Business Intelligence

I recently joined Linked-In’s  Business Intelligence Group and found some interesting reading. If you are interested in Business Intelligence (also known as competitive intelligence) have a look at Deepak Seth’s blog. He is writing a series on BI and they are not only to the point, full of practical advice, they are amusing too – I quote

Business Intelligence –
“By that I do not mean the oxymoron phrase – given the state of the economy today and what actions led it there many people think that the words Intelligence and Business cannot be put in the same sentence together.”

It is now, while finance and business is showing a downturn that we should get our BI sorted out. The Wikipedia explains that

Business intelligence (BI) refers to skills, technologies, applications and practices used to help a business acquire a better understanding of its commercial context. Business intelligence may also refer to the collected information itself.
BI applications provide historical, current, and predictive views of business operations. Common functions of business intelligence applications are reporting, OLAP, analytics, data mining, business performance management, benchmarks, text mining, and predictive analytics.

The article gives a link to the 2009 Gartner Group paper  which predicted these developments in business intelligence market
(Again copied from the Wikipedia article)
• Because of lack of information, processes, and tools, through 2012, more than 35 per cent of the top 5,000 global companies will regularly fail to make insightful decisions about significant changes in their business and markets.
• By 2012, business units will control at least 40 per cent of the total budget for business intelligence.
• By 2010, 20 per cent of organizations will have an industry-specific analytic application delivered via software as a service as a standard component of their business intelligence portfolio.
• In 2009, collaborative decision making will emerge as a new product category that combines social software with business intelligence platform capabilities.
• By 2012, one-third of analytic applications applied to business processes will be delivered through coarse-grained application mashups.

which makes interesting reading, both for those who carry out BI analyses for businesses, and for the businesses themselves.
Right now is the time to sort out your assets and identify those superfluous practices which lose money.