Business Intelligence - more than a Subset of Information Systems

Mats Danielson

Abstract— Business intelligence (BI) systems is one of the major computing trends during the last ten years, in developed as well as developing countries. But as often witnessed, the implementa-tions are to a large degree not very successful. Our concern in this paper is the decision support role of BI systems, the perceived business value of implemented systems, and their contribution to facilitate the fulfilment of organisational goals. The study builds upon deep interviews with managers in combination with a previous quantitative survey. The survey and the interviews used three categories of questions: 1) how visions, objectives, strategies are supported by BI systems; 2) how business values are derived from such systems; and 3) how design and implementation issues affect the solutions. The overall conclusion of the study is that there are major problems in all three areas although not equally dire. What clearly emerges is that much of the problems encountered come from failing to appreciate the different nature of BI systems compared to support systems for daily operational processes. Thus, a fundamental reason for BI systems winding up in the state they are is that they are being wrongfully treated as just another kind of traditional information system.

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