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Survey Finds that Organizations Have Difficulty Measuring ROI of BI Investments

October 11, 2007

Call centers have traditionally operated as loss centers for the organization. They were put in place to manage interactions between the company and the customer, but did not directly drive profits and therefore was deemed a financial burden on the organization.

Things have changed for the call center industry. Companies have discovered that these centers can not only be used to help drive revenues with sales, they can also be used to gather valuable business intelligence.

Noetix Corp., a software provider that automatically generates business intelligence (BI) content from enterprise applications, has announced the results from a market survey conducted to determine return on investment (ROI) for BI implementations.

The results of this survey indicate that IT professionals consider the intangible benefits of BI solutions are more valuable than any tangible benefits and as a result, find it very difficult to measure the ROI of these applications.

The survey found that measuring the ROI for BI investment is more challenging that for other IT projects. The overall objective of BI is to improve company performance by putting the right information into the right hands at the right time.

Many BI implementations are done to allow business analysts to identify significant trends in enterprise operations and to provide senior management with better information in order to make better decisions more quickly.

In the past, BI implementations have also been done to provide key metrics to front-line personnel, including sales force, call center operators, and even companies’ customers.

Survey participants were asked what they considered to be the best measures for determining the potential benefits produced by the use of BI. Some identified the most important metric for improving productivity of both line-of-business personnel and senior management regarding the use of BI is the time it takes for each community to improve the access to data for making decisions.

The second most important criteria for line-of-business personnel identified is the number of reports end-users can create on their own. For senior management, the second most important criterion is the time senior managers must spend on analysis.

The intent of BI is to improve the quality of decisions made. The most important criteria for measuring the quality of decisions, Find Solutions for Enterprises,

according to respondents, is the quality of the information available to decision-makers, followed by the quality of information available to front-line personnel.

"Many different factors have an impact on overall company performance, so precisely measuring the influence of a BI implementation can be difficult, if not impossible," said Dr. Elliot King, research director at Unisphere Research, in a Thursday statement.

"Through this market survey we see that the challenges involved in conducting ROI assessments have led many in the industry to argue that the intangible, non-measurable benefits are more important than any tangible benefits."

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMC (News - Alert) and has also written for eastbiz.com. To see more of her articles, please visit Susan J. Campbell’s columnist page.

 
 

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