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Faster BI adds to business value

The secret to nimble decision-making is to have systems in place that are alerted to data signals and that react timeously, says 9sight Consulting's Dr Barry Devlin.

With the increased use of social networks, minor concerns can quickly turn into major problems, and sparks of interest can be fanned into profitable sales. Timely decision-making is a critical factor to the successful modern business.

This is according to Dr Barry Devlin, founder and principal of 9sight Consulting. The secret to nimble decision-making, he says, is to have systems in place that are alerted to data signals and that react timeously.

Devlin is a speaker at the ITWeb BI Summit and Awards event, taking place in February next year. He will deliver a keynote speech, themed: “BI business value – the quicker, the better”.

In his address, Devlin will focus on two aspects of faster decision-making in business intelligence (BI). The first is the ability of IT to rapidly design and deliver solutions to monitor the data of interest and present it to decision-makers – in a useful and usable format.

“In the past, BI projects have typically taken months to deliver, this sometimes turns into years; depending on the complexity of source systems and the cleanliness of data sources,” Devlin says. Agile development is crucial to shortening development cycles, he elaborates, perhaps the most important factor, however, is engaging with the right people.

“This means identifying and engaging with users who have a broad and deep understanding of the data requirements,” he says.

The second aspect Devlin will touch on is the speed at which users can explore data to gain the required insights. “There has been a notable improvement in the speed of processing and the breadth of data that can be analysed – owing to the advances of hardware and software in the BI space,” he says.

Modern virtualisation is one area in particular to note, Devlin says. These techniques have empowered users to explore data on laptops and even tablets – this would never have been possible a few years ago, he emphasises.

“Collaborative tooling is a key component; most decisions are made at a group level, rather than individual level; peer input drives innovative thinking and discussion,” he concludes.

For more information about the ITWeb BI Summit, and to cast your nomination for the Awards, click here.


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