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Data governances key to gaining BI value

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While business intelligence (BI) is yielding important benefits for the vast majority of surveyed companies most feel there is more to come.
This is one of the findings from a study, “Breakthrough Business Intelligence: How Stronger Governance Becomes a Force for Enablement”, by Qlik and Forbes Insight.
The survey of more than 400 senior IT and business professionals showed that 45% of respondents rate their BI programme as yielding “very significant” benefits, while a further 36% rated the benefits as “significant.” Even so, issues such as less-than-optimal adoption rates, lingering silos, multiple “versions of the truth” and data security mean that only 48% felt they had achieved the full potential benefits of their BI programmes.
The solution identified by the survey is better governance to ensure consistent, reliable and optimised results. This governance includes such key points as standardising definitions and formulas, improving data security and enabling secure access. Through these measures, better governance can actually empower individuals within the firm to utilise data independently to achieve their goals.
“Governance requires a really fine balance – governing to the point where consistency is assured, but flexibility remains,” says Mike Saliter, vice-president: global industry solutions at Qlik. “There is no perfect formula, but finding the right governance level within your organisation’s culture is a critical component to making the most of BI opportunities.”
Key findings of the survey include:
* Four out of five organisations (81%) report that they are experiencing “very significant” (45%) or “significant” (36%) business benefits from their BI programs. These findings are consistent across different industries and geographies.
* Three out of four respondents (76%) said the benefits of BI are a mix of tangible and intangible, but are always substantial. Specific benefits include improved customer metrics, accelerated time to market, stronger product and service mixes, enhanced brand valuation and recognition, and higher profitability.
* Executives recognise the importance of governance in BI, as over three quarters (78%) say data governance is either vital or important to their BI operations, and two-thirds (65%) say governance is a useful means to empower end-users to uncover new insights
Going forward, the structure of BI will feature:
* Less IT control.
* An increase in standalone, independent BI functions.
* Greater structure, planning, and governance; fewer ad hoc characteristics.
* A greater mix of centralised / decentralised approaches.