Sunday, May 03, 2009

Gartner BI Summit

Suzanne Hoffman, VP Sales at Star Analytics, recently attended the Gartner BI Summit and she gave the SDForum Business Intelligence SIG a short overview of the conference at the April meeting. You can get her presentation from our web site. There were several threads that ran through her presentation, one is the scope of Business Intelligence (BI). Another related thread is Business Intelligence and Performance Management (PM or EPM). Note that when "E" is prefixed to a acronym, it stands for Enterprise.

Although the title of the conference is the Gartner BI Summit, there seemed to be a lot of concern for placing BI within the context of Information Management (IM or EIM), where Information Management includes both search and social software for collaboration as well as BI and PM. On a side note, I have always found enterprise search to be terrible, as discussed previously. Anything that can be done to improve enterprise search is worthwhile, and both analytics and social efforts like bookmarking or tagging can and should be applied to make it better.

Gartner sees BI evolving from something that is mostly pushed by Information Technology (IT) to something that is more broadly focused on Performance Management driving Business Transformation. There has been tension between the terms Business Intelligence and Performance management for some time. For example, I wrote a semi-serious post on the subject in 2004. At the BI SIG we have always used BI an umbrella term that encompasses customer and supply chain analytics and management. On the one hand, maybe BI is too associated with IT and not enough with the end users such as business analysts. On the other hand Performance Management may have a narrower focus on financial analysis, which is a large and important part of analytics, but not the whole enchilada by any means.

Which ever term is chosen as the umbrella, we will continue to call our SIG the Business Intelligence SIG for as long as Gartner has BI Summits.

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