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At these organizations, a top-down commitment helps business intelligence efforts spread throughout the enterprise.

If 1-800-Flowers.com CIO Steve Bozzo had his druthers, even the online retailer's mailroom clerks would have access to business intelligence. "There's valuable information at every level of the organization," he says.

Clearly, Bozzo sees the power of pervasive BI. "Business intelligence needs to be part of the business fabric: not an afterthought layered on top of a business initiative, but part and parcel of the overall process from the get-go," Bozzo says. "And that's what it is for us -- it's a part of our culture."

But pervasive BI doesn't mean everybody in the company has sophisticated analytics tools to use as they wish, cautions Dan Vesset, an analyst at IDC. Rather, he says, pervasive BI is about ensuring that everybody -- front-line employees, middle managers and executives -- can make decisions using the right information at the right time.

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