A broader BI system would allow for descriptive, diagnostic and predictive analysis of data to determine what happened and why and then predict the consequences of the event, he said.
The need for companies to tie BI data to a broader enterprise strategy and performance management objectives has been well understood for some time, said Lisa Pappas, a product marketing manager at SAS Institute.
Companies are increasingly looking to do more predictive modeling and forecasting in an effort to make better decisions, she said.
Rajeev Kapur, director of business analytics at Newell Rubbermaid, said Gartner's advice makes sense at a high level, but there are several caveats when it comes to implementation. "I would love to be able to do it, but it's not easy," he said.
Often, enterprise BI groups work in silos and do not directly report to a C-level executive, he said. At Newell Rubbermaid, for instance, Kapur's group reports to a vice president of process, who reports to the CIO.
Typically, requests to the BI group have to pass through multiple management layers, Kapur noted.
"There are so many layers, that agility is lost," he said.
For BI to gain real strategic importance, the function should be overseen directly by the CFO, the COO or another top-level executive, Kapur noted.
Jaikumar Vijayan covers data security and privacy issues, financial services security and e-voting for Computerworld. Follow Jaikumar on Twitter at @jaivijayan , or subscribe to Jaikumar's RSS feed . His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org .
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