The article talks about the results of InformationWeek Special Report Survey (download here, requires free registration), with 358 business technology professionals and also what the companies are doing in their BI initiatives.
I would like to highlighted: - The companies have managed to centralize BI planning and standardize practices, capabilities, and technologies. - The companies are getting more competitive with the aid of low-latency data access and near-real-time analysis, but today you need more than broad deployments or innovative technologies. Successful companies are also far more likely to report "pervasive" or "fairly broad" BI adoption. - The users are looking for BI tools easy to use, how we can see when "complexity of tools and interfaces" was ranked first by survey respondents as impediments to success. In this case, vendors have responded to demands to make BI more accessible and user-friendly with Web-based options, including visual dashboards and key performance indicators, that can be embedded within portals or applications. - The users have more deployed than integration with desktop applications, with Microsoft Excel usually the tool of choice. Within the last year, vendors including Microsoft and SAP's Business Objects unit have added two-way integration functions that let authorized users edit or revise information in Excel and then update the central repository. - Complicated interfaces and data latency be damned—visionaries, and some vendors, increasingly are saying we should look beyond BI to automating decisions, using the concepts of Enterprise Decision Management(EDM). - Contextual BI has been around for years in the form of "smart" or "analytic" business applications, such as customer relationship and supply chain management tools with embedded reporting and analysis capabilities. - Performance management applications are designed to not just provide insight—the part powered by conventional BI—but also to help people take action to improve the performance of the business.
I also think it is very interesting the prediction of Marge Breya, executive VP and general manager at SAP's Business Objects unit, when he said: "Within three to five years, there will not be an application on the face of the planet that does not have embedded BI. The question is, what do you do when you have to look at information outside of the application?"
The BI tools are increasingly smart and pervasive, and the companies can benefit from it.