Posted by: tristar3research | March 3, 2009

Nice BusinessWeek Profile on Business Intelligence Software

Business Intelligence Software’s Time Is Now, according to BusinessWeek. The recession is fostering interest in BI software, which helps companies analyze the data they collect for new cost-cutting or sales opportunities. According to Gartner, BI software tops the list of technology spending priorities for companies in 2009, based on a survey of more than 1,500 CIOs worldwide released in January (assuming flat IT budgets in 2009). Market researcher Forrester Research (FORR) expects the BI market to generate more than $12 billion in revenue in 2014, vs. $8.5 billion in 2008.

Business intelligence software can bring together data from disparate parts of the company. Once that happens, companies can do analysis, run reports, and make predictions based on past performance. Some BI software lets companies weave in external information, such as the price of gas or the unemployment rate in certain regions, to better understand how market swings or economic trends are affecting customer behavior and the company.

Brinker (EAT) is an example of a BI user:

Brinker used BI to help with a challenge faced by many restaurants: determining how many staff should work each shift—a task that can be especially daunting during a recession. The company tapped a restaurant performance management system built with Information Builders‘ WebFOCUS business intelligence software. Among other things, this software can calculate, based on sales, the optimal staffing level during a particular shift at a specific restaurant.

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