the most competitive IT market in the World, according to a recent EIU study, and, until recently, 17 percent of tech spending has come from the financial services industry. In light of the recent institutional collapses in the U.S., financial services organizations that survive must become more customer-oriented, streamline operations and be prepared to swiftly respond to change and challenges. 

Consistency, transparency and timeliness of information will become even more critical for organizations trying to manage compliance. Those that emerge stronger and more focused will take advantage of the contributionsinformation technology is making to the business. 

Legislation such as Sarbanes-Oxley and the FRCP’s Electronic Discovery Rule Amendments have been key drivers for organizations to secure their data, and the U.S. regulatory environment has turned BI from a ‘nice to have’ into a ‘must have.’ The events that occurred during the week of September 15, 2008 are expected to bring future regulatory requirements, forcing companies to expose even more information and invest in technologies such as BI to better manage risk.

For example, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley have acknowledged their model of finance and investing has become too risky and are willing to undertake much closer supervision by government agencies in addition to the Securities and Exchange Commission.  In exchange for subjecting themselves to more regulation, the companies will have access to the full array of the Federal Reserve’s lending facilities .  More disclosure and less risk-taking can be made possible through BI which provides visibility into critical information typically scattered across multiple, disparate operational systems.

Furthermore, while the ability to report on project status accurately and in real time is essential, banks will need to find new ways to stay ahead of competitors. This boils down to anticipating customer needs before they arise and consistently delivering superior customer service. Banks increasingly are realizing the benefits of analytics tools in retaining existing patrons.

* Security Concerns Accelerate BI in Europe
Across the pond, Europe is experiencing major information leaks which have resulted in huge violations to national and social security.  On August 22, 2008, news broke that a thumb drive containing the information of approximately 130,000 UK criminals had been lost.  A similar story emerged the following week about a network storage drive containing bank and credit card account information, security details and even signatures of around one million people turning up on eBay and being sold for 35 British pounds.

With such blatant security breaches, the EU parliament voted to beef up data protection regulations with a proposed framework involving police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters.  Plans to build an encrypted network linking national criminal justice systems and allowing them to exchange information are already in the works. 

If the legislation for the proposed European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS) goes through, the companies will have to manage massive amounts of data to comply with government sanctioned hacking for the purpose of obtaining critical evidence. There will be a need to engage IT, specifically BI, to analyze data in detail with speed and accuracy using sophisticated technology with translation capabilities for multiple languages. BI tools such as data warehousing and e-discovery will be crucial, as the technology allows users to archive and retrieve documents based on the personal information contained within electronic text, such as emails and chat records. 

Having such a system in place will not only speed up the process, it will also reduce the exposure an organization has to legal risk.

* Growth and Speed Lead to BI Adoption in Asia Pacific
Forty one percent of the world’s SMBs, many of which are gaining in size and becoming multinationals, are located in Asia Pacific. Fully exposed to pressures from global competition, these growing businesses must quickly forecast trends and assess strategic direction in order to compete against rapidly emerging rivals. 

BI adoption mainly stems from the need to sustain revenue growth margins to compete successfully against larger international rivals.  In fact, revenue for BI software vendors in the Asia Pacific region between now and 2011 is expected to increase by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.5%, according to Gartner.

Like their enterprise counterparts, SMBs have vast amounts of data to navigate and require sophisticated analytic capabilities to make informed decisions.  For instance, Shanghai Tianma Micro-Electronics, a LCD manufacturer accounting for 3-4 per cent of the world’s total small screen market share, was facing exponential growth due to overwhelming demand across the globe. Shanghai Tianma implemented BI to streamline information into an easily accessible source, giving the company a clear picture of performance against their business goals.

In summary, each region faces unique needs but the global trend is moving toward the transformation of the way the world works by connecting people, information and businesses. Business intelligence is a way to provide meaningful information and analysis for more effective decision making.

Friedman explains that the flattening of the world means countries, companies, communities, individuals and governments can, and must, adapt.  Be it legislation, regulations, economic pressures, or globalization, organizations around the world are, and will continue to be, exposed to more constraints that will require rapid change and adaptation. As a result, these organizations will become increasingly dependent on BI at all levels whether it be executives, customer-facing employees or knowledge workers.

This is a contributory article by Sanjay Deshmukh, Country Manager, India/SAARC Region, Business Objects

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